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How to understand Deleuze’s and Guattari last message, honouring the divergence between functions and concepts ? Isabelle Stengers For many, Gilles Deleuze’s last message about science and philosophy , in What is philosophy ?, written together with Felix Guattari, came as a surprise, even something like a disappointment. Indeed in What is philosophy ? we face a strong differentiation between the creative adventures of philosophy, of science and of art. I will leave art besides, and concentrate myself on the differentiation between philosophy as creation of concepts and science as dealing with functions. Here, it seems that we have indeed an either/or situation, the affirmation of a difference to be respected. “It is in their full maturity, and not in the process of their constitution, that concepts and functions necessarily intersect, each being created by their own specific means. “ (p. 161) Thus indeed concepts and functions may well cross, but only after each has achieved its own specific self-fulfilment. We know that some philosophers see their job as that of intervening where scientists appear to stutter, to face problems which challenge the limits of science. But it is not only this kind of law and order intervention which is explicitly prohibited. Deleuze and Guattari also disappoint those who did follow them in the affirmation of productive connexions, the creation of deterritorializing processes escaping fixed identities, transgressing boundaries and static classifications, destroying the power of exclusive disjunction, that is the either/or alternative, such, for instance, as doing either science or philosophy.

2 This will be my starting point. But I will not stay within Deleuze’s text but rather follow his own advice : we should be interested in tools for thinking, not in exegesis of his ideas. An idea is always engaged in what he calls a matter. It is only when so engaged that the how and the why this idea indeed matters, the kind of difference it makes, do come into processual existence. I selected as an heterogeneous, relevant matter the contrast between science made and science in the making as characterized by Bruno Latour in his well-known Science in action. Indeed what we have to grasp is the kind of trap Deleuze is warning us against when being seduced by the possibility of a direct intervention in science in the making. In order to emphasize the contrast between science in the making and science made, Bruno Latour has proposed a double, Januslike figure. One face is that of a beardless youth telling about the risky production of scientific facts and its social constructive dimension as it requires the coming together of people whose interest must be gained and who participate in the very definition of the meaning and importance of the scientific facts. The other face, that of an old bearded man explains the robustness of science by its truth, by its objectivity, by its respect of facts, and so on. Why then did Deleuze and Guattari choose to address the bearded old man only ? Learning how Deleuze’s and Guattari’s may matter requires avoiding easy solutions, for instance that Deleuze and Guattari would ignore the work of sociology and anthropology of sciences and believe in the bearded account of science. Any reader of A thousand plateaus knows otherwise. I will also concentrate on experimental sciences where the contrast is alive – some other so-called sciences do indeed seem to be born with a beard. But it also requires that Bruno Latour’s double face be not understood not as a denunciation - the bearded old man would just be lying. The achievement he celebrates must matter as it is the full-bearded maturity Deleuze and Guattari ask philosophers to address. A first answer is that indeed the two faces offer not a contradiction but a contrast, a contrasted unity. The kind of science the youth has learned is the bearded one. He is speaking about a problem in construction but he knows that if he is to succeed, if the story of the construction is to be told as the story of a scientific achievement, it will be told in the terms of the bearded old man. In other words, the dreams of the youth, his ambitions, are bearded ones. But here we face a choice. We certainly may imagine, wish for, and struggle for, a less dissociated or amnesic personality than the Janus one, for a bearded old man who would remember and celebrate the adventurous process which any scientific achievement does entail, instead of describing the achieved

