Do we need to escape from metaphysics?

The problem is not so much should one be metaphysical or not? but more one of pluralism, multiplicity, polytheism as incorporated in our modes of acting, perceiving, feeling and thinking. It’s a question of typology rather than content, of what Deleuze calls the Image of thought. So Deleuze can say unashamedly that he is a pure metaphysician (AV: Are you a non-metaphysical philosopher?
GD: No, I feel I am a pure metaphysician
https://web.archive.org/web/20120403030531/http://www.urbanomic.com/Publications/Collapse-3/PDFs/C3_Gilles_Deleuze_1.pdf
because he is concerned with a meta-competence of navigating between the unities and multiplicities of our world.
I miss the Heideggerian background that is developped in Sean Kelly’s and Hubert Dreyfus’s lectures but only adumbrated in “All Things Shining” (see http://socrates.berkeley.edu/~hdreyfus/html/IntheNews.html) , but I feel there are advantages in not emphasizing it in the book. This type of thinking is much bigger than just Heideggerian (or Derridian) problematics. This is why I appreciate dmf’s contributions to the blog http://allthingsshiningbook.wordpress.com/, with their multiple references and the openness of thought they express.
Kelly and Dreyfus, following Heidegger, talk about“gathering” to describe the coming together of practices in configurations of ways of being in the world: “The practices have gathered throughout the history of the West to reveal these manifold ways the world is” (ATS, 223). This is not necessarily a monistic metaphysical term to describe a monolithic all-encompassing structure that would correspond to a particular historical epoch. Dreyfus and Kelly in fact argue that there are always other practices on the margins, and that these marginal practices can sometimes come together, gather, in a new understanding of being that reveals a new way the world is.
Deleuze and Guattari’s pluralist notion of “agencements”, usually translated as assemblages, could just as well be translated as gatherings. As well, they often invoke “minor” practices that exist alongside the majority mode of organising practices and that operate outside its hegemony. Pickering too talks in terms of assemblages, and explicitly invokes a counter-hegemonic gestalt switch which would empower the marginal practices embodying a more open, non-dualist, ontology of becoming.

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3 Responses to Do we need to escape from metaphysics?

  1. By now the Deleuze pdf 404’s.

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  2. The “I am searching for the metaphysics which science needs, but has not yet found” — surprised me. I think the scientists who’ve read the Sokal Hoax but no further (not, for example, “At whom are we laughing?”) would be surprised to hear that.

    His final remark about Riemann I also find surprising, in that it agrees with my own directions of study. If you trace Riemann surfaces → sheaves → toposes and Riemann surfaces → sheaves → schemes.

    I had been confused by the use of the word “multiplicities”, now this is a bit clearer…

    fwiw, I am reading math216.wordpress.com about these issues. It’s reasonably accessible…quite a lot of vocab., but Vakil is an amazing writer.

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