ENUNCIATIVE APPENDIX TO READING ANTI-OEDIPUS: from desiring machine to spiritual automaton

New questions, readings, formulations, and commentaries from contemporary readers of recent Continental Philosophy can be very interesting, and quite useful to refresh our understanding of familiar texts, not the least because they can help us not to read them too concretely or literally.

I for one still remain very influenced by ANTI-OEDIPUS but I think its key terms need to be deconstructed, which is something that Deleuze and Guattari themselves did over the next twenty years after the publication of their first collaboration.

For example, one could argue that the focus on « desire » cedes too much to the Lacano-Freudian doxa. So « desire » needs to be de-emphasized (but not abandoned) in favour of noesis (spirit/psyche/soul).

Similarly, the concept of « machine » functions more as a reminder for the necessity of the pragmatic interpretation of every concept. This concept of « machine » fuses both object-level and meta-level considerations in a way that can block us into a corner.

The concepts that become increasingly emphasised (spirit, intensities, assemblages and multiplicities) are much more flexible than the notions of desire and machine and less liable to give rise to a one-sided metaphysical mis-reading.

In the later works « assemblage » becomes the key term, and it is presented as double-sided: collective assemblage of enunciation and machinic assemblage of desire. The role of enunciation becomes more prominent than in ANTI-OEDIPUS, and this relative primacy of enunciation corrects the one-sided impression of a primacy of the machinic.

If we follow the thread of « desire » as a name for noesis and its enunciative potential, we can recognise that the future avatar of « desiring-machine » is « spiritual automaton ».

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11 commentaires pour ENUNCIATIVE APPENDIX TO READING ANTI-OEDIPUS: from desiring machine to spiritual automaton

  1. knudgeknudge dit :

    One might add that they end their flight with Ruyer’s ‘primary true forms’ and and ‘brains’ in ‘absolute self-survey’ – ‘absolute interiorities.’
    I wrote a little about this is an old essay: ‘Subjectless Subjectivities.’:

    One of the only essays I ever published lol

    Aimé par 1 personne

  2. knudgeknudge dit :

    Looks like I just lost a comment.
    I was writing that Isabelle Stengers once commented that Ruyer’s ‘Survol Absolue’ was the ‘best phenomenological description of Whitehead’s ‘presentational immediacy’. This comment would probably not be grasped by most philosophy departments lol! This was in Canberra 2003! At a conf. organised by Massumi. I gave a talk…
    I have the ‘Sex…’ bk and will restart – I didn’t get far.
    I did read ‘The Fragile Absolute.’


  3. knudgeknudge dit :

    As u surely know Stengers wrote a bk on Whitehead. I am not a reader/scholar of him but I found the observation interesting. It was a pleasure to meet her having translated her early essays.


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