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Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy cuts to the heart of the ph osophy
of Gilles Deleuze and of todays science wars

J th st r of t

o L nd
expl 11

Int n tve SCI nc and VIrtual PhilosOpll'V I wnnen for l

anti-Deleuzi n f phitcso h r for an i-phil () h
It III h n 1r .f YV J hm
f r
Manuel DeLanda began his career in experimental film . became a
computer artist and programmer, and is now Adjunct Professor of
Philosophy at Columbia University. He is author of the best-selling
books, War in the Age of Intelligent Machines and A Thousand Years
of Non-Linear History.


continuum manuel delanda

rPV'".Q(7'-- - - ------ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ......__
Keith Ansell Pearson, University of Wan i .k AN l) V 11{~r UAL
Eric Alliez , Richard Beardsworth, Howard Caygill, Gary Gcn osko , PHILOSOPHY
Elisabeth Grosz, Michael Hardt, Diane Morgan, John Mullarkey, Paul
Patton, Stanl ey Shostak, Isabell e Steng er s, Jam es Williams, David
Transver sals explores the mo st exciting co llisions within conte m po rary
thought as philo soph y encounte rs nature, materiality, tim e , techn ology,
science , culture , politics, art and everyday life. Th e ser ies aims to
pr esent work which is both theoreti cally inn ovativ e and challenging,
while retaining a com mitme nt to rigour and clarity, and to the power
and precision of thought.

Intensive Science &.. Virtual Philosophy Manuel DeLand a

Felix Guau ori: an Aberrant Introduction Gary Genosko
Political Physics: Deleuze, Derrida and the Body Politic John Protevi

Philosophy in the ABe if Science &.. Capital Gr egory Dale Adam son

C tit .nt

Continuum lntrodu ct ion: IJl, ll'uze's W orld

The Tow er Building, 11 York Road, Lond on SEI 7 IX
370 Lexington Avenue, New York , NY 10017- 650 3 The Mathemat ics o f th e Virtual: Manifold s,
Vec to r Fields and Transformation G roups 9
First published in 2002
2 T he Act ualizat io n o f th ' Virtual in pace 45
© Manuel DeLanda 2002 3 The Actualization of th e Virtual in Time 82

All rights reserved . No part of this publication may be repr odu ced 4 Virtuality and th e Laws o f Physics 117
or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical,
including phot ocopying, recordin g or any informati on storage or retri eval
system, without permi ssion in writin g from the publishers. Appendix: Deleuze's Words 157

Notes 181
British Lib ra ry Ca ta logu ing-in-Pu b licat ion Data
A catalogue record for this book is available Index 241
from the British Library.

ISBN 0 - 8264 - 5622- 7 (hardback)

0 -8 264 - 5623-5 (paper back)

Typeset by CentraServe, Saffron Wald en , Essex

Print ed and bound in Great Britain by
MPG Books Ltd, Bodmin, Cornwall
'1'" Jltlil"! ;t "" rl ,<I :1 l'illl "LI .
\1'11<) ra uoh
t s" Illl l ('!l a bo u t till' worl. ]
lntrodu ction : Dclcur c 's World

Th ere arc always dan gers in writing it book with a specific a ud il' lK t' in
mind . The most obvio us o ne is the danger o f mi ssing th e targt'l
audit-nee co m plete ly I eithe r becau se th e subj ect matter fails to ih
atte ntion o r because th e sty le o f presentation docs not nu -vt its
standards o r e xpectatio ns. Th en th ere is th e asso ciated d anger o f Iw,ing
read ers wh o , had not that particular target been chose n, would IM H '
formed th e real audien ce o r the book . A book ma y end up this \\ .I~'
with out an~' read ership at all. In th e world o r W estern philosophy . 1,,,'
e xample, history and geog raphy have co nspire d to divide th is world
int o tw o almost mutually exclusive cam ps, the Anglo ~Amcri can .111<1
the Contine n tal camps, each with its o w n st yle , research priorities and
lo ng traditions to defend , A phi losophical book whi ch refus es [ 0 I.,k,·
sides, attem pting, for example , to present th e work of a p hilosopher
of on e cam p in t he terms and sty le of th e other, may end up hein g a
ho ok wit ho u t an aud ience: too Anglo ~American for th e Continentals.
and too Cont inental for th e Anglo ~Amcricans .
Such a da nger is evi de n t in a hoo k like this, w hich attempts to
present t he wor k or t he philosopher Gi lles Dclcu zc to an aud ience or
analytical p hiloso phers of scien ce , and of scie ntis ts interested ill
philosoph ical que stions. W hen co nfro nte d wit h Dcleuze' s original te xts
thi s audience is bo und to be puzzled , and may even be repelled by tIH.',
superficial sim ilarit y or th ese texts with books belon ging to what has
cu me to he known as th e ' post -mode rn' traditio n . Alt hough as I arglH.~
in these pages Dci euzc has ab so lutely nothing in co m mo n with that
tradition, his expe rimenta l sty le is bound to cre ate that impression .
Another so urce of difficulty is th e phil o sophical resources whi ch Dcl cu zc
brings to his project. Despite th e fact that authors like Spin oza and
Leibniz, Nietzsche and Bergson. have mu ch to o ffer to phil osophy
tod ay. t hey arc not ge ne ra lly perceived by scientists o r analytical
philosophers of scie nce as a legitimat e resource. Fo r thi s reason wh at I
"11,, IH" h lI"t ,,111 •• , 1111"1",1.11'''11 tIt 11,1,'1/, 10\\ 1'\11 .1 "II I I III"" ,I., I" I, • "" 'I''' ,.I " I 1,,11 1"1111 01 "It, . I I." ,
r, '<llI/ llrl/,/I"" 01 III' 1'1111"'''1'1". 11'"1 .1~ ,,,111,1, ,hll",,,t tllI"I""," •.1111111 '11." 1111".1 I, 11.,,, I'" , ,,," " I ,II I II, . " "II • I "I
re source S ,11111 lines 01 .lrgullwllt. 1111' 1'''.111 lIt 1111 , •• "" IIIHU,," is 1""'"1111 Ih.lld,IIII' \\h,IIII .. , ,,11 '1 II l>e II III' • 11"',1"".1
1I0t jus t to make his ideas sc,' m Il'gitim.III' 10 III} illll'lIdl'd audience. ,h"llI " 'lilt', 01 ,111\ othl'l Ir.JIl (( '11.1"111 ,11111 v , 0 III III plllio "1'1.\
bu t also to sho v th at his co n .lusio ns do not depen d 011 his particul : r "",..111111' 1'1 " is m'I"It'd t" explain " I .H ohl " t IIII'll 100.,,,tll
cho ice o f resources , o r th e particul ar lin es o f arg ume llt he uses , but IIId "h.11 1>!"l'SI'n '.,s lhis idcntit , th rouoh tinu- . Hricllv, , th is sll"wthi,,'
th at th ey arc robust to changes in th eore tical assum p tio ns and st rategi's . " lsI' is d maun cal proll: J '\. , OIl1l' of th ese pr" cl'ssI'S arc ma n-ria l . lId
Cl early , if th e same co nclus io ns can be reach ed from enti rely different " ,wr Idie, so me ar e not , but eV1'1I th e latt er remain immane nl 10 tlH'
points of departure and following ent irely d ifferent paths , th e valid ity wor ld of matter and e nl' rgy. Thus, J) 'le uze's proc 'ss o nto log, h n '"k
of those conclus ions is th ereby stre ngthe ne d. \ ith th e essent ialism th at cha rac te rizes naive I' .alism and, sim ul
I must qualify thi s st ate ment , howev er , becau se what I attem pt t.1I1 -ously, re moves o n' of th e m ain o bjec tions wh i h non -real ist s IIJ.l k,
here is far from a co m pre he ns ive recon struction of all of Del cu zc ' s against th e post ulat io n of an auto no mous reality. T he ex te nt to w hic h
philosophical ideas. Inst ead, I focu s on a particular ye t fundam ental he indc d depri ves non -r ealist s fro m thi s casy wa y o ut dcp mds, o n lh ,
asp ect of his w ork: his ontoloBY' A philosopher ' s o nto logy is th e set o the r hand, o n th e d et ails o f his account of how th e mt it ies th .lt
o f entit ies he or she assumes to e xist in reality, th e typ es of entit ies popul at e realit y are produced without th e need for any t hing trans e nd -
he or she is co m m itted to assert actually e xist. Although in th e history cnt, Fo r thi s r eason I will not be co nce rned in thi s recon struction with
of philosophy th ere ar e a great vari ety of ontologi cal co m m it me nts, th e textual so urce o f Del cuze 's ideas, nor with his sty le o f argumenta-
we can very roughl y classify th ese into three main groups. For so me tion o r his usc o f language . In sho r t , I will not be co nce rned w ith
phil osophers reality has no ex istence ind ependently from th e human De lcuze.'s words o n ly with Dcl euzc ' s world.
mind that perceives it, so th eir o ntology co nsists mostl y o f mental T he basic plan o f th e book is as foll ows. Cha pte r I introdu cs th e
e ntities , wh ether th ese are thought as transcendent obj ect s o r , on th e forma l idea s needed to think about th e abstract (o r rather virtual)
co nt rary , as linguisti c representati on s o r soci al co nventio ns. Other struc t ure o f dynamical processes. I draw on th e same mathemat ical
philosophers g rant to th e o bjects of every day expe rience a mind - resources as Del eu ze (different ial ge o met ry , g ro up th eory) but , unlike
ind ependent existe nce, but remain unconvinced that th eoretical ent it - him , I do not assume th e reader is already familiar with th ese field s,
ies, whether unobservabl e relations such as ph ysical causes, o r Deleuzes grasp of th e technical details inv olv ed is, I hope to show,
unobservable e nt ities suc h as el ectrons, possess suc h an ontological co m ple tely ad equate (b y anal yti cal philosophy st andards) , but his
autonomy . Finall y, th ere are phil osophers who g rant reality full discu ssion of t echnical detail s is so co m pressed, and assumes so much
auton omy from th e human mind, disr egarding th e diffe ren ce between o n th e part of th e read er , that it is bound to be mi sinterpreted .
th e o bse rvable and th e un ob servabl e , and th e anthropocentri sm this Chapter 1 is written as an alt ernative to his o w n presentation of th '
distinction implies. These phil osophers are said to have a realist ontol - subject, guidi ng th e reader step by ste p th ou gh th e different math -
0BY . Del cuzc is suc h a reali st ph ilosopher , a fact that by itself sho uld e mat ical idea s in vol ved (m an ifo lds , transfo rmati on gro ups , vec to r
distinguish him fro m most post -m od ern phil osophies wh ich remain field s) and giving exam ples o f th e application of th ese abstract ideas to
basicall y non-reali st. th e ta sk of modelling co nc re te ph ysical processes. Despite my e fforts
Reali st philosophers, on th e other hand , need not agree ab out th e at unpacking as much as possibl e th e contents of Deleuzes highl y
co nte nts of thi s mind-independent reality . In particular, Deleuze rejects co m pressed description s, however, th e subject matter remains t echni -
several of th e e nt it ies tak en for gra nted in o rdinary for ms of realism . cal and so me readers m ay st ill find it hard t o foll ow . I recommend
To tak e th e m ost o bv io us exam ple, in so me realist approaches th e th at suc h readers skip this first chapte r and, if need be, co me back to

2 3
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.1 p p lk.HiclIl' III Ic·s, .,h..u-ac t m.1I1t'1 II I tilt IfllIll\\ III lll.lph·1 IItII IlItllUI ,11 11 1 I' ,lll.llt t,lIl l .. m.lll. It I 111111. ,11 II'

C hdptl'rs and J deal \\ ith thl prodlll l io n III I h.. c11 11'T"1I1 t'n litit'S
\\ 1a.11 l'It'Il1 .111~ 1, ·,,11 I 1'1.1111 oph"1 .u tu.,!1\ 1111 '11111 ' to till , tr_ lilt h
that populat e Dcl cu zes world. Tl u- h'l."iic t hem e i, lit" t , \\ it hin .l n·d lis l 'Ioll\" \11 ·\\ . hut II IS ~I('ol l th.u " " '~Cllllllhlllin lIt Ik l" II / I" 1' ,111 III

pe rspective, o ne d oes not ge t rid o f essences until o ne repl aces them mu ..t n 'l"tl ",Hh on I ' 0 1 Iltl·"" .'''U111ptiolt .u ul 't'pl.H"I' tl)l'lI1 \\Itll
with so me thing el se, This is a burden whi ch affect s only till' realist di llt-n'n l om-s.
philo sopher given that a non -r eali st ca n sim ply d ecl are esse nces mental \Vhilt· in III.., fir..t thn'e ..hapu-rs I J.IIt'm pt 10 ~' li ll1i l1,lh'
lIu· c rrom-ou
entities or re d uce th em to socia l co nventio ns. One wa)" to think about .I, ..umpri on o f.1 d o st,c1 \\ o rld . in Chapter 4 I t r)' to repl 'ln · 1I0t Cl llh
esse nt ialism is as a theor-y of the ge nesis of form, that is, as a theory tlu- idea of .1 sim ple co rrespo ndence hut . h C)'OIHI that, Il) J,ohlillt' ,"
o f morphogenesis, in which physical ent ities are viewed as more or less \'(':Y iJ"ll cj. truth . In ot her words, I wi ll .1 rg Ut· tha t even if otu - ,Kn' pt
faithful realizatio ns of idea l forms. T he de tails o f th e process of th,lt there are true se- n te nces ex prl.'ssing rea l facts it can stil l Ill"
realizati on arc typica lly ne ver g iven. lisscnccs arc thou ght to act as mai ntai ned th at most o f t hese fact ual sentences arc lririal , T Ilt" rolt, 01
models, ete r nally maintaining t heir identity, w hile part icular ent ities are till' th inker is no t so m uch to utter truths or establish fact s. hut to
co nceived as mere copies o f t hese models , resem bling t hem wit h a di stin guish among th c large populatio n o f tru e fact s those that ,In·
higher or lowe r degree of perfect ion . Dcleuze rep laces the False gen C'sis impo rt ant and rel evant from th ose th at arc not. Importance anJ relevance,
implied by th ese pre-existing forms w hich remain th e same for all time , not truth , arc th e key co nce pts in Dcl euzc 's l' pistc mo log)". the ta sk o f
with a theory o f morphogen esis based o n th e noti on o f th e d!ffe rent. He realism be ing to gro und th ese co nce pts preventing th em from hdug
co nce ives differen ce not negathoely, as lack of resemblance. but red uced to subjective e valuatio ns or soci al co nve ntions . This po int can
po sitiv ely or productively, as that which drives a dynamical process . be mad e cleare r if we co ntrast Dcl euzcs po siti on not with th e
T he best examples are intensi..e d!ffirences, th e differen ces in tempera- lingu ist ic version o f co rre spo nde nce theory but with th e mathcmaucal
t ure. pressure , speed, chemical co ncent ratio n , w hic h are key to th e o ne. In thi s case a relation o f co rrespo nde nce is post ulated 10 e xist
scie ntific explanatio n of th e genesis of the fo nn o f inorganic cry sta ls, between the sta tes of a physical o bjec t and th e solut ions to mathematical
o r o f the form s of orga nic plants and animals. Chapter 2 is concerne d models capt uring t he essenc e of t hat ohje ct. By contrast , Dcl cuve
w ith th e spatial aspects of thi s inte nsive ge nesis w hile Chap ter 3 deals st ress es t hc ro le of co r rectly posed problems, rather than the ir true
with its temporal aspec ts . so lutio ns, a problem being well po sed if it capt u res an objective
After reconstructing D elcu zes onto logy I move o n in Chapte r 4 to distrib ut io n of the important and t he un im portant , or mo re mathemat-
give a bri ef acco unt of his episiemoloqy, Fo r an)' real ist philosopher ically , of the sinq ular and the ordinaly .
th ese t wo areas mu st be , in fact. intimat ely related , This may he most Chapte r 4 explo res th is problematic epistemolo8Y and co mpares it with
clearly seen in the case of naiv e realism, w here trut h is co nce ived as a the more fami liar axi omatic or theorematic versions w hich pred ominate
relati on of correspondence between , on on e hand, a ser ies o f facts about in th e physical scie nces. To anticipate th e main co nclusion o f the
th e classes o f entities populating reality and , on th e o the r , a ser ies of chapte r , while in an axi omatic episte mo logy one st re sses the roll' o f
sen te nces e x p rl.~ssi ng th ose facts. If one assumes that a class o f entit ies qeneral la ws, in a probl ematic on e laws as suc h disappear but without
is defin ed by the esse nce wh ich its members share in co m mon , it sac rificing th e obj ectivity o f physical knowled ge , an obj ectivity now
becomes relatively simple to co nclude t hat th ese classes are basically ca ptu re d by distribution s o f th e singular and th e ordinal). If such a
given, and that the)' exhaust all t here is to know about th e world . The co nclusio n can ind eed be made plausibl e , it fo llows that d espite the
ontological assumption that t he wo rld is basically closed , t hat entirely fact that l re construct Dcl cuze to cater to an aud ienc e of scienti sts and
novel classes of e ntities cannot emerge spontaneously, may no w he analyti cal phil o soph ers of scie nce , nothing is yielded to the ort hodox

4 5
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this enc-ounte r with Ik' k ul.t" till' rOnllCr rt'l 'lini ng its o l> j(·l·th·il)' h ut dOli" 10 1)(·I('u/l·'" lIuid , " 10 tilt' \\ ,1\, III' II ,Ilt'> lilt' 111 1'11I.11111"

losing th e law s it holds so ch-ar, the lat ter maint aining its rigo ur and 'io lid ifi, .u icu (If ,I It'nninolog)' h) ,1Iw,,) !'i kl'(')HlIg it i ll ,I ~t ,I h' 0 1 1111 ,
clarity but losing its ex clusive fo cu s o n fact s and so lutions . And more hxillg hi'i 1t'l'l11illolog)· will 'i( '( '1II 10 'iOllh' .lkin to pin nin g .10\\ II .1 Ii\'(,

importantly, the world itself eme rges transformed : th e vcry idea that buth'rlly, As an .1IItidllt" I otl~'r .111 .ippc ndix whe-re I n ,I.,tt' till' h 'l"IlI "
there can be a set of true sente nces whi ch give us the facts o nce and u'I,d in Ill)' n -ron struction to all th e d iffe- re nt h ·rm iuo!o git·s Ill' U'it'" III
for all, an idea presupposing a d osed and finished wo r ld , gives way to his ow n t('x ts and ill his co llahorativc work, se tt ing his words li",'('
an op en world full of div ergent processes yield ing novel and un ex- linn' ,lgain afte r they have served their pu rpose of givi ng LI S his wurb l.
pected entities, the kind of world that wo uld not sit still lon g eno ugh T he hope is th at this wo rld will ret ain all its o pe nness and din'l'gl'lIn ' ,
for us to ta ke a snapshot of it and present it as th e final truth . so th at th e int en se cx prcss ivity and eve n madn ess so often at tribut.-d
To co nclude this introduction I must say a few words co nce r ning to De lcuzc's wo rds rna)' be see n as int egral prop erties of th e wo rld
that other aud ien ce which my re construction may seem to o verloo k: itse lf.
Deleuzian phil osophers , as well as thinkers and artists of different kinds
who are interested in th e philosophy o f Dcl eu ze . First of all, th ere is
much more to Dcl cu ze 's books than just an ontology of processes and
an epistem o logy of prob lems . He mad e co ntr ibutio ns to suc h diverse
subjec ts as the nature of cinema, painting and literatu re, and he held
very specific views on th e nat ure and genes is of subjectivity and
language. For better or for worse , these are th e subjec ts that have
capture d th e attention of most re aders of Del eu ze , so it will co me as
a surprise th at I will have nothing to say about th em . Ne vertheless , if
I manage to reconst ruct Dcleuze 's world th ese other subjec ts sho uld
be illuminated as well , at least indircctl y: on ce we understand
Dcl euze ' s world we will be in a better position to und erstand wh at
co uld cine ma , lang uage or subjectivity be in that world .
On th e othe r hand, if th is re constructi on is to be faithful to
Dclcu ze 's world it is clear th at I mu st rel y on an ad equat e intcrprc ta -
tion of his wo rds . Therc is a cer tain violen ce whi ch Deleu zes texts
mu st endure in order to be recon struct ed for an aud ience th ey were
no t int ended fo r , so wh en ev er I break with his o w n way of presenting
an idea I ex plain in det ail th e degr ee of rupture and th e reason for it
in a footnot e. A different kind of violence is invol ved in wren chin g his
ideas from his coll aboration with Feli x Guattari. In this reconstructi on
I use Dc! eu ze ' s ontology and episte mo logy as expose d in his ea rly
text s, and use onl y those parts of his co llaborative work w hich ca ll he
directl y traced to those ear ly texts. For thi s reason I always ascribe the

6 7

7 h !!'Iat hemat ic C!I th e Virtu al:

Manifolds, Vector Fields and Traniformation Groups

or all the oncepts which populate th e wo rk of Gilles Deleu ze th ere

is on ' that stands out for its lon gevit y: th e co nce pt of mult iplicity . T his
on cept mak es its appearance in his early book s and remains one of
central im po rta nce, with almost un chan ged meanin g and func tio n, until
his lina l work. I Its formal definition is highl y techni cal , including
·Ieme nts fro m seve ral different branches o f mathematics: differential
ge o me try, gro up th eory and dynami cal syste ms th eory . In thi s chapte r
I will discuss th e techni cal backgr ound need ed to define thi s important
conce pt bu t some preliminary informal remarks will prove help ful in
sett ing th e stage for th e formal discu ssion . In the first place , one may
ask w hat ro le th e co nce pt of a multiplicit y is suppose d to play and th e
answer would be a re place me nt for th e mu ch o lder phil osophical
co ncept of an essence. T he es ence of a thing is th at wh ich ex plains its
identity, that is, th ose funda me ntal traits witho ut whi ch an object
wo uld not be w hat it is. If suc h an esse nce is share d by man y objects ,
then possession o f a co m mo n esse nce would also explain th e fact that
these objec ts resemble each othe r and, ind eed, that they form a distinct
natura l kind of things .
Let 's take one of th e most trad ition al illu strati on s of an esse nce .
When one asks w hat makes o meone a member of the human speci es
the answer may be , fo r example, be ing a 'rational an imal'. The exact
defi nitio n of th e human essence is not what is at issue here (if
rat ion ality and animal it y ar e not co nsidered to be essential hum an
pr op erties so me othe r set will do). T he imp ortant point is that there
be some set of defining char acte rist ics, and that thi s set explain bo th
the identity of the human species and th e fact th at particul ar memb ers
of the species resemble eac h ot her. In a Dcl euzian ontology, o n the
othe r hand , a species (or any other natural kind ) is not defined by its

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it . Ib t}h'r rl'l)n·..l·nti llg tinu-h-.... t .1t'·glJnl ·... P" t u- .11r III "'tfJllt .111) II ltllltl 1111 (Ollllplt . m o t h l l l ' \ lllcl, 11111.11111I)11\\11111( tllltll

co nsti t uted c lltitit's, tlw rescm hlanc« of the-ir uu-tubc-r: n.p lai,wd hy to 'I\ t ., hlll 'f .Hl ttunl 01 Il III tl"h.,1 1111'11I hilt III II 1111' lit' 01
having und ergon e co mmo n pron ·sst.·s of natu ral sch-ctlon . .1IId t he 1"(lIl1t.tllt .,1 I_nul o.lnn . . lltl" IIH~ 'HI)U1UlII 01 IIIIII,lt'm IS .HI ,lIHllll1
end ur ing identity of th e speck-s itself guar.m lt·t.·d hy the fad th.u it has pr .H tin ' IIlht·rih·tI fr o m tilt' Cn'l·k!l, tht' es tcn ..i\t· u r- of ltll \t. .1Ilt!
become reproductively isolated from other species. In sho rt , whil e an tr.'jl.c to rh·... in thl' formulalioll of .1 , .,rid ) of plaf'ik .ll prohl t'l11!l fro m
essentialist account of speci es is basically sta tic, a morphojjenctic tht. ...ixh't"llth n' lI l u ry on mad e it TWC(· ssar y 10 d('vel op ru-w pl'ol,h'lIl
account is inherently dynam ic. And while an essentialist account may snh·illg n· ...ourcc s. \Vith thi s ill mind, Hew," l k sc.,rh·s and Ph·H.· lIl'
rel y on factors that transcend th e realm of matter and en ergy (et ernal l-cr'mat inven te d lIll' now familiar method of t'mht,tlding curves int o .1
archetypes, for instance), a morphogen eti c account ge ts rid of all rwn .dinu-nsional s ran~ o n wh ich arbitrar y axes co uld lu- fixed . Ont (.
transcendent fact ors using exclusively form -gen erating reso urces wh ich so em bed de d . th e fixcd axes allowed th e assigIlIlH.' nt of .1 of
arc immanent to th e material world . num bers, or coord inates, to every point of the curve, so that the
Animal and plant species are not, of co urse, th e onl y natural kind s gl'OIlll't riC rel ation s between points co uld now he expres sed as n '!at ion
traditionally defined by essences. Man y other natural kinds, th e be tween numbers, a task for whi ch th e newl y developed algehra \\ .1"
che m ical clements or th e set of elementary particles, for e xample , arc perfl.ctl y suite d. This translation sche me, in sho rt , allowed th e co m hi
also typically so defined . In eac h of these cases we wo uld need to natorial resources of algebra to be brought to hear on the so lution of
rep lace timel ess cate go rics by historical proccsses . Yet , even if success- gt·ome trical problems.
ful thi s replacement would tak e us only half-way towards our goal. Th e term ' ma nifold' d oes not l>dong to th e analyt ical ge o ll1l'l ry of
The reason is th at e ven if th e details of a given process account for th e Descartes and Fermat, but to th e d1Jerent ial aeometry of Friedrich Ga uss
resemblance am on g its products, th e similarities which mak e us classify and Bernhard Riemann , but th e basic idea was th e same : tapping into
th em as members of th e same kind, th ere may be similarities c!f process a new reservo ir of probl em -solving resources, th e reservoir in thi s case
wh ich still demand an explana tion . And when accounting for th ese bei ng the differential and int egral calculus. In its o riginal application
co m mon features we may be tempted to reintroduce esse nce s through the calculus was used to solve problems involving relations between
th e back door. T hese would not be essences of object s or kind s of th e changes of two Of more quantities. In particular, if the se rel ations
obj ects, hut essences of pro cesses, yet essences nevertheless . It is in were expressed as a rare <if change of one quan tity relative to ano ther,
order to break this vicious circle that multipliciti es are introduced . th e calculus allowed findin g the instantaneous valu e for that rat e . For
And it is because of th e ten acity of thi s circle that the concept of exam ple , if th e changing quantities were spatial position and tim e , o ne
multiplicity mu st be so care fully co nstruc ted , justif)'ing each ste p in co uld find instantaneou s values for th e rate of change of o ne relat ive
th e co nstruc tion by the wa)' it avoids the pitfalls of esse ntialism . T o to th e other , that is, for velocity. Using this idea as a resource in
anti cipate th e co ncl usion I will reach after a lon g and techn ical geome try involved th e realization th at a geom etrical o bject , a curve d
definitional journey: multiplicities speci fy th e structu re c!f spaces c!f line o r sur face , for instan ce, co uld also be characterized by th e rat e at
possibilities, spaces whi ch, in turn , explain th e regularities exhibited by which so me of its properties change d , for exam ple , the rate at wh ich
morphogeneti c processes. I will begin by defining an appropriate its curvcrure change d between different points. Using th e tools of the
notion of 'space ' , a notion whi ch must not he purely geo metr ical hut calculus m athematicians could now find ' instantaneo us' values for this
also capable of bein g linked to qu estions of process. rate of change , that is, the value of th e curvat ure at a given
Th e term ' m ult iplicity ' is close ly rel at ed to th at of ' ma nifold' , a infinit esimall y sm all point.
term which design ates a geome tr ical space with cert ain characte rist ic In th e ear ly nin eteenth cent ury, wh en Gau ss began to tap int o these

10 II
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1l"lIlg Ih(' old l '.l rh·'I.lIl 1I1dhod : 1111' "'Il llI.H(· \\,1 t IIIhnld,d 111 .1 Ih n 't' IUIlO , I I I II lilt \\l llt · • ' tl hl l'lIl l " 11111 1 lit II l it l'll .llt •• 1 11111111

dilll t'II,,,iOIl,tl' l'o m p lt"lt' \\ itll it" 1) \\ II fl'(t'd "(' 1 0 1 .lX t · " : th en , thillg u ell 11' 1' 1II .1Il \ .lIltl t ilt 0111 , hili , .ttl ll I an 01 ' .11111.1110 11 lu1011 ' II I'

tllO~1' axvx, coo rd inates wou ld he .t~sjg ,wd to (,\(T) ' point of the III ti ll ' IIMIl\ .t lIl h, \\ hh h la.l IIU Ill·"d \\ h,ll"lll'\(" til ullit) ill on lt'l
~lI r1 al'C"; finall)', . the gl'ometric links between points deh>rmining th e 10 I Oflll .1 ",,,It' m ,' " 1' " ,'lH t ' ''l, 0 11 th e- o thvr h.ultl, d o
dd illlllg p ll .. ' t· .....t

form of th e surface wou ld be exp ressed as algebraic n -latlons between u nitv (r.g. tlw uuitv 01 r,llio ll.t lil) ' a nd ,mil1lollily de finin g till' lunu.m

th e numbers. Rut Gau ss realized th at the calculus , focu sing as it d o c s t'S'it'; ln') ,lilt!. lIlon ': )\'('[ ' arc takr-n 10 vxi ..l in ,I t ran scx-nd r-nt "1'.1' ~
o ~ infinites~mal points on th e surface itself (that is, op(~rating entirely \\ hi," ".. r vc-s i.1S J container for them or in which lhe) an' (· m b ,· c1d ,·t l.
With local mformatio n), allowed the stud), of th e sur face without anI A multiplicity, o n th e other hand , 'h owever man y dinu -nsion ... il 111.1)
rejerence to a alobal embedding space. Basically , Gauss d eveloped a method Ii.l n ' , . , . ne\'er has a supplementary dimension 10 that whi ch t ran
to implant the co o rd inate axes on th e surface itself (t hat is, a method "pin's upon it. This alon e mak es it natural and immanent. ' S It 111.1)' he'
of ' coordinatizing' th e surface) and, on ce points had been so translated o bj ('Cll'" that these an' pllrl'i )'J ormal dilTl'n'n ces between co ncq >t s• .and

into numbers, to use dilTerential (not algeb raic ) eq uat ions to character- th at as such , th ey do not ne cessaril y point to a d eeper ontological
ize thei r relations. As th e mathematician and historian Morris Kline din~'[t.·IlC'e . If we~ arc to repl ace esse nces as th e explanat ion of till'
o bse rves , by. g<·lting rid of the g lobal embedd ing space and dea ling idcntitv o f materi al obj ects and natural kind s we need to specif)' tlu -
With t he surface through its own local properties 'Gauss advanced th e wa v in wh ich multiplicities relate to th e ph ysical processes w hich
to ta lly new co ncept that a suiface is a space in itself , 2 gL'l;e rate th o se mat erial obj ect s and kinds,
The idea of st lld)'ing a surfa ce as a spa ce in itself was further Achi eving this goal implies establishing a m ore int imate relation
developed by Riemann . Ga uss had ta ck led th e two -d imensiona l case between th e geometric properties of manifolds and the pro pcrt h-s
so one would have ex pecte d his disci ple to t reat the next case, three- whi ch d efine morphogenetic processes. The resou rces in this case co me
d im en sional curved surfaces . Instead, Riem an n wen t on to successfully from th e theory of dynamical systems wh ere the di mensions of a
attack a m uch mo re ge ne ra l problem: that of N -d ime nsional su rfaces manifold ar c used to represent pr op erties of a particul ar phys ical
o r spaces . It is these N-d ime ns iona l curved struct ures , defined excl u- process or system, w hile t he ma nifold itsel f beco mes [he space if pOSSible
sively th ro ugh the ir int rin sic feat ur es, th at w ere o riginally referred to states w hich t he ph ysical system ca n have. " In other words , in thi s
by th e term ' ma nifo ld ' , Riemann' s was a vcry bold m ove, one tha t theo ry mani folds are co n nec te d to materi al reality by th ei r USl : as
to ok him into a realm o f abst ract spaces with a varia ble number of models of physica l processes. When o ne atte m pts to m od el th e dynam -
d imen sion s, spaces w hich could be st ud ied w ith ou t th e need to embe d ical be haviou r o f a particular physica l o bject (say , th e dy na mica l
th em intu a high er-di m en sion al (N't- L) spa ce . As Morris Kline p uts it : behaviour of a pendul u m or a bicycle , to stick to relatively sim ple
' T he geometry of space o lTe re d by Riemann was no t just an extension cases) t he first step is to determi ne th e n um ber of relevant wap in
of Gauss 's d ifTerentia l geomet ry . It reconsid ered the whol e approach whi ch suc h an ob ject can change (these are known as an object 's deqtees
to thc st udy of space . " And we co uld add th at thi s new way of posina iffreedom), and then to relate those changes to one another using the
spatial problems wou ld, a few decades later in the hands of Einstein and difTcrential calculus . A pendulum , for instance , can change on ly in its
o the rs, co mpletely alter th e way phy sicists approached th e qu estion o f position and moment um, so it has two de gr ees of fre edom . (A
spa ce (o r more exactly, of spacetime) . pendulum can, of co urse, be melted at high tem per at u res , or be
A Dcl cu zian multiplicity takes as its first d efining feature th ese tw o explode d bv dvnamite . These ar e , ind eed, other ways in whi ch thi s
traits o f a manifold : its variable number o f dim en sion s and, mo re object can ~ha~ge, th e)' sim ply are not rel evant ways from th e point
importantly . th e absence of a supplementary (higher) dimension impo s- o f view of dynami cs. } A bic ycle , if we consider all its moving parts

12 13
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I h,Ulgt· in b01h po,i1ioll .1Ite l 1Il0uH'1I1Um) , oll t 'lll ' o f (,tlc " lit ,I pll\ h .11 '1111I , .1 1.11 It mlllll 'l h I 111 th ,
Ncxt , o ne ma ps 1',1('11 d'·gn't· of frn,dolll into one 01 lht, dirrn -usiun s s,
, " I , tvrn it (·It.·
ht'h.l\ u urr of tllt' 1111\"lt
of a mani fold , A pendulu m ' s span' o f po ssihilit it's will m-cd a twu . Sillgul.lriti t's 11M)' inlhlt'Jl(\ " bt,h,l\'iour h) ,u ting ,\ S aftra(t ~T\ .Ii .,r 1111
dim en sion al plane , but th e bicycle: ' vill in vol ve a ten -dimen sion al s p,lCt' , Ir,\jc'llorit':-. . \ Vllal this IIW.lIlS is th.n ,I\· numlx-r of dlllen'nl
~fter thi~ mapping o pe ratio n , th e state o f th e object at any gi vl' ll tr,Ijt't'lorit's, :-.t,uti ng th ei r cvo lutio u at \'t'r)' d ill't'rent placx-s ill tilt'
Instant of tim e becomes a single point in the manif old , whi ch is now uianifoh l, m ol)' end lip in t'xactl)' th e same final sta te (t he at tractor) . .IS
called a state space. In addition, we can capt ure in thi s model an lon g a.s all of t hem hl'g in somewhere within t he 'sphere o f inlhn-no-
object's changes ef state if w e allow th e rep resent at ive point to mo ve in o f the auractor (the basin oj aurdcri on). Given th at , in t his SI' T1St',
thi s abstract space, o ne tick of the clock at a tim e , describing a cu rve din.. . rent trajecto ries rna)' be attracted to t he same final state . singu lar .
o r traj ecto ry . A physicist can th en study the changing behaviour of an itivs arc said to rep rl'scnt the inherent or intrinsic long-term tendencies
o bject by st udyi ng th e behaviour of th ese representativ e trajecto r ies . It of a svstcm, t he sta tes which the system w ill spontaneously tt'nd to
is important to noti ce that eve n th ou gh my exam ple Invo lves tw o adopt "'in the long run as lon g as it is no t co nstrained hy other fon~c..;s,
o bjects , what th eir state space capt u res is not th eir sta tic properties Some sing ula rities arc topol ogical points , so th e final sta te they d ('(IIlt.'
but th e way th ese properties change, th at is, i t captures a process. As .1S J d est iny for th e traj ectories is a stead)' state . Beside th ese, Poin care

with any mod el, th ere is a trade-off here : we exc hange th e co mplexity also found th at ce rta in closed loop s acte d as attractors and called th em
of th e o bject's changes of state for th e co mplexity of the modelling "lim it cvcles' , The fina l state w hic h traject ories att rac te d to a limit
space . In other w ords, an o bject's instantaneous sta te, no matter how cyc le {or period ic at tractor) arc bo und to adopt is an osci llato ry state .
co mplex, becomes a single po int, a great simplificatio n, but the space But wheth er we are dealing w ith steady-state, peri od ic or o ther
in which th e o bject's state is em bedde d becomes mo re co m plex (e .g . attractors what ma tte rs is th at th ey are recurrent topoJo8ical features,
th e three-dimen sional space o f the bicycle becomes a te n- di mensiona l whi ch means th at different sets o f eq uatio ns, re p resenting q uite
sta te space) . different physical systems , ma y possess a sim ilar d istribution of aurae-
Besid es th e g re at sim plification achieved by mod elling co mplex tors and hen ce, sim ilar lon g-t erm be hav iour.
dyn amical processes as trajectories in a space of po ssibl e states, there Let me give a sim ple exa mple o f how sing ularities (as part o f wh at
is the added adv antage that math ematicians ca n bring new resources to defines a multiplicity) lead to an entirely different wa )" of viewing the
bear to th e study and so lution of the physical problems involved . In genesis of physical forms. There are a large nu mber of difTerent
particul ar , topoioqtcal resources rna)" be used to analyse ce rtai n features physical st ructures which form spontaneously as their co mponents try
of th ese spaces, features wh ich det ermine recurrent or typical behaviour to meet ce rtain ene rgetic requirem ents. T hese co m ponents rna)' be
co mmon to man)" different models, and b), ex te nsion, co mmon to co nst rained , for exam ple , to seek a point of m inim al free energy, like
man)' physical pro cesses. The main pion eer o f thi s approach was a soa p bubble , wh ich acq uires its spherical form by minim izing surface
ano the r great nin et eenth-century mathemati cian , Henri Poin care . Poin- tens ion, or a co mmon salt crysta l, w hic h ado pts the for m of a cube by
care began his st udy not with a differential equation mod elling a real minim izing honding energy. W e can imagine th e state space of th e
phy sical syste m , but with a vcry sim ple eq uation, so sim ple it had no process whi ch lead s to th ese forms as st ruc t ure d by a single point
physical applicat ion, but whi ch nevertheless allo we d him to ex plore attractor (re p resenti ng a point of minimal ene rgy). O ne way o f
th e recurrent traits of an)' model with two degrees ef freedom. He describing the sit uatio n wou ld be to say th at a capo/anical fo rm (a
disco vered and class ified certain special topological feat ures of t w o - singu lar poi nt in a ma nifo ld) guides a process w hich results in ma ny

'4 I ~
dlllt"t 'l1l ph) 11.11101 111. lIullllh lll ph~' II ' !'i ntl (11)1('. l.hll llllt \\1111 .u II I 0 1 1.1lI ( \ l"Otl ~1l0\\11 ,1 ",I".t'l/ II \' ) \\1111. 1111 11111 .111 t
t1 ifl ~ ' n ' 1I1 .'I( (lm rtru propt"rti~''' '
'I Ill' i.. \\ h.n 1 )..1 " \1/ 1' nu-an s \\ [u-u Ill' lIItt'Pl tl .lll on 01 mill \11 'I
sa)'s th.u singular-i lil's are like ' im plicit for ms th.n df\" Illpolog il.ll
I li t I II III Illd ol .m .HI "pI H' fdl "hl
r.ulu-r "I, t '.It!\ gl\ I 'll III tlw I' I I ( t'f('/~mll(tJ, • ~ It \ \ ct ,,\1 11 1 III li t t 11,1\ III I d t 1.- .11
th an gl·OlTIl· t ric ' ,'* Thi s rna )' hi' co n t ras ted to the ('sSt" lIt i.llis
t dp proadl ,lIu l di..tim I 1l.lhln') llIo 'll billlngl '" IlId ,,) h.I\t.' g l\ (' 11 Ill' plt' lOllIlI"illt
in whi ch th e ex planatio n for th e spheric al 10fl11 of soap bubble
s, fo r ,II lt I .h t t"ph"d IIH' idt.'., th.u dIlItTI'l lli.tlt·d .. 'rll~ um-c l' l1 ll' rg l' P~I~ "I·
instan ce , w ould be framed in terms of the esse nce o f sphe r icity.
tha t ..i\l.h' .IS ti ll' ('g.g <It"\\·lop,... TIH' l"gg is 1I0t, 01 nH lrSl' •.111 untllllt' n 'lI
is, o f ge o me t rica lly charac te rized essence s acting as ideal Fo rms
. li,'h';1 mass : it P()~St'SS I·S au obscur e )l'l t1istillt:l ..rruc-tur c dt"lilu,d
I will di scu ss in a momen t th e mean ing and re levance h)
o f th e zon es of biod ll' l11 il"al comTll lr.llioll and hy po lari t h-s l's lolhlistH
't1 h)' till '
topol ogical nature o f sing u larit ies . What matter s at thi s point
is that .IS\, I11111t.. t r il..l l po siti on of till' yo lk (o r nucleus ), But e-ven though
singula rities, by determ ining long-t erm tendenci es, str ucture the it
possi- de:t's P OSSt'SS th e necessa ry biochem ical mat e rials an ti
ge netic ill f~)r~llJ.
bilities which make up state space , and by ex te nsio n, str uc
t ure th e tion, th ese materials and info rmat ion d o not co nta in a clea r ,mel
po ssibiliti es op en to th e phy sical proce ss modell ed by a state (hstllU't
space. In hiucpri nt o f th e final org an ism . 11
additio n, singu lari ties tend to be recurre nt that is th ey .
, " tend to Alt hough th e egg me ta phor docs provide a vivid illu st ratio n
characte r ize processes indepen dently o f their particu lar physica 01 d.w
l mcch - dis ti nctio n I am trying to draw here, it is neve rthel ess just
anism s. In th e exa m p le above, the mechani sm whi ch lead a wwlul,
s to th e ,m alogy. Fort unate ly, th e re are technical wa)'s o f dcfinin.~ th
producti on of a soap bubble is quite dilTeren t from th e o ne leading e hit',]. 01
to f,oHressil'e J1JCrent ialio n wh ich d o not rely o n metapho rs. I
a salt c rys tal, ye t both ar c minimi zing proce sses. This mechani [u- technic al
sm ~ reso urces in th is case co me from ano t he r crucial ninctl'el1lh
independence is wha t makes singu lar ities (or rather th e multipl ~lTl1ll1r )'
icities inn ova tio n. th e t heory o f groups. a field of ma themat ics w hic
th ey define) perfect cand idates to replace essence s ."? As I said h. tikt'
befnre, th e d ifferen tial ge o me t ry I discussed before, e ven tua lly becam
howev er, we mu st be ca re ful at thi s stage not to make sing ularitic e an
s th e integra l part of th e basic mathem atical technol o~)' ()f.t~\'cn tic~h-c('
equivalent o f t hc esse nce o f a process, T o avoid this e rro r I will nt u~y
discuss physics . T he term 'gro up' refers to a set o f entltl~s . (WI~~
some additio nal formal proper ties o f multipl icities distingui shing special
them pr op erties) and a rul e o f co m binatio n for th~se cntl~lcs . .1he
from es sences and then, as above , I will discus s th e way in whi most,
ch th ese import ant of th e pro pe rties is th e o ne nam ed clo sure , whi ch
purely co nce ptual differen ces con nect with qu estions o f mea ns
ph ysical tha t wh en we usc th c rul e to co m b ine an)' two entities in th
process. e set, th e
res ult is an e ntity also belongin g to th e set. For exam ple . the
The formal differen ce in qu estion has to do with the way essence set of
s posi tive integer s displ ays closure if w e usc addi tio n as a comhin
and multipl icities arc spe cified as e ntities, Whil e essence s ar e ~ti.on
traditio n- r ule : add ing togethe r any two positiv e int egers yield s anot he
ally regarded as po ssessing a clear and distin ct nature (a clarity r posltl\'C
and integer . that is , anothe r cl ement in th e original set. H . .
disti nct iveness also charac te rizing th e ideas whi ch appear in
the mind Althou gh sets o f numbe rs (o r many ot he r m ath emati cal objects
of a phil osophe r wh o g rasps one of th ese esse nces) , multipl icities )
arc , rnav he used as illustra tions o f g ro ups , for th e purpos e of
by d esign. obscure and disrinct: th e sing u larities which defin e ddlnmg
a m ulti- pr~grcssi\'e differen tiati on w e need to co nside r groups ~\'h~se m embers
plicity co me in sets . and th ese sets a re not given all at on ce
but are are not objec ts but tranifo rmations (and th e co m b inatio n
st ruct u re d in such a \\'ay th at th ey pro8r essiYcIy specify th e nature rul e , a
if a co nsecuti ve applica tio n of th ose transfo rmation s) , For e xam ple,
th e, set
mult iplicity as th ey unfold foll owi ng recurre nt seque nces. II
What th is co nsisting o f rot ati ons h)' nin et y degr ees (that is. a set conta
mean s may be illu strat ed first by a metaph or and then gi ven in ing
a pr ecise rotation s hy 0, 90 , 180. 270 degree s) forms a gro up , sinc e
techni cal d efinitio n . Th e metaph or is that of a fertilized egg any .t wo
pri or to co nsecuti ve rotatio ns produc e a rotatio n also in the g ro up.
its unfoldi ng into a fully d evelope d o rga n ism with di fferent iat provided
ed tissues 360 degr ees is taken as ze ro . T he import ance o f gro ups o f transfo

1'011 tI•.• 1 till III 1'1 II I " 101 , I I II '1 11 11 11 '111 ' II till II
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/II I(.lr1</III\ : II \\,' p," 101 Ill!''' Olll 01 till I , Ollp 10111 11'11 O il I IIh, . .in 1 1'11 1 I t Ie 1II Ifl1,IIII',

observer who did Ilol w it m -ss till' Ir.II I, lo rJll,ll io ll \\Iurld not ", ,1" 1,' ( 0 I II ph Il.d III 01 I "III 111111 .1111111 Ih, OIl 'h hi o ~. 11 11l 1l1l 1/\ 11 10.

noti ce that allY change had .1·tu ally O("('lI'T,' d (th.u is, tilt' iS lI.11 ,,,. III , 1111 " .u np l,-, III till 101111 III rho,,' 1'.," '1/ ,111 I'h.1 I (, .111 1111111
appca ranc of th e cube wo uld rem ain invarian t rc l.uivr- to this 11" ,'\,'111 "hi. h· pl.Il" .11 '1Ilil .11 \,1111\' ot OIlW p,II .IIIIt'I. I
obse rve r). O n the othe r hand , the cube would not remain invariant II, IlIpl'loIIUI" ', lill'" .nuph-) w it lUll' ,I pll\ ital "It'1Il IIo III tJ/1l 1.11.
und er ro tatio ns by, say, 45 degrees, but a sph ire wou ld. Inde d, a \., .m o t lu-r , like the, riti ca] POlllls Ill' tl'mlwr,llllrt' al "llIlh \ .1"'1
sphe re rem ains visually un changed under rotation s by an)' amount of , !l .11I , , 'S [rom ice to liquid, or rro m liquid to str-am , '1Ill' "rokl II
degrees. Mathematically thi s is ex pressed by aying that the sphe re has '.\ nutu-tr aspect he re can be clcar l S 'I' lI il' WI: cOIllI),\/"l' tilt' g.lS .lIId
more ~mmet1J' than th e cube relativ e to the rot ati on transformati on, ""Iid states o r a material, and if' Ior sim pli 'it , W I ' .ISSUn1l' p!'r rl'etl )
That is, degree of symme try is measured by th e number of transforma- Illdlill'lll gases and perfect rys tal arrange ments. In th ese idl',ll COli
tion s in a gro up th at leave a prop erty in variant, and relati on s bet ween ,lit ions, th e gas wou ld d i 'play invariant prop ert i , . under all I rans la
figures may be established if th e gro up of one is included in (o r is a t 1< iu s, rotations and reflections, while thc solid wo uld be invarian t [Il
subgro up of) th e gro up of th e other. " lIly a subs et of these transfo rmation s. For xa m plc, while tl u- 'il
ClaSSifying geometrical o bjects by th eir degrees of sym me try repres- c ou ld h disp laced by any amo unt and r m ain basi ally the same (that
ents a sharp departure from th e trad itional classificati on of ge o me trical is, an observer wo uld b un abl e to tell whether a clisp lacc m -nt
figur es by th eir esse nces . While in th e latter approach we look for a lie urrcd at all) th e so lid wo uld rem ain visually unchanged onl und er
set of properties co mm on to all cubes, or to all spheres, gro ups do displac em ents which moved it one unit crystal at a time (or m ultip les
not classify th ese figures on th e basis of th eir sta tic prop erties but in of that unit). In other words, th e gas has more sym mctry th an till'
terms of how th ese figures are affect ed (o r not affect ed ) by acti ve so lid , and can become the so lid by undergoing a sym metry -breaking
transformati on s, that is, figur es are classified by th eir response to events phase tra nsitio n . I S The metaph ori cal exam ple I gave above, that of a
that occur to th em. I f Another way of putting thi s is that eve n th ough in rel'tilized egg w hich differentiat es int o a fully form ed o rganism, can
this new approach we ar e still claSSifying entities by a prop erty (their now be ma de quite lit eral: th e pro gressive di fferentiat ion of th e
degree of sym me try), thi s prop erty is never an intr insic prop erty of sphe rical egg is achieve d th rough a co m plex cascade of symmctry-
th e entity being classified but always a property relati ve to a specific br eaking phase transiti on s. 16
transformati on (o r group of transformations). Additionally, th e sym- Let me now incorporate th e idea of progressive di fferen tiation into
metry approach allows dynamic relations to ente r into th e classification the co nce pt of multiplicit y by sho wing how it can be translated int o
in a different way. When two or more entities ar e related as th e cube state-space terms. I said before that for th e purpose of defini ng an
and th e sphe re above, that is, when th e group of transformation s of entity to repl ace esse nces the aspect of state space that matter ed was
on e is a subgro up of th e other, it becomes po ssible to envision a process its singulari ties . O ne sing ular ity (o r set of sing ular ities) may un dergo a
which converts one ~ th e entities int o th e ocher by losing or gaining sym met ry-breaking transiti on and be co nve rte d into another o ne.
symmetry. For exam ple , a sphe re can 'b ecome a cu be' by loosing T hese transiti on s are called bifurcations and may be st ud ied by add ing
invarianc e to some transformations, or to use the technical term, by to a particular state space one or more 'contr o l knob s' (technically,
und ergoing a ~mmet1J'-breakin8 transiti on. While in the realm of pure co ntrol param et ers) whi ch det erm ine the stre ngth of externa l shoc ks
geometry thi s transmutation may see m some what abstract , and irrelev- or perturbation s to w hich the system being mod ell ed may be subject.
ant to what goes on in th e worlds of physics or biology , there arc These co ntrol param et ers tend to displ ay critical values, threshold ' of

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S}llIrndry of lilt' ")""h'I II . J\ "p.ll t' "t1 lh llll n l It)
" Li ll o 0 111' 1)1 Ii lit fll 11 .111 lelllll .111 1l1I 111 11 11 I , llIltll l I
nt tr-ac-tor, 1(11' cxn m p lc, 111.\)' hifi.l n -.l tt' in to ,lIIlltht'r w ith 1\\C1 ~HH h '\ 'Ii 1.111 h.' 1'1 '11 It 0 11I 1111 1' o x.un p h-, .1 1 .1 t,ltl., III halUll ,llilln, 111.'\ lit
at tractors, o r a point an -ac to r may hil'urcat l' int o ,\ IH'ri odi c o tu -, losing 1.lith lu lh n ·,IIi/t·d ill .1 )'11\ !'o il ,II "!'itt' ll l, I hi, n ·.lli/.'1 Ion , ho\\ t" r-r, ht·.I1 !'1
so me of its ori gin al symme try . 17 Mu ch as at t rac to r-s cor m - in recu rrent Ilt l rt·,,· ;nhl.ll1l t' to till' 1I~lol tlh' IlI:\lk,, 1 ('.l ~(,ldl' . III p,lrt h IlI,H' , un like ti ll"
forms, so bifurcations may define recurrent sequen((~.'i o f' such forms. 1,IUI '1" " hkh is mt.· dllll1/HII -lntlqll·nJl·rH, tlal' php ic,t' n '.,lil'"tio lt ill'"ht'
There is a seq uence , for instan ce , that begin s with a point an -ac to r "I'l'd lic nwch ,mi.'ims. T o hl'gin with tln-n- ,11"1 ' causa l inu-r.nuons .uul
which, at a critical value of a co ntro l param et er, becom es unstabl e and tlu-ir t'ITl'ets . To re t u r n to o ur e xam ple, till: How o f 1H'"t into till'
bifurcates into a periodic attractor. Thi s cycl ic singular ity, in turn, can t'tlllt"inl'r causes ,1 grade d dl'l1sit y ditll'n'IKe to form , gin'l1 th'lt wau -r
become unstabl e at another critica l value and und ergo a serlue ncc of t'xlMnds wlu -n heat ed (that is, becom es less den se) . This tklls it)
instabilities (several period-doubling bifurcations) which tran sform it g rad ient , in turn , interacts with o ther forces like th e viscosity till' or
into a chaotic ott-actor. wate r, their balan ce of po wer det ermining wh ether a s)'SIt'Tn swi ld le"
Thi s sym metry- breaking cascade of bifurcations can , in turn, be fro m one flow patt ern to the next. For exa m ple , th e de nsity grad it·nt
related to actual recurring sequences in physical processes . Th ere is, will tcnd to amplify small differen ces in mo vem ent (fluct uat ions) \\ luch
for example , a realization of th e above cascade occurring in a well - cou ld ad d so me detail to th e bland ste ady -sta te How, but whk-h art'
stud ied series of distinct hydrodynamic flow patterns (stead y-sta te , damp ed by th e viscos ity of th e fluid. As th e flow of heat is int vnsifi... l,
cycl ic and turbulent flow) . Each of th ese recurrent flow patterns how e ver , th e syste m reaches a cri tical po int at wh ich th e d l'n sity
appears one aft er th e other at well -defined critical thresholds of grad iellt is stro ng eno ugh to ove rco me viscosity, leadin g to till'
temperature or speed . The seguencc of ph ase transitions may be am plification of fluctuation s and allowing th e formati on of co he re- nt
initiated by heating a water container from below . At low temperatures ro lls. T hus , a very specific seque nce of e vents underlies th e transition
th e flow of heat from top to bottom , referred to as th ermal conduction, to convection. On th e othe r hand, as the biologist Brian Goodwin has
is simple and steady , displaying onl y a hland, featurel ess ov erall po inted o ut , portion s o f this hydrodynamic seque nce may be obse r ved
pattern , having th e degree of symm etry of a ga s. At a cr itical point of in a com plete ly different process, th e co mplex morphogen et ic
temperature , however, thi s ste ady flow sudde nly disappears and Sl'llue llce whi ch turns a fertilized egg into a fully developed o rga nism.
another on e takes its pla ce, th ermal con vection, in whi ch co he rent roll s Afte r describing another instan ce of a seq ue nce of flow paltl'rns in
of wat er form, rotating either clockwise or anti -clo ckwi se . Th e wat er hydrod ynami cs Goodwin says:
co nta ine r now has str uct ure and, for th e same reason , has lost so me
symme try. As th e temperature co ntinues to intensify another threshold Th e point of th e description is not to sugges t that m orphogen et ic
is reached, th e flow loses its orderly periodic form and a new pattern patterns originate from the hydroJynamie properties of living
tak es o ver: turbulence. The cascade that yields the seq ue nce conducti on - orga nisrns . .. What I want to em phasize is sim ply that many
convection-turbulen ce is, ind eed, more complicated and may be patt ern-gen erating processes share with developing organisms th e
stud ied in detail through th e usc of a special machine called th e characteristic that spatial det ail unfolds progressivel y sim ply as a
Co ue tte-Taylo r apparatus , whi ch speeds up (rathe r than heats up) th e result of th e law s of th e process. In th e hydrodynami c exa m ple we
liquid mat erial. At least se ven different flow patterns are rev ealed by see how an initi ally smoo th fluid flow past a barri er goes through a
thi s machin e, eac h appe aring at a specific critical point in speed, and sym me try- brea king eve nt to give a spat ially periodic pattern , fol -
thanks to the sim ple cylindrical shape of th e appa ratus , each ph ase lowed by th e elaboration of local nonlinear detail whi ch devel op s

20 2I
olll 01 llit' PI ' rlOelh It) Illlh n ollH d ,· \ (·I ClI"I ll'1l1 10110 \ \ .1 111 11 1.11 •• I I I I \ 1 l tl 0 1 t Il 111011 .lId l' " pi \t1 It11'11\ 1111 , I I). I. 1111 \\ l i lt •

(llI.l lit.l l in · COur w: illit i.,lly Mllooth p'II1"" .IX'·.. . dIC·IlI' (·h ,·... tlH' t Ol I t
res ult of Sl>.llial bifurcatton from .1 uniform st.llt·, bifun:.llt· to
spa tially periodic patt ern s suc h as sl'gnwl1 ts [iu J.1l Insec-t hodYI. hilt ti ll') do ~o .,1 po int ' . ti ll tilt' , 'e1 1 t · ~ • • md umh -r g lllllllll' l ill '

wi th in wh ich fine r de ta il develops . . . through .1 progn'~si\'c w hic h IH'\('r havv llll' u n ilelr ln it) clf .1 n.uu rol light . ()n (·.It h
ex pressio n of non linearities and successive bifurcations . . . The ro ll.' Ill t .l, io n , o hscuritit·l'i .Hlel 1 111l1' S of ,Jude,,\ co rn" pofl( l 10 tlu-u
of ge ne products in such an unfolding is to stabilize a parttcular c1 i,linl"l ion . IMultiplidt il'''il .H·t' c1islingub.lwd from on e .urorln-r , but
morphogenetic pathway by facilitating a sequence of pattern transi- nu t at .111 in th e same manne-r as form s and tlu- terms in "hkh thc''''
tions, res ulti ng in a particular morphology, l q .m - incarnated . Thcv ar e ohj l'ctin'h' mad e and unmade according tl l
till' co nd itio ns that : lct e rl1l inl' thl'i; fluent synthes , is. This is IWI". 11'1'
From a Deleuzian point of view, it is this uni versality (o r me chanism- tht;)' co m bine th e gre ate st power o f hdng difTcrenrialt·d with an
independen ce) of mul tip licities whi ch is high ly significant. Unlike inahility to be dttfcrcnciated . J O
essences which are always abstract and general entit ies, multiplicities
arc concreee universals. That is. co nc re te sets of attractors (re alized as Altho ugh I will not stick to thi s subtle typographi cal distin ction ,
tenden cies io physical processe s) linked together by bifurcations I ),ol,'ule distingui shes th e progressive unfo ld ing of a mu ltiplicit j'
(r ealized as abrup t transitions in th e tendencie s of physical processes) . Ihrough broken symmetries (diffc renrioltion), from the progn'''isht'
Unli ke the ge nerality of essences, and the resem blance with w hich this "ilwcificatio n of th e continuous space formed by mu ltip licities as it gin'''i
gene ra lity endows instan tiations of an essence , the universality of a rise to o ur world of disconti nu o us spa tial str uct ures (differl.·nciatio n) .
multiplicity is typically diverqem: the different rea lizations of a m ulti - Unlik e a transcendent heaven w hich exists as a separate dimensi on from
plicity bear no resemblan ce \..-hatso cvcr to it and there is in prin ciple n 'aHty, Dcleuze asks us to imagi ne a co nti nuum of mul tiplicities whic-h
no en d to the set of po tential d ivergent forms it may ado pt. Thi s lack dlj]crenciaees itself into o ur fam iliar three-d ime nsional space as wel l as
of resemb lance is amplified by the fact that m ulti plicities give fo r m to its spatially struct ure d co nte nts ,
processes, no t to the final produ ct, so that th e end res ults of processes Let me explain in wh at sense a co ntin uo us space may he said to
realizing th e same multipl icity may be highl y d issimilar from each beco m e progressivel y defined giving rise to discontinuous spaces . First
o the r , like th e sphe rica l soa p bubble anel the cu bic salt crys tal which of all, a space is not just a set of points , but a set together with a way
not only d o not resem ble one anothe r. but hear no sim ilarity to th e of binding th ese poin ts together into neiohbouThoods th rough well -
topological point g uid ing th eir prod uction. defined relati on s o f proximity or continuity . In o ur famili ar Euclidea n
The co nce pt of progressive differentia tion whi ch I have ju st defined gco met ry th ese rel ation s are specified by fixe d len gths o r distance"
was mea nt , as I said , to d istinguish the o bscure yet distinct natu re of w hich det ermine how close pOinL'i arc to eac h othe r. The co ncept of
m ult ip licitie s from th e clear and d isti nct identity of essences, as we ll ' length ' (as we ll as rel at ed o nes, like 'a rea' o r 'v olume' ) is wh at is
as from th e clarity afforde d by the light of rea so n to essences grasp ed called a metric co nce pt , so th e spaces of Eucl ide an geome try ar e kn own
hy th e mind . A final di stinct ion m ust now be made : un like essences, as meeric spaces. 1. Ther e ex ist other spaces, ho wever. w he re fixed
wh ich as abstract genera l en tit ies coe xist side by side sharply distin - dista nces canno t define proximities sin ce dis tances do no t remain fixed.
gu ished from one anoth er, concrete unive rsa ls must be thought as A topol ogical space, for exa m ple, may be stre tched with o ut the
meshed toneth er into a contin uum. This further blurs th e identity of neighbourhoods w hich defin e it changing in nature . T o co pe with such
multipliciti es, creating zones of ind iscernihilitv where they blend into exotic spaces. mathematicians have devised ways of defi ning the
each o the r , fonning a continuous immanent space very different from property of 'be ing nearby' in a way tha t does no t presup pose any

li ll lilt I Ollll 'pl , hili 0111\ 110111111 111 1 t IIllt t pi I.kl ' 1111111111' 1I11•• 1 ,Ill t' It 111.111 1 urv , IHIt 11111 till II It Il·d. 111111 till II I 1"11/11 ' " IIlnl/lCff.,
nl "'~!". li on ,'\ vr nih' I II.II",H. h ', it t'''' It . lilt ' til tu« tmn 111'1 \\ I TII II/n t ll IlIlt ' wlm h ,.dd In II l id .mel )1111'.11 11 .111111111I .111011 tlllI I 01 1'1 0lt ·tlloll ,
nonmctric J/,I1US is fuu d.uucuta l in .1 I )"I"llli.Hl olllol,,!:) . rJ ,\1o n'o 't'r . tCll"Il "po n ding III , 111I1111,111111011 ,I 111 1'1 1 ot hlru , .11Il1 , (·t I IOIl, I I",
and this is t he cr ucial point, th ere arc \\TIJ ·d l' fiI Wd u -clmir-al \\.I\'S of n plh.l)t·nl o f intt 'rn'pti ng liuN' ligh t I .l ) ·"i 011 ,I "it I ( T I1 . (Mort· In hui
linking m e tric and no nm c t ric span:s in such .1 wa v t hat the fo~m"-'r ("111)', thi s gl'o nw l r) .ldcls t ra n- Io rm.u illllS t-,lllt·d ·p ro jl·t l i\'ilit's' . ) ll n-sc
become th e product o f the progr essive dmcr('ntiJti(J~ o f th e latte r . To rr.msforrnat ions d o 1101 nt·n ·ss.lrily h-a ve l .uc-l id r-an or atfi m- pr opt'rti t·
ex plain how such a svm, mct rv- , b rc aking casca de would wo rk in this undl.1ng('d. d S CJ Il h.., ('asH)' pictured if we inl.lgilH' .1 film p ro jed o r
case , I will need to tak e a bri ef d et our throu gh th e history of (which typi call y inc reases the mJ gnitudl' o f len gth s) and .l proj r-rti on
nineteen th-century geometry. " . -n-c n at an angle to it (w hich distorts parallel lines) .
Althou gh in th at ce nt ury most physicists and mathematician s th ough t If we picture th ese t hree gt.'omet r ies as forming th e leve ls o f a
the struct ure of physical space wa s cap t ure d by Euclidean geo me t ry. hierarch)' (p rojcct i\"c-affine -Euclide an) it is easy to sec th at tlu -
man y ot he r ge o me t r ies , with very different properties, had co me int o tra nsfo rma t ion gro up of eac h level includes th e transformations o f tln -
ex iste nce. Some of th em (suc h as th e non -Eucli dean geo me t ry d e- leve l bel ow it and adds new o nes . In o the r w o rd s, eac h level POSSt'SS('S
ve loped b)· Lohatch evsk v] share d with th e geomet ry of Euclid the more sym metry than the leve l bel ow it . This suggests th at, as we
p ropert), o f being m etric . There wer-e, howeve r , o the r geo me trics 1110 \ "C down th e hierarch )', a sym me t ry- breaking cascade sho uld pro ·

wh ere metri c co nce pts we re not in fact fund am ental. T he differential dun' pr ogressivel y mo re differentiated ge o metric spaces, and, vice
geo met ry o f Gauss and Riemann wh ich gave us t he co nce pt o f a versa, that as we move up we sho uld lose differen tiat io n . For exam ple,
manifold is one exa m ple, bu t th ere were se veral o the rs (p ro jec tive as we asce nd fro m Eucl idea n geomet ry mo re and more figur es become
ge o met ry, affine geo me t ry , topology). Moreo ver, and despite th e fact eq uiva lent to one another, fo rm ing a Jesser number if distinct classes,
th at Eucli dea n geo met ry reigned sup re me, so me mathem aticians T hus , w hile in Euclidea n geo me t ry tw o t ria ngles are eq uivalent on ly if
realized th at its basic co nce pts co uld in fact be derived from th e their sides have th e same len gth, in affine geo metry all tri anglcs an '
non metric co nc epts whi ch formed the foundation o f th e newco mers. the same (regardless of lengths). In other words, as we m ove up th e
In par ticul ar, ano ther influ ential nin et eenth-centu r y math em ati cian class of eq uivalent triangles becomes less differentiated . Or to take a
Felix Klein , realized that all t he ge o me tr ies known J to him could be dillerent ex am ple , whil e in Euclidea n geomet ry tw o co nic sec tio ns
categorized by t he ir invari ants und er gro ups o f t ransfor matio ns, and (the fam ily of cur ves co ntaining circl es, ellipses, parabolas and hyp er-
th at the diff erent g ro ups were em bed ded o ne int o th e o the r . 23 In bo las} are eq uivalent if th ey are both of th e same type (both circles or
mod ern te r m ino logy thi s is eq uivalent to saying that th e different both parabolas) and have th e same size, in affine geomet ry th ey o nly
ge o me t ries we re re late d to each ot her by rel at ion s of b ro ken need to be o f th e sam e type (rega rd less of size) to be equivalent , whil e
sym me t ry. in pr o jective geo metry all co nic sections , w ith out further qu alificati o n.
In Euclidean geo me t ry , fo r ex ample , len gth s, ang les and shapes are the same . H In sho rt, as we mo ve up t he hierarchy figures whi ch
remain unalt ered by a gro up co nta ining rotation s, translat ion s and used to be fully differentiat ed fro m one anoth er become pro gressively
reflecti on s. This is called th e g ro up o f riBid traniformations. T hese less distinct event ually blen di ng into a sing le one , and vice versa, as
metric p rop erties, ho we ver, do not remain invariant under the groups we mo ve down, what used to be o ne and t he same shape progressivcl)'
o f tran sforma tions cha racterizing o the r geomct rit·s . T here is o nc d iffere ntiates into a vari ety o f shapes .
geomet ry , called affine Beomet')', w hich adds to th e g ro up characte riz ing T his hierarchy can be expande d to incl ud e other ge o me t ries, suc h
Eucl idea n geometry new transfonnation s, called linea r traniformations, as differential geometry and topo log}'. T he latter , for exam ple , ma y be
under whi ch p ro pe rties like t he parall elism o r th e straight ness o f lines ro ughly said to co nce r n t he prop erties o f ge o met ric figures wh ich

I t 111.1111111 \ .111.\111 !llId ll IUlldlll '. 1111111111 • II I .1 .1 01111111 ' II II Il lI1I1.l flil l Ihlt I 111111\1 1111. 1.II1 IIl U \\ llh lll.UII'., ~ .1I . hl J "hill" ""I .I. lntl ...
tn ut x, llloll i . tr,m"iIOI"I1l.ltloll \\lu, II do lIul t 1I'.,le IW\\ pOlllt " 0 1 IU "'l' d"ml/( III klllJ. 1111 111111" '1 .1111I 1 III .• ' 1\1 11 \ IIIII III I III 11llll id \ \.11_ 1,
ill\I,I\( ' tl.III ,lllrnlolliIJn... , I.IIIt,(1
t'xis l ing ones . (fvl(ln' "'(,I<'t l)'. lcll)ll lo g )' III, " .lIll pll, t ,m mdl 'l ,d III ' d l \ II II' d ' 11\ 111 ,11111 t lilt' tlll1l .IIIII " [rr un
' ho meo mo rp hisms ', which conrcrr n(drb) POints lilt .. nt'utb) ['Oint! .mel Illuk l lll,.Itll l U·.l llfl ' ,I lI 'IIlP, 'I .lllllt· dlll ll l'llt l 11('1\\ t ' . '1I tilt' tllP .uHI
wh ich can be reversed or be continuously 1II1dOlW ,) Llnck-r these ho llu m portion' of th e w an-r , )'t 'l. \\1.11" pnor to tlu' Iw,ltlll g till
tran sformati on s many figun~s which arc complete ly distil1(,t in Euclid- , h' m is .11 cquililu-ium , 011('(' th t' h '111I H'r,lIU l'l' di lll'n'm I' i.. I fl ·.lh ,d
can geo me try (a tri angle, a sq uare and a circ le. fo r exa mp le) become til(' '1)"sk m will [n - aw.1)' from equilibri um , th.u i s , wv con di\ iell' itll
o ne and th e same figure . since the y can be defo rmed into o ne another. Ic- mpt.' ratlln· hut in so doing we dl.mgt' the sph'm Clll.l!it.lIh c1) .
In thi s sense . topol ogy may be said to he th e least d1fe rentiateJ Indt'('cI, .IS we just saw, if tilt' h'mpe ratu rc- c1ifl~' n'I)(' I' is m.ul t' inll'n"i.·
ge o me try. th e on e with th e least number of distin ct eq uivalence ('lIo ugh th e SYStl' l1\ will und ergo .1 ph ase transition, losing S)' I1I I1h' II")'
classes, th e one in which many discontinuous forms have blended into .,,111 changillg its d ynami cs, d l'vL·lo ping th e periodi c p.lltL'rn of Iluid
o ne co nt inuo us one ." Metaphorically, th e hierarchy ' topo logica l- motion wh ich I referred to above as 'co nvec tion ". T hus. in a \'t' r )" n -al
dilTerential-projecti ve- affine-Euciidean ' may be see n as re prese nti ng w nsc, phase transit ion s d o divid e the temperature scale hut in so d oin g
an ab stract sce nario for the birth of real space . As if th e metric space Iht,), mark sudde n changes in th e spatial sym ml't ry of a mat erial.
wh ich we inhabit and that physicists st udy and measure ",as born fro m Using these ne w co ncepts we can define th e sense in wh ich tht'
a nonmetric, topological co nti nu um as th e latter differentiat ed and me tri c space we inhabit emerges fro m a no nme tric continuu m through
acquired struct ure following a ser ies of sym me try· breaking transitions, .1 cascade of bro ken sym me tries. Th e idea wo uld he to view this

