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A Materialist Theory of Justice The One, the Many, the Not-Yet George Sotiropoulos A Materialist Theory of Justice offers an innovative re reading of justice that draws from diverse theoretical currents, tracing in the process an age-old tradition of critical thought. Boundas, Vana Tentokali This volume brings together architects, urban designers and planners and asks them to reflect and report on the built place and the city to come, in the wake of Deleuze and Guattari. Blaagaard Provides a conceptualisation of citizen journalism as a political practice developed through analyses of an historical and postcolonial case.
Beatrice Fazi Contingent Computation offers a new theoretical perspective through which we can engage philosophically with computing. The book proves that aesthetics is a viable mode of investigating contemporary computational systems. Chan The volume is inspired by Gilles Deleuze's philosophical project, which builds on the critique of European Humanism and opens up inspiring new perspectives for the renewal of the field.
Law and Philosophical Theory Critical Intersections Thanos Zartaloudis This important collection explores contemporary legal thought in relation to its interdisciplinary critical engagement with philosophy. Meanderings Through the Politics of Everyday Life Robert Porter The key point of the book, ideally as well as practically, is to realize that there may be something potentially significant, and politically significant , in the very act of making such connections, of understanding the supposedly trite and trivial world of the everyday against a broader political backcloth.
After writing two early books on Lyotard and ; see also Crome and Williams , Williams published, in rather quick succession, critical introductions to two of Deleuze's most important works, Difference and Repetition and Logic of Sense Between these two books, he published Encounters and Influences , which explored, in a series of extended essays, the relation of Deleuze's philosophy to thinkers such as Bachelard, Whitehead, Kant, Levinas, and Antonio Negri, as well as issues raised by analytic philosophers such as David Lewis on the concepts of the possible and the virtual and Graham Harman on the status of problems a.
Williams has also published a study of poststructuralism b and coedited a collection of papers exploring the relations between the analytic and continental traditions Reynolds et al. The result has been an impressive body of work that is marked by not only by Williams' own interpretive acumen in both the continental and analytic traditions, but also by his own original philosophical voice.
The One, the Many, the Not-Yet
In his most recent work, Williams tackles one of the most difficult, yet central aspects of Deleuze's thought: his philosophy of time. In a sense, the book is an expansion of the fourth chapter of the book on Difference and Repetition the chapter on "Repetition" , which dealt with the same material in a much more condensed form.
Even cursory readers of Deleuze will no doubt be familiar with the broad outlines of his approach to the philosophy of time. From antiquity through the seventeenth-century, time had been subordinate to movement: time, as Aristotle said, was the measure or "number" of movement Physics b2. Since the plurality of movements implied a plurality of times, ancient philosophers sought something immobile or invariant outside of movement or at least a most perfect movement that could function as a metric by which all other movements could be measured.
In the Timaeus , Plato found a measure for the extensive movement of the cosmos in the celestial schema of the stars, with its cardinal points, while Plotinus incorporated the intensive movement of the soul into the movement of the One, with its emanative processes of procession and conversion. In both cases, time was subordinated to eternity as to an "originary time": in Plato's apt formula, time was "the moving image of eternity" Timaeus , 37d.
The discovery of this eternal invariant was the discovery of the true: the form of the true was that which was universal and necessary, in all places and in all times. Yet both these domains -- the cosmos and the soul -- remained haunted by a descent into fundamental aberrations that threatened this invariant: unpredictable meteorological movements the "sublunar" or the restless desires of the soul the Fall.
The Galilean revolution revealed that, despite appearances, the celestial sphere was not eternal -- even stars and galaxies come-into-being and pass-away 4.
Indeed, one could say that the descent into temporality is what unites the otherwise diverse disciplines of contemporary science. The question of time not only haunts relativity and quantum physics, but also astrophysics, geology, chemistry, molecular biology, and paleontology, each of which has perfected procedures for dating the age of their objects. The Universe and its particles, the Earth and its life, species, humans, microbes -- each has been dated, and their evolution gathered together into a kind of "chronopedia," to borrow a term from Michel Serres , , that has replaced the old encyclopedia.
The "laws" of nature may provide the necessary and invariant rules of the game, but the moves of the game themselves are contingent, aleatory, constantly bifurcating. To use Stephen Jay Gould's well-known image, if we rewound and replayed the tape, it would produce a different story, a different game, different times. The sciences themselves, in other words, have put ancient Cronos back on the throne. It was Kant who provided the first full philosophical expression of this mutation in modern thought.
The relation of time to movement was inverted, and originary time was replaced by "ordinary time": time ceased to be the measure of movement; rather, it is movement that takes place in time. In Kant, time became the "pure and empty form" 82 of everything that moves and changes -- not an eternal form, but precisely the form of what is not eternal. Time was thereby rendered autonomous and independent, liberated from cosmology and psychology, as well as the eternal.