3 result as the direct consequence of a normal, rational method. This may indeed be the most important challenge, in political terms, because the price paid for the reduction of experimental achievement to a normal operation is the general authority given to such an operation, the definition of science and scientific expertise as what I would call the thinking head of humanity. It would thus be a strong temptation to directly challenge the dreams of the youth. It seems by the way that the translators of What is philosophy ? have been so tempted. Indeed in order to characterize the bearded achieved result, Deleuze and Guattari wrote about functions having for their reference “des états de choses” and this has been translated as “states of affairs”, while the obvious translation would have been “matter of fact”. Now the youth Janus face indeed describes “states of affairs”, and challenging its bearded dreams would mean that you can never escape states of affairs to some kind of a purified “matter of fact”. Whatever your achievement, it will always refer to a “state of affairs”. But this was Deleuze’s and Guattari’s choice and we should take seriously their use of “états de choses”. It is not a matter of respecting scientific dreams as such, but of choosing how to address them. How to modify a dream without destroying the dreamer. It is here that we meet the struggle against the either/or disjunction. Scientific achievements are not a normal ones, reducible to a normal, rational procedure, but they cannot be reduced either to normal states of affairs, the production of a human, conventional characterization referring to something which would remain mute, unable either to agree, to come into agreement, or to disagree. Scientific functions and their referred matters of facts are creation. Something new has entered the world. It is important to stress that Deleuze and Guattari’s aim in What is philosophy ? was also to defend both science and philosophy against their threatening reduction to logic as dominated by the true and false binary values. Logical functions are no creation, they correspond to a “good will” of thought. Everybody will admit with me that Socrates is a man, or that the cat is on the mat has got a definitive meaning such that the proposition may be right or true. In contrast what Deleuze calls thinking is a matter of bad will, as the thinker is forced to think, not allowed to think by consensual evidence. The creation of scientific functions and their matter of fact, as the creation of concepts and because they are creations, are a matter of bad will. They have nothing to do with consensual propositions and what can then be indeed called “state of affairs”, when such a state of affairs allow us to feel that we know what we are saying, or that we can define what we are perceiving, in brief when there is no creation of thought, no problem, only recognition. Deleuze and Guattari proposed to call functions the argument of which are perceptions and affections “functions of the lived” and they wondered by the way if the whole of human

4 sciences must not be included : however sophisticatedly presented or statistically verified they would just be scientific opinion. Thus, whatever the danger of scientists’ dreams and amnesia Deleuze and Guattari do ask us not to the easy road of deriding the old bearded face, of claiming that behind any fact there is an affair dressed with the social power to parade like a fact. And it is precisely because the dissociated personality of the Januslike scientist has become a matter of public, political concern that Deleuze and Guattari insistence on scientific matter of facts as distinct from common states of affairs may be important. We may wish for a transformation of some bad habits of scientists, but we should be careful of the way we formulate such a wish in order not to join others who also ask scientists to forget about their dreams and deserve the money they get. Now how to understand the specificity of scientific achievements in a way which avoids reducing them to a simple case of social construction, dependent on states of affairs ? Again Bruno Latour help us here. In Pandora’s Hope, he described the scientist as producing a “state of affairs”, indeed, and a complex one as it includes four kinds of ongoing, distinct and correlated processes of social construction. In order for his work to be possible, to get importance and to achieve consideration an innovative scientist has to form alliances with State or industrial powers, that is get them to claim that they indeed need the kind of results he is working to obtain. He has to achieve academic recognition, meaning that the academic demands and criteria for the new innovative field will be the relevant ones, as autonomously produced and discussed by the colleagues in this new field. He has to succeed in mobilizing the world, meaning getting the needed resources, relevant instrumental equipment but also the ambitious, innovative students with an adequate formation and an interest and loyalty for the new field. He has finally to produce a public representation of this field, have it accepted as the legitimate outcome of scientific progress, as rationally answering important questions which do or should interest everybody, as promising positive consequences for human development and well-being. As such each of those four processes of construction are not specific. Their strong correlation is already more specific, because if one fails the others will be denounced as pathological, in one way or another. But what makes them all properly scientific is the fifth ongoing activity which Latour characterizes as Links and Knots. That is, the activity most scientists would define as what does truly matter, i.e. the actual production of those very matters of fact the bearded old scientist will later use as sufficient to explain the scientific achievement. Indeed the first four activities, as Latour characterizes them, do construct a rather peculiar affair. They create a relation with an outside which must be