Thi s morphoceneuc view of th e relation between the difTerent geo- g" m'sis not as an abstract m ath emat ical pr ocess but as a co nc- re te
metries is a met aphor in th e sense that to math em at icians these phpical process in w hich an undi fferen tiat ed intensive space (t hat is, a
relation s are purely logi cal , useful becau se th eorems whi ch ar e valid at s paCl~ defined by co nti n uo us inten sive properties) progressivcl )' differ-
on e level are automatically valid at th e lev els bel ow it. ' 6 But thi s cn tiatcs, event ually givin g rise to extensive structures (d iscontinuo us
cascade of broken sym me tr ies rna)' be also given an ontoloqtcol dimen- structures with definite metric prop erties) , W e can take as an illus-
sion. O ne way in wh ich thi s sce na rio for th e birth of m etric space can tration of thi s po int som e recent devel opmen ts in qu antu m field
be mad e less m etaphorical and more directl y onto logical, is through a th eories. Although th e co nce pt of spo nta neo us sym me try breaking,
co m pariso n between m etric and nonmctric ge ome t rical properties, on .1I1d its co n nec tio n with phase transitions, devel op ed in rath er humble
o ne hand, and extensive and intensive phy sical properties, o n th e other. branches of physics, like th e fields of hydrodynam ics and conde nsed
Exte nsive properti es incl ude not only suc h metric prope rt ies as len gth , matter physics. it was e vent ually incorporat ed int o the main strcam .!"
area and volume, but also quantities such as am ount of ene rgy or Today, thi s conce pt is helping unify th e four basic forces o r physics
entropy , Th ey are defined as prop erties whi ch are intrinsically divisible: (gravitatio nal, elect ro magne tic, strong and weak nuclear forces) as
if we d ivide a volume of matter into two eq ual halves we end up with physicists realize th at , at extre m ely high temperatures (the ex tre me
tw o volumes, eac h half th e exte nt of th e o riginal o ne . Intensive co nd itio ns probably pre vailing at th e birth of th e uni verse) , th ese
pr operties, on th e other hand, arc properties suc h as temperatu re o r fo rces lose th eir individuality and blend int o o ne, highl y sym me tr ic,
pressure, whi ch can no t be so divid ed , If we tak e a volume of water at force . The hypothesis is th at as th e universe ex pande d and cooled , a
90 degrees of te mperature, for instan ce, and break it up into tw o se ries of phase tran sition s broke th e o riginal sym met ry and allo we d the
equal parts, we do not end up with two volumes at 45 degrees each , four forces to differentiate from one ano thcrv '" If we co nside r th at , in
bu t with two volumes at th e original temperature .?" relativity th eory, gravity is \,s hat gives space its m etric prop erties
Dcleu ze arg ues , however , th at an int en sive prop ert}' is not so mu ch (mo re exac tly , a gra vitational field co nstit utes th e metric struc t ure of

26 27
,I 111111 d llll1'l1 11111," 11I,lIl1ll1ld>. 111'( II \\1 ,11 1.1 III 1111 11.,11 'I I II II, It '"11111111 11 111 " I 1IIII IIIpill Ill. III I II.. ,h 1111 111111 " I 111 1 .11 I .1.1 I'"
l' lIl1' rgl' . ,IS .1 (lislillll fi l/'l\' ,11,' P '\1111 II/I" ," pllllll III II 1111, II 1\' II I 11111 • • I ' I " I I, I 1" " . 11 1 11 111 . 1 1. 11 11111 ' 11 1. '1 1111 11
prop 'rty (te m p .rat urc ) , the idl',l 0 1 .1 11 intvusrv « p,lI " ' 1\ 111' 1IIIIh 10 111.,11.'11' ,1111 " ' ' ' II III" 111111 ,11" 1111 1,IId , III "111111 1111 III I dlt 11111 I.
e x te nsive ones through progrcs si vl' din~'rcnl i .1t i on h" l'olll l' · 1110r, ' than 1,,1. li-m. 111111111.11111 ' Ih.. 1I1,'llphlllll ." '"11 1' 11 1 \\ i1 1 \ll\ lIh ,' 11,,111111
a suggestive m etaphor. I I ,I Ihllrllu ,h <l lllo lo 111 ,,1 \II.lh i 01 I,ll' p,lI" "Ih,'l II ', '/, ,'/ (I.,/, c,'/
Let me pause for a moment to sum m ar ize th e ar gum ent so Iar . I 1..111 III S('ll.Ir.lll'd 11'0111 its \.1 1"1.11.1 .. 111,111,,'111.1111".11111111<'111 , hilI
IIl1 c"i <1 /)/1

began by es tablishing some purely formal d ifferen ces bet we en th e 111 addiliol1, J d, 'l.lih,d di scu ssion 0 1 ho\\ 1111'S" tllp" logil.11 111\.11 i.urt
co nce pts of 'esse nce' and of ' m ult iplicity' : whil e th e form er co nce pt 111.1 • Ill' WO\'l'1I to gl'lhl'r to C(I/I.\/[ II I ,I continullus, '('\ Ill'll'ro " '111'0 11 ,
impli es a unifi ed and timel ess identity, th e latter lack s unity and implies S Il.1 Cl' , In tlu- fo llowi ng chr pll..r I w ill show in te chn ical (k l,lil hem 11 11
an id entity which is not giv en all at on ce but is defin ed progressivel y ; ltl l1st r uet io n ca n bl' carried o ut and ho w th e I' sultinv cu nt in uum . 11.1

and while ess ences bear to th eir instantiations th e same r elation whi ch replace th e top o r least m ct ri ' le vel in th e hierar ch y of gl'ollll"ll'i, ' . I
a model has to its copies, that is, a relation of greater o r lesser \\ ill also di s uss ho w th int r m ,<Iiate I rv e ]s m ay he rl' p l.H I'd b\
resemblance, multiplicities imply divergent reali zations which bear no inl -nsiv pro cesses of ind ividuat ion whi ch yiel d as the ir fina l prtll hll l
sim ilar ity to th em. These formal differences, I said, are insuffici ent to tlu- fully differ ntiat ed m tric st r uc t ures th at popUlal l' ~hl' ,bo tlOIl\
characte r ize th e di stinction between essences and multipli citi es as lvvc l, At the e nd of chapte r tw o the metaph or of a ge nes Is 0 1 nu -tr«
immaterial ent ities whose job is to account for th e genesis of form: spa c th rough a cascade of b roken sym m ' t r ies sho uld have been m ost!
replacing etern al archetyp es involves supplying an alternative e x pla- e lim inat ed , and a literal acco unt tak en its place.
nation of morphogenesis in th e world. Unlike essences whi ch assume Mea nw hile, in w hat rem ain s of thi s cha pter I w ould lik 10 mak .. ,I

that matter is a passive receptacle for ex te rnal form s, multiplicities ar e 1I10re detailed analysis of th e nature o f multipliciti es . T he fir st s('\ 0 1
immanent to material processes, defining th eir spontane o us capacity to issu es to be d iscussed will in vol ve th e techni cal details of D el C U/." '.
generate pattern without e xte rn al intervention. I used cer tain features ol1to logical interpretation o f th e co ntents of sta te space. H is approach
of mathematical model s (state space s) to defin e th e nature of multipli - is very un orthodox as will be sho w n by a co m pa r iso n with th e stau -
cities: a multiplicity is defined by di stributions of sing ular ities , defining space o ntologies proposed by anal yti cal philosophers, T he n I wi ll 1110\'1'
tenden cies in a process; and by a se r ies of c rit ical transitions which can o n to a sec o nd se t of issu es co ncern ing th e modal srcr us o f multipli citi cs.
take several suc h di stributions em be dded within o ne an other and Modal logic is th e bran ch o f ph ilosophy w hich d eals w ith th e rdat ior~ s
unfold th em. Finally, I said that a population of suc h co nc re te between th e possible and th e actua l , H ere th e qu esti on to be ans wered IS
universals forms a real dim en sion of th e w orld , a nonmetric co ntin uo us if state space is a space of possibl e states what is th e st atus of attra ' to rs
space whi ch progressi vely specifies itself gi ving ri se to o u r familiar and bifurcatio ns in r elation to th ese po ssibilities? Can multiplicities 1)('
m etric space as w ell as th e di scontinuous spat ial st ruc t ures that inhabit inter p re ted in terms o f th e traditional modal catego ries, th e possibk.
it. and the necessary , o r do w e ne ed to postulate an origina l form 0 1
No doubt, despite m y effo rts th ese remarks remain highl y m eta- physical m odality to char acte r ize th em ? Fina lly, a third se t of issues.
phorical. First of all , I have defin ed multipli citi es in terms of attractors that needs t o be dealt with is related to th e speculat ive dimension o f
and bifurcations but these ar e features of mathematical m odels . G ive n Dele uze's proj e ct. Replacin g essences w ith soci al co nve nt io ns or
th at I want th e term ' m ult iplicity' to refer to a conc re te universal (to subject ive beli efs is a relativel y safe m o ve , but putting in th eir place a
replace ab st ra ct ge ne ra l essences) th e qu esti on m ay ar ise as to th e new set o f o bject ive ent it ies in evitabl y in vol ves phil osophical sp' u-
legitimacy o f taking features of a m odel and r eifying th em into th e lation . What gu ides thi s speculat io n? One wa y o f lo oking at thi s
definin g traits of a real e ntity . Second , th e relation between a q ues tion is to see Del euze as e ngaged in a co ns truc t ive proj ect guided

,. ( . 11.1111 1" 1' "/'''\ ''''''/' 1/1''. II.. I I . ( " " 1111111 Ill e I. u ll 111111 11 ,,1 lit Ih. 1'111 1111 I I,. t II I'll' III I I'I 111 ' 11 ' 1" 11111. I (111,,1
\\ h.11 10 do hili \\ h,ll 10 .1\ oltl .10111 ' (lilt I. "" 11.11111 I , 0 1 (1111 c' ,
lit I III •1'I1,1 ( 1'''111.111 • II
I IIl' I II. 11 11 • I ), I. 11/1 111.1 ' "'"1
to avoid the- I'-"f> 01 ('sSI'llli.llislII, hili Ihl rl' .11(' o IIIC' I ,11I.1 till' (' Ill'l'd 1.///"/1111,,,11 .1, "//(" 1'// " ," // /1" trill 01 ,." till ' 1'1'( ,II III li lt 1 h .1 (
to be d iscussed. l'0rll.1I1 II I • \ I
11111 . Oil o ll( I10111( , "//1 J /1, « " 1/1" I' 1.1, 11 11 ti ll o lh( I
Let me begin with Del zuz ·'s o llto logie. 1 .m.lly.sis or state 'pa 'e. \\'h ill' .1 p,lll i 111 .11" II"II( 11 01 o r mu - '1.11 curv I' ) IlIodl'l .1 UU ' 11111 (II
,111 11.11 st.lll' S 01.1 \sll' lIl ill Ihl ph~' si .JI \\ odd , Ihl \Idor 1I1·\l1 c ,111Il1I •
Many philoso phers arc today look ing at these abstract spaces as ob]e ts
of study and reflecti on . A recent shift in th e analyt ical philosophy of Ih.. inherent n -ndcn cics or man ' suc h tr: j.·cloril's, and hellll' 01 111.11'
scie nce, for example, mo ving away from logic (and s t theory) and .1 tual svstcm s, to ln-have in C(·rt.l in \\'a~'s , As mcnt ion ..d .11 1lI\( ' , th.. I
towards an analysis of th e actual math em atics used by scient ists in the ir tendencies are represented hv singulariti .s in th .. vector field, ,lIld I
eve ryday pra cti ce , has brou ght th e importance of sta te spaces to the 1kleuz' not .s, lit-spite the fact tha t the precise narure of cac h sin iul.u
foreground. 32 Yet non e of th e philosophers invol ved in this new point is w ·1I d ·fin d on ly in th e phase portrai t (b the [orm till
mo vement has attem pte d such an origina l analysis of state spac e as ira] c tories take in its vicinity) rhe e.t islence anJ dimihull on 0\ till ('
Del eu ze has. In particular, analyti cal phil osophers see m unawar e of (o r singularities is already com plet ly given in the vector (or din'( lio n)
at least un con cerned with) Poin care 's top ol ogical studies and of th e field. In on e mathematician " words:
onto logical differen ce that may be posited bet ween the recurrent
features of state space and th e traj ect ori es these features det ermine. Th e geometrical interpretation of th e th eory of different ial · ( 11l·11 iUl~
Given that this onto log ical differen ce is key to th e idea of a Deleu zian \car ly places in evidence two abso lutely distinct rea lities :. then' I
multiplicit y, I will need to ex plain how sta te spaces are co nstructed. th e field of d irections and the tcpoloqica! accidents wh ich 11101 )
First of all , it is important to distingui sh th e differ ent ope rato rs suddenly crop up in it , as for exam ple the ex iste nce of . ..
invo lved in thi s co nstruc tio n. As I aid abo ve , given a relat io n betw een points to which no d irecti on has been attached; and then' an', tho
th e changes in two (o r more) degrees of freedo m ex pressed as a rate integral curves with the form they take on in the vic~nity 01 Ihl
of change, one ope rato r, differentiation , gives us th e instantaneou s singular ities of th e field of directi on s . , . T h ~X lst 'I~ e and
value for such a rate , suc h as an instantan eou s velocity (also kno wn as distributio n of sing ularities are notions rela tive to th e field 01 vc ' to rs
a velocity vector). The o the r operator, integrati on , performs the opposite defined by the differential eq uation . T he for m of th e int gra l curves
but co m pleme ntary task: fro m th e instantaneou s values it recon stru cts is relative to th e solution of thi s equatio n . The two problem ' arc
a full traject ory or se ries of states . assuredly complementary, since the nature of th e singu larities
T hese two operators are used in a par ticul ar order to ge nerate the field is defi ned by the for m of th e curves in their vicinity. But It IS
str u ture of sta te space. Th e mod elling process begin s with a choice of no less true that th e field of vec to rs on one hand and th e int 'gral
manifold to use as a sta te space . The n from ex perime ntal observations cur ves on th e other are two essentially distinct mathematical realiti es. 14
of a system's changes in time, th at is, fro m actual se ries of states as
obse rve d in th e laboratory, we create some traject ori es to begin T he re are seve ra l othe r features o f sing ular ities, or more spccif ally,
populating this m anifold . T hese trajec tories, in turn , serve as the raw of attractors, which are cr ucia l in an on to logica l analysis of state 'pa "
mat erial for th e next step: we rep eatedl y apply th e di ffere ntiation and which furthe r differentiat e its tw o 'distinct mathematical rea liti 's' .
operato r to the traject ories , eac h application ge nerating o ne veloci ty As is we ll known , th e trajectories in thi s space alw ays approach an
vecto r and in thi s way we ge ne rate a velocity vectorfield. Fina lly, using attractor asymptotically, th at is, they approach it indif/nitely close bur
the integration operato r, we genera te from th e vector field further nerer reach it. 35 T his means that unlike trajecto ries, w hich re present the
trajecto ries which can function as predi ction s ab out future o bserva tio ns act ual sta tes of objects in th e wo rld, attrac to rs are never actualized,

3° 3I
II". 1111 p.1I1l1 01 .1 II Jt I 1111 \ I \t I II , ItIII' IIll .u t r.u nu II f II It I 111 l oltt II II , 11111 v , \\ t 111 ,1\ .1 ~ \.. h ,lt 111I1111l) ' II .,1 1.11" li t h .111 t 11111 \

l h i , M' II 'iI ' th,lt ' 1Il I u l.lI ll it ', n 'ptt' c u t flllh Iht ' ICII1~ It rill h ,lltkllt II " of .... "lIld h,I'" ( 10 1)1,11...1 I .lIef 01 p.ltlllli 01 ll\dllllhll.lIllll 1111.... lid
a ,"} Stl' III, neve-r its J.d ll.ll 'il.\h' " , I )t" IHIt' t hl' i, I." k 01 .lllll.lli l\, III I Mt h 'l'lI IIll'llIhl )lllolh'll t! e"I·lop"lt ·III .1 tll\(1 11111 r('"I" IIl /ll1l Ill .,
at tracto rs are ucvcrth cl css n -al am] h.\,,' dl'fillilt' dlt'lts on .\('tll~i llI1i" 'I', .,1 lIIultlpli, il I mi ,lt ,.\tlll1g 'illll l' II ll~l' t th,ll ,llt "I' IM'It -lll
enti ~i~s . In part icular, th e)' co nfer o n trajc-ctoru-s .1 cc-rtnin dt'grn' of an - re-al, \\ hill' till' Illllitiplid') iht,lI i, 11111. So I h'lt-tl/l' '1)I'"l.. nlll 01
sta~lh t)', called a~)'mprolic stability. it, Sma ll shol'ks rna)' d i sl ()dg(~ a ' t!' ,lli/ ,l' io ll' but of dtllllJludlWn, .lIltl inlrotlu,,''i J no"'1 oll lologil ,ll
traject ory from its att racto r but as lon g as the shock is not too large ,"" h-go r)' to refer to t he status of lnu lti plit-itil'S tlll'm"" I,"" : II"u"hr ,
to push it o ut o f th e basin of attracti on , t he traject ory will naturally l'hi-, te- rm does not rc-h-r, of co u rsc-, to th e virtual n ,.llity .....hich digl t.,1
return to the stable state d efin ed by th e at tr actor (a stca dv sta te in the ..Im ulatio ns han ' made so fnuil iar , hut to a real l" ir'"tJlit)' fo rm ing .1
case of point attractors, a stable cycle in the case of periodic attract orx, \ it.ll ('o mp(Hlent of th e ol*'cti\"l' world, As he writes:
an~ so o~) , Another important feature invo lves not th e stability of th e
t rajecto ries but that of the distribution of attractors itself (its structural TIH~ virtual is not opposed to th e real hut to the actual. The d rtlll Jl
stability). Mu ch as the stability of trajectories is measured by their is J ulJ.y real in so Jar as it rs rirw cJI , , . Ind eed , the virtual mu st [u-
resistance to small shocks , so th e sta bility of a particular distribution defined as st ric t ly a part o f the real obj ect - as th ou gh till' o hjt'l t
of attractors is che cked by subm itting the vect or field to perturbation s, had o ne part of itself in th e virtual int o \v·hich it plunged as thou gh
an effec t achi ev ed by adding a small vect or field to the main on e and into an objective dimen sion , , , The realit y o f th e virtual co nsists
checking wh ether th e resulting distribution o f attract ors is tapaJoo;caJIy of the differential el em ents and relatio ns alo ng with th e sing ul.u
equi valent to the o riginal one, J7 T yp ically, distributions of attrac to rs arc points wh ich co rrespo nd to th em , The realit y o f t he virtual is
str uct ura lly sta ble and thi s, in part , is what accounts for th eir struct u re, W e mu st avoid g iving th e eleme nts and rel ations that
re curren ce among different physical systems. On th e o the r hand, if th e form a st ruct ure an actuality whi ch th ey do not have, and w ithd raw -
perturbation is large eno ugh a distribution of attractors may cease to ing from them a reality whi ch they have. ?"
be st r uct u rally stable and change o r bifurcate into a different o ne, Such
a bifurcation event is defin ed as a co ntinuo us deformation of o ne \Vh at is the modal status of th e virtual? If state space traj ectories han'
vector field into another topologically inequi valent one through a th e sta tus o f possibilities (p ossibl e ser ies of states) what modality do
st ruct ural instability, 38 virt ual multiplicities represent? This is not an casy qu estion to an swer
Using th e te chnical terms just introduced I can give now a final givcn that th e ontological status o f even th e familiar modal catego ril's
definition o f a multiplicity, A multiplicity is a nested set if' vector fields is a th orny issue. So before d ealing with virtuality let me discu ss th e
related to each other by symmetry- breakino bifurcations. [oaether with the ques tion of po ssibility. Traditionally, ontological dis cu ssion of possi-
distribut ions of allra clors which define each if' its embedded levels, This bilities has been very co nt rovers ial du e to th eir elusive nature , and in
d efiniti on sepa rates o ut th e part o f the model wh ich ca rries informati on pa rt icular , to th e difficulty o f g iving a clear crite rion for individuatino
abo ut th e act ua l world (t rajectories as ser ies o f possibl e states) from th em, that is, for telling whe n we have o ne instead of an other
that part wh ich is, in principle, never actua lized, This definition poss ibility. As a fam ous cr itic o f m od al logic, the philosopher Willard
presupposes onl y th e two co nce pts of 'd ifferential relation ' and Van Orman Quine , jok es:
'singularity ' , J will return in th e next chapter to a discu ssion o f what
~urther philosophical traniformati on th ese two co nce p ts need to und ergo Ta ke , for instan ce, th e possibl e fat man in th e d oorvvay; and again ,
In order to be truly detached from th eir mathematical realization. At th e po ssibl e bald man in th e doorway . Ar e th ey the same possibl e
thi s point, granting that the definition I just gave co uld spe cify a man, or tw o pos sibl e men ? How do we decide? How many pos sibl e

32 33
"WII lht 1( ' •• r III dIHlr\\.I\ / II till It 1I1t'11 ' l" I 11.1, 111111 lUll 11I1lJlll b u 11 ,1,111111'1111 IIllhl phil pUllIlIIIl"1 I lit III I 11I11

th..1II lat OIIt'S ? 110 \\ " Mil) of du-m .Ir,' ,.l lk,· ? (h \\ ould tlwil Ih'lIlg pu Ibll [u lui H .11 111'11 '11\ I III t ,Ilt 101., .. It '" 01 p,nl I I ht
alik e llIake th em o ne? ,\ n ' not tw o p o s.•dhh, thing s .,Jill"( I ~ Ih b th l' illdh idtl.llil\ 0 1 tht' d llll'lt'lIl ptl"l"l lhll' IUIOllt' \\1111111 Lilt· P·ltl I
same as saying that it is impossihl e fc)r tw o thin g,'i to h,· .,Iikl·? Or, dd ilH'd I I) ' /111\'\, t·xp n ·....,·d h ti ll' dilh-n 'llti ;d l ·clll.lll lln tll ,11 lUlu tio u.dl)
finall y, is th e co nce pt of ide ntity sim p ly inapplicabl e to unactualiz,«] rc-l.ue tilt' sni t(,!H 'S dl'g n 'l ' s o f frlTdom, .Is \\,· 11 .1"1 b)' HlltllJI IIIIIJIlWf!\,
possibles? But wh at sense can be found in talk ing o f e ntities which the specific ..ta tv , or po int in till' manif ol d . \\ Iw n ' .I "ph' III Iwgill!l it
can no t be meaningfully said to he iden tical wi th themsel ves and evolut ion. G iven a specific iuu ial co nd ition .md a d c n -rm in i tic 1.1\\
distinct from one anothcr-P'" (such as those or
classical ph ysics ] OIl(: and o nly tIIW tr.lj ITt or) i
individuated , a fact that ma y he lIsc.'d to Ch.l l1(, l1gc.~ Quilw 's sn ·p til.,1
Most approach es to modal logic co ncent rate on langua ge , or more sta nce. The pha se portrait of any particular stale space will l»- typic,llIy
specifically, on an anal ysis of se nte nces whi ch exp ress what could hare Fil led with man)' such individual traject ori es, o ne for each po ssihll'
been, sentences such as 'If j.F.K . had not been assassinate d th en th e in itial cond itio n. O ne ma y reduce thi s number bJ adding ot her 1.1\\s
Vietnam War would have e nde d sooner.' Gi ven that human bein gs wh ich forbid ce rta in co m bi natio ns o f valu es for th e d egr ees o f freedom ,
seem capable of routinely using and making sense of these co untc r fac- that is, which make some initial co nd it ions not available for J gin'lI
tual sentences, the modal logician's task is to explain this ordinary svstc rn , but still, o ne enos up with many possibl e histories .
capability." However, th e fact that linguisticall y specified possible worlds The problem for the phil osopher becomes what omo loq tcal SloW' tn
(like th e po ssibl e world wh ere j .F.K. survived) ar e so de void o f assign to th ese w ell -d efin ed po ssibilities. One onto logical stance , which
st r uct u re , and allow so mu ch ambiguity as to what distinguishes one Giere calls 'actualism" , deni es any reality to th e pos sibl e trajcctorics ,
po ssible world from another, is what has prompted cr iticisms su ch as however w ell individuated the y ma y he. A mathematical model , in thi s
Quine's . But as some philosophers have suggested, the problem here view , is simply a too l to help us in the control of particular phy sical
would seem to he ,..'ith linguistic representations and their lack o f syste ms (that is, th e manipulation in th e laboratory of th e beh aviour:,f
resources to st ruct ure po ssibl e worlds, and not with possibilities as real syste ms) as w ell as in th e predicti on of their future beha\'l(:ur. h:r
such . The philosopher o f science Ronald Giere, for instance , thinks th e this limited purpose o f predi ction and control all we need to Judge IS
extra co nst raints which st ruct ure state space can o vercome the limi- t he empirical adequacy of th e model : we generate one trajectory for J
tatio ns of other moda l approaches: given initial co nd it ion , then try to reprodu ce that particular combi -
nati on of valu es for the degrees o f freedom in the lab oratory, and
As Quine d elights in pointing o ut, it is o fte n difficult to individuate observe wh ether th e seq ue nce of actual states mat ches that pr ed ict ed b)'
possibilities . . . [But] many models in whi ch th e syst em laws arc th e traject ory. G ive n th e o ne trajectory we associ ate with th e act ual
ex pressed as differential equatio ns provide an unambiguous cr ite r io n seque nce in an expe ri me nt , th e rest of th e population of traj ect ories is
to individuate the possible histories of the mod el. They ar c the merely a useful fiction , that is, ontologically unimportan~ . ·4 As Gi ere
trajectories in sta te space co r res pond ing to all possibl e initial argues , how ever, thi s ontological stan ce misses th e lact th~t th e
co nd itio ns. Threat ened ambiguities in the set o f possibl e initial population o f traj ectories as a whol e displays certain reBularities In tI~t.~
conditions can be elim inated by e xp licitly restri ct ing th e set in th e po ssible hist ories o f a syst em, global regularities whi ch pla y a rol e m
definition of th e th eoret ical mod el. 42 shaping any on e particul ar actual history. :" To him , understandin~ a
syste m is not knowing how it actually behaves in thi s or that specific
G,iere argues that state spaces may be viewed as a way of specifying sit uation , but knowing how it lVould behave in conditions which may in
possibl e worlds for a g iven ph ysical syste m , or at lea st , possibl e fact not occu r . And to kn ow that we need to use th e global information

t"lllboclh d 111 lilt' popUJ..lioll oj pC " 'lhlt III IOlw • 1II101l1l.111011 w huh I Ia,UllloIlU n t all.\llIl II' d .1 .111 I .11 111'1. iI\ (,I I I. ) 1111 \ n 1111 ht'lti 1 '0

Im.l if we COlln'n tr."t ' on tilt' 0Ilt' t l"' ln to , ) \\hhh I tclIllp,Ht,c1 with b.u •.1\ l" ,H tll ,ll pur pn,~' s, ht ' ignCln'et
'\ 11 uc tUII·t! tl..11 It 111 ,1\ . 101 lUll t
, . I
r eal Sl' (IUC IICt'S o f sta tes. 4t> . l .1 'CHlit t ' of loll,tr:unt s in the IIldi\ iduation 01 Ir.lit'dorics , On t u-

As sho uld hl' d ea r from till" d iscussion in th is d I.1JlIt"r.. Dt"It'lI/c was o t her h.uul, tilt, mort' typi c<11 ~'Cfualio lls (nonlinear equations) have J
not an "act ualist ' . He held a realist positi on to wa rd s th e mod al mort' t,l.,horah' distr-ibu tio n o f sing uIJri til's. t he sta te space bein g
st ruct ure o f sta te space but would have disagrcl'd wilh Git'n .' in his normal ly par-titioned in a ce llular fashio n b)' many altractors and th eir
int erpretati on o f what co nst it utes that mod al st r uct u re . In part icular , ba sin«, and these multiple at t ractors may be o f different types. In th ese
in a Dcl eu zian ontology one mu st em phasize that lhe regul arities mo rt' co m mo n cases, th e vector field has too mu ch str uctu re to be
disp layed . by the different po ssib le traj ectories are a consequence Vf th e igno H'(1.'>0 •

sIngu lantles that shape the vector field . The well -defined nature o f the This argument, however.. establishes only that th ere arc In state
poss ible histories is not to be approached by a mere mention of laws .span : othc-r co nst raints for th e individuation of po ssib le histo ries, bl~t
ex pressed as dlffcrcntlal equations, but by an understanding of how not that th ey should be given a sl'parate modal status , W e could , It
such equations in fact individ uate trajectories , Each pos sible sequence wo uld see m , take sing ulari ties to belong to the realm of the possibl e
of states, each possible history, is ge nerate d by following at eac h point and save o urse lves th e trouble o f introducing novel forms of phy sical
of th e trajectory th e directions specified by th e "ect or field , and any mod ality, suc h as virtuality. One w ay o f doing thi s would be to take a
regularities or propensities exhibite d by th e trajectories sho uld indeed basin o f attrac t ion to be merely a subse t of points o f state space. Given
be ascri be d to th e to po logical accide nts o r singularities o f th e field o f tha t sta te space is a space o f po ssibl e states , any subse t o f it will also
directions , As D eleu ze puts it, ' the singular ities preside o ver the he just a co llec tio n of po ssib ilities, 5 1 Yet, as I mention ed before,
ge ncs is' o f th e trajectories. "? In o t he r words, Giere is right in thinking despite the fact that th e nature o f singularities is well defin ed o nly in
that state space offers more resources than language to individuate the phase portrait of a system, th eir existence and distr;bution is a~read)'
po ssibilities (thus sides tepping Quine's criticisms) but wrong in his give n in th e vector field .swh erc they defin e overall flow tendencie s for
assessm ent o f how th e process f!f indi viduati on takes place . To leave th e t he vect ors, It may see m plausible to think of point attractors, for
vector field out o f our ontological analysis (that is, to mak e it int o an exa mple , as just one marc point o f state space , but thi s sing ular point
auxilia ry co nst ruct ion or yet another useful fiction) hides the real is not an available pos sibility for th e system since it is never occupied
source of th e regularities or propen sities in the population o f possible by a traj ectory, only approached by it asymptotically. Trajectories wi ll
historics. r" te nd to approach it ever closer but never reach it, and even when on e
This point tends to be ob scured in traditional philosophi cal analyses speaks of th e end state of a trajectory, in reality th e curve is fluctuating
by the use of exa mples involving th e sim plest typ e of cq uation , a linear aro u nd its at t racto r , not occu pying it. St rictly speaking, as I said above,
equation . D espite th e fact that o f all th e types of eq uations availab le to attrac to rs arc never actualized,
physicists the linear typ e is the least typical, it happen s to be the I)'pe Thus, it see ms, a m ore co mple te analysis o f sta te space does see m
that becam e d ominant in classical physics. Th e vect or fields of t hese to de ma nd a form of physical m odality that goes beyond mere
differential eq uatio ns are ext re me ly simple, "the only po ssible attractor poss ibility , Rut could not that o the r tradi tion al modal catcgor)',
o f a linear dyn am ical syste m is a fixed point. Furthermore, t his fixed necessity, d o th e job? After all, in classical physics' m odels a ge nna l
point is unique - a linear dyn am ical s}"stc m ca nnot have mo re tha n one law rel at es all th e successive points o f a traj ect ory in a necessar y or
basin o f attracti on . '49 In o t her cases (in co nse r vative s}"stl' IllS w hich are det erministi c way, and wh ich spe cific trajectory is ge ne rate d is ncccs -
qua si-isolated from their su rro und ings) th ere may be no alt rac to rs at sarily det ermined given a particular initial sta te . S2 This is, i.ndecd, .t~u.e ,
all , only traj ectorics.Thux, in a linear co nse rvative syste m (suc h as th e but th e relative importance o f ge ne ral laws and particular 111111.11

III h ili
,I I'h' II " ' It11111 , till I
\ ' Ill I I I III , III "'ll , , \1 1111 "II
I <Illdll 10III 11..111 'I "'10 I \ , 10101 111 1111.11111' t )11 0111 "'Ild , tI" 11111
III .111\ 1' .11 tHIII.1I 111111., 1 1.111' I 111 .ld\ dlllllli l I" d II". 111.111\ IIl1tl.II \\ riu -:
I OllditiollS (all tho s« tli.u .111' IIHl ud,·d \\ltlllll.1 I),\ IIHII I.II h.1 III) will l«: I ' ,,, llI'd \ \\ ' knm that the cells will
, - Ithl' IltH .lI \ IIII I , ,
eCJ uivall'lIt .I S far as the l'lld st.lle of ti ll" tr ,ljl'l tol ) IS ('ollll'rIIed. 'l he t\s SOO Il as , I . , .t to strict dctermlll ism .
' I ' 111111 I th"n,lor ' su ) I~C •
state s a traj 'c to ry adopts on its way to till' I'lld stall', wha t l'ngilll' C'rs appear: t Ili S P WIlIlIll\ , ' f tl ' cells [clock - or ant i-
I I I rot lion 0 11.: •
call its transient sta tes and whi ch co nst itute the bulk of the trajc tory, In co ntrast, t il" ir e: /l Oll I I ' II blc a ni chance, in th e
10ckw iseJ is ullpredict.lhlc and uncontro a e. y , '1 d at th e
may be of interest so me times, but lcarl y will not be as im po rtant as I ' h t m ay have pr e\ al e
form of till' particul: I' pertur )at~olln ]t ~ 1 hether a given ce ll is
th e stabl e end state , since th e syste m will spend most of its tim ' I ) . rimc nt W I n ecrc e w
m om ent 0 t 11' (X I ' _ t remarkable cooperation
fluctuating around that state . On th e other hand , th e role of th e 'l l d W e thus arnve a a
right - o r c t lane ' . . . .d o re formally, several
gen eral law will also be diminished because th e behaviour of th e I de term nllsm . , State m
traj ectory at its end state , a steady-state or a cyclic beha viour, for b .tw ccn c Ilance anc I Chance alon e will
'I I for th same parameter va ue.
solutions arc pOSSI ) e . 51
example , will be determined not by its pr evious states (d efined by th e
decid e which of th ese solutions is realiz ed .
general law), but by th e typ e of the attractor itself.
Thi s argument, again, establishes th e need to consider additional f nt for a different inte r pre ta tion of th e mod~1
factors in th e individuation of possible histories but not th e need for This line 0 argume . _ f t Ocleu ze ' s own , alth ou gh It
f t te space IS III act, no
additional modalities , After all, is not the end state of a traj ectory structure 0 sa ' 'I I ' Oeleu ze own argum nt s
. I f l ' ontologlca ana YSls. .
necessary? In this case too, th e complexity of the distribution of follo ws direct y rom llS . f h _ ible and th e necessar y are o l
d at egones 0 t e POSSI e
singularities mak es a great differen ce in our int erpretation of the modal again st th e ort h 0 ox c 54 d link ed dir ectlv with th e
hil I' I nature an are
a more gene ral p I oso~ n ca d d ' b . di cusse d in th e remaind 'r 01
j ,

str ucture of state spac e . A state spac e with a single attractor , and a f ' I saId nee e to e IS
sing le basin encompassing the entire spac e, has a unique end state for third set 0 Issues . , uid e Oc! euze ' s speculation about
thi s chapte r: the co nstramts ~hat d
th e evo lution of th e syst em. Concentrating on thi s at ypical case , h co nstraint to avoid at all
I I lady mentlOn e one sue '
therefore, can mislead us into thinking that det erminism implies a virt uality. lave a re I " I' . . ete rn al esse nces . Meeting
I" ' . t al mu tIp icttrc s as
singl e necessary outcome, On th e other hand, a space with multiple costs concept ua Izmg VII' U . . h f h t modal logiC has to say
, . . ectmg mu c 0 w a ,
attractors breaks the link between necessity and determinism, giving a system thi s co nst ramt reqUIres reJ , th t th e postulation 01
" ., d it The reason IS a
a 'choice ' between different de stinies, and making th e particular end about POSSibIlity an necessl y. I ld as Quine and oth I'
ld . " longside th e act ua wor ,
state a syste m occupies a com bin atio n of determinism and chance . For P ossible wor s eXlstmg a . I ' plies a comm itment to
f ' ked almost a way s im
instance, which attractor a system happen s to be in at anyone tim e is critics have 0 ten Icm ar ' . I' 55 A d it should b em phasized,
h f m of esse ntla Ism. n ,
det ermined, in part, by its contingent history: a traj ectory ma y be one or anot cr or d I hil ophe rs but also to th os
.". I' t only to mo a p I os
dislodged from an attractor by an accident, a str ong-e no ugh exte rn al thi s cn tlCISm app res no . " h . t nee of alt ernate parall I
ph ysicists who ser iously beli eve m t e exts e
shock pushing it out of on e basin and into the sphe re of influ en ce of
another attractor. Furthermore, whi ch specific distribution of attractors univ er ses. II I . es both philosophers and
. ki b t th ese para e urnvers I
a yste m has availabl e at anyone point in its history, may be change d When thin ' mg a "" . e of f ully fo rmed individuals popul atin g th
by a bifurcation . When a bifurcation lead s to two alt ernative distribu - ph ysicists assume t h e eXlste nc.. di t I raises a number of qu cs-
ible 'orl ds ThI S irnm e ia e y I
tions, o nly one of whi ch can be realiz ed, a det erministic syste m faces different POSSI e \ \ . . I' htl alte re d in othe r work s?
'ndividual eXist, s Ig y , I
further 'c ho ices' . Which alt ernative obtains, as nonlinear scie ntists lIya tio ns: Can t h e same I . ny worlds afte r scvc ra
h . tai thi s identIty across rna ,
Prigogine and Gregoire Nicolis have been arguing for decad es, will be Can he or s e main am I d? C Id we identify him or her aft er
slight alteratio ns have accumu ate. o u
decided by chance fluctuation s in th e enviro nme nt . Speaking of the

..1111'1'1°,1,."", 11,,1,1,
"'t 1.1, 11111 I
. tllll' 111" I
,101 p .Utltll.II,I po 'ilhlt I h.u I \\ II 11 I dllh , tllt III U ll til I 1.11111 \\ , I 1t "IU I
•t n ' lIIt1 0dl ll n l to c!"l ll it til' Idllllll ) 01 till I 1I1111\lIlu.ll .u rd to .Itld ttl tlu (1IIll' pt "til II 11 II dill 1 douhh' lilt' "ith lilt ' .. .
g U.U-,lII l t '(· it s pn'M'I"'''lli OI1 .HTO" \\l,dtl" J IWl t' .11" ! I,I", iL III )' t wo ,\ l'1 l1.lli, .ltio ll III (' .lk \\ It II II·M'mh l.ull ,. ,1 '\ .1 p r o n 'ss no lr-ss th .111 it
dilli.'n·nl tec'hnical wa),s or.u ili,·\'jng th is d ltO( I. ( ) II W it' 1I.lIu l, OIH' C•in doc-s wit h itk nt il) .u .l prim iph- . In this sense, act ua lizatio n o r
cla im that t ran sworld identity is insured h} tilt.' p mis..ossion d particular or dif1~'n'ndatioll is .1lwa)'s a gt'l1uinc creation . Act ual terms neve r
essence, that is, the propert)' o f bein g thi s pa rticula r indi vid ua l. O n th e rcsernhle the sing ulari tit's th ey incarn ate . . . For a potential o r
o the r hand . on e can deny that th ere arc, in fact, such transw orld virtual o bject to he act ua lized is to crea te divergent lines whi ch
individuals. and speak sim ply of counterparts, that is, o ther possib le co rres po nd to - without resem bli ng - a virtual m ultip licity. n
individuals whi ch closely resemble th eir real co un te rpart, but arc not
identical to it (in particular, th ey do not share the esse nce of bei ng Besides th e avo idan ce of esse nt ialist thinking, Deleuze ' s speculation
p recisely th is ind ivid ual). T hese cou nterparts , ho wever I would share a abo ut virtualit y is guid ed hy the closel y related co nst raint of avoiding
ge nera l esse nce . (Such as bei ng ' rational animals' , in the case of human lyp oloBical t hinkin g, t hat sty le of t hought in w hich ind ivid uation is
heings. '6) achieve d throu gh th e creati on oj classifications and of formal criteria fo r
The alternative o ffere d by Del eu ze is to amid taking as gi ven full)' membership in those classifJcations. Althou gh so me classificat ion s are
formed individuals, o r what am oun ts to the same thing, to al ways csse ntialist, that is, use transcendent ess ences as th e crite rio n for
account for the eenesis of individuals via a specific individu ation process , membership in a class, t his is not always thc case. For exam ple , unlike
such as the developmental process which t urns an embryo into an Plat onic esse nces whi ch are t ranscendent entit ies, Aristotle ' s 'natura l
organism. Thi s emp hasis o n the obj ective producti on o f th c spatio- states ' th ose sta tes towards which an individual tends, and whi ch
tempo ral structure and boundaries o f individuals stands in stark w ould' be achieved if th ere ",'ere not interfering forces , are not
co ntrast with the co mple te lack of proces s medi at ing between t he t ranscendent bu t immanent to those individua ls. But while Aristo telian
poss ible an d th e real in orthodox modal th inking. T he cat egory o f th e philo sophy is indeed no n-essent ialist it is still co mpletely typological ,
possible assum es a set of predefined forms which retain their identity th at is, co nce rned with d efining th e cr ite r ia which group individuals
d espite th eir non-exi sten ce, and whi ch alread y resemble th e forms into species , and species into ge ne ra. 58
th ey w ill adopt once they be come realized. In other words, un like th e For th e purpose o f discu ssing th e co nst raints guid ing Deleu zc ' s
indi vidu ati on p rocess linking virtua l multiplicities and act ua l structures, co nst r uctive project, on e histori cal exam ple of t ypo logical thinki ng is
realizing a possib ility docs no t add anything to th e pre -exi sting form particularl y useful. This is th e classificatory pra cti ces which w ere
but mere reality. As Deleuze writes: co m mo n in Euro pe in th e seventeent h and eighteen th ce ntu ries , such
as th ose that led to th e botani cal taxonomies of Linn aeus. Simplifying
What differen ce can there be between th e existen t and the no n- so me what , we ma y say t hat th ese classificat ion s to ok as a po int o f
exi stent if th e no n-ex istent is alr cady possible, alre ady included in departure percei ved resemblances am on g fully formed indi vid uals, fol-
the co nce pt and having all th e cha racteristics th at th e co nce p t lowed by precise co mpa risons aimed at an exhaustive listing 01 what
co nfers up on it as a possibility? . . . Th e po ssibl e and th e virt ual arc differed and what stayed t he same amo ng th ose indi vidual s. This
. .. distingui shed by the fact th at on e refers to the form of identity amounte d to a tran slation of th eir visible features int o a lingui st ic
in the co nce pt , wh ereas th e other designates a p ure multipli city .. . re presentation , a tab ulatio n o f d ifferences and identities whi ch allowed
which radicall y excludes th e iden tical as a prior co nd ition . . . T o th e assign ment o f ind ivid uals to an exact place in an o rde re d table .
the exte nt th at th e possibl e is open to ' realizatio n ' it is understood Judgm en ts o f analoBl between th e classes include d in th e tabl e we re
as an image o f th e real, whil e th e real is supposed to resemble the used to ge ne rate higher-order classes , and rel at ions o f opposition were

40 41
t 1.11111 hnll lt 1\\ 1'. II 11111. 11.1" . III \11 ,1.1 dilltollllllli 0 1 111111" ,'1.1bor M ,1I1\ 1'1.1111 I II I U , 101 I .l1 l1l'll. II LUll till II I II' ,It 11\ to In,hlld"l
.llt' hit'r.ln !Iii' 01 t )" ' :0; , I ill' n " ultll1g IHCllllgh .1I 1.1 . ClIIOlllil's wvrc 1I1111llgl. out 11\('11 11\ (tllntl. .lIl " tclIdh 1ll.11t1 1.11 \\ltll olllt'l

SlIj>j>IISt'll lo n 'co n, lrucl ,1 nat ur.rl ordor- \\hi,'h \\ .l"' j lUd l1t1d ( On t m lw lH, p l,lll t ' 1H'('j, ·:"i) .111.1 IWII( t ' It- I h-.u ,Ill 1('lwth Ukll l lt )' th.m
pU 'I 'U" " ,I

rcganll,'ss o f th e I:l et that historical ac'c-k lcn ts m.rv h.Wt' b ro ken that 1',.rI,'( II)' I"t'protlm th ,') i,ol.lh' d .iniru.•ls. III ~IlCl r.t , 1I,It" d.~g n:, ' 0 1
co ntinuity . In o the r words, given the fixity of tilt.' ':io)og kal typ es, time Tt'\I' mh' atu l id" ntit)' lh'pt'ml, o n ('(lnti ngt'n t Ill,t orll':,1 dd .lll, Cll
itself did not play a co nstr uc tive role in the ge ne ration of typ es, as it tht' pron'ss o f ind ivid ua t ion, .u HI is tlt,'n -fo n ' not 10 be taken lo r
would later o n in Darwin 's theory of th e evolution of species, ~q g r,m h' d . For the same n ·.lSOI\ , rt.'st.· mhlann· and idt.·TlIity sho uld ~10 1 ,1)(
Dclcu ze tak es th e four el ements which inform these classificat ory used .1S fund amental co nce pts in an ontology, hut o nly as ( h ' r1\'.l tl\('
practices, resemblance, identity, ano lo8)' and oppositio n (o r co ntrad ict io;) not ions,
as th e four catego ries to be avoid ed in thinking about th e virtual. In add ition to sho wing , case b)' case, how similar it}' and idt.·ntil)' .1ft ',
Dclcuze, of co urse, would not den y that th ere arc o bjects in th e world ("(Hl tingcnt on th e det ails of an individuation process, th e rejection 01
whi ch resemble o ne another, or th at th ere arc entities wh ich manage static categories and esse nces mu st he e xte nde d to all natu ral kmds , not
to maintain th eir identity through tim e , It is ju st that resemblan ces and just bio log ical o nes . W e mu st sho w, also case b)' case , how terms
identities must be treated as mere results of deeper physical processes, wh ich purport to refer to natural catego ries in fact refer to hisIOr;ct11lj
and not as fundamental cat egories on wh ich to base an onto logy ,60 cOnSlilUled individuals. In a way terms like 'h uman' arc th e easiest to
Similarl y, Dcleuze would not den y th e valid ity of making judgments of de.essentialize give n th at Darwin long ago gave us th e m ean s to think
analogy o r of establishing relations of o ppos ition, but he demands that abo ut species as historical entities , But what of terms like 'gold' wl\t.'n~
we give an account of that whi ch allows making such judgments or th e esse ntialist account seems more plausible ? After all, an samples 01
establishing those relations. And thi s account is not to be a story about go ld must have ce rtain atom ic properties (such as having ~ specific
us , about catego ries inh erent in our minds or co nventions inh erent in ato mic number) whi ch , it can be plau sibly argu ed , co nst u utc lIw
our socie ties , but a story about the world, that is, about the objectiv e esse nce of gold. Part of th e answer is that all atoms, not onl y go ld
individuation processes which yie ld analogous groupings and opposed atoms, need to be individuated in processes occurring within sta rs
properties. Let me illustrate this important po int. (nucleosy nthesis) , and that we can use th ese processes to specify what
I said before that a plant or animal species may he viewed as defined go ld is instead of, say, giving its ato m ic number."! But amon'
not hy an essence hut by the process whi ch prod uced it. I characterize co mpelling reason to re ject essentialism here wo uld be to deny that a
the process of speciation in more detail in the next chapter where I also given sample 'of gold large eno ugh to be held in on e's hand can be
d iscuss in what sen se a species may be said to be on individual, differing co nside re d a mere sum of its atoms, hence reducible to Its atorrnc
from organisms only in spatia-t emporal scale, The individuation of properties. . .,
speci es co nsists basically of 1\\'0 se parate operations: a so rt ing operation In particular, much as between individual ce lls and th e individual
performed by natural select io n, and a conso lida tio n operation per- o rganisms which the)' compose th ere are se veral intermediate st ruc-
formed by reproductive isolation, th at is, by th e clos ing of the gene ture s bridging th e two scales (tissues , organs, organ ~ystems) ~o
pool of a spe cies to exte rnal ge ne tic influen ces, If selection pressures between individual atoms of go ld and an individual bulk pIece of so lid
happen to be uniform in space and co nsta nt in tim e, we will tend to mat erial th ere ar e intermedi ately scaled str uct ures that bridge th e
find m ore resemblance among th e members of a population than if micro and macro scales : individual at oms form crystals; individual
th ose select ion forces ar e weak o r changi ng . Similarl y, th e de gree to crystals form small grains; individual small grains form lar ger g rains ,
whi ch a species possesses a clear-cut identity will depend o n th e degree and so o n. Both crystals and gra ins of d ifferent sizes ar e individuated
to wh ich a part icular reproductiv e co m m unity is effecti vely isolated. follo wing specific cau sal pro cesses, and the properties of an individual

hulk ',11111'1 ( 'l1h" I' lrOIll 1111 ' ("II .r] IIJIl r t llllll Itd\\( I 11 till" (
iuu-rnu-di.m - ,,(rllt(lI n · . 'Llu-r r- .ln~ '1If111 proper lit ' II! '0ld, 'llth.H

h,ning a spt.Tilic melting po int , I()r vx.unpk-, \\ hid . hy dC 'hnition do C I I,\ I''[' [,I{ 2
not bel on g to individual go ld ato ms sino- single atoms do no t me lt .
Alth ough individual gold crysta ls rna) be said to melt . in rca litv it The Actualization if the Virtual in Space
takes a population o f crys ta ls with a minimum critica l size (a so .cal led
'rnicroclu ster ") for th e melting point o f the bulk sam ple to eme rge .
Moreover, th e prop erties of a bulk samp le do not emerge all at o nce T he picture o f a relativel y undifferentiated and co nt inuo us topol ogical
at a given cr itical scale but appear on e at a time at different scales.v! space undergoing di scontinuous transitions and progr essively acquiring
In concl usio n, avoiding essentialist and typo logica l thinking in all detail until it conde nse s into the m easurable and di visibl e metric space
realms of rea lity arc basic requirements in the co nst r uctio n of a which we inh abit , is a powerfu l metaphor for th e cos m ic genesis of
Dc lcuaian ontology. But besides these negative constraints th ere must be spatial structure. I attempted before to remove some of its metaphorical
some positiv e resources which w e can use in thi s construction . I will co nte nt by co mparing the rel ation between topo logi cal and metric
develop th ese resources in the following chapter from a more detailed spaces to that between Int ensive and extensive properties: the latt er ar c
analysis of th e intensive processes of individuation which actualize d ivisibl e in a simple wa y, like lengths or volumes are, whil e th e former,
virtual multiplicitics. The virtual, in a sense . leaves behind traces of exe m plified by properties like temperature or pressure , arc co ntinuo us
itself in th e int en sive processes it animates, and th e phil osopher' s task and relativel y indivisible . T he cascade o f sym met ry -bre aking even ts
may be seen as that of a detective wh o foll ows th ese tracks or co n nects which progressively differentiates a topological space wa s, in tum ,
th ese clu es and in th e proccss, cre ates a reservoir o f co nce p t ual co m pa re d to pha se transition s occu rr ing at critical values o f inten sit y. I
resources to be used in co m pleting th e project whi ch thi s chapte r has gave an e xample from co nte m po rary physics wh ere such a sce nario is
only started . This project ne ed s to include , besides d efining multiplici- becoming literally true but th e fact is th at. as a d escription o f th e
ties as [ did above, a d escription of how a population of multiplicities ge nes is of space, thi s picture remains just that, a picture.
can form a virtual continuum. that is, it needs to include a th eory of It is time now to givc a less metaphorical account of how the
virtual space. Similarly, if the term 'virtual multiplicity' is not to be intensive can engender th e extensive , or more exactly, how processes
just a new label for o ld time less ess ences , th is project m ust include a of individuation characterized by intensive properties can yield as their
th eory of virtual time, and specify th e relations which thi s non-actual final product individuals with spe cific spatial structures . In the first part
temporality has with actual history . Finally, th e relationship between of thi s chapte r I will discu ss two different asp ects of th e int en sive ,
virtuality and th e laws if' phy sics need s to be discu ssed, ideall y in such a eac h illu strated 'w it h a spe cific ind ivid uation process. First I will
way th at ge ne ral law s are replaced by univ ersal multiplicities whil e describe th e process whi ch individuates biological spe cies and from thi s
preserving th e o bjec tive con te nt of physical knowledge . Getting rid o f d escription I will ext ract tw o of th e main co nce pts whi ch characterize
law s, as w ell as o f esse nces and reificd ca tegories, can th en justif)' th e int en sive thin king: populations and rates if' chanae. I will also show how
introduction o f th e virtual as a no vel dimen sion o f realit y. In ot he r these co nce pts can be used to repl ace the two main feat ures o f
words. while introducing virtuality may see m like an intlati cnarv esse ntialist thinking: fixed cypes and ideal norms. Then I will move on to
ontological move, apparently burd~ning a reali st phil o sophy with a o ur second task, a discu ssion of how th e e xte ns ive o r met ric features
co m plete new set of entities , wh en see n as a replacement for law s and o f individuals em erge from processes whi ch are, at least in an
essences it actually becomes d eflationary, leading to an ultimately approximate sense, nonmetric or topological, using as illustrat ion th e
leaner ontology . ' process which yields as its final product indi vidual organi sm s , A more

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olg ,lII i'm is h." ., muc h I.,rgl·r r' " '11" 0 11 lh,1Il all orgoll1i' l1I sinn' it is t)'picall y
on9 ' h)' e:U cm lC leJ but also b) qualma . In olhl 'l \\ ol d, .. 111 raphi-
t'011lprist.d of SI'\l' I",1 rt' protitH rive l'OmmulIitil-s inh.lhili llg gt.·og
defined both hy its spatial ar('hih Tture , as \\"(·11 , IS b\' tilt' di
ffere nt
("III )" st'paralt.·d t't.'ospl t'llls. Temp orally, a speci es also o
perates at
'('u;n' its spl'cific
materials {hone, muscle ) wh ich gin ' thai archih than the
much largt.·r scales, its a\"cragl' life span heing much greate r
mechanical qu alities. The intensive will then Iw revea led to ht.~
ruc te d
lih-cvc lcs o f organisms. But the fact that specie s arc co nst
both th e e xte nsive and the qualitat ive.
f all, thro~lgh a historical process suggests that they are, in fact , just ano ther
Let 's begin with th e process o f individ uation of species . First o scales
here ? For centuri es individ ual entity, one wh ich o perates at larger spatia- tempo ral
in what sense can w e speak of 'individuation' ph-
kind. th an organis ms , but an individ ua l ent ity neverth eless. One philoso
biologi cal species were o ne of the main exam ples o f a natural sized :
defined by a transec ndent ical co nseque ncc o f this new co nce ption o f species must be empha
Wheth er on e th ought of natural kind s as and
as did w hile an onto logy based on relation s between genera l types
essence , as Plato did, or by an imman ent (natural state' a ~li fTercnt
what an particular instanc es is hierarchical, each level representing
Ari stotle, an imal and plant species provided th e exe mplar o f t erms
onto logical category (o rganism , species , genera ), an approach III
abstract aeneral entity was suppos ed to be . I Charles Darwin o f co urse , o ne
broke with this tradition by sho wing that species , far from
bein~ o f interacting parts and c mergcnt whol es lead s to a fiat ontoloBY
and die made exc lusively of unique, singular individuals, diffcrin g in
eternal archetypes, are born at a particular historical time e ot he r hand, the
species tempor al scale but not in ontological stat us ! On th
through extinct ion in an equally historical way, but th e idea that whi ch
rsially) new appro ach d emand s th at w e always spe cify a process through
ar~ individuals, not kinds, has only recentl y (and still co ntro ve ontolog y is charact e r-
the new view on speci es go es a wh ole emergc s , a process which in a Del euzian
gain ed ground . Mu ch o f th e cre d it for intensiv e ,
decad es ized as intensive . The process of speciat ion may he said to he
to th e biologi st Michael Ghi selin who has be en arguing for ideas o f population
n first of all, because its description involv es the hasic
that a species , formed th rough th e double process o f natural selectio a mode
oloqical and heteroBeneity, tw o fundamental co ncepts which charact erize
and reproductive isolation, do es not represent a hiBher om . What makes thi s
th e o f biologi cal ex planatio n known as population thinking
calegory than th e individ ual organism s that co mpose it. 2 Unlike t is
is o ne of for m of thinking differen t fro m esse ntialist and typological though
relation between a natural kind and its membe rs, which s o f the mod ern
to expressed in a famous quot e by one of the creator
~x e,~plifi cation or instantiation, the relation of individual species
as the relation synthesis o f evolution and ge netics , Ernst Mayr:
individual organisms is o ne o f whole and parts, much
between an organism and the individual cells that compose it. -
and a gcneral [For th e typol ogist th ere] are a limited numbe r o f fixed , un change
over , unlike the relation between a particular instance th e
s from able ' ide as' underlying th e obser ved variability lin nature], with
type, the relation of parts to whol e is ca usal: the wh ole emerge th e
A new species , eidos (ide a) bein g th e onl y thing th at is fixed and real , whil e
the ,causal interaction s betwee n the compo nent parts. J
than th e shadow s of an
species observe d variabil ity has no more reality
for Instanc e , may be said to be born wh en a portion o f an o ld stresses
isolatio n is a object on a cave wall . . . [In co ntrast}, the populationist
become s unable to mate with the rest . This reprodu ctive
and th e uniquen ess o f everyth ing in th e orga nic world .. . All org anisms
causal relation between the memb ers of tw o sub-populati ons, be
through time . and organic phenom ena arc co mposed o f unique feature s and can
morc~" er, it is a relation wh ich must be maintained r any
barriers d escribe d co llectivel y onl y in sta tist ical terms. Individuals, o
Anythi ng that breache s th e ge ne tic, mechan ical o r geograp hical deter-
netic identity kind o f organic entities , form population s of which we can
mamtaining this isolation will co mprom ise the endurin g gc
o f a species . mine the arithme tic mean and the statistics o f variatio n. Averag

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. 11..· 0ppo...iu-. n '''Ollllt' (..unh ght . 11I1' r-: .lIu ph' , or .1 lMrtinlbr nutr-ie-nt] tilt.'
'II r , I ll I),",o ogl st the I)'PC (ddos) is n-al J. ut! tht" varia tion .111 rates of grow th of the org, in t ht' t wo n )lnl1lllnitit's may in:
I usron
. ', W lilt· for th {e popu Iauon
" rst, th e typt.' (tlw an ' rage ) is an <Ii1lt'n'nt , with o ne co nsis ting of sll1.llll'r o rga nisms than th e o the r. In
a lsst racuon and o nly" th c vanation
. . I. S real . No tw o W J ) 'S o f loo king this case, rln-n - wo uld be no point in saying th at o ne co mm unit)'
at nature co uld be more different. " f('p rcsl'nts th e no rma l, ideal, fixed phen otype, o r th at it ap prox ima tes
it to a gn'ate r d egree of perfect io n . Since the phen ot ypes are flexible
When one views species as natu ral kinds wh ose memb ers share within ce rtain lim its, all realiza tio ns o f the ge noty pe arc normal w it hin
t h o mon l se t o f IIden tica
com ' I properties, th e inevitabl e variatio n ' betweena th ose limits." T he conc ept o f no rm o f reaction repl aces th e idea o f
"" of a decrees of peifection wi th th at of relations between rates of chanae (in ou r
o~n7 e7 cdlass canno t be hut an accid ent of history. Fro m th e
d f o fi
VI C'\' 0 f ctc rm ining th c co mm on set o f pr op erties which ex am ple , rat es o f nutrient availability coupled to rat es of grow th) .
Fe nes a I ~ed ar,ch ct ype, thi s vari ation is ind eed quit e unim~ortant Dcleuze cred its Darwinism with thi s d ouble blow to esse ntialism .
o r popu atio n thmkers on th e o th h I ' , ' challenging static classificati on s and th e mod e of th inking th ey im ply
that is C' f b " . er anc , vanauon , genetic variatio n
I Jar rom cmg ummp rta ' h f I w ith a d ynami c form of th ought w hich is at once populational ond
adaptive d 'ffi 1 0 nt IS t e ue o f evo lution: wit ho ut
. bl I cr.c nc~s >et ween organisms nat u ral selectio n ,...ould be d1!e renl ial . As he 'w ri tes:
mcapa e of yielding an)' Improve
' ments in th e population let I
aIIow no vel for r t ' a one First . .. th e form s do not pr eex ist th e populati on, th ey are more
h , ' : s 0 emerge. Put differen tly, for population th inkers
eteroa~nell)' IS t estate w e should expect to exist spontaneousl und er like sta tistical re sults. The more a pop ulation assu mes di vergen t
:~yst :1T~umstahncesb' while bomopeneny is a high I)' unli kely stat: whi ch fo rm s, the more its multi plicit y d ivides int o multipli citi es o f a
e ro ug t a o ut only under ve 'fi I . di fferent nature . . . the mo re efficie ntly it distri butes it sel f in th e
abno rm II . 'C' ry speCl c se ect ron pressures
unuo rrn 111 space an l ti ~ 6 M
mi lieu , o r divides up th e m ilieu , ' . Seco nd. sim ult aneo usly and
a }
t hinks o f th " , rr ttm e , o reover, whil e th e typologist'
e genesIs o f form 111 terms o f the e xp ressio n o f sin Ie t under th e same cond itions . . . d egrees are no lon ger measured in
for1 the populationist th e forms' of o rga msm' s aIways evo lve wypes ithi , a terms o f increasing perfecti on . . . but in t erms o f differential
co Iecttviu es (re p ro d uc tive co m m unities. ,.<cor exam p Ie ) as se I
1"I mI relation s and co efficie nt s such as sel ection pressure, catalyt ic act ion,
acIvantageou s traits with differc t ., . ec i vc y speed of propagation, rate of growt h, evo lutio n , mutation . ..
population . n o ngms propagate through th e
Darw inism ' s two fundam ental co n tr ibutions move in th e direction
essPOtp ullatio n thh inking el iminat es one of the t wo und esirable aspects o f o f a scie nce of multiplicities: the substitution of popul at ions J or types,
id en' ra Ismf , t c ex iste nce 0 f pre -exlst' mg
, arche types defin ing th e and the substitu tion of rates OT differential relat ionsJOT dCBrees.
I entit ,y 0 speciees, Th e ot her aspect the role which
I , id I ' sue h arc hety'pes
p a) as I ea norms which their instantiatio ns a ' I said before th at between org anism s and the cells that ar e th ei r
:~ss perfect deg ree, is elim ina te d by ano t he r k:;:::~:;::;~:r:7~:;~ wo r king pa rts th ere arc int ermediatel y scaled indiv id ual st ru ct ures,
e norm if reaction . To illu st rat e t his co nce pt let 's " . such as ti ssues or o rgans, Simi larly, be t w een th ese o rganism s and the
diff ducti Imagll1e tv..-o
species th ey co mpose th ere are halfway individ uals called demes:
. h erent
bi , reproli ucuve co m m unit ies be Io ngmg· to th e same spec ies but
III a ltm g ( iflcrcn t ecosystem s T h [ react i n refers to th e fact co nc re te reproductive co m munities inhabiti ng a given eco system ." T he
that there j h . c norm 0 react io
b dil ere ' IS enoh ug " flexibility' in th e. co n nect ion
' between ge ne s an d intensive prop erties of t hese d emes , such as how den sel y th ei r
o I y t ra its t at diff eren ces in the en vironment
. can yield diffe rent com po ne nt o rg anisms are packed in th eir habitat , arc characteri zed hy

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11.11111,11 n'pl.ll '\'IIIl 'lIt ~1\"11 Ih,11 • lit 1'\ . 1., •
ind ividu al , dcmc depend s on thl' hir th, death ,lI1d llligr,lI ion rat's
u -r ms or .'ss.'nn's,
prevalen t In the co mm unity, as wel l as o n the rate or • vailabi lit\' or Thl'S!' wou ld hc , in .1 nutslll'II, till Ih 1"1'1 , nntol o ,jc.11 dillll'lI sion s
res~urces (so me times referred to as the carry ing apa ity ot its which onstit ute th« I i-lcuzian world: thl' vi rt ual , the intcnsi vv and
environ ment.) A demc so defined is, ind cd , a dynam ical system, and Ihl' actual. r to phrase this in te rm ' of thl' m 'tapho r th at 01' .ncd thi s
as such may exhibit endogeno usly ge nerate d sta ble state (attractors) -haptcr (and n >glecting for a mo ment the t ' mporal dim -n 'io n) the
a~ well as abrupt transiti on s between stable sta tes (bifurcations), In indivi duals popul at ing th e act ual wo rld would be like th e discontinuou s
s llT~p le m~del s, for instance , th e system co nsist ing of a deme co upled spatial or metric structures which condense out of a nonrn tric , virt u. I
t~ Its e nviro nme nt ex hibits an unstabl e ste ady state (o ne with popula- co ntinuum. These m etric indi viduals would ex ist at different spatial
n on at zero numbers, m eaning extinc tion) as well as a sta ble ste ady scales, since populat ion s at one scale ma y form larger emergent
state wh ere populati on numbers match th e carry ing capacity .!" More ind ivid uals at another scale, but alt ogether (fro m th e sm alle r indi vidu al
co mplex attract ors, such as stable cycles , app ear th e moment we add particles to th e largest cos m ic indi viduals) th ey would co nstitute tho
nonli~ earities to th e mod el. T his may be don e , for exa mple, by makin g familiar, measurabl e and divisible space of th e actual world. At thi s
th e birth -rate term more realisti c to reflect th e fact that there ar e poi nt, how ever , we mu st make o ur first departure from th e geometr ic
always nonlinear delays between th e moment of birth and th e moment met apho r : actual indi viduals differ fr,om eac h othe r not o nly in th eir
of sex ual maturity, When th e growth dynamics of a dem e are gove rned extensity (spatial struc t ure and scale) but also in th eir qualities. A
by a periodi c attract or, th e numbers characte rizing its population will species, for ex am ple, possesses both an exte nsive aspect defining its
tend not to a fixed stable value but will oscillat e between values , II distribution in space (its division into seve ral reproductiv e com munities
This sim ple exam ple is m eant only as an illustration of th e sense in inhabiting d istinct ecosyste ms) as we ll as a qu alitative aspect defined by
wh ich a dynamical process occurring in populations and defined by populati on-Ierel qualit ies, distinct from th ose of individual org anisms,
co upled rates of change ma y be said to be inten sive , How is such an such as playing a particular role in a food chain or having a particular
inte~si ve process rela te d to th e vir tual multipliciti es I discu ssed in the repro duc tive strat egy , 13 This means that inten sive individuatio n pro-
pr evIOus chapte r? As I said, multiplicities consist of a str ucture defined cesses must be described in such a way th at th e or igin of both
by differential rel ati on s and by th e sing ularities whi ch characte rize its
ex te nsities and qualities is accowlte d for .
unfolding levels , These two el em ents of the virtual find their co unter- T o illu strate thi s important point I would like to move to a different
part in th i~ten,s ~ve , Th e co upled rat es of birth, death , migration and level of scale, do wn from species to organisms, and discu ss two
resource availability co rres po nd with out resemblan ce to th e differential examples of inten sive pr ocesses in em bryogenesis, one related to th e
rcl~ti ons that charac te r ize a multiplicit y. The co llec tive ly sta ble sta tes pr oduction of ex tensities, th e othe r to th e pr oducti on of qu aliti es. .or
aV~'labl e to po~ula~i on s (ste ady-s tate or periodic, in my exam ple) more speci fically, I would like t o discu ss two different em bryolog Ical
c.OI resp ~nd , agam WIthout any sim ilar ity, to a distribution of sing ulari- processes, one behind th e spatial structu ratio n of org anisms throu gh
~I es , ~h,s correspo~dence, in turn , is ex plained by th e fact th at a given cellular migration , folding and in vagin ation , and th e othe r behind th e
mte~sl,ve ~rocess of individuation em bo dies a multiplicit y , and th e lack qualitatil'e dlj]'erentiation of neu tral ce lls into fully specialized muscle,
of sl m tl~rtty b tween th e virt ual and th e int en sive is ex plaine d in terms bon e, blood , nerve and othe r ce ll t vpes. !" Met aph oricall y, an egg m ay
of th e dl ~ergent characte r of thi s embo d ime nt, that is, by th e fact that be co m pa red to a top ological space which und ergoes a progressive
seve ra l different processes may em body th e same multipli city, 12 Finally,

