Friday, September 5, 2008

Moving to Wordpress

Hi All,

I have decided to move to wordpress. Thanks for all the comments here at blogspot. Struggleswithphilosophy can now be found here.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Social constructivism video lectures

For those of you interested in International Relations Theory, which I am, Danial Nexon has posted some introduction lectures on his Blog, here.

These video lectures are introducing the main features and beliefs of social constructivism, which are worth watching. I'm in the process of composing a critique of social constructivism and proposing International Relations Theory moves onto Complexity Theory. I use DeLanda's Assemblage Theory to construct my argument and will post draft editions of the paper on the blog. 

Sunday, August 24, 2008

More Deleuze books online

Fark Yaralari has put up an impressive list of Gilles Deleuze books and secondary literature on Deleuze that is available to download. There is also books from Kant, Lacan, Gadamer, and many others.

I would advise downloading them while you can. The website is here.

thanks to Continental Philosophy for bringing this to my attention.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Thousand Plateaus Online

Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari's A Thousand Plateaus is available to download as a pdf file from here.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Some Quick definitions of Deleuzoguattarian Concepts

Here are some brief definitions of Deleuzoguattarian concepts I have composed. I have attempted to write them for two reasons. Firstly, to attempt to produce simplified definitions for my benefit. Secondly, to introduce user-friendly definitions for people that are unfamiliar with Deleuze and Guattari. The definitions are written in a style that should correlate these concepts to complexity theory.
Any suggestions/corrections are welcome:-
Radical Constructivism – the term radical constructivism does not come from Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guatttari. It is a term I have borrowed from Deleuzian academic Hanjo Berressem (University of Cologne) that denotes a departure from social constructivism. The term should also not be confused with Ernesto LacLau and Chantal Mouffe's project of radical constructivism, whose project is still limited to discourse and deconstruction analysis. 
 Overall, radical constructivism argues that social constructivism has not gone far enough in its constructivist project. The problem of social constructivism is it has only focused on how humans or language construct the world. The result is social constructivism is anthropocentric (i.e. human oriented). Radical constructivism argues for an expanded programme of thought in order to concentrate on how the world is literally constructed. It is this commitment of radical constructivism that ensures its non-anthropocentric credentials. The aim of radical constructivism is to remove dualisms that act as boundaries and separations of life (e.g. Culture/Nature, Subject/Object, Mind/Body). Overall, radical constructivism is an attempt to escape what Frederic Jameson calls the ‘prison-house of language’ and humanism. Such approaches are ‘human, all too human’ (Nietzsche) and not true to the earth.

Body without Organs (BwO) – A field, or a multitude, of intensive processes. These intensive processes cause the metamorphose of the Earth. BwOs, for example, are found in cultural, geological, and biological environments. Weather systems provide an ‘easy’ example of a BwO functioning in the world. These weather systems are bands of various intensities that behave differently in different intensities (e.g. different air pressure). The idea of the BwO demonstrates the importance of intensive processes in the production and transformation of the world. Deleuze and Guattari argue that zero intensity in a process is a non-productive process.

Becoming – Represents the nonlinear directional movement of the world, encapsulating the dynamical characteristic of life and avoiding a linear or teleological interpretation.

– an emergent property generated from a machinic becoming. These assemblages are composed of various heterogeneous components. If these assemblages are described as stratified they are hierarchical assemblages, and if these assemblages are described as meshworks they are non-hierarchical assemblages. These two types of assemblage, one stratified and the other rhizomatic, should be considered as ideal indicators of assemblage. In concrete (i.e. real) assemblages the vast majority are composed of hierarchical and non-hierarchical components. The concept of assemblage is also constructed to avoid an approach that relies on essentialism or totalities and (should) ensure a bottom-up analysis.

Abstract Machine
– In the becoming of life Deleuze and Guattari aim to explain the immanent morphogenetic capabilities of the flows of matter and energy.
‘Ideally’ there is only one (mega) abstract machine. This abstract machine would be pure-matter and not physical or semiotic and not connected to anyone single entity (i.e. assemblage). However, the single ‘mega’ abstract machine risks becoming a totalising explanation if various different abstract machines do not emerge and are explained. It is for this reason that abstracts machine can be said to emerge at particular dates and construct new realities.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Deleuze Camp

I am travelling to the Deleuze Camp 2 (PDF) at Cardiff University for next week, so the blog will pretty quiet.

I will leave you with a quote from Deleuze and Guattari's "What is Philosophy?"

Human Rights are axioms. They can co-exist on the market with many other axioms,
notably those concerning security or property, which are unaware of or suspend
them even more than they contradict them: "the impure mixture or the impure side
by side," said Nietzsche. Who but the police and armed forces that co-exist with
democracies can control and manage poverty and the deterritorialization-reterritorialization of
shanty towns? What social democracy has not given the order to fire when the
poor come out of their territory or ghetto? Rights save neither men nor a
philosophy that is reterritorialized on the democratic State. Human
rights will not make us bless capitalism. A great deal of innocence or cunning
is needed by a philosophy of communication that claims to restore the society of
"consensus" to
moralize nations, States, and the market. Humans rights say nothing about the
immanent modes of existence of people provided with rights. (1992, p107)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Ray Brassier's Doctoral Thesis 'Alien Theory'

I am a little behind the pace, but here is a link to Ray Brassier's Doctoral Thesis 'Alien Theory: The Decline of Materialism in the Name of Matter.' Hopefully, it can serve as helpful introduction in the 'new' school of speculative realism and the concept of nonphilosophy.

This is the synopsis for the dissertation:

The thesis tries to define and explain the rudiments of a ‘non-philosophical’
or ‘non-decisional’ theory of materialism on the basis of a theoretical
framework provided by the ‘non-philosophy’ of Fran├žois Laruelle. Neither
anti-philosophical nor anti-materialist in character, non-materialism tries to
construct a rigorously transcendental theory of matter by using certain instances
of philosophical materialism as its source material.
The materialist decision to identify the real with matter is seen to retain a
structural isomorphy with the phenomenological decision to identify the real
with the phenomenon. Both decisions are shown to operate on the basis of a
methodological idealism:- materialism on account of its confusion of matter and
concept; phenomenology by virtue of its confusion of phenomenon and logos.
By dissolving the respectively ‘materiological’ and ‘phenomenological’
amphibolies which are the result of the failure to effect a rigorously
transcendental separation between matter and concept on the one hand, and
between phenomenon and logos on the other, non-materialist theory proposes to
mobilise the non-hybrid or non-decisional concepts of a ‘matter-withoutconcept’
and of a ‘phenomenon-without-logos’ in order to effect a unified but
non-unitary theory of phenomenology and materialism. The result is a
materialisation of thinking that operates according to matter’s foreclosure to
decision. That is to say, a transcendental theory of the phenomenon, licensing
limitless phenomenological plasticity, unconstrained by the apparatus of eidetic
intuition or any horizon of apophantic disclosure;- but one which is
simultaneously a transcendental theory of matter, uncontaminated by the bounds
of empirical perception and free of all phenomenological circumscription.