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The Force of the Virtual

Deleuze, Science, and Philosophy

2010

Peter Gaffney, editor

The Force of the Virtual

The first book-length work to explore in depth Deleuze’s view of the sciences

The Force of the Virtual explores the problematic relationship between the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze and science. The original essays gathered here examine how science functions in respect to Deleuze’s concepts of time and space, how science accounts for processes of qualitative change, how science actively participates in the production of subjectivity, and how Deleuze’s thinking engages neuroscience.

Gilles Deleuze once claimed that ‘modern science has not found its metaphysics, the metaphysics it needs.’ The Force of the Virtual responds to this need by investigating the consequences of the philosopher’s interest in (and appeal to) ‘the exact sciences.’ In exploring the problematic relationship between the philosophy of Deleuze and science, the original essays gathered here examine how science functions in respect to Deleuze’s concepts of time and space, how science accounts for processes of qualitative change, how science actively participates in the production of subjectivity, and how Deleuze’s thinking engages neuroscience.

All of the essays work through Deleuze’s understanding of the virtual—a force of qualitative change that is ontologically primary to the exact, measurable relations that can be found in and among the objects of science. By adopting such a methodology, this collection generates significant new insights, especially regarding the notion of scientific laws, and compels the rethinking of such ideas as reproducibility, the unity of science, and the scientific observer.

Contributors: Manola Antonioli, Collège International de Philosophie (Paris); Clark Bailey; Rosi Braidotti, Utrecht U; Manuel DeLanda, U of Pennsylvania; Aden Evens, Dartmouth U; Gregory Flaxman, U of North Carolina; Thomas Kelso; Andrew Murphie, U of New South Wales; Patricia Pisters, U of Amsterdam; Arkady Plotnitsky, Purdue U; Steven Shaviro, Wayne State U; Arnaud Villani, Première Supérieure au Lycée Masséna de Nice.

The Force of the Virtual

Peter Gaffney is visiting assistant professor at Haverford College and the Curtis Institute of Music, where he teaches film studies, philosophy, and literature.

About This Book