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dll' d istinction betwee- n me-t r- ic ,lII d uotu m-t rh- sp.ln-s hoi!, d o w n to till' 11101,'1 uh -s, \\lak h in (urn IIl l ·el i,llI · tllC' pll.l. u au 111011 ht'l\\('I'n th l'
~V.l)' in whi ch neigh bo urh oo ds (o r the linkagl's bet wee n thl' po ints th ai t \\ () st.lhll' sta te-s}, hut .llso th., birth .mtl d",llll 1'.1(( " of n ,lI" \\ it hi n .1
form a space) are defincd~ eithe r throu gh exact Il·ngth s o r through ('olln'tin' , I? Tlu-rc is 11 0 de-tailed gl'Tll'tic cnuu-ol of till" l'x ., d n umbe-r
non -ex act topological relations o f proximit y. In thi s sense , the fc rtil izt.d of n·1I d ivision s, o r of the exact number uf n· 1I deat hs. but ra tlu-r .1
egg . defined mostly hy chem ical g rad ients and polar ities, as well as th e non linea r feed bac k rela tion between birth and death rat es and till'
early em hryo defined hy neighbo urhoods with fuzzy bo rd ers and ill- processes of m igratio n and fo lding : these pr ocesses an: affected hy till"
defined qualities, may ind eed be view ed as a topol~gical space wh ich rate at w hich new cel ls are born and die and, vice versa, th e rat es .m-
acquires a rigid I)' m etric anato mical SlTuct ure as tissues, o rgans and organ stro ngl)" place-d ep en den t and hen ce affected hy m ig rato ry and foldi ng
s),stems beco me progressively better defined and relatively fixed in mo tions . III
form .
T he intensive (po pulatio nal and differential) aspl~cts of th is proCl' ss
, Let' s begin with the creatio n of distinct spatial structures, sta rti ng rna)' be said to be nonmetric in th e following sense. Dcl eu zc ofte n
with th e aggrega tio n of individual cells int o d ifTerent neighbourh ood s spea ks of th e cnexccr yec riaorous sty le of tho ught whi ch may I,,·
o r co llect ives via a vari et ), of adhesion processes, Th ese neighbo urhoods neccssar )' when ever we need to think abo ut non metric e nt it ics .!" A
do not have a well -d efined metric structure . Within an)' on e neigh - go od example would be th e way Edelman approa ches his ce ll co lk-c-
bourhood, th e exact location of a cell is immat erial as long as th ere ar e tives, where th e exact number of members or th eir exact position is
sufficiently man y cells with a shared history locat ed nearby. Simil arl y. immate r ial. Thi s attitude to wards quant itath'e exactitude is not a sign
th e exact number of neighh ours is not impo rtant and , at any rat e. it is that biologists. unli ke ph ysicists, are less careful n r disciplined . It
alway s subje ct to statistic al fluctuations, What is important arc th e indic ates, on th e co ntrary ~ th e presen ce of a more so phisticat ed
local, adhesive interacti ons between ce lls (o r between cells and th eir topo logical style of th ought. T o qu ote an other bio logist wh ose work
ext ra-cellular matri x during migration ) . int eract ion s which are t),pically will be discu ssed in th e foll owing chapte r , Arth ur Wi nfree :
both nonlinear (sma ll change s may lead to large co nseq uences) and
statistical. " As the biolo gist Gerald Edelman has sho wn . the se local T he scie nce s of life have never been admi red for quantitati ve
int eracti on s yie ld tw o stable sta tes for co llectives: ce lls may be tightly exactitude . . _ But it can not be said that living things are at heart
linked to each other by adhesion molecul es int o sheets (called epithelia) slo ppy , fuzz)', ine xact , and unscientific. Ho w docs an ocean ic salmon
or be loosely associ ated via minimal int eract ion s int o migratory groups find its way home to spawn o n th e ver)" rivulet it left in O rego n
(referred to as mesen chym e) . Th ese two stab le states arc r elated to three years earlier? How is a meter-long seq ue nce of billi ons of
each other by a tran sformation wh ich closely resembl es a phase nucl eotide base-pa irs reversibl y co iled without entang lement int o a
transition . and wh ich lead s to two different types o f cellular m o tion : nu cleu s no more th an a few tho usand base -pairs in d iam eter ? _ , .
migrati on and fold ing . '.
Such miracles bespeak of reproducibl e precision . But that preci sion
While ce llular migrations mo ve entire co llectives into new places, is not th e kind we kn ow how to write eq uations about, no t th e
where they can inte ract with differen t co llecti,·es. ce llular fo lding and kind we can measure to eig ht deci mal places, It is a more flexibl e
m\"agmatJOn cre ate a large \"ar iet y of three -d im ensional struc t ures exactit ude whi ch evades qu ant ifying. like the e xact it ude of a ce ll's
which co nstit ute th e external and int ernal spatial boundaries of an plasm a m embrane dividin g the un iverse into an inside and an outside
organism , Ju st wh ere a co llective migrates and what extensive struc- with not even a viru s-sized hole lost so me where in all th at

d I IMII I Illpe do 'It .• 1 t
'1111\ I ,lUll .11 Ililldl , 11I1111/(((11I "t I/ Uelll ' II, , " I 4" .1 tlll.ll,d \\111. .1 II r .u l or III1 Itl I.d 111111 tu 1..11,\1 tllll . IIl lllt ,I ,
Jntlt/\ of .. lr.rp fon c , ,mel 11I111' , 'q , '.H II .l tl l.1l III' 11I.1\ 1)( (1 til 111, I (d 'I) It 1'1 I I III .. I t I \II I ( III t 1·11 I " l"
Kauflm.m' 1111111. ·1 dlh'l1Il't III I'l l .Ih I IIllt IIllh lilt IHII II Ill'I 01
Thus, then- is J wcll-rh-Ii ncd St·nSt· in whk -h the SIJ.lli.1 1 rvl.uio us dilh'rl'nl n ·1I I)rH' ill ,I gl\l'11 01 ' ,111 1 m , bUI ilion' lIl1porl.lIlt!) Irum
characte rizing an egg or the still devel oping pJrts o f an em bryo arc, our poinl of \ h-w, II", num la-r of n ·1I t) p" \\ hi, II .1 particular (( ·11 , '.HI
indeed, anex act yet rigorous, As migration and fo lding hegin lo yield t.!i rec'lj' «1!D~·r(flrl(J'/.· into. (;i n' n .1 n 'lI \\ uh <I Slh·dfi c hbl o r)', ,lilt! .1
finished anatom ical structures, however, these non mel ri c relation s certain inductive sig'l<1 1 which can ('It,lUg" its ratt', llw o utcome o f tlH' ir
becom e progressively replaced by a less flexib le set of metric on es . int eracti on will d epend Oil how man)' o ther att r-actors exist n/.·urh)' in
The finished product is a spatial st r uct ure adap ted to specific fun cti ons. the state span~ o f the cell (o r more exac l ly, in the stan - sp,ln ' o f til"
Like a building or a bridge , for example , an animal mu st he able to netw ork of ge nes within the cel l) , In o ther words, far from din'cd }
act under gravit)· as a load-bearing structu re. On the o ther hand, the determining the qualities o f a differentiated ce ll, inducti ve signals ad
spatial architecture of an organi sm is not th e only factor that deter- as trioo ers causing cells to swi tch from one attractor to another Iwarh)'
min es its capacity to bear load s, th e qualities o f th e mat erials making one, guiding a process o f qualitative differenti ation wh ich follow s
up that archit ecture also matter: th e q ualities of muscle that allow it attracto rs as so many stepping-sto nes . This prop erty o f st imulus-
to bear loads in te nsion , for instance, or the qualities of bon e that independ ence must be added to the mechanism-ind ependence I discu ssed
allow it to bear them in com pression. The intensive processes that before as part of what defines ' th e 'signature ' or the virtual, or put
create these materials are anoth er example o f a process of progre ssive differ ently, as part o f wh at defin es th e traces whi ch th e virtual lea v..s
differentiation, one which starts with a population o f relativel y undif- in the intensive . But relative auto no my from specific stimula can he
ferentiated cell s and yields a st ruc t ure chara ct erized by qualitatively ac hie ved o nly if th e internal dynamics o f a cell (o r co llec tivities o f
distinct cell types. cells) arc rich eno ugh in endogeno usly ge ne ra te d stable states, This
When ce lls begin th eir em bryological d evel opment th ey arc pluripo- co ndition is by no means guarantee d and depends o n ce rtain inten sive
tent, that is, th ey are capable of becoming any of th e dilTerent typ es of properties o f a network , those defining its connectivity: the number o f
ce lls whi ch charact erize th e ad ult individual. This number vari es from ge nes directl y o r indirectl y influ en ced by each single gen e o r th e
two in bacteria, to twenty or thirty for je llyfish, to about 254 for number of steps needed for the influ en ce of o ne gen e to be propagat ed
human beings. Co ntact between different cells (or between dilTerent to other genes . At critical values of co nnectivity a phase transition
cellular co llect ives) leads to th e important ph enomenon of induction. occurs leading to the crys tallizatio n of large circuits of genes, each
This term refers to a co mplex process in which co llectives exc hange d ispla ying multiple attract ors. : "
che m ical sign als whi ch lead to th e en hance ment or suppressio n o f Edelm an's and Kauffman's model s illustrate the sense in which the
cel lular dilTerentiati on . However, as th e biol ogist Stuart KaulTman has int en sive may be said to be behind th e ge nes is o f both th e exte nsive
sho wn, these inductive signals act as non-specific sti mula (o r perturba- and the qualitative. Yet, neither o ne is a literal rendering o f a simple
tions) whi ch switch a cell am ong a variety of int ernally available stable cascade o f broken symmetries. While the ce llular neighbourhoods in
states. The basic idea in KaulTman' s model is that th e regulatory gen es Edel man's model do illustrate how non -rigidly metric spaces ma y he
wit hin a cell form a complex network in which ge nes, interacting via transformed into fixed spatial struct ures, the connection w ith topo logy
their products, can turn on e anoth er on or ofT. Kauffman has found is indirect. This is even more tru e in Kauffman's model wher e th e
that there are ce rtain recurrent patterns of ge ne activit)' within these co nnection with nonm etri c questions is completel y indirect, mediated
networks, patterns w hich exhibit th e kin d o f homeostatic stability by th e topological invariants (such as co nnect ivity) o f abst rac t spaces
01 I'll.. 111I11I 1c" d l 1111111 J till" .I\M!.,"I. 1111It 1.111 , hlllll t ' .un
qll .•IIIII ' , .. 1I1,lll11l1I' p.lIt . ll. .l1l11ll .lI l1l p l lI t l . 11I11 III IIl d, t III "II,ld .1 \I .lhll
pit'!'> ..!luuld I ll ' '1 '1'11 Il lli .1\ till I ', hUI .. fl"l'Jlll "'.'I p.lI h IIf
t1 ) IIi WOl ra u u I ('1I1It) (111 whu h n.u ..t ,ll·llltlll ttllllt! (11"1 Itt l l« r u r ut t r-tn c- 01

t h e simple sy m l1l\' t r}'- brt'.lk ing C.l"' ''ldt · . It is through "Ill II pin.' 11 1\",11 "lIt h .t I,trgt' number or.. irnu lt.uu -uu 1111111111111 I I (II l tl ll l "I' , .l highl}'
rc placc nu-n ts that lite ral co ntent m .l)' 1)(· unparu-d to, .lII d nu-t.rphoru-al hio logic;\1,ls"<t'lIlllh, 011 1111 otht 'l" 1I.IIH I, mu ta tio ns
iml'roll,lhl,' (' \\'1 11 . III
co ntent re mo ved from, our guiding imagl' fo r th e ac-t ualiza tion of till' do n ot· to h(~ so (:oo rdin.H,·tt .11It I till g n',ldJ e nhanc-es tlu-
virtual in space . There is on e more aspe('t o f ,'mhryog"lll'sis from possi bilities for evolutionary cx pcrinu-nt.uio u. As till' scien tist Eric
which we can der-ive further resources to co ntinue this process o f l Irvx le r w rites:
progressive literalization. It involv es looking at a dC\'eloping cm b rvo as
a process c1 assemblj' of organisms, a process which must yield individuals Because ce lls and organisms make widespread usc o f diffusive
with the capacity to em/reo As an illustration o f this point I will co ntrast transport for energy, informati on and mo lecular parts, the e vo lution
two different assembly processes , the process behind the creation o f of new processing entities (e nzymes , g lands) is facilitated , A ge netic
industrial produ cts , as it takes place in an assembly-line factory , for change that introdu ces an enzyme with a new function can have
exam p le , and th e process taking pla ce wi t hin and amo ng livin g ce lls immedi at e favorable effec ts becau se diffu sion automati cally links th e
whi ch results in th e asse m bly o f tissues and o rga ns . enzyme to all other enzymes , energy sources and signal mol ecules
The parts o f an o bject put together in an assembly line ar e typi cally in the sam e m embrane com part me nt o f th e cell (and o ften beyond) .
fully Eucl idean, hav ing rigid metric properties such as sizes, shapes and No new chan nels need to be built . .. [and ] no spe cial space need
po siti on s, a fact that limits the kind of p rocedures that ma y be fo llowed be set aside for the enzyme, because device placement isn't
for their assembly. T hese procedures must include a rig id ly channe lled ge ometric, Changes in the number o f parts . . . become easy. Ther e
transport system (using conv eyor belts or pipes to transpo rt raw are no stro ng geometric o r transport co nstraints; this ofte n allows
materials, and wires to transport energy and informatio n) as we ll as the numbe r of mo lecu lar parts in a ce ll to be a variable, statistical
sequences of rigid motions to co rrectly position the parts relative to quantit)" Wi th many copies of a part, a mutation that changes the
one another. By con trast, the co mpo nent parts used in biologica l instruct io ns for so me co p ies is less likely to be fatal . . . At t he
assembly arc d efined less by rigid me tric properties than by thei r le vel o f m u ltice llu lar organisms, th e striking adaptab ility of tissues
topoloqtcal connect ivity : the specific shape of a cell's membrane is less and organs ensures that basic requirem ents for viability, such as
important than its con tinuity and closure, and the specific length of a continuity of skin and vascularization of tissues, co ntinue to be met
muscle less impo rtant than its attachment points. This allows co mpo - despite changes in size and structure . If skin and vascular syste ms
nent parts to be not inert but adaptiv e, so that muscle lengths can change wer e inert parts , they wo uld require com pensating adjustments for
to fit lo nge r bones, and skin can grow and fold adaptivcly to cove r such changes . 25
bo th . It also permits the tra nsport processes not to be rigidly
channe lled, using simple diffusion through a fluid medium to hring th e Thi_s example illustrates another indirect way in which the metric
differe nt parts together. Components ma y float around and randomly may be said to emerge from th e nonm et ric . Unlike . a deve loping
co llide, using a lock-and -ke y mechanism to find matching patterns embryo , a finished organism has more specialized tubes and channels
with out the need for exact positioning. and some of its co m po nents lose adaptabilit y and rigidify. T his
All o f thi s has consequences for th e capacit}' to e vo lve through "metr-iza rion' is, of co urse, never co mplete , e ven wh en an organism
mutation and selection which each of these tw o assembl y processes reaches maturity . But what is very significant is that, at least in the
ma y have . If putting together organi sms followed an assembly-line case o f multi -cellu lar animals, if o rganisms were not individuated in an
pattern, random mutations would have to occ ur simultaneo usly in intensive enviro nment which is not rigidly metric, their capacity to

nol\(' \\0111.1 ht ' 11·. l tI) d 1111111 I Iud Ih.lIlk IUlth lodlliu 1\ 111 .111 pllit . III 1111 tI, ( 1 11'11011 0 1 Ihl 11 111 1\ 1ll1l1l lll 11 II I I' II 111.1 or .111 1 III ' .1

lock .unl kt') lII.thlllng .1 ('lIIbl) . IlIpldogll .11 .II H I .ld.lpll\l · IMlt • 0 11 .1111'.1(1\ .111 " h' llI lt- d II .11(' . \tl 11'1 III t I , ~ III till ht 10
1(11011 \\111

one, .1S we-ll as stim ulus indt'p"nd"IH e, 011 tht' utiII'I , cvolut u m 1)('( il; till' (fl ll lle'( 11011 ht't\\(" ,u lilt l .lUli ml til 11111 111111 ,md it '('\(' 1., 1

has an opl'n space in which to carry out its hlind ~.;t'.Irdl for 11('\\ I~)rllls, c xu-u sron s , Afh'r thi , l OIH t'ptu,ll ( I.'nla, ,111011' l tl l1lp lt'tt'd I ,\ ill 111o,
Put differently, hiological e volutio n can lx- din'rgl'nl Jud It'dd to J o n to di" 'u',, 011(' o f I h,lt-u/t ·' .. 11Il....1 imporLutt Iht" t' s n~ganling till"
prol iferatio n of no vel ties tha nks to the fact that the elements it uses to inu-nstve. The h,)~i(' idl',) is Ih.ll 0110' .1 prol ('SS iudividuauon is or
try out new co mbinat ions are neit her rigid l)' connected (to specific cornph-u-d, till' iun-nsivc factors whivh dl·fim·d this procl'ss disJppt',lr
stim ula, to specific channels) nor int olerant to hctl' rugen d ty and or lx-come hidden underneath th e e xtensive and qualitative prOpt'rlit's
variation . of the final produ ct. Or as Dc lc uzc puts it, ' we know intc usitv o n l), .IS
Let m e sum ma rize what thi s discu ssion of em bryoge nesis has taught already de vel oped withi n extensity. and as covere d over by qualities' , 110
us about th e actualization of th e virtual in space . Inten sive processes Thi s the me of the disguising of pr ocess under product is key to
po ssess nonmctric properties in subt le and co mplex ways: som etimes Dc lcuzc's phil osophy since his philosophical method is, at least in p.ut ,
they in volve th e spatial co ntinuity and indi visibility of pr op erties like design ed to ove rcome th e objective illusion fostered hy thi s
temperature, pressure or den sit y; othe r tim es th e ane xact yet rigorous co ncea lme nt .
way in whi ch ce llular spatia l neighb ourhood s are defined ; so metimes Let 's begi n this discu ssion with the textbook definition of til<"
what is invol ved is nothing specifically spatia l, but rath er that wh ich distinction between the inten sive and the extensive : "T he rmod yuarnic
remains top ologically invariant in a spatial process: an d other tim es properties can be divided into two ge ne ral classes, na mely intensive
spec ifically spatial capacit ies arc co nce rned, suc h as th e capability of and exte nsive properti es. If a quantity of matt er in a given sta te is
adaptive com ponents to fold , stre tc h o r ben d . Simila rly, th e final div ided into two equa l parts, each part will have th e same value of
product of an inten sive process is no t ju st metric geo me trically intensive properti es as the original, and half the value of th e exte nsive
spea king: extensive properties include so me geome tric o nes (like prope rt ies . Pr essure , temperature, and den sity are examples of intens-
len gth o r volume) but also seve ral o the rs that have nothing geome tric ive properti es. Mass and total volume are exa mples of ex te nsive
about th em , like entr o py o r amount of ene rgy; the n there are properties. "?" Although this definition d oes point to a basic d ifferen ce
properties whi ch ar e metric, suc h as chan nelled tran sport o r rigidity of between inte nsities and ex te nsities, its emphasis o n divi sibility allows
parts, but which ex pand th e co nce pt from structure to function; lastl y, it to eq ually appl y to qualities, such as co lo ur or texture . But as we
a finished product is characte rized by qualities, whi ch also result from just saw, a cr ucial part of Dclcu zc' s argument hin ges preci sel y o n th e
int en sit ies but whi ch are metrically indi visible like int en sities. T hus , distin ct ion between th e int en sive, on one hand , and th e ex te nsive and
the re lation between th e metric and th e non metric in a process of q ualitative, on th e othe r. Co lours are, ind eed, not di visible in ex te n-
indi vid uation is not as sim ple and stra ightforwa rd as the metaphor of a sion: _a certain pat ch of material of a given co lour does not yield , whe n
'topo log ical egg' progressivel y differentiating int o a ' Euclide an organ- hroke n into equal halves, two sma ller patches with half th e value of its
ism ' would suggest . But wh at this co m parison has lost in simplicity it co lour (half th e hu e and half th e brightness). T his lack of di visibility
has, I be lieve, gained in lit eral ade quacy. has misled some philosophe rs int o failing to disting uish q ualities, o r
Ha" ing clarified th e relations bet ween th e int ensive and the non- even su bjectively ex perien ced intensities, such as pleasure , from
metr ic , in th e ne xt part of thi s chapte r I woul d like to probe more ob jective int en sive properties, 2~ Thus, we nee d a characte ristic o ther
deepl y into th e nature of inten sities. Altho ugh as I said in Chapter I , than indiv isibili ty in ex te nsion to d istingui sh objective int en sities fro m
th e term ' inte nsive property' bel o ngs to th ermod ynam ics, it may be qu aliti es.
exte nde d to co ver other ar eas. Indeed, my usc o f th e wo rd ' intensive' T he re is, indeed , another way in wh ich physicists sta te th e distinc-
11011 1u- 1\\1 " II dll mu-u 1\" , li lt I till I' tc-u 1\( \\1111. 1\\ 11 ' It 'll'il\t' llll/"' '''IH 1\ li t " dun '0 II 'f It II hili dill . I t I" I I tlMI h\
prolH'l'til" ,Hid lip ill ,I , illl pl(· \\ ,,)' (I\\O,U( ' ,1 "tid lip til , I III 0 1' " 1 t11l11o\1I) whn h tlJ(' '1\' II I 11\111 11,11 , I I II I 1101 pill 111111ll"1I01l II1Il 1111
lol rg t' r arc-a), in u -nsive propt'rti t" d o no t oldcl u p hilt r.ulu-r dlt""Hc. T his nllflllWlloll , Ill 1' ''11 III Ihl pili nOIll. 111111 I \ 1'1 \ Ihm t \\ hit h h.lp
avcrag ing o pe ratio n is an o bjective o peration . in till' !'it'n,',' th.u pladng pen' ,lIul ('\,'1' IIl1n I \\lIh" '1l'IH,I I ltllrt'l.ltt'd wit h ordt 'r~ 01
int o co ntact tw o bodies with ditlcrcm t.'mp,·r atu n ·s will lr igger a d il1 ~ 'rt'l1 cl' s : di lfl'll'lll t" III 1t·\( ,I, 1t'llIp,'r,llUn', pn's~un', n -nvion ,
spo ntaneous diffu sion process which will equalize the tw o tl'mpt'raturcs po u-nt ial, dint'n'Il('t' of ill1t 'Il,il ) , III
at some intermedi at e valu e. "? Thi s capaci t)' to spo nta neo usly reach an
average value explains wh y temperatures o r pressures canno t he The first mod ification wh ich mu st he mad e to th e sta nda rd definit ion
d ivided in exte nsion . A particul ar value of temperatu re o r pressure , of intensive pro perty is, the n. that th e inten sities definin g a parti cu lar
hein g an average, will remain th e same wh en the bod )' possessing th ese physical syste m may indeed he ' d ivided ' but th e differen ces that result
prop erties is broken into tw o o r more part s. But beyond that, it points change the syste m in kind (fro m an eq uilibri um syste m, where
to a dynamical aspect of inten sive properties not shared by qu alities: differe nces are cancelled, to a non-equilibrium o ne) . Moreover if th l"~t'
differen ces in thermodynamic int en sities ar c capable of drh'ing a d iffere nces are made int en se enough a critical thres ho ld rna)' be reached
process o f equilibration in a populati on of molecul es, a process in and th e physical syste m in q uest ion will undergo a phase transition . its
wh ich th ese differences will tend to average th emselves out. The ex te nsive properties suffering ~ rad ical change in nature . Thus, rather
int ensiv e would th en be distingui shed from th e qualitative by the fact than indivi sibility, th e key co nce pt in th e definit ion of th e int en sive is
that d!fferences in inten sity, th ough not in quality, can drive flu xes of productive d1Jerence, as well as th e rel at ed conce pts of endoge no us sta ble
matter o r ene rgy . sta te (such as a th ermod ynamic eq uilibrium state) and of cri tical
Intensive differen ces may be sharp o r grad ual (in whi ch case th ey transition s between states . How does this rel at e to th e tw o co nct'Jlts
arc referred to as 'g radients') bu t in eithe r case th ey are nothing like whi ch I said d efined the int en sive in biology, populations and rat es?
th e exte rn al differences which distinguish on e fully formed individual The answe r is relatively straightforward : intensive grad ients arc rncas-
from another. In static typologies on e confronts the diversity of obj ects urcd by rat es of change , and th e flux es of matter and energy th ese
in the world by a careful ta bu lation of that which stays th e same and differen ces drive ar e eithe r the migratory mov em ents of a molecular
th at which differs among them , Th e exte rn al difTeren ces between population , or mov em ents of ene rgy through suc h a populat ion , H In
d iverse objects ar c viewed simply as a lack of sim ilar ity so th e co nce pt this sense , the thermodyna mic defin ition is di rectly related to the on e
of differen ce plays a purely negativ e rol e . Int en sive o r int ernal differ- I used in biology, bu t I also made several depart ures fro m it.
ence s, suc h as a temperature or pressure g rad ient within o ne and th e W hen I descri bed populati on thi nkin g in evo lutio nary bio logy a key
same body arc, on the co ntrary , positive o r productiv e, forming th e
issue was th e ro le of gen etic differen ces. W hile in essentialist or
basis of sim ple processes of individ uati on . The soa p bubbles and salt typological thinking uniformity is the natural state and diffe ren ce wh at
crystals I mention ed in the last chapte r , for instance . arc eq uilibri um need s special explanatio n , for pop ulation thinkers it is differen ce that
struc tures whi ch e me rge from a process dri ven hy intensive g radic nLo;;, is unprobl emati c. Thi s use of th e co nce pt of differen ce alr ead y
o r more exact ly, fro m th e spo ntaneous tend en cy of the molecula r co nstitutes an exten sion of th e o rig inal noti on o f intensive grad ient,
co mpo ne nts of bubbles or crys tals to minimize a pot ential (o r minimize hut it is neverthel ess related: a hiological population wh ere ge netic
an int en sive differen ce) . Given thi s morphogen eti c rol l', it is not dlffercn ces have been el im inate d is as unproductiv e as a th ermodynam ic
surp risi ng that Del eu ze makes int en sive d illl'rl'n n 's J kt} clement in syste m wh ere differen ces in temperature o r pressure have been
his o nto logy , As he writes: cance lled throu gh eq uilibration, " Yet, the biological examples I gave

60 6.
., lt ll \ I' il l\oh, ' . 1 1II 0l t' till' 011 '11 1.1 1 d d ll ll ll oll II I
l .ldh .ll lkp.lItlll l II l1l n 1 0 Ill .IIl ," "l lolltl\l1\lt dW II1 I " \) III I. \ \1 II lind. I 1111 III I!J.IIl lilt
till' inu-nslve . In p.u-tic-ul.u- , unhkr- till ' 111011'1 ul.u- ioll ' l udil,d in tllnl tlld t o Iiltlth 11 1 III .lIH 1' • tI'l\ hoi, . .,Ir' ,llh \llhltd \ .•IIl,llt',
thermodynamics, the meml u-rs of b iologic.ll popul.uion s [rave .1 I.lrgl'r II I I ,ht ~ tlC 'llI ~ 0 1 11111 1 t ll lll "l lllh 11., 11 0 11, 1111 ludru I tl u ' ell " 0\1 '1")
1I1 t O cl lI"

repertoire of ways 10 interact with e ac-h oth er. I ike a thermodvuamk- of .• I't'\\ (("lurrm' t1\\t'nrh~ {'Imam (IIt h .l ,,"tll,.l t .,I) lit 1001''1 ) ,, !lil h
syste m , a biological population ma)' e xhibit auractors (and tims hl' 11M \' turn o ut to hI' univ t'r~,,1. '4

defined in part bJ the tenden cies with which these singularities endo w \Vhilt' th e re latio n [u-twcc-n inn-n..itit's .Hld ..ingul,Irit it·s does 110t
it) but in addition its members will typi cally display co m ple x capacities inv o lve anv dt'p,lrtufl' from th e th ermod ynami c dcfimu on o f ' iuk U'
for interact ion which have no co unterpart in the ph ysics of heat. in" , Jddil;g ca pacities implies ('xtl'nding that definition . Let uu- fi .... t
An individual ma y be characterized by a fixed number o f definite gin' a more detailed characte rization o f capacities and then sho w ho\\
propert ies (e xtensive and qualitative) and }'et possess an indefinite the original definition may be naturallv e xte nde d to includ e th em . An
number of capacities to c1Jeet and be c1Jeeted by other individuals. The individual o rganism will 'typically exhibit a variety o f capabilit ies to
degree of openness of this set of possible interactions will vary from form assemblaaes with oth er individuals, o rganic o r inorganic . A good
individual to individual. In the realm of chemistry. for instance, e xample is the assemblage which a walking animal form s with a pil·n·
different chemica l elements have different capacities to fonn novel o f so lid g ro und (w hic h supplies it with a surface to walk) and with a
combinations w ith o ther elements. the capacities of carbon, for graVitatio nal field (w hich endo ws it with a given weigh t). Although th e
instance , vastly outpe rform ing those of the inert gases. In biolog)', as capac ity to form an assemblage depends in part on the emcrg('nt
we jus t saw , the flexib le capabilities of adaptive parts or the capability properties of th e int eracting individuals (an imal, ground, field ) it is
to transport and match co mponents without rigid channels or position - nevertheless not reducib le to them. We may have exhaustive know -
ing procedu res, lead to ev en more ope n combinatorial spaces . This ledge about an individual' s properties and yet, not having observed it
o pe nness is also re lated to th e virtual as can be g lim psed from t he fact in interaction with ot her individuals, kno w noth ing about its
that it d em and s fro m us th e use of moda l terms (such as 'un limited capacities. 3 5
po ssibilities ). Deleuze , in fact , always gives a two-fo ld d efiniti on of T he term 'capaci ty' is elosely relate d to th e ter-m 'a fforda nce'
t he vir tu al (and th e inten sive), using bo th singularities (u nact ua lized introd uce d by James G ibso n w ithin the co ntext of a th eo ry of
tendencies) and what he calls c1Jeccs (unactualized capacities to affect eco log ical inte rac tio nsv'" Gibson distinguishes betw een the intrinsic
and be affecte d) ," properties o f things and th eir atTo rd anc es . A piece of ground docs have
Unlike sing ulari ties , w hich arc relativ ely w ell studied th ank s to the its own intrinsic pro perties determining , for example, how horizon tal
developmen t o f the to pological approach to state space , the for ma l or slanted, how flat, co ncave o r con vex , and how rigid it is. But to be
st udy of affects is relati vely und erdevel o ped . Several scientists who had capable of afford ing support to a w alking anima l is not just ano the r
previously focused on the study of singularities, ho we ver, have recen tly intrinsic property, it is a capacity wh ich may not be exercised if there
sw itched to t he st udy of a d ifferent type of formal system which allows are no animals around. Give n that capacities are relational in this sense,
the exp lo ration or cons tructive capacities. Stuart Kauffman and Walter what an individ ua l affords another m ay d ep end on facto rs like their
Fontana, among others, view the capacity to form novel assemblages relative spat ial scales: the surface of a pond or lake may not afford a
when objects are put into funct ional relations w ith one another as a large animal a walking medium, but it docs to a small insect whic h can
problem which is complement ary to that of state space , a problem which walk on it because it is not heavy enough to break th rough the surface
may also lead to the discovery of universal features analogous to those tension of the water. Affordances are also symmetric, that is, the)'
reveal ed by classifications of attractors. Alth ough th e formal s)'Ste m s involve both capacities to affect and be affect ed . For exam ple , a ho le
they have designed to stud)' affects ( Kauffman's random grammars, in the ground affords a fleeing animal a place to hide , but such animal

l o uld .d tI d.· II "" II hllll , Ihu 111. 1 1111 ' " ' I h,lI' ' II I' Ih. ' 1 tlulld c in. vl! ,I IIll d ll l . III tilt ' I ' II I II h,l l II
itsl II, ~ illlll .l ri •.111 .1Il II 11oI1 '",1\ III I bl'l ,llI I .1 I'" .1,1111' 11111' d II d.1Il " ' I I I Illbl.1 '. lilt lit ddt. I I III' U h i l i .111 " , 11111 ' Ih, III
but it its..lf aftlmls nut rition 1;1Ih. pn ·d.lllll , · tllI lllI .h hOlllll 'I'III/ .IIIIIII , Ih.II I 1111 .1\ til " I II • I III I'll Ihlllll<'
W e may ex pand th ' rnl'anillg of th e krill • intr-nsi , I" 10 ill' lud l' th ' 1,IIIill' 11II .111 I ' 1'1.111.1111111 ill \1'1 111 III \ 11111,111 t ti ll \1 ' 1 ,,1\• ..tlll\\ III '
properties of assemblages, or mol" e xac t ly, of th e prou'ss,'s wh ich di l'fl'r('JI('" s ill inll'nsit \ III I . 1.1111. , 111.1 III ..11I1I1ll.llin ' d illi 'n 'lI' I'
giv e ris e to th em. An assembly process ma y be said to ln- charac t .r izcd Ih rou gb uni fllrmi z,llilll; , I'n~'l"l ivI·l IlId.,s Ih., \ irt ,1I11 1 Illakl's till'
by intensive properties when it articulates het eropcncous cI .rn c nts as d isappearance of process 1I11lkr product SI'(' III k-ss pr ohl crnat ic .
such. i" In the assemblage formed by a walking animal, a pic e of Alt ho ug h thi s co nce alme nt is partl y tlu- result of human int crvvnt ion ,
ground and a gravitational field, three heterogeneous individuals ar e o f laborat ory practi ces whi ch focu s on th e final ' 'l uilib riu m stale or
joined together as such without the need for any homogenization , w hich 'yst ' matically homogeni ze materials, for exa m pi . , it is also. n
More generally, the interactions which organisms have with th e organic o bj .ct ive phenomen on . An y ar ea of th e world whi ch is in thermo -
and inorgan,ic components of an ecosyst em are typically of th e int ensive d ynamic eq ui lib riurn , for instance, is an ar ea wh ere intensi c dill er-
kind (in the enlarged sense), an ecosystem itself being a complex c nccs have cancelle d th emselv es out, and hence an ar ea whi ch co nn', I.
assemblage of a large number of heterogeneous components: diverse th e virt ual without th e need for human intervention. These ar ea s of
reproductive communities of animals, plants and micro-organisms, a th e world, in sho rt , would constitute an objecti ve illusion.
geogra phical site characterized by diverse topographical and geologica l Deleuzc argues, for exam ple , that des pite th e fact that classical
features, and the ever diverse and changing weather patterns. Similarly, th crmodynamics yielde d valuable insights into the importance of th e
the meaning of 'extensive ' may be enlarged to refer to the properties inten sive, thi s branch of physics did not provide th e foundati on need ed
of processes, such as the assembly-line process I mentioned before, for a th eory of individuation giv en its exclusive focu s on th e final
where hotnoqeneous components ar e linked together. The enlarged eq uilibr ium state of a s)"te m . The problem with co ncentrat ing on th e
meaning of 'intensive' is related to the standard definition in the final state is that only during th e difference-driven process can th e
crucial role played by d!fJerence. Much as a thermodynamic intensive eq uilib rium state be see n as a virtual attractor, a state which is not
process is characterized by the productive role which differences play actualized yet but which is neverthel ess real since it is actively
in the driving of fluxes, so in the enlarged sense a process is intensive attract ing th e successive states of th e syste m towards itself. But whil e
if it re lates diffirence to d!fJerence. 39 Moreover, as the e xam ple of it is true that classical thermodynamics tends in this sense to under-
assembly processes based on adaptive components showed, th e flexible est im ate the virtual and th e intensive, 'this t endency wou ld lead
links which these components afford one another allow not only the nowhere if intensity, for it s own part, did not present a corresponding
meshing of differences, but also endow the process with th e capacity t endency within th e extensity in which it develops and under th e
of divergent evolution, that is, the capacity to furth er d!fJerentiate quality which co vers it. Intensity is difference, but this differen ce tends
diffirences. to deny or to can cel its elf out in extensity and underneath quality' .-w
Armed with this more adequate definition of inten sive pr oc ss we In other words , while certain scie nt ific practices tend to systematicall y
can move on to the second set of issues I said need d to be discu ssed: down-grade th c intensive and conceal the virtual, th ese practices onl y
the concealment of the intensive under the extensiv e, as \ e ll as the amplify an illusion which is obj ective and which is, therefore, much
concealment of the concrete universals (singu larities and afTect s) which harder to ov ercome.
animate intensive processes . To anticipate th con .lusion I will reach One wa y of allowing th e virtual to manifest itself is to design
in a moment, in the case of singularities th existe n ce of th e virtual is expe riments or to st ud y phenomena in circumstances wh ere intensive
manifested in those situations where int ensive diftt'r ' 11(,(" are not differen ces are not allowed to canc el th emselv es, This is what is done
III lIu" 1.'h'l \t ' l Inll 01 Iht " t i t Ilt t 0 1 h.-.u , ti ll held 0 1 IIJr IfI'm I'l l I li t I I 10 IIU ., I II II 1 111111 111 IIl1t l I II Itt. II III 111 pll h II IItl1
cl/ llI hhn UIII Iht ·nllOd)"ll.llJlICS, \,ht'n' .111 Inlt'n ,,' lIem of m.u n -r .1Ilt! ol on 1"' ''111 I II ,l lt l,H !lli ll ,ll1 d IlIll l .lIl l ltllll ( 1 11 1 1 \\t tll Uld. "I ttHlI I ,

t' lIl'rgy cont lnuouslv lr.l\"t'rsl'S lilt' svsn-ru undt'l" st ud v .Kling a.. n -h-r t o lilt.. ,. It , ·l l loIl i \ I ' , I" hl. " I, l tt ' ,I J",nl/"I" ..." IIn1 \ 1I111.• lIlit ·" l llll I
- - ,

co nstrain t maintaining int ensive- dil1~'n'nn's JliH·...• I said ill Iht' pn-vi - 1M\(' ,.In·.ul) ,1fglll·t1 for 1hv w,.·d to h·pl.h I ' lilt pO"lhlc \\ ith ,l mUI( '
o us cha pter that the varictv o f atl ractors which J s)'s ll'rn n1.1)' h.wl' .l t k 'l U.lI t· form of physical rnod.llit ),. )
dep end s on wheth er its dynam ics arc linear or nonlinear. Whi k linear- A systeTll with multiple au ractors, in shor t, has J gn'ah'r t"' IMdt )·
systems possess th e sim plest dis tribution of sing ularities, a singll~ glohal to l'xpn'ss or revea l t111~ virtual. But this I,' xpn'ssin' cap .wit)' will
optim um structuring the w ho le of state space, nonlinear ones typically depend , in turn, on the thermodynamic "zone of inu-nsity in which
have multiple attracto rs (o r put more techni cally. nonlinear equations the syS1l'm orl'rJtl~s: at low inten sit ies (ncar equi libriu m) a nonl inea r
allow for multiple so lutio ns) . To th e math emat ical d istin ct ion be t ween system will in effect he linearized, that is, its pot ential complex
th e linear and th e nonli near , th erefore , we mus t now add a thermo- behaviou r will no t be revealed . T his procedu re has, in fact, lx-comc
dynam ic one , th at betw een s)'ste ms near and Jar from equ ilibri um . As ro utine in physics whe neve r trou blesom e no nlinear effects ru-ed to he
Pri gogin e and Nico lis pu t it "witho ut the maintenance of an appropriate elim inate d: o ne sim ply st ud ies th e syste m in qu esti on at very low
distan ce from equilibrium, nonlineari ty canno t by itself give rise to inte nsity values for the trouble-making variable. -4-4 How ever by fo!lo\\, - I

mul tipl e solutio ns. At eq uilibrium detailed balance introd uces a further ing pro ced ures like this and systematically neg lecting the high inu- nsit y
co ndi tio n that restricts and even un iqu ely fixes ' th e solutio n." ? In oth er values at wh ich no nlin ear effects arc fully ex presse d , physicists pro motl'
words, to exhibit th eir full co mplexity nonlinear systems need to be an illusion wh ich is originally objective but wh ich now becom es
driven away fro m eq uilibr ium, o r wh at amounts to th e same th ing, subjectively amplified . O n th e o the r hand , st udy ing syste ms wh ich are
appropr iat ely large differen ces in inte nsity need to be maintained by bo th no nlinea r and no nequ ilibrium , systems wh ere the objective
e xte rna l co nstra ints and no t allowed to ge t cance lled o r be mad e too illusion is at it wea kest , o pe ns up windows into the virtual.
small. In this sense, as these authors say, 'no nequilibrium reveals th e One of th e tasks of a philosopher atte m pting to cre ate a th eo ry of
potentialities hidd en in th e non linea rities, potenti aliti es th at remain virt uality is to locat e th ose areas of the world wh ere th e virt ual is still
d o rm ant at o r near eq uilib rium' . H ex presse d, and use th e unactu alized tenden cies and capacities one
Thi s is important in th e presen t co nte x t becau se it explains th e discov ers there as sources of insight into th e nature of virtual
physical so urce of th e obj ecti ve illusion Deleu ze ta lks about. Take for multiplicities. More exac tly, Del eu ze recommends following a very
example a linear syste m wi th a sing le attractor . As I just said, wh ile specific philosophical me thod in wh ich, as he says , it is
th e system is on its way to thi s attracto r th e unactualized end state is
ind eed there alr ead y, actively att racting th e process toward s itsel f. At necessar y to return to the interior ef scientific states ef ~a j rs or bodies in
this point its virt uality is relatively easy to g rasp. But once the process the process of belne consti tuted, in o rde r to pen etrate int o co nsiste ncy ,
is over it becomes easy to over loo k th e virtual na ture of the end state, tha t is to say, into th e sphe re of th e virt ual, a sphe re th at is only
even th ou gh a system will never actually reach th e attracto r, only act ualized in th em . It would be necessary to 90 bock up the porh rhor
fluctuate in its vicinity. A nonlinear syste m with m ultiple attractors, science descends, and at th e very end of whi ch logic sets its cam p.:"
on the other hand, continues to display its virtuality even on ce th e
syste m has settled into one of its alterna tive stab le states, because th e In o ther wo rds, unli ke the linear and equili briu m ap proach to science
othe r alt ernatives are there all th e tim e, coexisting with th e o ne that \....hieh conce ntrates o n th e final product, o r at best on th e process of
happ en s to be actua lized . All o ne has to do to reveal their virtual act ualizatio n but always in th e direct ion of th e final product , philosophy

I.ollid 1111'" III till 01'1'"11. dlll,lllIlI '111111 '11111111 III 11111111 . II I' ," 1.11 11It III 101< I 11'1'111 ' III I 11,11111 ,I dl I II loll III till 1.1111.1
I II ti ll' 1111 ,'11 1\1 1" 0" " " ,dllc i. 1'," d IlC' tl1I'11I , lid 1111111 till It 10 th,
ItI' I 11111.1 Ilk, 10 ,Ic I. II III 1111111111 I, .. 1111 nlll ' 10 till 1111 I. 1'1.111
virt u: I. " III( h 0P,"11 d 1111 ,I.,'pl'" I 1°1'0111 'II ,.I 1',11 I hll II dill, I ' IItl,II. ",.1
Let me give a co n, rl'll' cxa m p l« o r w h.n il " wil d III' ,II' to re- turn di"II !.' il '01111111111,.1 II 1ll" Ollll" 111 0 11<" I'd, mil',' Il'ldl 1111'1'11
J '

to th e int erior of a bod y in the pr ocess or bein g co nstituted . Biological [ollowi n J .1 (.be.H I" 01 sv, rruru t rv, hi ".lkin I ,'v, '111 .
cate go ries, particularly those abo ve '1' cies, tend to be cr iatcd by I: . u -nsivv struct ures wo uld co nst it uu tl u- co unh 'rl' rt or thl' holl Oll 1

obs erving similarities (or techni cally, homologi es) among th e anatom - lc 1'1, while inte nsive pr o ·( ' SS 's wo uld he Ihl' co unterpart 01 till'
ical parts of fully form ed organism s, To th e exte nt that th e pr ocess int rrn ccliat c leve ls, -ach o ne representing a g 'o llll'l ry which is no t
which generates these organisms is ignored th ese static classifications fully mctri but whi h can, in fa t , be me:tricized . Th · top Il'v"I , .111
conceal the virtual. But the development of a nonlinear, non equilib- ideally co ntinuo us and relatively undiff erentiated spa " would III till'
rium approach to em bryo logy has reveal ed a different, more dynamic co unte rpart of the virtual . I us ' terms like ' to p' and ' botto m' hl'r, '
way of cr eating classifications. A good example is provided by a new informall y, with no sugges tion that th ese spac s a tu ally form ,I
approach to the study of th e tetrapod limb, a structure which can tak e hierar hical struct ur . A better image here would b a nest ed se t III
many divergent forms, ranging from the bird wing, to th e singl e digit spaces, with th e cascade acting to unfold spaces whi h ar c -mb cddcd
limb in the horse, to the human hand and its opposed thumb, It is into on e another. Another important qualifi cation is that each on or
very hard to define this structure in terms of the common properties th e spaces that co m prises thi s' nest ed set is classified not by its
of all the adult forms, that is, by concentrating on homologies at the exte nsit ies or its qualities, but by its affects, that is, by its invariants
level of the final product. But focusing instead on the embryological under a transformation (o r group of transformations). In othe r word s,
processes that produce this structure allows th e creation of a more what matters about each space is its wa y of being affect ed (o r not
satisfactory classification. As on e author puts it, this new classificatory affect ed ) by specific ope rations, th emselv es characte rized by their
approach 'sees limb homology as emerging from a common process capacity to affe ct (to translat e, rotate, project, bend, fold, st rc t h) .
(asymmetric branching and segmenting), rather than as a pr ecisely Without this caveat, we could run th e danger of circularity, since th o
rep eated archetypal pattern '. 46 exte nsive properties of th e bottom level would be used to define tlu-
Returning to th e int erior of th e tetrapod limb as it is being other levels as well.
constituted would mean to reveal how on e and th e sam e ' virtual limb ' Thi s metaphor supplies us with a target for a th eory of th e virt ual:
is unfolded through different int en sive sequences, some blo cking th e we need to conce ive a cont in uum whi ch yields , through progr essive
occurrence of particular bifurcations (those leading to th e branching differentiation , all th e discontinuous individuals that populate th e a tual
out of digits, for example), so me enabling a full ser ies to occur, world . Unlike th e metaphor, however, this virtual continuum canno t
resulting in very different final products. This step in th e method, be conceived as a single , homogen eous topological space , but rather as
however, can only con stitute a beginning. The reason is that it still a heterogen eous space made out of a population of multiplicities, each
relie s on the notion of sim ilar ity or homology, even if thi s now of which is a topological space on its own . The virtual continuum
characterizes processes as opposed to products. A seco nd step needs to would be, as it were, a space if
spaces, with each of its co m pone nt

be add ed to ex plain th e source of these process homologies. Or to put spaces having the capacity of progressive differ entiation. Beside this
this differently, once we have rev ealed th e intensi ve process behind a multiplication of spaces , we need a way of me shing th ese together into
product we still need to continue our ascent towards th e virtual a het erogen eous whole. Delcuzc, in fact , refers to th e virtual contin-
str uct ures that can onl y be glim pse d in that process but whi ch explain uum as a plane if
consistency, using th e term 'consiste ncy ' in a unique

I' ll v , 111.1 III 1'.11 111 11 1.11 , III ,I I II (. 1..1\ Ill' 1I0t/1I1l' 10 .I" III. 10 111.,1 ,tt.. I •• 11I.1 I ,h. I I I I I' II I,ll I.. • Illhl , '.

IO IlSiS ll' IH), Ih.11 is, " ill. 11.<, .lbs<, III' · 0 1,, "' 111.11111011. H.t/III, 'Oil i 01 .1 h. I 10 "111 011 1,,"111111111"
l:nc)" is defined as the syntlicsts 1 h CI l'r0H '1ll?/I1C\ (,/\ \/II h .' llu III t 1.1 k I • till II , I" •• I tI, ' "11' I" ItII It I" I. 1I11 1l\lJpl

T here ar c tw o se ts o f issu es th at mu st Ill' d iscu ssi«] b,.ro n · \\1' c. n [roru 11I.l tl lI' lIl .l l il (.11111111111 ••1 II I 111'" , 1II I1ILlIII ) .1IId 'll lid ot .111\

move beyond thi s metaph o r . Both arc issues r ·Iat ing to till" CII I it ies th. t trao- or .Kl lI,l li t) 11t.11 till , '0111 pI 11l.1\ 11111....11 di -spite tl w i! .111'1',11"

populate th e virtual. First o f all, Chapter l ' description o f multipli cit - h i ' h ly a bstrac l n.u urv . III Il,Ir or th ese ('o lln' p l 1'.111
II ul.n , 1I01H'

ies left unresolv ed th e qu esti on of th eir nature as co nc re te unive rsal I" '5IIPPOSC tndividuation, T hey lH'l'd to he u -an sform ccl t o IW l"OIl H' fllih
entities . In other words, I used ce rtain features o f math imatical models pre-individual nonons so th at they 'an for m th logical and pit sical h .ISI
(the vector fields of state spaces) as a source for th e noti ons that defin e for th e ge nesis o f indi vidu als. When ph ysicists o r mathemati ians spI·.lk
a multiplicity but 1 did not discuss how th e properties of an actual of 'di ffere nt ial relati on s' , for exam ple , th ey have in mind a part icul ar
entity, a mathematical model, can be made into th e properties of a math ematical object whi ch e m bodies th ose relation s : a J unclion. Such
virtual on e. This is a task which will involve a specific philosoph ical an objec t ma y be viewed as a de vice whi ch maps one domain or
transiormation of the mathematical concepts involved, a m eans of numbers (o r ot he r entities) into another , or to use a m ore technol o
detaching th ese concepts from th eir mathematical actualization, so to gical m etaphor, as a de vice whi ch rec eiv es some inputs and maps them
speak. In addition to this, th e first part of this discussion need s to add into an o utp ut .?" As suc h, functions defin e mathematical individual i n
to the last chapter's characterization a description of what makes processes . For exa mple , when a function is used to model a physical
multiplicities capable of being m eshed together. 1 will argue that by syste m , its inputs (or ind ep endent variables) become th e dim en sions of
extending eac h singularity into an iriflnite series, and defining th ese state space , while its output (depend ent variable) individuate s a parti u-
series without the use of m etric or quantitative concepts, multipliciti es lar state in that space. (A series of suc h states forms a traj ectory.)
can become capable of forming a heterogeneous continuum . Although Deleuze do es defin e virtual ent ities via differential relati on s
The se cond set of issu es involves going beyond singularities and into (that is, as relations between changes or differences) it is clear that Ill'
a discussion of affect s, I said before that th ere ar e two special cases of cannot co nceive of th ese relations as possessing th e form o f a fun cti on ,
intensive proce sses that cry out for explanation in terms of virtuality since thi s would presuppose individuality. In ot he r words , th e differ-
(or at an y rate, in terms o f so me kind of physical modality. ) The first ential relations defining multiplicities canno t involve th e asymmetry
case was exem plified by ph ysical systems with multiple attractors, between dep endent and ind ependent variables (or input and out put).
syste ms which for ce on us th e problem of accounting for th e m od e o f If anything, th ese relations must be like ' form less functions' , wh re
ex iste n ce of th e available ye t una ctualized tendencies. The sec o nd case inputs and outputs ar e not yet distingui shed, wh ere th e relation is not
was flexible assembly processes whi ch lead to an open se t of potential a rate of change of on e quantity relative to an other , but th e rate at
co mb inatio ns. When a process leads to a clo sed set of assemblages, whi ch two quantities change relative to each other. As Deleuze puts
thi s set ma y be given by exhaust ive en umeration (that is, it ma y be , it , virt ual relations must involve a purely recipr ocal determination
defined extensionally) elim inating th e need to bring in a modal between th eir el ements, a reciprocal synthesis between pure changes
ex planation . But if th e set is div ergent (as in th e case o f biological or differen ces which sho uld not presuppose any prior individuation .so
e vo lutio n) th en no exhausti ve enum erati on will do since th ere will A philosophical transformation is also need ed to lift th e virtual co nte n t
always be novel assemblages not included in th e list . The qu esti on now from th e mathematical co nce pt of singularity . Mu ch as virtual differ-
is, if multiplicities and th eir singular ities co r respond to multiple stable ential relations must be distinguished from individuatine Jun cti ons ,
state s, what corresponds to these unactualized capaciti es in th e virtual virtual singularities should be di stinguished from indi viduated sta tes .
co ntin uum? Is th ere another virtual e ntity e m body ing th e capacity to Attract ors, for exam ple , ma y be defin ed as sp ecial subse ts of state

7° 7I
'l p .III', tll.11 I ••1 ltmn (Iu't, (01 1111111 t'1 o f ~ 1.1 1t ) But II \ III t III1'IJI I"."IIIIHI",J th tin '''lUlU " I J I» I. III. 'I" r III rlu \u ll",1
\\ OIlld IIl1ph rh,u tl U'\ .lln' ,llh Pel,,"," ,) dduillt 1I I(I I\ ulll.1I1" .
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lien ee n el l·tl / e....s ide:' that tht... p n .. iIHli, idu.l1 .lSIW I I (II III l u l.l n th'" c~n nwt .lpl.ori l .11 c1" 'llpll llll lit till p'Utl .11 11 1 dU ll ~I \ I' i" " ',hIl H,,1
o nly he g raspe d be fore th e) .lC<lu in° a wd l·dl'fillt'd iell·nt it ), in a state d l'lill il io ll, TIlt" I1 H't .1ph lll I Ihl Ot c ut rr lilt 0 1 ,I ph .l ( t r a nvi fi o u in .111
space full o f t raject ori es, that is, when th ey, arc o nlv , ' ".lgu l'h"
, d efined a Clll.11n1.lh.'rial SUI h .1' " .1"'''. \\'hl n It '.IIn i' H IO I"d clown 10 .1 lTith .,1
by th eir existence and distributi on in a vec tor field . Llnlikc t rajecto ries , a poi nt (abo ut 100°C at !'oe.1 It·H·I) it will spo ntane o usly dlang" nat un-
vect or field is not co mposed of Individuat ed sta tes, but o f instantaneous a nd condense int o a liquid, b ut as we co ntin ue to d l·ITt'.lSe tl U'
values for rates of change . Individually, t hese instantaneous rates (o r tl·mpcratllrc . th e singular e vent wh ich occu rred at th e crit ical poinl
infinites ima ls) have , in fact , no reality, b ut co llec tively they do exhibit will be foll owed by a series '!f ordm ory el't~·nts (each additional low l'ring
to pological inva riants (sing ulari ties) , and it is these in variants that o f tcmp('rature will have only a linear co o ling effect o n the !i<luid
should be given onto logical significance . O ntologically, how ever , an water) , a ser ies which exte nds up to the neighbourhood of anoth er
in vari an t of a vector field is just a topolog ical accident , a poi nt in th e singulari ty (O°C, w here the nex t critica l e vent, free zing, occ ur s) . A
field w hic h happens to be stationary (mo re tech nically, a point at w hich sim ilar idea wou ld apply to t he virtual: the sing ularities dl'iining .1
the zero vector is attached). Dcl euze proposes that these topologica l multiplicit y would be come th e o rigin o f se ries of ordinary idea l e vc-n tx
accidents sho uld be given th e ontological status of an event, but given extend ing up to th e vicinity o f other sing ularities bel on ging to o thvr
th eir universality o r recurren t nature, th ese events sho uld be seen as multipliciti es , Unlike th e metaphor, however, t he se series o f ide-al
ideal, not actual. A sim ilar point applies to th e bifurcations whi ch e ven ts would not form a seq ue nce in time but rather a se ries o f
unfo ld th e em bed ded levels of a multiplicity: eac h o ne o f th ese co existing clements, (I will expand o n thi s in the next chapte r wh en I
sym metry- breaking transitions sho uld be see n as an id eal event , and d iscu ss th e for m of tem po rality of th e virtual. " )
not, of co urse , as an actual pha se transiti on . As Delcuze writes: T o get rid o f th e metaphorical content and to show in what sense
th e ser ies cxtc nding from sing ularit ies arc non metric (thus capable of
W hat is an idea l event ? lt is a singulari ty - or rather a set of forming a virtual co ntinuum) I will need to int ro duce one m ore
singularities or of singular points charact erizing a mat hematical techn ical term , that of an irifJnite ordin al series. Unlike an infinite ser ies
cu rve , a physical sta te o f affairs, a psycho logical an d moral perso n. of card inal numbers (o ne , tw o , three . . .) an ordinal seri es (firs t ,
Singul arit ies arc turning points and poi nts of inflect ion; bo tt lenecks , second, t hird . .. ) d oes not presuppo se th e ex istence of fully ind i-
knots, foyers, and centers; points o f fusion, condensation and vid uate d numerica l q uan t ities , To be defined an o rd inal seri es demands
boiling; po ints of tears and jo y, sickne ss and health, hope and only ce rtain asymmetrical relations betw een abst ract clements, rcl a-
anxi cty, ' sen sitiv e points' , , , [Yet , a singularit y] is cssentially pre - tions like t hat of beina in between two other cl em ents, In other words,
individ ual, non -persona l, and a-con ceptual. It is quite indifferent to it is o nly the order in a seq ue nce that matters, and not th e nature
th e individual and th e co llec tive, th e person al and th e imperson al, (numer ical o r otherwise) o f th e ele me nts so o rde re d . Bertrand Russell ,
th e particular and th e gen eral - and to th eir oppositi on s. Singularity wh ose th ought in th ese matters has influ en ced Del eu ze, arg ues that
is neut ral , S l mu ch as non metric geo mct ries event ually provided th e foundation for
the o lder metric o nes , so o rd ina l ser ies became th e foundatio n for o ur
T o co m plete th e characte rizat ion o f multipliciti es as entities we now vcr)' noti on o f numeri cal quantity. 54 There is, in fact, a direct
need to discu ss th e capacities for int eraction which th ese co mplex relation ship between metric spaces and ca rd inal numbers, on th e one
events may be expected to exhibit. Eacb o f the singularities defin ing a hand, and non metric spaces and ordinal numbers, o n th e oth er. Two
multipli cit y must be thought as pos sessing the capaCity to be extended or metric ent it ies , two length s, for example . can be d ivided in a simple

72 73
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like topologica l snaccs , whe-re WI' can rigorousl) I'stahlish th: I .1 poinl /11,1) Ill' us,·d 10 ' 1 111'1.1"' , .1 1' 1 fllldol l \ 1 " /1 ' 'IU,'/I" , tl1l' lllod ,tI
is nearby another , but not by cxa .t1 y ho w mu ch (givcn that their (" t(' Jo ril'S <pClSsibilil y) Ill' \\ bill'S 10 n -pl.u« . 'j

separa tio n ma y b stretche d or co m pr .ssccl) . At Ihis poin t .1Il import.lnt qua lificarion sho uld I" made . Multipli. it
Russell introduced th e term distance (or int en sit y) to define relati on s iI'S , ho u k] nol b,' co nce-ived • S possl'ssi ng tlH' '. pae it to activ , I '
of proximity betw een th e elements of an o rd inal se r ies . 5'; As a relati on, interact with o ne • nether th rough t hese s .ries, De-le uze thin ks about
an ord inal di st an ce canno t be di vided , and its lack o f div isibi lity int o t hem as en dow d \ ith o nly a me re apacity to be affecte d , since t1ll'y
identical units im p lies that two o rdinal distances can ne ve r be exactly ar c, in his wo rds, 'im pass ive en tit ies - impassiv results , ,(,() T Ill
compared alt ho ugh we can rigorously esta blish th at o ne is greater or Ie s ne utrality or steri lity of mu ltip licities may be ex p laine d in th e fo llowing
than an other. The d!lJerence between two distan ces, in o the r words, way . Although their divergent unive rsalit y ma kes them inde pe nde nt of
cannot be cancelled through numerical identity, so th e resul ts of th ese any pa rticular mechanism (t he sam e m ult ip licity may b actua liz ,d b .
co m pariso ns ar e always an ex act ye t rigo ro us . In sho rt, o rdinal distances several causa l mecha nism s) they do depend on the empirical Jact that orne
ar e a nonmetric or non -quantitati ve co nce pt. Dcleu ze ad opts th ese causal mechanism or another actua lly exists," T his is m erel y to say th at
ideas from Ru ssell but break s with him at a crucial point : he do es not th ey arc not transcendent but imman en t entit ies. But beyond thi s,
co nce ive of th e priority whi ch th e ordinal has over th e card inal as un like ete rna l and fixed ar chetyp es whi ch have no hist orical o rigin,
bein g purely logical or conceptual, but as bein g o ntolog ical. In othe r Deleu ze views multipliciti es as incorporeal 1Jects c!f corporeal causes, that
words, Dcleu ze establishes a genetic relati onship betw een se rial o rde r is, as hist orical resul ts of act ual causes possessing no ca usal pow e rs of
and its defining nonmetric di st an ces, on one hand, and numerical t heir own . O n th e ot he r hand , as he w rites, ' to th e exte nt th at they
quantities, on th e ot he r. An o rd inal se ries w hic h is den se (that is, diffe r in na t ure fro m th ese causes, th ey ente r, w ith one ano ther, into
where between any t w o clements th ere is alw ays an othe r one) w ould relatio ns of quasi-ca usality . T ogether th ey e nte r into a relation wi t h a
form a one-dimensional continuum o ut of whi ch cardina l numbers would quasi-cause w hic h is itself incorporeal and assures th em a ve ry special
emerge through a sym met ry- bre aking discontinuity. 56 ind ep enden ce . .. ' 6 2
L t' s return to th e problem of assembling virtual multipliciti es into I said before that th e co nst ruction of a vir t ual contin uum invol ves
a plan e of co nsiste ncy. As I said , each on e of th e singu lar idea l e ve nts co nside ring not on ly th e role o f sing ularities but also o f affects . Unlike
defining a multiplicity need s to be imagin ed as being extende d into a actua l capacities, w hich are always capaci ties to affec t and be affected ,
series o f ordinary events which are still virt ual o r ideal but that , unl ike virtual affec ts ar e shar ply divid ed into a pure capaci ty to be affec te d
sing ularities, alre ady possess a minimal actualization . 57 Each of th e (d isplayed by impassibl e multipliciti es) and a pure capacity to 4fect. T his
series w hich e m anates from a sing ulari ty sho uld be im agined as bei ng capacity, as I hinted above, is ex hib ite d by ano ther incorporeal e nti ty
den se and defined exclusive ly by o rd inal distan ces, thus constit uting a w hich Delcu ze refers to as a ' q uasi-ca use' . At thi s po int , int ro duci ng
one- d imensional co ntinuum. A heterogen eou s co ntinuum co u ld th en m ore entities m ay strike us as ar tificial, o r at least as inflati onar y,
be woven fro m th e m an y se rial co ntinua spring ing from each m ember enc um be ring an already unfamiliar onto logy wit h furth er un famili ar
o f th e population o f mu ltipli citi es. To ensure that multipl icit ies ar e features. But thi s int ro d uctio n is far from being artificial . A key
m eshed together by th eir di fferen ces, Del eu ze arg ues th at the relatio ns co ncept in th e definition o f a m ult ip licity is th at of 'i nva r iant', but
amo ng th ese se ries mu st be both convergent and diverqent, In othe r invari an ces are always relati ve to so me t ra nsfor ma tio n (o r group of
wo rds, the series m ust be m ad to co me togeth er and communi cate but transformatio ns) . In othe r words, w he never we spea k of th e invar iant

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o nto log ica l co nten t o f th e virtual mu st also IH' l'Uri, hl'd wi til at le.lsl ~ l' ri ('~
of idt'.ll ('\(' lIt s 1I1t 1"i1 IH huthl I 1I .1Il 1IIIIIwd to hlTOI1l(' tr ill)
one ope ra to r. Th e qu asi-cau se is. indeed, thi s 0p"'rato r and it is dcfjncd pro -individua l. I w ill 11ll'l1li 0 I1 h" I(' (111)' the 1110"t im por-ta n t rrq uin -
not by its giving rise to multipliciti es but by its capaci ty to affect them . nu -nt , ah l10ugh Dl·leu /.l' d i..(u~.,,·~ S(·\t·r,ll more: th e idea l ('\( 'n1'oo
'T he qua si-cau se do es not create , it ope ra tes", as Dclcu zc says.v' for ming a virt ual se-ries m ust not bl' conn'in'd as having nUn/t'n ca /
T his new entity must be as care fully co nstruc te d as multiplicit ies pro babilit il's of occ urre nce associated with them ; th l')' mu st b,·
were : C \ 'CI1' ste p in th e co nst ruct ion mu st meet the co nst ra int o f .uranged in se ries using o nly o rd inal distan ces, and he d istingui sht'd
avoid ing esse ntialist and typ ological catego ries , and all th e co nce pts from o nc ano ther exclusively by the di fference between the singular
involved in its definition must be shown to be pre- indi vid ual. Roughl y, and the o rd inary , the ra re and th e common, without furt her specific-a
the task which th e quasi-causal o pe rato r mu st acco mplish is to cre ate tion . In other words, the co upled changes in distribution s wh kh
am ong the infinite seri es springin g from each singularity ' reso nances o r co nstitute an informati on tran sfcr sho uld not be co nceived as chang"s
echoes', that is, th e most ethe real o r least co rpo re al of rclati on s.t" The in co nd itional pro babilities, but simpI)' chanaes in the distribution of th e
techni cal aspects of this task may be specified using co nce pts from sina ular and the ordinary within a series .b K
abstract co m municatio n th eor-y, In co m m unication th eo ry , th e actual I will return in th e next chapte r to a m ore co m plete characte rization
occurre nce of an event is said to provide information in proportion to o f the rela tions between th ese three elements of th e virtual (m ultipli-
th e probabilities of the event 's occurrence: a rare event is said to provid e cities, qua si-cau sal operat or, plane of co nsiste ncy) . But to co nclude the
more info r matio n on being actualized th an a co m mo n one .es These present chapter I would like to address a possible obj ecti on to thi s
events, each with its own probability of occ urre nce , may be arranged sche me, What motivat es th e postulation of a qua si-cau sal o pe rato r?
in a se ries. \Vh en two separate series of events are placed in After all, we feel co nfide nt postulating th e existe nce of multipliciti es
co mm unicatio n, in such a way that a change in probabilities in on e to th e exte nt that we can study in th e laboratory certain phen omen a
series affects the probability distribution of th e other, we have an (such as th e se ries of flow patterns cond uc tion- co nvect io n- t urbulencc)
iriformation channel. A telegraph, with its co upled series of events which embody such a progressively determinable entity , Moreover, we
(electrical events defining letters in Morse code at both sending and can also check empirically that a portion of th e same sym me try-
receiving ends of th e transmission line), is an example of an informa - breaking cascade is exhibite d by othe r processes (embryological pro-
tion channe l. But in th e abst ract version of communication th eory ces ses , for ex ample) which dep end on suc h different causal m echanism s
nothing whatsoever is said ab out th e physical realization of a channel , th at th ey alm ost demand we postul ate a mechanism -ind ep endent entity
such as th e length of the transmission line, o r th e type of code used . as part of th eir explanation . Hut what ev ide nce d o we have that th ere
Simil arl y, no mention is mad e of information flowing through a ar c int en sive processes which can spontaneously pciform iriformation
channel : an em issio n of a 'quantum ' of information is associat ed with transmission operauonsi I will argu e in a moment that th e answer to thi s
an)' change in probabilities in on e series relati ve to th e o the r series. qu esti on is th at th ere arc in fact such processes, and that th ey provide
(Technicallv, th e tw o series are 'connecte d' o nlv through a co nd itional th e justificati on for thinking that suc h ope rations may ind eed be
" "
probability matrix. )"" performed virtually. But before doin g that let me add th at thi s relian ce
T his definition of an infonnation cha nne l appea ls to Del cu zc pre - o n 'evide nce ' fro m int en sive processes (mo re exac tly, a rel iance o n
cisely becau se of its highly abstract nat ure , presupposing no thing abo ut traces left b), th e virtual in th e inten sive) would co nstit ute one of th e
det ails of physical impleme nta tion,"? But ma the ma tica l models using main cha racteristics differentiating a th eory of thc virtual from a th eor-y

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multiplicit y, quasi-causal opt 'rat ur and pl.lIH· of ul lI:o;ish"lC)' would he . t r.m sm iscion occur". B il l .1 ., \ I. III "I'IHO.I' II,· .1 ph.IS'· t r .m su io u .
in thi s sen se, concrete empirtco-ideal notions, not abst ract catl'gor ies. f,9 t1Il' S~' lluctuati ons I)(.'gill to di"pl.l) ,orn·l.llion" till' corre latio n len glh
Is th ere any e vidence motivating th e po stul ation o f a qu asi-cau sal {t he d istan ce across wh ich ,'\','n l" iulhu-ucv ".Iell o t her's pr ob ahilit icv)
operat or? There is, in fact, a rel ati vel y new field o f nonlinear scie nce incfl'asing th e closer th e s)'Slt:m gl'ts 10 th e crit ical po int. In t he ricinU)
dedicated to th e st udy o f 'eme rge nt co m putation' , th at is, to th e st ud)' oj the bifu rcation the capacity to transmit iriformation is maximized. Thi:o;
of physical processes in 'which th e int eracti on s am on g co mpo nl' nts can phe no me no n does not de pe nd on th e ph ysical mechani sm s und erl yin g
exhibit the capaci ty for non-trivial informati on processing ."? Th e th e phase t ra nsition: th e same idea applies to a metallic mat eri al
mean ing o f t he term ' com putation ' in th e co nte xt o f natural phenom- switc hing fro m th e magn et ized to th e unmagnetized state , o r to .1

ena is rel ativel y easy to grasp if we th ink about D NA and th e ce llular material sw itc hing from th e gas to th e liquid state . In o ther wo rds , 111l'
machin ery for its transla tion, since thi s invo lves th e rel atively unprob- phen omen on o f strong co r rela tio ns between fluctuation events in till'
lematic idea that bio logica l mechanism s have been evolved for th e neigh bourhood of a ph ase transit ion displa ys div ergent uni versalit y." !
purpo se o f sto ring , transferring and processing information . But I want T o scie ntists w orking in th e field o f eme rge nt co mputa tio n thi s
to focus my discussion on a more gen era l se t o f physical phenomena univ ersality is highl y significan t. So me even think that thi s univ ersal
th at do not invo lve any specialized hardware and ye t can be said to capacity for information transmi ssion is accompanied by com pleme nt-
transmi t info rmati on . W e need to keep in mi nd that informatio n ary capacities to store and process info rmatio n associated with other
transfer need not involve any co m pute r- like mec hani sm, bu t only th e characteristics of ph eno mena ncar phase transit ions.?" T his has led to
estab lishm ent (by whatever means) of a co rrel at ion bet w een t he the hypothesis that the specialized hardware whi ch living organisms usc
pr obabilit ies of occur rence of two seri es of events. As the phil osopher to p rocess info rm atio n ma y have required that evo lut ionary forces kept
Ken neth Sayre puts it, we can co nceive 'as an instance of informa tio n early o rga nisms poised at the ed8e of a phase t ransition , or 'w hat amo unts
transm ission any process in w hic h th e prob abili ty of o ne or more to the same thing , away from any stab le altractor. C hr istopher
mem be rs of an ensemble of eve nt s or sta tes is changed as t he result of Langto n, a pio neer in th is field of research, puts it t his w ay:
a change in p ro babili ty of an eve nt or state outside the ensem ble . Thus
co nceived , informati on tran smi ssion occurs with every physica l Living syst ems ar e perhap s best characterized as systems that
process , ' 71 dyna mically avoid att ractors . . . O nce su ch syste ms emerged near
The simplest non -biological instance of spontane o us correlation a cr itical t ransition, evolution see ms to have discov ered the nat ural -
betw een the probabilities o f events is the behavi o ur o f mat erials near info rmatio n pro cessing capacit y inh erent in these near-critical
phase transiti ons. In th is case the tw o se ries of e vents fo rming th e dynamics, and to have taken advantage of it to further the abi lit y o f
info rmatio n channel are, in a way , co llapsed into on e, since the such s}"stems to ma intain th emselv es o n essentially open -ended
co rrelations arc esta blished between th e probabilities o f occurre nce o f transients . . . T here is ample evidence in living ce lls to su ppo rt an
spatially separate d events in on e and th e same syste m .72 More exactl y, intimat e co nnectio n between phase transitions and life . 1\13n)' of the
mat eri al syste ms ca n be characte rized th ermodynamically by certain processes and st r uct u res found in living ce lls are being maintain ed
variab les wh ose values are not fixed (even at equilib rium) but rath er at o r near phase transit ion s. Exa mples include th e lipid membrane,
fluctuat e (w ith d efinite probabilities) around a given sta te. It is th ese whi ch is kept in th e vicinity o f a so l-gel tran sition; th e cytoske leto n,

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pin g and unzipping) of' tlu - ('lIl11 p ll·1I11· · sl r.lIl1 l. IIf I) , task III Ih~)sl' pl'l'lt)l'IIlI·d ill Ihis Ih.ll'lI'r : dn·..I0I'"lg .1 lIll'ol'y of t iuu:
with .ll'lu.\1 .lIld virtual IMl'l.s , thl' t wo dissinul.u: h.11 v", Iillkl'd I hrough
Kauffman 's networks o f' regulatory ge nes \ hich, as I discu ssed a properl y intensive form of temporalit y. It is to this other task that I
above, may form th e basis of processes of difl cr int iat ion in populations now turn .
of ce lls, arc also poised systems of thi s typ . T hat is, in thi s as ', to o,
the maxim um information transferring capacity is achi e ved wh en the
netwo rk is poised at the brink of a threshold, a threshold beyond
which this capacity melts away . It is much too earl y in th e dev elopment
of this research programme to assess the fu ll sign ificance of t hese
claims . Some of th e early form al results (usi ng cellular automata) have,
in fact, be en challenged .?" But the basic claim that th e vicinity of phas e
tran sitions is a sp ecia l pla ce wh en it com es to th e e merge nc e of
spontaneous information transmi ssion (as opposed to processing or
storage) is still valid. And it is th e ex iste nce of t his emerge nt capacity
in systems which come vel)' close to but do not actualize the phase transition,
which justifies us in pos tu lating such an en tit y as a quasi -causal
op erator.
In conclusion I would like to add that, as un familiar and ap parently
comp licated as De leuze 's scheme for t he prod uction of a virtual
continuum may seem, he must at least be given cre dit for working out
in detail (howev er speculatively) th e req uirements for th e elim inatio n
of an immutable world of transcendent ar ch etyp es. Giv en that essen ces
are ty pica lly po st ulat ed to explain th e existence of individua ls or of
natura l kinds, eliminating them involves giving an alt ernati ve explanation,
not ju st reducing th ese individuals and kinds to social conventions.
First , w e m ust give a detailed description ef th e int ensive processes ef
indi viduation which gen erate aetua lJorms. econd, we must sho w in detail
in what sen se the resources involved in individuation pro cesses ar e
immanent to th e world of matter and ene rgy , that is, we mu st not
sim p ly deny transccndentality in gcn eral but describe concrete mechanisms
ef immanence to explain how th e virtual is produced o ut of th e actual. The
two halves of this chapter ar e merely a ske tc h of how t hese two task s
ar e to be performed . The third and final requirement will invol ve
discu ssing th e temporal dimension of Del eu zc 's ontol ogy. This will
com plete the elim ination of esse nces we hav e bcgun here, ensuring

80 81
, 111111111 1011 0 lof It II .Ill II II of Illll 'I II I 11111 III II til II 111111 II
l'" 111011 :\ 111011 011 1" <l U' 1 of 1111 1" IlII ouiol 1,,0 <lh ti lt ,1111'I

CIIAI'IIH ~ if pi 0 lll ,, ·d 111 II " l' r" , ()II II" 0 11", 1..11,,1, 1110 I p r ll" 't' III
1I11'I'IIHlll)II .II11ics, :-;1 1( h .1 dillusiou 0' lit .i t « OI" hl' 111111 , .11', ' not 1'1" "I
The Actualization ~f the Virtual in Time ibk in this svnsc. Diffusion, for «x.uuph-, tl'lId. to homo ', 'niz,' sm.rll
difference s or lIu .t uatio ns, t hat is, u-nd s to damp them. But if w, '
revers,' th e seq ucnce of event ' we gl' t th ' oppo 'it e effect . a clampin I
T here is a con flict at the heart of physics, a confli t between two pron' " t urn ing into a proces ' of amplificatio n of fluctuations, I Math
for ms of scie ntific temporality. O n one hand, the re is t he conception c m atically, these ideas abo ut processes are expresse d in terms of t lu -
o f time th at develop ed in th e most prestigiou s branches of phy ics , invariance if the laws governing a process: w hile t he laws o f .lassica]
classical mechanics and lat er the special and general theories of and relat ivisti physics remain invar iant un der a time-reversal t rans
r elat ivit y. On th e o the r, th e co ncept of time born in humble areas of forma tion, the law s of th ermodynamics do not."
applied ph ysics, such as eng ineering and physical che mistry, a co nce pt I will arg ue in t he foll owing chapte r th at most of th e o bjective
wh ich eventually becam e th e time o f classical th ermod ynami cs. T he co nte nt of class ical ph ysics can be recov ered in an onto logy without
main differen ce betw een th ese two forms of time , besid e th eir di ffer ent laws. But in th e traditional ontology of ph ysics, laws ar e clea r ly th ..
degrees of int ell ectual prestige , is that whil e in classical and re lativist ic single m ost important enti ty . Thus, given th eir ontological ce nt ra lity
physics th ere is no arro w o f time, th e time of th e scie nce of heat and th eir invariance under time -reversal, it is not sur prising th at for
co ntains a fundamental as)'mmetry betw een past and future . T his mo st ph ysicists th e resoluti on o f th e conflict has tak en th e form o f
asymmetry is exe m plified by th e fact that th ermod yn ami c syste ms have keeping th e sym me t ry o f th e laws whil e explaining irrev rsibility
a preferential directi on always tending to approach th ermal equilibrium away. " On th e other hand , th e emerge nce of new co nce pts in th e
as th eir final sta te . As lon g as th ese two co nce ptio ns of time sim ply nonlinear branches of classical ph ysics, as well as th e ex te nsion of
coexiste d side by side , as th ey did for most o f th e nin eteenth ce nt ury , th ermod yn am ics to situatio ns far fro m eq uilibrium, has added new
th eir co ntradic tory relations did not cause any major foundational mod els and new phen omena displ aying irreversibl e temporal behav-
co nflicts in th e scientific co m m unity . But wh en th e physicist Ludwig iour, forcing a re -evaluation of t he co nflict's resolution . lIya Prigogin e ,
Boltzm ann attem pte d to unite classical physics and th ermodynami cs a leading pract it ion er in both th ese fields, has been one of th e most
into one un ified th eory (statistical mechanics) , th e co nt radiction voc al cri tics o f th e atte m pts to elim inate irreversibility. As he argu e ,
between reversibility at the microscopic level, at th e level of th e interac- if reversing th e seque nce of eve nts which makes up a process has no
tion s between th e molecul es that make up a gas, for ex am ple, and effect w hat oever on th e nature of time , then tim e becomes a mere
irreversibility at the macroscopic level, at th e level of co llective qu antities co ntaine r for eve nts happening in it:
like temperature or ent ro py, co uld no lon ger be avo ide d .'
Th e term ' revers ibility of time ' has nothing to do with th e idea of Conse q ue nt ly, as Henri Bergson and othe rs em phasized , every thing
time flowing backwards, that is, with a flow of time go ing from th e is given in classical physics: change is nothing but a denial of
future towards the past. Rather it refers to th e fact that if we took a becoming and time is onl y a parameter un affect ed by th e trans-
certain process, see n as a ser ies of eve nts, and reversed their seq uential formation th at it describes, The image of a stable world , a world
o rde r, th e relevant properties o f th e process w ould not change. 2 A th at esc apes th e process of becoming , has remained until no w th e
sim ple ex am ple fro m classical ph ysics would be th e moti on of an very ideal o f th eoreti cal physics . . . T oday we kn ow that ewto-
object in a frictionless medium , such as a ball thrown up w ards in a nian dyn ami cs describes only part of our ph ysical expe rience ...

