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

Guattari’s Schizoanalytic Pragmatics

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 flesh ‘writing,’ then it must be said that speech in fact presupposes writing, and that it is this cruel system of inscribed signs that renders man capable of language, and gives him a memory of the spoken word. –Deleuze and Guattari, Anti-Oedipus, p. 145.

All methods for the transcendentalization of language, all methods for endowing language with universals…have fallen into the worst kind of abstraction, in the sense that they validate a level that is both too abstract and not abstract enough. Regimes of signs are not based on language, and language alone does not constitute an abstract machine, whether structural or generative. The opposite is the case. It is language that is based on regimes of signs, and regimes of signs on abstract machines, diagrammatic functions, and machinic assemblages that go beyond any system of semiology, linguistics, or logic. There is no universal propositional logic, nor is there grammaticality in itself, any more than there is signifier for itself. “Behind” statements and semioticizations there are only machines, assemblages, and movements of deterritorialization that cut across the stratification of the various systems and elude both the coordinates of language and of existence. That is why pragmatics is not a complement to logic, syntax, or semantics; on the contrary, it is the fundamental element upon which all the rest depend.—Deleuze and Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus, p. 148.

Linguistic Machinics: Guattari’s Schizoanalytic Pragmatics

In their Capitalism and Schizophrenia volumes, Deleuze and Guattari outline a historically materialist theory of language and society which is essentially based upon their theories of assemblages, multiplicity, abstract machines, and deterritorialization along with many other concepts. The difficulty in fully appreciating the second volume, A Thousand Plateaus, is mainly due to an ignorance of Guattari’s solo work L’Inconscient machinique which was published a year before ATP and constitutes a sort of companion volume or workbook for the former. It is now time to fully explore this work while keeping A Thousand Plateaus closely in mind in order to fully understand what Guattari’s critiques and use of linguistic theories really amounts to. In other words, the main focus of this essay (beyond an explication of Guattari’s untranslated work) is to specify how language in its stabilization in power formations comes to dominate our everyday lives and what are the means of transformation that pragmatics proposes in order to conceive and actualize new possibilities of subjectification. To perform such a (broad) task, we will focus here mainly on the concepts that Guattari proposes and how they work together to specify the problem in working toward new solutions that the project of a schizoanalytic pragmatics can offer.

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abstraction, art, becoming, expressivity, history, imagination, light, ontology, Thought, transubstantiation

Questions for an Ontology of Aesthetics


Are we escaping or returning, gathering together or tearing apart?

We find ourselves suddenly in need of a post-conceptual way of thinking.

Perhaps this problem of art and machines has always already begun to make itself felt.

We are discovering that its appearance at this critical juncture signifies a bifurcation point, a new kind of possibility.

Imperceptibly we have moved beyond imagination into the abstract, from dreams to decoding.

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abstraction, badiou, Carnap, Dialectical Materialism, epistemology, French Translation, ideology, marxism, mathematics, meta-theory, model, philosophy of science, Quine, Untranslated Theory

Translation: Alain Badiou and the Concept of the Model: Introduction to a Materialist Epistemology of Mathematics


The following is the first three sections of Alain Badiou’s first theoretical book Le Concept de modèle: introduction à une épistémologie matérialiste des mathématiques. Paris: Maspero, 1968. p. 7-17 and is an original translation by Taylor Adkins [10/17/07].

Editor’s Advertisement:

The beginning of this text continues a talk given on April 29, 1968 by Alain Badiou within the framework of the “Course of philosophy for scientists” given to the National university.

This continuation should have been the subject of a second exposition on May 13, 1968. This day, it is known, the popular masses mobilized against the middle-class Gaullist dictatorship affirming in all the country their determination, and enticing the process that led to a confrontation of classes on a great scale, upsetting the political economic situation, and causing effects whose continuation will not be made to wait.

It is often imagined that in this storm, the intervention on the philosophical front had to pass to a second plan.

This very day, the somewhat “theoretical” accents of this text return to a surpassed economic situation. The struggle, also ideological, requires a totally different style of labor and a just and lucid political combativeness. It is no longer a question of aiming at a target without reaching it.

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abstraction, French Translation, Laruelle, non-Marxism, non-philosophy, Politics, power, Uncategorized, Untranslated Theory

Translation: Francois Laruelle’s Beyond the Power Principle


The following is the preface from Francois Laruelle’s Beyond the Power Principle pp. 1-9 and is an original translation by Taylor Adkins 10/09/07.

Stylistic Caution

A: But if everyone knew this most would be harmed by it. You yourself call these opinions dangerous for those exposed to danger, and yet you express them in public?

B: I write in such a way that neither the mob, nor the populi, nor the parties of any kind want to read me. Consequently these opinions of mine will never become public.

A: But how do you write, then?

B: Neither usefully nor pleasantly–to the trio I have named.

–Nietzsche, The Wanderer and His Shadow, 71.

Flowing, multiple and simulated… Power is the only recent philosophical object which is becoming interesting: fictionalized, televised, cinematized, moralized, philosophized, psychoanalyzed… it tolerates all the treatments and survives them. So many transversals have made it acquire plasticity and the capacity for a synthesis which grounds the great fetishes: it joins together in its definition all the meanings and contrary uses, it concentrates in itself contradictory political and ideological ambitions. Like the older terms of Existence or Structure, but with more facility because it expresses fewer theoretical requirements (on this point, it has not been demonstrated until now as being very difficult, and on this point it is not the recent philosophy which will contradict us), it has conquered the grand capitalist style: as a concept, its practical value is virtually null, it is rather its exchange value, to which it is reduced, that makes its only possible usage.

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abstraction, French Translation, individuation, metastability, morphology, ontogenesis, ontology, Simondon

Translation: Simondon and the Physico-Biological Genesis of the Individual

Simondon, Gilbert. L’individu et sa genèse physico-biologique. Paris : Presses Universitaires de France, 1964. Original Translation by Taylor Adkins.


Chapter One: Form and Matter

Section I—Foundations of the Hylemorphic Model: Technology of the Capture of Form

1. The Conditions of Individuation: pp. 27-39.

The notions of form and matter can help solve the problem of individuation only if they are first compared to its position. So if by the contrast it was discovered that the hylemorphic system expresses and contains the problem of individuation, it would be necessary, under pain of locking ourselves [sous peine de s’enfermer] into begging the question, to regard the research of the principle of individuation as logically anterior to the definition of matter and form.

It is difficult to consider the notions of form and matter as innate ideas. However, at the moment when one would be tempted to assign a technological origin to them, one is arrested by the remarkable capacity of generalization which these notions have. It is not only the clay and the brick, the marble and the statue which can be thought according to the hylemorphic model, but also a great number of formal, genetic and compositional actualities, in the living world and the psychic domain. The logical force of this model is such that Aristotle could use it to support a universal system of classification which applies itself to reality by following a logical path as well as a physical path, by ensuring the agreement of the logical order and the physical order, and by authorizing inductive knowledge. Even the ratio of the soul and the body can be thought according to the hylemorphic model.

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