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Life, War, Earth

Deleuze and the Sciences

2013
Author:

John Protevi

Life, War, Earth

Applies Deleuzian theory to an impressive array of physical phenomena, scientific issues, and political events

John Protevi’s Life, War, Earth demonstrates how Gilles Deleuze’s ontology of the virtual, intensive, and actual can enhance our understanding of important issues in cognitive science, biology, and geography. The book offers a unique reading of Deleuze’s corpus and a useful method for applying Deleuzian techniques to the natural sciences, the social sciences, political phenomena, and contemporary events.

Life, War, Earth is an important and nuanced book that works in a number of different registers. It creates new ways to think about, and with, Deleuze and generates novel connections for those working in the particular sciences. Most especially, in the multiplicity of geo-hydro-solar-bio-techno-politics it explores the complex interrelations of politics, lives, and geographies, a way of thinking biopolitics and geopolitics together.

Stuart Elden, Durham University

A deep exploration of the many possibilities inherent in linking Gilles Deleuze’s philosophy to contemporary science, John Protevi’s Life, War, Earth demonstrates how Deleuze’s ontology of the virtual, intensive, and actual can enhance our understanding of important issues in cognitive science, biology, and geography. Protevi illustrates how a Deleuzian approach can illuminate a wide range of concerns and subjects, including ancient and contemporary warfare, human individuation processes, the “granularity problem,” panpsychism, the E. coli bacterium, the assassination attempt on U.S. representative Gabrielle Giffords, and the affective dimensions of the Occupy movement.

Frequently ambitious but always rooted in the empirical, Life, War, Earth shows how the social and the somatic are not opposed to each other but are interwoven on three time scales—the evolutionary, the developmental, and the behavioral—and on three political scales—the geopolitical, the bio-neuro-political, and the technopolitical.

Deeply attuned to the internalities of the thought of Deleuze, the book offers a unique reading of his corpus and a useful method for applying Deleuzian techniques to the natural sciences, the social sciences, political phenomena, and contemporary events.

Life, War, Earth

John Protevi is Phyllis M. Taylor Professor of French Studies and professor of philosophy at Louisiana State University. He is the author of Political Affect: Connecting the Social and the Somatic (Minnesota, 2009); Time and Exteriority; Political Physics; and coauthor of Deleuze and Geophilosophy. He is also the editor of A Dictionary of Continental Philosophy.

Life, War, Earth

Life, War, Earth is an important and nuanced book that works in a number of different registers. It creates new ways to think about, and with, Deleuze and generates novel connections for those working in the particular sciences. Most especially, in the multiplicity of geo-hydro-solar-bio-techno-politics it explores the complex interrelations of politics, lives, and geographies, a way of thinking biopolitics and geopolitics together.

Stuart Elden, Durham University

John Protevi is one of the chief proponents of a worldly philosophy which attempts to marry philosophy to what might be called earthly themes like science and politics, scouting the frontier zones between many different areas of study in order to obtain a philosophy with grip. In this collection of essays, he uses Deleuze as a cardinal with which to produce new and productive syntheses of war, cognitive science, and biology. The result is like watching one of the best landscape painters hard at work producing works in which the broadest of brushstrokes are accompanied by the most minute details. And the result is just as satisfying—and sometimes sublime.

Nigel Thrift, University of Warwick

[John Protevi] is a strict and rigorous reader of Deleuze’s philosophical corpus…he displays a deep familiarity with the extra-philosophical fields with which he is engaged.

Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

Life, War, Earth

Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction I: Deleuze and the Sciences
Introduction II: Varela and Bodies Politic

Part I. Geophilosophy: Earth and War
1. Geo-Hydro-Solar-Bio-Techno-Politics
2. The Act of Killing in Contemporary Warfare
3. Music and Ancient Warfare

Part II. Cognitive Science: Brain and Body
4. Dynamic Interactionism
5. The Political Economy of Consciousness
6. The Granularity Problem
7. Adding Deleuze to the Mix

Part III. Biology: Life and Mind
8. Larval Subjects, Enaction, and E. coli Chemotaxis
9. Mind in Life, Mind in Process
10. The Virtual Status of “Unexpressed Genetic Variation”

Notes
Bibliography
Publication History
Index