[D-G] Concepts seen as functions

malgosia askanas ma at panix.com
Fri Apr 29 17:06:25 PDT 2011

Dear Hervé,

Could you tell a little more about the concept-building involved in 
the modeling and simulation of natural phenomena?  I would love that.

But jumping the gun for the moment, do you think that this 
concept-building differs substantially from, say, that involved in 
trying to understand the functioning of the DNA, the structure of 
molecules, or the thermodynamic behavior of various systems?  I am 
asking because these are undoubtedly scientific pursuits that D&G 
were well aware of, and which they explicitly mention in WiP.  And 
even a mere mention of these pursuits brings to mind a whole flock of 
properly scientific creations that one cannot resist calling 
_concepts_: the concept of DNA, of a protein, of the electron, of a 
system, of energy, of heat, of entropy, and so on.  Yet D&G claim 
that science does not produce concepts.  Would they think differently 
if they had been exposed to climate simulation or the modeling of 
coastal behaviour?

Perhaps one could play with the notion of "actualization", to see 
whether it holds up as an element of the difference between science 
and philosophy.  The purpose of, say, climate simulation is to 
actualize (albeit in a computer model) a particular cluster of 
phenomena that form what is called "climate".  On the other hand, it 
would not be regarded as a properly scientific project to want to 
study, for example, the phenomenon of "stratification" as it 
manifests in geology, social life, language and thought.  And indeed, 
how would one conduct such a study, if it were to be scientific? 
What would it purpose to "actualize"?

Is that a possibly productive way to think about the difference?


At 5:54 PM +0200 4/29/11, saphiregnauld wrote:
>Dear Malgosia
>thanks a lot for this post
>I think you have perfectly understood what D+G mean : according to 
>them science has to slow down the infinite speed of ideas (when 
>ideas are building a concept) in order to make them fit with the 
>sampling rate, the protocol or what so ever is scientific and slow.
>The problem is that  what D+G are talking of is not "science" as a 
>whole but just one precise aspect of science which is , for natural 
>sciences field work and for the psy sciences the discussion with the 
>D+G are in the middle of a mistake : what they have in mind when 
>they talk about science is just and only a small part of the 
>scientific domain, and specially the one G knows. They just ignore 
>an other domain of science  which is building ideas out of hundred 
>of field work data. And they also ignore the building of  numerical 
>models such as the  ones we use for climate simulation or sea level 
>changes..or coasts set back under erosion and sea level rise.. 
>Building a conceptual model of  coastal behaviour is building a 
>concept, not a set of functifs glued together.  And I really mean 
>concept in a fully deleuzian way.
>Ther's nothing wrong with D+G ignoring these aspects of science. 
>They (the models) were simply not existing at the moment they (D+G) 
>wrote WIP.
>I just want to stress a simple fact : D+G are great  and even 
>deserve much more praise then they get for their philosophy of 
>"multiplicités" "empirisme" and "immanence" but they can't be relied 
>upon for their epistemic work. They know philosophy but not science 
>and not science as it is done today.
>This leaves us with the main question of WIP? that is : what's the 
>difference between philo and science ?.  G wanted to make a radical 
>difference because he had a political aim : to forbid neuro science 
>to invade the schizo analysis field.
>The political aim is clear and (I think) totally right. But the 
>argument D+G used to separate philo from science is wrong because 
>philo  creates concepts and science creates concepts also.. then the 
>difference between the two  must be elswhere.
>And today we have in front of us this large field wide open : how do 
>psycho or schizo analysis may co-exist with neuro sciences 
>(cognitivism) without being overwhelmed... ??? How can we resist to 
>the buldozing of knowledge by hard science?? How can we save the 
>existence (and the university fundings) for human science, soft 
>science, social science and even art????
>Our political aim is not to associate philo with concepts and 
>science with a lower order of rationality.. our present problem is 
>to explain that hard science is not able to understand everything 
>about a human being mind, thoughs, behaviour, dreams, loves ..
>WIP was a political statement designed to express the need for 
>funding something else than pure physics or pure neurology. . I 
>think we shall not achieve this aim if we try to downscale science 
>and upraise  philo, but if we try to convince hard scientists that 
>they need philosophy.
>About the ability of Deleuze to understand maths (which was not so 
>low) there is an excellent little book by J.C Dumoncel ( isbn 978 2 
>915725 08 7) If you read french I made a short review of it on
>amicalement  RV

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