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n the .lIld tr.U1s IIJrl1lation... ml.Url lII' \\1111111 I I.
co ntra ry, o ne charac te r izing a uni verse o f bl-'comin s without bdnH.
Or Afu-r rl'vi('wing II H'I"'lI's tl wo r} .1111 1 sho wi ng how it rvlau -s 10
more exact ly a universe wh ere individual beings do e xist hut
o nly as I k lt-UZl" s, I will mo ve o n to discuss some of till' Inten sive l·h.lracl
th e o utcome of bccomi ngs, that is, of irreve rsible pr ocesses t ·r
of istics of rim e, those relating to the individ uation of th e sta ble osci
individ uation . T his is, of co urse, not a co inc ide nce , since Dcl cuz llator..
e was whi ch co lh-ctivc lv
greatl y influen ced by th ose phil osophe rs (suc h as Henri Bergson , create a metric temporali ty, . I will describ e th « wo rk
) wh o o f the nonline ar biologi st Arthur Winfre e wh o pionee red a method
were th e harshest critics of th e reversible and un creativ e tempor to
alit y st ud)' th e birt h and death of oscillati on s, o r more exactly , a method
of classical scien ce. Ne ve rt he less, th e th eory of tim e created to
by locate th e sensitive point in an oscillat ion at which an ex te rnal shoc
Del eu ze, a th eory which I will attemp t to recons truct in thi s chapter k of
, the right int en sity and duratio n can comple tely annihil ate it.
goe s beyond th e co nflict between rev ersibility and ir re ve rsibility 11<, h.lS
. The also inn'stigat cd th e opposite ph en om en on, how a stim ulus of th
problem of time in a Deleuz ian ontolog y needs to he approa e right
ched in int en sity and timing can givc birth to se lf-sustained osci llatio ns.
exactly th e same terms as that of space : we need to co nce ive WIMt
of a Winfre e ' s work sho ws is that th e seq ue nces of osci llations at d
non metric tim e, a tempor al contin uum whi ch through a sym ifferent
mc try- scales making up metric tim e cannot be view ed as co mposed
breakin g proc ess yields th e familiar, divi sible and measur able of
time of identical instants . Rath er, eac h seq ue nce will e xhibit a distribu
e veryday ex per ience. In particu lar, we canno t tak e for granted tion of
th e sinsular and ordinary instants bearing witness to th eir inte nsive
existe nce of a linear flow of tim e alr ead y divid ed into identica l o rigin.
instants W infree 's co nce pts of critical l imina , durat ion and intensit y will
bearing such clos e resemb lance to o ne anothe r that th e flow play a
Illay be cr ucial rol e in defining the int en sive or nonme tric aspects of time
regarded as essentially hom ogen eous. ."
Let' s begin th en with th e qu esti on of exte nsive tim e. A nested
In th e first part of this chapte r I will introdu ce th e ideas need set
ed to of cycles o r differe nt tempor al scales would see m to offer th
think about extensive and int ensive tim e. Th e term ' exten sive' e right
may be form of temporalit y for th e flat o ntology of individ uals I propos
applied to a flow of time already di vided into instants of ed
a s h'en before . In thi s ontolog y, individual organis ms are co mpo ne nt
extension or durati on, instants whi ch may be co unte d using parts of
any device species, mu ch as indiv idual ce lls are parts of the o rganisms themse
capable of perform ing regul ar seque nces of oscillat ions. These lves,
cyclic so th at ce lls, organis ms and species form a ne sted set of individ
sequen ces may be maintai ned m echan ically, as in old clock -w uals at
orks, o r d ifferent spati al scales . But clearl y, each of th ese individ uals
throu gh th e natural osci llatio n of ato ms , as in newer version s, also
but in o pe rates at a differen t tempor al scale so th at somc thing like a
ei the r case sequences if cycles of differen t exte ns ion arc used to nest ed
measure set of cycles would he need ed to com plete th e picture . On th
stretches of time of differen t sca les : second s, minute s, hours, e other
days. hand, to think of species , o rganisms o r ce lls as possessing
Thi s idea , on th e other hand , may be ex trapo lated from th e measur a sing lc
ing characte rist ic spatial scale is too sim plified . As I said, between
process to the very process which gives birth to tim e . I will discu the ce ll
ss a and th e organ ism th ere ar e a vari ety of spatial str uct ures
theory by th e nonline ar physicist Arthur Iberall accordi ng to whi (tissues ,
ch th e organ s, syste ms of organ s) bridgin g th e two scales. A species ,
measurable flow of tim e of our eve ryday expe ri ence is in fact a in turn,
produc t is typicall y co mpo sed of severa l reprod uct ive co m m unities
of a metrirat ion o r a quantiz ation of tim e int o instants . Betwee (de mes)
n th e inhabit ing differen t ecosyst ems, each com m unity co nstit ut ing
fastes t vibra tions of subato mic particle s and th e e xtre mely long an indi -
life- vidual o pe rating at a inte rmedia te spat ial scale betwee n
eyell's o f sta rs and o the r cos m ic bodi es, Iberall imagin es a nested that of
set o rga nism and spe cies.
11111111 1' "1/11 11'1'1.. 10 10 1111'"1 d 11111 I 1'" ,III It, ,,1 111 d, pi I III III I 1111 II I , hlll It . I

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cycles and e ven lon ger Dil es, like lilt' 1"IIgih o r tim , 1ll',·d,'d 10 achieve
olh ' I S \\ ill en',ll, ' ,I
ori rina ] one , As I' ri

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sex ual maturity (r product ive ycl .s) . They also pll"sess lllallY short ' r of uniform stcac lv stall' . . , ignores t imc . But once in till' pl'riod i,
cycles displa yed in d iffere nt typ es of rh ythm ic be haviour: br eath ing , re 'ime, it sudd 'n ly "dis overs" time in t h ph ase of the periodic
ma sti cati on , locomotion . Thi s mean s that act ual ti m e , rath er t han bein g motion . . . We refer to th is as the breakinB if temporal symmetry. ' 10
a simp le nesting of cycles , ma y include ove rlaps between th multi - Unl ike linear osci llato rs (those most pr valent in c1assi al and
plicity of temporal scales asso ciated w ith each le vel of ind ividuality. In rel ati visti c physics) , a non linear oscillator born from a Hopf bifurcati on
th e present conte x t , however, it wi ll be more ex pe die nt to assum e a d ispl ays a characteristic period (and amplitude). By co nt rast, th e peri od s
sim ple e m be dding of time scales. For thi s purpose w e can assign (by and am plitudes o f linea r osci llators (typ ically modell ed as sinusoi da l
conventi on) a particu larl y prominent time scale to each indi vidu al osci llat ions) are not intrinsic but dep end on co ntinge nt det ails abo ut
le vel, such as th e cycle wh ich m easures th e maint enance if th eir identity: thei r initi al co nditions. 'I Arthur Iberall uses thi s ide a of an intrinsi c tim
th e length o f tim e aft er which all (o r most ) o f th e individual ce lls in scale not de pe nde nt on ext rins ic co nst raints as a basis for his th eory of
an organism hav e been rep laced by new on es without affecting the th e quantizat ion of time . As he puts it , suc h a th eory sho uld be bas ' d
organism ' s identity, or the length of time aft er whi ch all th e indi vidual on
organism s that form a sp eci es have died and new ones have taken th eir
pla ce, th ereb y preserving th e co ntinuity o f th e species' own identity. . . . th e m ath ematics of sequences if pulses urifoldinB in time as
This sim p lified nested set of cycles wi ll constit ute my working model distinpuisbed from sustained sinusoidal oscillatio ns. The basic idea is th at
of ex te ns ive or actual time . The qu estion now is whether thi s m etri c each pul se of acti on , in a nonlinear syste m em be dde d in a real
temporality can be accounted for in th e sam e way as m etric spa ce , that univ erse, emerges as a new cre ation out of its past . It is th
is, as the product of a sym metry-b re aking event . sustaine d lin ear instability in th e local env iro nment [which cause d
N onlinear dynami cs, in fact, allo ws a natural approach to th e th e Hopf bifurcati on in th e first place) th at ens ures th e rep etiti ve
quantization or m etrization o f time in terms of spontaneous broken quality of th e acti on. On th e other hand , in th e ideali zed lossless
sym met ry. In particular, th ere is a w ell -studied bifurcati on , the Hop'! [i.c . co nse rv ative ) linear isochron ou s syste m, with its cha racte ristic
bifurcation, which con verts a ste ady state attract or into a periodic on e ." susta ine d sinusoidal oscillation, causality for th e acti on would be
To see in w hat se nse this bifurcation implies a broken time sym met ry yoke d irrevocabl y to th e e nd less past and to an un ending fut ure . 12
we can use a spatial analogy, I said before that th e pha se transiti on
from a gas to a crys talline state offere d an ex am ple o f a loss o f Iberall argu es that , give n that nonlinear osci llato rs hav e a characte r -
invariance under spatial displ acement. While th e pattern of distribution isti c tim e scale, ra nging from th e ve ry sho r t cales o f at omic oscillators,
in space for th e gas remain s basically th e same under all di spl acements to th e intermediate scales of biol ogical osc illato rs, to th e very long
(if we ima gin e th e gas store d in an infinite co ntaine r) a regular Iifecycles of stars and othe r cos m ic bodi es, we ma y view th em as
arrangement of crys tals loses so me o f thi s invariance and remains forming a nested set of levels. This em bedde d set would e nsure 'the
visually un changed only for a specific number of displa cements (t hose unfolding of time , pul se by pulse . . . Time is not a uni versal unity for
matching th e len gth of individ ual crys tals, or multiples of th at len gth) . all le vels o f org anizatio n . Yet le vel s are nest ed within one an other and ,
Sim ilarly , th e time di stribut ion of a pro ces ' ca ught in a steady state w ith in limi ts, are re ferable to each ot he r .' 1 3 In other words, ra ther


than assuming th at time ex ists as an alre ady qu anti zed flow (d ivide d some times presen ts his theory of the syn thesis of th e presen t by
into uniform, iden tic al instants ) we should accountJor th is metric structure co ntraction of immedi at e past and futu re , as a psycholo gical theory,
using th e em bedde d set of differently scaled osci llatiuns . In a sense , bu t thi s is sim ply a matter of convenience of presentati on and not
eac h oscillation would 'synthesize a pul se of me tric time , many nest ed fundamental to his account. 16
sequences of th ese pul ses yield ing th e famili ar for m of time w hich we T he idea that it is not subject ive ex perience but th e o bjective t ime
hum ans can measure using a variety of chrono me te rs. T his co ncc pt of scale of osc illato rs th at matt ers m ay be furthe r illustrat ed with a well -
tim e is remarkably clo se to that of Del eu zcs for whom each of th ese known ex ample fro m rel ativit y th eory 1 an exa m ple w hich has some-
pulses of acti on would constitute a synthes is of ' present tirn e ' (the times led to confusion du e to a mistaken psych ological interpretation.
'lived present ' of at omic, biological and cosmic osci llato rs) , a synthes is The example co ncerns two twin brothers one of which stays on earth
th at wo uld work by contracting an immediate past and futu re into a whil e th e twin travels in a spaceship at a speed clo se to that of light.
living present. He refers to thi s m etric or ex tensive time by th e name The rel ati vistic co nclusion that th e twin o n th e spaceship wo uld age
of 'Chro nos ", and writes: much less than th e o ne wh o staye d on earth has some times been
challenge d o n the gro unds tha t th e differen ce between th e two
In acco rda nce to Chronos, onl y th e present exis ts in time . Past , situations is a matter of subjective co nve nti on : w hile th e twin in th e
presc nt and future ar e not three dimen sion s of tim e; onl y th e spaceship may be said to be m oving forwards rel ati ve to th e one on
presen t fills tim e, wh ereas past and future are two dim en sions th e ea rth , it is also possible to say th at, takin g the spaces hip as our
rel ative to th e present in time . In othe r words, whatever is future fra me of referen ce, it is th e ear th that is mo ving backwards relative to
o r past in relation to a certain present (a certa in ex te nsion or th e ship , so that th e sit uation is strictly sym me tric. Giv en this
durati on ) belongs to a mor e vast present whi ch has a gre ate r sym me try, th e shrinkage of ti me wo uld be an illusion, sim ilar to th e
extension o r duration . Ther e is alway s a mo r e vast present whi ch appa re nt shrinkage in size which observ ers ex pe r ience as th ey ge t
abso rbs th e past and th e fut ure. Thus, th e rel ativity of past and further awa y from eac h othe r. 17 This conclusion is, of co urse , false. As
future with resp ect to th e present entails a rel ativity of th e pr esents th e phil osopher Han s Rei chenbach argu ed lon g ago, th e sit uation for
the msel ves in relation to each oth er . .. Chronos is an encasement , a th e two twin s is not symmetric. T o see this, ho wever, we must go
coW ng up tif relati ve presents . . . 14 beyond the psychol ogical time of th e ob serv er to th e time scale of th e
osci llato rs tif which the observer is composed , not o nly the biological
Let mc ex p lain in wh at sense each cycle would co nstitute onl y a oscillato rs defining metab olic cycles at th e cellular scale , but also th e
present, and not a past or a future . Given an osci llato r at a particul ar ato mic oscillators of wh ich th e cells th emsel ves are m ad e . It is th ese
scale (a biological clock , for instan ce) , w hat is immediate past and osci llators that ar e objectively ~cled in th e case of th e rapidl y moving
fut ure fo r such an enti ty would still be part of th e ' lived' present of twin, slo wing down and hen ce retarding th e aging process, but not in
..Inosci llato r o pe rating at longer tim e scales, at th e level of geo log ical the case of his eart hbo und co unterpart. I S
or ste llar dynam ics, for exa m ple . Co nve rsely, th e minimum living A better wa y of explaining in wh at sense we may speak of th e 'liv ed
present for a biological oscillato r already includ es man y past and future present ' of a particul ar osci llato r is through th e relati on s between
eve nts fo r osci llators operating at ato mic and sub-ato m ic scales. Metric, objective time scales , on one hand , and the resulting capacities to
ex tens ive tim e would the n be funda me ntally cycl ical and 'composed alTect and be affecte d, on th e othe r. I said in Chapte r 2 th at wh at on e
only of interlockin g pr esents' .I 'i I mu st em phasize at th is point that, individ ual m ay afford another may dep en d on their relati ve spat ial
desp ite th e refe re nce to a 'Hvcd pr esen t ' , this acco unt of tim e has scales: the surface of a lake affor ds a wa lking medium to a small insect
nothing to d o with psychological tim e . It is tru e that Dclcuz c hut not to a large mammal. A sim ilar poin t applies to time scales. Each

level of tempo ral scale defines wh at oscillators at that level 'perceive .' obse rv ational tim e scales , in th e sense that for sufficie ntly long
as relevant chance: certain cycle s ar e simply too slow for them to appear obse rva tional tim es th e glass will appear t o th e obser ver as a flowi ng
as changing or moving relati ve to a faster level , and vice versa , certain liquid. "? Th c inclusion of th e observ er in thi s description may give the
oscillations ar c much too fast for th em to even co unt as existing for wrong impression that some thing psycho logical is being discu ssed , but
oscillators op e rating at lon ger time scales . Subject ive human tim e, o ur this impression disso lves on ce we realize that ' o bservation' is sim ply
psycho logically lived present with its ex pe rie nced duration , would on e particular instance of ' inte ractio n ' , In other words, what co unts
become in this interpretat ion a particu lar case of th ese obj ective here is th e ratio ef relaxati on tim e to int eraction time, a ratio that can be
rel at ions of mu tual rel evance between the affordances of osci llators, defined witho ut inclu ding a human ob server in th e picture. In particu-
Indeed , we may gen eralize this po int to include physi cal phenomena lar , we can let the liquid and glass interact with each other and spe ak
which cannot be character ized as periodic . W hat matters for this of how so lid th e g lass 'a ppears' to th e liqui d , and vice versa. The glass,
arg umc nt is th e existence of characteristic time scales, whether on e thinks given its long relaxation tim e scale relative to the scale of interaction
of these in terms of the intrinsic period of cyclic attract ors or, more with the liquid, will be have as a so lid , affording th e liqu id, for instance,
ge ne rally, in term s of th e relaxati on time associ ated with any kind of an ob stacl e to its flow, or afford ing it a channel in which to flo w . Th e
attractor. flowing liquid , in turn, wi ll afford eros ion to th e glass. In sho rt , what
An exam ple of what is meant by 'r elaxat ion tim e' is the time taken capacities the g lass has to affect and be affect ed by th e liqu id will
by a radio transmitter to settle into a stable pe riodic sta te aft er being depe nd on their rela tive time scales , the characteristic d urations of
t ur ned on , what engineers refer to as ' tr ansient beh aviou r ' . These their rel axati on to eq uilih r ium .
transients occur in man y phenomena and in each case they disp lay a T he objectiv e rel ati vity of afTo rdance s with respect to te mp oral
charac te ristic time scalc .!" In state-space terminology this can be scales mak es them the ideal candidate to defi ne th e ' lived present ' of a
ex plained as follows . As I said before , all trajectories within a particular particu lar indi vidual, that is, wh at this individual 'per ceives' within its
basin of attraction will be deterministica lly drawn to th e att rac to r . o wn tim e scale as th e rel evant capaci ties of th e other individuals
O nce there they may be temporar ily dislodged from th e attractor by interacting with it. It is in th is sen se th at Deleu zc allirms , q uite
an ex ternal shoc k but as long as th e shock is not int en se enough to literally , that even ino rgani c things 'have a lived ex perien ce ' . 2 1 T o
expe l them from th e basin , they will return to the attractor-. In thi s sum marize th e ma in concl usio n of this sec tio n: material and ene rge tic
case , the tim e taken for the trajectory to return to its att ractor is its processes give time its metric and measurable for m by th eir po ssession
re laxa tion tim e . Ho w this relates to the qu estion of affordances may of a characte ristic time scale , specified either through relaxation times,
be illustrat ed with an example ada pted from Arthur Iberall . T here arc or as I will d o in th e rest of thi s secti on, through the intrinsic per iod
some so lid materials, refer red to generically as 'glasses' , wh ich un like of nonlinear oscillati on s. To phrase thi s co ncl usio n in Del eu zc' s words,
their crystalline co unte rparts, do no t have a well-defined phase transi- at anyone of these em bedded time scales the present is 'cyclical,
tion from th e liquid state. In a sense, glasses are 'arres ted liquids' , that me asures th e movement of bod ies and depends on the matter that
is, th ey retain thc amo rpho us spatia l arrangement of molecul es that a lim its it and fills it o ut ' . 22
liquid displays but flow much more sJo wly. Roughly, th e distinction Having ske tc hed ho w exte nsive time should he co nce ived in a
bet ween th e glass and liquid states can be mad e in terms of relaxation Dcleuzian onto logy I would like to move on to discu ss th e ideas
times: th ese ar c relati vely long for glasses and rel ati vely sho rt for neede d to think abo ut the int ensive aspects o f temporality , In th is book
liquids. qu esti on s of inten sit y have been mo st ly relat ed to th e problem of the
lhcrall argUl~s th at w het he r a particu lar ho dy dppcaTs solid or liquiJ to ge nes is of ind ivid uals. In the case of the non linear osci llato rs wh ich
d Hil'cn observer w ill depend on the rati o lu-twccn re laxat ion and <Iuanti i",e tim e Arthur Winfn 'c 's uxpc rinu-ntal and theoretical work

gives us, as I said, the means to explore the intensive properties the definition o f 'intensive ' may be e xpanded to include capacit ies, and
involv ed in th e birth and death o f osc illatio ns. Winfree ' s best -known in particular, the capacity o f an individual to form assemblages with
wor k deals with populations o f uiological osc illato rs (t he internal clocks individuals very different from itself, Unlike the quantitative o r
of fruit flies or mosquitoes , for instance) which he isolates from their qualitative properties of an individual, which as emergent properti es
surroundings to perform co ntro lled ex perime nts on their reaction to refer to an individual' s inside (that is, to the interactions among the
shocks o f different timing , duration and intensity. Winfree ' s main lower scale ind ivid ua ls which co mpose it) , an intensive propert y in the
result is, basically, that a stnquiat, critical st imulus applied at a smqu lar, ex panded sense refers to 'an adequate outside with which to assemble in
sensitive moment has a destructive effect o n the slee p- awake cycle o f heterogeneity' , as D eleu ze puts it. 211 The capacity of nonlin ear osci lla-
organisms , giving a popul ation of mosquitoes, for example, pennanent tors to entrain o ne another's temporal behaviou r is a particularly
inso rnnia .:" The stim ulus itself need s to be of th e right duration and striking example o f this o ther aspect o f the intensive, allo wing
intensity in order to act as an annihilating shock , but it neverthel ess biolog ical osci llators, for instance , to synchronize their sleep-awake
acts not as a direct cause of the death o f an osci llation but merely as a cycles w ith cycles outside themselves, suc b as the day-night cycle of th e
trigger. What effect th e shock will have will dep end o n th e internal planet. Entrainme nt is another phenom enon which Winfree has studied
in tens ive structure o f the osci llato r itself. in d et ail, partly because o f th e need to prevent it from happ ening
For exam ple, if the osci llation is go verned by a period ic attractor whil e st udying th e effects of annihilating stimula. O nly if mosquito o r
wh ich co ntains within it a stable steady-state attractor (what Winfree fruit fly populations are isolated from th e effects of the Earth 's rotati on
calls a ' blac k hole ' ) th en th e crit ical stimulus will co mpletely annihilate will th eir int ernal clocks di splay th eir intrinsic duration or period . This
th e osc illatio n . H On th e other hand, th e result of the st im ulus may be period varies for different animals , from twenty-three hours for
not steady-state, atemporal behaviour but arrhythmic, ambiguous mo squitoes to twenty -five for humans, explaining the name 'circadian'
temp oral behaviour, if the periodic attracto r is associated with a set of given to these clo cks, a term meaning 'nearly a day' s length' ,
sta tes (called a 'phaseless set') bounded uy a phase sing u!arity ." In When no t in isolat ion, circadian docks becom e entrained with
addition to these results related to the extinction of oscillations, the planet's own rotationa l period of tw ent y-four hours, a synchro -
Winfree has st ud ied the co mple m entary problem o f wh at gives rise to nizing capacity with obvious adaptive value since it allows a fle xible
th ese osci llati ons in the first plac e. Basically, he has found tbat by coo rd ination of internal rh ythms and seaso nally cbanging day lengt hs.
changing the expe r-imental co nditions he can transform an annihilating Thanks to entrainme nt, biologi cal oscillators can mesh, or form
stimulus into a conj urina sti mulus, that is, a critical shoc k that can create a het erogen eous assemblage , with th e d aily and seaso nal rh ythms
osci llations, the phase singularity in this case becoming an organizing o f their ex ternal environme nt. Entrainme nt displays the typical
cent re for temp o ral str uc t urcs .?" Winfre e' s results display many o f the characte ristics o f an intensive process, st im ulus- ind ependence and
traits that we have found characterize intensive processes, in particular, mechanism- independence . Synchroni zation o f temp oral behaviour is
mechani sm-independent t endencies. The tenden cy to be annihilated by a t rigge re d rather than ca used uy rel ati vel y weak co upling signals
critical shoc k, for example , is no t limit ed to the te mporal behaviour o f wh ich may be o ptical, chemical o r mechanical. The exact nature o f
animals with nervou s systems but is also exhibited by thc behaviour of the signals serving as stimuli is not as important as their intensity:
much simpler oscillators , ranging from )'east cells to inorganic chemical these signals must be maintained at a critical threshold o f strength
rca crions .?" else the synchronization will abruptly stop.?" A similar indifference is
O t her aspects o f W infree ' s wor k on osci llators illustrate a difi'erent d isplayed to wards the mechanisms implem enting osci llating beh aviour:
fC.'.ltUfl· of the Intensive: the ability o f non linear osci llators tu synchromre e nt rainmen t occurs in po pulatio ns of purdy physical oscillators. such
or entrain o ne anothcrs tem poral be haviour, I said in Chapter 2 that as the vihrating <.'omporwnts of lase r light. in inorganic chemical

reacti ons, and in a large varie ty o f hiological osci llators , including the to illustrate th e birth of m etric space. T he neat picture of a sym me try-
men strual cyc les of humans. ?" breakin g cascade transforming a topological space int o a metric o ne
Th e th eory of metric time in terms of a nested set of cycles wh ich I had to be co m pre he nsively reworked to make it physically plau sible :
sketched above involves a kind of tem porality whi ch is inherent ly th e non metric aspects of int ensive pro cesses t urned out to be subtle
sequential , each individual life being a linear seq ue nce of osci llations. and co mplex, as did th e metric aspects of the ex te nsive products;
T he first part of W infr-ee ' s work sho ws th at th ese linear seque nces arc mo reove r , th e least m et ric level of the embed de d set had to be
not , in fact , homogen eous series of identical mom ents o r instants. replaced with a virt ual co nti nu um wh ose description required ye t
T he re are, in eac h series. a distribution of singula r and ordinary moments anot he r set of co mplex co ncepts.
and this distribution implies th at th ere exist relati on s of critica l tim ing A sim ilar co m plcxification is now in o rder to put some Ilesh on the
be tween th e sensitive points of osci llato rs and exte rnal shoc ks . The rath er skeletal form al model of a Hopf bifurcation . I will return to my
second part of his work displa ys a different aspect of int en sive time. two e xamples of individu at ion processes (the ge nes is of o rganis ms and
an aspect which tak es us beyond seq ue ntial and int o parallel temporal species) not o nly to add detail to W infree 's ideas abo ut cr it ical timing
structu res. The phenomen on of ent rainme nt allo ws many ind ep endent and parall elism , but more importantly, to sho w how int en sive tempo-
seq ue nces of oscillatio ns to act in unison, to become in e ffect a sing le rality may be crucia l to th e eme rge nce of novelty in biological evo lutio n .
pa ra llel process. The most dramatic and well -studied example of thi s The process of embryogenes is, for instance. involv es th e parallel
ph en om en on is perhaps th e slime m ould Dicty ostetium. The lifecycle of dev elopment of many sim ulta neo us seque nce s of events, th e relation s
this crea ture involves a phase wh ere the organi sm s act as individual between th ese seq ue nces det ermined in part by th e relative duration
amoebae , th e behaviour of each co nstit uting an ind ep endent seq ue ntial of these processes with respect to one another, and by th e relative
proCl~ss . At a cr itical low point of availability of nutrients, however, timing of th e on set or ce ssation of onc proces s relative to ano ther. At
we witness th e spontaneo us aggregation of an entire population of this scale, as I will argue in a moment, th e eme rgence of brand new
these amoeb ae into a single field of parallel osc illato rs , eve ntually design s may come about through relative accelerations in these parallel
leadin g to th eir fusing together into a single organi sm with differenti- processes. A different source of novelty may be illustrated by moving
an-d parts. As on e scientist has remarked, witnessing this ph enomenon up in scale to a discussion of ecos ystems, which as individuation
'one may reall y be watching a replay of th e basic kind s of events enviro nme nts m ay be said to play rel ativ e to spe cie s the role which an
responsible for th e appe arance of th e first multicellular organi sm s.' JI egg or a womb play for individual organi sm s. In thi s other case too ,
In th e next sect ion of thi s cha pte r I would like to extend th ese ideas relative accel erations in the tempo of evolution m ay lead to radi cal
abo ut critica l duration and timing as well as parallelism to more inno vations. Unlike the temporality of th e embryo, howev er, wh ere
co mplex processes of individuation than th ose exe m plified b), th e slime th e term ' inte nsive' has its o riginal mean ing, ecosyste ms will involv e
mo uld . But let me first sum mar ize what I have said abo ut th e birth of th e e xpande d m eaning, th at is, th e so urce of accelerati on and inn ova -
metric or ex te nsive tim e . I gave be fore an exam ple of how eac h of th e tion in thi s case is th e asse mblage of het erogen eou s species in th e
embedde d cycles mak ing up thi s form of temporalit y may be said to process known as sym biosis.
I", bo rn th rough a sym metry- brea king event (a Hopf bifur cati on ). Thi s Let me begin with th e tempo ral aspects of th e ge nes is of o rga nisms .
was , ho we ver, a purely forma l exam ple leaving o ut th e det ails of In the last chapter I em phasized th e role of rat es of change and co uplings
prol'l'ss wh ich co nstit ute th e subs ta nce of th e inte nsive. Addi ng to th is be twee n sepa rate rates as key to und erstanding embryologica l deve l-
forma l model W infree ' s experime ntal results m itigat c but do no t o pml·nt. Altho ugh a rate of chang e d ocs not need to invol ve ti me (we
l'ompll'tt' ly so lve tilt' problem , \ Vc can compare this simplified mod el may he interested in th e rate of change o r pressurt' relat ive to oceanic
of tilt' birth of me tric tlrnc to th e me ta phor I lISt,1! in the J.lst cha pter dept h or at mos pheric ht'ight . for exam ple}, tinu: d ocs en te r int o the

formulation of many important rates. These rates of cha nge display th e ment al program , it is almost ce rtainly not like a serial-processing
same int erplay between characte r istic time scale and alTordances whi ch algo rithm . In a ge nom ic syste m, each ge ne responds to th e vario us
I mentioned before in connec tio n to rel axation times (the latter ar e , in 'pr oducts of tho se ge nes whose pr oducts regulate its acti vity. All th e
fact , nothing but rates of ap pro ach to eq uilibr ium) . A process ma y different ge nes in the network ma y respond at th e same time to th e
change too slo wly or too fast in r elati on to another pr ocess, the o ut put of th ose ge nes w hich regul ate th em . In othe r words , th e
relationship between th eir temporal scales det ermining in part th eir ge nes act in parall el. T he network, in so far as it is like a co m pute r
respectiv e capacities to affect on e another. Even wh en two pr ocesses program at all , is like a parallel-processinp network. In such net works,
ope rate at sim ilar scales, th e result of th eir interaction ma y dep end on it is necessar y to co nside r th e simulta neous activity of all th e ge nes at
th eir co upled rat es of change. For exam ple , th e graphic patterns whi ch eac h moment as well as the temporal proeression if th eir activity
man y o rganisms displa y in th eir skins (e .g. zebra stripes or leopard patterns. Suc h progression s constit ute th e integrated beh aviors of th e
spots) may be explained as th e r esult of th e var iable co nce ntration of parallel -processing ge no mic regulatory syste m . 3 .3
che m ical substances, a conce ntration whi ch dep ends on th e rat es at
whi ch substances react with each other relative to the rates at whi ch Thinking about th e temporality involv ed in individuation processes
th e products of such reaction diffu se through an em bryo's sur faces. as em bodyi ng th e parallel op eration of many different sequential
Different patterns may be achieved by contro lling th ese relative rates, processes throws new light on th e qu estion of the emerge nce of
a task performed by gen es and gen e products (e nzymes). novelty. If em bryo log ical processes followed a st rictly seq uential order,
As th e phy sicist Howard Pattee has co nv inc ingly ar gu ed , in th e that is, if a unique linear segue nce of eve nts defined th e production of
developing organism we find an int erplay between rate-d ependent an organi sm , th en any nov el struct ure s would be const raine d to be
phen om ena (like che mical reaction and diffu sion effects) and rat e- add ed at the end if th e sequence (in a process called 'terminal addition' ) .
independent ph en om ena . Whil e th e formation of sel f-o rganize d patterns On th e contrary , if em bryo nic development occurs in parallel, if
of che m ical conce ntr ation do es dep end on th e relati ve rates of diffu sion bundles of relatively inde pe nde nt pr oc esses occ ur simulta neously, th en
and reacti on , th e information containe d in genes do es not depend on nell' desien s may arise ]rom disenBaBinB bundles, o r more pr ecisely, from
th e rat e at whi ch it is decoded . On th e other hand , thi s rat e- alt ering th e duration of one process relative to another, or th e relative
ind ep endent information, once translat ed into enzymes , act s by control- timing of th e star t o r end of a process. Thi s evo lutionary design
line rates. t? Enzymes ar e catalysts , and th e latter are defin ed precisely strategy is known as heterochrony, of whi ch th e most exte nsive ly studied
as chemical el ements capable of accel erating or decel erating a che m ical case is th e pro cess called 'n eoten y'. 34
r 'actio n . T he fact that em bryo logical development is all about rat es of In neot en y th e rate of sex ual maturation is disengaged from th e rate
change w hich are co upled or un coupled through th e action of ge nes of development of th e rest o f th e body, ind eed, accelerated rel ativ e to
and gene pr oducts, sugges ts that th e processes underlying embry ologi- som atic development, resulting in an adult form which is a kind of
cal de velopm en t ma y be view ed as a kind of 'compute r program ' . But 'g ro w n- up lar va ' . 3 5 Neoten y illustrat es that nov elty need not be th e
this met aph or sho uld be used care fully becau se th ere ar e different e ffect of terminal additi on of new features , but on th e co ntrary, th at it
kind s of co mpute r programs pr esupposing diffe rent fo rms if time, so me can be the r esul t of a loss of certa in o ld features. Humans, for ex am ple ,
lIsing se q ue ntial o r se rial tim e , ot he rs departing sharp ly from th ese ma y be regard ed as ju venalized chim panzees, that is, primates from
linear forms o f temporal ity. As St ua rt Kauffman puts it : wh ich a developmental stage (ad ulthoo d) has been eliminate d . More
ge ne ra lly, the loss of a feature mad e possible by th e un coupling of
It is a major initial point to realiz e that, in whatever sense the rat es o f change may pr o vide an esca pe rout ' from morphologies that
gen omic regulatory system constitutes something like a develop- have becom e too rigid and specia lized allo wing organisms to ex plore

new developmenta l pathways. J" T o Del eu ze thi s aspcct of indiv iduation win ter. T he ecologis t St uart Pimm argues tha t this rate of retur n to
pro ces, es (an aspect which must be ad de d to populati on thinking to eq uilibri um characterizes a population ' s resilience to shocks: sho rt rat es
co mplete the Darwinian revol utio n) is highly significant because it of return to equilibrium sign al a robust populatio n, that is, o ne capable
el im inates the idea that e volutio nary processes possess an inh erent of recovering rapidly afte r a shock, wh ile lon g rel axation tim es betray
d r ive towards an increase in co m plexity, an idea wh ich reintroduces poor resilien ce and hence , vu lnerability to ex tinc tion . Given th at
teleology into Darwinism . As he writes, "re lat ive progress . , , can extinct ion m ean s the death of a species as an indiv idual , and that the
occ ur by formal and quantitative sim plification rather th an b)' com pli- ex ti nct ion of one species may m ean the rapid birth of othe rs to occupy
cation, by a loss of co mpo ne nts and syn theses rath er than by acq uisition the vacant niche , th ese int en sive properties may be said to partly
. . ' It is thro ugh population s that o ne is for me d, assumes forms, and characte rize processes o f individuat ion at thi s scale .
thro ugh loss that one progresses and picks up speed .' 17 Ecosys te ms involv e processes o pe ra ting at seve ral sim ultaneous time
T he flexibi lit y with whi ch parallel processes endo w e mbryo logical sca les. O ne fact or affect ing population den sity is int ernal to a species,
dev elopme nt may be said to co me to an end once the final o rganism th at is, det ermined by th e birth and death rates of a population . This
acq uires a more o r less fixed anatomy, T ha t is, at this poi nt th e fact or disp lays a relatively short tim e scale of re t urn to eq uilibr ium.
int en sive becomes hidden under th e exte nsive and qualitative . Yet , When th e den sit ies of se veral populatio ns are co upled in parallel, as
anato m ical feat ures arc never fully fixed even in ad ulthood . Many parts ,...·hen a population of plant s, hervibo res and carnivores is co upled into
of the body retain their capacity to sel f-re pair , and in some animals a food chain . relaxation ti mes become longer: w hen th e densit y of a
eve n thc capacity for com plete re generation . Additio nally, even if preda tor po pul ation affects tha t of its prey, and thi s, in tum, the
relative to th e flexibili ty of an embryo the anatomical propert ies of a dens ity of the plants it co nsumes , re-equ ilibration afte r a shock may be
finished organism are ind eed rigid , its behavi oural properties may no t delayed until the cascad ing effects sto p. T his lon ger t ime scale of
he, parti cul arl y if suc h an orga nism is end o wed with flexibl e skills recovery is determined by th e degree of connectivity whi ch o ne species
beside its hard -wi red reflex es and beh aviou ral ro utines . At any rat e, has to o ther species, th at is, by the length of thefood chain to whi ch th e
even the mos t anato m ically and beh aviou rally rigid individual , eve n th e species bel ongs. Finall y, th ere are even lon ger-t erm pr ocesses det er-
1110st extensive of finished product s, is im me d iately caught up in larger - m ined by non-biological factors such as th e rat e of availability of
scale indiv id uat ion processes wh ere it beco mes part of othe r int en sities, mi neral nutrient s in an ecosystem during reco vcry fro m a catas tro phe,
suc h as the inten sive pro perties characte rizing ec osystem s. suc h as the effects of th e o nset or cessatio n of an Ice Age . 39 Given th e
O ne of the most importan t facto rs co nside red in stud ies of ecos)'s- importance of resilien ce as protecti on aga inst extinction , an d given th e
terns is changes in th e population density of each of the interact ing key ro le which the degree of connect ivity plays at intermed iate time
species. Po pulat ion den sity, like tem per atu re or pressure , is an inten s- sca les, an ecosys te m may also be co nside re d a parallel-processing
ivc property th at canno t be d ivided in e xte nsion. Hut like othe r net work in which changing relatio nships of fi cness (be tween predators
intens ities it ma y be divid ed by pha se transiti on s. In particular, th ere and prey, o r hosts and parasites) propagate at different rates th roughout
are critical th resho lds at which th e sta te of a populat ion changes in th e network influencing both th e eme rge nce of new , and th e disap -
kind, suc h as min im al values of den sit y (so me times called 'nucleation pearance of o ld, ind ivid ual specics .t"
thresholds") below whi ch a populat ion goes exti nct. '· Sim ilarly, mu ch Relation s betw een population den sities, however, give us a ni)' a
as a populat ion of m olecul es will spo nta neo usly te nd to relax, afte r a rough ide a o f th e co mple x temporal structu re of an ecosyste m , Co n-
certain characte r-istic timc , to an eq uilibrium valu e for its temperature, sidered as a network in wh ich the fl esh (o r hiomass) of plant s and
so populat ion d"'n sity will exhibit a characte ristic re laxat ion tim e afte r anima ls circulate, an CCOs)'stc m will d ispl ay a vari ct )' of temporal
he ing suh jected to an envi ron me ntal shock, sudl as a part icularl y harsh rhythms d larackrizing eac h of its alime nta ry co uplings, th ese rh yth ms,

in t urn, associated with th e spectrum of osci llato ry be haviour at Symb iosis as a sourc e of evo lutiona ry innovation oc cu rs at m any
d ilTerent scales ex hibited by every o rganism . But co nsider ed as an level s of scale . At the ce llular leve l, for exam ple, t wo of the key
individuation en viro nment there is a particu lar rhythm w hich must be capacities at the basis o f food chains may have eme rge d t hrough an
sing led o ut : th e evolutionary rates of each of th e co upled species. assembly of heterogeneities. Ph ot osynthesis , th e ability to 'bite ' int o
Evolutio nary rates used to be thought as basically uniform, characte r - so lar rad iation to produce che m ical ene rgy sto re d in sugars , and
ized by a linear and gradual accumulation of ge ne t ically code d beneficial respiration, th e abi lity to tap int o a reservoir of o xygen as fuel to burn
traits. This rat e of accumulation would vary from spe cies to species, th ese sugars, are both thought to have emerge d through cellular level
du e to th eir different generation times, but within each species it was symbioses with micro -organism s.'" At larger scales, examples include
sup posed to be basically un ifo rm. Today we know that thi s picture is th e auton omous co m mu nities of m icr o.organi sm s which lin e the guts
incomplet e given that for a vari et)' of reasons th ere occu r accelerations o f hcrviborcs allo w ing th em to digest ce llulose , the bact eria that allow
and decel erations in t hese evolutionary rates. (The very large time legumes to fix nitrogen , and th e fungi wh ich permit man y plant roots
scales invo lved in evo lution means, ho wever, that even an accelerated to ge t access to phosph orous . In all th ese cases, novel capabilities to
rat e will still characterize a very lo ng process, o ne between 5000 and e xplo it oth erwise unavailable resources have co me about no t th rough
50,000 years, for e xam ple!') a slo w and gradual accumulation o f favourable mutations b ut through
As in the case of em bryo logical devel o pmen t where loss of a an acc elerated process: mes hing the capabilities o f tw o or more
particu lar process or co m ponent ma y lead to th e emergence of novel het erogeneo us pop ulations of organ ism s fo llow ed by th e su bseq uent
features, in an eco system losses may also lead to accel eratio ns in coe vo lution of the partners.H
evo lutio nary rates and rapid sp read of no vel designs. An exti nction W hen d iscu ssing inten sive processes Dclcuze usually di vid es the
eve nt , for exam ple, ma y eliminate a set of spec ies and vacate t heir subject into singu larities and affects , but so me times he uses an
nic hes, leadin g in t urn to an ex plosio n of new design s by ot her spe cies alte r nativ e and eq uivalent formulati on in terms of spee ds and affects :
(an ada ptive radiation) to occupy th e vaca nt po sitions in th e food speeds if becoming and capacities to become.": T he many parallel processes
chaln .:" A di ffe rent exam ple of events leading to accele rated evolut io n w hich define a d eveloping em bryo, fo r example , are defin ed by th eir
and rap id eme rgence of new capacities is 9'mbiosis. Altho ugh trad ition- rel ativ e speeds , and by t he accelerati ons an d d ecelerat ion s th ese m ay
ally the term 'sy mbiotic relat ion ship ' refers to a partic ular k ind of und ergo resulting in th e p roduct io n of no vel forms . In Delcuzia n
alimentary co upling (o ne in w hich both partners ben efit from t he terms, suc h an indiv iduatio n environm ent wou ld be characterized in
assoc iatio n) t he difficulty in defining and estahlishing mutually be nefi cial part by relation s of 's peed and slowness, rest and m ovemen t , tardiness
re lat ions has led to a new view of its nature and function. Today and rapidity ' . 4 7 As I said , changes in t hese relative spee d s may be used
symbios is is d efined as an assemhlage of heterogeneo us spe cie s which as an evolutionary st rategy (he te rochro ny) allowing an o rganism an
persistsJor lona periods, relativ e to th e generation times of th e int eracti ng escape route from an over-sp ecia lized d esign . Eco s)'stems also d isplay
organis ms, and wh ich typicall y lead s to th e emeraence if norel metabolic relations o f relativ e speed between para llel processes but in thi s case
cdpelbilities in at least o ne o f th e partners. r" The em phasis o n lon g th e eme rge nce o f nove lty dep ends more on the capacity to Join in with
d ura tion is du e to th e need for coel'olulion between th e partners. both a heterogen eous partner in a co m mon cocvolutio narv line of flight.
of wh ich need to have e xe rted selection pressures o n eac h o the r biasing o r as Delcuzc puts it . o n ' a co mpos itio n of speeds and affect s involv-
till' lon g -t erm acc u mulat ion o f th e ir ge nes and bodily traits. (G iven ing en tire ly d ifferent ind ivid ua ls, a sym biosis ' .'HI T o phrase thi s in
th at so me me mbe rs of an ecosyste m rna)' have arri ved through recent Prigogin e ' s term s o f being and h(.~ coming : wh ereas em lJryogenesis is
invasio ns o r co lo nizations. not all interact ing co uples in a food chain a process throu gh wh ich a yet unfo rm ed ind ivid ual becomes what it is,
nt·t·e! to han ' ('(u.·voln·d.) acqu iring a well -defined inside (t he int r insic propt·rti t·s defining its

being), symbiosis represents a process through which a fully form ed esse n tialism but not o f typ ological th ought. One mu st also give
bein g ma y ce ase to be what it is to become somethinq else, in asso ciation mechani sms c1 imman ence (ho wever speculat ive) to explain th e ex iste nce,
w it h something heterogen eous on th e outside . relat ive auto no my and ge ne tic power o f th e virt ual."? Let m e first
This description of more com ple x forms o f inten sive temporality sum ma rize wh at I said before abo ut the qu asi-causal ope rator, th e
was intended as a co m ple me nt to th e sim p ler formulation in terms of mann er in whi ch it meshes multiplicities by th eir diff eren ces, since thi s
th e ind ividuation of oscillations. Questions of cr itical timing and co ns tit utes th e first immanen ce m echanism. I will th en describe th e
duration, as w ell as of parallelism , ar e st ill prominent but have acquired second task whi ch Deleuze ascribes to thi s virt ual entity : to Benerate th e
a subtle r form . Similarly, t he problem of th e m etrization or quantiza- multipliciti es by ex tracting th em from actual inten sive processes.
tion o f time, which also had a sim p le formulation in terms of a nest ed T ogether, th ese two ta sks e nsure that th e resulting virtual space t ime
set of seque nce s of oscillation s, need s now to lose so me of that does not have th e form of a transcendent space filled with tim eless
sim plicity. In particular, for th e sake of ease of presentation I have esse nces .
artificially se parate d issues related to time and spa ce, but in reality we I described th e first task of th e quasi-causal ope rato r as that of giving
ar c always con fronted with com p lex spatio- tern po ral ph enomena. Even virt ual multipliciti es a minimum of actualization by prolonging th eir
the sim ple oscillators st udied by Winfree ar e nonlinear spatia-te m poral sing ularities into se ries of o rd inary ideal e ve nts , and establishing
osc illators where th e spatial and temporal asp ects interact. For thi s relations of co nve rge nce and di vergen ce between th ese se r ies . I said
reaso n, th e qu estion o f th e emerge nce of m etric o r exte nsive prop erties that to specify how th ese immaterial linkaBes between se ries ar c
sho uld be treat ed as a sing le process in which a continuous virt ual establishe d Dcleu ze borrows from th e mo st abst ract vers ion of co m -
spacetime progressivel y differentiates itself into actual discontinuous munication th eory th e concept of transmission o f information in a
spatio- tc m poral st r uc tures operating at different scales. In other words, channel (a sign / signal syste m , in his terms,). An information channe l
the e merge nce of a m etric space time involves th e entire flat ontology (signal) exists when ev er two heterogen eous se ries of e ven ts ar e
of ind ividuals, each nest ed lev el o f scal e co nt ri buting to th e m etrization co upled by chang ing probability distributions. No referen ce need s to
of space and time simultaneou sly. be mad e to eithe r a causal m echanism or to an ything actually flowing
I would like to concl ude thi s chapte r with a more detailed discu ssion in th e channe l. Quanta of information (signs) ma y be said to pass from
o f thi s virt ual space time . In Chapter 2 I described th e el ements whi ch , one ser ies to another wh en ev er a change in th e probability di stribution
accord ing to Deleuze, constitute th e content of a nonmetric contin- in on e seri es is correlat d to a change in th e other on e . Such a linkage
uum : changing p opulations of virtual multipliciti es (co nce ived as o f se ries of events through signs occurs spontane o usly in so me intensive
comp lex ideal eve nts) and a quasi-causal op erator whi ch asse m bles thi s syste ms , suc h as syste ms poised at th e edBe of a phase transition. Even
heterogeneous population into a plane of co nsiste ncy. This particular w he n suc h poi sed syste ms ar e inorganic, that is, even in th e absen ce of
breakdow n o f th e co nte nts o f th e virt ual is, of co urse, speculative, and specialized biol ogical hardware , th ey can cohe re n tly transmit informa-
as su h, it may very well turn o ut to be wron g. There is, as I said , an ti on as long as th ey manage to remain in th e vicinity of th e critical
.m piricism o f th e virt ual, e ven if it does not (and should not) r esemble e ve nt without actually crossing th e threshold.
th e e m pirical study o f th e act ual. But whil e th e specific solutio n w hich The em bryo log ical and ecolog ical indi viduation processes I have just
Dclc uzc prop ose ma y turn out to be inad equate , he sho uld ge t cre di t discussed , at least when modelled as par allel -p rocessing networks,
for having aclcq uat ' Iy posed th e problem. In o rder to ge t rid o f essentialist dis p lay th is e mergent abi lity in th e neighbourhood of a critica l pointc1
and t Ipo lug ical thinking it is not e no ug h to den oun e th transcendent connectiVity. St ua rt Kau ffman arg ues, for exam p le, th at th e man y food
and aflirm th e imm: ncnt , R ' pia ing Plat o ' s transc mdc nt ss inc ' S with .hains th at form an ecosyste m mu st not exceed a ce rta in riti al len gth
risto l1l" · im ma ne nt natural sta tes, for c am p le. gets us out of (ty pica lly o f four sped": a plant , a hcrvibore , a pred ator , and a

predator of th e predator) for th e parallel network to display com p lex th e virtual. To thi s, a temporal dim en sion , whi ch Deleu ze call ' Aion",
behaviour. 50 This sen sitive valu e ma y be achi ev ed via the coevo lution shou ld now be added . As he wr ites, th e specification of th e virtual
of th e members of a food chain . Similarl y, th e parallel network form ed
by gen es and gen e products whi ch constit utes th e informational impli es, on th e one hand, a space of nomad di stribution in which
backbone of a develop ing e m bry o also ne ed s to keep its degree of sing ulari ties ar c d istributed (T opos) ; on th e other hand , it impl ies a
co nnectivity near a critical value . Kauffman exp licitly co m pares thi s tim e if decomposition whereby th is space is subdivi ded into sub-spaces. Each
critical value (not too low but not too high ) to th e singular zone of one of th ese sub-s paces is successively defin ed by th e adjuncti on of
inten sit y ex isting at th e phase transiti on between a gas and a so lid (th at new points e nsuring th e progressive and co m plete d eterminati on o f
is between states with too little and to o mu ch orde r , resp ecti vel y) and th e domain under co ns ide ration (Aion) . There is always a space
arg ues that e m bry os and ec osys te ms ma y need to be poised at th e edge which co nde nses and precipitates sing ularities , just as th ere is always
in orde r to maximize th eir emerge nt co m putational capacities.F' a time whi ch progressivel y co m p letes th e e ve nt throu gh fragments
Unlike actual poi sed syste ms , howev er, where information trans- o f future and past eve nts.v'
m ission takes the form of co rrelations between the numeri cal probabi li-
ties of occurance of two ser ies of eve nts , virtual ser ies m ust exclusively Del eu ze borrows th e term ' adjunc tion ' from th e mathematician
in volv e changing distributions of th e singular and th e ordinary, given Evariste Gal ois, th e cre ato r of gro up th eory. I will return in th e next
th at virt ual se ries and th e space th ey form can not presuppose an y chapte r to th e work of thi s pion eer, but at thi s point it is e no ugh to
me tric o r quantitative notion without begging th e qu esti on. In particu- say that th e o pe ration Gal ois defin ed as ' adjunc tion of field s' is an
lar , virt ual se r ies mu st be conce ived as den se ordinal ser ies whi ch, as I abstract ope ration ve ry clos ely related to th e idea of th e progressive
arg ue d, ar c logi cally and ge ne tically prior to alr ead y quantized numer- differentiation o f a space through a cascade of sym me try -bre aking
ical se ries and can be regarded as on e -dimen sional nonmetric co ntinua . transiti on s. In othe r words, th e successive det ermination of sub-s paces
In add ition , th e requirem ent of not presupposing an y notion to whi ch to whi ch Deleu ze refers is sim ply th e progressive unfold ing of multi -
th e virt ual is suppose d to give rise implies that th e statistical di stribu- pliciti es through a se ries of sym met ry- bre aking e vents. T he form of
ti on s invo lved in an information channe l canno t be concei ved as fixed temporality in vol ved in thi s unfolding, however, sho uld be conceived
(or 'sede n tary' ) like th e famous Gaussian or bell -shaped distributions in a very different wa y from tha t in whi ch actual bifurcati on eve nts
characte rizing th e statistical properties in many actual population s. occur . The latter invol ve a temporal sequence o f e ve nts and stable states ,
Unlike th ese familiar eq uilib rium distribution s whi ch refer to alread y th e seque nce o f phase transiti on s whi ch yields th e se ries of stable flow
individ uate d population s occupy ing a m etric space , Del eu ze designs th e patterns co nd uc tion-eonvection-tur bule nce, for exam ple . Moreov er ,
quasi -ca usa l operator to produce mobile and ever-changing (' no ma d ') as eac h bifurcati on occurs, only one o f th e several alt ernati ves available
dis tributions in th e virtual series, esta blish ing both conve rge nt and to th e syste m is actualized. For exam ple , in th e transiti on to th e
d iv 'rgent relation s between th em. 52 co nvection regime , eit he r clo ck or anti -clockwise rotating convec tion
In sho rt, th e first task of th e quasi-cau sal op erator is w hat Deleuze ce lls ma y e merge , but not both . Ind eed, at eve ry bifurcati on th ere ar e
calls a condensation if sing ularities, a process invo lving th e con tin uo us alt ernatives th at ar c phy sically unstable (unlike th e two options for
creatio n o f co m m unicatio ns between th e se ries em anating from every co nvection ce lls both o f whi ch ar e stab le) whi ch means that even if
singu larity, linking th em togethe r through non-ph ysical resonances, they are act ua lized th ey will not la t very lon g an d wi ll be destroyed
while simu lta neously rami fying or di ffere ntiating th e se r ies, e nsu ring by any de tab ilizing fluctuati on. ss In a virt ua l un fold ing , on th ot he r
they are link ed together o nly by th eir differen ces . 5 I T he m esh o f on ' - hand , th e symm et r y-b rcaking events not o nly Jullj' coexist with one
dimens ional co ntinua th at results would co nstit ute th e spatia l aspl' t o f ano t her (as o pposed to follow eac h ot he r), but in add ition, eac h b rok en

symmetry p roduces all the alternatives simulta neously, regardless of which D eleu ze prop oses t o esca pe th ese alterna tives is inge nious .
whethe r th ey are ph ysically sta ble or not. Unlike a transcende nt heaven inhabite d by pure beings without becoming
T his virt ual form o f time, involving th e idea of absolute simulta neity (unc ha ngi ng esse nces or law s with a perm an e nt identity) th e vir t ual
(or abso lute coexistence) wou ld see m to vio late th e law s of re lativi ty. needs to b e po pulate d excl usively by pure becomings without being .
In relati vist ic ph ysics tw o even ts cease to be sim ulta neo us th e mom ent Un like act ual becomings wh ich have at m ost an intensive form of
they become se parated in space, th e dislocati on in tim e becoming all tem porality (b und les of seque ntia l processes occur ring in parall el) a
the more e vident th e larger t he se pa rati ng distan ce . 56 There are tw o pure becoming mu st be characte rized by a parallelism without any trace
reasons, how ever, w hy thi s sho u ld not be an object ion to De le uzc's if sequentiality, or even directionality , Dele uze finds inspi rat ion for thi s
conception of vir tual time . The first and m ost obvio us reason is th at in co nception of ti me in phase transit ions, or m ore exactly, in th e cr itical
vir tua l space th ere are no metric distances, on ly ordinal distances which e vents defi ning unactu alized transi tio ns. W hen see n as a pure becoming ,
join rather than se parate events . Mu ch as th e noti on s of spatial ' length' the cr itic al point of temperature o f o-c, for exa m p le, m ar ks neither a
or 'a re a' lose th eir meaning wh en we m o ve away from Eucl idean m elting nor a freezing of' wa te r, both of which are act ual becomings
geometry to othe r ways of specifying th e relati on s of pr oximity (becom ing liq u id or so lid) occurring as t he cr itica l threshold is crossed
defi ning a space , so sho uld the notions of 's t re tc h' or ' lapse' of time in a definit e direction. A pure becoming, on th e other hand , would
separating non -simultaneous events be m eaningless in the co ntext of a invol ve both dir ecti ons at once, a m elting- fr eezing event w hich never
no nmctric temporalit y. But th ere is a second and m ore import ant act ually occurs, but is ' al ways fo rthcoming and already past. ' 58
reason w hy relati visti c co nstraints on absolute sim u ltane ity, suc h as th e T he events invol ved in th e construc tio n of vir t ual space, th e
constr aint on th e maximum speed at wh ich causal signals may travel , progressive un folding of virt ual multipliciti es as well as th e stretc hing
sho uld not apply to th e vir tua l. T he temporality o f th e virtual sho u ld o f th eir sing ularities into series of o rdinary points, need to be th ought
not be co m pare d to th at of th e processes governed by th e laws o f as pure becom ings in thi s sense. In th is co nst ruction, as Del eu ze says,
relat ivity, but to the temporality if t he laws themselves. Unlike ex pe r imen- •Time itself urifolds . . . instead if things urifolding wit hin it . . . [T im e I
ta l laws (like Boyle ' s law of ideal gases) whi ch simp ly record lab orato ry ceases to be car dinal and becomes ordinal, a pure order of time . "!"
reg u larities , fundamental law s (suc h as Newto n's or Einstein's) arc not Unlike actual time, w hic h is m ade excl usive ly out o f presents (what is
m re mathem atical re -descriptions of ex pe r ience . 57 Although physicists past and future relat ive to one tim e scale is still th e living present of a
do not usu ally specu late ab ou t t he onto log ical sta t us of fund am ental cycle of greater durati on) , a pure becoming wo u ld imply a temporality
laws, to philosophe rs th ese law s ar e su pposed to be eternal, and to be w hic h always sidesteps the present , since to ex ist in the present is to be ,
valid simultaneously throu gh out th e un iverse . In other w ords, in phil o - no longer to b ecome. This tempo rality must be co nceive d as an ordinal
sophical discussions funda menta l law s enjoy th e same form of timeless- conti nu um urifolding into past and f ut ure, a t im e wh ere nothing ever
ness as immutabl e essences. And it is th is form o f time th at th e virt ual occurs but where every t hing is endless ly becom ing in both unlimited
is supposed to re place. d irectio ns at once, alw ays ' already happ en ed ' (in th e past dir ection )
Nevertheless the q ues tio n re ma ins, what form of temporality would and always 'a bout to happen ' (in th e fut ure di rect io n). And unlike
allow the absol ute coexiste nce of virtual events? Or what amo unts to act ua l time wh ich is asymmetric relative to th e direction o f relati ve pasts
th e same thing, ho w sho u ld we co nceive of a non m etric fo rm of time ? and fut u res, a pu re becoming would imply a temporality w hich is
It clearly can no t be any presen t tim e , how e ve r lon g , since t he ve ry perfectly symmetri c in thi s resp ect , the d irectio n of th e ar row of time
co nce pt of' a present assumes that o f' a stretch or lapse of' ti me of a e m rgi ng as a brok en symmet ry on ly as t he virtual is act ua lize d. "?
particu lar chara tc rist i sca le. But it ca nnot be a timeless d imen sion I said in Chapte r 2 t hat m ultipli citi es, being in o r po rca l ffc ts of
either if we an' to avoid the tr ap pings of essen tia lism. The so lutio n mate ria l causes, are impassi ble or ausa llv steri le enti ties. T h· time of

a pure becoming, always already passed and ete rnally ye t to co me , duration (t he ope r atio n of th e qu asi-cau se ) . T he quasi-causal operato r
forms th e temporal dim en sion of thi s impassibility or ste rility of w ould have to
multlpli citl es."! But I also said that th e quasi -cau sal ope rato r, far from
be ing impassibl e , is defin ed o n th e co nt rary by a pure capacity to bring about th e co rresponde nce o f th e minimum time wh ich can
alTect, acting in parallel w ith physical causality in th e production o f th e occu r in th e instant with th e maximum tim e whi ch ca n be th ought
virt ual. In particular, th e quasi-cause mu st be ca pable o f w eaving in accord ance with Aion . T o limi t th e act ualizatio n of th e event in a
m ult iplicities int o a het erogen eous co ntin uum and to d o so co nsta ntly present without mixture, to make th e instant all th e more intens e ,
so as to en do w th e latter with a certain auto no my fro m th eir co rpore al taut , and instantan eou s since it ex p resses an unlimited fu tu re and an
causes. b1 \Vh at temporal aspect w ould co rrespo nd to th e exe rcise of unlimited past. bOO
t his capacity? Here again , we ca nnot presuppose any metric co nce p ts ,
th at is, we ca nnot assume that thi s performan ce occurs in an)' present No d oubt, this description o f th e temporal aspect o f virtualit y lacks
st retch of time , however short . This othe r time must ind eed be th e precision of its spa tial co unterpa rt. The latter has th e ad vantage o f
co ncei ved as instanta neous, As Del euze writes : o ve r a ce n tu ry o f mathematical work o n th e nature o f nonm ctric
spaces and th eir broken sym me try relations to metric o nes , whereas
Corpo re al causes act and suffer throu gh a cos mic mixture and a sim ilar formal treatments of tim e do not really exist. Moreov er, even
uni versal present whi ch produces th e incorporeal event , But th e if we disregard tim e and focu s o nly o n space, Del eu zc ' s d escription o f
qu asi-cau se o perates by doubling thi s physical causality - it em bod ies th e virtual co ntinuum goe s beyond th e resources available from those
th e even t in th e most limited possible present which is th e most formal th eories and ma y th erefore see m mu ch too speculative and
precise and th e most instantaneous, the pure instant grasped at the co m plicate d. Why, on e ma y ask, go through so mu ch troub le to
point it d ivid es itself into future and past ."! spe ci fy the immanen ce mechanisms through whic h a virt ual continuu m
is co nst ructe d w hen it is simpler and more natural to assu me that the
In wh at sen se wou ld a temporality charac te rized by a instant which entities revealed by nonlinear mathematics (att racto rs , bifurcation s) ar e
unfo lds itself into past and fut ure he nonmetric? Actual tim e , as I said , o f th e same t)'p e as o ur more familiar Plat oni c entities? A leading
ma)' he sec n as th e product of a metrization o r qu ant izat ion performed figure in th e th eory of dynami cal syste ms , th e mathematician Ralph
hy a nested set o f presents wit h characte ristic tim e scales. Whether Abraham , for example , phrases his evaluatio n o f th e merits of th e field
o ne views the latt er in terms o f relaxation tim es or in terms o f th e thi s w ay :
int rinsic peri od o f nonlin ear osci llatio ns , th e processes occur ring in
ac t ual time always have a time scale of limited J uration and )'et are The ben efits of using dynami cal co nce pts at th e present stage o f
potentia lly irifinite, in t he sense that a particular seque nce o f cycles devel opment of sclf-orga ni7..atio n th eory fall in t wo classes: perman-
l11a)' go o n pu lsing for eve r . Virtual timc , o n th e o the r hand, would ent o nes - th e acquisiti on o f conce pts to be em bed de d in m orpho-
he.' nonmct r ic in the sense th at it is unlimited in th e past and future dynam ics , guidi ng its development ; and temporary o nes - th e
directions in wh ich it unfolds, bu t alwaysfi nile like th e insta nt w ith out p rac tice o f new patterns of th ou ght. In th e first ca tegory I w ould
thick ness tha t pe rforms t he un folding ." T he tim e o f th e virtual would place the att rac to rs, th e sta ble bifu rca tions, and their glo ba l bifu rca -
he.' constituted cn tirelv, bv, wh at , fro m the po int of view of met r ic tion d iagrams, as esse ntia l feat ures o f morphod ynami cs. These rna)'
tu nc , canno t he hut !Oingular ities : a maximum and a minimu m, events he.' fl'ga rdcd as guidel ines, excl usio n rul es and topo log ical rest riction s
of unhmllcd Juration (t he unfo ldi ng o f mu ltiplicities) and events o f cero o n the full com plex ity of morphodynamic se.''1uences , .. I Sl'C' [the

importance of dynamicism] for self- organizing syste m th eory as immanen ce m ech ani sm whic h accounts for th e ve ry ex iste nce of
temporary and preparatory for a m ore co mp lete morphod ynamics multiplicities. As Deleu ze ays, th e quasi-cause ' extracts sinBula ritiesf rom
o f th e future . And ye t, dynamicism eve n now promises a permanent the present, and from indi viduals and persons w hich occupy thi s
legacy of restrictions, a taxonomy of lega l, universal restraints on present ' . 6 8 This extractio n operation, recovering a full multipli city fro m
m orphogen etic processes - a Platonic ideali srn .t" a partial spatia- te m poral actualization, defin es th e second immanen ce
m echanism. Del eu ze so metimes usc a geomet ric characte rizatio n of
Deleu ze would agree with much of what is ex p ressed in thi s thi s operation, describing it as th e ext raction of a section or slice.
passage, particularly th e characte r ization o f th e rol e of virtual entities O rdinar ily, thi s mathematical ope ration sim ply reduces th e dimens ion-
as to po logical restricti on s or co ns traints, that is, as quasi-causal rela- ality of th e object to whi ch it applies . A slice of a th ree -dimen sional
tions whi ch com ple ment causal o nes in th e determination o f a give n vo lume , for exa m p le , is a two -dim en sional surface, whil e th e vo lume
sel f-organizing or inten sive process. On th e other hand , to view th e itsel f ma y be viewed as a slice or sec t ion of a four-dimen sional
se t of top ol ogi cal restrictions di scovered so far as forming some kind hyp ervolume. The anal ysis o f attractors in state space, particul arl y
o f fixe d , ete rn al taxonomy, would seem to him to defeat th e very strange or chao tic attr actors , makes e xte nsive usc of thi s op eration (a
point of po stulating such const rain ts in th e first place . No doubt, it is ' Po incare sec tion') to ex t ract information from a co m p lex topological
m uch sim ple r to assume th e existe nce of Platonic en tit ies than to sha pe and displa y it in a way wh ich is easier to study."? Deleuze,
define a co m p lex ope ratio n through whi ch th ese e ntities ar e m eshed however , has a m ore ela bo ra te ope ration in mind, one th at docs not
into a co ntin uum th ereb y acquiring a ce rtain auton omy from actual ha ve a co unte rpar t in mathemati cs.
e ve nts. T he preferen ce for simplicity here , howev er , has less to do T o see wh at thi s or iginal slicing o pe ration am ounts to let 's re t urn
with th e elim ination o f redundant features (the legitimate use o f to th e exam ple of th e seq ue nce of flow patterns co nduc tio n-convec-
sim p licit y arguments, as in O ccam's razor) and m ore to do with tion-turbulen ce. Let ' s imagin e a co nc re te ph ysical syste m in a state of
f amiliarity . Arguments based on th e latter , as physicist s conce rned with convec tion , that is, actualizing one of th e available flow patterns (a
th e co nce pt ual foundations of their sub ject ar e aware, make an periodic attractor) . In thi s case , th e virtua l com pone nt (the attractor)
ilkgi timate use of sim plicity."? In th e present conte xt , it see m s to m e, exists m erely as an effec t of actual causes , such as re lations between
to espo use a Platonic ideali sm on th e basis that it is a more familiar temperature and density differen ces or co mpe titio n between gravita-
thesis would be mi sguided . Giv en that no philosopher (o r scie ntist) has tional and visco us forces, causal relati on s whi ch account for th e
e ve r before specified m echanisms of immanen ce, our lack of familiarity e merge nce and maintenance o f co nvectio n ce lls . Dc lcuze 's hypothesis
with th e latter sho uld be seen m erel y as a co ntinge nt fact abo ut is that suc h an actual syste m ma y be 's am p led' or 's lice d through ' to
int e llect ual hist ory not as a basis to reject a new th eory. obtain its full qu asi-causal co mpone nt, th e entire set o f attractors
I em phasize thi s point about sim plicity because howev er com p lex defining each flow pattern and th e bifurcati on s whi ch m ediate between
th e description of th e virtual ma y see m so far, it is onl y half th e story. patterns. In other w ords, a Deleuzian sec tion w ould not consist in a
In parti ular , w e ma y grant that th e above description is a reasonable m ere reduction o f th e original dimensionality, but in an elimination of
specification of how a nonmetric space time continuum ma y be built every detail o f th e actual e vent except its topoloqi cal im'arian ts: th e
NiI-cn a popu lation o f virt ual multipliciti es and st ill demand to kn ow di stribution of its sing ularities, as well as th e full dim en sionality o f its
where th ese multiplicities come fro m. Clearly , th ey can no t be sim p ly sta te space .
.iss u mcd to exist o n th ei r o wn since this would mak e th em into entit ies Let m e spe ll o ut th e details o f th is important idea. I aid in Cha pt r
hard ly d ist ingui shabl e fro m immutabl essenc . Ther is, in fact, 1 th at Del uze bor ro w s fro m Riemann th co n e pt o f an - (limen-
ano t lu-r task w hich th e quas i-ca usa l o pe rato r mu st perform , anothe r siona l mani fold w hi h doc ' not n ccd to be mb cdded in a 'pace of