5 both actively interested and also put at distance, with a different kind of distance in a different kind of space for each one. Whatever the success of the four others processes of construction, they must be presented as nourishing the making of Links and Knots, as being conditions for the achievement, not the explanation of this achievement. If one claims that it is a matter of presentation only, Latour’s description will be reduced to simple social constructivism, and looses any relevance for understanding Deleuze. Avoiding this claim means that the art of distances indeed means that the making of Links and Knots is what scientists define as what matters, what they have to protect, what makes a scientific achievement. What means achieving Links and Knots ? The scientists are not linked together by their common submission to rationality or objectivity, or by some good will which would explain that they are able to listen to each other and respect the rules of rational discussion. The link is not among humans, it exists only because those humans give to the creation of reliable Knots, reliable reference between a function and a matter of fact, the power to force them to interact, to build together the kind of agonistic cooperation on which they all depend. When Galileo wrote that one man will win against a thousand rhetoricians, whatever their gift for persuasion or the authority of their references, if this one man has the facts on his side, we usually recognize some kind of a positivist statement. And indeed Galileo was in the process of building the first public representation of experimental science, producing a state of affairs where experimental fact claims the power to silence both philosophers and theologians. But we should not forget that the Galileo who was writing was himself the product of the first experimental achievement. In The Invention of Modern Science, I did characterize this achievement as the ability to short-circuit the sceptical argument which refers any general statement to the power of fiction. Indeed the event of the experimental invention which produced Galileo as its spokesperson can be characterized as “the invention of the power to confer on things the power of conferring on the experimenter the power to speak in their name” (88). Power intervenes three times in this characterization, each time with a different meaning. “Invention of the power to confer on” refers to Galileo in the very process of discovering the power of the first experimental device, the inclined plane. This device did give him the power to transform an usual state of affairs, a function of the lived perception of falling bodies, into a scientific matter of fact, correlated to a scientific mathematical function. Indeed the power of the inclined plane was to transform the fact that heavy bodies do perceptively fall into an

6 articulated fact, defined in terms of variables the value of which can be modified at will, and the articulation of which produces a functional description. In other words the reference of mathematical function to matter of fact is not a right and it is not an enigma, it is the very meaning of an experimental achievement. “A thing having the power of conferring on a human…” is the very definition of the knot, the creation of a matter of fact as a reference for a scientific function. Knot is a very happy word as such an achievement is a case of what Deleuze and Guattari did call a “marriage against nature”. Before the event the two lines, that of the falling bodies and that of the human problems about the kind of knowledge we can gain about things, had nothing specific in common. There was only a discursive reference to the perceptual fact that bodies do fall down. Such a falling down had no power to force thinking, it was consensual evidence. All heavy bodies do fall down. This apple is an heavy body. Thus this apple will fall down if I open my hand. Now you don’t have apples any longer, or a tree crashing on the ground or a man falling from a window. You do have a Galilean body, a body which can exist nowhere but in the lab or in the sky, since its motion must approximate a frictionless one in order for the function to have any power of definition. Correlatively the line of human discursive argumentation about interpretation and fiction has bifurcated. One particular functional interpretation has got a reliable witness. Galileo has no longer any need to argue, he is able to turn his back against his human brothers, to cut any kind of intersubjective debate. The experimental device gave the Galilean body the power to allow Galileo to remain mute, to just show the fact. “…the power to speak in their name”. It is because Galileo may present himself as essentially mute that he can claim that he has the power to speak in the name of the falling bodies. He is just representing the thing. Scientific socalled objective representation is an event because it happens to be authorized by what is represented, while what is represented as no human voice. But who will be interested in this claim ? Who will celebrate as an event the fact that Galileo is able to represent the way a body is falling down in a frictionless environment ? Galileo needs colleagues, who will take as primordial the verification that a knot has indeed been created, that none of their objections can defeat it. He needs colleagues who will accept being linked not to him, not because of his persuasive power, but by the production of the knot. In other words, in order for the specific character of his achievement to be verified, he needs not the good will of colleagues agreeing with him but the specific bad will of colleagues willing to test the reliability of the witness he claims to have produced.

