Author: Taylor Adkins

On Recognition, or Why Dogs Make Great Philosophers

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justice / Plato / Politics / sameness / the Republic

There are various moments in the Republic, especially in book II which we will focus on here, where justice is elusively illustrated according to those to whom justice is attributed, i.e. proceeding from types which partake in or lay claim to justice and showing by example not only the essence of justice but how it is in itself good. Now, obviously all of this is evident from the text and does not require repeating except […]

Speculative Heresy: a New Collective Blog on Laruelle and Speculative Realism

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heresy / Laruelle / non-philosophy / philosophy / science / speculative realism

In just the past few days, Nick from Accursed Share, Ben from Naught Thought and I have created a new joint blog gathering together translations, book reviews, commentary, reading discussions, etc. on Laruelle, speculative realism and non-philosophy called Speculative Heresy. We conceive it to be an open discussion and collection of different perspectives on this new and still slightly obscure discipline. Generally conceived, non-philosophy is opposed to revolution which is much too often the mode […]

Badiou on Logic

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badiou / godel / logic / mathematics / metamathematics / ontology

Stellar cartographies has translated two different selections of course notes from Badiou’s lectures circa 1980-82 here and here. This translation is short, but extremely concise, so there’s a lot of material to absorb. In particular, the notes help to explain Godel’s achievement and his theorem and offers good insight into Badiou’s own mathematico-ontological project. Definitely check it out for a quick read on a slightly neglected aspect of this philosopher’s expanding corpus. Also be sure […]

(Non-)Epistemology and Ontology: Three more definitions from Laruelle’s Dictionnaire

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Aesthetic / axiom / badiou / epistemology / form / Laruelle / legitimacy / matter / non-philosophy / ontology / science / transcendental

Laruelle, Francois. Dictionnaire de la non-philosophie. Paris, Kime, 1998. Original translation by Taylor Adkins. Non-epistemology Unified theory of science and philosophy that takes for its object and material the discourse which lays claim to a particular mixture of science and philosophy: epistemology. Philosophy recognizes epistemology in two ways which are not always exclusive. It can treat it as a continuation of traditional philosophy of science, crystallized around the Kantian question of the possibility of science, […]

A Thousand Plateaus, Chapter Eight: Lines and Segmentarity

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A Thousand Plateaus / body without organs / BwO / Deleuze and Guattari / deterritorialization / line / line of flight / micropolitics / molarity / molecularity / plane of consistency / segmentarity

Deleuze, Gilles and Felix Guattari. A Thousand Plateaus. Trans. Brian Massumi. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2003. Although Deleuze and Guattari consistently use the line of flight as a concept along with the distinctions between molecularity and molarity throughout the earlier chapters of the book, plateau 8 on the three novellas is the first time that we see the distinctions being formalized. Earlier in plateau 3 on the geology of morals (I say earlier provisionally […]

Guattari’s Schizoanalytic Pragmatics

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A Thousand Plateaus / abstract machine / abstraction / assemblages / guattari / machinic unconscious / pragmatics / redundancy / rhizome / Schizoanalysis

Until Marxism, capitalist political economy has also pretended for a long time to pass as the general grammar of all economy, but linguistics still has not found its Marx and Engels who would reset it on its feet. –Guattari, L’Inconscient Machinique, p.30 fn. 14. The sign is a position of desire; but the first sings are the territorial signs that plant their flags in bodies. And if one wants to call this inscription in naked […]

From a Melancholy Science to a Negative Diale(c)t(h)ics

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actualization / Adorno / Aristotle / contradiction / freedom / freud / identity / image of thought / Minima Moralia / minor ethics / Negative Dialectics / Negativity / Normativity / psychoanalysis

Everyone will agree that it is of the highest importance to know whether we are not duped by morality. Emmanuel Levinas—Totality and Infinity It is a question of attaining this will that the event creates in us…It is a question of becoming a citizen of the world—Gilles Deleuze, Logic of Sense [1] From a Melancholy Science towards a Negative Diale(c)t(h)ics Adorno’s ethics is a “melancholy science” because it has grown weary of the subject. In […]