+ 1 dimen sion s to be st ud ied , but that constit utes a space on its own , N+ I dimensions wh ere th ey would be em bedde d, is key to th e task of
eac h one of its dimen sion s defining a rel evant degree of freed om of, co nce iving a virt ual space which does not unify multipli citi es, that is, a
or a rel evant wa y of changing for, a given dynamical syst em . Each space co mpose d by th e coe xisting multipliciti es th em selv es in th eir
multiplicit y ex trac te d or sam pled from actual inten sive processes would het erogen eity. Sim ilarly , th e qua si-causal op erator is oft en referred to
possess a definite dimen sionality (a spe cific value for th e N variable) as a ' line' but not becaus e it would be a on e -dimen sional entity .
since th e process it go verns is capable of changing in only a finit e Rather, th e qua si-cau se would ope rate at N- ] dimensions, unlike a
num be r of rel evant ways. T his finit e number of dimensions would transcendent source of unity whi ch mu st op erate from a supp leme ntary
co nstitute a key characte ristic defining th e virt ual multiplicit y as a (e .g. N + 1) dimen sion . In Deleu ze 's wo rds:
co nc re te uni versal entity, and thi s finite number would vary for
diffe re nt multipliciti es extracte d from different processes. In othe r Unity always o pe rates in an empty dimen sion supplementa ry to that
words , th e population of multiplicities would be dimensional ly hetero- of th e syste m co nside re d (overco ding) . . . [But a) multiplicity never
geneo us. Given that th e plane of consiste ncy mu st assemble multiplici- allo ws itself to be ovc rc odc d , never has availabl e a supplementary
ties together by th eir differences, thi s 'plane' cann ot be conce ived as a dimen sion over and abov e its number of lines [or dim en sions) . . .
two-dime nsional surface but as a space of variable dimensionality, All multipl iciti es are flat, in th e sense th at th ey fill o r occupy all of
capable of bringing a dimen sionally diverse virtual population into th eir dimen sion s: we will th erefore spe ak of a plan e of co nsiste ncy
oex iste nce . As Del eu ze writes: of multiplicities, eve n th ou gh th e dimen sion s of thi s ' plane' increase
with th e number of co nnec tio ns that ar e mad e on it. Multiplicities
It is only in app earance that a plan e of thi s kind ' re duces' th e ar e defined by th e o utside : by th e abstract line , th e line of flight
numbe r of dimen sion s; for it gathers in all th e dimen sion s to th e . . . according to whi ch th ey change in nature and connect with
ex te nt that fiat multiplicities - which non etheless have an increasina or other multiplicit ies . . . The line of flight marks: th e reality of a
decreasinp numb er if dimensions - are inscribed upon it ... Far from finit e number of dimen sion s that th e multiplicity effective ly fills; th e
redu cing th e multiplicities' number of dimen sion s to two, th e plan e impossibility of a supplem entary dimen sion, unl ess th e multiplicity
I?I consistency cuts across them all, inters ects them in orde r to bring is transformed by th e line of flight; th e po ssibility and necessit y of
into coexiste nce any number of multiplicities, with an y number of flatt ening all of th e multiplicities on a single plan e of co nsiste ncy or
di me nsions . Th e plane of co nsiste ncy is th e intersecti on of all ex te rior ity, regardless of th eir number of dimen sion s. 7\
concre te forms . .. The only qu esti on is: Does a given becoming
reach th at point? Can a given multipli city flatten and co nse rve all its Let me summar ize what I have said about th e two immanen ce
d ime nsio ns in th is way, like a pr essed flower whi ch remains just as mechanisms. Th ope rator's first task , to assembl e multiplicities tog eth er
alive dry?70 by cre ating converge nt and divergent relations among th e ordinal seri es
em anat ing from th em, may be conside re d a pre-actualization . It would
Dclcu zc so me times phrases his description as if the qua si-cau sal endow multiplicities with a minimum of actuality and, in thi s sense, it
operat o r was th e agent performing th e extraction or sec tion ope ration, would represent th e first broken sym me try in th e cascade that culm i-
some othe r times ascribing this age ncy to th e plan e of co nsi ten cy nat es in fully formed actual bein gs. The sec o nd task of th e quasi-cau sal
itse lf, The di ffercn e bet ween th e two formulation s is, I believe, o pe rator, to ex t rac t vir tual events from inte nsive pr ocesses may, in
unimportant . What is im po rtant, on th e othe r hand , are th e det ail of turn , be see n as a verita ble counte r actua liza tion since it wo uld follow a
till' o perat ion and th ei r justificatio n . In particul ar , th e fact that eac h direct ion oppos ite to th at whi ch goes from th e vir t ual to till' inte nsive,
mu lt iplicity dd llH's a space of its o wn, that is, th e absence cj' a space if and from th ere to th e ex t e nsive and q ualita tive. 71 'o untc r-act ualizat ion

wou ld, in fact, co mpleme nt pre -actualization : while the form er e xtracts the overall co nstraints that any implem entation wou ld have to meet. If
flat (o r folded) m ultiplicities from act ua lly occurring events , the latter we arc to get rid of essent ialist and typo logi cal thought w e need some
w ou ld take these and 'unflatten ' them, that is, it would allo w them to process through which virtual mu ltipliciti es are derived from th e actual
p ro gressively unfold and differentiat e without fully actualizing th em . w orld and so me process through which the results o f this derivation
Each o f these tw o operations w ould po ssess a temporal dimension : the mal' be gh'e n eno ugh co he re nce and auto no my . Deleu ze him self ga ve
quasi-causal o perato r would sample o r section all actual events, at all seve ral different model s for each one o f these tasks, a fact that shows
dilTerent time scales, instantaneously; then, each flat multiplicity would that he did not think he had achiev ed a final so lution to th e problem ,
be immed iately unfo lded in two unlimited directions at on ce, past and on ly its co rrec t form ulation . On th e other hand , he clea rly t hought
future, distributing th e singularities which d efine each of th e unfo lding that the problem itself was worth posing, regardless of its particular
levels on both sides o f the instant at once, 'in the manner of a pod so lutions . That this is ind eed th e case may be glimpsed from th e fact
whi ch releases its spo res' . 7 l that Dclcuzc ' s d escription o f his co nst ruc tivist m ethod in philosophy
The op eration o f pre -actualizati on would give multiplicities not o nly close ly mat ch es th e two tasks whi ch th e ope rato r is supposed to
a ce rtain autonomy from the intensiv e processes acting as their real accomplish : creating virtual events (m ultiplicities) by ex trac ting th em
causes , it wo uld also endo w these impassive and stcr ile effec ts with from actual processes and laying them out in a plane o f co nsistency .711
whatever mo rphogenet ic po wer they enjoy .7 4 In other words , pre - This methodology, mor eover, is what in his view would distinguish
actualizatio n would not on ly explain how an unactualized singularity philosophy from science . As he writes :
bel on gin g to a physical system with multiple a!tracto rs w ou ld subsist
as a pot ential alternative state , it would also explain how the singularity It co uld be said that scie nce and philosophy take o ppos ed paths,
that is actualized gets its power to attract in the first place . To the because philosophical concepts have events for consistenc y whereas
ex te nt that linking multiplicities to gether and endo w ing th em with scie ntific function s have states of affairs or mixtures for ;eferencc :
productivity foreshadows the intensive processes w hich follow do wn throug h con cepts, philosophy cont inually extracts a consistent event from
the symm etry- breaking cascade , the quasi-causal operator is refe rred the states if eif!airs . .. whereas through functions, science continually
to as a 'dark precursorT " The operation o f co unter-actualizatio n, on actualizes the event in a state of affairs, thing, or body that can be
the o ther hand, would operate in the o ppos ite direction, up the cascade referred ro. ?"
from the inte nsive towards the virtual. I said in Chapter 2 that some
areas o f the world, those defined by processes which are nonlin ear and It matters little whether we d escribe thi s method as involving two
which operate far from equ ilibrium, do not co nce al the virtual separate o peratio ns (to ex tract ideal events and to give them co nsist-
underneath extensities and qualities but rather reveal it, or allow it to ency) o r as a single on e (to extract a consistent e vent). The importa nt
ex press itself.?" These areas w oul d represe nt a spo ntaneous movement point is that Dcleuze con ceives of pre -actualization and co unter-
toward s th e virtual wh ich is st ill physica l and co rpo rea l but whi ch may actualization, howe ver imp lemented, a') defining an object il'e movement
I" , given a boo st making it reach the level o f a pure virtuality. T o th e wh ich a phil osopher mu st learn to g rasp . As he puts it, we phil oso -
e xtent that co unter-actualizatio n accelerates an escape from actuality phe rs must invent devices to allo w us to becom e 'the quasi-cause
whi ch is already present in so me intensiv e processes, the qua si-cau sa] o f wh at is produ ced w ithin us, th e O pe rato r "."? Spelling out th e
0 pt'rato r is referred to as a 'line of flight '. 77 details of Dcleuvcs method ology will invo lve co nnec ting the result s
In co ncl usio n, I wo uld like to repeat that whatever the merits o f of his o nto log ical analysis with q ues tio ns of' epistemo logy . In cp istc -
Dl'lcuzc 's particular proposals for the imp lementation of the quasi- mologic al term s to extract an ideal event from an actually o ecuning
t',l U~.l l Opt'rato r, we should at least credit him with having e lucida ted o ne is, hasicall v, to dcfilU' what is problemauc about it , to grasp what

abo ut the eve nt objectively stands in need oj explanation . This involv es

d iscerning in the act ual event wh at is relevant and irrel evant for its
e xplanation , wh at is important and wh at is no t. T hat is, it involves C H A PTE R 4
co rrectly grasping th e objective distribution oj the singular and the ordinary
defi ning a well-posed probl em . T o give consiste ncy to th ese well - Virtuality and the Laws if Physics
posed probl ems, in turn , mean s to endow th em with a ce rtain aut on-
omy fro m th eir particul ar solutions , to sho w that probl ems do not
d isappear be hind th eir solutions , just like virt ual multiplicit ies do not In a flat ontology o f indi vidu als, like the o ne I have tri ed to de velop
d isapp ear behind act ualized indiv idu als. T he ep iste mo log ical side of a here , th ere is no room for rcificd to talit ies . In particular , th ere is no
Dc lcuz ian o ntology is co nstit ute d by such a philosoph y of probl ems room for ent ities like ' society ' o r 'culture ' in ge ne ra l. Institution al
and this will form the subject matter of th e foll owi ng chapter. o rga ni7..ations, urban centres o r nation states are in th is o ntolog y not
abstract totalities but co nc re te social individuals, :\"ith th e same o~~olo­
gica l sta tus as indiv idu al human bein gs but o pe rating at larger spatio-
temporal scales . Like orga nisms o r species these larger socia l
indiv idu als are products of co ncrete historical processes, having a dat e
of birth and , at least potentially, a d ate of death or ex tinc tion . And
like o rgan isms and species, th e rel ations betw een individuals at each
spatia -te mpo ral scale is on e of parts to wh ole , with each individual
eme rging from th e causal int eractions am on g th e members of popula-
tion s of smaller scale individuals. Althou gh th e det ails of each individu-
ation process need to be described in det ail, we can roughly say that
from th e interactions among individual decision -makers, institutions
eme rge ; from int eractions among institutions, citi es t~merge; and from
urban interacti on s, nation states eme rge _1 The population serving as
substra tum for th e eme rg ence of a larger wh ole may be very hetero-
ge neo us or, o n th e co ntrary , highl y homogen eous. But even in th ose
cases wh ere th e degree of homogen eity at different scales is high
eno ugh to suggest th e existe nce of a single 'cult ure' o r 'society' , th e
temptation to postulat e such to talit ies mu st be resisted, and th e degree
of homogen eity whi ch motivat ed suc h postul ati on must be given a
co ncrete histori cal explanation .
T hus far I have used th e term ' science ' as if its use was unprobl em -
atic, but given th e requirements of a flat o nto log)' it is clear th at this
te rm shou ld no t be used since it refers to an abstract totalit v and
moreo ver, to a to ta lity, defined by , an essence . Instead , we m us; : trh-e
to ide ntitY the specific processes wh ich have gin>n rise to inJiI"idual
SCIentific fi elJs, w hich like an) o ther indivi dual , mus t he co nceived as

co m posed of populations of entit ies at a smaller scale . In th e case of sia n th e productive or Benetic co nnections invol ved in the physical
the field of classical mechani cs, for ex ample. th ese co m po ne nts are , processes go verned by th ose law s.
ro ughly: populations of mathematical models and techniques for the More specifically, th e esse ntialist view of law s has co nce aled the
indi viduation of predi cti ons and e xplanations ; populations of phenom- producti ve po we r of causal connections, that is, th e fact th at events
ena produced in laborat ories and population s of machin es and instru- act ing as causes actually produ ce th eir effects. Co ntrary to a popular
me nts wh ich ind ivid uate and m easure th ose phen om en a ; populati on s m iscon ception , ph ilosophical approaches to scie ntific practice have
of ex pe rime nta l skills , th eoretical co nce pts and institution al pract ices. thri ved, from the seve ntee nth century o n , in a world devoid of causes
Like an o rga nic species , th e degree to wh ich an ind ivid ual scie ntific and rul ed e xc lusive ly by law s sta ting constant regu larities. J Part of what
field has a well -d efined identity will dep end on co ntinge nt historical made possible the re placement of causes by law s was a vie w of
fa cts such as its degree of int ernal hom ogen eity and its degree of causa lity as an inh erently linear relation, suc h that , give n a particul ar
isolation from o the r field s. Simil arl y, th e degree to whi ch seve ral field s cause, the same effect was bound to be prod uce d. Clear ly, if causality
rese mb le each o the r sho uld be give n a historical explana tion , such as always ex hibited thi s simple form , if effects always foll owed mech ani -
o ne field serving as exem plar for the co nst ruction of ano the r. o r the cally and necessarily from th eir causes, postulating a separate produc-
ex po rt of inst ruments and techniques from o ne field to another, o r th e tive power of causes distin ct from th e exce ptionless laws go verning
shari ng of institutional co m po ne nts among different fields. This way th eir ope ratio n would be redundant. But more co mplex forms of
th e qu estion of wh ether th ere is such a thing as 'scien ce ' in ge ne ral causality do exist , nonlinear and sta tistical causality, for instance, and
becomes an em pirical qu estion, o ne w hich, I believe. sho uld receive a th ese arc involved in all the int en sive production processes which I
nega ti ve answer . Many co nte m po rary ana lysts do ind eed seem to thin k have described in previous chapte rs. Hen ce a crucial task for a
th at, as a matter of empirical fact, science d isplays a deep and Dcleuzian episte mologist invo lves rescuing th ese ge ne tic links between
characte ristic disunity . events from the limbo wh ere general laws have cast them.
In th e first par t of thi s chapter I wo uld like to develo p the ideas Besides concealing prod uctive relations behind sta tic cat egories , the
needed to think abo ut ind ividu al scienti fic field s, using classical m ech - traditional philosophical approach to laws may be criticized for subor -
anics as a co nc re te ex am ple, but also to rev iew so me of th e traditional dinat ing mathematica l models to Iinaui stic statements . Much of what I
phil osophical obstacles which have historically prevented a co rrect ha ve arg ued in this book depends on treati ng mathematical models in
assess me nt of th e di sunity, heterogen eit y and divergent development th ei r specificity, that is, as disp laying a certain beha viour which is crucial
of 'sc ience". At thi s point it sho uld co me as no surprise that in my for th ei r successful application to scientific tasks . Th e most obv io us
view th e main obstacle has be en th e entre nc hme nt of essentialist and exa m ple is th e tenden cy of so lutio ns to an eq uatio n to approach an
ty po log ical th ought in philosophical st ud ies of scientific practice . Man y attrac to r , a tenden cy which is not displayed by linguistic translati on s
philoso phe rs in th e past have tak en th e essence of classical mechanics o f th e co nte nt of th e eq uatio n but whi ch dep end o n th e speci fic
to be its exceptionless laws. Thi s is particularly tru e wh en fundam ental math ematical form of both th e equation and the ope rato rs that act on
laws, suc h as Ne wto n's law s, ar e view ed as ge ne ral truths from wh ich it. Thus, a second task for a Deleu zian episte mo logist is to rescu e
"\'l'rything else [ollows mechanically , tha t is, by simple logical deducti on. m odels and th eir dynam ic beh aviour from static lingui sti c renderings
\VI1l'n species arc view ed no t as indi vid ual entities but as ge ne ral of law s. T hese tw o related errors , elimination 1"causes and subordination
c.ltego rit."s, th e productive or ge ne t ic pro cesses whi ch yield th ese to lanau one (and deductiv e logic) arc the basic characte rist ic of essen-
indi vidu als te nd to he ign ored . Sim ilarly. th e view of law s as ge neral tialist approaches to classica l ph ysics, and th eir criticism will form th e
tru th s has tended , histo rically, to eli m inate from phil osop hical discu s- suhj('ct matt er of the first sec tion of this ch apt e r , Let ow begin with

tlu- dismi ssal o f productive causes in favour of constant regularities. As Humean reduction of cau ses to linguisti c statements of regularities to
th l' ph ilosopher of scien ce [an Hacking puts it: an extreme.
In this episte m ological th eory, known as th e deduai ve-nomolopical
Ilume notoriously taught that cause is only constant conjunc t ion . approach , scie ntific ex planations ar e treated as logical arguments consist-
To say th at A caused B is not to say that A, from so me power or ing of sev eral propositions, on e of which must b e an exceptionl ess
characte r within it self, broupht about B. lt is only to say that th ings law . The term 'proposition ' refers to th e m eaning of declarative
u f typ e A are req ularlv followed by things of typ e B ... Hume is in se ntences , that is, to what two sentences in different languages,
1:1 t not responsibl e for th e widespread philosophical acceptance of expre ssing th e sam e state of affairs, hav e in common. In this model,
a co nsta nt -co njunc tio n attitude towards causation. Isaac N ewton did to ex plain a particular laboratory ph enomenon is to deduce it from a
it, unintentionally. The greatest triumph of th e human sp irit in set of propositions: from a linguistically stated law (su ch as 'two bodies
l lu rnc ' s day was held to be th e Newtonian theory of gravitation are gravitationally attract ed to each other in direct proportion to th e
. .. Immediately before Newton , all progressive scie ntists thought product of th eir mass es, and in inverse proportion to th e square of
th at th e world must be understood in terms of m echanical pushes their distance ') and a set of propositions d escribing initial (and other)
anti pulls. But gravity did not see m ' mechanical' , for it wa s action co nd itions, w e derive further propositions which may be treated as
at a dist an ce .. . For em pirically minded peopl e th e post -N ewtonian predictions to be tested for th eir truth or falsit y in a laboratory. [I' th e
altit ude was, th en, this: we sho uld not see k for causes in nature, behaviour of th e ph enomenon conforms to th ese predictions w e can
hut o nly regularities . .. The natural scie ntist tries to find un iversal cla im to hav e exp lained it , not, of course, by having given causal
state me nts - th eories and law s - which cover all ph enomena as special m echanisms for its production, but in th e way one explains things in a
cases. To say that we hav e found th e explanation o f an e ve nt is on ly ty po logical approach: subsutninp it as a particular case under a aen eral
to say th at th e event can be dedu ced from a aeneral repul aruy," catea 0T)'. Although hardly an y w orking ph ysicist would accept that his
or her co m plex exp lanatory practi ces are capt ured by this sim p listic
Ii a king argues that this elimi natio n of producti ve causes in favour t he ory , th e d eductive-nomological approach has dominated much of
of state me nts o f regulariti es (and deducti ve relations between those t w entieth -century philosophy of scien ce and continues to hav e many
si.u c mc nts) is characte rist ic not o f ph ysics in general, but only of d efenders in thi s field. 5
phi loso phies of ph ysics whi ch concent rate excl usive ly on th e th eoretical When on e accepts thi s model of exp lanation th e structure of th e
t om po nent of a field at th e expe nse of its ex pe rimental com p one nt . th eoretical component of a scientific field takes th e form of an
T he day to day practi ce of expe r imental physicists, consisting as it does axiomat ic: from a few true statements of general regularities (the
in specific causal int erventi ons in reality , is much too rich and co m plex ax io ms) we deduce a large number of consequences (theorems) which
10 he rcdu cd to logical relations between state men ts. The expe ri ment- are th en compared to th e results of obs ervations in th e laboratory to
alist is d irectl y invo lved in productive relation s, whether th ese involve check for their truth or falsit y . Giv en that deduction is a purely
till creat ion o f an ap parat us to individuate ph enomena or th e use of m echanical wa y of tran smittina truth or falsity, it follows that whatev er
inst r um -nts to produce individual m ea surements of properties of th o se truth on e ma y find in a th eorem mu st hav e already been contained in th e
ph -no rnc na . It is o nly th eory-obsessed phil osophies, whether held by ax ioms. It is in thi s sense that axioms ar e like esse nces. To counter
physicisls o r professional philosophers, that can afford to forget about thi s esse ntialist conception , a new gen eration of philosophers has
1.. ur sa] co nnec tions and co n e nt rate ex lusivel y o n logical relation s. The d eveloped an alt ernative charac te rization of what a th eory is, reintro-
ult imatc ex press ion of thi s esse ntialist stance is a m odel of s icntifi c du ing productiv causa l rel ations as an int egral part of explanations,
c-xp lnnntion de vel op ed in th e twentieth c >nt ury whi ch takes th e as w ell as rejecting th e Iingui sti haract erizati on or
ex p lanator

practices . In th e view of th ese phil osophers, ex planations , rath er th an dynamics) may see m to have achieved closure at a ce rtain point in
being sim ply logical arguments, invol ve a co m plex use of mathem atical history only to be reop en ed later giving rise to a new round of
mo dels of different types: mod els of gene ra l relation s, models of accumulation, as wh en co m pute r- d r iven developmen ts in nonlinear
partic ular ex perimental situations, as well as sta tistical m od els of th e dynami cs reop en ed wh at was widely co nside re d a closed field . As I1ya
raw data gathe re d in laborat ori es. O ne of th e de fenders of thi s new Prigogin e puts it : ' Unfortunate ly, many co llege and uni versit y text-
view, Ron ald Giere , puts it thi s wa y: bo oks pr esent classical dynamics as a closed subject .. . [but] in fact ,
it is a subjec t in rapid evo lutio n . In th e past twenty years , [physicists]
Even just a brief examination of classical mechanics as pr esented in have introduced important new insights , and further developments can
modern textbooks provides a basis for some substantial conclusions be ex pecte d in th e near future. ' 8
about th e overall str uct ure of thi s scientific th eory as it is actually The philosopher of scie nce Nancy Cartwright has pr op osed a set of
understood by th e bulk of th e scie ntific co m m unity . What on e finds distinctions that may be used to describe th e non -axiomatic stru cture
in standard textbooks may be described as a cluster (or cluster of of thi s population of models. Som ewhat parado xicall y, she argues that
clu sters) of models , or, perhaps better, as a population if models th e fundamental law s of physics, those law s which in axiomatic
consisting if related famili es if models. The various famili es ar e treatmen ts ar e assume d to be th e high est truths, are indeed false. Th e
co nstr ucted by co m bining Newton's laws of motion, particularly law s of physics lie , as she puts it . What she mean s is that a fundam ental
th e second law , with various for ce fun ctions - linear functions, law achieves its generality at the expense if its accuracy. A fundam ental
inverse square functi on s, and so on . The models thus defined ar e law , such as Newton 's law of gravity, is strictly speaking true onl y in
th en multiplied by adding other force fun ctions to th e definition . th e most artifi cial of circumstances, wh en all other forces (like
T hese define still further famili es of models. And so on." electr om agne tic forces) ar e absent, for instance , or whe n th ere is no
fr iction or other nonlinearities. In other words, th e law is true but
Giere emphasizes th e point that, despite th e fact th at some members on ly if a very large 'a ll othe r things being equal' clause is attached to
of this populati on of mod els (Newto n's law s of moti on ) se rve to it .? W e can co m pe nsate for th e sho rtcom ings of fundam ental laws by
generate the various branchin g famili es , the relation bet ween a funda - adding to th e basic eq uation other eq uatio ns representing th e action of
mental mod el and those deri ved from it is not like th at between axio ms othe r forces or th e co m plex causal interacti on s between forces. But
and theore ms. Far from bein g a m echanical process of deduction , th e the n we lose th e ge ne rality that mad e th e orig inal law so appealing to
co m plex mod elling practices w hic h have historically gene rate d th ese essentialists. Th e mod el becomes more true, describing with increased
fam ilies invol ve man y judiciou s approximations and idealizati on s, acc uracy the struct ure of a given expe rime ntal ph en omenon , but for
gUided by pri or achievements serv ing as exe m plars ." I will return to th e same reason it becomes less gen eral. In short , for Cartwright th e
this ques tion in a moment but for now I would like to add that th e objec tive co nte nt of physics do es not lie in a few fundam ental law s,
basic idea of th inking of a physical th eory as a population of models but in a large number of causal models tailored to speci fic sit uatio ns.
fits we ll with th e onto logical stance I am defending . Such a population (Giere do es not speak of 'causal models' but of ' hypo t hese s' linking
is easi ly co nce ived as th e product of a historical accumulation, subje ct th e abstract models and th e world , but th e o verall thrust of his
to all th e co ntinge ncies of such hist ori cal pr ocesses, and hen ce with no arg ument is very close to that of Cartw right . 10)
pr ·t n e that it represen ts a co m plete or final set of mod els. At any T he esse ntialist ma y obj ect that , give n that th e speci alized causal
rate, the co m pleteness or clos ur of th e set becomes an empirical mod els are d rive d fro m the fundamental law s , th y mu st inherit
matt 1', not .orncthing to b assume d at th e outs t as in axiomatic w hat ver degree of truth they have fro m th os law s. But Ca rt wri ght
trva t rncnts . ~ rtai n popul ations (like th ose o f th e sub -fi lei of classica l (like G iere) rcpl ic that this o versim plifies th e description of the

mod elling practices of real physicists. The causal models are not science of forces to on e of sinq ularities. In th e words of th e historian
logicall y deduced from th e general laws, but construct ed from them Morris Kline:
using a complex set of approximation techniques which cannot be
reduced to deductive logic. As Cartwright says, th e content of th e Hamilton 's principl e yields th e paths of falling bodies, th e paths of
causal models 'we derive is not contained in th e fundamental laws that projectil es, th e elliptical paths of bodies mo ving under th e law of
exp lain them. ' II In short, th e population of models whi ch con stitutes gravitation, the law s of r eflection and refracti on of light, and the
th e th eoretical component of classical mechanics may be roughly more elementary ph enomena of electricity and magnetism . How-
divided into two sub -populations: a larg e number of causal models ever , th e chief achi evem ent of th e principl e lies in showing that th e
clos ely adapted to particular expe r imental situations, and a few phenomena of all th ese branches of physics satisfy a minimum
fundame ntal models corresponding to basic laws from which branching principle. Since it relates th ese phenomena by a common mathemat-
families of other abstract models ar e derived . This breakdown of th e ical law, it permits conclusions reach ed in on e branch to be
ontents of th e population leaves out a different class of models, reinterpreted for another. Hamilton's principle is th e final form of
statistical models if the data, which is also very important. Positivist th e least -action principle introduced by Maupertuis, and because it
philosophers used to think that the predictions deduced from axioms em braces so many actions of nature it is the mo st powerful single
and auxiliary premises (those describing initial conditions) were con - principle in all of mathematical physics. 14
fro nte d directly with observations in a laboratory, that is, with raw
data. But for at least two hundred years physicists have used statistical Th e history of minimum principles, th e idea that, for exam ple , light
mo dels to organize th e raw data, and, in particular, to attempt to mo ves along th e path that minimizes travelling distance, is ind eed a long
capt ure th e distribution if measurement errors in th e data. 12 Besid e ignoring o ne having roots in Greek antiquity and m edi eval philosophy. IS In th e
th is impo rtant kind of model , th e po sitivi st em phasis on 'the obs erver' seve nteenth century , Pierre de Fermat cre ate d th e first application of
is misleading because it reduces to a subjective phenomenon what is in this idea in th e co nte xt of ear ly modern physics, th e Principle of Least
fact a co mplex practi ce of data gathering, involving not passive T ime govern ing th e behaviour of light in geometrical optics. For much
observations but active causal int erventions. of its history th e principl e carried strong th eol ogical overtone s as it
Leaving aside th e expe rimental side for a moment, what ar e we to was assoc iate d w ith th e beli ef that it reflect ed th e econo my of thought
think of th e few fundam ental laws ? Is it correct to say that th ey lie, or of a Cre ato r. Maupertuis eve n went as far as to state that his Least
is it mo re accurate to say that th ey are not th e kind of mathematical Action principl e was th e first scientific proof of th e existe nce of God.
objects that can be true or false? Cartwright sugg ests that th e function Event ually th e th eological connection was lost , as scientists realized
of these laws is to un!fj and oraanize th e rest of th e population. 13 This th at w hat mattered was not th e ideological interpretation but the
is, I beli eve, a ste p in th e right direction but we cannot simply tak e math ematical technology that was cre ate d around th ese ideas: the
this unifying capability for granted; we must at least try to account for calculus if variations. Thi s was th e first technology ever to deal directly
it. Histori cally, th e unification of th e different branches of classical with singular ities and it rivals in importance, as far as its effects on
mechani cs was achieved by a se r ies of physicists and mathematicians, ninet eenth - and tw entieth -century physics, the othe r mathematical
sta rt ing with th e work of Leonard Euler in th e mid -eighteenth century fields I have discu ssed in thi s book (d iffere ntial geometry, group
• nd culminating a hundred years later with that of William Hamilton. thcorvj.!"
It may be said that, to geth I' with other important figures (Maupc rtuis, One way of looking at the calculus of variations is as a novel way of
I ,lgr.1I1gl'), th esc scie ntists transformed classical me han ics from a I'0sinfl mechanical problems. Instead of looking at a problem in physics as

a problem of th e causal effccts of forces, one looks at it as a pr obl em beh aviour to ph ysical systems . But the im po rtant poin t for my
of find ing, am on g th e many possible pr ocesses that ma y change a argument is that it was precisely th e ability to pose a pr obl em not in
physica l systc m from one sta te to ano ther, th e actual process. More te rms of specific efficie nt causes (forces) but in a way w hich by-p assed
exactly, th e techniques develop ed by Euler and Lagra nge allow th e causal det ails, that allowed th e variational version of classical mechani cs
constr uction of a set of possibiliti es (fo r exa m ple, a set of possibl e to play a unifying and org anizational role in th e population of mod els.
pat hs w hich a light ray might foll ow) and supply th e resources need ed T he sing ulari ties whi ch th e calculus of variatio ns un covered rep res-
to sort th ese possibilities into two gro ups, on e of ordinal)' and one of en te d, in my terminology, a m echanism -indep en dent r eality. On th e
sinpulat cases . As it happen s, th e results of expe riments sho w th at th e othe r hand, as Euler himself acknowl ed ged , thi s m ethod was co m ple-
singular cases (a m inimum or a maximum) ar e th e ones that are in fact mentary not exclusive to th e causal one . O ne may know that a give n
act ualized ."? Although th e singularities un cov ered by th e calculus of classical mechanical pr ocess will tend to minimize some quantity, but
variations are not, stric tly speaking, attractors, its cre ators did see m to the full ex planation of th e process w ill also in vol ve a co rrect descrip-
thi nk that they played a sim ilar role . Attractors ar e described as tion of th e causal m echani sm s th at achieve suc h minimizati on . Thi s
defining th e long-t erm tenden cies of a syste m , that is, th e state th e other task, how ever, must be performed by other mod els, less ge neral
syste m will adopt if we wait long eno ugh to allow it to settle down. and m ore specifically tailored to th e details of an ex perime ntal
Thi s emphasis on th e final sta te sugges ts that one way to look at the sit uatio n .
difference be tween attractors and causes is through th e old distincti on To sum m ar ize th e arg umc nt of thi s sec tion , far from being mere
mad e by Arist otl e between fi nal and qpcient causes. Euler him sel f, math ematical express ions of linguistic truths, law s must be viewed as
when introducing his var iatio nal techn ology, used thi s Ari stotelian models fro m which th e m ath em ati cal form cannot be eliminated . Th e
distinction: un ificatio n brought about by th e calculus of variat ions, for ex am ple,
cannot be understood otherwise since its techniques do not appl y to
Since the fabr ic of th e uni verse is m ost perfect , and is th e wo rk of ling uistica lly state d law s. These irre d uci bly mathematical m odels form
a mo st wise Cre at or, nothing whatsoever takes pla ce in th e uni verse a gro wing and heterogen eou s populati on , some members of w hich
in whic h some relat ion of maximum and minimum does not appe ar. carry causal informatio n about pr oductive relati on s between events,
W herefore th ere is abso lutely no doubt th at eve ry effect in th e ot hers embo dy quasi-causal relations between singu lar itics . In other
univ erse can be explaine d as satisfacto rily fro m final causes, by th e word s, th e populat ion of m od els making up th e th eoreti cal co m pone nt
aid of th e m eth od of maxim a and minim a, as it can from th e of classical mechanics co ntains a large number of speci fic causal models
effective causes the ms elves .. . Therefore, two method s of st udying w hich are th e vehicles for truth (the part of th e population that
e ffects in Nature lie ope n to us, one by m eans of effective causes, inte1aces with the actu al world), and fewer models whi ch do not r efer
w hich is co m mo nly calle d th e direct method, th e other by means of to th e act ual worl d (he nce are neither true nor false) but wh ich
fina l causes . . . O ne ought to make a speci al e ffort to see that both nevertheless do inteJjace with the virtua l world by virt ue of bein g well -
wuys if approach to the solution if the problem be laid ope n ; for thus posed problems. For Deleu ze a probl em is defined precisely by a
not only is one solutio n greatly stre ngthe ne d by th e othe r, bu t , distribut ion of the sing ular and th c ordinary, th e important and th e
more than th at , fro m th e agreement between th e tw o so lutions we un importan t , th e relevant and the irrelevant. A we ll-posed probl em
sec ure the very highest satisfaction. 18 ge ts the se distribu tion s right, and a so lut ion always has th c truth it
des erves acco rdi ng to how well specified th e co rres po ndi ng pr obl em
In a Dc lcuz ian ontology final causes wo uld have to be replaced by is .!" In these t rm s N iw ton' s a hi ve m nt wo uld co n ist not in having
quasi -ca uses in order to avoid ascribing teleological or goal-seeking discov ered gene ral tru th s abo ut th e uni v ersc , but in having correct ly

posed an objecti ve problem defined by th e simplest distribution of e valuation of what is important and what is not, to th e di stribution
singular ities (unique minima or maxima). This interpretation preserves of th e singular and regular, distinctive and ordinary points, whi ch
th e obj ectivity of Newton ' s law s but it d eflates his achi ev ement takes pla ce entirely within th e un essential or within th e description
so mewhat, in th e sense that , if th e insights of nonlinear dynamics of a multiplicity, in relation to th e ideal events that const it ute th e
abo ut multiple attractors ar c correct, th e single minimum problem is cond itions of a probl em. 21
not th e most general on e .
T his concl usion assumes, howev er, that the traditional axiomatic I will focu s first on a particular kind of problem, explanatory problems,
appro ach to physics can be replaced by a problematic approach, that is, to show th e rol e which th e cau sal and th e quasi-cau sal play in th e
th at problems can r eplace fundamental law statements. But this explanation of physical ph enomena. As Ian Hacking has argued, th e
replacement needs more justification given that it go es again st th e grain same positivist bias es which promote th e beli ef that causality is not an
o f th e traditional ontology of ph ysics . Hamilton 's Least Action prin - obj ective relation also promote th e downplaying of exp lanation as an
ciple , for ex am ple, is still interpreted by most physicists as an axiom ep istem ological activity, that is, promote th e po sitivist thesis that
ex press ing a general truth from which many particular truths in physics 'explanations may help organize phenomena, but do not provide any
follow m echanically. As Morris Kline puts it: deep er answer to Why questions ... ' 22 To th e non-positivist philo-
sophe rs who ar c reviving th e study of causality, on th e cont rary,
T o th e scientists of 1850, Hamilton' s principle was th e realization questions as to why a phenomenon occurs ar e crucial since they require as
of a dream ... From th e time of Galileo scientists had been st riving answers more than a mere description of r egularities. Answering a
to deduce as many ph enomena of nature as possibl e from a few Why question typ icall y demands supplying a causal exp lanation , per-
fundam ental ph ysical principles ... Descartes had already expressed hap s in th e form of a causal model of a m echanism. In addition, I will
the hope that all th e law s of science would be derivable from a arg ue that th ese qu esti ons sometimes require sup plying a quasi-cau sal
sing le basic law of th e universe. i? fact or to ex plain whatev er regularity th ere is in th e beha viour of th e
m echanism s, that is, to capture th e m echanism -indep endent asp ect of
And, I sho uld add , thi s hope for a single law state men t from which th e ph enomen on .P Despite th e fact that qu estions and answers ar e,
e ve ry thing else foll ows has displayed a consid erable resilien ce and indeed , linguisti c enti ti es , Why qu estions involv e as part of th e
lon g vity, still animating th e dream for a final th eory among some co ndit ions that make th em answerable, or w ell -posed, a non-linguisti c
o nte m po ra ry ph ysicists. Therefore th e task for th e next section of this or ex t ra- pro positional aspect whi ch is properly problematic: a distri-
chapte r will be to describe in more detail the extra-propositional and buti on of the relevant and th e irrelevant. Let m e begin this new
sub-represent ative nature of th ese distributions of th e important and th e sec tion with a quote from th e philosopher Alan Garfinkel who has
unimportant which ar c supposed to replace law statements as well as de veloped an original approach to these matters:
esse nces . In Dcleuzc 's words:
When Willie Sutton was in prison, a pri est who was trying to
It will be said that th e esse nce is by nature th e most 'important' reform him asked him why he robbed banks . 'Well , ' Sutton r epli ed,
thing . This, howev er, is precisely what is at issu e: whether notions ' t hat's whe re th e money is.' There has been a failure to connect
o f' importance and non -importance ar c not precisely notions whi ch he re , a failure o f fit. Sutton and th e pri est ar e passing each other by
co nce r n e ve nts or accidents, and ar c mu ch more 'important' within . . . C lea rly th ere arc different values and purposes shaping th e
accid ents than th e cr ud, oppos ition between esse n e and acc ide nt qu stion and answer. Th 'y tak e different thing to be problemat ic o r
itself. Th e probl em o f th ou ght is ti d not to esse n cs but to th sta nd in n cd of ex p lanation. For th pri e t , wh at sta nds in need o f'

explanation is the decision to rob at all. He do es not really care entmes (such as state spaces and th eir attractors) can eliminate th e
what. But for Sutton, that is th e whole qu estion . What is problem - need to characte rize rel evant alte rn atives (eq uivalence classes) through
at ic is th e choice of what to rob. 24 relations like differs inessentially from ' . In a typical nonlinear state

space , subdivide d by multiple attractors and th eir basins of attracti on ,

Garfinkel suggests that requests for explanations may be modeled as th e structure of th e space of possibilities dep ends not on som e
qu estion s having the form ' W hy did event X (as opposed to Y or Z ) extrinsically defined relation (specifying what is an inessential change)
occ ur?' with th e clause in parenthesis constituting what he calls a but on th e distribution if sinpulariti es itself. Th e traj ectories in state
contrast space. The misunderstanding between the thi ef and the pri est in space , defining po ssible sequen ces of states, are spontaneously broken
his example is du e to the fact that each is using th e same qu estion but into equivalence classes by th e basins of attraction : if th e starti ng point
with different contrast spaces . While for th e thief th e qu estion is ' W hy or initial condition of two different traj ectories falls within a given
ro b banks?' (as opposed to gas stations or retail stores) for th e priest basin both traj ectories ar e bound to end up in th e sam e state, and ar e
th e qu estion is 'Why rob banks ?' (as opposed to making an honest equivalent in that resp ect. Garfinkel, in fact, acknowledges th e rol e
living). T he thief's answer is ind eed a true answ er, but as far as th e which attractors may play in structuring th e contrast spac es of physical
pri est is co ncerned, it is an irrelevant answer, a fact that suggests that and biological explanations. As he says, 'What is necessary for a true
the rel evancy and valid ity of an explanation is relative to a particular explanation is an account of how th e underlying space is partitioned
co ntrast space . These spac es capture both what is presupposed in a int o basins of irrelevant differen ces, separate d by ridg e lines of cr itical
qu estion (Gi ven that on e must rob , why banks?), and hence considered points. '26
to be not in need of explanation , as well as th e rel evant explanatory How do es a distribution of singularities obj ectively define th e
alte rnatives . Garfinkel argues that characte rizing contrast spaces invol ves correctness or truth of a problem? Th e answer is that, as Del euz e says,
goi ng beyond th e resources of language , even in cases (like th e thief 'there are problem s whi ch are false through ind et ermination, others
and pri est exam ple) wh ere th e situation is mostly lingui stic. As he pu ts th rough overdet ermination'. 27 In other words, a problem ma y be false
it: or badly posed if th e alt ernatives whi ch str ucture a contrast space are
roo sharply difined , since in that case th e validity of th e explanation
T hese contrast spac es ar e still not well-understood obj ects. Th eir becomes too dep endent on th e occurrence of precisely those events
structure is not readily identifiable with any of th e traditional obj ects (overde te rmi nation). On th e contr ary, th e problem may fail to be true
of logic, for example . Th ey have some similarities with ' possible if it is so vapuely difined that it is impossible to tell wh ether an actually
worlds', for instance, but th ey ar e not simply spaces of possible occ ur ing eve nt belongs to on e or another of th e relevant alt ernatives
wo rlds . Th ey are more like equivalence classes of po ssible worlds (inde te rminat ion). Let me give an exam ple of a problem which is not
(unde r the relation 'differs inessentially from') with almost all w II posed du e to its conditions being overdet ermined. Garfinkel
possible worlds exclude d altogether from th e spac e. (Contrast spaces illustrates this case with a w ell-known ecological ph enomenon, th e
are typically quite small.) .. . Basically, these spaces ar e similar to rhythm ic or periodic changes in the overall numbers of coupl ed
what physicists call stat e spaces. A state spac e is a geometric populations of pr ey and predators (rabbits and fox es, in his exam ple).
representation of th e possibilities of a syst em; a parametrization of As th e population of rabbits incr eases th e fox es' numbers also increase
its states , a display of its rep ertoire . 25 du to the ex tra available food. But at so me point, there ar e too man y
fo x 's 0 that th populati on of rabbits is reduc d. Thi s, in turn, brings
I have alrea dy discu ed why lingui sti cally sp Hied possible worlds down th e number of fa xes, which allows th rabbit population to
f: iI to br eak with esse ntialism, and how bringing in math matical reco ver and sta rt th e cycl again. Thi s cycl ic beha viour of th e ouplcd

populations is what is ecologically problematic about th e situation, that is, and high likelihoods of rabbit deaths. [Where changing the path of
what demands an explanation . 28 th e rabbit still results in its being eate n but by another fox. 30]
W e may pos e th e problem in two alternative wa ys, on e at th e level
of intera ctions between individual rabbits and fox es, which gives an Using th e notion of explanatory stability , Garfinkel develops an
ove rde te rm ine d contrast spac e with too many alternatives, and another application of contrast spac es to differentiate th e validity of expla-
at th e level of the overall density of th e populations yield ing a well- nations op erating at different scales of reality. In the context of a flat
posed problem. To put thi s in linguistic terms, if w e posed the ontology of individuals this differentiation is crucial sinc e we would
pr obl em 'Why was this rabbit eaten?', one answer may be framed at like to have obj ective criteria to tell wh en an explanation is valid at
the population level (because of th e large number of fox es) and another th e lev el of individual organisms , for exam ple , and when we need an
at th e o rganism level (be caus e it passed through the capture spac e of a explanation at the spatio-t cmporal scale of an individual spe cies. In th e
speci fic fox at a specific time) . In other words, on e problem is 'Why exam ple just mentioned, a population-level intensive property (density)
was thi s rabbit eaten (as opposed to not eaten)?' while the other is can furnish a more stable explanation of th e cyclic behaviour of the
IWhy was this rabbit eaten (by this particular fox as opposed by this pr ey-predator system than an organism-level on e. Similarly for expla-
o r that other fox)?'. The second contrast space includes much that is nations of social ph enomena, some will be adequate at th e scale of
irrelevant to th e qu estion sinc e , given a high enough den sit y of foxes, if individual subj ects, others will serve to answer Why questions at th e
this rabbit had not been eate n by this fox it would have been eaten by scale of individual institutions, and yet others will capture th e relevant
ano the r. In other words, th ere is a ce rtain degree of redundant causality causal effects of individual citi es or nation states.
ope rat ing at the micro-level, so that framing th e qu estion at that level In short, causal problems should be fram ed at th e correct level
is bound to yield the wrong distribution of th e important and th e given that each emerge nt level has its own causal capacities, th ese
unimpo rtant. 29 The second way of framing th e qu estion is, as Garfinkel capacities being what differentiates these individuals from each other.
says, explanatorily unstable: But what about quasi-cau sal factors, how do th ey affect th e success or
failure of ex planations? To return to our exam ple , if th e properties of
T he ge ne ra l crite rion in th e cases we are dealing with is that an th e cyclic dynamics of th e prey-predator syste m , th e duration of th e
objec t of explanation should be chosen whi ch is stable und er sm all cycle , for exam ple , are not stable, that is, if exte rn al sho cks can easily
perturbations of its conditions. In th e whole microspace of th e foxes change this duration, th en th ere is no need for quasi -cau sal factors.
and rabbits syste m th ere is a point corresponding to th e death of But , on th e other hand, if such shocks only temporarily change th e
th at rabbit at th e hands of that fox, at that place and time, and so d ura tion and th e cycle spontaneously returns to its original period,
forth. Now imagine a kind of mesh laid over the space, which then th ere will be an aspect of th e dynamics not ex plained by the
det ermines what is to count as relevantly th e sam e as that event. causal model, a mechanism-independent aspect which still demands
[This is, in effect , th e contrast space of the explanation.] If th e mesh e xplanation . Population biologists have in fact observed such stable or
is very fine, th e resulting cau sal relations will be relatively unstable . ro bust cycle s both in th e field and in the laboratory, a fact that has
P .rturbing th e initial cond itions slight ly [say, making th e rabbit pass influen ced th e introduction of attractors as part of th eir explanatory
not so near that fox] will result in a situation which is different, mod cls.!'
in '(Iuival -n t . [The rabbit not being eate n by that fox.] If howev er, I sho uld cm phasiz that, despite my choi ce of exam ple , th ere i
w · choose a mesh large eno ugh (and cleverl y nou gh ) we can nothing speci fically biological about thi s argument. Th e ex act same
·apt urt· a sta ble rel ation , lik th e on b twc m high fo populati on s ideas apply to syst im s of causally int ern tin g populations of inorg. nic

entities. I have menti on ed seve ral tim es th e r egim es of flow of how ever, a contrast space m ay have a m ore co m plex structure: a
convection and turbulence . When explaining such phenomena on e has cascade of sym metry-breaking bifur cati on s may link several such spaces
to frame th e problem at th e co rrect level so as not to introduce in such a way th at a problem may aradually specify itself as th e different
irrelevant differen ces. Given a co nvec t ion cell and its cohere nt cyclic cont rast spaces it co nta ins reveal th emselves, one bifurcation at a time .
behav iour, for exam ple , th ere ar e a large number of mi cro-causal These conclusions are directl y co nnecte d with th e onto log ical ideas
descri pt ions (of indi vidual mol ecul es colliding with on e another) which I explo re d before, but to see this connec t ion we must expand th e
ar e irrelevant to its explanation. In other words, th ere is a larg e causal conce ption of probl em s beyond th ose involving scientific explanations.
red un dancy at th e micro-level , with many collision histories being In Deleuze 's approach th e r elation betw een well -po sed ex planato ry
.o mpatible with th e same macro-level effect: a coherent cyclic flow problems and th eir true or false solutions is th e episte mological
pattern. Here th e proper level of explanation will involve macro- causal co un te rpart of th e onto logical relation between th e virtual and th e
factors: temperature and den sity gradients, co m petition between gra v- actual. Expl anatory probl ems would be the co unte r part of vir tual
itational and viscous forces, and so on. Moreov er, th e existe nce of m ultiplicities since, as he says, 'the vir tual possesses the realit y of a
ritical thresholds recurring at regular values for th e gradients (struc- tas k to be performed or a probl em to be so lved' . 32 Indi vidu al solutions,
tural instab ilities) and th e robustn ess of the recurring flow patterns to on th e other han d , would be th e co unte rpart of actual indi vidu al
shocks (asymptotic stability) will call for additional qua si-causal factors: beings: ' An organism is nothing if not th e solution to a problem , as
bifurca tio ns and periodic attracto rs. (O r, in th e case of turbulence , are each of its differen ciat ed organs, such as th e eye which solves a
chaotic attractors.) light probl em . P ? Let me illustrate th is idea w ith a sim ple examp le I
Let me pause for a moment to bring th e different lines of th e used befor e : soap bubbles and salt crystals, viewe d as th e emerge nt
arg ument together, and th en link th e co nclusions to th ose reached in res ult of int eracti ons between th eir co nstitue nt molecul es. Here th e
previous chapte rs . I argued first that th e axiomatic approach to classical problem for th e population of molecul es is to fi nd (or compute its way
mechan ics, exem plified here by th e deducti ve-nomological model of co) a minimal point of ene rgy, a probl em solved differently by th e
ixp lanation , views laws as the m ain car rie rs of objective truth , a truth molecules in soap films (which collec tively solve a minimization
which is th en mechanically transmitted to th eorems via de d uction. problem state d in surface -te nsion terms) and by th e molecules in
Exp laining a given ph enomenon is m od elled as a logical argument , crystalline structures (w hich co llectively solve a bonding ene rgy prob-
subsuming the truth of a th eorem describing th e phenomenon under lem). It is as if an ontologica l problem, wh ose co nditions ar e defined
the trut h of a law. An alte rnative approach, a probl ematic approach , by a un iqu e singular ity, 'explicate d' itself as it gave rise to a variety of
I' jects the idea that fundam ental law s express ge ne ral truths and views geom etr ic solutions (spherical bubbles, cubic crys tals). 34
th ern instead as posing co r rec t problem s. Probl ems are defined by T his intim ate relation betw een episte mo logy and ontology, bet w een
th ir presuppos itions (what is not being ex plaine d) as we ll as by th eir problems po sed by humans and self-posed virtu al problem s, is charac-
co ntrast spaces (defining what th e relevant option s for explanation teristic of De1eu ze. A true probl em, such as th e one whi ch Newton
ar i). In the particul ar case of ex planations in classical physics, wh ere posed in re latively obsc ure geometric terms and whi ch Euler , Lagrange
the laws are expressed by differ ential equati ons, th e presupposition s and Hamilto n progressively clarified , would be isomorphic with a real
arc th physical quantities chose n as relevant degr ees of freed om virtual problem . Similarly, th e practi ces of ex pe rime ntal physicists,
(w hich makc up th different dimen sions of a state space) while th e whi h includ e amo ng o ther thin gs th e skilful use of machin es and
co nt rast spa is defined by a distribution of singularities in sta te space, instruments to individu ate phenomena in th e laboratory, wo uld b
that is, by a part i ular partiti on of possibiliti es into disti nct basins of isomorphic with th e intensiv proc sses of ind ividuation which so lv
attraction. As th e xam pl of hyd rod ynami c reg imes of 1I0w shows, or .xpli at' a virtual problem in rea lity. T his co nce ptio n of th task of

theoretical and experimental physicists runs counter to th e traditional While trajectories bear a relationship of geometric similarity to
realist picture which views it as that of producing a corpus of linguistic quantities measured in th e laboratory, th e singular ities defining a
propositions expressing true facts which mirror reality. In this old and problem in physics ar e isomorphic with those defining th e conditions
tire d view , the relation between th e plan e of reality and that of physics of a virtual multiplicity. Here too, I will argue that it is the behaviour
wo uld be one of similarity . Yet, as Deleuze says, there is 'no analytic of linear equations that conceals th e problematic aspect of mathematical
resemblance, correspondence or conformity between th e two plan es. models. In short, wh ether we ar e dealing with causes or quasi -causes,
But th eir ind ep endence do es not preclude isomorphism . . . ' 3S Indeed, with experime nta l or th eoretical physics, th e crucial task is to avoid
as I said in the conclusion of the previous chapter, there is a further the subordination if problems to solutions brought about by th e search for
isomorphism which must be included here: the philosopher must simple linear behaviour. Let me begin with a quote from the philo-
become isomorphic with the quasi -causal operator, extracting problems sopher of science Mario Bunge on th e conception of matter brought
from law -expressing propositions and meshing th e problems together about by excessive concentration on linear causes:
to endo w them with that minimum of autonomy which ensures their
irreducibility to their solutions. Before atoms, fields and radioactivity became pieces of common
In th e second part of this chapter I would like to discuss the details knowledge, even scientists could be found that shared the beli ef that
of th ese isomorphisms, one involving th e experimental, the other the ' brute matter' is a homogeneous, unorganized and quiescent strif! entirely
th eoreti cal component of classical physics . This will imply dealing with lackinn spontaneity - th e matter, in short, dreamt by immaterialist
both sides of the relation, that is, not only the laboratory and modelling philosophers. From th e fact that e very experiment is an encroach-
pra cti ces of physicists, but also the behaviour of the material phenomena ment on matter, th ey jumped to the Aristotelian conclusion that
and machin ery which inhabit laboratories as well as the behaviour of the matter is nothing but th e barren receptacle ifform s - a beli ef still held
ma the matical models with which th e theorist makes contact with the in esteem by those quantum th eorists who hold that it is th e
virt ual. I will begin with a discussion of how the capacity of material experi mente r who produces all atomic-scale ph enomena. I"
and ene rge tic systems to self-organize and self-assemble, a capacity
which reveals a properly problematic aspect of matter and energy , is And, I could add, st ill held in esteem by those cr itics of scien ce
co ncea led when physici sts or philosophers focu s on linear causality at who think that all ph enomena are socially constructed. This conception
the xpe nse of more com plex forms. Yet, I will also argue that even if of matter as basically inert is directly link ed to th e defining charact er-
a mat erial system under study has been fully linearized and domest - istics of classical causality, th e most important of which is the simple
icate d, th e causal relations between experimentalist , machines, material additivity of the effects of different causes. This apparently innocent
phenomena and causal models are still nonlinear and problematic. Indeed, assumption is ind eed full of consequences, some of which are fatal for
the physics laboratory may be viewed as a site where heterogeneous the philosophical project which I have sketched in th ese pages. In
assemblages form, assemblages which are isomorphic with real intens- particular, a flat ontology of individuals assumes that, at every spatio-
ive individuation processes. temporal scale, there ar e properties of a whole which cannot be
I will th i n move on to qu estions of quasi-causality and compare ex plained as a mere sum of the properties of its component parts, but
Dclcu z ·'s episte mological approach to state spac e, an approach that which emerne from their causal int eractions. Without stable em ergent
e m phasizes th e singularities that define th e conditions of a theoretical pr op erties, and th e novel causal capacities th ese, in tum, give rise to,
pr obl em, to thos of analytical philosophers who stre ss th e solut io ns the co ne pt of a larg er scale individual co llapses .
to the problem, that is, who sec not th e singularities but the T he id a of add itive causes becam dominant in physics for th
traject ori es in state spa c as the co nv 'yors o f theoreti cal knowl ed ge . appare nt Sim plicity \ ith whi ch it endo w a syste m lind r st udy."? In

from th e Aristotelian concept of efficient cause: externality . In this un explained in th e effect afte r th e mere citation of an exte rn al cause .
view , causes are taken to be exte rn al agents op erating on relatively In addition , linear and nonlinear causality impl y two different models
passive targets, hence being solel y r esponsible for whatever effects are for th e relationship between matter and form. Additi vity and ex te rn al-
produced . The previous four traits of linear causality presuppose ity presuppose, as I said , a matter obe dient to laws and co nstitu ting an
ex te rn ality to the extent that th ey break down pr ecisel y when the inert receptacle for forms imposed from th e outside. Matter under
bod y being acted upon ceases to be a mere patient . A failur e of uniqueness nonlinear and non-equilibrium conditions is, on th e other hand ,
occ urs whenever one caus e can produce several effects depending on intensive and problematic, capable of spontaneously giving rise to form
th e tendencies of th e body it acts upon , and similarly for th e case in drawing on its inherent tendencies (de fined by singularitie s) as well as
which th e same effect can be triggered by a variety of cause s. The its co m plex capacities to affect and be affected. As Deleuze says, th e
elim ination of necessity in favour of enhanced probability and the first model :
different probabilities of achieving an effect which a causal process may
transmit also depend on th e probabilities to be affected carried by the assumes a fixed form and a matter deemed homogeneous. It is th e
target of th e cause . And, of course, the failure of uni -di rectionality idea of the law that assure s th e model' s cohe re nce, since laws are
and proportional ity are directly linked to the fact that the bodies acted what submits matter to this or tha t form, and conversely, rea lize in
upon by causes are not passive but can rea ct back and exe rcise their matter a given property deduced from the form . . . [But that]
o wn causal powers. t " model leaves many things , activ e and affective, by th e way side. On
Th e flat ontology of individuals I have defended in th ese pages the on e hand , to th e form ed or formabl e matter we must add an
dep ends crucially, as I said, on th e elimination of linear causes , or, entire ene rge tic materiality in mo vement, carry ing sing ularities . . .
at least , on cutting th em down to size by showing th em to be that are alr ead y like implicit forms that are topological, rather than
speci al limiting cases. In this ontology individuals alwa ys exist as part geome trical, and that combine with processes of deformation : for
of populations in which th e most meaningful and rel evant causal ex ample, th e variab le undulations and torsion s of th fibers guiding
r elatio ns ar e of the statistical or probabilistic kind. None of the e th e op erations of splitti ng wood. On th e other hand , to th e essential
indiv id uals is ever a passive rec eptacle for extern al causal influences prop erties of matter deri ving from th e formal esse nce we mu st add
sin e th eir int ernal causal structure always plays a part in determining variable int ensive eifJect5, now re sulting from th e op eration , now on
th final effect . Th e lack of uniquen ess and uni-directionality is further th e co nt rary , making it pos sible : for exam ple , wood that is more or
stre ngthened by the existence of quasi-causal relations. If th e internal less porous, more or less elasti c and resistant. At any rate, it is a
dynamic of an individual is such that several alternative stable states qu estion of surrendering to th e wood, th en following where it leads
arc availabl e to it, it is hardly surprising that th e sam e effect (a switch by co nnec ting op erations to a materiality inst ead of imposing a form
bctwe n two attractors, for exam ple) may be brought about by a upon a matter . .. 44
vari ty of causes , and conversely, on e and the sam e exte rn al cause
may tri gger different effects depending on how close an individual is Although Del euz e is referring here to artisans (carpenters in this
to a bifurcation , or to th e border of a basin of attraction. exa m ple , but also blacksmiths) sim ilar conclusions appl y to expe r i-
In sho rt , whil e linear causality makes th e response of a material mental physicists . As Ian Hacking has forcefu lly argu ed, expe rime ntal
syste m to an extern al cause basicall y unproblematic (given the cause , physics, far from being a m ere app endage of th eoretical phy ics
the re is nothing lse in th e effect that demands explanatio n), nonlinear (supplying tests to co nfirm or disconfirm pr edi cti on s from formal
am i statisti al cau alit y re-problemoti z e material syste m, showing th em mod ' Is), has in fact a lif,· of it o wn . For ex am ple, th e exp rim entalist
capable of s ·If-o rganizatio n and self-assembly, with man y thin gs left mu st indi vidu ate in a stable and r peat abl way laboratory phenomena .

Rath er than being a mere by -product of th eoretical knowledge of laws, test. That gets th e time-order wrong. By no w we design apparatus
th e indi viduation of phenomena involves, as Hacking says, 'a keen relying on a modest number of home truths about electrons, in
ability to get nature to behave in new ways' . 4-5 In th e traditional order to produce some other phenomenon that we wish to investi-
int erpretation, thes e material and ene rgetic phenomena were supposed gat e . .. W e spe nd a lot of time building prototypes that don 't
to be unintelligible outside a th eoretical framework , but Hacking work. W e get rid of innumerable bugs . . . Th e instrument must
sho ws that , on the contrary, laboratory phenomena (such as polariza- be able to isolat e, physically, th e properties of entitie s that we wish
tion of light, the photoelectric effect , Brownian motion) typically to use, and damp down all th e other effects that might get in our
survive th e birth and death of new theories, or what amounts to the way. We are completely convinced if the reality if electrons when we
same thing, the switching from on e to another incommensurable reoularly set out to build - and iften eno up ]: succeed in buildino - new
theoreti cal paradigm. Many times th e individuation of a phenomenon kinds if device that use various well -understood causal properties if electrons
not only precedes the development of a theory that will explain it, but to inteifere in other more hypothetical parts if nature.48

it remains in this problematic state, crying out for an explanation, for

man y decades. r" It is in th e context of these complex laboratory practices that the
Beside individuating phenomena that mayor may not occur nat- causal models I mentioned before (th e part of the population of models
ur ally , expe rim ental physici sts must develop techniques and procedures that interfaces with the actual world) are deployed. As th e sociologist
to isolate, identify and manipulate entities which have been individu- of science Andrew Pickering has argued, expe rime ntalists , machines,
ate d by obj ective processes occurring outside the laboratory. In this causal models and electrons (or other material entities) form, in the
as too, it is a qu estion of connecting op erations to a materiality conte xt of a particular expe rime ntal project, a het erogen eous assem -
inste ad of deducing th e form of the entities in qu estion from a blage . Each of the se distinct components retains its heterogen eity but
th eoret ical law . As Hacking argues, physicists individuate entitie s like th ey are meshed to on e another in a co mplex process in which causal
elect rons by int ervening causally in the world, int eracting with real mod es ar e fine tuned to better adapt to th e results of an expe rime nt ,
electro ns so as to determine th eir mass (as was done by Thompson in machines and procedures red esigned to change th e way th ey affect and
1897), or th eir charge (as performed by Millikan around 1908 ), as are affected by ph enomena, and skills sharpen ed to co pe with 'unfor e-
w II as othe r of th eir properties. t? The individuation of electrons (as see n difficulties. In this assemblage each of th e component parts plays
we ll as other form erl y theoretical entities) is even more complet e a role interactively stabiliz inq th e whole. As Pickering writes, ' Scientific
when exper ime ntalists move be yond th eir properties to study their knowledge should be understood as sustained by, and as part of,
apaci ties. W e learn from electrons, we acquire expertise about them , inte ractive stabilizations situate d in a multiple and heterogen eous space
by making th em part of heterogeneous assemblages where they affect of machines, instruments, con ceptual structures, disciplined practices,
• nd are affecte d by other ent ities , and it is this causal know-how more soc ial actors and th eir relations, and so forth. ' 4 9
than anything related to general laws, which gives us confiden ce that Following Del euz e we may think about th ese complex assemblages
th ese individuals actually exist . As Hacking writes: as th e epistemological counterpart of the intensive in ontology. Mu ch
as virtual multiplicities (view ed as self-posed ontological problems)
T he re are an enor mous number of ways in whi ch to mak e instru- dep end on int ensive assemblages like ecosystems to progressively give
ments that rely on th e causal properties of electrons in order to rise to ontological solutions, so expe rime ntal problems must first be
produ c d ired effects of unsurpassed precision . . . W e do not embo died in an int ensive assemblage prior to th eir being solved. In
mak instrum nts and th n infer th e reality of th e lectron , as I 'a rn ing by doin g, o r by int eracting with and adjusting to material s ,
wh en we test a hypothesi , and th ' n b Ii -ve it hccaus ' it pass d th e machin . and mod els, xpe rime ntalists proorcssivcly discern \ hat is

relevant and what is not in a given experime nt. In other words, the place and th e formal co gn itive products of thi s asse mhlage are tak en as
distribution of th e important and th e unimportant defining an expe r i- the o nly worthy objects o f phil o sophical reflecti on . O nc e detached
mental problem (what degrees of freedom matter, what disturbances from their intensive individuation co ntext, wh ere the experime ntal
d o no t mak e a d ifferen ce) are not grasped at a glance th e way one is learning of relevances and irrelevances takes place, these individual
supposed to gr asp as esse nce (or a clear and di stinct idea), hut slow ly items o f knowled ge become significan t only hy reference to a theoret-
hrought to light as th e assemhlage stabilizes itself th rough th e mu tu al ical framework of laws and abstract concepts.
accom modation of its heterogeneous components. In this assemb lage Let me turn no w to the subordination o f problems to so lutio ns in
the sing ularities an d affects o f th e ex perimen talist 's body are meshed the rea lm of the quasi-causal. As I said befo re, th e par t of the
with those of machines, mo dels and material processes in order for population of models which inte rfaces w ith th e virtual is not t he o ne
learning to occ ur and for em bod ied exp ertise to accumu late. so On the composed of detailed models of causal mechanisms but the one
o ther hand , besides th is expertise (w hich ma y he applied in the design including the mu ch simpler on es expressing fundamental laws. Unli ke
and perfo rmance of o ther experime nts and which, therefore, remain s th e case o f co mplex causal models, th e relation of problems to
inte nsive) there are also extensive or formal products of laboratory so lutio ns in th e case of basic law s (and mode ls directly derived from
practices: individual pieces o f data, individual facts, individual solu - th em) may he approached using th e results of Del euze' s ontological
tio ns , whi ch take th eir pla ce in th e co rp us o f accumulated knowled ge. analysis of state space . State-spa ce ideas do not appl y to causal models
As Del euze writes, 'Learning is the appropriate name for the subject ive for two reason s. On e is their sheer co mplexity: the mathematical
acts carried out when one is co nfronted with the o bjectivity o f a techniques need ed to ana lyse sta te space are typi cally valid o nly for
probl em . . . whereas knowledge de signates on ly th e gen erality of models with a few d egrees o f freed om , defining a state space with a
co ncepts or the calm possession of a rule enabling solution s. ' 5 1 low dimensionality, and are not at present sufficie ntly developed to
To summarize , there are two different ways of subordinating apply to more co m plex cases. T his lim itat ion may be lifted on e day as
problems to so lutio ns in the causal realm . One involves the eli mination these techniques improve but there is a more impo rtant reason why
o f the non linear causal capacitie s of the material systems under study t hey w ill sti ll he o f limited valu e to the experimen ta list : state spaces do
eit he r by ho mogenizing them or hy focusing on low-int ensity cquilib- not capture any iriformati on about causal processes.
rium situations. In either case, one studies a matter so obe dient to Let me exp lain. In som e interpretations of state space the series of
laws that the productive aspect of causal co nnectio ns may be disreg- poss ible states whi ch populate it (that is, th e trajectories or sol utio n
arded and he reduced to a constant regu larity. What makes a material curves) are erroneousl y endowed with causal significance, with each
syste m problemati c, what continuo usly demand s new ex planations , is successi ve state viewed as the cause of the following o ne (or in so me
precisel y th e opcn -endedness of th e assemhlages it may form , o r th e interpretatio ns, the initial state is taken as the cause whil e the final
multiple stable states in which it may exist and the abrupt transitions state is the effect) . This is, indeed. a mathematical expression of the
it may undergo . But if we assume that there is always a unique stable pos itivist redu ction of the productiv e or genetic aspect of causes to a
state, or that a cause always produces o ne and the same effect , we processif" uniform succession (another version of Hum c ' s regu lar conjunc-
ma y forget ab out th e problem and focus on th e sol ut ion: the co nstant tion ). But as critics of positivism have pointed ou t. on ly actual events
n'gularity itself as d escr-ibed hy a law . O n th e other hand , one can perform the genetic role of causes. As Mario Bunge argues . 'states
subo rd inates prob lem s to so lutions when the co mplex causal interven - cannot have a productive virtue of their own . The state of a material
tio ns in reality which the ex perimentalist mus t perform , as we ll as the system is a syste m of qualities , not an eve nt o r a string o f events .
mutual adjustments between machines , skills and 'a large number of Evcry state is the outcome of a set of determiners . . . Conseq ue n tly
inh'r!ocking low level generalizatio ns', S2 arc relegated to a seco ndary then' can he no action of one state upon anot her state of a g iven

syste mj in particular, there can be no causal links among states, nor among one approach, for exam ple , the role of the trajectori es is to be used as
any other system of qualities . -ss predictions about the specific sequence of values "vhich the relevant
On th e o the r hand, whil e the anal ysis of th e state spa ce o f a model properties o f the syst em being mod elled will follow. The first ste p in
may not provid e us with causal information, it can be made to )ield the procedur e , according to this approach, involv es making measure -
insight about quasi-causal relations . This epistemo logical result, how- m ents o f the properties of a real system in a laboratory and plotting
ever, depends on a particular ontological interpretation o f the contents the resulting numerical values as a curve. If the laboratory system is
o f state space. Deleuze , as I said , does not view the differential prepared in such a way that it starts its evolution in the same initial
relations defining a model as expressing a law go verning the generation co nditions as the model, thcn this curve and the co rresponding state -
o f th e serie s o f sta tes that make up a traject ory, but as d efining a space trajecto ry should be oeome<ricolly similar. A perfect match
vec to r field whi ch captu r es th e ove rall tenden cies o f th e syste m as a be t ween th e two, with th e state-space traject ory exact ly tracking th e
distribution o f singularities. 'Beneath the general operation o f laws' as plotted value s, co uld th en be in te rp re ted as meaning that th e model is
he says 'there always remains thc play o f singu larities.' 'i'' These true to the modelled system . Given that, du e to empirical limitations,
sing ular ities d efine th e conditions o f th e problem, ind ep endently of its we cannot prepare a laboratory system to start at preci sely the same
so lutions, while each solution curve is the produ ct o f a specific initial conditions as an abstract mod el , the relation between plotted
individuation process guided at every point by th e tendenci es in th e values and predicted trajectories will not be a perfect match, so that
vect or field : their relation will be one of approximate truth . Neverthel ess, it is the
geome trical similarity , or approximate simi larity, between the two
Already Leibniz had shown that the calculus . . . expre ssed problems curves that matters for epistemo logical purposes. 56
which co uld not hitherto be solv ed or, ind eed, even pos ed . . . One An alternative view would disregard this ex trinsic resemblance
thinks in particular of the ro le of th e regular and the singular points between metri c objec ts, and emphasize instead the common possession of
which enter into the co mplete determination of th e specie s of a topological invariants. As one physicist puts it,
cur ve . No doubt the specification of t he singular points (for
example, dips, nodes, focal points, centres) is undertaken by means For present purposes, a system may be viewed both as a field of
o f th e form of integral curves, which refers back to the so lutions of phy sical phenomena in which a class o f elements exhibits its
th e differential equations. There is nevertheless a co mplete deter- functions or behaviors in space and time , and as an abstract
rnination with respect to the existence and distribution of these d escription which presumably ma y be isomorphic with th e phy sical
points whi ch depends upon a completely dilTerent instance, namely, field . . . Two system s will be viewed as fun ctionally isomorphic
th e field of vectors d efined by th e equation itself . . . Moreover, if o ver a dynamic range if they have the same sing ularities of motion, in
t he specification of th e points already sho ws th e necessa ry imman- the stability sense, over that range .'i7
ence o f the problem in the soluti on, its involv em ent in the solutio n
which covers it, along with the existence and distrihution o f points, T his w ould be th e co rrect stance to adop t in a D eleu zian anal ysis. The
test ifies to the transcendence of the problem and its directive role episte mo logical valu e o f state space would be to reveal a topoloqicol
in rel ation to the organizatio n o f the solutions them selv es. ss isomorphism between singu larities in the model and singularities in the
physica l system bein g mod elled . T his isomorphism , in tum, would be
To bring o ut th e o riginality o f Del euze ' s ana lysis it will help to ex plaine d by sho w ing that th e model and th e physical system are co-
co nt rast it with th e anal yses perfo rm ed by ana lytical phil o sophers wh o actualizations o f the same virtual multipli city (or o f part o f the same
focus exclusive ly o n the episte mo logical rol e pla)'{'d hy trajectories. In mult iplicity t given that the iso morphism is valid o nly within a rangl') .

