The concept of homology, or morphological correspondence, was the central tenet of philosophical anatomy. It was used to define structural similarity. Homologies, which are now defined in terms of evolution, were formerly interpreted in a transcendental sense. Whereas homologous parts are now considered to have descended from a common ancestor, in the pre-Darwinian era they were usually looked upon as evidence of an ideal pattern imposed on nature, or a blueprint in the mind of the creator.Read More
The French terms of both agencement and dispositif used by Deleuze and Guattari are usually translated as assemblage. An assemblage is a "site at which a discursive formation intersects with material practices" (Jonathan Crary, Techniques of the Observor, p. 31) It is "simultaneously a machinic assemblage and an assemblage of enunciation" (D+G, Thousand Plateaus, p. 504)Read More
Attractors are geometric forms that characterize long-term behaviour in the phase space. Roughly speaking, an attractor is what the behaviour of a systems settles down to, or is attracted to. They are globally stable in the sense that the system will return if perturbed off the attractor, as long as it remains within the basin of attraction.Read More
Autopoesis is both a concept about self-maintaining systems, especially biological ones, and an epistemological theory about cognition and self-reference.Read More
The phase space of a particular dynamical system is partitioned into one or many basins of attraction , perhaps intimately intertwined, each with its own attractor .
basins of attraction for a pendulum swinging over three magnets. (from Peitgen, Jürgens, and Saupe, Chaos and Fractals)
A bifurcation occurs when an attractor changes qualitatively with the smooth variation of a control parameter. Physically, bifurcations denote phase transitions from a state of equilibrium to new possible states of equilibria. (see also singularities)Read More
Cellular Automata were invented by Stanislaw Ulam in the late 1940's and used by John von Neumann in his theoretical investigations of self- replication in machines. A cellular automaton is a lattice of finite automata that all obey transition functions defined by the local context of each cell at any given time.Read More
A prisoner, in his cell, kneeling at prayer before the central inspection tower. "morals reformed -- health preserved -- industry invigorated --instruction diffused -- public burthens lightened -- Economy seated, as it were, upon a rock .... all by a simple idea in architecture." Jeremy BenthamRead More
Embodiment is the line between psychology and biology. One important feature of embodiment is that the interaction between the body and cognition is circular. Thus posture, facial expressions, or breathing rhythm are in a feedback loop with motor movement, mood, and cognition. I am bouncing along the street because I am happy but I am also happy because I am walking with a spring in my step.Read More
"In the late work of the painter is the fold / of that which comes to presence and of presence itself / become simple, 'realized.' healed, / transfigured in an identity full of mystery. / Does a path open up here, that leads to the co- / belonging of poetry and thought?" From Martin Heidegger, "Cezanne." in Gedaches, quoted in Agamben, Stanzas, p 158, n.)
"A structure is a regularized infolding of an aleatory outside." (Brian Massumi, p. 58) (see inside / outside ) For Gilles Deleuze, the Baroque is an operative function endlessly producing folds. These operations occur on two levels: the pleats of matter and the folds of the soul. What is the connection between the two? Correspondence, communication, or a fold between two folds?
If distinctions are "frames" for observing and describing identities, we will need a theory of frames, including, as Derrida would say, a frame for the theory of frames. In the Parergon quote, Derrida twists the theory of the frame to directly connect its inside and outside. The lack of a theory of the frame is directly connected to the place of lack within the theory.Read More
The latter part of the twentieth century is marked, above all, by the confrontation between the human and the machine, by the repeated redefinitions of each in terms of the other. In the age of biopower and biotechnologies, cyborgentities proliferate, spawning hybrid terms like artificial life, machinic phylum, virtual realities, computer agents, and desiring machines.
For the architectural avant-gardes of the earlier part of the century, this confrontation was developed and formalized through, on the one hand, the abstraction and materialilty of De Stijl and Constructivism respectively, and on the other hand, the biomorphic forms and psychic associations of Surrealism.
"This statement is a lie." true or false?
Bertrand Russell' s theory of logical types arose in the early part of the twentieth century as a result of contradictions and paradoxes in the mathematical theory of infinite sets. For example, "the class of all those classes that are not members of themselves" was self-contradictory. One such contradictory entity within mathematics endangered the self-consistency of all mathematics, so that Russell came to the conclusion that all such paradoxical statements had to be ruled out. He devised a hierarchical "theory of types" in which the legitimate members of a set at one level all belong to the level just below.
"In order to adequately understand their apparently idiosyncratic contributions... riddled with jargon and with a mysteriously ineffable systematicity..." (E. Grosz)
Describing the development of weapons such as the saber or the sword, Deleuze and Guattari relate how metallurgy follows variations in materials and their qualities (spatio-temporal haecceities) and transforms them into features (traits of expression) such as hardness, sharpness and finish.
"We may speak of a machinic phylum or technological lineage, wherever we find a constellation of singularities , prolongable by certain operations, which converge, and make the operations converge, upon one or several assignable traits of expresssion" ..."Each phylum has its own singularities and operations...which determine the relation of desire to the technical element."...