7 In order to celebrate the successful knot, scientists will sometimes announce that “Nature has spoken”. This triumphal statement is obviously misleading, but the way it is misleading is important. Indeed the point is not the traditional philosophical one, that things are mute and only humans speak. The point is that if nature had indeed spoken, all humans would be concerned. Good will listening would be the answer. A knot, a “marriage against nature” on the other hand, is always a local, selective event. The only concerned ones are those who belong to the two lines, those non humans which can effectively, that is experimentally, be defined as reliable witnesses, and those humans – those I call competent colleagues – who will consider as crucial for their own, active practice to verify that a colleague was indeed authorized to claim the triple power achievement. Those and only those will be linked by the event, adventuring on the consequences, testing the new “if… then maybe…” which may follow as eventually entailed by the event. A “marriage against nature” is never between “man” and “nature”, which would mean a convergence, an at last adequate knowledge. The marriage knot produces a divergence, it links this kind of human, endorsing very strong specific obligations, and that kind of phenomena, verifying very selective requirements. As Deleuze wrote in Logique du sens, only what diverges is able to communicate. This can be understood in a non paradoxical way if we do not take divergence as not a static fact, but as the mark of an adventure creating its own diverging values. I take here adventure as embodying Deleuze’s claim that there is no relativity of truth but there is truth only of what is relative (What is Philosophy ?, p. 130). There is a scientific truth because science is relative to the adventure of the creation of Links and Knots, but we may also think here to the adventure of making a movie, of writing a text, but also to an alpinist careful and risky climb, to a mathematician in the process of producing a demonstration, or even to a judge hesitating about his or her judgement. The important point is that none of those adventures needs to belittle the other ones in order to affirm itself. Each has indeed its own truth and its own kind of loyalty, as it affirms its own diverging value. And it is because of this divergence that a writer can understand something about an alpinist discipline, or the device builder about the judge’s selective and creative processing of a case. The “Nature has spoken” statement however dramatically expresses how the scientific adventure may become an epic, the scientist becoming then the thinking head of mankind, the one who is able to get out of the cavern, to escape a world of mere opinion, of arbitrary human fabrication. The demand that we all feel concerned is indeed part of the public representation of a scientific achievement. It should matter for all of us, who are thereby defined as mere opinion, to be convinced that our own knowledge can be explained away in terms of irrational belief and blind interests. Coming back to Bruno Latour’s

8 four correlated social processes of construction, a scientist will never tell a colleague, a demanding ally or a provider of mobilizing resources, that “Nature has spoken”, and that they have to be concerned. Their interest has to be won, and cannot be dismissed as blind. The epic story of scientific progress, grounded on facts, as opposed to arbitrary opinion is, since Galileo, part of the public representation of science, requiring and maintaining a definition of the public as having to trust science as the only way to escape opinion. And here philosophy enters the scene, but not as creation of concepts. The kind of philosophers the public representation of science needs will not be a partner in the production of links and the creation of knots, but an ally participating in the public representation of science. An ally whose good will is demanded. Philosophy is welcome if it puts its own means, whatever they be, at the service of the image of thought science requires. It may be a direct celebration of the opposition between rational science and opinion, but as soon as a philosopher helps, one way or the other, enforcing the idea that opinion is something to be criticized and overcome, a strategic alliance is possible and scientists may include him in their public representation. Even Heidegger has been so included. Now, the brand of philosophy scientists do appreciate is precisely the one Deleuze was fighting against when he defined philosophy as creation of concepts, the philosophy which produces judges and examines grounds for judgement. And it may happen that a strategic alliance made possible by a systematic misrepresentation, as it is the case when the scientific diverging adventure disguises itself into the convergent source of valid knowledge, does backlash. This did happen when this particular school of critiques, the social constructivists, instead of claiming that all is construction but sound science, did turn their criticism against science itself. The frontal crash was unavoidable. One may say it was a well-earned return, since this analysis did use against the claims of scientific practice all the very interesting economies of thought which are allowed by the kind of statement as “the facts do show”, or “Nature has spoken”, that is the whole story of the laborious, hesitant, socially embedded making of the scientific event, the knot or marriage against nature to be created with non humans. It was nevertheless a war proclamation since it did deny the very point of the scientific adventure, what links together competent colleagues, even when they fight against each other, that is the production of the assemblage creating the possibility for the non human to make a difference between them. What links scientists together maybe, but maybe no longer in the future. If you read Donna Haraway’s Modest Witness, you will quite easily conclude that the adventure I have just characterized may be relevant for Galileo Galilei, Robert Boyle, Louis Pasteur, Frédéric Joliot-Curie, but not, emphatically not, for