Dcleuze's approach d oes not exclude th e po ssibility that th ere can be co nditio ns (contrast space). But in more recent times, in th e historical
sim ilarities between traj ect ories and plotted values, but thi s resemb- peri od wh en classical mechani cs developed , the surrende r to solutio ns
lance must itself be explained as a result of the co mmon topological took a more specific, more mathematical form . T o Del eu ze , math-
properties o f th e systems producing th e curves . The repl y that ematical problems are subordinate d to th eir solutions wh en ever th e
possession o f common properties is what makes a mod el and a real we ll- posedness of a problem is approached in terms of its solvability
ystem similar is, as th e phil osopher Nel son Goodman arg ued long (the possibility of findin g a solution) . In th e final sec tio n of th is chapter
ago, redundant. As he put it, 'to say that two things are sim ilar in I would like to discu ss two episode s in th e hist ory o f mathematics
having a specified property in com m on is to say nothing more than w he re this traditional subord ina tio n was inverted , with so lvability
that they have that property in com m on'. 58 becoming a consequence of th e w ell -posedness of a problem . As I will
There is another wa y of stating th e differen ce between th ese tw o discu ss in a moment, thi s in version has for Deleuze r evolutionary
philosophical approaches to th e episte mology of state space . In th e co nse que nces whose impact has not been gen erally appreciated . One
analytical appro ach , th e main episte mo logical relati on is that between episode invol ves th e hist ory of algebrai c equations, and th e reversal of
laws (ex pres sed by differential equations) and the traj ectories obtained th e subordination had, as on e of its con sequen ces, the birth of group
as solutions to tho se equations. This relation is on e of Beneral to th eory. The other episode is more familiar, relating to th e hist ory of
particular. In other words, if we ignore th e rol e whi ch th e vecto r field differential equations , having as a result th e birth of th e th eory of
plays in th e individuation of traj ect ori es, it see ms natural to view law s dy namical syste ms, whi ch is th e source of th e modern approach to
as stat ing a Beneral rule govern ing th e volution of se ries of states , and sta te space.
to see eac h t rajectory as th e result of appl ying that rul e for a particular Let m e begin by describing in very rough form th e techni cal issues
initial condition . In th e Deleu zian approa ch , on th e co ntrary, th e invo lved in qu esti on s of so lvability in th e case of algebraic equatio ns .
parti cu lar sta te at w hich a traject ory starts becomes irrelevant, given T here are two kind s of solutions to equatio ns, particular and Beneral. A
that ma ny d ifferent start ing points within th e same basin of attraction partic ular solution is given by numerical values whi ch, whe n used to
re place an equatio n's unknowns, make th e equation co me out true .
end up in th e same place , th e attracto r. In othe r wo rds, it is th e
distribu tio n of sing ularities itself th at det ermines w hat changes in initial (Fo r ex am ple, an algebraic equation like x 2 + 3x - 4 = °
has as its
co nd itio ns are relevant (relative to th e end state) and wh ich are nu me rical so lutio n x = I .) A ge ne ral or exact so lution , on th e othe r
irrel evant , O n th e other hand, th e ge ne rality of th e law (of which a hand, does not yield any specific value or set of values but rather the
g iv'n tra jec tory and plot of real values ar e particular instances) is Blobal patt ern if all particular solutions. Thi s gen eral pattern is typi cally
r 'p laced by th e uni versality of virt ual multipliciti es of wh ich both model give n by another equation o r formula. The above exam ple , which
.1IIt! real syste m are di vergent actualizations. As Del eu ze wr ites, may be written as x 2 + ax - b = 0, has th e gen eral solution
'S ingularity is beyond particular proposition s no less than uni versality x = V h + b - ~ . When mathematicians speak of the solvability of

is h 'yond ge ne ra l prop ositi on s. '59 an equation th ey usuall y mean its exact solvability, and the subordi-
T he subse rv ience of probl ems to so lutions in th e anal ysis of state nati on of problems to so lutions ste m s from th e demand that a well -
SIl.\CC is but one exam ple of an error with a rather lon g history, a posed problem have an exact so lution , not ju st numeri cal on es. By th e
' long perversion ' wh ich Deleu ze traces back at least to Ari stotl e ."? sixteenth -ce nt ury mathematician s knew that exact solvability was an
O rigin ally, the subo rdinat ion deri ved fro m th e habit of th ou ght of achi vable goa l, at least with eq uations wh ere th e unknown variable
think ing abo ut problem s as if th ey were proposition s, th at i , from was raised up to th fourth pow er (that is, th os including x 2 , x I and
missin J the non -lingui st ic and ex tra-proposi t ional nat ure of th ir x"). But th n a crisis ensued. Eq uations raised to th fifth po wer

sed to yield to th e previously successful method . Was this lack of to th e equat io ns express ing laws, w e can discover those types of
:t solvability indicative that there was something wrong with th e change to which th e la w is indifferent, that is, th e types of changes
olern as it was posed by the fifth degree equation? whi ch do not matter as far as th e law-like process is concerned . Th e
'he answer cam e two centuri es later wh en it was noticed that th ere sense in which th e group of an equation captures th e conditions of a
a pattern to th e solutions of th e first four cases, a pattern which probl em is th en that it reveals distributions of th e rel evant and th e
ht hold the key to understanding the recalcitrance of the fifth, irrelevant, th e irrelevance of using absolute time or absolute position
wn as th e quintic. First Jos eph -Luis Lagrange and Neils Abel, and as inputs to a law for instance. It may be asserted without exaggeration
I Evari ste Galois, found a way to approach the study of this pattern that understanding this connection had profound implications in th e
g resources that today we recognize belong to group theory . In a history of physics playing a crucial rol e , for example, in th e develop-
.hell we can say that Galois ' sho wed that equations that can be ment of th e gen eral theory of relativity. 63
cd by a formula must have groups of a particular typ e, and that Similarly, Galois's analysi s of algebrai c eq uations relied on th e use
quintic had the wrong sort of group' .6 1 I cannot go here into th e of certain transformations (substitutions or permutations of th e solutions)
mical details of Galois's work but what he achieved was to invert whi ch, as a group, showed what changes were relevant to the validity
subo rdination of problems to solutions: rather than general solv- of the equation (or more exactly, to th e validity of the relations
ity defining th e correctness of a problem, th e form if th e problem between solutions), More specifically, wh en a given permutation of
me th e explanation if Beneral solvability. In other words, whil e before o ne solution by another leaves the equation valid, th e two solutions
exact solvability of th e first four ca e was tak en for granted (as a become, in a sens e, indi stinpuishable as far as this validity is concerned.
Jerty which problems mu st have) it now became something that T he eq uation is indifferent to the switch. As Morris Kline writes, 'The
ld be explaine d by a uni versal feature of th e problem which these gro up of an equation is a key to its solvability becau se th e group
, cases posed. This is what Del euze means wh en he says that 'it is expresses th e degree of indistinguishability of th e [solutions]. It tells us
th e solutio n which lends its gen erality to th e problem, but th e what we do not know about th e [solutions]. '64 Or as Deleuze would
rlem which lends its univ ersality to th e solution ' , 6 2 a univ ersality put it , the group r eveals not what we know about th e solutio ns, but
ur ed in this case by a group of transformations. But how exactly the obj ectivity if what we do not knoll' about th em, that is, th e obj ectivity
> a gro up of transformations capture th e universal conditions that of th e probl em itself. 6 5 Moreover Galoi 's method involves the equi -
ne a problem as a problem, that is, ind ependently of its solutions? valent of a symmetry-breaking cascade in that th e solutions to th e
'0 answe r this question let me first take a different exam ple, th e eq uation become increasingly 'mo re accurately defined as the original
of transformation groups to study th e invariants of physical laws. group gives rise to sub-gr oups which proBressively limit th e substitu tions
) of th e mo st typical transformations in this case are displacem ents leaving th e relations invariant. In other words, through a cascade which
pace or time. Given a law -governed physical process that can be unfold s th e original group, the problem itself becomes progressively
'oducc d in a laboratory, if we simply mov e it in space (for instance , better spe cified and, as a by-product if this se!f-specification, individual
-cproducing it in another, far away laboratory) we can expect th e solutions emerge . As Dcleuze writes:
liar asp ects of its behaviour to remain invariant. Similarly, if we
)Iy hang e th tim e at which we begin an expe rime nt , we can We cannot suppose that , from a technical point of view, differential
ct this tim e displa cem ent to be irrelevant as far as th e regularity calculus is the onl y mathematical expression of problem s as such
he pro ess is on c rn ed . It is onl y th e differen ce in time b tween ... More r cent ly othe r procedures have fulfilled this rol e better.
first and final states o f th e pr ocess that matt rs, not the ab olute Recall the cir I in which th e th ory of probl em s was caught : a
at which th e fir t tat e 0 ur s. Thus, via transformation appli ed problem is .olvabl o nly to th e ex te nt that is is 'tru ' but we alwa ys

tend to d efin e th e truth of a problem by its solvability . .. The One can hardly blame these ma th emati cian s and physicists for fallin g
mathematician Abel [lat er followed by Ga lois) was perhaps th e first prey to this process of self-s electio n, since they w ere operating within
to b reak thi s circle : he elaborated a whole m ethod according to th e limits impo sed by the mathematical technology of th eir time. On
w hich so lvability must follow from the form of a problem. Instead the ot he r hand , th e long. tern l effccts of su bord inat ing th e cho ice o f
o f see king to find out by trial and error whether a given equation is pro blems to th eir so lvability did influen ce th eir (and th eir succ essors")
so lvable in general w e must determ ine the conditions of the problem wor-ld vie w, biasing it towards a clockwork pictu re of realit y. The
whi ch progressively spe cify the field s of so lvability in suc h a way reason for this was that the equatio ns that could be ex act ly so lved
that the stateme nt co ntains the seed of the so lution . This is a radical happened to be the lin ear equations. The mathematical difference
reversal o f the problem- solution relation, a mor e co nsiderable between linear and nonlin ear equations is ex plained in terms o f the
re volut io n than the Copernican .w superposition prin cipl e. which states that g iven tw o d iffere nt so lutions o f
a linear equation, their sum is also a valid so lutio n. In oth er word s.
T he rev ersal of th e problem - solution relation also had revolutionary o nce w e have discov ered a fcw solutions to an cquation many more
co nseq ue nces in the case of d ifferential equat ions . Although very can he obtained for free via the superpos ition princip le. In an e ra
different from thei r algebraic coun terpart, equations in the calculus characte rized by the ge ne ral scarcity of ex act so lution s, such a principle
alsn have particu lar and gen eral so lutio ns, both produced by th e mu st have see me d like a gift from th e o ptim izing rationality of God .
inh.'gration opcrato r. As it happens, mo st differential equations cannot Convers ely , failure to o bey thi s prin cipl e promoted th e ne gle ct of
he so lved by integration in a general or e xact way . Today we get nonlin ear cq uati onst" In the term s I have been using in this chapter
around this limitation by using co mputers to generate a population of we may say that superpos ition, that is, a property of the behaviour of
m,lny num erical so lutions , a popu lation wh ich may be used to discover so lutions, biased the process if accumulati on that created the population
lh,' ge nera l pattern . In the eighteent h century, wh en th e physics whi ch of mo de ls making up the theoretica l co mpo nent of classical me chanics.
Ne w to n and o thers had created was first given differentia l form, this The requireme nt of exact so lvability prom ot ed the accumulation of
way out o f the difficulty was not, of cours e , available . One conse - linear model s at the ex pense of nonlinear ones , and even the few
qucnce w as the neglect of models who se co nstituent equatio ns co uld no nlinear models allowe d to become part of the popul ation were used
1I0t be so lved exactly, given that without a way o f knowing th e ove rall only in a linearized form . ( Linearizatio n is achieved by using non linear
pattern of particular so lutions, physicists could not learn very much mo dels onl y for very low int ensities of the recalcitrant variables. ) As
from a model. Thus, in a vcry real sense, the solvability of a probl em Stewa rt puts it :
was what made it worthy of study . As the mat hematician Ian Stewart
writes : Classical mathematics co nce nt rated on linear equations for a sound
pragmatic reason: it co uld not so lve anything else . . . So doci le are
Th e math emati cian s of the eighteen t h cent u ry ran headlong into a linear equatio ns, that classical mathematicians w ere willing to
p ro blem whi ch has plagu ed th eoretical me chanics to this day: to set co mprom ise th eir phy sics to get th em . So th e classical th eory dea ls
up the equations is one thing, to so lve them quite another . . . The w it h shallo w waves, low-amplit ude vibration s, small temperature
t'ightcl'nth ce ntury's main achiev ements wer e in setting up equations gradients [that is, linearizes nonlin earities). So ingrained became the
to model physical phen omen a . It had much less success in so lving linear habit that by th e 1940 s and 1950 s m any scien tists and
them ... A process o f se lf-selectio n set in, whereby cq uations that enginee rs kn ew litt le el se . . . Linearity is a trap. The behaviour o f
co uld not he solved were automatically of less interest than those linear equa tio ns . . . is far from typi cal. But if yo u decid e that o nly
that co uld."? linear eq uatio ns are worth thinking about, se lf-ce nso rs hip sets in.

Your textbooks fill with triumphs of linear analysis, its failures characterize an unprobl emat ic world , o r at best, a world whi ch is only
buried so de ep that th e graves go unmarked and th e exis te nce of tem poraril y probl ematic o r in need of ex planation, but whi ch will
th e graves goes unremarked . As th e eighteenth century beli eved in eventually yiel d to a supe r-law or a th eo ry o f everything whi ch will
a clockwork world , so did th e mid -twentieth in a linear o ne ."? leave nothing un explained . On th e othe r hand, nonlinear m odel s and
the ir multiple attracto rs, as well as nonlinear causes and th eir co mplex
T he co unte rpa rt to Abel' s and Galoi s' s reversal of th e problem-. capacities to affect and be affected , define a world capable of sur prising
so lution relation is represented by th e work of Henri Poin care on th e us through th e emergen ce of un exp ect ed novelty, a world w he re th ere
q ualitative (or topological) st udy of differential equatio ns . His was a will always be some thing else to explain and whi ch will th erefo re
no vel approach crea te d, like th e group- theo re tic approach to algebraic re main for ever problematic . As Mario Bunge writes :
equa tions, to break through th e barrier of a recal citrant pr obl em: th e
three body problem, th e problem of modelling th e mutual int eractions of If th e joint acti on of se vera l causes is always an exte rnal juxtaposi-
three solar system bodies (such as th e sun , th e earth and the moon). tion, a supe rpos ition , and in no case a synthesis having traits of its
Altho ugh oth er mathematici ans had alre ady approached th e st udy of o w n, and if the hypothetical pati ents on which the causal age nts act
so lutio ns by analysing th eir behaviour in th e neighbourhood of singular arc passive thin gs incapabl e of sponta neity or se lf-activity ~
points, Poin care approach ed the wider questi on of th e way in w hich inca pable, in sho rt, of add ing some thing o f their own to th e causal
the existence and distribution of singularities organized th e space of all bond - th en it foll ows that, in a sense, e}Jects preexist in th eir causes.
so lutions. In other words , like Galois, Poincare by-pa ssed ex act According to thi s extre me but consistent doctrine on th e nature of
so lvability as a way to get global information and instead used a novel causation, only old thin gs come out of cbanpe; processes can give rise
method to investigate the space difining the problem itself, that is, he used to o bjects new in number o r new in some quantitative respe cts, not
the distributions of singular points as a way to gain qualitativ e however new in kind ; or again , no new qu aliti es can emerge . A
information abo ut th e tendenci es in the behaviour of all solutions. "? ,v-o rld running on a str ictly causal pattern [i.e. a linear pattern] is
Poin car e' s phase-portrait approach to state space has, of course, such as yog is, Thomists and eighteent h-ce ntury Ne w to nians ima -
been th e basis of mu ch of what I have said in this bo ok abo ut th e gined it, namely, a uni verse without a history . . .71
on to logy of th e virt ual and the problematic. But Galois' s approach has
also been crucial since it provided th e idea of a progressive spe cificat ion Unlike this line ar world, th e ontology I have devel op ed in this bo ok
of virtual multipliciti es through sym me try -bre aking cascades . In short , is fully histori cal. Each of th e individuals whi ch populates thi s other
a th eory of virtuality as has been pursued in th ese pages depends world is a product of a definite historical pro cess of individuation and ,
fundamen tall y on th e results of th e reversal of th e problem- solution to the extent that an individual ' s identity is defin ed by its eme rge nt
relat ion , and co nversely , subord inating problems to solutio ns may be propert ies and that th ese properties dep end on th e contin uing causal
see n as a practi ce th at effective ly hid es the virtual , or th at promotes inte ractions among an individual' s parts, each individual is itself a
tln- illusion that th e act ual world is all that must be explained. Thus histo rical causal process. The realm of th e quasi-causa] is also fully
co nstrued , this subo rd inatio n joins th e axiomatic treatment of classical histori cal but, as I ex plained in th e previous chapte r , it possesses its
physics as a barrier to a more satisfacto ry probl emati c appr oach." In o w n o riginal form of temporality and thus bear s no resemblance to
.uldi tion , th ere are th e obstacl es posed by th e lin earity of causes in causal history. In ot her wo rds, in a Deleu zian onto logy th ere ex ist tw o
ex pe rime nta l physics, and th e linearity of models in th eoretical physics, histo ries, o ne act ual and o ne virtual, having co m plex int eraction s with
both of whi ch arc intimately related since th e former' s addit ivity is on e ano the r. O n o ne hand th ere is a historical series of act ual eve nts
t'Cj ui\',lll'nt to the latt er' s supe rpos ition. Additivity and supe rposi tion gt'lw ticall)' involved in th e producti on of othe r eve nts, and o n th e

other, an equally historical series of ideal events defining an obj ective

r ealm of virtual pr obl ems of which each actualized ind ivid ual is but a
speci fic solutio n . T o conclude with Del euze 's own words ,

It is co rrect to represent a double series of eve nts whi ch develop in Appendix: Deleuze's Words
two planes, echoing without resembling each other: real eve nts on
the level of th e engende re d solutions, and ideal events embedde d in
th e conditio ns of th e problem, like th e acts - or, rather, th e dreams Gi lles Del eu ze changes his terminolo gy in every one of his books .
- of the gods who double our history. 7 ~ Very few of his co nce pts retain th eir names or linguisti c identity. The
poin t of thi s terminological exuberance is not m erely to give the
impression of differ en ce through th e use of syno nyms , but rather to
develo p a se t of different th eories on th e same subject, th eories whi ch
ar e slightly displaced relati ve to on e another but retain eno ugh over-
laps th at th ey can be meshed together as a het erogen eous assemblage.
T hus, th e different nam es wh ich a give n co nce pt ge ts ar e not ex act
synonyms but ncar synonyms, or so metimes, non -synonym ou s terms
defin ing closely relat ed conce pts . In th is book I delib erately homo-
genized th e tenninology for th e sake of clarity but giving a list of
ncar syno nyms will now prove useful to th e read er as he or she
mov es back from my sim plified presentation of Deleu ze' s onto logy to
his original ones . In fact, beyond providing a mere list I will try to
map the connections between th e different terminologies and discuss
the differe nt wa ys in whi ch th e onto logy is co nce pt ualized and artic-
ulated in each of th e books. As I map th ese tenninological co nnec-
tion s I will use th e following abbreviations of Deleu ze ' s bo oks,
followed wh en necessary by a page number (c hapte r numbers refer
to the pr esent book):

Anti-Oedip us AO
A Thou sand Plateaus ATP
Difference and Repetition D&R
l.oOic if
Sense LOS
What is Philosophy ? WIP

The main sou rces used in my recon st ru cti on were D&R, where
the theory of multipli ities and the virt ual co nt in uum they form is
most clearly arti cul ated , and L S w hich pr es .nts the most detailed

description of the qu asi-causal op erator. I will begin this app endix with a) Its original , th ermod ynamic sense in whi ch it refers to int en sive
a list of the com pone nts of Deleuzc 's ontology (D&R, 277-8) . [ will prop erties, like pr essure, temperature or density. Differen ces in
th en expand th e description of each of the seven compone nts of this th ese qu antities have a morphogen etic effect (they drive fluxes
'o nto logical list ' , not onl y to relate th em to th e terminology used in of matter or ene rgy, for exam ple) and when not allowed to get
Illy pr esentation, but also to add details wh ich I left out for th e sake cance lled (as in non -equilibrium physics) displa y th e full potential
of simplicity but which ar e now ne cessary in order to rel at e th e items of matter-en ergy for sel f-o rganization.
in th c ontological list to thos e in other books. Finally, [ will tak e three b) A seco nd derived se nse in whi ch it refers to th e assembly of
ho oks, ATP, AO and W [P, and map each component of th e list to different com pone nts as such , that is, th e cre at ion of het ero -
their co unte rp arts th ere . gen eous assemblages in whi ch th e co m pone nts ' differences are
not canc ell ed through homogenization.
T HE ONTOLOGICAL LIST c) A third derived sen se in whi ch it refers to th e properties of
ordinal se ries , Th ese ser ies ar e con sti tuted by the differences
( I) th e depth o r spatium in whi ch inten sities ar e organizcd; between their terms, that is, by asymmetrical relations such as
(2) the disparate series th ese form , and the fields of individuation that 'in between' . When we co nside r more than on e term between
th 'y o utline (individuation factors) ; two other s, thi s ser ial relation is called a 'd istance ', although this
(3) th e ' dark pr ecursor ' w hich causes th em to communicate ; term must be qualifi ed (Deleuze speaks of ' non- de com posable
(4) th c linkages, intern al resonances and forced movements which distances' ) to distingui sh it from its non -te chni cal meaning where
result; it refers to a metric co ncept (such as ' length ' ) . Finally, there ar e
(5) the co nstitution of passive sel ves and larval subj ects in the syste m , th e un cance llable differences, or constitu tive ine qualities , whi ch
and th e formation of pure spatio-ternporal dynamisms; ord inal ser ies present wh en compared to on e another (on ly
(6) the qua lities and exte nsions . .. whi ch form th e double differen - judgments of greater or lesser are po ssible, not of exact eq ual-
ciation of th e syste m and cov er over th e preceding factors; ity) . lt is mainly in this third se nse that the term is used in the
(7) the cent res of envelopment which neverthe less testify to th e exp ression 'intensive spatium ' as th e following quote shows:
persisten ce of th ese factors in th e developed world of qualities and
ex te nsit ies . Differe nce , distance and ineq uality are th e po sitiv e charact eristics of
depth as intensive spatium (D&R, 238),
l , Inten si ve Spatium

T his term refers to th e virtual continuum formed by multipliciti es. In

2. Multiplicities and D ivergent Series
this hook I used th e term 'plane of consistency' to refer to it , a term Altho ugh th e term ' m ult iplicity' is not used in the list above, it is clear
used throu ghout ATP. Other near syno nyms include ' plane of imman - that it belongs in this entry since th e 'disparate series' mentioned ar e
l'll 'c' (W [»), ' bo dy without organ s' (AO , ATP ) , 'rnachini c phylum ' no thing but the e ffect of expand ing in a serial form th e sing ularities
(AT I'), and ' ide al o r met aph ysical surface' (LO S) . A po ssibl e so urc of d 'fining each unfolding level of a mu ltiplicity. The term has so me near
co nfusion h .rc is the term ' inte nsi ve ' which in my presentation was s Ilon ym s: 'partial obj ects' (AO ); ' philosophical co nce pts' (W [P) ;
lIsed ill relati on to indi viduation processes, not th e virtual co ntinuum . ' idea l eve nts' (LOS). So me times Dcleuze refer s to multipliciti es
I)l,leu:l.l' uses th e term in thr 'e se nses : ind irectly via th eir co m po ne nts , suc h as ' no madic sing ularities' and

'noe m atic attr ib utes ' (LOS) , or 'vague essen ces' and 'becomings' The crucial idea is that th e qua si-cau sal op erator m ust couple th e
(AT P) . o rd inal series ema nating from multiplicities so as to weave th ese into a
Th e term 'd isparate ' m eans ' d ifference of difference' (D&R, 241 ) . nonmctric co ntin uum. Resonances are th e means to effect co uplings,
To spea k of 'disparate ser ies ' is another w ay of expressing the idea w hile the resulting for ced movem en t produces th e co ntinu um (LO S,
th at th e ordinal ser ies which form the nonmet ric co ntin uum mu st be 239-40). As I hav e just said, th e couplings between ser ies must en sure
rela te d to one another via '!ffirmative divergence, so that not only are th e t he ir affir mative di vergen ce , keeping th e continuum op en and in
se ries mad e up of differences, their divergent relations further differen- co nsta nt variation . But also , as a separate operation (w hat I called ' pre-
tiate these d1Jerences: act ualizatio n' in Chapter 3) , it must induce so me convergences in th e
se ries, since it is in th ese ce nt res of co nverge nce that th e process of
Di fferen ce mu st become the elemen t , th e ultimate unitv; , it must actua lizatio n begins :
th erefo re refer to other differences which nev er identify it but
rath er d ifferentiate it. Each term of th e series , being already a To be act ualized . . . mean s to extend ove r a ser ies of ordinary
differen ce, must be put into variable relations with other terms, points; to be selecte d according to a rul e of con verge nc e ; to be
th ereb y co nstit uting other se ries d evoid of cen te r and co nvergence. inc ar nated in a bod y; to be come th e state of a body; and to be
Divergen ce and decentcring must be affi r me d in th e se ries itself. ren ewed locall y for th e sake of limited new actualizations and
(D&R , 56) ex tensions . (LO S, I 10)

3. Dark Precursor 5. Passive Selves and Spatio-Temporal Dynamisms

T his term refers to what in my re construction I called th e 'quasi-causal T his en try contains the two components of what in m y reconstruction
o perator'. Its near synonyms include: 'quasi-cause ", 'al eatory or para- I referred to as 'inten sive individuation processes' . The first meaning
do xical point' and ' nonsense ' (LOS); 'line of flight' and ' abstract of the term 's patia-tem poral dynamism ' is straightforward, r eferring
machi ne ' (ATP); 'd esiring machines' (AO) ; 'co nce pt ual person ae' to t he phenomena of sel f-org anizatio n which occur in many non-
(W IP); 'o bject = x ' (D &R , LOS) . equilib rium system s. Self-organizing dynamics ar e typi cally gov erned
by th e singularities (at t racto rs and bifurcations) which chara ct eri ze
d iffere ntial relations (t hat is, co upled rates of chang e o r relations of
4. Resonances and Forced Movements
re lative rapidity and slo w ness.) In thi s se nse, th e term relates to th e
T his ent ry includes th e effects w hich the quasi-cau sal operator has on first sense of th e word 'intensive', as in a non-equilibrium material
the multipliciti es and th eir series . In my reconstruction I used an w he re inten sive differen ces have not been cancel led . But th e term also
info rma tion-t heo re tic model for th ese effect s (in terms of em issio ns of refers to 'a ffects', or th e seco nd sense of 'inten sive ' , that is, to th e
signs o r informati on qu anta) but Del eu ze also uses an alt ernative phy sical capaci ties and dynamism s whi ch produce heterogeneous assem blages.
model in terms o f resonances (D&R, LOS , WIP) . The te rms ' reso nance' That th e tw o senses are intimately co nnected is clear from th e
and ' forced mo vem ent.' sho uld not be taken as mere phy sical met ap hors. ''''lo wing:
Rath er , w e sho uld think about resonance as positi ve fte dback, a ge ne ric
pr on'ss which implies one or o the r form o f mutually stimulati ng couplin8s It is no lon ger a qu estion of imposing a form up on a matt er but of
k.g. .autocatal ysis} inducing re sonance s amo ng het erogeneous el em ents, d ahorating an increasingly rich and co nsistent mat eri al , th e better
as well .lS th e ampljfica t ion if origina l djfferences (forced mov em ents) . to tap incr easingly int en se fo rces . What makes a matt' rial incrcas-

ingly rich is th e same as what holds het erogen eiti es togcther without co nstituted which select and envelop a finite numb er o f the singular-
t he ir ceasing to be heterogeneous . (ATP, 329) ities of the system . . . An individual is therefore always in a world
as a circle o f co nverge nce, and a world ma y be formed and thought
Unlike spa tio- te m po ra l dynamism s, the terms passive sel f' and on ly in th e vicinity of th e individuals whi ch occupy or fill it. (LO S
'larval subject' recei ved very little elaboration in my recon struction , 109-10)
m ostly because I wanted to keep th e description of Deleu zes ontology
as free from anthropocentrism as possible . The first term is related to To avo id co nfusion, I will usc the term 'inten sive individual ' to
t he 'passive synthes is' whi ch forms th e core of Dclcu zc ' s th eory of refe r to these monad s, and 'individual' without qualification to refer
time , the synthesis of 'living presents' which metricize or give measure to th e ex tended and qualified actual en tities whi ch form my flat
to tim e . In his theory, this synthesis is directl y related to the gen esis ontology o f indi viduals .
of subjectivity (it is a co nte mplative subjec t who co ntracts instants into
a present ) but, as I ex plained in Chapter 3, these 'co ntemplations'
6. Extensities and Q ualities
occur everyw here, in the form of prot o -perception s and proto-feelings
wh ich even microscopi c individual entities may be said to have . Hence, These are th e two characte ristics w hich d efin e th e realm of th e ac tual,
we not only co ntract instants to synthesize our psychol ogi cal sense o f the fully co nstit uted world o f ex te nde d and qualified individuals. In
present , we are made out of micro -contractions and t heir presents: ATP these two characteristics are referred to as 'substances ' and
'forms' respecti vel y . To sec the connec tio n one needs to think , on the
W c arc mad e o f co nt rac te d water , earth , light , and air - not onl y one hand, of a substance without any oth er characte ristic than its
prio r to the recognition or representati on o f these, but prior to manner of occup ying space (its extension), and, on the other hand, of
their being sen sed . Every organism, in its recept ive and perceptual the form s o r structures wh ich endo w this substance with specific
el em ent s, but also in its visce ra, is a sum of contractio ns, of qua lities (suc h as its mechanical or optical properties) . Given that no
retentio ns and ex pec ta t ions . (D&R, 7 3) act ua l substance is e ver purely ex tensional, these two characteristics
arc 'not really distinct. They are the abstract components o f every
The term 'larval subjec t' is clo sely related to these ideas, referring articu lation ." (AT P, 50 2)
to the 'vo luptuous co nsumptio n' of the intensities which drive spa tio -
tem po ral dy nam isms . The best ex am ple here is t he developing emb ryo
7. Centres of Envelopment
as it experiences the inten sive fold ings , migratio ns, and oth er transfor -
mations which will e ventually turn it into a fully formed organism . This co nce pt w as not discussed in my reconstruction. I introduce it
Indeed, unlike my recon struction where the term 'indi vidual' refers to here not o nly bec ause it appears as the last item in the listing of
the final produ ct (o rganisms, species, etc.) in Deleu zc 's work it refers ontolog ical co mpone nts under discussion , but also because its defin ition
to th e lar val subjec ts t hemselv es. It o fte n has th e m ean ing o f a relates to aspects o f th e th eory of t he actual whi ch bear on questions
Lc ibnizian 'mon ad', and it is said to be born during pre -actu alization , of te rmi no logy. The different spheres o f the actual (ro ughly, th e
that is, from the ce nt res o f co nverge nce whi ch occur in the virtual physico-che mical, o rganic and cultural spheres) need to be conce ived
series : witho ut presupposing a teleo logical devel opment or ' any kind of
rid iculous cos mic e vo lutionism' (AT P, 49) . There are , o n the othe r
A world already envelo ps an infinite syste m of singularities selected hand, very real distinction s bet w een these spheres . In particu lar, unlike
through co nve rgence. Within this world, ho we ver, individuals are the physico -che m ica l sphere wh e re the 'co de' that underlies form s o r

q ua lities is distributed throughout th e three-dimen sionali ty of a struc-

ture , in th e organic sphe re thi s co de becom es detached as a se parate
o ne -d ime nsional str uct ure: th e linear seque nce of nu cleic acids consti- In ATP the different sphe res whic h make up th e actual world (physico-
t uting th e ge ne tic code, The ge ne t ic co de, in Deleu ze 's view, repres- che mical, orga nic , cult ural and so on) ar e called 's tr ata' . T he term
ents an interiorization if the intensive indivi duati nq facto rs whi ch in 's tratification' is near syno nymo us with 'act ualizatio n'. The different
physico-chemical st rata remain ex te rn al to indi vidu als. Thi s int eri ori - extensities and qualities which characte rize th e actual world are
zation, w hich characte r izes th e increase in complexit y of living syste ms , referred to as 's ubstances' and ' forms' , and also as ' te r ritorialities' and
is w hat is referred to by th e term 'centres of envelopme nt' : ' codes ' . Thus, Del eu ze writes that str ata ' proceed sim ultane ously by
code and by territoriality' (AT P, 40) . The int en sive processes whi ch
Th e functi on of these ce ntres ma y be defined in se veral ways give rise to strata, and which become hidden und er strata, ar e th erefore
we claim that com plex systems incr easingly tend to interiorize th eir called 'territorializat ion ' and 'coding' . Given that so me parts of th e
co nstitutive differen ces: th e ce ntre s of envelo pment carry out thi s wo rld ma y be pu shed away from th eir equilibr ium state , th er eby
int eriorization of th e indi viduating factors. (D&R, 256) revealing th e hidd en inten sive factors, th e terms 'de te r ritor ialization'
and 'decoding ' ar e used to refer to th ese departures from th e rigidity
of str ata, or rather, to th e int en sive movem ents wh ich animate strata
fro m within. In D&R, Deleu ze had alre ady introduced th e notion of
Let me now summ arize what I have just said about th e co nte nts of th e 'dc- differe nciation' (D&R, 249) but it is onl y later that thi s notion
onto logical list. Items 1, 2 , and 3 co nstit ute th e eleme nts of th e virt ual: aC'luires its full importance and that it is divid ed alon g th e tw o
the co nti nuum , th e multipliciti es and th e quasi-cau sal o pe rato r. Items compo nents of actualizati on.
4 and 5 may be made to cor res po nd, with a bit of tw eaking , to th e Ind eed , as I argue d in Ch apter 3, th e quasi-cau sal ope rato r may be
intensive . T he reason wh y some tweaking is necessary is that it invol ves said to accelerate th ese dep artures from act uality in an ope ratio n called
s 'parating th e di vergent and th e co nve rgent relati on s between th e 'counter-actualizatio n ' . In ATP , Deleu ze spe aks of ' re lative det errit-
xer ic , the former bel on ging to th e virtual and th e latter (as a kind of o rializations' to refer to moveme nts awa y fro m th e act ual toward s th e
pre-actua lizatio n) to th e int en sive. Ce ntres of co nve rgence would int ensive , and of 'abso lute d et erritorializati on ' to refer to co unte r -
orrcspond to wh at so me scie ntists call ' mo r phogenetic fields' , o r what actualization , the acce leration of th ese movemen ts allowing them to
Dc leuzc calls ' fields of indi vidu ati on '. Although Deleu ze includes as reach all th e way int o th e virt ual. The three co m po ne nts of th e virtual
part o f Item 2 'fie lds of indi viduation ' , and th e resonances of Item 4 (the continuum , th e multiplicities th at co m pose it and th e quasi -cau sal
also produce di vergen ces, it will prove useful to keep th e tw o Items ope rato r w hich effects th e com posit io n) have exact counte rparts in
.lpart and define th e inten sive both by th e field s of individuation and T P as the foll owing ex tract illustrates:
th . spa tio -tc rnpo ral dynami sm s that perform th e actualization of th ese
field s. Pinally, Items 6 and 7 form th e conte nts of th e actual. Pr eci sely T here was a first gro up of notions: th e Body without Organs or
because th e vir tual, th e int en sive and th e actual are aspects of one and dcstrat ified Plan e o f Co nsiste ncy ; th e Matter of th e Plane, that whi ch
til(' same pro cess, or th e different mom ents o f a cascade of progressive oc .urs in the bod y o r plan e (sing ular, non segm ented multipliciti es
d iffer mtiation , so me Items (4 and 7) represent areas of ove rlap co m posed of int en sive co nt inuums , emissions of particl e-sign s, co n-
(so l!wt hing of th virt ual, o nv rg nc , within th e inten sive ; so me thing junctio ns of flow ); and the Abstra ct Machine , o r Abstract Machines, in
of th e inte nsive, cnv .lo pmc nt ntrcs, in th actual). Let me now sho w Sl) far. s th ey co nst ruc t th at bod y o r draw th e plan e o r 'd iagra m' what

hm\ tln - virt ual, th e int en sive , and th actual arc trc: ted in other books. oc urs (line. of flight , or • hsolut det errit o rializati o n) . ( T P, 72)

Multiplicities ar e said to ' occ ur ' in th e plan e of consiste ncy becau se, The first artic ulatio n chooses o r deducts, from un stabl e particle-
as I arg ued , th ey are ideal events or becomtnqs. The term ' no nseg mente d ' flows, m eta stable m ole cular or quasi-m olecular units (substa nces)
sho uld be read as near syn onym o us with ' no nmetr ic ", and ' inte nsive up on which it imp oses a statistical o rder of co nnect ions and
co ntin uum ' as 'ordinal co ntinuum' . The ' emi ssion s of particle-signs ' successions (forms) . The seco nd articulation esta blishes functi on al,
arc th e resonances that co uple th e multiplicities, and th e 'co njunc tio ns co mpact , stable structures (/orms) , and constr ucts th e molar com-
of flows' co rres pond to mutual amplifi cations o r forc ed movements, pounds in wh ich struc t ures arc simultaneo usly actuali zed (substances) .
Th e quasi-causal operator, here called the 'abstr act machine', is (AT P 40 -1 )
charact erized in terms of 'lines of flight' which r efer to th e process of
co unte r -actualization, and is said to 'd raw th e plane ', that is, to extract T his process is called a 'd ouble articulation ' . Although th e term
ideal eve nt s from what act ually occu rs and to mesh these m ultipliciti es ' do uble differen ciation ' alr ead y o ccurs in th e ontological list , it refers
int o a heterogen eous co nt inu um . As Deleu ze writes 'the plane of only to th e pair substa nce and form , not to thi s more el aborate
co nsiste ncy does not preexist th e movements of deterritorialization inte rpl ay of territorialiti es and co des . A sim ilar elaboration is evident
th at unravel it, th e lin es of flight that draw it or cause it to rise to th e in Del eu ze 's treatment of th e int en sive . As I arg ued in Chapter 2,
surface , th e becomings that co m pose it ' (AT P, 270). Finally, the eve n th e most rigidl y metric (or ' m ost stratified ') indi vidual still has
' centre s of envelopme nt ' are not given a special nam e but th ey are unactualized capacities to affect and be affected, and ma y not be
referred to indirectl y when it is asserted that ' the abstract Machine limi te d to a sing le stable equilibrium but have a vari et y of unactualized
exits sim ultaneo usly devel oped on the destratified plane it draws, and stable states availabl e to it. Th ese two aspect s of the int en sive , 'affects'
en veloped in each st rat um whose unity of co m posit io n it defines . .. ' .1I1d 's ingularities' , become further developed int o 'parastrata ' and
(AT !' , 70 ; my em phasis) . 'cpist rata' in ATP . On on e hand, affects endo w individuals with th e
This is, roughly, th e mapping from on e set of terms to another . capacity to establish novel connections with alien mili eus, as with th e
But in ATP we witn ess an elaboration of the origin al o nto logical evolutio n of the capacity to tap into a reservoir of ox ygen, or other
co mpo nents and thi s introduces new terms and ideas . In particular, non -alimentary ene rgy sources . Organisms may also have the capacity
in ATP the actual wo rld is not defined sim ply in terms of extensities 10 act ively shape th ei r environme nt , as spide r web s or beaver dams
.1nd qu alities, but of vcry spe cific articulations of th e exte ns ive and illustrate . These capacities are what Delcuze calls 'parastrata", th e
the qu alit ati ve . As I discu ssed in my reconst ruc tio n, th e actual co nsists (·.l pad ty to connect with an 'anne xe d o r associated mili eu' (ATP, 5 1) .
excl usively of individual entities , eac h individual at a given level of O n the oth er hand, a fully formed individual may be capable of a
scale emerging from th e interactions of populations of smaller scale \ ,u'kty of stable states whi ch may be act ualized by crossing critical
ind ivid uals. Deleu ze refers to th ese two scales of every stratum as th e points and give rise to ' variat ions that ar e tol erated bel ow a certain
' mo lec ular ' and th e ' mo lar ' . Stratificati on co nsists in producing popu - threshold of iden tity' (AT P, 50) . Th ese ' inter med iate states or milieus'
lations of ' mo lecules ' and organizing th em into ' mo lar' , or large .m- what Del euz e calls 'epistrata". As he writes, even ' a sing le chemical
scale, aggregates . (Cl earl y, 'molecul es' may be cell s or even organ- substance (sulfur or carbon , for exam ple) has a number of more or
isms, wh en th e molar scale is th at of th e organism or th e species, h'ss dcu -rrit orializcd sta tes' (AT P, 53) . The relations of the different
rcspcctivelv.} Thus, eve ry strat um needs a double articulation, a t('l'ms fo r int en sive factors can th en be summa r ized like this :
doub] o play of substances and form s, of exte nsities and qu aliti es, o ne
at the level of mol ecu lar populations and ano the r at th e level of molar Fo rms re late to codes and proccsst.~s of cod ing and decoding in th e
.lgg es : IMf.l-"t rat a; substa nces , l»..· ing formed matt ers, rel ate to tcrr'itorialities

and mov em ents of territorialization and deterritorialization on th e

epistrata. (AT P, 53 )
In th is book th e mapping of th e items of the onto logical list is less
Finally, th ere is a term which refers to th e act ualizatio n (or straightforward . In particul ar , th e virtual and th e inten sive are gro upe d
e ffectuation) of th e qu asi-cau sal ope rato r its elf. I did no t discuss thi s in togethe r in a pro cess whi ch is referred to as ' mo lecular' (in the sense
d .tail, but I did give an ex ample in Chapte r 2 of th e neighbo urhoo d of just mention ed ), w hile th e actual is re ferred to as ' the m olar '. Unlike
a pha e transiti on (o r 'e dge of chaos'). Deleu ze 's o wn example is not ATP, wh ere all kinds of strata ar e co nside re d, in AO only th e
critical points in a line of valu es, but critical sUIfaces in objects w ith actualization of human soc ieties is dealt with , so th e molar see ms to
volume (LOS , 103) . (In both cases th e quasi-cau se o pe ra tes at an N-I beco me synonymous with ' large social aggregat es', such as stable
dim ension, as discu ssed in Chapte r 3) . In ATP, th e organic membrane persons, govern me ntal o r economic insti tution s, agricult ural or indus-
as a critical sur face is kept as an instance of th e qua si-cause as it exists trial machin es. But it sho uld be kept in mind that thi s narrowing of
e ffect uated in th e actual , o rga nizing the division of e pist rata and the meaning of ' the molar ' is a matter of focu s and not a change in th e
paras trata (AT P, 49 -50). But now a spec ial term is co ined for this und erl ying th eory.
actua lized qua si-causal ope rator : ' machinic assemblage' . As he writes: W ith some care , in fact , th e different el em ents of th e o nto logical
'The most important probl em of all : given a machini c assem blage , list can be paired with th eir counter parts in AO. The virt ual and th e
what is its relation of effect uation with th e abstract machin e ? How intensive processcs of actualizati on ar e referred to as 'des ir ing produc-
do cs it effectuate it, with what ad equati on ?' (AT P, 71 ) . tio n' and defined as co nsisting of three separate ' passive syntheses'
Much as th e qu asi-cau se o r abstract machine endows th e virtual (AO , 26). These ar e referred to as ' the co nnective', ' the disjuncti ve '
co ntinuum with cons iste ncy , th e machinic assemblage endows actual and ' the co njunc tive' syntheses. (T his three-p art classificati on first
ent ities with co nsiste ncy , 'What we term machini c is precisely thi s appears in LO S, 174. ) Th e disjunc tive synthesis invol ves th e crea tio n
synthesis of hetero gen eiti es as such' (AT P, 330) . T he machini c assem - of divergent relations among se ries , and it is said to occ ur on th e bod y
blage performs th e different o pe ratio ns invo lved in stratification, suc h without organs (AO, 13). It th erefore re fers to th e virtual co nti nuum,
as articulating a strat um with w hatever serves as its subs tratum (e.g. 'a pure fluid in a free sta te, flowin g w ithout inte rr uption, stre ami ng
the pr e-biotic so up for o rganic strata), as well as doubly ar ticulating o ver the surface of a full body' (AO , 8) . T he co njunctive synthes is, in
the different e xtensities and quali ties, substa nces and forms, which turn, invo lves th e cre ation of conve rgent relat ion s am on g series, an
defin e a give n stratu m (AT P, 71 ) . But also , as an actualized qua si- o pe ration whi ch as I said above , forms ' ind ivid uation field s' whi ch
cause , the machini c assem blage is th e age nt behind co unter- alre ady prefigure th e inten sive (pre- actualization). Thi s synthes is cap-
actua lizatio n: tures one of the aspec ts of th e int en sive , th e emergence of a larval or
passive subjec t, 'a strange subject with no fixed identity, wandering
T he assem blage has two poles or vectors: on e vec to r is o riente d abo ut ove r th e body without organs .. . bein g born of th e [int en sive]
toward s the strata, upon whi ch it distributes territorialities, relative states that it co nsumes , . " (A0, 16) . Finally, th e co nnec t ive synthesis
dct c rr itori alizati on s and rct erritori alizations: th e othe r is oriente d capture s ano the r aspect of th e int en sive, th e machini c assemblage. It
to ward s th e plane of consiste ncy o r destratificati on , upon wh ich it co nnects o r co uples together het erogcn eous ' partial obj ects or organ s'
co njugatcs pr ocesses o f det crrit orializati on , carry ing th em to wards thro ugh th e emiss ion of 'e ne rgy flows' (AO, 323) . Here the term
till' abso lute of th e eart h. (AT P , 14 5) ' partial' is not used in its xt in ive se nse but in th e sense of matter
filling spa • to a give n d 'g r of int en sit y. 'T he ye, th e mouth , th e
.lJlII S degrees of ma tter" ( 0, 309) .

T his int erpretation o f th e three syntheses gives us o ne o f th e from different alphabets , but also various figures, plus o ne o r seve ral
elements of th e virtual (the plan e o f co nsiste ncy o r bod y without straws, and perhaps a co rpse' (AO , 40 ).
organs), and tw o o f the intensive (larva l subjects, assembl ages), but There is o nc more detail to be discussed which pro vides an
leaves several things o ut. In particular, the o ther tw o el em ents of the important bridge to th e nex t book to be deciphered (W IP). Mu ch as
virtual, mult iplicities and the quasi-cau sal operator, don 't see m to be multipliciti es are woven into a virtual co ntinuum through their diver-
included. Multipliciti es appear in AO as ' partial objects' when th ese ge nces, but also form individuation fields when their series converge,
'a tt ach them selves to the body without organs as so man)' point s of ' t he points of disjunction on th e body without organs form circles that
disjunction between which an entire network of new syntheses is now co nve rge on the desiring machine s; then the subject , , . passes through
wov en marking the surface off into coo rdinates , like a grid ' (AO, 12) . all the degrees of the circle, and passes from on e circle to another'
This co rresponds to the idea that multiplicities exist in the sphere of (AO , 20 ). The term ' passing' is used here as synonymous with
the intensiv e embodied in self-organizing processes, but may be 'becoming', and the 'degre es of the circle' are 'intensive quantities in
e xtracted from these as 'Rat multiplicities' or 'pure events' and the ir pure state ' (AO , 18). The idea here is that thi s larval subj ect
depl oyed as such o n the plane of co nsiste ncy. The quasi-causal o perator w ith out identit y can mov e about the plane , from one individuation
is, in turn, referred to as a 'desiring machine ': field to another , becoming now this and now that intensive individual
depending o n the intensities it co nsumes . This is the key idea behind
Inso far as it brings together - without unif}'ing or uniting them - the process whi ch in AO, ATp and WIp is referred to as 'becoming -
th e body without o rgans and th e partial objects, th e desiring animal' (as well as 'becoming -w oman ", 'becoming-mo lec ule' , etc .).
machine is inseparable both from th e distribution of partial o bjects The co nce pt app ears first in D&R , 25 4:
o n the body without organs, and o f th e leveling [i.e. flatt ening]
e ffect exerte d on the partial organs by th e body without o rgans , W e sho uld not say tha t individuals of a given species arc distinguished
wh ich results in appropriation. (AO , 327) by their participation in oth er species: as if, for exampl e , there was
ass or lion, wolf or sheep, in eve ry human being, There is indeed
The desiring machine is said to have 'chains' as its apparatus of all th at and metempsychosis retains all its symbolic truth. However,
transmission (AO, 327). The term 'chain' is used instead of 'series'. It the ass and the wolf can be co nsidered species only in relation to the
has the meaning o f a 'Markov chain' (AO, 39), a series o f events in fiel ds o f individuation . . . lit is true that sorncone's so ul) never
whic h the probability o f occurren ce o f an y even t depends o nly on th e change d bodies, but its bod y co uld be re -env elopcd or re -irnplicated
previous one in the se ries. In o ther word s , a 'chain ' is a partially in o rder to ente r, if need be, other fields o f individuation . . .
aleatory series. This co rresponds to o ne o f the effects of the quasi-
cause, bri efly discu ssed in Chapte rs 2 and 3, o f injecting chance in th e In o the r words, becomin g -animal is an o peration which canno t be
distrihutions o f virtual singularities to create 'nomadic' distributions, perfo rmed within the actual , by a transformation from a fully co nsti-
,1S opposed to the 'sede ntary' probabilit y distributions which characte r- tuted individual o f o ne species to another of a difTercnt speci es. But if
ize population s in the actual world. This is also exp res sed by saying we m o ve to wards the virtual, towards those circles o f convergence or
that th e quasi-cause must affirm all of chance with every throw of the fields o f individuation wher e there are still communications between
dk-c ( LO S, 59 -60) . The term 'chain ' is also used as in th e exp re ssion not-yet -actualized specie s, o ne can become 'rc -cnvcloped' in another
'sig nil),ing chain' hut without any reference to a fixed code , linguistic field . T his theme is elaborat ed in AO, 86 and in ATP , 238 and
or otherwise . Rather these heteroge(wotls chains arc mad e of 'Hying becomes a key co mpo nent of Dcl euzc's theory of artistic practic e as
br-ic-ks , . . co ntaining within [them] not o nly an inscripti on with signs dis{'uss('d in WIP.

to study th e world in th e direction of act ualizatio n , sometimes

co nce ntrating on th e final pr oduct and disr egarding th e pr ocess (e .g .
Muc h as AO narrows th e focu s of the onto logy and deals o nly with eq uilibrium th ermod ynami cs) , sometimes studying th e process but
the act ualizat io n of social struct ures, WIP deals ex clusively with th e always in th e dir ecti on of th e final pr oduct.
rela tions bet ween th e virtual , th e int ensive and th e act ual, on one Art, on th e other hand , ma y be said to st udy, or engage with, th e
hand, and th e different forms which th ou8h t assumes in certain societies inte nsive itself. The term ' inte nsive' is used in a varie ty of se nses
(p hiloso phical, artisti c and scientific forms of thought). The virtual only so me of whi ch are rel evant to th is characte rizatio n. One of th e
ap pears here as ' the plan e of immanen ce' explore d by phil osophical co mpo ne nts of th e inten sive given in th e onto logical list was th e
thought; th e int ens ive as ' the plan e of com pos ition' as it app ears in lar val subject who co nsumes int en siti es as suc h, and is born and
artistic tho ught ; and th e act ual as ' the plan e of referen ce ' as it is reb orn of th ese vo luptuo us consum ptions . In thi s case , th e int en sive
investigated by scientific th ou ght. Let me discuss each one of th ese state co mes first or it is prior to th e individual th at lives it (AO , 20) .
'planes' sta r ting with th e actual world, In other words, obj ecti ve int en siti es do not constitute psychological
One way of thinking about th e plan e of referen ce is as a flat se nsations bu t th e very ' be ing of th e sensible' (D&R, 140) , a being
ontology of indi vidual s. Th e subject matter of scie nce would be , in w hich is itself imperceptible psychologically given that inte nsities
th is inter pretat ion , th e world of fully co nsti t ute d individuals and th e become hidd en underneath qualities and exte nsities (D&R, 230), In
metric and measurable space time th ey form. In other words, actual W IP thi s bein g of th e sensible is di vided into two co m po ne nts ,
indivi d uals would form th e referen ce of scientific statements, and all 'perce pts' and 'affects';
ref rents wo uld form a ' plane' preci sely in th e sen se that, onto logically
at least, they do no t have a hierarchical str uct ure but remain a ' flat' By mean s of th e material [e .g . paint, canvas, brush], th e aim of art
set , \'arying only in spatio-temporal scale . In Chapters 1 and 2, wh ere is to wrest th e percept from perceptions of objects and th e states of
I discussed the philosophical co nce pt of ' m ultiplicity', I em phasized th at a perceiving subject , to wrest th e affect fro m affecti on s [e. g .
the scientific ideas invol ved (differe nt ial relations, sing ularities) had to feelin gs] as th e transiti on fro m on e state to another: to ex tract a
he detached fro m th eir o riginal context wh ere th ey are related to bloc of se nsatio ns , a pure bein g of sensat ions . (W IP, 167 )
mathematical J unctions. Th e ju stificati on I gave for thi s transformation
was that func tio ns, as they are ordinaril y used , presuppose indi vidu a- Sim plifying so mewhat , we may say that ' pe rcepts' are related to th e
tion . Indee d, in so me of th eir uses (as in th eir use to cr eate state o r passive selves involv ed in th e synthesis of living presen ts at all scales of
phase spaces) th ey define procedures for th e individu ation of states reality, in th e organi c and inorgani c world. Even though these presents
within these spaces . T hese states of affairs co nstitute a re fere nt, and are constituted by 'conte m platio ns' or 'contracti on s of past and future
I he use of functions the re fore foll ows th e line wh ich goes fro m th e instants', th ey do not refer to a psych ological realit y . As Deleu ze
virtua l to its act ualizatio n , retaining o nly the final product. writes :
T his is part of what Deleuze mean s w hen he asserts that the objec t
of science is 'functio ns whic h are presented as propositi on s in discursive Th e plant co nte m plates by co nt racting th e ele me nts from whi ch it
sysu-m s' (W IP, 117 ). I will return bel ow to th e qu esti on of wh ether originates - light , carbon, and th e salts - and it fills itself with
one can cha racterize scie nce in th is way. As I said in Chapte r 4, 1 do o lo rs and odo rs th at in eac h case qu alify its var iety, its co m pos iti on :
no t think the re is such a th ing as 'science ' in genera l, so I reject many it is sensatio n in itsel f. It is as if flowers sme ll th emsel ves by
of the det ails of th e characte rizat io n given in WIP . Nevertheless, th e sme lling what co m poses them .. . before being perceived or eve n
IMrt of it that I do kee p is th e assertio n that most s icntilic fields tend sme lled hy an age nt with a ner vou s system and a br ain . (W IP, 2 12)

On th e othe r hand , affect s re fer to sta te tran sm ons whi ch mu st be above , and to the definition of to po logical spaces in Chap ter I , and is
und erstood as ' becomings', in the sense of a becom ing-an imal or also ex pressed by saying that a concept 's co mponen ts are 'i nte nsive
becoming- plant discussed above . Th e artist must reach th at inte nsive ordinates' (WIP, 20) . Concepts, therefore, are not to be th ou ght of
state w he re one can leave one individuation field to enter ano ther, sema ntica lly, bu t literally as sta te or phase spaces, th at is, as spaces of
where one can reach 'a zo ne of indet ermination , of indiscerni bilitv , as possibili ties st ructure d by sing ularities and defined by th eir di me nsions
if things, beasts , and persons . . . end lessly reach that point that or intensive ord inates. As Deleu ze writes, 'Every co nce pt th erefore
immed iately preced es th eir natural differentiation ' (W IP, 173) . Finally, has a phase space, altho ugh not in th e same way as in scie nce' (W IP,
having reached the very being of th e sensible , th e artist mu st place 25) . For ex am ple , th e Cartes ian co nce pt of ' the Cogito' wo uld be a
th ese percep ts and alTects in their o wn plan e , a plane of co mpos ition, space w ith three d imen sion s (doubting, thi nkin g and being) each
a bloc o r co m po und of se nsations wh ose 'o nly law of creation is that divide d by singularities into phases (e .g. perceptual, scie ntific, ob ses-
the co mpo und mu st stand on its own' (W IP , 164 ) . sio nal doubting , as different phases of doubt, as oppose d to different
T hus, in a very lit eral sense , art is conce rned with making perceptible species of th e ge nus doubt) .
the usuall y hidd en realm of th e intensive . Similarly, philosophy mu st T he idea of a ' point in a state of survey' refers to an op eration of
ma ke th e virtual intelligible. Philosophy must go beyond th e centres of the quasi-cause whi ch I did not describe in my recon structi on. Mu ch
convergence wh ere th e lar val subjects of percepts and affect s und ergo as multipliciti es mu st be meshed together into a continuum whil e
int en sive becomings, to reach th e virt ual in its full div ergen ce and preservi ng th eir dilTeren ces ('exo-consiste ncy'), so the heterogen eou s
difference, its contin uo us or ' inse parable variations' (W IP, 126). components of a multiplicit y must th emsel ves be meshed by a ' po int
Philo so phy cannot perform this task via a se t of propositi on s whi ch of abso lute survey' (W IP, 2 1) whi ch continuo usly traverses th em at
rifl er to the virtual, but rather, it must const ruct a th ou ght wh ich is infinite speed ensuring th eir 'endo-consiste ncy' . Exo-consiste ncy is
isomorphic with th e virt ual. T he re fore, any phil osophy mu st be co n- ex plained in WIP in terms of r esonan ces between di vergent se ries:
struc te d out of th e three co m po ne nts of th e vir tual: multipli citi es,
qua si-causal ope rato r, and the co ntinuum . In WIP th ese three co mpo- Co nce pts whic h have only [endo-]con sisten cy o r inten sive ord inates
n .nts are referred to as 'conce pts', 'conce pt ual persona e ' , and ' plane outside of any coord inates, fre ely ente r into relation ship s of non -
of immanence', respecti vely. d iscursive r eson ance . .. Con cep ts ar e ce nte rs of vibratio ns, each in
Th term ' concept ' do es not refer to a se mantic entity , that is, to itself and everyone in relat ion to all the othe rs . This is wh y th ey
cone pts in th e ord inary sense, a se nse in which th ere would also be all resonate rather than cohe re or corres po nd to each o the r . ..
s i mtific co nce pts (e .g. entropy) . Rather, it is defined as an entity T hey do form a wall, but it is a dry -ston e wall, and everyth ing
whi h wo uld be isomorphic with virtual multipliciti es. holds together only alon g diverging lines. ( W IP, 23)

[A concept is] a multiplicit y, an absolute su rface or volume [e .g . a T he qua si-cau sal ope rator behind th ese effects of endo- and exo-
ma nifold I ... mad e up of a ce rtain number of inse par able inten sive co nsistency is referred to as a ' con ceptual persona ' . Thus, Deleuze
vari: tion s according to an orde r of neighborhood, and traversed by w rites: 'T he co nce pt ual persona is need ed to cre ate concepts on th e
a po int in a sta te of survey . (W IP, 32) plane , ju st as th e plan e need s to be laid out. But th ese two o pe ratio ns
do not merge in th e persona , w hich itsel f app ears as a distinct ope rato r'
T o say that a co nce pt 'orders its co m pone nts by zo nes of neighbor- (W IP, 76). Co nce pt ual person ae are endo we d with all the characte r-
hood ' ( W IP, 20) is to say that th e relation s it invo lves ar no nmetric istics of th e qu asi-cau 011 operato r. Mu ch as th latter mu st inject as
or o rdi nal. This re fers to the third sense o f 'i nte nsive' as defi ned mu h hancc into th e d istribution ' of th singular and till' o rdi nary in

virt ual se ries, ' the persona esta blishes a corresponde nce between each defined by th eir co nd itions : a give n distribution of th e singular and th e
throw of th e dice and th e int en sive features of a co nce pt ... ' (W IP, ordinary , th e im po rta nt and th e unimportant. As suc h, pr obl em s ar e
75 ) . And mu ch as th e ope rato r is said to ex trac t ideal eve nts fro m inherently 'obsc ure ye t d istinct' and only acquire clarity in th e pr ocess
what act ually occ urs (that is, to perform co unte r-actualizat ions o r w hich progr essively specifics eac h of th eir so lutions . T he intuition
' counter-effectua tions'), in phil osophy 'i t is precisely th e conce ptual referred to above wo uld refer to th e gras ping of a pr oblem as such, as
persona w ho co unte r -effect uates th e event' (W [P, 76). d istin ct and obscure (as oppo ed to grasping an esse nce, or a clear and
But w hy the term ' pe rso na'? A clue to the meaning of thi s distinc t idea) , an intuition whi ch can only reveal itse lf pro gressively as
expre ssion may be glim pse d fro m some rem ark s in LO S. As [ have co nce pts are create d as cases o f so lutio n :
just said , in th e circles of conve'8ence defined by pr e-actualized multi -
plicities an int en sive indi vidual develop s (larval subject) , an indi vidual If th e co nce pt is a solutio n, th e co nditions of th e phil osophi cal
whi ch ex pre sses th e world whi ch conve' 8ent ser ies form. Similar ly, in problem ar e found on th e plane of immanen ce presupposed by th e
th e d ivergent series a ' virt ual person ' develop s, a person who ex presses co nce pts . . . and th e unknowns of th e problem are found in the
what is com m on to man y different worlds (LO S, 115 ). A more conce ptual persona e that it calls up . . . Each of th ese three instances
eI tailed ex planation , however, emerges from a discu ssion in D&R . is found in the others, but th ey ar e not of th e same kind, and th ey
Mu ch as a larval subject is born from percepts and affects whi ch do coexist and subsist without one disapp earing int o th e othe r . . .
no t refe r to psychological phen om ena, but ar e th e very bein g of th e [T]he three acti viti es making up [th e phil osophical method] co ntinu-
s msiblc, so personae are intimat ely co nnecte d with w hat co nstitutes o usly pass fro m one to th e othe r, sup po rt one another, so me times
the very being of th e int elligibl e (D&R, 141 ). Differen ce in inten sity pr eced e and sometimes foll ow each other, one creating co nce pts as
is the being of the sensible (sentiendum') and sim ulta neously th at a case of solutio n , ano the r laying out a plane and a mo vement on
whi ch cannot be sense d (by fully act ualized indi viduals) since it is the plane as th e co nd itio ns of a prob lem , and th e othe r in venting a
normally covere d by ex te ns ities and qu aliti es (D&R, 144). im ilarl y, persona as th e unknown of th e pr obl em . (W [P, 8 1)
the being of the int ell igibl e (cogita nd um') is wh at can o nly be tho ught
and at th e same time that whi ch marks th e impossibilit y of th ough t In my recon struct ion of Deleu ze ' s onto logy I used as a guid ing
(again, im poss ibility from th e point of view of a fully actualized constraint th e avoid ance of th e categories of typological th ou ght:
think ' 1') , Hen ce the need to invent a conce ptual person a to capture resemblance, identity, analogy and co ntradictio n. But [ co uld have as
these cogitanda or ' thought-events', a persona who ' lives inte nse ly we ll said th at what guides thi s co nstruct ion is th e avo idance of th e
within th e thinker and forces him to think ' (W IP, 70 ). image of th ou ght impli ed by these categor ies: ' a natu ral capacity for
Fina lly, th ere is th e third co m pone nt : th e virtual co ntin uum itsel f th ou gh t endo we d with a capaci ty for truth o r an affinit y with th e
or the 'plane of im mane nce ' of a phil osophy. Thi s refers to th e tr ue ... ' (D&R , 131 ) . This im age whi ch, Dcl euze argues, haunts the
presu ppositions of a phil osophy, th e main o ne of whi ch is an assumed history of philosophy, has th e result of turning the plan e of immanen ce
' im: ge of th ou ght' (W IP, 37), in other w ords, a pre-con ceptual int o a plane of transcenden ce, Or what amounts to th e same thing, to
int uitio n of w hat it is to think: 'E very phil osophy dep ends up on an trap philosophy within th e plan e of r eferen ce, linking it to linguistic
int uitio n that its co nce pts co nstantly develop through slight differen ces propositions whi ch are eithe r true of or false of th eir referents. This
flf intensity .. . ' (W IP, 40). O ne way of und erstanding what thi s manoeu ver, of co urse, closes th e road to th e virtual o r th e problematic.
means is to think of the rel ation b tween co nce pts and th e plan e of [f, on th e co ntrary, th e image of th ou ght leads to a plan e of
imma nc n l' as that be tween so lut ions and probl em s. As I d iscu ssed in im mane nce, th n phil osophy ' docs not co nsist in knowing and it is not
'hapu-r 4, problems ar not reelucibl ' to th ir so lutio ns bu t rath er arc inspired by truth. Rath er it is categories like Int I' sting, Rem ark able ,

o r Important that deter-min e success o r failure ' (W IP, 82 ). The image mu ch as o ld-scho ol anal yti cal phil osophers disregarded th e actual
o f t ho ught th at has thi s problematic e ffect is on e in whi ch thought is mathematical models used by ph ysicists and focused excl usively on se t
horn from the violent shock of an encounter with pure intensiv e theory, so Dcl euz e view s set theory as the too l which constitutes the
difl ercn ces (being of th e sensible), a sho ck whi ch a philosopher may plan e of r eference of scien ce (WIP, 121). My analysis in Chapter 4- o f
th en be capab le of co m m un icating to his or her other faculties, leading classical me c hani cs (as an indi vidual field) broke with all this . It
all th e way to pure virtual dilTeren ce s (being of th e int elligible) (D&R, preserved the idea that clas sical physics (as many other scie ntific field s)
140). is mostl y co ncerned with the plane o f reference (actual beings , metric
T his is not th e pla ce to argue for or against thi s view of phil o sophy. spaces) but it uses a very different co nce ption o f how referen ce (o r
Whether o r not all phil osophical systems ma y ind eed be analysabl e in the fix ing o f reference) is achi eved, pla cin g more e m phasis on caus al
te rms o f the three co mpo nents o f the virtual remain s an open question. interventions than on representati on s. Similarly for my treatment of
O n the o the r hand, I must take issue with the imagc of science which mathematical models, which are not redu ced to lingui stic entiti es
WI!' d evelops, particularl y because my disagreement with it bears not (func tio ns as propositions) hut tackled in th eir specificity.
just on narro w ly scientific quest ions but on deep ontologica l matters . On th e other hand , my ana lysis of classical physics meshes we ll with
Speci fically, my main divergen ce from Deleuzc 's ontology occurs at Dclcuze's views on scien ce as d eveloped else where . The requirem ent
th e level o f th e flat ontology of individuals. I m entioned above that I o f avo id ing th e categories of typological thought to prevent th e plane
b roke w ith Dclcuze 's terminol ogy by using the term 'individual' for fro m becoming a plane o f transcenden ce ma y also be e xpressed by
extended and qualified actual beings, while he reserves it for intensiv e saying that we must avoid the ' classical im age of thought , and th e
bei ngs (larv al subjec ts) . But the break is more than ju st terminologi cal. st riating of mental spa ce it elTects' (AT P, 379) . Th e term ' striate d
Alt ho ug h a flat ontology meshes well with many o f Del cuze' s idea s space ' refers to a metri c space , while non metric spaces , 'vectorial,
(his th eory o f actual tim e as a nest ed set of cycli c presents of different proj ective, or topological' (AT!', 361 ) are referred to as ' smooth ' .
durations, for example) , it is unclear to what extent he subscribed to The transformation of thought itself into a metric space is not,
suc h a view . In p articu lar , in a flat ontology as I have developed here ho w ever, an internal affair of philosophy , but on the contrary, it's
th ere is no room for totaliti es, such as 'society' or 'science' in general. directly linked to th e relations between individual phi losophers (e .g .
But Dcl cu ze does not seem to mind such entities . For example , while Hegel) and indi vidual State or Royal institution s. It is these intitutions
I would never speak o f a virtual multiplicity co rrespond ing to all of whi ch first st riate or metricize real space (e .g . agricultural lands, urban
society (i.c, a 'social Idea' or 'social multiplicity ' ) he does so without areas), and later perform the same operation o n ment al spaces . The
hesitat ion (D &R , 186). opposite transform ation, to create a non metric space for thought is
In the case of 'science ' as defined in WIP, that is, in term s of pe rform ed by philosophers (e .g. Spin o za) wh o operate outs ide of th e
functions working as discursive propositions, the problem is that the State .
image invoked is on e too clos e to that created by Anglo.American A simi lar distin ction is made between scientific fields , or even
philosophers of science of the first hal f of t he twentieth century. All among the different practices (theoretical as opposed to expe rime ntal)
the examples o f ' func t ives" (the co mponents of functions) given in w ithin one field, We have. on one hand, 'Royal science ' (the science
\VIP co me from classical mechanics . No mention is made, for instance, of th e great Ro yal Societies o r Academies at th e se rv ice of th e Stat e),
of the op erators o f quantum physics , which use functions themselves and. o n the other, the 'min or sciences' o perating in less prestigious
as inputs ,1I1d o utputs . And, of co urse, the question o f what chemic al surroundings. Roughly, the distinction is between scie ntific practices
o r biological function s arc is left most I)' unspecified . This amount s to which arc axiom atic o r theo remat ic , as o ppose d to problematic; that
clt'flning scie nce as if its 'e ssen ce' was classical m echanics . Furthermore, 0lll'ra l l~ within metr ic and exactly measurabl e spaces, as o ppose d to

d >aling with anexact yet rigorous nonmetric on es; that focus on th e

simple behaviour of matter, as in ideal solids or gases, as opposed to
confronting th e com plex behaviour of liquid s (e .g. turbulence); and
that st ress constant and homogen eous laws, as opposed to becomings
and het erogeneiti es (AT P, 361 ) . My account of classical physics, whi ch Notes
is clea rly at odds with th e Royal and legalisti c image whi ch that field
has of itself, ma y be see n as an account from th e point if view if min or
science. But for the same reason, it mak es the distincti on whi ch WIP TH E MATHEMATI C S OF TH E VIRTUAL:
esta blishes between science and philo soph y pass right through th e MANI FOLDS, VECTOR FIELD S AND
middle of science itself. Thi s, it seems to me, is the 'more Deleuzian ' TRANS FORMATION GROUPS
approach to the subj ect. 1. The term ' multiplicity' makes its first appearance, as far as 1 can tell , in
1966 in Dcleuze 's book on Bergson, Gilles Deleuze, Berpsotiism (Zo ne Books,
New York, 1988), p. 39 . Its final appearance occurs in Deleuze' s last book
in collabo ratio n with Felix Guattari, Gilles Del euze and Felix Guattar i, What
Is Philosophy? (Co lumbia University Press, New York, 1994), p. 15.
2. Morris Kline, Mathematical Thouqh: fro m Ancient to Modern Times, Vol. 3
(O xford University Press, New York, 1972), p. 88 2. (My emphasis)
Making surfaces into spaces, by eliminating the supple mentary dim ension ,
allowe d the differentiation and study of different met ric geo me tries . As
Morri s Kline wri tes:

