In What is Philosophy? Deleuze and Guattari describe vitalism as split between an Idea that acts but is not and a force that is but does not act (p. 213). The recently coined dark vitalism or mechanistic vitalism (dark as in nihilistic but also as attached to the chemical darkness of Schelling’s unground and mechanistic in that it is deterministic) must be articulated in response to Deleuze and Guattari.
D & G’s vitalism is predominantly biological and he aligns the first description with the likes of Kant and the latter with himself. Yet, as Brassier argues in Nihil Unbound, Deleuze’s vitalism is locked in idealism, in the support of virtuality. Brassier opposes a cosmological death drive to the purported ideality of Deleuze.
What is outside of biological immanence is Deleuze’s concept of temporality as differentiation (Nihil, p. 162). Here we dip into Object Oriented Philosophy and, in paritcular, Levi’s discussion of the creation of an object as the difference which makes a difference. Schelling’s whirlpools, or patterns of slowed matter which allows for entities is a bumpy or sloped ontology. That is, in the cosmological cascade following the explosion of primary neubula of matter, various accretions of matter give rise to the very possibility for life and subsequently for thought.
The topology, of where immanence goes, becomes a serious problem for any attempt at recuperating vitalism. As John Mullarkey’s Post-Continental Philosophy makes clear, immanence is the battleground for future philosophy. But, as in the case of Deleuze, Henry, Badiou (and to a lesser extent Laruelle) immanence is not adequately divorced from human subjectivity.
To de-anthropomorphize the force of vitalism, Laruelle’s One, the capacity for the Real, must be taken away from Man. We can take the One as the possibility (and equally non-possibility) of ‘isness’ as such, the Real without content. The One, in a Plotinian fashion, emanates the zeroes of space/time, the repetition of zeroes is immanence is time (the additive function of matter) – the cold dynamics of space im relation to forces, matters and energies.
Meillassoux’s work, in particular his discussion of hyper-chaos and the mutability of the laws of physics. The possible ramifications for supersymmetry for instance, allow for breaking at any point which shifts particle behaviour – the laws change locally and even over time (The Trouble with Physics, 61-62). Gabriel Catren’s contribution to Collapse V addresses Meillassoux’s comments on physics arguing that the anthropic limits he sets up are invalid. Catren argues that Meillassoux sets science between empirical deduction and metaphysical justification.
As Catren argues, science must function not to serve the transcendental I nor to function within a metaphysical cage. Science, must instead function on a non-platform, on an unground.
Filed under: Brassier, Deleuze, Iain Hamilton Grant, Meillassoux, Schelling, Speculative Realism | 12 Comments
Tags: chaos, vitalism