9 contemporary biomedicine or biotechnology. Indeed in those case, we may say that the art of distance required by the Links and Knots demanding construction has been swept away, and that we deal with a new kind of articulation between powers. It will not be possible any longer to tell the tale of those developments without having for the leading protagonists those powerful allies who are quite ready to accept nominal definitions as long as it means new possibilities for industrial innovation. However, today, the past is still with us, it is present in the very feeling of unhappiness and betrayal many scientists do suffer. It is one of those dreadful historical irony that social constructivism may be seen as unwittingly collaborating to the destruction of those aspects of the scientific construction of facts which scientists were unable to present as what causes their adventure to diverge and create. Till now, I have used the philosophical definition of philosophy as creation of concept as if what it demands, the kind of diverging adventure it entails was obvious. But the fact that social constructivists did enter my scene as betraying the role the public representation of science attributed to philosophers requires attention. It is not possible to participate in the adventure of producing links and knots without knowing it. Would it be possible to take up the role of philosopher without knowing it, claiming to belong to fields such as sociology of science or cultural studies ? When social constructivists do explain away the specificity of scientific means, they often use the famous pragmatic “it works” as explanation of why this or that particular scientific belief came to be accepted. Just as I disconnected the scientific links and knots production from its public representation in order to honour its diverging value, I have now to disconnect the pragmatic “it works” concept from its as reduction to a social explanation, mobilizing settled interests and balance of power. Here also we need to honour bad will, diverging creation, in order to disentangle philosophy from what may destroy it, its reduction to consensual function of the lived, function du vécu. In What is philosophy ?, Deleuze and Guattari pay a beautiful homage to the great anglo-american philosophical tradition, linking adventurous, not judging, empiricism and pragmatism. “The English nomadize over the old Greek earth, broken up, fractalized, and extended to the entire universe. We cannot even say that they have concepts like the French and the Germans; but they acquire them, they only believe in what is acquired – not because everything comes from the senses but because a concept is acquired by inhabiting, by pitching one’s tent, by contracting an habit (…) Wherever there are habits there are concepts, and

