Deleuze's Timed Logic
A series of posts by James Williams.
First part here.
This reduction of the real to the possible is exactly what Deleuze seeks to avoid, because he wants the potential of radical novelty in every part of his system. When I called this series of posts ‘Deleuze’s timed logics’ it was an allusion to Arthur Prior, temporal logic and tense logic. For Prior, the difficulty of time for logic is a problem of undecided possibilities in the future. For Deleuze, the problem of time for logic is the difficulty of how propositions are both decidable and undecidable at all times and beyond any set of possibilities.
Deleuze’s middle-period metaphysics (Difference and Repetition and Logic of Sense) has three main subspaces: actual, virtual and surface of intensities. Roughly, they can be thought of as the world we can identify, multiplicities of pure changes and degrees of intensities. There is a space of intensities because, while not belonging to them, they play out in both other spaces, as degrees of change.
Note: ‘intensities’ can be understood as individuation (?)
‘What is the condition for x identified at time t becoming y at time t+1?’ is a Deleuzian version of the familiar philosophical question ‘How can x’ at time t and x” at time t+1 both be called x?’ The contrast is between the question ‘What is the metaphysical structure required for explaining James becoming different?’ and ‘How can James at two different ages be the same person?’ For the first question, the problem is about explaining change and difference. For the second, the problem is about how to return change and difference to manageable identity.
In Logic of Sense, Deleuze discusses propositions by taking traditional categories such as designation (the thing picked out), signification (the meaning) and manifestation (the utterance) and adding the category of sense. He doesn’t deny that the first three are features of propositions, but rather aims to show how the sense of a proposition makes them problematic.
Crucially, sense also explains why propositions matter, and therefore takes priority. The gets to the question of pragmatism. This is also why intensities are important, they also determine sense/problems.