Multiplicity and Becoming (book review) Patrick Hayden

The Pluralist Empiricism of Gilles Deleuze


151114: i have just read it- convinced this is an interesting, remarkable, and important work on certain aspects of deleuze. not all of his work, of course, and perhaps requiring more reading, more critiques, more argument. this is a five because it serves this purpose of encouraging me to read on, read more, think on, think more, though must caution this enthusiasm is uncritical, my understanding perhaps introductory, as through the ‘guides for the perplexed’ on sartre or merleau-ponty. introductory but not simple...


in part one, hayden begins with 'transcendental empiricism and the critique of representation', which gives a brief précis of dz’s major first work 'difference and repetition'. i have not read some referred texts, but can sense here the major trends of his thought, most particularly his trend toward immanence, his insistence on reversing platonism- the original, platonic, conception of ideas transcendent, true, beyond the accidental immediate sensible world- that denigrates the flux, the multiplicity, the qualities of our world in favour of an illusory realm 'beyond' or 'transcendent', which we can only access by the right sort of thought, of judgement, this prejudice which will return later in kant’s thing-in-itself...


in part two, hayden follows with 'immanence and multiplicity', this even inspires me to reread nietzsche, to sense the power of immanence in spinoza, two philosophers not ever high on my list, and of course continues my personal estimation of bergson, of concepts such as duration, of multiplicity in unity, which all lead to the conceptions of new creation of ideas or senses, rather than degraded 'copies'... this follows with dz’s conception(s) of philosophical work, particularly in the brief analysis of 'what is philosophy?' co-authored with guatarri, which i had read 'cold', now must read again. there is engaging refusal to agree metaphysics is 'over', this all holds together, though i might not have the order, the lines of force, the plane of immanence, completely understood. but if the primary aspect of philosophy is to encourage 'thinking', well this works for me...


in part three, hayden follows with 'relations and radicalization of empiricism', where he reviews how dz can be understood according to the radical empiricism of core pragmatist william james, on how traditional empiricism of locke and hume, though on the right line, had erred in conceiving the structure of the universe in atomistic points, rather than the essential aspect of 'relations', how james himself remains too wedded to platonic ‘ideas’, how even contemporaneous to plato, there were the arguments of lucretius, which talked of 'relations' rather than 'atomistic' 'substances' and how very postmodern his thought was...


in part four, hayden connects all deleuze to dz’s form of naturalism- not usual for a french poststructuralist- and how this could lead to ecological politics of the more informed sort, that which is not mistakenly beholden to dualism of nature/man, though this is only interesting to me in example of 'pragmatics', as proof that his thought is a useful 'tool' of thought, not simply arguments without purpose...

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