Thu s if the surface of the sphere is studied as a space in itself, it has

its own geo metry , and even if the familiar latitud e and longitude are
used as the coo rdinates of point s, the geo metr y of that surface is not
Euclidian ... How ever the geome try of the spherical surface is Euclidian
if it is regarded as a sur face in three-dim ensional space. (p. 888)

For the details on Gauss coordinatization pro cedu re, which is what
guarantees th is absence of a suppleme ntary dim ension or embedding space,
see Lawrence Sklar, Space, Time, and Space-Time (University of California
Press, Berk eley, 1977 ), pp. 27-42.
3. Kline, Mathematical Tboupbr, p . 890 .
4 . Gilles Deleuze, D!lJerence and Repetition (Co lumbia University Press, Ne w
York , 1994), p . 182. O n page 183, for example, he says: ' In all cases the
mult iplicity is intrinsically defined, with out externa l reference or recourse
to a uniform space in which it wo uld be subme rged .' See also Gilles Deleuze
and Felix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus (University of Minnesota Press,
Minneapolis, 1987 ), pp . 8-9 ,

Unity always operates in an empty dim ension supplem ntary to that of

the syste m co nsidered (ovc rcoding) . .. [But aJ multiplicity never allows


itself to be overcode d, never has available a supp leme ntary dim en sion manner of a logarithmic spiral; and centres (ce nte rs), aro und whi ch th e
over and above its number of lines, that is, over and above th e so lutio n curves are closed, envelo ping o ne another. Having used direct
multiplicit y of numbers attached to those lines. algebraic co m putat ion to sho w th at th ese four ty pes necessaril y e xist, he
studied th eir distribution. He found that in the ge ne ral case o nly three
.5 . Deleuze and Guattari, II Thousand Plateaus, p . 266 . Th e rem ark qu oted is ty pes pr evailed - nod es, sadd le points and foci - with cen te rs arising in
made abo ut th e ' plane of co nsiste ncy ' not abo ut multipliciti es. But th e only exceptio nal circ umstances. (June Barrow-Green , Poin care and th e
fo rm er is nothing but th e space formed by th e multipliciti es th emselves , as I Three Body Problem [American Mathematical Societ y, 1997J, p. 32)
will exp lain in detail in th e next chapte r .
6. Wh en Dcl eu ze defin es his multipliciti es he always see ms to be referring to Rou ghl y, we can say that Poin car e disco ver ed not only the existence of ce rta in
manifolds whose dimensions are used to represent degrees of freedom (o r recurrent ' to po logical for ms' whi ch ar e bound to app ear in a large class of
indep endent variabl es) of some dynamic, and not to manifolds as mere differ ent ph ysical models, but also that some of th ese forms ar e 'more
geo me tric objec ts . Thus, in his first introducti on of th e term he says, gene r ic' th an othe rs, that is, th at if we study the distributio n of sing ularities
in many different m odels some of them (ce nte rs) are less likely to occu r
Riem ann defined as 'm ultiplicities ' th ose things that co uld be det ermined than oth ers. See also discussion of th e term 'gene ric' , a technical term
by th eir dimen sion s or their ind ependent variables. He distinguished whose meaning is still evolving , in Ralph Abraha m and Chr isto phe r Shaw ,
between discr ete multiplicities and co ntinuo us multipliciti es. Th e former Dynamics: The Geometry if Beha vior, Vol. Three (Aerial Pr ess, Santa Cruz,
co ntain the principle of th eir ow n metrics . . . Th e latter found a m etrical 198.5), 1'1'. 19-34.
principle in some th ing else , eve n if onl y in ph en om en a unfolding in th em 9. Deleuze and Guattari, A Thousand Platea us, p. 40 8.
o r in th e forces acting in th em. (Bcrasonism , p. 39) 10. 'To rever se Plat oni sm ' , as Del eu ze says, we need ' firs t and for em ost to
rem ove esse nces and to substi tute events in th eir pla ce, as jet s of singu lari-
And else w here he says, using th e word ' Ide a' to refer to co nc re te univ ersals
ties' (Gilles Del euze , Loqi c c1 Sense [Columbia Uni versity Pr ess, New York,
or m ultiplicities as r epla cem ents for esse nces ,
1990], p. 53) .
An Idea is an n-dimen sional , co ntin uo us, defin ed multiplicit y. Colour - 11. Speaking of the image of the light of reason (or of rationalit y as a faculty
o r rath er, th e Idea of colour - is a three dim en sional multiplicit y. By capable of graspin g the esse ntial truth of thin gs) Deleu ze says,
dim en sion s, we mean th e variables or coo rdinates up on whi ch a phen om-
Th e very co nce ption of a natural light is inseparable from a ce r tain value
eno n dep ends; by co ntin uity , we mean th e set of relations between
supposed ly attache d to th e Idea - namely, 'clarity and distinctness' ...
changes in th ese variables . . . by definition, we mean th e elements
Th e restitution of the Idea in the doctrine of th e faculties requires th e
reci procally det ermined by th ese relati on s, ele me nts w hich canno t change
explosion of the clear and di stin ct , and th e discovery of a Dion ysian value
unless the multiplicit y changes its o rder and its metric. ( D!iJerencc and
according to whi ch th e Idea is necessarily obscure in so fa r as it is distinct, all
Repetition , p. 182)
th e more obscure th e more it is distinct . ' (Em phasis in th e original;
7 . I ta ke th is r ath er Sim plified description fro m Ian Stewart. Does God Play Dice? Gill es Deleu ze , D!iJerence and Repetition , p . 146)
The Mat hematics if Chaos (Basil Blackwell, Oxford, 1989), Chapter 6 .
Th e term 'Id ea ' here refers to multipliciti es, and th e fact th at Del euz e uses
H. Loo king for rel ation ship s between th e d iffere nt solution cur ves [i.e . th at Platoni c term shows he mean s to r epla ce esse nces with multipliciti es,
tra jectories ] of th e same d ifferential eq uation, Poin car e began with a local
Ideas ar e by no means esse nces . In so far as problem s ar e th e obj ect of
analysis and exami ned th e beha vior of th ese curves in th e neighb orhood
Ideas, probl em s belon g on th e side of events, affecti on s, or accidents,
o r a singular point . . . He sho we d that there were four possible different
rather than o f theorematic essences . . . Co nseque ntly th e domain of
ty pes o r singular points and classified th em by th e beh avior of th e nearby
Ideas is that of th e inessential. (I" 187 )
so lutio n cu rves: nccuds (no des), throu gh whi ch an infinite number of
sol utio n curves pass; eols (sadd le points), th rough whi ch o nly tw o so lutio n 12 . Self-ass mhl y during [th e ear ly stagcs of) em bryo nic de velopment is not
curves pass ... .foyers (fo i) , w hich th e so lution curves approach in th e medi at ed by direct ge ne int erv ention . Wh en all the tran scriptions have

been prevented [thro ugh the use of an inhibitor] th e regular cleavage convenience. The subjective po int of view can , in fact , be avoided. See Joe
patt ern s are re tained. How ever, the polarity of molecular organizatio n of Rosen , S)'mmetl)' in Science, PI" 173- 4 .
both th e egg's cyto plasm and its nucle us ... are esse ntial for normal 16 . Ste wart and Go lub itsky, Fea1ul Symmetl)', Chapter 7 .
development. Hence th e main features of [earl y] embryogenesis - ce ll 17 . Ralph Abraham and Christo pher Shaw , ' Dyna mics: A Visual Int rodu ction ' ,
differ entiation, indu cti on, det ermination o f pattern form ation - all ste m in Se!f-Orsanizing Systems, ed. Yates, p. 576.
from th e ooge netica lly originated, spatial distribution of pr eformed 18. Stewart and Go lubits ky, Fea1ul Symmeuv, Chapte r 5. See also , Gr egoire
informatio nal macr om olecules. Th e initial conditio n of embryogenesis is Nicolis and lIya Prigogine , Exp/orins Complexity (W. H . Free man, Ne w York
ooge nesis. Th e epigene tic.~ of emb ryo nic development is built on th e 1989), pp . 12-1 5.
to po logical self-organization and orienta tion of macromolecules of th e 19. Brian C. Goo dwin, 'The Evolutio n of Ge neric Forms', in Orsanizational
tota l egg. (Vladimir Glisin , ' Molecular BioloBJ in EmbryoloBJ. The Sea Urchin Constraints on the Dynamics eif Evolution, ed. J. Maynard Smith and G. Vida
Embryo", in Se!f-0rsanizins Systems. The Emerpence eif Order, ed . Euge ne (Mancheste r Un iver sity Press, Manchester 1990), PI" 11 3- 14 .
Yates [Plenum , Ne w York 1987], p . 163) 20 . Dele uze, Difference and Repetition , p. 187 .
Altho ugh Deleuze does not ex plicitly use the term 'symme try- brea king
T he term 'oogenesis' refer s to th e pro cess which creates th e egg in th e first
cascade ', he docs refer to an 'e mbedding of gro ups' (p. 180) pr ecisely in
place .
th e contex t of explaining how a multiplicity may be pr ogr essively det er -
13. Joe Rosen, Symmetl)' in Science (Springe r- Verlag, Ne w York, 1995), Chapter
mined . Unfortun ately, his bri ef discussion of gro ups uses a very obscure
2. aspect of Galo is's meth od , th e originato r of group theory, called th e
Besides clos ure, a collec tion of enti ties togeth er with a rul e of comb i-
'ad junction of fields'. Th e two formulations are, nevertheless, equivalent,
nation nee ds to display associativity, and possession of identity and inver se
fields of nu mber s and groups being tw o related ninet eenth-cen tury abst ract
elements. The set of positive integers (including zero, and using addition as
objects. An algebraic pr obl em , specified pro gressively as its field is com-
a comb ination rul e) displays associativit y because the res ult of adding two
pleted by successive adjunctions, is the eq uivalent of an abstract smooth
numbe rs first, and the n addi ng a th ird one is the same as that of adding th e
space being specifie d by a progr essive series of br oken symme tries, yielding
first to what results from adding the last tw o. It also conta ins an ' ide ntity
increasingly mor e differe ntiate d, more striate d spaces . Deleuze 's discussion
cle me nt' , th at is, an eleme nt whi ch added to any othe r leaves th e latt er
of Galois is correct techni cally, but it is not as clea r and intuitive as th e
unchanged (in this case th e identity elem ent is the number zero) . But it fails
equivalent formulation in terms of 'embedding of !,TfOUps' . Hen ce in this
to be a gro up because it lacks inver se eleme nts , th ose which wh en compose d
reconstructi on I will stick with the clearer alte rnati ve. But wheth er one uses
with certain othe rs yield th e identity eleme nt. For instance , the number
fields or groups, it is clea r that so me form of prosressil'e differentia tion is a key
'-3' when co mposed with the number '+ 3' does yield zero (w hich is th e
compo nent of the concept of a Deleuzian multiplicity.
identity eleme nt) but '-3' is not part of the set of positive integer s. Thus,
for the integers to for m a gro up we mu st also include negati ve numbers in 2I. What distingui shes a pace as opposed to a mere set of poi nts is some
the set. co nce pt that binds th e points togeth er . Th us in Euclidea n space the
14. T his dyna mic aspect of sym me try- based classificati ons is obscure d in standard distance between points tells how close points are to each othe r . . . As
presentatio ns of th e subject by th e fact that th e emphasis is not placed on Frechet [a pion eer in th e development of topol ogy] pointed out, the
the t ransfor matio n as an event , but on its input and output. That is, the bind ing pr op er ty need not be the Euclidea n distance functi on . In
t ransformatio n is a pro cess but all that matter s math ematically is the init ial particular he gene ralized the noti on of distan ce by int roducing th e class
and final states of th e object transformed. See Ian Ste wart and Martin of metric spaces. In a metric space, which can be a tw o-dim ensional
Go lubits ky, Fea1ul Symmetry (Blackwe ll, Ox ford , 1992), PI" 32-3. Euclidean space, one speaks of the neighborhood of a point and means all
15. JIM, p. 97. those points whose distance fro m th e point is less than some quantit y
Besid s assuming ideal solids and gases, th is illustra tion of br oken . . . How ever , it is also possi ble to suppose th at the neighb orh oods,
s)"lnn1l'try assumes that the gas containe r and the crysta l latti care infinit certain subse ts of a gh'en set of poin ts, are speci fied in so me way, even
ill all direct ion s. T he use of an 'obs rve r' to define invar iancc is just a without the introduction ~f a metric. uch spaccs are said to have a

neighb orhood topology. (Mo r ris Kline , Math emat ical Thouqh t ; p . 1160; pp . 36 -7, in relation to qu estions of typolog ical thinking, but is taken
m y em phasis) furth er in an actual co m pariso n of nomad and sede nta ry cult ures

1 will use th e term ' me tric space' and 'no nmetric space' throughout th is . . . eve n thou gh th e nomadic traj ect ory may foll ow trails o r customary
book in the sense in wh ich th ey are defi ne d in th is q uo te but 1 will take ro utes , it do es not fulfill th e function of the sede ntary ro ad, wh ich is to
so me liberties. I will spe ak of top ol ogical spaces , for exam ple, as th e ' least parcel out a closed spaee to people, assigning each person a share and
metric ' and of Euclid ean as th e 'most metric' , even th ou gh it would be regulating th e com m unication between shares . Th e nomadic traj ect ory
more techni call y co rrec t to differentiate fla tures if spaces that do or do not does th e opposit e : it distributes people (or anima ls) in an open space .. .
depend on an)' strictly metric property. sede ntary space is striate d [i.e. metricized], by walls , enclosures and
22. Dcl cuze usuall y spe aks (foll ow ing Bergson ) o f tw o d ifferent t)'p es of multi- roads between enclosures, whil e nomadic space is smo oth [i.c. non-
pliciti es, metric and nonmetric, whi ch he calls ' striated' and 's mo oth'. For
metric], marked on ly by 'traits' that ar e effaced and displa ced with th e
th e purposes of en suring th e co r re ct int erpretation of Delcu ze 's position
traj ect ory. (De lcuzc and Guattari , II Thousand Plateaus, p . 380; emphasis
her e it would have been ver y useful if he had e ver discussed Felix Klein ' s
in th e original)
work, thereb y clarifying th e relations between the metric and the nonmetric
as one of group inclusion . Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, Dcl euz e never 23. Morris Klin e, Math emat ical Tboupht, p. 917 .
discuss es Klein . On th e oth er hand, Del euze is perfectly aware of th e 24. David A. Brannan, Matthew F. Esplen, Jerem y J. Gra y, Geometry (Cambridge
ex iste nce of several nonmetric geo me t ries and uses a sinnle term (' smooth University Pre ss, Cambridge, 1999 ), p. 364.
space ') to refer to all of th em: 25. This way of describing the subject oversimplifies things so me w hat. First of
all , th e actual relati on s between the different geo me tr ies ar e more co mplex
It is the difference between a smooth (vectorial , projecti ve, or topolonical )
than the Simp lified hierarchy 'topological-differential-projective-affme-
space and a striated (metriC) spa ce: in th e first case 's pace is occupied
Euclide an geome tries' ma y sugges t. For th e detail s of Klein ' s orig inal
without co unting' and in th e second case 's pace is counte d in orde r to be
classificati on see ibid., P: 919 .
occupied'. (De lcuze and Guattari , A Thousand Plateaus, P: 361 ; my
My friend the math ematician Andreas Dress (pe rso nal co m m unica tion)
e m phasis)
sum marizes Klein ' s programme (called th e Erlange r Pro gram) like thi s,
T he definitions given in th e extract are his own , but ar e linked to th e
Th e Erlanger Program by Felix Klein is based on the fact that dep ending
more orthodox definitions. A metric space is co unted in order to be
o n whi ch (bijective) transformations yo u need to deal with (isome trics
occupied in th e sense in which sede ntary cultures divide th e land int o
keeping distances invariant , similarities scaling all distan ces by th e same
measured (o r counte d) plots in o rde r to inhabit it:
fact or and, hen ce, keeping rati os of distances in variant, affine maps
Good sense is . .. agricultural , inseparable from th e agrarian problem, keeping rati os of distances of points on parallel lines invariant, proj ectiv-
th e establishme nt of e nclosure s, and the dealings of middle classes th e ities keeping cro ss-ratio s of distan ces invariant , differential transforma-
part s of whi ch are supposed to balan ce and to regulate on e another. Th e tion s resp ecting infinitesimal straightness, hom eomorphism s respecting
ste am eng ine and livestock , but also properties and classes, ar e th e living nothing but infinit esimal clo sen ess) , it always makes sense to ask ( 1)
source s of good sense , not onl y as facts that spring up at a particular whi ch features of configurations within th e space of int erest do remain
peri od, but as ete rn al ar chetypes. (D eleuze, Loqi c if Sense, p. 76 ) in variant , and (2) wh ether a basic famil y of such features can be found so
that every othe r suc h feature can be expressed as a function of those basic
T o the sede ntary way of metricizing space, of dealing with it as esse ntially
e xte nsive, Dcleu z opposes an int ensiv e way of oc up ying space th e way a
liquid do cs, that is, occupying it without Jividing it o r co unting it. Thi s 26 . Morris Klin " Math ematical Thouqlu , p . 9 21 . Th er e ar e imp ortant exce ptions
alternative h· calls a ' no m ad ic d istribution ' . Th e distin cti on bctwc n scdcnt- to thi s state me nt. Some mathematicians, like Riemann him self, but also
, .md nomad ic di stribution s is first mad , in DilJ;'rence
. and Repetit ion , \ illi: m ' IilTord, did see an o llto logica l co nnec tion between th e metric and

no nme t:ric prop erties of spaces. As one historian of twentieth-century physics O n phase transition s in animal movem ent as broken symme tries see,
writes, Ste wart and Golubitsky, FeOIjul Sy mmetry, Chapte r 8.
29 . Cao, Conceptual Developm ent ,?! Twentiet h-Ce ntu rJ Field Theories, p. 283.
[Riemann I asserted that space in itse lf was nothing more than a three -
dim ensi onal mani fold devo id of all form: it acquire d a definit e form o nly 30. Th e essen tial idea of grand unified theo ries . .. [is] the ge ne ral form of
through th e mat erial co nte nt filling it and det ermining its m etric relations hierarch ical symme try br eakin g : an und erl ying large gauge sym me try of
. . . Riemann' s anti cipation of such a dep end en ce of th e metric on all int era cti on s is brok en do wn in a success ion of ste ps, giving a hierar chy
physical data later provided a justifi cati on for avoiding th e noti on of of br ok en symme tr ies . (ibid., p. 328 )
absolute space wh ose metric is ind ep end ent of physical forces . For
31. It is beyond th e sco pe of this chapter to analyse Einste in's use of differential
example , more than sixty years later, Einstein took Riemann ' s em pirical
mani fold s in technical detail. But I sho uld at least mention the way in whi ch
co nce ptio n of geome try using it as an important justificati on for his
his usage differs from that of Del eu ze. In Einste in's theory a gravitatio nal
gene ral theory of relati vity.
field const it utes th e metr ic struc t ure of a fo ur-dimensional mani fold
(Tia n Yu Cao, Conceptua l Development if Twenti eth -Century Field Th eories
(spacetime), and to thi s exte nt, th e metric properties of space (rathe r,
[Camb rid ge Univ ersity Press, Cambridge, 1997], P: 373)
space time) are ind eed connected to th e physical pro cesses wh ich occ ur
27 . Gordo n Van W ylen, Th ermodynami cs (j ohn Wil ey & ons, New York , 1963) , within it. However, as th e philosoph er of scie nce Lawre nce Sklar reminds
P: 16 . us, despit e the fact that Einste in's field eq uation does rel ate th e metric of a
manifold to the distribution of mass and ene rgy, the relation between th e
28 . Wh at is the significance of these ind ivisible distances that are ce aseless ly two is not ge net ic: the m etric is not caused by the mass-energy distribution ,
transformed and cannot be divid ed or transformed without th eir eleme nts it is o nly associat ed with it in a lawlik e way. ee Sklar, Space. Tim e, and
changing in nature each time? Is it not th e int en sive characte r of this type Space-Time, pp . 50- I .
of multiplicit y' s elem ents and the relati ons betw een th em ? Exact ly like a 32. Th e mo ve aw ay fro m metamath em ati cs (set th eory) and back to th e actual
spee d or a temperature, which is not co m pose d of oth er speeds or mathem atics used by scientists was initiated by th e philosopher Patrick
te m perat ures , but rath er is envelo ped in o r envelops othe rs , eac h of Suppes . Yet the cre dit for the introducti on of state space into mod ern
which marks a change in nature. T he metrical principl e of these analytica l philosoph y, as we ll as the cr ed it for em phasizing physical mod alit y
multipliciti es is not to be found in a homogen eous mili eu but resid es in th e analysis of that space , goes to ano the r philosoph er, Bas Van Fraasen .
elsewhere , in forces at work within them , in physical phen om en a See Bas Van Fraasen , and Symmetry (C lare ndo n Press, O xford , 1989) ,
inhabiting th em . . . (De leuze and Guattari , A Thousand Plateaus, Chapte r 9.
pp . 3 1-3) 33. Ralph Abrah am and Chris to phe r Shaw, Dynam ics: Th e Geometry cd' Beha vior,
Vol. 1 (Aerial Press, Santa Cr uz, 1985 ), pp. 20 - 1. My description is merely
T he term 'd istance' is used as if it was a nonmetr ic prop erty, th ou gh in its
a par aphrase of the foll OWing description :
usual meanin g it certainly den ot es something metric. Deleu ze takes this
specia l inte nsive mean ing of ' distance' fro m Bertrand Russell as I will discuss Th e modeling pro cess begin s with th e cho ice of a particular state space
in de tail later in the next chapte r . O n dist an ces as int ensive magnitudes, or in which to represent the syste m. Prol on ged o bservations lead to man y
as 'i ndivisible asymme tr ical relations' see Deleu ze, Difference and Repet it ion, tr ajectories within the state space. At any poin t on any of th ese curves, a
p. 237 . Deleuze does not ex plicitly give phase transitions as exa m ples of veloci ty "ecto r may be deri ved [using the differentiati on operato r ]. It is
'c hanges in kind ' . But one of the very few illustrati on s he does give is ind eed useful in descr ibing an inh er ent tenden cy of the syste m to mo ve with a
a symmet ry-brea king transiti on , 'For exa mple , one can divide mo vem ent habitu al velocity, at part icular po ints in the state space. Th e prescription
into the gallo p, tro t, and walk , but in such a way that what is di vided of a veloc ity vect or at each point in th e state space is called a velocity
changes in natu re at each moment of th e di vision ... ' (Dc lcuzc and vector .fielJ. T he sta te space , filled with trajectories, is called the phase
C uauari, /1 Thausatul Plat eaus, p. 483). p"r/mit of till' d -narn ical syste m. T he velocity vecto r field has been

derived from the phase portrait by d!fTerentiation . . . Th e phrase dyruunical For th e modal realist, th e causal stru ct ure of the model, and thu s, to
Sj'stem will specifically denote thi s vector field . (Em phasis in the original) some de gr ee of appro ximation , of the real syste m, is identical with th e
modal structure. For any real syste m , the functional relation ship among
l4. Albe rt Lautman, qu oted in Gilles Deleuz e, Loqic if Sense (Columbia Univ er- the actu al values of [the degr ees of freed om] are causal not because they
sity Press, ew York , 1990) p. 345. (My em phasis) hold am on g th e actua l values in all such real syste ms but becau se th ey
Lautman 's Le Probleme du Temps (fro m which thi s ext ract is tak en ) and hold for all possible values of thi s particular syste m . (Consrrucrrre Realism ,
'Essai sur Ie otion de tructure et d ' Existence en Math ematiques', are p. 84; em phasis in the original)
Dclcuz c 's main so urce s on th e ontological anal ysis of stat e space. Del eu ze
paraphrases Lautrnan 's description in other books, but given the ce ntrality See also Ronald N . Giere , Explaintnq Science. A Coanitil'e App roach ( Unive r-
of these ideas in his work 1 pr efer to qu ot e Lautrnan ' s own words. sity of Chicago Pr ess, 1988), Chapte r 4. Gier e is, in this case , wrong. Stat e
15. Abraham and Shaw, Dynamics: Th e Geomeuy if Beha vior, pp. 35-6. space, as I will argue in Chapter 4 , provides no causal information about th e
36. Nicolls and Prigogine, Explorina Complexitv; pp. 65-71 . modelled processes.
n . Abraham and Shaw, Dynamics: The Geomet ry if Behavior, pp . 37-41.
46 . One's attitude towards modalities has a profound effect on one's whole
38. Abraham and Shaw, Dynamics: A Visual Introduction, p. 562.
theory of scien ce . Actualists . . . must hold that th e aim of scienc e is to
~9 . Deleuze, D!lJerence and Repetition, pp. 208-9. (Emphasis in th e original. )
describe the actual history of the world . For [modal realists I . . . th e aim
Deleuz e borrows the ontological distinction of the actual and the virtual
is to describe the structure of physical possibilit y (o r propensity) and
fr om Bergson . See Del euze, Berpsonism, pp . 96 -7.
necessity . Th e actual history is just that one possibilit y that happ en ed to
40. Willard Van Orman Quine , quoted in Nicholas Rescher, 'The Ontology of
be realiz ed .. . (Giere , Constructi ve Realism, p. 84)
th e Possibl e', in The Possible and the Actual, ed . Michael J. Loux (Cornell
Universit y Press, Ith aca , 1979), p . 177. 47. Deleuz e, Loaic if Sense, p . 54.
41 . For a bri ef account of th e recent history of modal logic, see Michael J. 48. Considering that Deleuz e ' s analysis hinges on the differen ce between the
Loux , ' Introd uction: Modality and Metaphysics', in Loux, Th e Possible and th e differ entiation and int egration operators of th e calculus, it will be necessary
Actual, pp . 15-28 . to remove on e traditional obj ection to the very idea of giving an ontological
4 2. Ronald N. Giere, 'Constructi ve Realism ' , in lmap es if Science. Essays an dime nsio n to th ese o perato rs. Thi s o bjectio n is that th e o utput of the
Real ism and Empiri cism with a Reply by Bas C. Van Fraasen, cds . Paul M. differentiation op erator (instantaneo us rates of change or infinit esimals)
Churchland and Clifford A. Hook er (University of Chicago Press, 1985), cannot be thought of as anything but mathematical fictions . ot to do so has
p. 84 . led in th e past to man y ste ri le specu lat ions and co ntroversy . However,
4 1. Bas Van Fraasen, Laws and Symmetry', p . 223. Van Fraasen discusses the tw o alth ough a vector field is ind eed com posed of man y of these instantaneous
standard typ es of laws, law s of succe ssion (which gov ern th e evolution of rates of change, what matters to us here arc not th e 'instants' themselves,
trajectories, and are exe m plified by Newton' s laws ) and laws of coe xiste nce tak en on e at a tim e, but th e topoloqical in variants which those instants displa y
(which restri ct position in state space, and are illu strated by Boyle 's law for collect ively , that is, th e singularities of th e field .
ideal gases) . 49 . Ste phe n G . Eubank and J. Doyne Farmer, ' Intr oduction to Dynamical
44 . Exactly mat ching initial co nditions in the laboratory and th e model is not ystems ' , in Intr oducti on to Nonlinear Physics, ed . Lui Lam (Springer-Verlag,
possible, so we normally deal with bundles ?f traj ectories in state space. Th e New York, 1997), p. 76.
statistical distribution of a small population of initial state s in the model is 50. Abraham and Shaw , Dynamics: The Geometry if Behavior, pp. 7- 11.
mad e to mat ch that of the erro rs which th e exper imente r may have mad e in 51. Attractors ar e ind eed defined as a 'limit se t ' with an op en inset (its basin).
pr ' paring the real syste m in a parti .ular initial condition. In what follow s But th e word 'limit' in the definiti on mak es all the differen ce in the world ,
thi s point will not mak e mu ch differen ce so I stick to the sim pler case of a since it refers pr ecisely to the tendenci es of traj ectories to approach th e
single tr ajectory. att rac to r in th e limit. See ibid. , p. 44.
4S . t ;i(,rt, rgues that th e regularities exhibited by the possible histories reveal
'om, thin g about th e w USCl I reqularitles in the real ph)'Sical s 'sl .m : S2. 'Intuitively, according 10 Russell, a syste m is det erminist ic e xactly if its

pr eviou s stat es det ermine its later states in the exact sense in whi ch th e words, we comm it ourselves to affirm that objects possess some of th eir
argum ents of a function det ermine its values. (Van Fraasen, Laws and pr op erties necessaril y whil e other s only contingently .
Symmetl)' , p. 251) 56. Th e first option (ensuring transworld identity through particular essences or
hacceiti es) is exemp lified by Alvin Plantin ga, 'Transworld Identity or
See Van Fraasen 's discussion o f the relation between the modal category
Worldbound Individu als?', in Loux, The Possible and th e Actual, pp. 154-7 .
of physical necessity and deterministic laws in Chapters 3 and 4 of Laws and
Th e seco nd option (co unte rparts linked through gene ral essences) is
Symmetry :
illustrated by David Lewi s, ' Counte rpart Th eory and Quantified Modal
53. Nicolis and Prigogine, Explorinq Comple xity, p. 14. (Emphasis in th e original. )
Logic', in The Possible and th e Actua l, pp. 117- 21.
54. For example , the way Del euze approaches the qu estion of necessity is by 57. Delcu ze , D!lJerence and Repetit ion , pp . 211- 12. See also Deleuzc , Berqsonism,
splitt ing the causal link : on on e hand , processes of individuation are defined p. 97 . Deleuze does not, in fact , refer to the virtual as a physical modality,
as seque nces of causes (every effect will be th e cause of yet anoth er effect) but the fact that he explicitly contrasts virtua lity and possibilit y (following
whil e singularitie s become pure incorporeal ifJeas of tho se serie s of causes; on Bergson ' s lead ) do es indicate that he is thinking in modal terms.
the oth er hand, these pure effects are view ed as having a quasi-causal capacity 58. I take thi s description of Arist otelian philos oph y from Elliot Sober, The
to affect causal processes. By splitting causality this way, Dcl eu ze manag es Natu re t?f Selection (MIT Pr ess, Cambridge , 1987), pp. 156-6 I .
to separate the det erminism which links causes to causes, from strict 59 . Deleuzc, Difference and Repetiti on, p. 29. To avoid falling pr ey to th e dang ers
necessity . See Lopic t?f Sense, p. 169 . of representationalism (or as I call it typol ogical thinking) Deleuze follow s
Deleuz e uses the word 'de te rm inism' as synonym ou s with ' necess ity', Michel Foucault 's anal ysis of classical representation, wh ich according to the
and uses the word ' des tiny' instead for the modified link between causes . I latter forms an episte mo logical space with four dim en. ion s or ' degrees of
keep the word ' de te r minism' to avoid introdu cing neologisms, but empha- freedom ' : identity, resemblance, analogy and opposition, P: 262 .
size the br eak with strict necessity. Anoth er way of expres sing Delcuzc ' s For a discussion of thi s aspect of Fou cault 's thought from th e point of
conce pt ualization of this modality is from D!lJerence and Repetition , p. 83, view of an analytical philosoph er see Gar y Gutting , Michel Foucault 's Archae-
oloBY rif Scientific Reason (Cambridge Univer sity Press, 1993 ), Chapter 4 .
Destin y never consists in ste p- by-ste p deterministic relation s between
In what follows I Simply tak e the idea that th er e are recurrent features in
pr esents which succee d on e another . . . Rath er, it impli es between
th ese classificatory pra ctices (rese mblance, identity, etc .) but not that these
successive presents non-localizable connections , actions at a distance, systems
form a global entity called an 'e piste me' . I do not beli eve such global entities
of replay, resonances and echoe s . . . which transcend spatial locations
or totalities exist as will becom e clear in th e follo wi ng chapte rs.
and temporal succession s.' (My em phasis)
60 . 'The first formula po sits resemblance as th e condition of differ en ce . It
Th e idea of 'non-localizable connec tions' is th e key conce pt her e and can
ther efore und oubtedl y demands th e possibilit y of an identical conce pt for
be und er stood by refer ence to convec tion cells. Whil e th e causal int era ction s
the tw o thin gs that differ on condit ion that th ey are alike . . . According
between th e cell's compo nents ar e localizable collisions (billiard- ball style
to th e other formula, by contrast, resemblance, identity, analogy and
causality) , th e source of cohere nce in th e flow pattern (the periodic attractor)
opposition can no longer be conside re d anyth ing but effects of a primary
is, indeed, nowher e specifically in space or tim e. Th e attractor establishes
differ en ce or a primary system of differ en ces . (Dc lcuzc , D!fJerence and
co nnec tions (e lse th er e would be no coheren ce in th e flow) but not
Repetiti on, p. 1 17)
localizable one s.
')5. Willard Van Orman Quine , ' Refere nce and Modality', in From a Loqical Point Dclcuze, in fact , does not speak of 'c onstraints guiding a construct ive
'!f' Viell' (Harpe r & Row , New York, 1965 ) , p. 155. Even though most proj ect ' . He rath er affirm s his desire for cre ating a ph ilosophy '!f' difference,
mod al analyses deal with purely lingui stic phenomena, such as counte r factual and then denoun ces th e categ ories o f typological or represent ational thinking
sente nces , th e mom ent one approaches such sente nces as referring to th e as obstacles to reaching that goa l. Th e differences he has in mind are not th e
real world (tec hnically, th e mom ent we quantify over possible entities) we e u crn al diffe rences between thinq« that are part and parccl of classificatory
arqu ir« an onto logical commitme nt to the existence of ess mces. In othe r pract ices, bUI productive differcnces perhaps best illustra ted by inccmil'e

d!fJerences, dilTe rences in temper ature, pr essure , etc. within one and the 2. A good history of this de bate, exp laining the ro le which Michael Ghiselin
same syste m, which are mark ed by thres holds o f int en sity det ermi ning phase played in it , can be found in David L. Hull , Science as a Process (University of
tra nsitions. See p. 222 . Chicago Press, Chicago , 1988) , Chapter 4.
61 . Ronald F. Fox , Eners)' and the Evolution if Life (W . H. Free ma n, New York, 3. Ghiselin , Metap hysics and the Oriq in if Species, pp . 37-4 1.
1988), p. 8. 4. It is unclear to what extent Deleuze subscribes to th is ide a of a flat onto logy
of singu lar ind ividuals. Some parts of his th eor y (for exa mple, his th eor y of
T he mechanisms by which th e che m ical clem ents come into existe nce is tim e invol ving a nested set of larger and larger tempor al scales) see m to
stella r nucleosynthesis. The pro cesses involved are an example of how ener8Y dem and such an onto logy. Yet , elsewhere , he does see m to talk of tot alities.
./1011' pr odu ces complex states of matt er from sim pler co nstituen ts. A Thus, while I view th e rea lm of the socia l as a flat onto logy (made of
co mbination of gr avitational ene rgy and nucl ear ene rgy conve rts vast individual decision -makers, individual instituti on al organizations, individual
quant ities of hydr ogen gas, the simplest ele me nt, into the nu clei of other cities, individu al nation states) and thu s would never speak o f 'society as a
mo re comp lex cleme nts . Nucleosynthesis invol ves nucl ear reaction cycles who le' or ' culture as a whole ' , Deleuze does talk of 'society as a whole '
and happ ens in stages that corre late stro ngly with changes in ste llar and spec ifically, of a virtual multiplicit y of soc iety . See, for example, Gilles
structure . (Emphasis in the original) Dele uze, D!lI erence and Repetition (Co lumbia Univer sity Press, Ne w York,
1994), p . 186. T here are also terminological pr obl em s that need to be not ed
62 . Philosoph er s tend to imagine that a piece of bulk material is simply a
give n that Dcl euze uses the term ' indi vidual' in a ver y idiosyncratic way. In
collect ion of individual crystals arranged so perfectl y th at , for all pra cti cal
parti cular, he does not use 'actu al entity' and 'i ndividual' as syno nyms as I
pur poses, th e properties of the bulk sample are simply a sum of th e
do . For Deleuze th e term ' individual' refer s to an entity in th e process '!f
prop erties of th ese crystals. In oth er words, th ey im agine we can divide the
actu alizati on , th at is, before it acquires its final qualiti es and exte nsities . For
hulk sample in extension and , given the packing arrange ment of the crysta ls,
exam ple, a fully develop ed hum an being would be an actu al entity , but the
we will alwa ys end up with a sim ilar if smaller sample . But in realit y, we
em bryo as it is being unfold ed and dev elo ped wo uld be an individual. On e
do not have perfectly regular crystal lattices (the irregularities playing a
would be an ex te nsive being, the othe r an inte nsive one. (See , for example,
cru cial ro le in the stability of th e stru ct ure) and w e canno t divid e a bulk
pages 247 and 250.) I will use the word ' individual' in the sense in which it
sample beyond a given size with out losing some eme rge nt pr op erties:
is used by Ghisclin to link it to anti-essenti alist thought, but this should not
Like the biologist , th e met allurgist is conce rned with aggr egat es and cause mu ch distortion to Dcleuze .
assemblies in wh ich rep eat ed or ex te nded irrepularities in the arranged O n th e other hand, I do br eak with Deleuze 's use of the term 'species '
atoms becom e th e basis of maj or structural features on a larger scale , whi ch does not see m to impl y that species are also individuals, and hence ,
eventually bridging the gap betw een th e atom and thin gs per ceptibl e to the pr odu ct of an indi viduati on pro cess disti nct from the one that gives rise
human senses . (Cy ril Stanley Smith , 'Structure, Substructure, and Super - to organic ind ividuals during embryoge nesis . He does no t see m to keep the
structure ', in A Search fo r Structu re [MIT Press, Cambridge, 1982), p. 54 ; tw o levels of scale separate (as I think they should be) and spe aks of 'species'
my em phasis) and ' parts ' as the or ganic ex pression of qualities and exte nsities respectively
(p 25 1). Yet , he does ackno w ledge in passing the role of rep rodu cti ve
See also, in th e same volume , Smith , ' Grain Shapes and othe r Metallur- isolation in th e individuation of species. He writes,
gical Applicat ions o f To pology'. O n the eme rge nce of bulk pr op erti es at
di ffe rent critical scales, see Michael A. Dun can and Denn is H. Rou vray, A kineti cs of population adjoins, without resembling, the kinet ics of the
tIIicroclu.ltw (Scien tific Ameri can , Dece mbe r, 1989), p. 113. egg; a geog rap hical pr ocess of isolation may be no less for mative of
species than int ern al genetic variations, and sometimes pr ecedes the
latt er . (p. 2 I7)
I . Michael T . Ghisclin, Metaphysics and the Oriqin l?I Species (State University of 5. Ernst Mayr, quoted in Elliot Sober, The Nature of Selection (MIT Press,
New York Press, Albany, 1997), p. 78. Cambridge, 1987), p. 156.

6. Ibid. , p. 159. Sober makes some corrections to Mayr 's way of exp laining th e of cellular layers, invagination by foldin g, regional displa cement of
reve rsal of Aristot elian esse ntialism . He believe s it is incorrect to compare groups . A whole kinematics of the egg app ears whi ch implies a dynamic.
averages and essence s, as Mayr do es in the extract , since averages may be (Deleuze , D!lJerence and Repetition, p. 214 )
taken to be real properties at th e populationa l level. So th e reversal is
characte rize d in terms of the rol e of variation : whil e for Aristot elian s IS. Gerald M. Edelman, Topobioloqy, An Introduction CO Molecular Emb'J'oloBY (Basic
Books, New York, 1988) , pp. 22- 4 .
hom ogeneity is the nat ura l state and variation is what needs special
exp lanation , for population thinker s it is variation which is nat ural , whil e 16. As a result of epithe lial-me senchymal transformation , two kinds of motion
homogeneity, when it exists, is what need s to be explained . can arise that differ to some degr ee in scale . The first invo lves th e
7. lbid., p. 160. obvious cel l migration that can tak e place after conversion to mesen -
8. Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus (University of chyme, as w ell as its cessation following cond en sation of mesenchym e
Minn esota Pr ess, Minneapolis, 1987), p. 48. (My emphasis) into rounded epithe lial masses. Th e second . . . is th e folding, invagina -
9. Niles Eldr edge, Macro-E"olutionary DynamiCS (McGraw- Hill, New York , tion or evagination of whole tissue shee ts to form various st ruc tur es ,
1989 ), pp. 155- 7 . including tubes . In both cases, new ce llular environments are created ,
10.1 . D. Murray, Mathematical BioloBY (Springer-Verlag, Berlin 1989), pp . 1-4. leading to the possibility that different inducti ve Signals will be rel eased .
II. Ibid., pp. 8- 1l.
(Ibid., p. 70)
12. In both organism and cellular populations, for example, we are concerned
with rates of birth (rate s of cell division ), rat es of death , as we ll as mig rati on 17. lbid., p. 94 .
rates. Th ese rat es of ch ange , in turn, define in both cases a dynamical 18. lbid.; pp. 80 -1.
pro cess which disp lays threshold effects as we ll as asymptotic stabl e states. 19. Th e phras e 'an exact yet rigorous ' is used on several occasions by Dele uze to
Divergent uni versa lity also implies that these organic phen omena may share refer to a style of thought, but also to a characte ristic of topological
dynamical feat ur es with inorganic on es. Some processes, like th e formation manifolds th emselves. O ne occasion is the discussio n of Bertrand Russell's
o f concentration patterns du e to an interaction between the rat e at which a concept of 'ordinal distan ces ' which I w ill discuss later in the main text.
chem ical react ion proceeds and the rat e at which the pr odu cts of that See, Dele uze and Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus, p. 483. Another use of th e
reac tio n diffuse, occur in both em bryological processes and non -biologi cal phrase occurs whil e discussing Husserl's notion of ' vague and material
chem ical processes (like the famous Belou sov-Zhabotinsky reaction), a fact essences ' , topologieal essences which are assimilated to singularities (events)
which suggests that a virtual multiplicity can be divergently actualized in and affects (p . 407) .
both organic and inorganic mo lecu lar populations. Indeed , the mathematical 20. Arthur T . W infr ee, When Time Breaks Down. The Three-Dimensional DynamicS
techniques and analytical methods w hich are used to model intera ction s ef Electrochemical JVa ves and Cardiac Arrhythmias (Princeton Univer sity Pr ess,
between animal and plant populations (such as pr edator-prey syste ms) are Prin ceton, 1987), p. 253 . (My emphasis)
dire ct ly appli cable to reaction kinetics, that is, to th e dynam ical models of 21 . Stuart Kauffman , The Orioins ef Order. Se!f0roanization and Selection in
inter acting populations of mol ecules, organic or inorganic. Sec ibid., p . 63 . Evolution (O xford University Pr ess, New York , 1993), p . 461 .
13. For a discussion of population -level qualiti es see Sober, Nature ef Selection, 22 . lbid., p. 44 2.
p. 167 .
23 . Th e expec te d network connec tivity features exhibit stro ng self-organiza -
14. How do es aetuali zation occur in things th ems elves? Ben eath th e tion properties analogous to phase transitions in physics, as the number
actu al qu alities and exte nsities [of things th em selves] th er e are spatio - of regu lator y connec tions , M, among N gen es incr eases. If M is small
tempor al dynami sms. Th ese ar c th e actualizing, differ enciating agenci es . rel ative to N, the scrambled geno mic system consists of man y small
Th ey must be surveyed in every domain , eve n th ough they are ordinarily ge netic circ uits , each unconn ect ed to the remainder. As the number of
hidd en by the const itute d qualiti es and exte nsities. Embryology sho ws regulatory connect ions, M, increases past th e number o f gen ' S, N, large
that the division of th e egg is secondary in relati on to more significant connec te d circ uits form . Th e crystallization of large circuit s as M incr eases
Illorph ogen eti c rno vcm mts: th e augm ent ation of free surfaces, stre tc hing is analogo us 10 a phase transition. ( tuart Kauffman, 'Sc lf-O rganizatlon.

Selecti ve Adaptation and its Limit s', in Evolution at a Crossroads, eds . In this extrac t, 'd ivers ity' refer s to the wo rld of actu al phen omena and
David. J. Depew and Bruce H. W eb er [MIT Press, Cam bridge , 1996), their exte rna lly defined differe nces (that is, to difference as subordinate d to
pp . 180) rese mb lance) while int en sive differe nces define th e in-itself (nuo mena) of
the wo rld, th e positi ve and prod uct ive differences wh ich create or generate
24. In Deleuze's philosop hy th e connec t ion betwee n multiplicities, on one hand,
phenom en a.
and quali ties and exte nsities, on th e othe r, is more intimately defined , with
31. lIya Prigogine and Isabelle Stengers , Order out l' Chaos. Man 's Nell' Dialoque
diffe re ntial relation s correspo nding to qu alities and singularities to
with Na tu re (Bantam Books , Ne w York, 1984) , p. 135.
32. Deleuze ex plains the relation bet ween inte nsive differen ces and gene tic
[A) multiplicity such as that of co lour is co nstituted by the virt ual differences b), saying that 'comp lex syste ms increasingly tend t o int eriorize
coe xiste nce of relati ons between ge net ic or differ ential eleme nts of thei r constitue nt di ffere nces ' , that is, thei r indi viduating factors (D!iJerence
a part icular order . Th ese relations are actualized in qualitatively dis- and Repetit ion , p . 256). See also Deleuz e 's discussion of Darwini an differ-
tinct colours, while their disti nctiv e poin ts are incarna ted in distinct ences on pp . 248-9.
extensit ies , which correspond to tho se qualit ies ... W e have see n 33. Wh en discussing th e virtual and th e inte nsive, Deleuze usually divides the
that eve ry pro cess of actualizatio n was in thi s sense a double differe ncia- subject int o two areas, alth ough the termi nology varies . Someti mes he spea ks
tio n, qualitative and exte nsive. (De leuze, D!iJerence and Repetition , of 'singu larities and affect s' , other times of 's pee ds and affects', yet in other
p. 245) places he speaks o f 'events and att r ibutes' . All th ese formulat ions are , I
believe , equivalent . See fu rthe r discussion and refer ences in Chapte r 3,
25. K. Eric Dr exler, ' Biological and Nanomechanical Syste ms : Contrasts in footnot e 46.
Evolut ionary Capacity', in ArtifiCial L!fe , cd. Christo pher G . Langt on (Addi-
34. O n this new class of formal spaces which compleme nts state space, see
son- Wes ley, Redwood City, 1989) , p . 5 10.
W alter Fontana, ' Functional Self-Organization in Co mplex , Syste ms' , in
26. Dele uze, D!iJerence and Repetit ion, P: 223.
19 90 Lea ures in Complex Syste ms, eds, L)'nn Nad el and Danie l Ste in (Addison-
Intensity cre ates the exte nsities and the qualiti es in wh ich it is ex plicated; W esley, Redwood City, 1991); and, in th e same volume , Stuart Kauffman,
these ex te nsities and qualities are differ enciat ed . .. Crea tion is always ' Rando m Grammars: A New Class o f Mod els for Functional Integr ation and
the produ ction of lines and figures of difler en ciation. It is neverth eless T ransfor mation in the Biological , Ne ura l and Social Sciences' .
true that int en sity is explicate d on ly in being cance led in this differ en - 35. W e know nothing abo ut a bod )' until we know what it can do , what its
ciated syste m that it cre ates. (p. 255) affects are , how th ey can or cannot ente r int o composition with other
27. Van Wy len, Thermodynamics, p. 16. affec ts, with the affects of ano the r bod y, either to des troy that bod y or
28. Bert rand Russell , Principles if Mathemati cs (W. W. Nort on , New York) , to be destroyed by it , eithe r to exc hange action s and passion s with it or
p. 104 (for remarks on pleasur e) and p. 171 (for remarks on colour) . to join with it in composing a mor e pow er ful body. (De leuze and
Dc lcuze wo uld not co unt pleasur e as an int en sive quantity part of mental Guatta ri, A Th ousand Plateaus, P: 257)
irulivuluatinq processes . He see ms to view pleasur e as an effect o f th e cance lling 36 . James J. Gibson , The Ecoloqical Approach to Visual Percept ion (Houghto n Mifllin
of inte nsive differe nces: Co mpany, Boston, 1979), pp. 15-1 6.
Bioph ysical life imp lies a field of individuati on in wh ich differ ences in 37 . lbid., p. 132.
intensity are distributed her e and there in the fo rm of excitations. Th e 38. orne of the rec ur re nt assemb ly patt erns that have bee n discover ed (and
q uanti tat ive and qua litative process of th e resolution of such diffe rences which may tu rn out to be un iversal) are of the type th at articulates
is what we call pleasure . (Deleuze, D!iJerence and Repet ition , p. 96) hete roge neous elements. Stuart Kau ffman has coined the term ' meshwo rk'
to refer to th is type of assem hlage.. ee Stua rt Kauffman, Random Gramma rs,
29. Marti n II . Krieger , DoinS PhySiCS. How PhySicists Ta ke /-101.1 C!l th e World (Indiana p.428.
l.ln ivcrsity Press, Bloom ingt on and Indian apolis, 1992), p. 130. I haw mad' -xtc nsivc usc of Kauffm an 's meshw ork s, and of the ir
10. n,·<', D!I]crmce lind Repa ition , p. 222. (My emp hasis) op posite, hierarchies, as recur ren t assernhly patt ern s for th e analysis of

human history in Manu el DeLanda, A Thousand Years if Nonlinear History tion s of Expe rime ntal Studi es on the Gen eration of Skeletal Pattern in Avian
(Zone Books, New York, 1997 ). A similar distin ction (or a spec ial case , that Limb Development ', in Organi zational Constraitus on the Dynam ics if Evolution ,
of centralized and decentralized decision -making systems) as well as a relat ed cds. J. Maynard Smith and G. Vida (Mancheste r Univ er sity Press, Man-
set of recurrent assembl y patterns (clockworks, motors and networks) is cheste r 1990), p . 123 . (Emphasis in th e original)
d iscussed and appli ed to history in Manuel Dcl.anda, War in th e Age if Th e biologi st Brian Goodwin, who has taken th e br oken sym me try
Intelligent Machines (Zon e Books, New York , 1991 ). approach to classification to its extreme, argu es that these insights about
specific organs may be generalized to explain the dynami cal origin of all the
~9 . It is no longer .a question of imp osing a form upon a matter but of morphological features behind our static classifications:
elaborating an increasingly rich and consistent mat erial , th e better to tap
increasing ly intense f orces. What makes a mat erial incr easingl y rich is th e Th er e are several consequences of this view of morpbogenesis. First , it is
same as what holds heterogeneiti es topether with out their ceasing to be evident that morphology is gen erated in a hierarchical manner, from
heterogeneous. (Del euze and Guattarl , A Thousand Plateaus, p . 329; my simple to complex , as bifurcations result in spatially ordere d asymmetri es
emphasis) and periodicities, and nonlinearities give rise to fine local detail. Since
th ere is a limited set of simple broken symme tries and patterns that are
40. Delcuze , D!fference and Repetition, P: 22 3. po ssible (e. g. , radial, bilat eral, periodic) , and since developing organism s
must start off laying down these elem ents of spatial orde r , it follows that
Th er e is an illusion tied to intensive quantities. This illusion, however, is
these basic forms will be most com mon among all species. On th e oth er
not int ensit y itself, but rather th e mov em ent by whi ch difference in
hand, the finer details of pattern will be mo st variabl e between spe cies ,
intensity is can celed. Nor is it onl y apparently cancele d . It is really
since the pattern-generating process results in a combinatorial richness of
cancele d , but outside itself, in extensity and underneath quality. (p . 240;
terminal detail , and specific gen e products in different species stabilize
my emphasis)
traj ectories leading to one or another of these . . . Th e fact that Virtually
all th e basic organismic bod y plan s wer e discover ed and established
41 . It is now an easy matter to extend our discussion to nonequiltbrium sta tes during an early evolutionary period, th e Cambrian, is oft en remarked
. . . Th ey can be transient . . . But they can also be permanent if we with surp rise , but it is just what on e would expe ct on th e basis of the
establish and maintain appropriate conditions, which we refer to as above argument. (Brian C. Goodwin, 'The Evoluti on of Gen eri c Form s' ,
constraints. Thus , a temperature difference appli ed between two sections in Organizational Constrai nts on th e Dynam ics clj' Evolution, eds. Maynard
of a slab .. . will result in nonequilibrium situations in which the syste m Smith and Vida , pp . 114-[5 )
is never allow ed to identify itself with its enviro nme nt. W e should not
conclude from th ese exam ples that non equilibrium is an artificially See also Brian Go odwin, How th e Leopard Changed its Spots (Simon & Schuster,
imp osed condition ... we see non equilibrium states in mu ch of our Ne w York 1996 ), Chapter 5.
natural environme nt - for exam ple , the state of th e biospher e which is 47 . When I introduced dilTer ential geometry in Chapte r 1 I said that on e of
subjecte d to an energy nux that arises from the balan ce of radiation Gauss 's achievements was to get rid of an embedding space by coordinatizing
between th e sun and the earth . (Emphasis in th e original; Gr egoire th e manifold itself. Thi s allow ed him to define the equivalent of metri c
Nico lis and lIya Prigogine, Exploring CompleXity [W. H. Freeman, New lengths (and oth er properti es) in this differ enti al space. This coordinatization
York 1989], p . 56) is an example of what I mean when I say that a nonmetric space is
metricized . DeIeu ze also refer s to this op eration in his discussion of the
42. lbul ., p. 59.
relation betw een metric (str iate d) and smooth spaces in Del euze and
4L lbid. , p. 60.
Guatta r i, A Thousand Plateaus, p. 486.
44. David Acheso n , From Calculus to Chaos. An Introduction to Dynamics (O xford
Uni versity Press, Ox ford , 1997) , pp. 54 -6. 48 . Co nsiste ncy necessarily occ urs between heterogen eities, not because it is
45. Delcuze and Guatta ri, Whar ;s Philosophy ?, p. 140. (My emphasis) the hirth o f a diff erentiation. hut because het erogen eit ies that were
4fl. Richard Hin 'hlilTe , T oward a H omol ogy 01' Pro cess: Evolut ionary lmpli ca- limnerl )' conte nt to coex ist or succcc l one anothe r becom e hound up

wit h one ano the r th rough the 'conso lidatio n' of th eir coexiste nce or th ing o r a su bject. T hey are haecceities in the sense that th ey co nsist
succession . . . W hat we te rm ma chinic is pr ecisely this synthesis of entire ly of relati on s of move ment and rest between m olecules o r
het erogen eities as such . (ibul.; p . 330) particles , capacities to affect and be affecte d. (Deleuze an d Guattari , A
Thousand Plateaus, p. 26 1)
T erms like "self-consistent aggregate' and ' mac hinic asse m blage' are used
synonymously in this book. Some of th e het erogeneou s assemblages I mentioned before, such as th e
49. Although there are a few math em ati cal functions wh ich produce seve ra l assemblage of a wa lking anima l, a piece of ground and a grav itational field,
o utpu ts, th e majority of th em have a sinole outpu t. That is, so me functions have this indivi dua lity. Thi s is particul arl y cle ar if we do not picture an
map inputs and outputs (ar!:.'1Iments and values) in a one- to-one fashion, abstract case bu t thi nk instea d abo ut a co ncre te eve nt: thi s anima l walking
others in a man y-t o -on e fashion , and a few in a one- to- ma ny form . See o n thi s hot and humi d sum me r day. (' T his sho uld be rea d without a pause :
Russe ll, Principles rif Mathematics , pp . 265-6. Deleu ze ' s reciprocal det ermina- th e animal-stalks-a t-five-o' cloc k' , p . 263). Thi s event co nsists of affects, not
tion , I believe , would imply a many -co-many mapp ino, and a mapping such as o nly th e affordances of anima l, gro und and fie ld , but also th e capacities of
this would be use less as a functi on . On th e o the r hand , thi s ' useless ' th e o the r individuals involv ed, including degr ees o f heat and humidity. (' A
mappi ng wou ld capture th e desir ed idea for a multiplicit y, an organization degree of heat is a perfect ly individuated warmth di stin ct from th e substa nce
of th e ' many' as suc h, without th e need for th e 'one ' . or subj ect that receives it . A degr ee of heat can ente r int o com position with
50. Dcleuze , D!lJerence and Repetiti on, pp . 172 - 4 . a degree of whiten ess, o r with another degr ee of heat , to form a third
In ' W hat is Philo sophy' , th e distincti on between virtual multiplicities unique ind ividuality . . .' , p. 25 3) T he event also co nsists of relations of
(there referred to as 'c once pts') , and function s is mad e the basis of Dclcu zc' s rapidity and slow ness : th e gro und affords the anima l a so lid sur face only
critiq ue of scie nce's inability to gra~p th e virtual. Unfortunat ely, th e analysis becau se relative to the spee d o r temporal scale of change of th e animal, th e
there is obscu re d by his introducti on of unfamiliar terms like ' functive'. Sec ground changes too slow ly. At ge o logical tim e scales th is piece of so lid
Dcleuze and Gu attari , What is Philosophy ?, pp . 117-1 8. ground would indeed be mu ch more Iluld .
I think its is clearer to see his rejecti on of functions as mod els for th e T o apply th is to ideal eve nts . Th e singularities wh ich populat e the virtual
virtua l in terms of th e pr e-indi vidual nature of the virtual co upled to th e are also haecceities, but the tw o definin g features (spee ds and affects) ar e
fact th at functi on s ma y be tak en to represent ind ividu ation processes. Thi s distributed d iffere ntly: a singulari ty is nothing bu t an accid ental feature in a
way it becomes clear wh y fun cti on s without thi s individuati on aspect field of speeds (o r vel ocit y vectors) its indi viduality co nsisting enti rely of its
(wi thout a d istincti on between dep endent and inde pe nde nt vari ables) can inva riance , th at is, its capac ity of not being affect ed by ce rt ain transforma-
indeed be mad e part of th e virtual , Referen ce to ' form less func tions' as a tio ns whi ch affect th e rest of th e field .
defi ning ele ment of co ncre te uni versals (o r as th ese are some times referred 52. T he term •co nde nsat io n of singu larities' to refer to the expansio n of
to, 'a bst ract machin es' ) can be found in Deleuze and Guattari, A Thousan d singulari ties into series, and th e establishme nt of co nverge nt and divergent
Plateaus, p. 141. relati on s betw een series, is used for exa m ple in Del eu ze, D!1Jerence and
51. De leuze, Loqic rif Sense, P: 52. Let me e labo rate thi s point (eve nts as pr e- Repetition, r- 190 .
indi vidu al e nt ities) by first conside r ing th e typ e of ind ivid uality of actual 53. Multipliciti es (o r Ideas) are referred to as 'com plexes of coe xiste nce' in
crcnts. Co m pare d to th e ind ividuality of an organi sm o r a species (to mentio n ibid ., p. 186.
o nly the two entities for whi ch I have given individuation pr ocesses) an In othe r wo rds , unlike th e singu larities whi ch defin e an int en sive process
actua l eve nt has a more fleeting and changing individuation . Del iuze arg ues wh ich may be actualized only o ne at a time (e ither becau se th e bifurcati on s
that eve nts have th e ind ividu alit y of a haecceity , exe m plified by th e ' thisness' need to be crossed seque ntially, or because only one am on g alt ernati ve
or un ique Sing ulari ty of a m om en t. As he says attracto rs may be occupied) virtua l sing ularities all coe xist within their ow n
T h re is a mod e o f ind ividu ation very d iffere nt fro m that of a person, special temporalit y. Wi thin th e int en sive ' the Ideas, relati on s, variati on s in
subject, thing , o r substa nce. W e reserve the nam e haccceity for it. A these rela tio ns [embed ded le vels] and dist inct ive point s [singul aritiesl arc in
season, a Winter, a summer, an hour , a date have a perfect individua lity a sense sepa rated: instea d of coexisti ng they enter states of sim ultanei ty or
1'lCking no thing, even ulOugh th is indivi dua lity is di ffere nt from that of a succession' (p. 252).

54 . Th e impo rtance of orde r , from a purely mathematical sta ndpo int, has are magnitudes which ar e particularized by spatio -te m po ra l positi on (Russe ll,
been immeasurabl y increased by man y modern devel opments. Ded ekind, Principles if Mathematics, p. 167) .
Canto r , and Pean o have show n how to base all Arithmeti c and Analysis O ne way of bringing up the differen ce between Deleuzc ' s and Russell' s
upon series of a ce rtain kind . . . Irration als are defined . . . entire ly by appro aches to series and numbers, is by co ntrasting th eir analyses of the
the help of orde r . . . Proj ectiv e Geom etry [has] sho w n how to give th eory of ir ratio nal numbers of Ded ekind . Arguing that th ere were gaps in
point s, lines and plan es an orde r ind ep end ent of metrical considerat ions th e co mpact series of ratio nal number s, Ded ekind introduced th e noti on of
and of quantity ; whil e descriptive Geom etry proves that a very large part a 'cut', a way of segmenting a den se co nt inu um int o two , mutually
of Geom etry demands only th e possibility of serial arrangem ent. (Russell, excl udi ng, parts. His idea was to defin e th e co nce pt of number in terms of
Principles if Mathematics, p. 199) such cuts performed on purely o rd inal co nti nua. Some of these discontinui-
ties yield rational numbers, but others, he po stulated , mu st yield irration als.
55. lbid.; pp . 157-9 . Actually, Russell uses th e more gene ral term 'magnitude '
Russell , for wh om the den sity of the rati onal s see ms to be eno ugh, objects
to refer to th ese indi visible int en siti es , and ' distance' as a speci al case of a
t o thi s merely postulated existe nce of irrational cuts, and eq uates irrational s
mag nitude. A terminologi cal confus ion sho uld be avoid ed here. Russell uses
with one of th e classes of rati on als crea te d by th e cut . Thi s, in effec t ,
th e term ' magnitu de' to oppose that of 'quantity' (one involv es onl y serial
ex plains one ex te nsive co nce pt (num ber) in terms of ano the r, equa lly
orde r, the o the r card inal number) . But wh en Del euz e co m me nts on Russell' s
exte nsive one (class or set). Del euz e, on th e co nt ra ry, sees in th e co nce pt
wo rk (as wcll as Mein ong 's ), he uses ' mag nitude ' as synony m with ' quanti ty'
of a cut a way to ex press the ge nesis of num eri cal qu antity out o f int ensive
and opposes both to 'distance' . See D eleuz e and Guattari , A Thousand
non -numeri cal co ntinua: ' In thi s sense , it is th e cut which co nstitutes th e
Plateaus, p. 483.
next genus of number, the ideal cause of conti nuity or the pu re e leme nt of
T his terminological conflict sho uld not be a probl em here since I will not
quantitati vity' (De leuze , D!fference and Repetiti on, p . 172).
be using th e term 'magnitude ', and I will always use th e term 'ordinal
57. Dcl eu ze , LoOic cj"Sense, p. 109.
distance' inst ead of just 'dis tance ' to distingui sh th e latter from ' me tric
d istances' o r len gth s. Although Russell introduces distan ces as inte nsive, that 58 . Di vergen ce and disjun ction ar e , o n th e co nt ra ry , affirm ed as such . But
is, as ind ivisible in ex te nsion, he then devises a sche me wh ich allow s him to what does it mean to m ake divergen ce and disjun ct ion th e objects of
spea k of distanc es as divisibl e (by reducing th em , via a co nve ntion, to affirm ation ? As a gene ral rul e two th ings are simultaneou sly affirm ed only
exte nsive 's tre tc hes') and thu s abandon s any hope of linking th e int ensiv e to th e exten t th at their differen ce is deni ed . . . W e spe ak, on the
and the ex te nsive m orphogen ctically. (Russe ll, Principles if ,tlathemat ics, co ntrary , of an ope rat ion according to w hich tw o thin gs . . . ar e affirm ed
pp . 180 - 2) through th eir differen ce . . . to affirm their distan ce as that wh ich relates
o ne to the ot her insofar as th ey ar e different . . . Th c idea of a positiv e
')6 . Ordina l co nstr uction do es not imply a sup posed same unit but only .
distance as distance (and not as an annulled or o verco me distan ce) appea rs
an ir re duci ble noti on of distan ce - th e distances im plicate d in th e d epth
to us esse ntia l . . . Th e idea of positi ve distance belongs to top olo gy and
of an intens ive spatium (orde re d distan ces). Identical unity is not pr esup-
th e sur face . (Ibid., p. 172 )
pose d by o rdinatio n ; o n th e co ntrary, th is belongs to card inal number
. . . 'We sho uld not , therefore , believe th at card inal number r esults 59. Co nverge nt and divergent r elation s defin e th e modal stucus of virtual relation s.
unaIyticalIy from ordina l, or from th e fina l terms of finite ord inal series Follo wing Leibniz, D eleu ze calls th ese virtual relati on s compossibility and
. . . In fact, ordinal number be com es card ina l only by ex te nsion , to th e incompossibilitv:
exte nt that the distances [are] de vel op ed and eq ualized in an ex tensity
esta blished by natu ral number. W e sho uld th erefore say th at , from th e T wo eve nts are com poss ihle wh en th e ser ies whi ch ar e organ ized aro und
o utset, the concept of number is synthetic. (Deleuze , D!fference and th eir singularities extend in all directi on s [that is, co ll\'e rge ]; th e)' are
Repetition, p . 233; m), em phasis) incornpossihle wh en th e ser ies diverge in the vicinity of co nstitutive
singularities . Converge nce and di vergen ce are ent irely origina l relat ion s
Russell , o n the othe r hand , esta blishes between magnitudes and numbers wh ich cove r th e rich domain of alogica l co m patibilities and incompatib il-
on I)" .1 Iogic'lI re lation, that bet ween th e ge ne ral and the part icular : qu antities irics. (Ihid., p. 172 )

Th e mod al status of the virtua l may be more easily gr asped by contrast ing not de pend on th e specific quantitati ve cause -and-effect relati onship
it with othe r modal rel ations, such as the relations which modal logicians between the co nditions and th e resulti ng behavior merely on the empirica l
postulate to exist between possible worlds. Th e mod ern th eor y of possible Jaa th at such a relationship exists. (Alexande r W ood cock and Monte Davies,
worlds is also based on the ideas of Leibniz, but disregards these alogical Catastrophe Theory (E. P. Dutton , Ne w York , 1978), p . 42; my emphasis)
capacities or affect. Briefly, th e key relation between possible worlds is that
of accessibility: one world is accessi ble from anoth er possible one , if eve ry Th er e are tw o imp ortant ideas expressed her e. Th e first is related to the
situation possible in one is also possible in th e othe r. Given this relati on, qu estion of uni versality: as long as differ ent equation ' or differ ent physical
possible worlds may be grouped togeth er into families or equ ivalence classes. syste ms share th e same top ological invariants (the same number of singulari-
Wh enever situations in one class are imposs ible in anoth er one, that is, ties, th e same number of dim ension s) the detail ed nature of th e equations
when ther e exist logical or physical cont radict ions between th em , worlds or of th e syste m (the speci fic type of int en sive differ ence driving th e process,
belonging to one arc inaccessible from those bel ongin g to th e oth er (Michae l or th e speci fic qu antities which define th e pr ocess) does not mak e mu ch
J. Loux , ' Intro duction: Modality and Metaphysics', in The Possible and th e differ en ce in the spec ificatio n of their long -term tend encies. Th e second idea
Actu al , pp. 20- 8). relates to the question of immanence: th e long-term (asympto tic) tend enci es
Dclcu ze would accept t hese ideas but argue that contradic tions between of a process may he indep end ent of spe cific causes , but they do depend for
possible worlds are a deriva tive phenomenon . In other words, that distribu- their ver y existe nce on ther e being some causal process or anoth er.
tion s of possibl e worlds, and th eir fully individuated contents, depend on 62. Del euze, Loa ic rifSense, p. 169. (My em phasis) Deleu ze adopts this approach
deep er relations of compossibility and incompossibility between pr e-indi vid- from th e Stoics who wer e the first to split the causal link : on on e hand,
ual multiplicities: where th e series emanating from multiplicities converge , pr ocesses of individuation are defined as sequences of causes (every effect
a family of accessible possible worlds would be defined; wh er e they diverge, will be th e cause of yet another effect) whil e singularities becom e pure
an inaccessible family of worlds would begin . See Gilles Deleuze , The Fold . incorpor eal effects of th ose series of causes ; on the othe r hand, th ese pure
Lcibntz and th e Baroque (University of Minn esota Press, Minn eap olis, 1997 ), effects are viewed as having a quasi-causal capacity to endo w causal pr ocesses
p. 60 . ee also Deleu ze , D!fJerence and Repetiti on , p. 48, wh er e he add s 'the with cohere nt form. By splitti ng causality thi s way, Delcuze manages to
noti on of incompossibility in no way reduces to that of contra dictio n and separate the det erminism (or destin y) which links causes to causes, from
docs not even impl y real opposition: it impli es only diver gen ce ... ' strict necessity.
60 . Dcleuzc, Loa ic rif Sense, p. 5. 63 . lbid., p. 147.
6 I . peaking of the particular case of catastro phe th eory, wher e th e limit ation 64. Th e image of echoes and resonan ces as that which links multipliciti es recurs
to pot enti al-driv en syste ms with four degr ees of freed om makes a full throughout Deleuze 's work. See Chapte r 3, footn ot e 53 for an explanatio n
classification of attractor s and bifurcat ions possible, Alexander W ood cock and exam ples.
and Mon te Davies write 65 . Kenn eth M. Sayr e, Cybernetics and th e Philosophy rif Mind (Ro ut ledge and
Kegan Paul, Lond on, 1976), p . 23.
In any syste m go verned by a pot ential and in which th e system 's behavior 66 . lbid., pp. 26- 30.
is det ermined by no more than four differ ent factors, only seven 67. Th er e is a close relation between communication theory and th ermodyn-
qu alitativel y differ ent types of discontinuity [bifurcation] are possible . In amics. Much as in the latter th e equilibrium state (for an isolated system) is
other words, whil e th er e is an infinit e number of ways for such a system defined as the on e characte rized by maximum disorder (maxim um entro py),
to change continuously (staying at or near equilibrium) , ther e are onl y the state achieved once differ en ces in int ensit y have been cance lled, so in
seven str uctura lly stable ways for it to change discontinuously (passing th e former equilibrium corres po nds to a situation wh er e the differ en ces
through non -equilibrium rates), Other ways ar e conce ivable, but un - within series have been cance lled , wh ere all th e events have becom e
stable; th 'y are unlikel y to happ en mor e th an once . . . Th e qualitati ve equiprobable. In such state no information may flow in th e channel (ibid . ,
type of any sta ble discontinuity does not dep end on th e spec ific nature of pp. 38- 43).
the pote ntial involved , merely on its existence. It do 's not dep end on the Deleuze uses th is co nnectio n between the inten sive and th e information al
specific co nditions reg ulating behavior , merely on their number . It does to define the relations between the series of ideal vents. As I have said, he

re fers to an informati on channel as a 's ignal' , and to th e information qu anta Emerpent Computation, ed . Ste phanie Forrest (M IT Pr ess, Cam bridge, 1991),
as 's igns' , p. 2.
71. .lyre, Cybemetics and the Philosophy c1
Mind, p. 30.
Such systems, constit ute d by placing dis para te elements o r het erogen eou s 7 2 . W he n th e two series of even ts are co llapsed into o ne we get what is called
series in cc:nmun icat ion, arc in a sense qui te common . T hey are signal- a 'Markov process'. See ibid., p. 29.
sign syste ms. T he signal is a struct ure in which d ifferen ces in po tentia l 73. David L. Goodstei n, States C!I Matter (Dove r, New York, 1985), pp . 468 -86.
arc distributed, assuring the co m m unica tion of d isparat e co m po ne nts: th e See also Nicolis and Prigogin e, Exploring Complexity , pp . 168- 85.
sign is what flashes across th e boundary of two levels, between tw o 74 . T hese othe r charac te r istics arc a 'c r it ical slow ing down ' (rel axatio n tim es
co m m unicating series. Indeed, it see ms th at all phen omen a respond to beco me lon ger as th e sing ularity is approached) and 'sensitivity to size ' (t he
th ese co nditio ns inasmuch as th ey find th eir ground in a co nstitutive dy namics o f a syste m can take into accou nt de ta ils abo ut boundary co n-
dissymmetry, di fferen ce, ine quality . All physical syste ms are signals, all di tion s). Ho we ver , the link between th ese phen o mena and information
qualities ar e signs. (De leuze, Logic c1 Sense, p . 26 1) pro cessing and storage has been esta blishe d o nly with in the narrow field of
'cellular auto mata' mod els of co mp uta tion. See Christophe r G. Langto n,
Sec also De leuze, Difference and Repetition, pp . 20 and 222 .
'Computa tio n at th e Edge of Chaos ', in Etnerpent Compu tation , ed. Forres t,
68. If we exam ine th e sing ular ities co rres po nd ing to th e tw o im po rtant basic pp . 32-3.
se ries we see that th ey ar c distin gu ished, in both cases, by their 75 . Chris to phe r G . Langt on , 'Li fe at the Edge of Chaos', in Artificial Life II, eds.
d istribution . From one to th e othe r, certa in singular po ints disapp ear or Christo phe r G . Langton, Charles Tay lor, Doyne Farmer and Steen Rasmus-
are divi de d, or und ergo a change of nature and funct ion. Th e moment sen (Ad d ison-Wesley, Redwood City, 1992), pp . 85 -6.
th e two series resonate or co m m unicate we pass fro m one d istri bution to 76 . Melanie Mitchell , James P. Crutchfield and Pet er T. Hraber , ' Dyna mics,
ano ther. (Dele uze , Logic c1 Sense, p . 53) Co m putat ion , and the "Edge o f Chaos": A Reexam ination ' , in Complexity:
Afetaphors. Models. and Reality, cds . George A. Co wa n, David Pines and David
69 . It is in differen ce that . . . ph en om en a Hash th eir meaning like signs. Th e Meltzer (Addiso n-Wesley, Redwood City , 1994), p . 5 10.
inte nse world of differen ces . . . is pr ecisely th e object of a supe rio r
Th e resu lts present ed here do not disprov e th e hypothesis th at co mputa-
em piricism . This em piricis m teaches us a strange ' reason' , th at of
tion al capability can be co rrel ated w ith phase tr ansition s in [cellular
the m ult iple, chaos, and d ifferen ce . (Deleuze, Difference and Repetition,
automata ] rule space. Ind eed , thi s genera l ph en om ena has alrea dy been
p . 57)
not ed for other dynami cal syste ms . .. More ge nerally , the co m puta tio nal
T here is in add ition a temporal dim en sion of the virt ual, whi ch I will capacity of evo lving syste ms may very well require dynam ical properties
discuss in the next chapte r, whi ch also defines thi s othe r em piricism. characte ristic of phase tr ansit ions if th ey are to incr ease their co mp lexity .