10 habits are developed and given up on the plane of immanence of radical experience : they are “conventions”. That is why English philosophy is a free and wild creation of concepts. To what convention is a given proposition due; what is the habit that constitutes its concept ? This is the question of pragmatism.” (105106) If pragmatism is to escape its reduction to an explanation by consensual functions of the lived, the “it works” as associated with a convention must be celebrated as an event. Something new has entered the world, a new tent has been pitched, and not on a settled ground which would explain its stability but in a process of fractalization : the new ground is produced together with the new tent pitched into it. In each case the pragmatic “it works” then entails considering what is an achievement in this case, for this kind of practice, producing that kind of convention. A convention is never explained by something else, it is a creation, a “marriage against nature”, it creates what may become a matter of consensus, what will be used afterwards to explain or justify it. Such an adventurous definition of conventions requires loosing the habit of asking for a consensual justification but as a result it may produce an escape line from the stage initiated by Galileo as dominated by the grand alternative : either a human fictive construction, or the continuation of the epic of objective knowledge. Yes the scientific achievement of an experimental knot is a convention, but it is not “only a convention”, it fractalizes the ground following its own diverging demands; its own definition of what matters and how. It is only if scientific achievements are pragmatically put on the same plane together with other diverging practical achievements, each with its demanding definition of what matters, that we can both avoid insulting scientists and make a positive difference between what links scientists together and what claims to make authority for any rational being. What matters for you does not matter : this is the way scientists address the public, defining it as mere opinion. As it resists its reduction to a lived functions of settled interests and balance of power, the pragmatic “it works” may help evaluating habits and conventions with different criteria. The strength of the proper scientific convention, the reliability of the created knots depends on the power successfully conferred on things to intervene into human affairs and discussions. The thing is enabled to make a difference. The public representation of this success is quite an other convention since it depends on the habit of public to accept being addressed as powerless, mere opinion, unable to make a difference. Science, as we know it, as it is now in crisis, relies on what I would call a bad convention, a convention which depends on the continued weakness and submission of an ingredient it needs. We are back to the

11 old bearded man in Latour’s Janus faces, unable to celebrate the scientific achievement in other words than those which present the general, consensual triumph of rationality over opinion. I would claim that if the specific mode of divergence which characterizes the adventure of science is to survive, the bearded face must learn to address not the general public, with consensual words, but a fractalized one with whom production of relevant alliances may be possible. Only a change in what is meant by the public may indeed produce the kind of allies the scientists need today in order to resist its traditional allies. The important point, answering the pragmatic concern for successful conventions, is that I am not speaking here of a general democratic right of the public to participate. What matters, what may play a role in the survival of science is the historical emergence of empowered minorities intruding into questions which were meant to be none of their business, and producing their own kinds of demands, their own kinds of objections. The difference between a right to participate and the empowering process which enables to participate is a pragmatic problem, and as John Dewey emphasized in The Public and its Problem, it is not a general problem, the production of a sovereign citizen generally able to participate, but an itinerant process, the process of emergence of empowered groups who create their own means to object. Here again the pragmatic “it works !” must be heard against any kind of reduction to consensual functions of the lived as may be proposed by psychology for instance. While consensual functions of the lived, “functions du vécu”, rely on the continuation of stable habits, here we deal with the pragmatic concern for the creation of new habits, as something new entering the world and modifying it. The point is not to denounce habits, obviously, but to avoid the mistake of asking some sciences, psychology or sociology for instance, to explain how it is the case that new, non consensual, diverging habits may come into being. Here the Deleuzian definition of science as dealing with functions is precious. Whatever the function, be it produced by a successful marriage against nature or by a lived consensus about what matters and how, it requires a stable world, allowing for a stable articulation between those aspects the functional being is taking into account. No function can deal with learning, producing or empowering new habits, as all require and achieve the production of different worlds, non consensual worlds, actively diverging worlds. It is probably what Guattari had in mind when he did call, in Chaosmose, for a new paradigm which would be an ethico-aesthetico-political one. It is tempting to think that this paradigm, as it aims at making the creation of new perceptual and affective habits a matter of concern, should privilege art, which is