"We will call an assemblage every constellation of singularities and traits deducted from the flow of matter-movement. The assemblages cut the phylum up into distinct, differentiated lineages, at the same time as the machinic phylum cuts accross them all." (Thousand Plateaus, p. 406) Examples of these assemblages include the nomads' invention of the man-horse-bow assemblage.
"The machinic phylum is materiality, natural or artificial, and both simultaneously; it is matter in movement, in flux, in variation, matter as a conveyor of singularities and traits of expression...This matter flow can only be followed. The artisan is one who is determined to follow a flow of matter as pure productivity. The artisan is the itinerant, the ambulant. His work is a legwork. To follow the flow of matter...is intuition in action." (p.409) (this is neither nomadic nor sedentary, but in contact with both) -- minor science.
"Why is the machinic phylum, the flow of matter, essentially metallic, or metallurgical?" (p 410) "Metallurgy is the consciousness or thought of the matter-flow...The machinic phylum is metallurgical, or at least has a metallic head, as its itinerant probe-head or guidance device." In this respect, Deleuze and Guattari follow the trope established by the Futurists and followed by the architectural avant-garde, that described engineers as noble savages at the vanguard of technological innovation, "men of the people without culture or education," endowed with "the gift of mechanical prophecy, the flair for metals." (Marinetti, Le Futurisme, Quoted in Reyner Banham, A Concrete Atlantis, p.204)
According to Manuel de Landa, for Deleuze the machinic phylum is the overall set of self-organizing processes... in which a group of previously disconnected elements suddenly reaches a criticial point in which they begin to "cooperate" to form a higher entity. The notion of a machinic phylum blurs the distinction between organic and non-organic life. Phenomena of self-organization occur whenever a bifurcation takes place in phase space: when a new attractor appears or when the system's attractors mutate in kind.
According to de Landa, Deleuze realized the philosophical implications of trajectories, attractors, and bifurcations in phase space . He emphasized the ontological difference between "actual physical systems" (represented by trajectories in phases space), and "virtual physical systems" represented by attractors and repellors. Although he did not mention bifurcations by name, he explored the idea that special events could produce "an emission of singularities", that is, the sudden creation of a set of attractors and repellors. Thus in addition to "actual machines", there are two layers of "virtual machines" . The world of attractors (the first layer) defines the long-term tendencies of reality. The world of bifurcations modifies those tendencies and represents the source of creativity and variability in nature. (see de Landa p. 236 and Deleuze Logic of Sense)
A "map" takes points in one space (the source space) to certain points which the map identifies as the "corresponding points" in another space (the target space). Wittgenstein calls these "logical spaces." Symbolic structures which obey a system of rules for translation are isomorphisms, structural homologies. Thus the mapping amounts to a distorted image of the source space on the target space. Language maps thought on to sound. An input/output function can be understood as a mapping. Thus the toaster executes a function mapping from bread to toast, and the groove on a gramophone record maps to the sounds. The psycho-physiological problem in mechanistic psychology becomes a problem of point-to-point mapping of mental functions such as language and memory on to the brain. (see mind /brain )Read More
The Mandlebrot set has been described as the "most complicated object in the world." The figure represents the boundary of the domain of attraction of the behaviour of a simple equation in the complex plane. It is not the domain of attraction of a single system but rather a map of a family of systems, based on a single criterion.Read More
The prestige of mechanistic physics after Newton led to an extended confrontation between the norms of physics and other areas of science such as biology and psychology. Newton's Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophystood as a classical prototype, or canon, by which to judge all subsequent science. Newton's great achievement was to have produced a mathematical theory of nature that provided general solutions based on a rational system of deduction and mathematical inference, coupled with experiment and critical observation. Newtonian mechanics established "universal laws" that explained the movements of the planets, the tides, and whose predictive powers were given an overwhelming demonstration with the appearance of Halley's comet, just as predicted, in 1758, long after both Halley and Newton were dead. Even today, the exploration of space is a straightforward application of classical gravitational mechanics.Read More
For Deleuze and Guattari, molarity is the site of coded wholes. It is a productive process: a making-the-same. Its attractor state is that of stable equilibrium. It is the mode of being, rather than becoming.The principle revolutionary objective of their writing is to break down molar aggregates in favor of molecularity, and the "microphysics of desire." They call for becoming rather than being, for becoming-other rather than being the same. For them, becoming-other is thoroughly political.Read More
Morphogenesis is the process by which the phenotype develops in time under the direction of the genotype.
The explanation of morphogenesis requires a theory of the gene as well as theories for those properties of the organism revealed by experimental embryology and experimental morphology.
Morphology is an "account of form," an account that allows us a rational grasp of the morphe by making internal and external relations intelligible. It seeks to be a general theory of the formative powers of organic structure. The Pre-Darwinian project of rational morphology was to discover the "laws of form," some inherent necessity in the laws which governed morphological process. It sought to construct what was typical in the varieties of form into a system which should not be merely historically determined, but which should be intelligible from a higher and more rational standpoint. (Hans Driesch, 1914, p. 149)Read More