Normal-neurotic Health in Adorno’s Minima Moralia

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As the projected science of the subject, psychoanalysis positioned itself at the turn of the 20th century both as a liberating investigation of the sources of repression and as a reinforcement of those very sources of domination. Adorno devotes at least 5 of his aphorisms in the first part of Minima Moralia to questions specifically addressing the psychoanalytical promotion of a certain type of sickness all the more difficult to uproot and identify because it […]

Flattening Multiplicity: Deleuze and Guattari’s Rhizome

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actualization

Taylor Adkins Deleuze and Guattari—Plateau 1 7 April 2008 In their first plateau, Deleuze and Guattari focus on the concept of the rhizome. In establishing a difference between the arborescent image of thought and the rhizomatic, Deleuze and Guattari claim that the rhizome is an anti-genealogy (11) while at the same time arguing that it is the tree which imposes its genealogy: “A rhizome has no beginning or end; it is always in the middle, […]

Lacan and the Formula of the “Purloined Letter”

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formula / lacan / Poe / psychoanalysis / Purloined Letter / repetition / signifier / structuralism / subject

Now, it seems more and more clear to us that this subject who speaks is beyond the ego…It’s also the question…to what extent does the symbolic relation, the relation of language, retain its value beyond the subject, in as much as it may be characterized as centred in an ego –by an ego, for an alter-ego? –Jacques Lacan, “Odd or even? Beyond intersubjectivity,”The Seminar of Jacques Lacan: Book II p. 175, 177. In his second […]

The Distance of the Gods : A Note on Aristotle and Friendship

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Aristotle / distance / equality / ethics / friendship / Greek philosophy

In one of the more singular passages of the Nicomachean Ethics (Book VIII, Chapter 7), Aristotle makes several claims about the nature of friendship.  One of these claims is that friendship arises out of (or, we shall say, strives for) equality. Similarly, friendship has a reciprocal nature insofar as the more useful or better of the friends (a father in relation to his son) deserves more love and thus owes less, so to speak. It […]

Nietzsche, Corruption, Exhaustion

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corruption / culture / enlightenment / exhaustion / free spirit / Gay Science / individuality / Nietzsche / progress / religion / superstition / war

In book I, section 23 of Gay Science, Nietzsche deploys a theory concerning the rise of the individual in relation to the signs of corruption in a society. This corruption signifies for Nietzsche the development and culmination of superstition in a culture. Superstition in this text is equated with the “second-order free spirit.” Unlike the religious advocate, the superstitious is always more of a person, meaning that the appearance of this attribute is the development […]

Event and Decision at Claremont Graduate University

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badiou / Claremont / conference / Deleuze / ontology / Politics / Whitehead

Joe and I arrived in California on Wednesday for the conference on Badiou, Deleuze, and Whitehead concerning ontology and politics. On Thursday, Justin Clemens and Oliver Feltham (both translators of Badiou) gave a wonderful paper on a rapprochement between Deleuze and Badiou (focusing on the Logic of Sense and Being and Event–seemingly a strange synthesis at first). One of the juicier comparisons was made when Justin reminded us that Deleuze’s nonsense–that which says its own […]

The Will to Virtue and the Morality of Capture

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capture / Christianity / domestication / herd morality / individual / Manu / morality / Nietzsche / power / virtue / war / Zarathustra

    “Neither Manu, nor Plato nor Confucius nor the Jewish and Christian teachers have ever doubted their right to lie. They have not doubted that they had very different rights too. Expressed in a formula, one might say: all the means by which one has so far attempted to make mankind moral were through and through immoral” (Twilight, 505). Nietzsche despises the improvers of mankind because they have typically been priests, otherwise known as […]

New Archive Page Added with PDFs!