12 the third kind of creative adventure characterized in What is philosophy ? But here we must slow down and pay attention. We should never forget that the very possibility to associate science, art and philosophy also to creation testifies for a depopulated world, and that those practices must also be considered from the point of view of the price they pay for their domesticated survival, diverging prices but heavy ones anyway. Deleuze considered the price philosophy did pay when its creation is reduced to judgement and care for rational, that is consensual, communication. I have considered the price science pays as presenting itself under the guise of the old fight of reason against mere opinion. Instead of considering the price art is paying, I will stress that Guattari’s ethicoaesthetico-political paradigm may as well designate “magic”, as neo-pagan witch Starhawk characterizes it. That is, not in supernatural terms but as an experiential and experimental art, daring to try and test what it takes and what it requires to produce ethico-aesthetico-political empowerment. I choose to take the risk of using the term “magic” just as witches do take it. For them the very fact to name magic what they are doing is already an act of magic, producing the needed sense of importance any learning process or change of habits demands in order to be cultivated and not consensually taken for granted. And if those contemporary witches took upon themselves to call themselves witches, such a shocking name, it was in order to produce the living memory of the Time of Burning, the destruction of the Great Art, which did happen at the very epoch when Man as the majority standard came to impose converging, consensual functions of the lived, explaining away as illusions and superstitions every active divergence but the three surviving ones, philosophy, science and art. I am convinced that, as philosophers, scientists, and artists, we cannot save ourselves alone, by our own means, because the way we characterize those means uses words which may well ratify both our domestication and the destruction we survived. Today one does not burn witches any longer, but taking interest in empowering processes needs knowing that we risk having those words used against us. Indeed it may well mean facing such accusations as irrationality, superstition, regression : back to Plato’s cavern. Thus, witches and magic do lead me back towards philosophy with a double antagonist move. On the one hand, towards the historical origin which may certainly be associated with their repudiation, with the choice of public and consensual arguments against powers to be excluded or domesticated. But on the other hand, towards the power of transformation Deleuze associates with the philosophical concept as such, when he writes for instance that thinking “implies a sort of groping experimentation and its lay out resorts to measures that are not very respectable, rational or reasonable…. To think is always to follow the witch’s flight.” (What is P ?, 41) Indeed it maybe that if philosophy did survive its Greek origin, it is because it unwittingly did capture in a disguised manner,

13 something quite different from rational argumentation. Maybe the prephilosophical plane it did profit from, and secretly, unwittingly continued, was inhabited not only by urban Sophists, as it is officially recorded, but also by those others whose not very respectable, rational or reasonable measures the sophist art of language had already urbanized. And it may well be that if you separate philosophy from what it profits from and secretly, unwittingly continues, you kill philosophy. For Deleuze, Russell, Wittgenstein and others are killers. Such an hypothesis is also a speculation for the future, a future where philosophy could play a part in the kind of environment needed for Guattari’s ethico-aesthetico-political paradigm, an environment able to resist the power of consensual functions, to honour the active divergence between the achievements and requirements of functions and of empowerment processes. Since I am speaking on English ground, I will end this intervention with an example, that of the very strange flight, really a witch’s flight, of the English mathematician turned into a philosopher, Whitehead, who paid the price for leaving the consensual ground. His name has been obliterated in philosophy, and in particular in his original home town, Cambridge, as if it defaced the noble college he had so long inhabited. Whiteheads’ adventure was indeed a strange adventure, probably made possible by a mathematician constructive humor. Never did a philosopher so pragmatically developed and gave up (in French, faire et défaire) concepts in utter disregard for the kind of pious loyalty we so easily dedicate to what aims at truth. For Whitehead, philosophy was indeed nearer to engineering than to contemplation. It was engineering of abstractions defined as equipment, both tools and lure, for feeling and thinking. As any creative mathematician, Whitehead thought there was nothing as important as equipment, the important point being that we should not be prisoners of our equipment, of our habits of thought. The kind of lure and constraint our abstractions provide should be actively examined and their pragmatic value evaluated. This was the task of philosophy and it was not a matter of criticizing inadequate ones but of creating and empowering new ones. We may well say that his failure was complete from the usual pragmatic point of view since our word is still dominated by the modern abstractions he wanted to displace. We are still poisoned by the double abstraction of transcendant freedom, as attributed to humans, and functional explanation, as objectively defining the world. But his philosophical achievement perfectly exemplifies what Deleuze calls “bad will” as associated to any creation. In order to acquire the concepts for the new habits of thought and evaluation he felt

