INVERTING VS OVERTURNING PLATONISM: against Deleuzean clichés

« The task of modern philosophy has been defined: to overturn Platonism [which] means denying the primacy of original over copy, of model over image; glorifying the reign of simulacra and reflections ».

(Cited on twitter by Justin justin (@nonpedagogy) from Deleuze DIFFERENCE AND REPETITION)

In defence of @nonpedagogy‘s quote it must be noted that overturning Platonism is only superficially and provisionally to invert Platonism. To invert Platonism is only the first step (and remains only as a mask) in overturning the philosophy of division, of demarcation.

The « simulacrum » is a transitional term in Deleuze’s work, that drops out once it has done its job of « contesting both the model and the copy », i.e. of contesting the absoluteness of such a demarcation.

What follows, in Deleuze’s later works, is a situational use of the demarcation where sometimes the model is privileged and sometimes the copy, and at other times the fuzziness underlying the division, its permeability.

It should be noted that in his publications in the 1960s Deleuze is heavily influenced by and reliant on the terminology of Pierre Klossowski, but he abandons this terminology of the simulacrum a few years later as not very useful.

On the situational use of these divisions:

Deleuze does not hesitate to condemn the « imitators » as doing normatively « better » than the creators because they are only copying the products of the creative act. So here he de-inverts Platonist division.

Thus the full path of Deleuze’s « overturning » of Platonism is

1) rising to the level of the method of division (demarcation),

2) inverting the terms of the division,

3) uncovering the permeabilities,

4) returning to the division while keeping hold of the permeability,

5) situationally inverting, de-inverting, or bridging and crossing according to the circumstances.

Thanks to Justin for prompting me to clarify Deleuze’s path.

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2 commentaires pour INVERTING VS OVERTURNING PLATONISM: against Deleuzean clichés

  1. What do you think?
    1) rising to the level of the method of division (demarcation) – Laruelle’s Non-Standard Philosophy
    2) inverting the terms of the division – Standard/non-standard, sufficient solitude/dispersivity etc.
    3) uncovering the permeabilities – introducing the diachronic
    4) returning to the division while keeping hold of the permeability – General non-standard philosophical enquiry.
    5) situationally inverting, de-inverting, or bridging and crossing according to the circumstances – non-standard pragmatism.

    J’aime

  2. Just came across this from you (october 2015)
    “The method of comprehension and application in philosophy is not to begin with a theory in isolation that is in a second step illuminated in terms of its external historical context and of its internal systematicity. A theory, whether scientific or philosophic, gains in content when it is considered in terms of a set of rival and alternative theories. This set changes with time, and so in an important sense the meaning of a theory changes with time too.”
    Nicely complicates the role of the diachronic!

    J’aime

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