'A-Part' of this World: Deleuze and the Logic of Creation

Dissertation, York University (2014)
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Major Research Paper Abstract A Part of This World: Deleuze & The Logic Of Creation. Is there a particular danger in following Deleuze’s philosophy to its end result? According to Peter Hallward and Alain Badiou, Deleuze’s philosophy has some rather severe conclusions. Deleuze has been known as a vitalist thinker of life and affirmation. Hallward & Badiou seek to challenge the accepted view of Deleuze; showing that these accepted norms in Deleuzian scholarship should be challenged; and that initially Deleuze calls for the evacuation of political action in order to remain firm in the realm of pure contemplation. I intend to investigate and defend Deleuze’s philosophy and against critics like Badiou and Hallward; and that not only is Deleuze’s philosophy creative and vital but also highly revolutionary and ‘a part of this world.’ I will look at several works in Deleuze’s corpus, as well as look at Deleuzian scholars whom defend Deleuze’s position Hallward sees Deleuze as a theophantic thinker of the one and like Spinoza an individual mode must align oneself with the intellectual love of god, so that creativity and expressivity may mediate through them. Thus, according to Hallward the major theme of Deleuze’s philosophy is creativity; and a subject or a creature must tap into this vital spark of creation, which, is also a form of creatural confinement. Hallward states this creative act can only occur in the realm of the virtual, by lines of flight leading 'out of this world'. The subject is then re-introduced to an extra-worldly existence of contemplation and remains further away from decisions and lived experience. Deleuze, according to Hallward, falls prey to a cosmological pantheism. Badiou has similar concerns. Deleuze’s philosophy is too systematic and abstract. The entirety of Deleuzes’ work is surrounded by metaphysics of the one; and essentially its repercussions lead to an overt asceticism. Badiou notes that Deleuze wants us all to surrender thought to a renewed concept of the one. Through the surrender of the one, the multiple is lost and incorporated into the realm of simulacra. Everything in this Deleuzian world is ‘always-already’ in the infinite and inhuman totality of the one. According to Badiou, this entire process is articulated in the power of inorganic life that operates through all of us. Like Hallward, Badiou sees Deleuze demolishing the subject, who is stuck between machinery and exteriority. Subjects are forced to transcend and go beyond their limits, slowly collapsing into an infinite virtuality. Badiou believes this is a powerful metaphor for a philosophy of death. Thus the conditions of Deleuzian thought are contingent upon asceticism, making a Deleuzian world a sort of ‘crowned anarchy’. Badiou sees Deleuze’s ascetic mission intimately linked with a philosophy of death, and like Hallward we should pay careful attention to the outcome of such an aristocratic philosophy. Death according to Badiou, symbolizes Deleuzian thought, not only making it dangerous, but also actualizing it as an ineffective position. Badiou also points out that Deleuze’s conceptual sources are not only limited but also repeated time and time again through a monotonous selection of concepts. Is this a fair critique and representation of Deleuzian thought? Eugene Holland states, that both Hallward and Badiou have misrepresented Deleuze. Deleuze does invoke the creation of a new earth but one which we all fully believe in. The only world Deleuze wants to get out of is the world of habits, conformity, power; and forces that block creative being. According to Holland, Hallward presents us a Deleuze that inhibits an engagement with the world. However Deleuze’s creative enterprise is insistent on forming concepts that can change and transform our world. So the question arises where does the problem of misrepresentation begin? It begins with both Badiou and Hallward having an erroneous account of the actual/virtual distinction in Deleuze’s Philosophy. According to Protevi, Hallward posits a dualism between the actual and the virtual, denying the role of the intensive. Hallward initially sees the relationship between the intensive and the virtual, ignoring the fact that the intensive has its own ontological register that mediates both the virtual and the actual. However, Protevi notes if one could not accept the intensive for an ontological register and had to place it with one or the other; you would have to accept an interrelationship between the actual and the intensive. Hallward places it in the realm of the virtual, thus, leading us to his major claim that Deleuze’s philosophy leads us out of the world. Protevi states, intensive processes happen in our world they are a part of this world. Hallward completely empties all creativity from the actual, thus depending on the virtual and its slippery slope. Both Hallward and Badiou have missed the point altogether. We live in an intensive/actual world and the main point about Deleuze’s politics has to do with experimentation and social interaction and the transformation and intervention of the concept. As Daniel W. Smith states, unlike Badiou, Deleuze is not searching for an axiomatic approach to the world, one that is prone to reductionism but rather with problematic, inventive and creative methods to transform a society.
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