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The archive page has recently been added. This page resolves three (minor) problems: it provides another medium for easier reading; it allows for Joe and I to fully differentiate our original posts; and it brings all the posts on one page and makes them permanently and easily accessible. Every post (other than the notes and translations) that appears on the main site will subsequently find its way to the archives in PDF formatting. Both Joe […]

Nietzsche, Pity and Virtue: From the Superfluous to the Exceptional

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Antichrist / breeding / Christianity / corruption / exception / individual / kant / morality / Nietzsche / overman / pity / power / species / Spinoza / suffering / superfluous / values / virtue

The weak and the failures shall perish: first principle of our love of man. And they shall even be given every possible assistance (The Antichrist, 570). In the opening sections of The Antichrist, Nietzsche raises the question of what type of man shall be bred, continuing a line of thought developed in Twilight of the Idols in relation to the Laws of Manu. In former times, Nietzsche argues, the exceptional human was a fortunate accident; […]

Translations and Schema Upgraded: Now with PDFs

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French Translations / Laruelle / notes / schema / Simondon

I have recently added links to the translations and the schema page to PDF files for those that are interested. I would imagine that this would be a much more useful way to orient this resource towards a wider public, or simply to ease the work of having to read text online. I still have yet to fully introduce the translations or the notes that we have on this site. I hope this can become […]

A Short List of Gilbert Simondon’s Vocabulary

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affectivity / allagmatic / becoming / Disparation / emotivity / ensemble / form / hylemorphism / individualization / individuation / information / metastability / milieu / model / modularity / ontogenesis / potential / preindividual / signal / signification / Simondon / subject / system / Transduction / transindividual

1. Affectivity -This term designates a relation between an individualized being and the pre-individual milieu; it is thus heterogeneous to individualized reality. This is why Simondon claims that affectivity, more than perception, indicates a spirituality that is greater than the individualized being (the Sublime) because perception is merely the functions of the structures interior to this being (L’Individuation psychique et collective, p. 108–hereafter cited as IPC). Simondon writes that affectivity is the ground of emotion, […]

Nietzsche and the Capture and Domestication of Peoples

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apparatus of capture / culture / custom / decay / democracy / genealogy / image of thought / individual / instrumentality / Nietzsche / nomad / overman / Politics / power / religion / society / sovereignty / state / unground / universal / universal politics / utopia / war / war machine / warrior / Zarathustra

  “You shall obey—someone and for a long time: else you will perish and lose the last respect for yourself”—this appears to me to be the moral imperative of nature which, to be sure, is neither “categorical” as the old Kant would have it (hence the “else”) nor addressed to the individual (what do individuals matter to her?), but to peoples, races, ages, classes—but above all to the whole human animal, to man (Beyond Good […]

Translation from Gilles Deleuze’s Ontology: Véronique Bergen on the Syntheses of the Unconscious in Difference and Repetition

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Deleuze / Difference and Repetition / differenciation / Eros / French Translation / habit / memory / ontology / Psyche / syntheses of the unconscious / Thanatos / unconscious / Untranslated Theory / virtual

The following is an excerpt on the syntheses of the unconscious in Difference and Repetition from Véronique Bergen’s L’Ontologie de Gilles Deleuze, Paris: L’Harmattan, 2001. 325-327. Original translation by Taylor Adkins on 11/05/07. The three syntheses of the unconscious in the times developed in Difference and Repetition, the three “beyonds of the pleasure principle”[1] organizing bio-psychic life “correspond to figures of repetition, which appear in the work of a great novelist: the binding, the ever […]

Translation: Véronique Bergen’s Diagram of the Evolution of Deleuzian Concepts

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A Thousand Plateaus / abstract machine / concept / Deleuze / diagram / Difference and Repetition / French Translation / Logic of Sense / ontology / Véronique Bergen

The following is a translation of a section containing a table of the evolutions of the names of the transcendental field and the operators of differenciating liaisons from L’Ontologie de Gilles Deleuze, Véronique Bergen. Paris: L’Harmattan, 2001. 545-549. Original translation by Taylor Adkins 11/05/07.

Translation: Michel Serres and the Mathematization of Empiricism

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empiricism / entropy / error / French Translation / Hermes / information / information theory / mathematics / negentropy / philosophy of science / sensation / Serres / Untranslated Theory

The following is a translation of Michel Serres’s essay “Mathematization of Empiricism.” from Hermes II: L’Interférence. Paris: Editions de Minuit, 1972. 195-200. Original translation by Taylor Adkins 11/03/07. The law known as Fechner-Weber’s law can be written S = K log I, and read: sensation grows like the logarithm of the stimulus[1]. The definition of Information, in the contemporary sense, can be written I = K log P, and read: information grows like the logarithm […]