14 needed, Whitehead did choose indeed to dramatize and not to tame the incoherence of modern thought. No hopeful, good will, fuzzy interdisciplinary unity, for Whitehead, no dream of some “half-way house” where functions would sweetly loose some of their power giving room to something which could resemble freedom. But the most fabulous process of creation of odd and habit disturbing concepts, openly speculative ones, as the result of accepting to be obligated to think all the way down against modern habits. Whitehead finally choose creativity as his ultimate, and this produces a witch flight indeed since it means that the wild, untamed, heterogeneous crowd of our experiences and conventions and explanations are all affirmed together in a way which destroys any secure distinction between what can be explained and what would be creative. Nothing has the power to explain anything else, but everything that comes to existence does creatively explain itself in the process of determining how it will have been explained by its environment. A deceptively simple conclusion but try and feel it, you will taste the power of a magic formula, empowering becoming in the devastated landscape of our impassable contradictions. Indeed Whitehead’s concepts are neither true nor false, they do not refer to any state of affairs, nor to any matter of fact, they are efficacious, deliberately aimed at depriving thought of any power to judge or explain away part of our experience, or more precisely aimed at having us appreciate judgement or explaining away together with what is judged or explained, all put on the same plane, all exhibiting in their own diverging way creativity as the ultimate they all presuppose and manifest. The fact that Alfred North Whitehead was a mathematician turned into a philosopher may explain why he dared to conceive philosophy as an openly constructive adventure and a self-proclaimed speculative one. He went so far as to include the creation of a concept of God as he discovered such a concept was required by the problem as he was constructing. This did not disturb him too much as mathematicians are used to give mathematical existence to very strange beings as long as they fulfil mathematical constraints and are required for a mathematical problem. Those beings are posts for the tent they are pitching, their value is allowing the problem to get the full amplitude it needs in order to produce an interesting solution. But this obviously did disturb his colleagues professional philosophers and this is the kind of disturbance I wish to propagate as it exhibits the positive, creative divergence Deleuze and Guattari challenge us to cultivate. Mathematicians are probably those who know best their indebtedness to the power of the problem, the fact that any answer has meaning only because and through the adventure which this problem required, without dreaming of the power of converging recognition, and this may be why a mathematician was

15 needed to create the concepts required by pragmatism as irreducible to settled interests and habits. When a mathematician concludes “it works !” he is celebrating the truth of what is relative, the only kind of important truth, the truth of the problem which has achieved the production of its own specific empowering means and obligations. But so do celebrate the witches when their rituals produce the empowering presence of the Goddess to whom they pragmatically define themselves as indebted. And so should learn to celebrate scientists when announcing the coming into being of a new matter of fact endowed with the power to act as a reliable witness. William James wrote at the very end of his life, in Some Problems of Philosophy (230) : “We can and we may, as it were, jump with both feet off the ground into or towards a world of which we trust the other parts to meet our jump – and only so can the making of a perfected world of pluralistic pattern ever take place. Only through our precursive trust in it can it come into being. There is no inconstancy anywhere in this, and no ‘vicious circle’ unless a circle of poles holding themselves upright by leaning on one another, or a circle of dancers revolving by holding each other’s hands, be ‘vicious’. The faith circle is so congruent with human nature that the only explanation of the veto that intellectualists pass upon it must be sought in the offensive character to them of the faiths of certain persons.” Here is the great lesson of pragmatism, and it may appear a dangerous one, indeed, since we know that not only there are many diverging kinds of jumps, but that some jumps are dangerous ones. Leaving the common, settled ground is always a risk. This however is no argument as it is something non modern traditions knew very well. They knew that parts of the world which come and meet some jumps may be devouring ones, and that some may become devouring ones if we do not know how to honour them when we have called them up. Félix Guattari’s ethico-aesthetico-political paradigm implies that we can learn from the non modern wisdom, learn how to care without vetoing the jumps or reducing them to some functions of the lived. This may be why he told the need of an “ecosophy”.

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