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May 06, 2005

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This leads us to question: Was Deleuze a brain in a vat? Or perhaps a zombie?

(Is that a suitable replacement for the improper, though more prevalent, use of "begs the question"?)

OMG what if he were a zombie brain in a vat that couldn't eat other brains and make them zombies because he was stuck in a vat and just a brain anyway and brains don't have teeth!

But if by that you meant to advert to the stupid things analytic philosophy does, then, that doesn't really help me, does it?

I know people who claim to know about Deleuze. Maybe I could introduce you. I have no way of knowing if they're telling the truth, having read only the first 20 pages of Anti-Oedipus and completely giving up.

I've spent a fair bit of time on Deleuze, though mostly on Anti-Oedipus and A Thousand Plateaus. I have not read Logic and Sense, but from what I do know of it, that book, along with another major work, Difference and Repition (published the same year), are the major works in which Deluze works out his metaphysics.

His metaphysics is in one sense an undermining of Hegel and his negative dialectic. Deleuze is working out a postivie ontology (NB: in Deleuze, i cannot differentiate between his ontology and his metaphyics with any accuracy). I'm not certain the terms he uses in LS, but he variously calls it the plane of consistency, plane of immanence, or the virtual field.

Anyway, there's plenty to be said on Deleuze's metaphysics, but maybe it would be better for me to simply make book suggestions? Michael Hardt's Gilles Deleuze: An Apprenticeship in Philosophy is very good, as is Protevi and Bonta's Deleuze and Geophilosophy: A Guide and Glassary. The second book works more off of the Capitalism and Schizophrenia series, but I think it would still be quite useful.

I think what I was trying to intimate above but did not come out and say is that Logic and Sense is probably one of Deleuze's more difficult works, and perhaps not the most auspicious place to start if one does not have a teacher.

I think I would need to read more of the passage to be sure, but I do think it relates to the metaphysics Deleuze is formulating. Brief and simple, Deleuze conceives of a immanent, virtual plane which contains all the possible organizations of a system. So, right now, I have several virtual possibilities available to me; keep typing, get up and get a drink, go watch TV, ect...The thing is, right, is that I can only actualize one thing at a time despite this mulitpility of virtual states which I may choose to actualize. But, Deleuze is arguing, this does not mean that these virtual states are not real. This is where he differs from Hegel, who holds that by choosing one thing, everything thing that is not that one thing which is brought into existence is utterly negated.

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