Translation: Two Entries from Francois Zourabichvili’s book on Deleuze’s Vocabulary: Univocity and Pre-Individual Singularities

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A Thousand Plateaus / definitions / Deleuze / difference / Difference and Repetition / French Translation / intensity / Logic of Sense / nomadic distribution / ontology / pre-individual / singularities / Theory / Philosophy / transcendental field / univocity / Untranslated Theory / Zourabichvili

The following are two entries from Francois Zourabichvili’s book La vocabulaire de Deleuze. Paris: Ellipses, 2003. Original Translation by Taylor Adkins 11/03/07. Pre-individual Singularities * We cannot accept the alternative which thoroughly compromises psychology, cosmology, and theology: either singularities already comprised in individuals and persons, or the undifferentiated abyss. Only when the world, teeming with anonymous and nomadic, impersonal and pre-individual singularities, opens up, do we tread at last on the field of the transcendental […]

Blogosphere Kinships: Activity at Massthink

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Arthur Danto / Darwinism / Deleuze / Deleuze and Guattari / evolution / hylomorph / identity / Manuel DeLanda / massthink / Nietzsche / philosophy blog / Theory / Philosophy / Uncategorized

I’ve been visiting the massthink blog (populated by Ryan and Aless) for a couple of months now, but, as a bad reader, I failed to leave comments. I was thrilled not only with the content, but more so with the way in which these two have organized their site. I was inspired to see their text page (which encouraged me to put up the bibliography, still under construction) and by the way in which they […]

Translation of Vision-in-One: Additional Definition to Laruelle’s Dictionary of Non-Philosophy

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axiomatics / badiou / Deleuze / determination / French Translation / immanence / Laruelle / non-philosophy / the count / the multiple / the One / the Real / Theory / Philosophy / Untranslated Theory / vision-in-one

The following is an entry from Francois Laruelle’s Dictionnaire de la non-philosophie. Paris: Editions Kimé, 1998. Original translation by Sid Littlefield, 10/31/07. Vision-in-One (One, One-in-One, Real) Primary concept of non-philosophy, equivalent with “One-in-One” or the “Real.” What determines the theory of in-the-last-instance and the pragmatics of the Thought-World (“philosophy”). The vision-in-one is radically immanent and universal; it is the given-without-givenness of the givenness of the Thought-World. Philosophy is the desire and oppression of the One, […]

Zarathustra and Genealogy: Where the State Ceases…

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apparatus of capture / genealogy / Nietzsche / nihilism / nomads / overman / Politics / state / warrior / will to power / Zarathustra

In Book 1 of Thus Spoke Zarathustra, there is a speech on the state (“Of the New Idol”) that is surrounded by a speech on war and the warrior prior to it and also a speech “On the Flies of the Marketplace” following it. All three speeches in a way need to be read together (not only in order but also juxtaposed in other ways) to be fully understood. Having said that, I want to […]

Nietzsche’s Social Ontology: (Un)harnessing the Chaos

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coding / Deleuze / grand politics / guattari / individuality / instrumentality / Laruelle / Nietzsche / ontology / Politics / society

The individual is a chaos necessary to every political and social order, a chaos enveloped in a structural social machine. This chaos should be distinguished from a random distribution of intensities or an undifferentiated aggregate but instead should be thought of as overdetermined. From our point of view (against a flow of power that remains obscure in origin) this is precisely the problem that must be addressed according to the collective nature of the individual, […]

Translation: Six Entries from Francois Laruelle’s Dictionary of Non-Philosophy

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axiomatics / decision / first science / fractality / French Translation / Laruelle / metascience / non-philosophy / Theory / Philosophy / transcendental / Untranslated Theory

Francois Laruelle’s project (from the following entries) can, in my opinion, be best related to the previous translations I have posted on Alain Badiou and Albert Lautman. Badiou’s concept of model as coupling (ideological/scientific)–like Laruelle’s coupling of philosophy/non-philosophy–and questions of logical formalism intersect well with Lautman’s discussion of Hilbert and metamathematics. Although Laruelle specifically names Deleuze (in a negative way, moreover), his project seems to have the strongest correlation to Alain Badiou (especially some of […]