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Kant's argument that the Self, the World, and God are all transcendent illusions is derived directly from this new status of time. Before Kant, time had largely been defined by succession, space by coexistence, and eternity by permanence; in Kant, by contrast, succession, simultaneity, and permanence are all shown to be modes or relations of time. The result of this other Copernican revolution would be a fundamental change in the relationship of philosophy to temporality, which would take as its object the new rather than the eternal.
The production of the new would be the correlate of ordinary time in the same way that the discovery of the true was the correlate of originary time with the ancients. For Deleuze, as a result, the aim of philosophy would no longer be to discover pre-existent truths outside of time, but to create non-preexisting concepts within time. Although it is true that modernity, no less than antiquity, has remained preoccupied with creating metrics for space and time GPS, clocks, time zones, time tables, etc.
The nature of time can no longer be confused with its measure. The underlying "metaphysics" of time has profoundly changed, and it is this metaphysics that constitutes the object of Deleuze's philosophy.
Thinking with Deleuze - Edinburgh University Press
The immense accomplishment of Williams' book is to have isolated the fundamental components of the metaphysics of time developed in Deleuze's works, and to have subjected them to a rigorous analysis. His introduction chapter one sets the stage by laying out the two basic concepts in Deleuze's theory of time. The first is the concept of a manifold or multiplicity , which Deleuze derives from Riemann, but to which he ascribes a purely philosophical status 3. In effect, multiplicity replaces the old metaphysical concept of substance.
Just as Riemann created a non-Euclidean concept of space as an n -dimensional manifold with no pre-given metric, Deleuze formulates a non-chronological concept of time as an n -dimensional and non-metrical manifold defined by "a formal network of processes" 3 that are "interacting with one another" 9. As the pure form of change, this manifold is characterized by its infinite variability, or chaos: "Chaos is characterized less by the absence of determinations than by the infinite speed with which they take shape and vanish" Deleuze and Guattari , These evanescent determinations are not the "parts" of time but, more properly speaking, its singularities, and time is less a flow than a combinatory of these singular elements.
The second concept is that of synthesis; the modalities of time, in turn, are the result of the synthesis of these elements: " out of a chaos of unrelated particulars, paths are selected " 30, emphasis in original. Here too, as Williams shows 30 , Deleuze appropriates the Kantian concept of synthesis by modifying its status: in Kant, syntheses are activities undertaken by the mind or the subject, whereas in Deleuze, by contrast, they are passive processes that are constitutive of both minds and subjects -- and indeed, of objects as well Summarizing his thesis, Williams writes: "Every determinate thing is a combination of singularities, forming a multiplicity that is changing in multiple ways according to the syntheses of time" n The heart of the book, however, lies in its central chapters two through five , where Williams expands on the concept of synthesis, and presents detailed analysis of the three fundamental types of temporal syntheses proposed by Deleuze: habit present , memory past , and the new future.
We can only provide a few hints here of the richness of Williams' analyses of the three syntheses. First Synthesis Habit.
Kant restricted synthesis to the activity of the subject, since knowledge depends on the synthesis of our sensations or intuitions in concepts or schemata. Yet the possibility of even receiving sensations receptivity depends on the passive syntheses of the body, and every organism is itself a synthesis of water, nitrogen, carbon, chlorites, and sulfites, and so on These are not active synthesis that we undertake, but rather passive syntheses that we are , that we can at best "contemplate" giving this ancient notion a contemporary sense If Deleuze, following Hume, considers these organic syntheses to be contracted habits, it is because they are all temporal: each contraction constitutes a living present of the body as well as a mens momentanea , in which the future appears as need and the past as genetic heredity.
In this sense, the body is an integral of a plurality of temporal retentions and expectations. Chronobiology, for instance, has shown that our bodies are composed of dozens of biological "clocks" or rhythms -- cardiac, digestive, nervous, molecular -- which are not always commensurable, and which can easily be upset e. Fatigue and exhaustion, in turn, mark the slackening of these temporal syntheses.
Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari
Moreover, if we speak of mental fatigue as much as metal fatigue 47 , it is because what is true of the organic is no less true of the inert, as Williams discusses in a wonderful passage entitled "Of Pebbles and Their Habits": "Each pebble contemplates the sea and the tides, the currents and the storms, the mass of sister pebbles, flotsam and broken shells" Second Synthesis Memory. This manifold of synthesized and contracted presents, with their variable rhythms, find their condition, in turn, in what Bergson called the pure past.
Although we tend to think that the present "is" and the past "is not" or "is no longer," the opposite is in fact the case. No matter how small it may be, it is the passing instant that "is not" since whenever we try to grasp it, it has passed on and been replaced by the succeeding instant , whereas the past itself is preserved it "is" the case that I wrote this review. In his classic text Matter and Memory , Bergson, on the basis of similar reflections, deduced the necessity of the pure past or pure memory as the ontological condition of time, without which the present would never pass