An Idea, in this sense , is ne ith er o ne no r mu ltipl e , but a mu lt iplicit y

constituted of d ifferen tia l ele ments, differe nt ial re lations betw een th ose 3 TH E ACTUALIZATIO N O F THE VIRTUAL IN TIM E
clements , and singula rit ies co rrespo nd ing to th ose relation s .. . All three
1. O n th e hist ory of these co nflicting co nce ptio ns of tim e and a philosophical
are projected in an ideal te m po ral d imen sion whi ch is th at of pr ogressive
discussion o f the different ways in which th e co nflict has been approached in
determi nation . T he re is, therefore , an empiricism c1
the Idca . . . (p . 278;
bo th physics and phil osoph y of scie nce, see Lawren ce Sklar , Phys ics and
my emphasis)
Chance. Philosophical Issues in the Foundations C!f Statistical Mechanics (Cam bridge
On the concepts of mu ltiplicity and qu asi-causal opera tor (and rela ted University Press, Cam hri dge, 1995), Chapte r 10. And Rob ert B. Lindsay
ideas, like 'perplication' , 'complication', etc.) as ernpirico-idcal no tion s, see and Henr )' Margen au , Foundations tif Phys ics (Ox Bow Pr ess, W o od bridge ,
r-84 . 1981 ), Chapte r 5.
70 . Stephanie For rest, 'E merge nt o rn putationr .' e lf-organizing, o llcctive and 2. Joe Rosen , Symmcrry in Scicnce (Springer. Ver lag , Ne w York, 199 5), p. 141.
Co op e rat ive Phen om en a in Nat ura l and Art ificial om puti ng ctwo rks", in In add itio n to r('vc rsing the o rde r of th e temporal seque nce, a time

'reflection' transformat ion cha nges the sign of any variable (such as velocit y) Einste in 's 19 15 an d still standard theory of spacetime can one hear th e
that depends on th e time vari able . This introduces some subtle ideas that ge ne ra lly agreed acco un t of all tha t 'time' now means and measures. (p. 6)
matter in a se rio us analysis of th e sym metry properties of law s. ce
6 . lIya Prigogine , From Beina to Becomino ( W. H. Freeman . e w York, 19S0),
disc ussio n of thi s point in Sklar, Physics and Chance, pp . 246 -8.
p. 19.
3. Gregoi re Nicolis and lIya Prigogine, Explorinq Complexity (W. H. Freema n,
ew York 1989) , p . 52.
7, Arthur S. lberall , Towards a General Science if Viable Systems (McGraw- Hi li,
ew York 1972) .
4 . Euge ne P. Wi gn er, ' Invariance in Physical T heory', in Sym metries and
Iberall' s onto logy is based on individuals which he calls ' atomisrns' (a
Rifleetions, cds. W alt er Moore and Micha el Scriven (Ox Bow Press, W ood -
category of w hich atoms would be only o ne instance) . He co nce ives of these
bri dge, 1979), p . 4.
in ge ne ral as auto no mo us, nonlinear osci llators. Th an ks to their nonlinearity
As th e ph ysicist Euge ne W ign er rem ark s, if ph ysical regularities had not
th ese at omi sm s are sho w n capable of int e racti ve orde ring (via ent rainme nt,
d isplayed th is minimal am ount of invariance , we would probably never have
for exam ple) and capable of forming a co ntin uum at a large r scale . Th ese
d iscovered th em at all sim ply because they would not app ear to us as
co nt inua, in turn , are sho w n to und ergo sym me try- breaking bifurcations
regularities. lnvariance und er transformation s can also reveal subtle assump-
whi ch fragm ent them (o r quantize th em ) to yie ld supe r-a to m isms, that is,
tions behind a law . For instan ce , to say that a law is invariant und er spatial
ind ividuals at a larger spatio- te rnporal scale. Ibcrall sho ws in detail how this
or temporal displacem ent implies that, as far as th e regul ariti es describ ed by
alt ernation of ato m ism and continuum can be used recursively to account
th e law ar e conce rned, space and tim e are homoq eneous. Similarly, to say that a
for man y features of physics, che m istry, biolo gy and eve n sOciology. He also
law is in variant und er rot ati on in space is to say that th e absolute or ientatio n
shows, o n th e other hand, how mu ch thi s picture breaks with those of
of the states of th e pro cess mak es no differen ce in th e pro cess' s beha viour,
classical and, more importantl y, quantum ph ysics, given tha t the latter docs
but it also mean s that we assume space to have uniform prop erties in all
not give a m orphogen etic acco un t of quantizati on .
directions (te chnically, we assum e it to be isotrop ic) .
S. W infr ee doe s not use the terms ' inte nsive' or 'no nme tric', Yet, in the previous
5. T he re arc several str ategies for ex plaining ir reversibility away . Some
chapte r I qu ot ed W infree's ideas abo ut top ological thi nking whe n appli ed to
physicists, for example, think th e inh erent directi onalit y o f th e arrow of
biology and his ideas are ind eed very close to those of Deleu ze . Using m y
time, so evide nt in macr oscop ic pro cesses, is merely a subjective effect (an
terminology, we can sa)' th at an anexaet yet ria orous approach characterizes
effect of o ur ignorance of all th e micr o details) . T o othe rs th e directi on alit y
W in free ' s resear ch o n the birth and death of oscillations, a process wh ich
of time is not reducible to psych ology but it is nevertheless den ied th e status
also exhibits divergent un iversalit y or m echani sm -indep en den ce . In his
of a t rue law , bein g merely a co ntinge nt sta tistica l result. As th e physicist
John W heeler pu ts it, th e real m ol ecular int eracti on s arc 'time-symmetric
with on ly th e sta tistics of lar ge numbers giving it th e app earan ce of As a resul t of these co llec tive efTorts, th e reality of phaseless sets, phase
asymmetry' (j ohn A. W heel er, 'T ime T oda y ' , in Physical Oriains if Time singularities , tim e crystals, and so on became fir m ly established. Th eir
A~mmet'J' , eds , Jon athan J . Halliw e ll, Juan Perez-Mercad er and W oj ciech H. physiological ' me aning' is less clear . . . But that deficien cy is in a way
Zure k [Cambridge Uni versity Pr ess, Cambridge , 1996), p . 1) . th e most int eresting asp ect of these findin gs: becau se their pr edi cti on was
In gene ra l, th e authority of th e old reversible tim e has been pr eserv ed in no way dependent on th e mechanistic underpinn inqs of cir cadian physiology,
and th e tim e of classical th ermodynamics has disapp eared from th e structu re the same principl es mig ht find appli cati ons in other areas of ph ysiol ogy
of the edifice of ph ysics. As Whee ler puts it , and bio chemi stry . Th ese prin cip les m-e not 'mathematical', in the familiar
sense of ' mathe matics ' as 'moving symbols around o n paper' or ' mov ing
T he e xpansion of th e em pire of tim e has el evated the conce pt, human numbers aro und in co m pute rs' . Th ey are, rath er, [top ologica l] concepts
born as it is, to platform up on platform upon platform of authority. about conti nuity that co uld be used in di verse co ntexts with s!ifJicient riBor
R 'g ularities of sun and seaso n raised th e first foundation . On top of it to precisely infer biological or che m ical eve nts that had not been
cw to nia n d ynam ics e recte d a second and tight er platform ; special rela- o bserved. (Ar t hur T. Win free , II'hen Time Breaks Down . The Three-
ti vity a third , terraced furth er in and up; and ge ne ra l re lativ ity sta nds at Dimensional Dynamics if Electrochemical lI'al 'cs and Cardiac Arrhyt hmias
till' sum m it, th e final level of autho rity. ot cxc pt o ut of th e m ou th of [Princet on Un in 'rsit)' Press, Princet o n , 19 71, pp. 64 - 5; m), emp hasis)

9. Ian tewart and Martin Golubitsk y, Feaiful Sy mmetry ( Blackwe ll, O xford, on Bergson ' s excessive ly psychological int erpret atio n of relati vity th en one
1992), pp . 66 - 7. mu st grant th at he lost thi s de bate. O n th e other hand, if instea d o ne sees
10. Nicolis and Prigogin e, Explorinq Complexity , p . 2 1. him as arg uing for the need of an acco unt of me tric ti me (which mu st
11. Ibid . ,p.103 . emerge fro m a nonmet ric , virt ual tim e) th en th e o utcome of th e debat e is
12 . Iberall, Towards a General Science ?f Viable Systems, p . I S3. less clea r. Th is is Deleuze' s own interpret at ion. He sees Bergson as
J 3. lbid., p. 161. cr iticizing Einste in for not having und erstood th e d ifferen ce between th e
14 . Gi lles Dcl eu ze, Loa ic rifSense (Colum bia Uni versity Pr ess, Ne w York, 1990), actual and th e virt ual, th e d iffere nce between metric and nonm etric
p. 162. (My em phasis) multipliciti es.
1S. lbid., p. 62 .
Bergson thu s brou ght to light tw o very different kind s of multiplicit y, one
16 . Gilles Deleuze , D!iJerence and Repeti ti on (Co lum bia Univ ersit y Press, ew
qualitative and fusional , continuo us, th e othe r numeri cal and hom ogen -
York, 1994), PI'. 70 -1. In th ese pages Deleuze , following Hume, does
eo us, discr et e ... Th e co nfro ntation between Bergson and Einstein on
indeed pr esent thi s co ntraction whi ch synthesizes pr esent tim e as a faculty
th e topi c of Relativit y is incompreh en sibl e if o ne fails to place it in the
of the mind : a cont ractile power rif conte mplation or imaqination which retains a
co ntext of th e basic theory of Riemannian multipliciti es, as m odifi ed by
past and ant icipates a future. But a few pages later (p . 73 ) he says that ' we
Bergson. (Gilles Dcl euz e and Felix Guattari, A Thousand Plateau s [Univer-
are made of co ntracte d water , earth , light and air - not merel y prior to th e
sity of Minnesota Pr ess, Minn eapolis , 19871, p . 484)
recognition or representation of th ese, but pri or to th eir being sensed ' .
Clear!y, this remark mak es no sense within a purely psychol ogical int erpre- ee also Gill es Dcleuze , Berpsonism (Zone Books, New York , 1988), Chapter
tat ion , but it does if we think of thi s contraction as involving a metaboli c 4.
cycle with a characte rist ic tim e scale. He goes on to ascribe to habi ts (or to 18 . Hans Reichenbach, The Philosophy rif Space and Time (Dover, Ne w York,
the co ntractio n of rep etitive , habitual behaviour) a sim ilar power of synthesis 1958), p. 194 . An exam ination of the relation s between the th eori es of tim e
(I" 74) but again , thi s appli es not o nly to th e habi ts of human beings but to in nonlinear and relati vist ic physics is beyond th e sco pe of thi s book, but
any re pe titive, cyclic beha viour at all scales. neve rt heless tw o co ncl usions foll ow rather directl y. One is th at th ere is no
inco m pat ibility between th e two and ind eed th e nonlinear th eory ma y
A so ul sho uld be attributed to th e heart, to th e muscles, nerves and ce lls,
co m pleme nt that of relativit y by giving a m orphogen eti c account (via
but a co nte mplative soul wh ose entire functi on is to co nt ract a habit.
co nce pts like th e Hopf bifurcati on ) of th e eme rge nce of the osci llato rs
T his is no mystical or barbarous hyp othesis. On th e co ntr ary, habit here
(clocks, elec tromagne tic vibratio ns) used in the expos ition of relativity. On
manifests its full gene rality: it co nce rns not only the senso ry -mo to r habits
the o the r hand , o nce we reali ze th at th e metric of tim e is eme rge nt , that is,
that we have (psycho logically), but also, be fore th ese, the primary habits
that oscillato rs operating at differ ent scales literally quantize time, th e
that we are; the th ou sands of passive syntheses of wh ich we ar e orqanica lly
shri nkage o f time at veloci ties near th e speed of light becom es less co unte r
composed. ( My e m phasis)
intu iti ve: an eme rge nt metric, as oppose d to an intrinsic on e, is easier to
17. T he ph ilosopher wh o arg ue d again st th e relativisti c co ncl usions regarding th e visualize as subject to int en sive transformations that do not pr eserv e certain
co ntrac tion of tim e in th e twins' case is, of course, Henri Bergson. Bergson of its properties in variant.
was w rong in assuming that th e case for th e two twins is sym me tric, or as 19. In his care ful exam inatio n of foundational qu esti on s th e philosopher Law -
he put it, a purc 'effect of perspectiv e' sim ilar to that of tw o ob serv ers re nce Sklar sho ws that besides th e need to deriv e the tim e-a symmetric
looking at eac h othe r at a distance and seei ng each other shrunk in space. macro scopi c beha viour of a thermod ynamic syste m from the tim e-symmetric
• l'l' lilT .xam plc his repl y to criticisms by Andre Met z in Henri Ber gson , m icr oscopi c laws, th er e ar e two additional fundam ental qu esti on s in th e
'Pici itiou s T imes and Real Time ", in Berqson and th e Evolution ?f Physics, [o und ation s of sta tistical mechanics: to show that th e final equilibrium state
cd. P. . Y. G unte r (U niversity of Tennessee Press, Knox ville , 1969), of a syste m is indeed an attraetor for its initi al and all its other int ermedi ate
pp. 169 7 1. states, and that th time scales of approach to equilibrium in math em at ical
T his volume co ntains man y of th e pice s written abo ut till' de bate mo de ls r .Ilcct the tim e scales obse rve d in the lahoratory. klar argu l's th at
incl udi ng the exc h.mge lx-tw ccn III rgson and Einstei n himsel f. If o ne foc uses tlu s tw o <llIcslions arc 0f'~n problems in equilibri um tlu-rm od 'nam ics:

physicists have not yet rigorously demonstrated that equilibrium states 22. Deleu ze, Loq ic ifSeme , p. 62.
att rac t, nor explaine d wh y the relaxati on tim e exhibits a characte ristic scale 23. W infree , When Time Breaks D OII'n , p. 22.
(Sklar, Physics and Chance, pp . 156 - 8, 189 and 2 16) . 24 . Leon Glass and Michael C. Mackey, From Clocks to Chaos. The Rhythms if Life
klar, how ever, neglects to mention that both of these open probl em s (Prince to n University Pr ess, Princet on , 1988), p. 94 . (This text contains a
have ind eed been given a mor e precise formulation , if not solved, in far- discussion of W infree ' s work , and references to black holes.)
fro m-e quilibrium thermod ynam ics. In this field on e ge ts th e asympto tic 25. Winfree , When Time Breaks DOlin , p. 99 .
approach to a particular state as an integral part of o ne's mod el, whil e in 26. ue., Chapte rs 7 and 8.
co nse rvative system s without attract ors th e asymptotic sta bility of the final
27. T hro ugho ut we will discover again and again , in a sur prising diversity of
eq uilibrium state need s a speci al explanation. A sim ilar point appli es to
co ntex ts the same par adox ical entity : a moti onl ess, tim eless organizing
relaxat ion tim es. Unlike th e conservative syste m case , in non -cons ervative
ce nte r called a phase singular ity . Th is is a place where an othe rwise
syste ms we have an explanation , in terms of the 'area ' co vere d by the basin
perva sive rhythm fades int o ambiguity - like the outh Pole , where the
of att raction , which is an integral part of th e mod el. Sklar does discuss
24 hourly tim e zon es converge and the Sun merely circles along the
Prigogin e 's work to som e exte nt , but not the speci fic points raised here
horizon . (Ibid., p. 5)
(pp. 269 - 76) .
.?O. Ibcrall discu sses this issue in more tec hnical terms (including terms like bulk Our [to pological] inferenc es seldom involv ed speculation about adaptive
viscosity and bulk modu lus needed to define the relaxation tim e of internal values , molecular mechani sm s, or neural pathways. But they led us to
mod es) which are beyond th e scope of this book to explain. Yet I believe ever sharpe r focus o n expe rime ntal co ndit io ns in which somethinq stranae
his basic point is captured by my sim plified exam ple . ee his discussion in was 8 uaranteed to happen: return of metamorphosin g flies to th e timeless
Towards a General Science l!f Viable Systems, pp. 122-6. co ndition of th e newl y fertilized egg, perpetual insomnia in mosquitoes,
abrupt susp en sion of pacemaking in othe rw ise perfectl y healthy and
2 I. . . . th e inte ractio ns between bodi es co nditio n a sensibility , a pr oto-
capable heart mu scle, vorte x ce nte rs of arrhythmia in elec trically rhythmic
perceptibility and a proto-affecti vity . . . What is called ' pe rce ption ' is
tissue, chem ically tim eless rot ors seque ncing reacti on s aro un d their
no lon ger a state of affairs but a state of the bod y as indu ced by another perimet ers, and che mical clocks made of shifting patt erns of color
bod y, and affecti on is th e passage of thi s state to another state as increase
topologically locked into three dim en sion al orga nizing ce nte rs. (Ibid.,
or decr ease of potential -pow er through the acti on of o the r bod ies .. . p. 254; my em phasis)
Even when they ar e nonliving , o r rath er inorgani c, thina s have a li ved
e.t perience becau se th ey are perception s and affections. (Gilles Deleu ze and 28. Del euz e and Guattari , A Thousand Plateaus, p. 24 . (My e mphasis)
Felix Guatt ari, What is Philosophy ? [Columbia Univ ersity Press, New York,
29. O ne of th e more ro bust and striking predictions of thc th eory of mutual
19941, p. 154 ; my em phasis)
syn chroniz ation was that it sho uld fail abruptly bel ow a critical co upling
Elsew here he is e ven more explicit about this . W e saw before that stre ngth . John Aldridge and E. Kendall Pye tri ed this expe rime nt with
the actualization of the world relies on int ensive processes of self- yeast and found exactly that : wh en the ce lls get more than about tw enty
o rga nization (such as co nvection ce lls or the mi!,JT"ation and folding of diam et ers apart, the amplitude of their collec tive rhythm falls abruptly.
e mbryo nic ce lls). He refers to th ese phenomena as 's patio- te rnpo ral dyna - (Arth ur T. Winfree , Bioloqical Clocks [Scientific Am eri can Library, New
mism s' and says York, 19871, p . 128)

Actu alizati on tak es place in three series: space , tim e and also conscious- 30. Population s of cric ke ts e ntrain each othe r to chirp coh erently. Po pulati on s
ness. Every spatio -te m po ral dynamism is accompanied by the e me rge nce of fireflies co me to cohe re nce in flashing . Yeast cells display co he re nce in
of an e1em ' ntary consci ousness which itself tra ces dir ecti on s, doubl es glyco lytic oscillati on. Population s of insects show co here nce in their
mo vem ents and migr ati ons, and it is born on the threshold o f the cycles of c1osion (e me rge nce from th e pupal to the adult form) . . .
co nde nsed sing ular itks of th bod y o r objec t whose co nscio u 'ness it is. Popul ati on s o f wom en living together may show phase e ntrainme nt of
( Dclc uzc, D!Dcrence and Repetiti on , p. 220) their ovulatio n cvc les. Populations of secreto ry ce lls, such as till' p ituit ar "

pancreas , and other organs, r el ease th eir hormones in cohe re nt pul ses. [Simpson] suggest ed that the primary co nco m itant of tach ytely is a shift
(Alan Gar finkel , 'T he Slim e Mold Dict yost elium as a Mod el of Self- in a population from on e major adaptive zo ne to another . . . Thus
Organization in Social Syste ms', in Self- Organizing Systems. The Emerg ence tachytely is possible during early radiation s of new gr oups expanding into
i!I Order, ed . F. Eugen e Yates [Plenum Press, New York, 19871, P: 200) vacant adaptive zon es. During th e rapid radiation all lineages ar e relatively
poorl y adapted and not mutually co mpe tit ive. Th e result .. . is the
\ 1. M. Co he n, qu oted in ibul. , P: 18 3. producti on of divers e lines that qui ckl y becom e ex ti nct as other lines
P. Il ow ard H. Pattee, ' Instabilities and Information in Biolog ical Self- co nso lida te their position s in the adaptive zo ne at th e expe nse of th eir
O rganizatio n' , in Sell- Org anizing Systems, p . 334. less-efficient co usins. (lbid., p . 44)
I \. St uart Kauffman, Th e Origins eif Order. Self- Organi zat ion and Selectio n in
Evolution (Ox ford Univ ersity Press, New York, 199 3), p.442. (My 4 L Angela E. Dougl as, Symbiotic Int eracti ons (O xford Uni versity Pr ess, New
e m phasis) Yo rk , 1994) , pp . 7-9 . This author em phasizes th e eme rge nce of novel
\.1. Rud olf A. Raff, The Sh ape eif L!Ie. Genes, Development and the Evolu tio n eif met abolic capabilities related directl y to th e flow of biomass in food chains .
Animal Form ( Univer sity of Chicago Pr ess, Chicago, 1996), p . 260. Unlike As she says, ' N utritional int era ctions ar e fundam ental to most symbioses,
termin al add itio n, which implies that ear ly stage s of th e devel opment of an beca use the metabolic capabilit ies most com m only acq uire d through sym bi-
e m bryo resem ble (or recapitulate) early stages of spe cies (or higher tax a) osis relate to nutrition ' (p. 56 , and see Chapte r 7 for an e valuat io n of the
d .ve lo pment , th e typ e of heterochrony in volv ed in parall el networks destroys eco logical impact of symbiosis).
any sim ilari ty between th e tw o. 44. We rner Schwe m rnlcr, 'Symb iogen esis in Insect s as a Mod el for Cell

IS . lbid.; p. 255 .
Differe ntiation, Morphogen esis, and Speciation', in Sy mbiosis as a Source eif
Evolutionary Inn ovation , cds . Lynn Mar guli s and Ren e Fester (M IT Pre ss,
Ill. IIJid . , P: 337.
amb ridge , 1991 ) , p . 195.
Dissociation app ears paradoxical as a cre ator of developmental novelty 4') . Deleuze places great em phasis on sym biosis as a mean s of becoming.
because nothing new is add ed. In the case of some het erochronic Coevolutio n , as in th e aparallel evolution o f th e wasp and th e orchid it
dissoc iat ions, such as neoten y in th e axolotl, a novel development al path way pollin at es, is a well -known exam ple . See Deleu ze and Guattari, A Th ousand
and life history have result ed from th e loss eif a featu re of th e ances tr al Platea us, p . 10. But more generally, th e very definition of a het erogen eous
system . (My em phasis) asse mblage as a 'rhizome ' has its origin in symbiosis. Though his introduct ory
exa m p le of rhizome is bulbs and tubers, that is, plants without an arborescent
n. Dc lcuze and Guattari , A Th ousand Plateaus, p . 48 .
root syste m , he immediately acknowledges that ' plants with roots or radicles
IS. W. H . Z ure k and W . C . Schieve, ' N ucle atio n Paradigm : Survival Thresholds
can be rhizomorphic in other respects alt ogether' (p. 6) . Thi s other resp ect
in Population Dynamics' , in Self-Organization and Dissipati ve Stru ctur es: Applica-
may be illustrated by the formation of th e so- called rhiz osphere, th e und er-
li ollS in the Physical and Social Sciences, eds . William C. Schieve and Peter M .
gro und food web co m posed of th e plant ro ot s of different species together
Allen ( University of T exa s Pr ess, Austin, 198 2) , pp . 20 3-22 .
with the div er se micro-organisms th at form sym biotic cou plings with th em
It). . tu art L. Pirnm, Th e Balan ce eif Natu re. Ecological Issues in the Conservation eif and inte rface th em to th e flow of und erground nutrients .
Species an d Communities. (University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1991 ),
46 . Throu ghout this book I have used his first formulati on, singularities and
C hapte rs 2 and 3.
affec ts , hut he uses several others . Som etimes he says that in th e virtual
·10. Kauffma n, The Origins ?f Order, p. 25 6 .
co nt in uum (plane of co nsistency) bodi es are charact erized by sp eeds and
·\ 1. Rud olf A. RafT and Thomas C. Kauffman ; Embryos, Genes, and Evolution
affects (ibid .• p. 260).
(Ind iana Univ ersit y Pr ess, Bloomington , 1991 ) , p. 40 .
Elsew here , he says the virtual co nt in uum (Aion) is 'the locus of incor-
42 . T he fastest evo lutionary rat es fall in th e last, and perhaps m ost int eresting poreal e vents and o f attributes which ar e distinct from qualities' (Dc leuzc ,
catego ry, tachytely .. . Ta chytel y resembles th e punctuation of Eld re dge Log ic eifSense, p . 165) . Here , ' events ' refers to singulariti s, whil e 'attributes'

and Go uld in that both rely o n e xce pt ional high rat es of e volutio n . are capacities to affect and be affect ed (to cut and to be cut, to us ' his
Howe ver whil e Eldrl· dge and Gould focused o n a speci ation mod el .. . ex am ple).

47. lbid., p. 255. Rapidit y and slowness, how ever , should not be conceive d spin ning o f the ro ulette, the throw of th e dice) leaving th e rest as a
as involving merely quantitative or exte nsive dilTer ences. Spee d is an mechanical development of th e conseque nces , at the level of the virtual we
int ensive property subject to critical threshold s, as in th e case of fluids must allow the rul es to change with every throw and inject chance at eve ry
which, below a critical spee d, have on e pattern of flow (laminar) but which , point, to yield trul y nonmetric (or nomadic) distribution s. In Deleu ze' s
beyond th e threshold , display a completel y dilTer ent pattern (turbulence) . words
See p. 371.
48 . lbid.; p. 258. Each throw em its singular points . . . But th e set of throws is includ ed in
49 . Th e term ' me chanisms of immanen ce ' does not , to my knowl edge, occ ur in the aleator y point [quasi-causal operato r ], a unique cast wh ich is endlessly
Deleuze , but he expresses himself in similar ways. displaced throughout the ser ies . . . Th ese thro ws are succe ssive in
relation to one another , yet simultaneo us in relati on to this point which
Many mo vem ents, with a fraai /e and delicate mechanism, int er sect: that by always changes th e rul e , or coo rdinates and ram ifies th e co rresponding
means of which bodi es, states of alTairs, and mixtures, conside red in th eir series as it insinuates chance ove r th e entire length of the series . . . Each
depth, succeed or fail in the production of ideal surfa ces [plane of thro w operates a distribution of singularities, a conste llatio n. But instead
consiste ncy ]; and conversely , that by means of wh ich th e eve nts of the of dividin g a closed space between fixed results which corre spond to
surfa ce ar e actuali zed in the pr esent of bodi es (in accordance with hypotheses [as in traditional treatments of probability], the mobile results
com plex rul es) by imprisoning their singularities within th e limit s of are distributed in th e op en space of th e unique and undi vided cast. Thi s
worlds, individuals and persons. (De leuze , Loaic ef Sense, P: 167 ; my is a nomadic and non -sedentary distribution . (Dele uze , Loa ic ef Sense,
em phasis) pp. 59- 60 ; em phasis in the original)
50. Co nnec tance is, in fact , controlled in food webs. Good evide nce suggests ') l. Dcleuze olTers an alternative model for thi s task of th e quasi-causal op er ator
that the number of connections in food web s is adju sted such that each which is based on the ide a of entrainme nt, or more speci fically, th e
species maintains roughly a constant number of connections to othe r phenome no n of frequ en cy entrainme nt. For tw o gr andfather pendulum
species, regardl ess of th e number of species in th e web . . . [as displayed clocks to entr ain , weak siq nals must be tran smit ted from one to the othe r to
in J data on more than 100 food webs - terrestrial, freshwater , and couple th em (in some cases , these are weak vibrations in the wo od en floor
marine. A number of properties - such as length of food chains; on whi ch th e clocks are placed) . If the frequ encies of the two clo cks are
connectance ; ratios of top, int ermediate and bottom spe cies ; and ratios close to each oth er they may resonate and th e two clocks will lock into a
of pr edators to prey - appear stable and scale in variant , both with respect single frequ ency. Th e resulting entrainme nt of the two oscillators represents
to the number s of species in th e web and with respect to th e aggr egation a much stronaer link aae (force d movem ent) between th e tw o oscillators than
of ' guild s' of similar species int o single ' tro phic species' or the aggrega- the wea k signals wh ich or iginally coupled th em . In Deleuzc 's words:
tion of similar species int o higher tax on om ic units. (KaulTman , The Oriai ns
C!f Order, p. 263) A syste m must be constitute d on th e basis of two or mor e series , each
series be ing defined by th e dilTerences between the terms whi ch compose
51. Ibid . , p. 2 19. it. If we suppose that the series co m municate und er the impulse of a
52. Alth ough the famous Gaussian, or bell-shaped, distribution does represent force of some kind [e.g. th e quasi -causal op erator), th en it is apparent
an important eme rgent property of widely dilTerent populations (that is, that th is communication relates differences to other differ en ces, constitu t-
ther e is some th ing recurrent or universal about it) it is nevertheless an ing differ ences betw een differ ences within the syste m . Th ese seco nd
equilibrium distribution, and th e populations exhibiting thi s bell shap~ ar e d gre' dilTeren ces play the role of ' dilTere nciato r' . . . Thi s state of alTairs
exa mples of distributio ns in extensity , fixed in th eir form and occ upymg a is adeq uately ex presse d by certa in physical conce pts: coup/ina between
metric, divisible space (much as sede ntary cultures do). At th e virt ual level , hct erogen eous syste ms, fro m whi h is derived an internal resonance within
we mu st go beyond th e e distribution s, we mu st make a dilTerent use ef the syste m, and fro m which in turn is deri ved a fo rced morcmcnr , the
hancc, Unlik e traditi on al games of chance (ro ulette, di c) in which fixed am plitude of which exceeds that of th e basic scric them selves. (Del uze ,
rules lor rc th aleatory facto r to be r rained only at ce rtain points (the D!ffercn e and Repcu t ion, p. 11 7)

Del eu ze uses this ' re sonance ' model for th e acti on of th e quasi-causal ton ' s law s of motion , for exam ple , may be expressed in three ways wh ich
ope rator in other places. For exam ple, are, mathe matica lly, co m pletely different : the original force form, the field
form, and the var iational form . Th ese arc taken to express one and the same
Conce pts [multipliciti es], which have onl y co nsiste ncy or int en sive ord i-
law because they have th e same mathematical co nse <jue nces and thu s we
nates o utside of any coordinates , freely ente r int o r elati on ships of
canno t tell them apart ex pe rime ntally. But th e existe nce of a variet y of
nond iscursi ve resonan ce . . . Concepts ar e ce nte rs of vibrations, each in
forms docs elimi nate th e temptation to adopt a Gr eek axioma tic ap pro ach,
itself and e veryo ne in relati on to all others . Thi s is wh y th ey all resonate
forc ing physicists to adopt, as Feynman puts it, a Babylonian approach. See
rather than cohere or cor res po nd to each other. (D ele uze and Guattari ,
What is Philosophyi; p . 23; my emphasis)
Richar d Fe ynman, The Character '?!.
Physical Law (MIT Pr ess, Cambridge,
1995), pp . 50-3 .
Clearly , if we int erpreted th e term 'concept' as ' semant ic conte nt of a Per haps th e o nly clear state me nt o ne can get from physicists as to what
term ' (or in any other lingui sti c way) thi s paragraph would be come funda me nta l laws ar e suppose d to be co mes from the appli cation of gro up
me aning less. Th e term ' inte nsive ordinates' must be int erpreted in terms of theory to the law s th em selves , For exam ple , th e well -kn own invariance of
posit ive ordinal distances (which distinguishes it from any cardinal numerical c wto n' s laws under translation s in space and time impli es that
coo rd inate) and not as referring to on e of th e member s of th e co uple
give n the same esse ntial initial co nd itions , th e result will be th e sam e no
' ord inates' and ' abscissas' whi ch ar e sim ply th e nam es of two coo rdinates.
matter wh en and wh ere we re alize th ese. Th is principle can be formulat ed
54 . De le uze , Loaic if Sense,
p. 121. (My emphasis) Thi s is about th e specification
, . . as the state me nt that th e absolute po sition and th e absolute tim e ar e
of th e conditions of a problem , but problem s are , in Deleuzes onto logy ,
neve r esse ntial initi al cond itions . . . If th e univ erse turned o ut to be
no thing but virtual multiplicities. I discu ss thi s r elationship in Ch apt er 4 .
grossly inhom ogenous, th e laws of nature in th e fringes of th e univ erse
55 . itewar t and Golubitsky, Fea1ul SymmetIJ', pp. 14-16.
may be quite different from th ose we are studying .. . Th e po stulate of
56 . Lawre nce Sklar, Space, Tim e, and Spa ce-Time (University of California Pr ess,
invariance with resp ect of displa cem ent in space and time disregards this
B erkcley, 1977) , pp. 25 1- 86.
possi bility, and its appli cati on on the cos mological scale virtually presupposes
57. T he reason why it is hard to find a phy sicist who would think of laws as
" homoqeneo us and sta tionary uni verse. (W igne r , ln varian ce in Phy sical Theory ,
en ti ties in need of ontological analysis is that mo st of th em have an
p . 4; my e m phasis)
instrumentalist or o pe ratio nalist attitude toward th eoreti cal entities. Ever
since Ne wto n refus ed to give me chani sm s to explain th e action of gravity .lcarly, th is is a more sophisticate d stance than naive esse nt ialism , since
and settle d on describing how plan ets move, as oppose d to explaining lYhy 1 his post ulate of ln variance (w hich ma y imply that basic laws ar e simul-
th ey do so, man y physicist s have accepted a non-realist approach to laws, as t,' Ilt'ollsly valid e very whe re , and have been so always) can , in turn, be treated
we ll as unobservable entities in gen eral. Thus, ex pe ri me ntal laws (like .1' .111 ap proxi rnate hyp oth esis, I r eturn to the <juestion of laws in Chapter 4.

Boylc' s law ) are defined as sym bolic representations of laboratory regularities

or routines '?f experience, whil e fundam ental laws become basic hyp otheses ,S "or if it is a qu estion of kn owing, . . ' why water change s its state of
0 0
fro m w hich on e can derive experimental laws, and the validity of which is qu" lity at 0 ce ntigrade', the <juestion is po orl y stated insofar as 0 is
not sett led em pirically but through th e validity of th eir co nse <j ue nce s. In cOllside reel as an ordinary point in th e thermomet er. But if it is
ncither case is th e ontological status of the laws th emselv es an issue . See ('ollsider xi, Oil the co ntra ry, as a singular point, it is inseparable from
Lindsay and Margenau , Foundations if Physics, pp . 14-16 (for expe rime nta l tlu- event occurring at th at point, always being zero in relati on to its
law s) and pp . 22-6 (for fundam ental principles) . re.r lization on th e line of ord inary points, always Jorthcomina and already
Wh ile phil osophers can take thi s stance and argue that, if all speci fic /'" t . (Dc leuzc , Loaic if Sense, P: 80; my em phasis)
ex pe ri me nta l laws may be deri ved from a set of fundam ental ones, th en th e
li lt" (·.·.K! same formulation recurs thro ugho ut Dcleu zc ' s work :
latt e r may be see n as a set of axioms and treat ed as ete rn al truths, as in
Euclid's ax iomatic tr eatment of geo me try . But as th e physicist Rich ard ion : Ihe inr h-Iin iu- tim e of the eve nt, the floatin g line th at knows onl y
I·c 'nman has arg ued, scie ntists can no t do thi s because th ey are awa re that , Iw,-ds and co nti n ua lly di vides wh ich tran spires int o a n alrea dy -t here
unlike esse nces, fund am ental laws may have seve ra l diff e r .nt forms. New- 11..11 is .11 the sallie time no t - yc-t-h cre , a sim ultaneous too -Ian- and too -

early, a something that is both go ing to happen and has just happen ed . 68. Deleuze, Loa ic if Sense, p. 166.
(Deleuze and Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus, p . 262) 69 . Ian Stewart, Does God Play Dice? The Math ematics if Chaos (Basil Blackw ell ,
Oxford, 1989), pp. 114- 21.
T he meanwhile, th e eve nt, is always a de ad tim e; it is th er e wh ere 70 . Del euze and Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus, p. 25 1. (Em phasis in th e
nothing tak es pla ce , an infinite awaiting that is alr ead y infinitely past , o rigina l)
aw ait ing and reserv e. (Dele uze and Guattari, What is Philosophy ?, p . 158) 7 1. lbid. , p. 9. Th e term 'line of flight' , refe rring to th e qua si-causal ope rato r,
is defined else w he re (I" 488) as a fractal line. Pr ecisely becaus e th e ope rator
"'J, Dclcuzc, D!lJerence and Repetition , p . 88. (My em pha is)
and the plane it co nstr ucts mu st cut and pr eserv e N- d ime nsions for eve ry
Th e joint . . . is what ensures th e subo rdina tio n of time to th ose pr op erl y multiplicity, Del eu ze co nce ives of it as necessaril y having a fract al number
car dina l points through which pass th e peri od ic mo vements wh ich it of di me nsio ns, a number wh ich is not a wh ol e number but a fracti on. For
measures [e .g . th e nest ed set of cyclic pr esents] . . . By co ntras t, tim e e xam ple , a flat piece of pap er is a two-dimen sional entity , but one fold ed
out of joint means dem ented tim e . . . liberated from its overly sim ple into a ball has a dimen sion between tw o and three , that is, it is a fractal
circular figure, freed from th e e vents that mad e up its co nte nt ... in dim ens ion. 0 do es a o ne- dime nsional string so fold ed that it begins to fill a
sho rt , time presenting itself as an e mpty and pure form . Time itself plane. T he op erator itself would not be a transcendent agen cy ope rating in
unfold s . . . inst ead of things unfolding within it . . . It ceases to be N+ I d imens ion s but on the co ntrary , it would work on N-I dimensi ons (a
cardinal and becomes ordinal, a pure order of tim e . line for m ing a plan e , or an aleatory poine cir culating through one- d ime nsio nal
se ries) . O n th e fractal dim en sionality of the plan e, see also Del euze and
1>0. I have said before that each cyclic present is a contrac tion of past and future
iua ttari, What is Pbilosophyi; pp. 36 - 8.
instants at a given temporal scale . Hen ce it is a veritable ' synthes is' of
7) . I c1cuz e uses th e term 'counte r-act ualization ' for th e ex traction of ideal
present time, a syn thesis whi ch Del eu ze calls ' passive ' because it invol ves no
events from actua l ones in Del eu ze, Loqic if Sense, pp. 150 - 2. Il l' does not
activity .ither by th e world or by th e subject.
II S l ' th e term ' pre-actualizat ion' hut thi s term do es capture th e meaning of

Passive synthesis or co ntractio n is esse ntially asymmetrical: it goe s from till' oth er task th e quasi -cau se mu st perform .
th e past to th e future in th e pr esent, thus from th e particular to th e
In gene ral, as we have see n, a singularity may be gra sped in tw o ways: in
general, th er eby imparting direction to th e arrow of time . (D eleuz e,
its existence and distribution [in th e vect or field), but also in its nature,
D!fJcrence and Repetit ion, p. 71)
ill co nform ity with which it exte nds and spre ads itself out in a det ermined
(,1 , T he infinit ely divisibl e event is always both at once. [future and past , acti ve direction ove r a line of ord inary points. This second asp ect alr ead y
and passive ] It is ete rn ally that which has just happ en ed and that which is represents a certa in stabilizatio n and a bea inn ina if th e actualizati on if
abou t to happ en, but never that whi ch is happen ing .. . Th e eve nt , being in,qu/ariti cs. ( Ibid., p. 109; m y e m phasis)
itself im passive, allo ws th e act ive and the passive to be int erchan ged more
71 . . . th insta nt extracts sing ular points twice project ed - once into the
easi ly, since it is neith er the one nor th e other, but rather their co m mon
future and o nce int o the past - forming by thi s double equation the
res ult. (De lcuzc, Loaic if Sense, p. 8)
co nst itutive cleme nts of the pure e vent (in the manner of a pod which
1> 2. Dclcuzc, Loqic if Sense, PI" 94 -5. r .lcases its spo res). (Ibid. , p . 166 )
(d . Ihid . , p. 147.
64 . lbid., p. 165. /., [W Ill'1I ,1 multiplicit y I is graspe d in its relation to th e qua si-cause which
65 . Ibid . , p. 147. prod uces it and di stributes it at th e sur face , it inherits, participates in,
h h. Ralph II . Abraham, ' Dynam ics and el f-O rganizatio n ', in Se!f-Oraanizina ,lIId even e nve lops and possesses th e force of thi s ideational cause. W e
'stems. Th Emerqence if Order, ed. F. Euge ne Yat es (Plen um Press, Ne w h.ivc s e n that th is [qua si-jcau sc is nothing outside its effect, that it haunts
Yo rk , 1987) , p . 606. lhi, llll'( t , and that it maint ains with the effect an immanent relati on
(,7 . 0 11 q uesti on s of sim plicity and famili arity in th e foundat ion s of physics, sec whic h tu rn s th, product, the mom ent thai it is produced , int o sonl'thing
U nds . and Margellau , Foundations if Phys ics, p . 18. prod urtivr-. (De h-uzc , 1.0lI'c of Sense, p. 95)

T his extract is about 'se nse' not 'a multiplicit y' but the two terms are
whic h exp lains why dr opl et s of water spon taneo usly acquire a round shape).
closely rel ated .
See Neil Kensingt on Adam, The Physics and Chemistry '?! Suifaces (Do ver, New
75. Once com munication bet ween het er ogeneou s series is estab lished , all Yor k, 1968), pp . 1-7.
sorts of consequences follow within the syste m. Some thing passes Even at equilibr ium, the surfaces of ind ividu ated bodies are capable of
betw een th e bor der s, events explode, phenom en a lIash, like thunder and spo ntaneo usly giving r ise to asymmetr ical distribution s of eve nts, a distribu-
lightning ... what is this agent, this for ce whi ch ensures co mmunicat ion? tio n whic h is the signature of the quasi-causal operator. T his is part icularly
T hunderbo lts explode bet ween differen t int en sities, but th ey are pr eced ed dear in the case of electrical ph enomen a occ ur ring at the surface of contact
by an invisible, imp er ceptible , dark precursor, which determines th eir path between differ ent phases of matt er .
in advance but in reverse , as though intagliated. (De leuzc, D!lJerence and When two conducti ng phases are in contact, a differ ence of electrica l
Repetiti on , pp . 118-1 9; emphasis in the or iginal) potential is gene rally esta blished between them . Th e establishme nt of thi s
' phase boundary pot ential' is int imately associate d with the formati on of
76. Dc leuze does not spea k of nonlin ear , no nequilibri um areas of th e world , but
an 'e lectrical doubl e layer', at the surface, i.e . an unsymmetrical distribution
he does distin guish specia l pro cesses (such as th e spo ntaneo us formation of
metas ta ble surfaces) fro m those character izing full equilibr ium structures .
f!I electrically charBed particles near the phase boundary, with an exces s of
posit ive charges tow ard s the phase which assum es a positive pot enti al and
O nly the former have the pow er to give rise to the virt ual.
of negative charges toward s the ph ase assuming negat ive pot enti al.
When we say that bodi es and th eir mixtures pro du ce [th e virtual ], it is (p. 300; my emp hasis)
not by virtue of an ind ividuati on whi ch would pr esuppose it. Individua-
Here is Dele uze 's versio n of th e same ideas,
tion in bodi es, th e measur e in their mixtures . . . pr esupposes . . . the
pre -indi vidual and imp er sona l neutral field within whi ch it unfold s. It is Everything happ ens at th e surface in a crystal whi ch develop s only on th e
therefore in a differ ent way that [the virtual) is pr oduced by bodies. Th e edges. Undoubtedly, an orga nism is not develop ed in th e same mann er
questio n is now about bodi es taken in their undiffer enti ated depth and in . . . But me mbranes arc no less important, for they carry potent ials and
their measureless pulsation . Thi s depth acts in an origi nal way, by means reBcncrate polarities . Th ey place int ernal and ex te rna l spaces int o contact
1!.f its power to orBanize suifaces and to envelop itsclf with in sUlfaces. (De leuze, without rega rd to distance . Th e intern al and th e exte rna l, depth and
LOBic 1!.f Sense, p. 124; emphasis in th e or iginal) height, have biological significance only through th is topoloqical surface '?!
contact . Thus, even biologically it is necessary to und er stand that ' the
I have repl aced refer en ces to 'se nse' in thi s ext ract by ' the vir tual'. (The
deepest is the skin'. Th e skin has at its disposal a vita l and properl y
term 'se nse' is closely related to 'v irtual mul tipli city' , but refer s to th e
superficial potential ene rgy . And just as [virtual) eve nts do not occ upy
re lation between virtuality and language, a relat ion I do not ex plore at all in the surface hut rather fre quent it, superficia l ener8Y is not local ized at the
this book.) T he capacity of matt er to form sur faces, eve n surfaces at .<U~face but rather bound to its formation and riformation . (De leuze, LOBie '?!
equilibri um, constitu tes th e m ost primitive for m of self-organizat ion. Th e Sense, p. J 03; my em phasis)
surfaces of liqu id or solid bodies are , ind eed , specia l or singu lar zones of
those bodies, very differ ent fro m th e ord inary bulk mat eri al th at th ey 77. The term 'line of flight' is used in two ways, one to refer to relati ve , th e
enve lop . T he bul k of a liqu id bod y, a lake or ocean , for instance , consists of other to absol ute movements towards th e virtual. A relative line of flight
a populatio n o f mo lecules on . wh ich forces of attraction are exer te d in all refers to act ual assemb lages, like th ose I described above when discussing
directions. At th e surface of this body, on the othe r hand , there ex ists a emhryogenesis and ecosys tems, defined by affects and relations of speed and
changing sub-population on wh ich forces are exe rted inw ard but not 510 \\'n ss.
ou twa rd. This gives those surface molecul es special prop ert ies not displayed
'omparntive rates of flow in these lines prod uce phe nomena of re lative
b th u bul k. In parti cular , they will possess a certa in amount of free energy
slowness or viscosity, or on the co ntrary, of acceleration and ru pture .
(· ncrgy available for do ing wo rk) wh ich acco unts for the surface's spon-
t\1I this, lines and measurable spee ds, consti tute an assem blage. (I cleuzc
t,lIWOUS tendency to contract or minim ize its ex te nsion (a 's ur face ten sion '
.uul Guattari , " Thousand Plateaus, p. 4)

I said that in these assemblages relative accelerations (neo teny, symbiosis) 4 VIRTUALITY AND THE LAWS OF PHYSICS
allow an escape from rigid morphologies, th e term 'relative line of flight '
1. T he rejecti on of totalities and th e definition of social ontology as co m posed
refe rring to th ese ph enomena, among others. An absolute line of flight is a
en tirely of individuals op erating at differ ent scales need s to be defended in
furth er acce ler atio n or boosting of th ese relative escapes whi ch allows th em
detail. I am aware that th e way I present it here is rough and hardly
to leave th e extensiv e and intensive altogeth er.
co m pelling. Moreover, a co nvincing case for thi s point of view needs of
Th ese relative movements should not be confused with th e possibility of lic e ssity to have a historical dim ension, that is, it need s to give the details
. .. an absolute line of flight ... The form er are stratic or int erstratic [that of .pccific individuation processes , for institutions, cities and nation states. I
is, conce r ned with exte nsities or int ensities], wh ereas th e latter conce rn have applied this ontology in th e conte xt of a historical anal ysis of W est ern
the plane of consistency .. . There is no doubt that mad particles leave history in Manuel DeLanda, A Thousand Years r1
Nonlinear History (Zone
minimal trace of their passage through th e strata as they accel erate, escaping Books, Ne w York 1997) .
spatio-te m po ral and even exi stential coo rdinate s as th ey tend towards .. lhc rc are man y approaches to th e question of the disunity of scie nce. Some
th e state of unformed matter of th e plan e of consistency . (pp . 55-66) p.rrticularly useful ar e John Dupree , The Disorder r1
Thinp s. iHetaphysical
l-outulutions r1
c1' th e Disuni ty Science (Harvard University Pr ess , Cambridge,
And it is th ese absolute lines that cr eat e the heterogeneous virtual
199 5); Jerry Fod or, 'Spe cial Scien ces, or Th e Disunity of Science as a
contin uum . 'Moreov er, th e plan e of co nsistenc y does not preexist . . . th e
\ orking Hypothesis' , in The Philosophy c1' Science, eds. Richard Boyd, Philip
lines of flight that draw it and cause it rise t o th e surface , th e becomings
(;. Ispl·r and J. D. Trout (MIT Press, Cam bridge , 199 3); Peter Galison,
th at co m pose it' (p . 270) .
' In t ro d ucti on : Th e Context of Disunity ', in The Disunity of Science, eds. Pet er
n. Philosophy is a const ructi vism , but constructivism has two qualitatively ( ;.llisun and Da vid J . Stump (Stanford Univ ersity Pr ess, Stanford, 1996);
different co m plementary aspects : th e cre ation of concepts and th e laying Vndrcw Pickering, The Alanale if Practice. Time, AaenC)', and Science (Univers ity
o ut of a plan e ... Concepts ar e absolute surfaces or volumes, formless o t Chicago Pr ess, Chicago , 1995) .
and fragm entary, wh ereas th e plan e is th e formless, unlimited absolute, lronically, some co nte m porary socio logists of scien ce who ar e highly critical
neither sur face nor volume but alwa ys fractal ... Concepts ar e events 01 the ph ilosophers' s approach mak e th e mi stake thinking that a nov el
hut the plane is the horizon of events , the reservoir or reserve of purely Pl'ro,ich to the study of scien ce demands th e elim ination of causal relations.
conceptual events .. . (Deleuze and Guattari, What is Philosophy ?, p . 36) ' I' I I. M. Co llins , Chanai na Order (U niversity of Chicago Press, Chicago,

I'}')l), pp . 6-8 .
Here th e term 'conce pt' do es not refer to ' concepts of the understanding', It is hard to tell wh ether Collins trunks caus es do not exist , thus siding
th at is, to semantic or representational entitie s, but to virtual multiplicities : \ IIh l lu m c, o r wh ether he thinks we should susp end beli ef in them as a
'Every co nce pt . . . is a multiplicity although not every multiplicity is I II ' lhodological man oeu ver to highlight th e 'social ' aspects of scientific fields.
co nce pt ual' (p. 15). Without this definition referen ce to conc epts as surfaces I II latter interpretation would avoid my criticism (that he is siding with the
or volumes (tha t is, as manifolds) would be meaningless. That virtual
o ld" ' 1 and most co nse rvative phil osophy of science ) but it would still be
mult ipliciti es cannot be conceived as int elle ctual con cepts is clear from the
" Jl" 11 to criticism in a differ ent way : bringing 'society' as a totality int o the
follow ing ex tract, wh ere th e term ' Idea ' gives a better rendering of what
'concept' mean s:
I \II 11.ll'king , Represeminq and Interven inq (Cambridge Univ ersity Pr ess, Cam -
If the Idea e lim inates variability, thi s is in favour of what mu st be called 11/1.1 'I ' , 199 2) , P: 46. (My em phasis) In conte m porary philosophy th e re vival
var iety [a syno nym of manifold I or multiplicity . The Idea as co ncre te II I 1 ,111. •Ility as a productiv e or ge ne tic relationship, one to be studied
univ ersal stands o pposed to co nce pts of the und erstanding. (Deleuze , II1Jlll'ic,d ly not mer ely co nce ptually, was foreshad ow ed by the philosopher
[)!JJcrence and Repetiti on, p. 17 3) 1.11 III Hungl' in 1959 , altho ugh the degr ee to whi ch he has influen ced
l UI n -ut aut ho rs is hard to e valuate . His key hook in thi s r 'spe t is Causality
7lJ. Dclcu zc and Guatta ri, What is Philosophy] , p . 126 . "hi lIoJefTl S k nce (Dover, Ne w York. 1979). Her I adopt man y of Bunge ' s
HO . Ikl cu zl·. Lon ic r1 Sense, p . 148. II \\ 1111 produ ct ivity and depart onl y in the terminology. Il l' uses the term

'd et ermination' for th e gen eral relation (including linear, nonlinear and two ex amples ar e not just special cases of a ge ne ral relationship . One
statistical causality) reserving th e term ' causality' for lin ear causality, so as ma nages to reduce th e pendulum , a two -dimensional system , to th e on e-
not to depart from tradition. I myself pr efer to spe ak of causal relations in dim en sional case o nly by mean s of a judicious approximation that restricts
ge ne ral, taking th e lin ear case as an untypical case , since th e point of my the pendulum to sm all angl es of swing . In particular, th e ste p from th e
discussion is to break with tradition in th ese matters. original application of Newton 's laws to the two -dimensi onal pendulum
5. Th e entire group of new phil osophers that have tak en th e ' causal turn ' ar e to th e one- d imensional version is not a matter of purely mathematical,
unanimous in their rej ection of th e deductive-nomological model of expla- or logical, deduction . •Approximation' is a valid rul e of deduction only in
nation (as w ell as related models which replace deduction by induction, and physicists ' jokes about mathematicians. (ibid ., 1'.71; sec also PI" 76-80)
exceptionless laws by statistical laws ) for its emphasis on logic o-linguistic
" Ily.1 Prigogin e , From Beino to Becoming (W. H. Freeman . New York, 1980),
form at the expense of causal -productive processes. See Bunge, Causality and
p. 19.
Modern Science, PI" 290 -1; Nan cy Cartwright , How th e Laws rf Physics Lie
" ( ',lTlwright, How th e Laws rf Pby sics Lie, PI" 54-5 .
(C lare ndon Press, Oxford, 1983), PI'. 132- 3; W esley C. Salmon, Scientific
II I 'This fits better with my picture of a nature best described by a vast array
Explanation and the Causal Structure i!f the World (Pri nce to n University Pre ss,
,.1 phenomeno log ical [or causal] laws tailored to spe cific situations, than with
Prin ceton , 1984), PI" 26 -32; Dupree, The Disorder eif Thinas, Pl' 178- 9.
"'"' govern ed in an orderl y way from first principles, ' (ibid., p. 66).
Deleuze som etimes echoe s th e philosophical mis characterization repres-
On Gie re's view see Giere , Explain ing Science, p . 85, and PI" 90 -1 on
ented by th e nomological -deductive model wh en he asserts that the object
I", d ews on Car twri ght's work.
of science is ' funct ions that are pr esented as propositions in discursive
( ,,'twright, How th e Laws eif Physics Lie, p. 107.
syste ms' (Del euze and Guattari, What is Philosophyi , p. 118).
I ),borah G. Mayo, Error and th e Growth eif Experimental Knowledge (University
Alth ough in his early work Deleuze is very car eful to differentiate
," Chicago Pr ess, Chicago, 1996), p. 128.
between mathematical functions which are close to lingui sti c statem ents
(" twright, How th e Laws eif Physics Lie, PI" 96 -7.
(such as algebraic functions) from those that ar e not (d iffere ntial functions),
"'JI,i s Kline, Mathematics and th e Physical World (Do ver , New York , 1981),
in his last work where the differences between science and philosophy ar e
I' 1-1 0 . (M y emphasis)
most dramatically stated, he lapses into a less car eful state me nt of th e
\I, ,,ri s Kline, Ala thematical Thought from Ancient to Modern Times. Vol. 2
qu estion . Else w here (I" 128) he adds that '[TJhe fact that scien ce is
,I I li,rd l.l niversity Pr ess, New York, 1972), p . 580 . More gen erall y, on
d iscursive in no way means that it is deductive ', but gives as an exam ple of
II" lrist orv of variational techniques see Chapters 24 and 30.
non -deductiv e activity th e use of co m pute rs in th e study of nonlinear
functions. I believe th e non -deductive aspe ct needs to be stressed mu ch l ;jvell appro priate variational principles each with an associated multiple
mo re and exte nde d to modelling pra ctices much old er than com pute r -based IIlk >ral and scalar int egrand, we can produce all th e important partial
ex pe rime ntation . 1 have alread y arg ued that Delcuze' s main point, th e old ('rent ial equations in physics: the wave equation, th e diffu sion
in.H!fficiency '?I J im ctions to captu re th e virtu al , can be mad e without su bo rd inat- l' I".llio n, Po isson's eq uat ion , Shrodingcr 's equation, and each of Max -
ing m ath ematical models to propositions, that is, by showing that functi on s \\'(, 11'S equat ions . . . Such thinking bears fruit. General relativity and
define indi vidu ation processes in such a wa y as to st res s th e direction ' 1",lI1l UI11 mechan ics both o riginate d from variational principles . (Don . S.
tow ard s th e actual. 1'1II01lS , Peifecl Form. Variat ional Principles, Meth ods and Applications in
6 . Ron ald N . Giere, Explain ino Science. A Coq nitive Approach (University of II /IIl'lIIary Php ics [Princeton Uni ver sity Pr ess, Princeton , 1997J, p. 11 I)
'hicago Pr ess, Chicago , 1988), 1'.82. (My em phasis)
7. ~o m m e n t i ng o n a particul ar case of deri vation, th at of th e mod el of th e I ,I, PI" 17 27. In a passage where Deleuze contrasts the propositional
II" ...HI. 10 the probl em atic o ne (o r what amo unts to the same thin g, an
sim ple pendulum in one dim ension from th e two -dim ensional case, Giere
1'1" ".J( h to th ou gh t in terms of its cond itions as o ppose d to its producti ve
,". ,,) . II(' co m pares l he Kanti an co nce ption of the co n cpt of •shortes t
Th e mo ve from th e mass-on -a-spring exam ple to the Sim ple pendulum It 11I1l' ' (.IS a representational sche ma) to the co nce ption made po ssihle hy
see ms lo me a clear case of what Kuhn called ' d irect mod elin g '. T he III I ,til II Ills of vari.u io us. Th e term 's ho rtes t ', as he S.l)'S,

may be under stood in tw o ways: from the point of view of conditioning, be rather than that it is and why it is (hence th e fre quency in Eucl id of
as a sche ma of the imagination which det ermines space in acco rdance negative, indirect and [redu ctio ad absurdum I arguments .. .). No r do
with the conce pt (the straight line defined as that wh ich in all part s may the essen tia l aspects of th e situatio n change with the shift to an algebr aic
be supe rimpose d upo n itsel f) - in this case th e difference rem ains and analytic point of view. Probl em s are now traced fro m algebraic
ex ternal, incarn ated in a rul e of construction . . . Alte rna tively, fro m th e equations . . . How ever just as in geo me try we imagine the probl em
ge netic point of view, the sho rtest may be under stood as an Idea solved, so in algeb ra we ope rat e upon unknown quanti ties as if they wer e
[multiplicity] which . . . int eri ori zes the differ en ce between straight and known: th is is how we pursue th e hard work of redu cing pr obl em s to the
curved, and expresses this int ernal differ en ce in th e form of a reciprocal form of proposition s capable of sen-ing as cases of solution. W e see thi s
det ermination [differ ential relati on s] and in th e minimal condi ti ons C!f an clearly in Descartes. T he Cartesian meth od (the search for th e clear and
inteqral , (De leuze , D!ffer ence and Repet ition , p. 174) distinct) is a meth od for so lving suppose dly given probl em s, not a meth od
of inventi on appropriate to th e const itution of problem s or th e und erstand-
J8. Leo nard Euler, quot ed in Ste phen P. Tim oshenko, Hi story c1 St renqtb C!f
ing of questions. (De leuze , Difference and Repetuion, p. 160.)
Materials (Dover , New York , 1983), p . 31. (My em phasis)
Delcuzc, D!fference and Repetition, p. 189.
19 . Far from being conce rne d with so lutions, truth and falseho od primarily
' For Probl em s-Ideas are by nature un con sciou s: they arc extra-propositional
alTect problems. A solution alwa ys has the truth it deserv es according to
aru! sub-representati ve , and do not resembl e the propositions which represent
the probl em to which it is a response , and a problem always has th e
the affirma tions to which th ey give rise' (I" 267; my emphasis).
solution it deserves in pr oportion to its own truth and falsit y - in other
I,HI I lacking, Bepresent lnq and ln terveninp , p. 41. (Em phasis in th e original) In
word s, in pr oportion to its sense. (De leuze, D!fference and Repetiti on,
.ldcl ition to igno ring causes and downplaying explanations, positi vist philo -
p. 159) ophy ho lds a ' verificationist ' th eory of meanin g (if the truth of a state me nt
In what follow s I will not speak of ' true pr obl em s' but of 'correct ' or ,.II H1ot he tes te d the state me nt is meaningless) , a belief that verification
111\ olves comparison with raw data (data fro m the senses) and a disbelief in
'well-pose d pr obl em s' but thi s constitutes, 1 believe , only a harml ess
terminological departure from Deleuze. theore tical (or uno bserva ble) ent ities. Hacking later on also expresses some
20. Kline , Mat hematics and th e Physical World , p. 441 . Within this traditi on , the do ubts about th e ro le of ex planations (PI" 52- 5) but this is, I believe ,
limited to thei r ro le as argume nts for realism . Hacking is well known for his
unifying power of Hamilton 's principle was alm ost inevitabl y inte rpre te d as
, h,lI11pioning of causal inte rve ntio ns in ex pe rime ntal reality as crite ria for
consisting in the gene rality of its truth , and axiomatic ver sion s of classical
I •• rlism , or for belief in unobser vable entities .
mechanics were pr odu ced in th e nin et eenth century (by Heinrich Hertz, for
\ II I(H'US on W hv qu estion s is not meant to link th ese matter s to a specific
example) to marry th e unifying pow er of variati onal principles with th e
'.\ ut.ut i c: form, and is Simply a matter of case of ex positio n . Clearly, such
concept of general truth . See Rob ert B. Lindsay and Henry Margenau ,
' 1" 1"\1 iOlls may be paraphrased in other ways : the requ est for a causal
Foundations tifPhy sics (O x Bow Press, Woodbridge , 198 I), pp. 118- 20.
I ' 1'1,11 1,11 ion ex presse d by the question ' W hy did event X occ ur?' may be
In a Deleuzian onto logy eliminating essentialism from physics involves
' 1'I"l"\sed hy ' Ho w was eve nt X produced ?' or some th ing like that. Th ough
re placing clear and distinct truths (axioms and theorem s) by pr obl em s, that
1 1,, 1" 11"11' doe s not refer to Why qu estions he does differentiate between
is, replacing dedu ctively connec te d linguistic propositions in the Euclidea n
'I" ' ,l illllS with simple propositions as answer s (which subordinate th e
geo me try mould by problem s defined by singu larities (events) and affects.
'I" ' ,I jllil to a search for essences) from those mor e prop erly problematic .
Greek geo me try has a gene ral tend en cy on th e one hand to limit problem s
IC,tioll,dism want ed to tie th e fate of Ideas [multiplicities] to abst ract and
to the benefit of th eor em s, on the othe r to subor dinate problem s to
.1",111 ,'ssen c:es; and to the ex te nt th at the probl em atic form o f Ideas was
theor ems th em selves. Th e reason is that th eorem s see m to ex press and
1< ·' ·Il~lIi"led. it eve n want ed that form tied to the question of esse nces -
d rv .lop the pr op rt ies of simple essences whereas probl em s co n ern only
11\ orlu-r words , to th e ' W hat is X?' ... It should be noticed how few
el'ents and Cf./ fections . . . As a result , how ever , th e Beneti c point of view is
I'flllm0l'lH"rs have placed their tru st in the qu est ion ' \ hat is X?' in or de r
ford bly rdegatc d to an inferio r rank : pro of is given that so me thing cannot til },.I\"I' 1<i" ,ls. ('..rtainly not risto t lc, O nce till" diah-ct ir Itl ll' .irt of

posi ng pro blem s] brew s up its matter instead of being applied to the key notion is th at of 'a ttractor' no t the particular chao tic case . T hat is,
propaedeutic ends , th e qu est ion s ' How mu ch ' , 'How' , ' In what cases ' th e key is quasi-causality itself not anyone of its particular forms .
and 'Who ' abo und . . . T hese qu estion s are th ose of th e accid en t , th e .~ 2 .
De leuze , Differ ence and Repetition , p . 212.
event , the m ult iplicit y. (Dc leuze, D!fference and Repetition , p . 188) n. lbid. , p. 211.
\4 . Dele uze views the so lving of a virtua l pr oblem by ind ividuation processes as
A more important o miss ion in my d iscussio n is th at it does not inclu de
an 'explanation ' or rather , an 'explication" , Th is term is used to refer to the
Dclcuz c's d istinction be tween problem s and qu estion s. Problem s are th e
cancelling out of int en sive differences d uring a pr ocess of indivi d uation, the
episte mo log ical cou nterpar t to vir tua l multiplicit ies, while qu esti ons (w hich
hid ing of int ensit y under the extensities and qua lities it gives rise to .
invo lve an im pe rative, a request or dem and for an ex p lanatio n, for exam ple)
are th e so urces of probl em s or the co unte rpart of th e quasi-causal operator. It is not surprising th at , strictly speaking, difference sho uld be ' inexplic-
Th er e ar e also episte mo logica l co unte r parts to the inte nsive and th e act ual, able'. Difference is ex plicated, but in syste ms in which it tends to be
canceled ; this means on ly th at d ifferen ce is essentially im plicated, that its
W e d ist ingu ished four inst ances; imperati ve o r onto logica l q uestio ns;
being is impli cation .. . Int ensity is develo pe d and ex plicated by means
dia lectica l pr ob lem s or th e th em es that e me rge fro m them; sym bo lic
of an ex tension whi ch relat es it to th e ex te nsity in which it appears
fields of so lvability in which th ese problem s are ' scientifically' ex pressed
outside itse lf and hidden ben eath qua lity . (De leuze , D!fJerence and Repe-
in acco rdance to th eir co nd itions; th e so lutions gi ven in th ese field s w he n
tition, p. 228)
th e probl em s are inc arna ted in the actuality of cases. (I' . 200)
Some scien tists to day (C hr is Langto n, for instance) are begi nn ing to view
24. Alan Garfinkel , Forms if Explanation (Yale Uni versity Pr ess, New Haven,
so me processes of mo rphogen esis as invol ving th e solutio n to computational
198 1), p . 21. O ther phil osoph ers have develope d sim ilar approaches to Wh y
qu estions and the ir relat ion to th e d istribution s of th e relevant and th e
irrelevan t . See , for ex am ple, Salmon, Scientific Expla nation and the Causal A material near its critical transit ion point bet ween th e liqui d and th e gas
. tru ctute '!.( the World, PI'. 1-6. See also Salmon's discu ssion of Van Frassen 's states , mu st, in effec t, come to a global decision abou t whe ther it m ust
approach to Wh y questions and contrast spaces (PI" 102- 6) which, unli ke settle down to a liqu id or to a gas . T his sounds almost anth ro po mo rphic,
Garfinkel's, is co m p lete ly lingui stic. hut th e results r ep orted here sugges t tha t we must th ink abo ut suc h
) 5. Alan Garfinkel, Forms if Explanation, p . 40. syste ms as effectively comp uting thei r way to a minimum energy state.
/6 . lbid.; p. 64 . Garfinke l takes this characterization of state space fro m Ren e ( .hristopher G. Langton , ' Life at th e Edge of Chaos ', in Artificial Life II,
Thorn, cre ato r of catastro phe th eory and of th e conce pt of st ruct ura l ·ds. Christo pher G. Langton, Charles Tay lor, Doyne Farmer and Steen
stability . He re th e term ' critical point' may refer to both th e unstable Rasmussen (Add ison- W esley, Red wo od City, 1992), P: 82 .
scparatrix tha t defines (as a r ep ell er) th e border of a basin of attraction, or
lh is, in fact, occurs in a differen t co ntext. Del eu ze never makes this point
to a bifurcation which defines the poin t of str uctural insta bility at which one