[eDebate] 'education for grownups'

Kevin Sanchez let_the_american_empire_burn
Sun May 11 01:24:28 CDT 2008

in reply to, http://www.ndtceda.com/pipermail/edebate/2008-May/075070.html
- which replied to, http://www.ndtceda.com/pipermail/edebate/2008-May/075068.html


bryant's position differs slightly from smith's ...and in a way, i think, that's
a step closer to deleuze's.

all agree that perspective isn't reducible to the subjective: "a point of view
is not something that belongs to a subject, but rather a subject belongs to,
occupies, or is occupied by a point of view", in bryant's words (ibid, p152),
or in smith's words, "it is our drives that interpret the world... - and not our
egos, not our conscious opinions".

their chief difference seems to me their use of the concept 'multiplicity'. for
bryant (and deleuze) this refers not to diversities but structures. indeed, the
term comes from mathematics and more commonly refers to 'manifold' (ibid.,
p267, footnote 2). for smith, on the other hand, this term is entirely informed
by nietzsche's - almost opposite - usage (something akin to a chaotic flux of
warring forces). deleuze reminds us continually (in difference and repetition),
"multiplicity is no more multiple than one" (p191).

in fact, bryant is harsh on those who overemphasize nietzsche's influence on
deleuze, those who prioritize his texts on nietzsche in reading his solo work,
and those who rely too heavily on 'active-versus-reactive forces'-analysis.

consider this potentially misleading sentence from smith: "there is no struggle
of reason against the drives; what we call 'reason' is itself nothing more than
a certain 'system of relations between various passions'."

technically true, though this hardly means we're free from the burden of
grounding our ideas with sound reasons. perhaps this goes without saying,
but we can't infer from the premise that there are no facts to the conclusion
that all interpretations are equally merited.

deleuze explicitly takes on this seeming paradox in his essay, 'to have done
with judgment' (essays: critical and clinical, p134-5).

"What disturbed us was that in renouncing judgment we had the impression
of depriving ourselves of any means of distinguishing between existing beings,
between modes of existence, as if everything were now of equal value. But is
it not rather judgment that presupposes preexisting critera (higher values),
criteria that preexist for all time (to the infinity of time), so that it can neither
apprehend what is new in an existing being, nor even sense the creation of a
mode of existence? Such a mode is created vitally, through combat, in the
insomnia of sleep, and not without a certain cruelty toward itself: nothing of
all this is the result of judgment. Judgment prevents the emergence of any new
mode of existence. For the latter creates itself through its own forces, that is,
through the forces it is able to harness, and is valid in and of itself inasmuch as
it brings the new combination into existence. Herein, perhaps, lies the secret: to
bring into existence and not judge. If it is so disgusting to judge, it is not because
everything is of equal value, but on the contrary because what has value can be
made or distinguished only by defying judgment. What expert judgment, in art,
could ever bear on the work to come? It is not a question of judging other existing
beings, but of sensing whether they agree or disagree with us, that is, whether
they bring forces to us, or whether they return us to the miseries of war, to the
poverty of the dream, to the rigors of organization."

this seems where john cook ends up as well. deleuzian debate, then, becomes
a matter of strengthening this argument-game to the point where it's vibrant
enough to rigorously avoid these specific failures: 'the model of recognition',
'common sense', and 'good sense', as deleuze uses these terms. (for a good
discussion of these features of 'the moral image of thought', see bryant: pages
80-91.) of course, no individual is sovereign, nor any author. there are many a
deleuze, and they war with one another. but this by no means, however, should
signal to us that 'anything goes'...



p.s. to korcok. for a wonderful critique of the folk-concept 'fact', please refer to
chapters 7 and 8 of alasdair macintyre's masterwork, after virtue. or review this


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