Notes on Logic of Sense: Preface, Series 1 and 2, Appendix 1 on Simulacrum and Ancient Philosophy

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becoming / Deleuze / event / image / internal resonance / Logic of Sense / metaphysical surface / paradoxes / Plato / sense / signal-sign system / simulacrum

Logic of Sense: Preface Here Deleuze begins by highlighting Carroll and the Stoics for their theory of events; he says that there is a marriage of language and the unconscious at work. Paradoxes imply that sense is a nonexisting entity (xiii). Deleuze claims that the Stoics formed a new image of thought [how can this be linked to Difference and Repetition wherein Deleuze claims that it’s imperative to move beyond a certain dogmatic image of […]

Notes on Lyotard’s Postmodern Condition: Introduction, Sections 1 and 2

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authority / Habermas / knowledge / language games / legitimacy of science / Lyotard / metanarrative / Postmodern Condition / Postmodernism / technology

This book enquires on the condition of knowledge today in highly developed societies (xxiii). It is also situated in the crisis of narratives (xxiii). Philosophy legitimates the rules of science’s language games (xxiii). ‘Modern’ designates any science that legitimates itself with reference to a metadiscourse in relation to certain grand narratives (such as the dialectics of Spirit, the hermeneutics of meaning, the emancipation of the rational or working subject, or the creation of wealth) (xxiii). […]

Notes to Guy Debord’s Society of the Spectacle: Chapters 1 and 2

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capitalism / commodity fetishism / consumption / Debord / image / isolation / marxism / materialism / May 68 / reification / representation / separation / simulacrum / Society of the Spectacle / spectacle / Theory / Philosophy

Separation Perfected But certainly for the present age, which prefers the sign to the thing signified, the copy to the original, representation to reality, the appearance to the essence…illusion only is sacred, truth profane. Nay, sacredness is held to be enhanced in proportion as truth decreases and illusion increases, so that the highest degree of illusion comes to be the highest degree of sacredness. –Feuerbach, Preface to the second edition of The Essence of Christianity […]

Notes to Deleuze and Guattari’s A Thousand Plateaus: Rhizome, Chapter 1

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A Thousand Plateaus / assemblages / BwO / Deleuze / deterritorialization / guattari / interbeing / multiplicity / Nomadology / rhizome / Schizoanalysis / tracing

D+G have reached the point where it is no longer of any importance whether one says I [This, of course, is preceded by similar assertions about the schizophrenic in Anti-Oedipus]. (3). A book is an assemblage and a multiplicity: One side of a machinic assemblage faces the state, which doubtless makes it a kind of organism, or signifying totality, or determination attributable to a subject; it also has a side facing a body without organs, […]

Notes to Deleuze and Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus: Chapters 1 and 2

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abstract machine / Anti-Oedipus / Deleuze / desire / desiring machines / family / guattari / lacan / libido / machinic unconscious / molecularity / Schizoanalysis / subject-group / transversality

Anti-Oedipus 1: Desiring-Machines For every organ-machine, an energy machine (1). Schizophrenia and the time before the man-nature dichotomy/split (1). Nature lived as process of production (2). Oedipus presupposes a fantastic repression of desiring-machines (3). The schizophrenic experiences not nature, but nature as a process of production (3). Production is immediately consumption and a recording process, without any sort of mediation (4). The recording process and consumption directly determine production, but within the production process itself […]

Translation: Jean-Hugues Barthélémy on Simondon, Bergson and Teilhard de Chardin

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Bachelard / Barthélémy / becoming / bergson / communication / complexity / French Translation / individuation / ontogenesis / ontology / philosophy of science / physiology / Simondon / singularities / Teildhard de Chardin / transindividual / Untranslated Theory

The following is the first half of chapter 1 from Jean-Hugues Barthélémy’s book Penser l’individuation: Simondon et la philosophie de la nature. Paris: L’Harmattan, 2005. p. 37-48. Original translation by Taylor Adkins on 10/22/07. Chapter 1 The concept of object and the concept of subject, in the same virtue of their origin, are limits that philosophical thought must overcome. –Gilbert Simondon 1. Ontology and ontogenesis: from Bergson to Simondon The philosophically fundamental watchword of all […]