[D-G] Close reading : Bergson's conception of difference [2 paragraph]

filip fildh at gmx.net
Mon Oct 6 22:16:26 PDT 2008

1)If differences of nature do exist between individuals of the same kind, :
a)How can there be things of "the same kind". It looks like things are 
categorized under the same "kind"; If you take Deleuze quite radically, 
then i assume that there is no "kind" ?
if you put a name on something, you are always aware that it is not 
precise (exept when that name is unique, made to measure). So how could 
one ever think of differences in degree. In mathematics there can be a 
difference of degree, but that is purly abstract.
b)Deleuzes example : you could say that the brain is a more complex 
thing of the same nature than the medulla. But maybe you could say that 
of adult and a baby. there is just more of the same ? and if not 
evertything is the same, then there is a difference of nature. like i 
see it, there is only a diference of nature, not of degree.
c)in a word, difference is not exterior or superior to the thing
this is a very non logical conclusion i think. Deleuze says that 
difference of nature between things of the same kind implies that 
difference is not exterior to the thing. How can 2 things which are of 
the same kind, but are difference in nature lead to the conclusion that 
difference lies within the thing ? Wich thing ? Aa or Ab : they have 
both the same kind, but still have a difference of nature. i would say 
that they are not the same kind.
d)This unity of the thing and the concept is internal differnce, which 
one reaches thorugh differences of nature
could Deleuze mean that: i what we perceive as the same there is always 
a difference underneath it ? (it is about the phenomenons and off course 

e) to summarize: the question i have is:
why is there a difference of degree, while everything is a difference of 
nature ?
and why would an difference of nature be internal ? and what is meant by 
internal in this question ?


filip schreef:
> Essentially, Bergson criticizes his predecessors for not having seen 
> true differences of nature. The constant presence of this critique 
> also signals the importance of the theme in Bergson's work: where 
> there were differences of nature, others have found merely differences 
> of degree. And certainly we find the opposite criticism: where there 
> were only differences of degree, others have introduced differences of 
> nature, for example, between the so-called perceptive faculty of the 
> brain and the reflexive functions of the medulla, or the perception of 
> matter and matter differences of nature between things of the same 
> kind. If differences of nature do exist between individuals of the 
> same kind, we must then recognize that differ­ence itself is not 
> simply spatio-temporal, that it is not generic or specific—in a word, 
> difference is not exterior or superior to the thing. This is why, 
> according to Bergson, it is important to show that general ideas, at 
> least most of the time, present us with extremely different facts in a 
> grouping that is merely utilitarian: "Suppose on examining those 
> states grouped under the name of pleasure, we dis­ cover they share 
> nothing in common, except being states that a person seeks out: 
> humanity will have classified very different things as the same in 
> kind, simply because humanity attributed the same practical interest 
> to each and acted in the same way towards them."' In this sense, 
> differences of nature are already the key: we must start from them, 
> but first we must find them. Without prejudging the nature of 
> difference as internal difference, we already know that internal 
> differ­ ence exists, given that there exist differences of nature 
> between things of the same genus. Therefore, either philosophy 
> proposes for itself this means (differences of nature) and this end 
> (to arrive at internal difference), or else it will have merely a 
> negative or generic relation to things and will end up a part of 
> criticism and mere generalities—in any case, it will run the risk of 
> ending up in a merely external state of reflection. Opting for the 
> first alternative, Bergson puts forward philosophy's ideal: to tailor 
> "for the object a concept appropriate to that object alone, a concept 
> that one can hardly still call a concept, since it applies only to 
> that one thing." This unity of the thing and the concept is internal 
> differnce, which one reaches thorugh differences of nature.
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