Deleuze & Whitehead
In taking this line of thought, I attempt to transverse Deleuze and Whitehead not by comparing “systems” (PR 3; N 32) but by brushing over some cracks in the broken surface of the continuum of thought (LS 155; N 143), the problematic folds in the web of ideas, where the abyss“rises to the surface” and integrity “decomposes” (DR 28). We may find profound resonances in their philosophies by tracing their thought to the point of impasse, where the impossible comes forth (PR 3) and the heteron arises (DR 64), where simple contrasts fail (PR 22, 348) and the “disjoined multiplicity” (PR 21) radiates, where “Discord” (AI 257) reveals a resistance against systematization and control. In short, I look at their body of ideas as maps of problems (DR 63) exhibiting programmatic dysfunction (N 146).
This is what Deleuze saw in Whitehead: becoming, the intermezzo, the event, a creative space of dysfunction (DR 284-5; TF 81; E 2; N 160). In a creative world, unification is always the fold of multiplication (PR 21), where “every fold originates from a fold, plica ex plica” (TF 13), infinitely “folding, unfolding, refolding” (TF 137). “We begin with the world as if with a series of…events: it is a pure emission of singularities” (TF 60; AI 144-5)—multiplication, difference (N 146, 154).
Reading Whitehead with Deleuze, there is, indeed, no unification that is not a finite force and a death(PR 80), that must lead to, and always is, differenciation (PR 21, 25; DR 207) in and beyond itself (PR 26). In the web of rhizomes, there is always a rivalry among multiplicities (PR 244), never forming a structure we might wish to call “reality,” but always leading to a “disorder” that de/constructs cosmos (PR 91). The only form of unification is process (SMW 179). As a consequence, there is no metaphysical or political construction that is not part of, and will not be surpassed by, ever more vast dysfunctional difference in becoming (PR 7; DR 64).
- R. Faber, “’O bitches of impossibility!’--Programmatic Dysfunction in the Chaosmos of Deleuze and Whitehead,” in A. Cloots and K. A. Robinson, eds., Deleuze, Whitehead and the Transformation of Metaphysics (Brussels: Flemish Academy of Sciences, 2005), pp. 118-9.