THE UNIVOCITY OF DELEUZE
by Beth Metcalf
What is Univocity?
(2003) Spinozas Univocity is the key in the understanding of Deleuze. Univocity differs from any Representational ontology of classification according to genus and species.
Univocity IS Multiplicity
(2005) Univocity overcomes all
opposition of many/one with Multiplicity (real distinction,
The Immanence of Univocity
(2003) The immanence of Univocity shows us that Individuals are not separate forms or Subjects. What is the life of immanence where there are no individuals of the kind in Representational thinking?
(2003) Ideas are the sub-representative internal relation of difference without a concept. Ideas must not be confused with concepts.
(2003) Deleuzes Transcendental Empiricism is not to be confused with Representational Transcendentalism or Empiricism which trace conditions from the possibility of the concept.
(2003) Univocity is not a correspondence of an object of perception with a conceptual form of Representation. It is the expression of an internal understanding that precedes all representation.
Ethics and Common Notions
(2003) Deleuze-Spinozas Univocity is an ethics of difference. It is not a metaphysics of moral generality.
Logic of Sense
(2005) Univocity is the expressive logic of sense. It is not to be confused with the Representational logic of signification. Deleuze sees disparate worlds of sense conditioned by a transcendental field of univocality.
Bergson and Univocity
(2005) I will try to make the case that Bergsonism is consistent with Deleuzes Univocity. So, why does Deleuze never apply the term Univocity to Bergsons thought?
The Empty Form of
(2003) With Univocity, the empty form is not merely empty of empirical content. It is also empty and without concept. It is pure order. It is the Eternal Return, the third synthesis of Univocity.
(2005) In order to understand Nietzsches Univocity, we must know the active forces that appropriate it.
Deleuze Versus Hegel
(2005) Representational philosophy (such as that of Hegel) presents us with a choice: either you will accept difference as negatively determined, or you will be condemned to the undifferentiated abyss of black nothingness where there is no difference at all. Deleuze rejects that alternative.
Parallelism and the Syntheses
(2005) I try to show that Deleuze bases his three syntheses on Spinozas parallelism. With Spinozist Univocity, disjunction becomes a real synthesis. Univocity opens all the forms. Disjunction becomes all-inclusive.
Variety and Variation
(2006) We reach real difference only if we reach the virtual forces of intensity. The virtual is actualized in varieties of singularity.
(2008) I attempt to draw Deleuze's diagram of Stoic Univocity. The diagram is not circular, but it is a paradoxical element unfolding in a Mobius strip.
(2009) I compare what Deleuze calls the 'classical conception' of linguistics with his reading of Hjelmslev. I attempt to show why this is an example of Univocity.
Univocity Versus Analogy
(2009) Analogy is equivocal being said of the univocal. Univocity is the reverse. It is univocal being said of the equivocal.
Movement-Image and Time-Image
(2010) I compare Deleuze's movement-image (indirect representation of time) with the time-image (direct presentation of time). In the former, spatialized time is subordinate to movement. In the latter, movement becomes subordinate to a transcendental empty form of time.
(2010) I believe that, if we are to understand the machinic model of flows described by Deleuze and Guattari, it is important to understand their reading of Spinoza. Deleuze and Guattari find machinic univocity in Spinoza.
Philosophy is Univocity
(2010) Univocity is the answer Deleuze and Guattari give to their question 'What is Philosophy?' Whenever philosophy is thought in the image of Representation, it comes into crisis which can only be settled by a relativism of opinions. Deleuze and Guattari reformulate the problem. Univocity is their answer to the crisis of Representational Phiosophy.
Univocity and Structuralism (Part 1)
(2008) There seems to be some ambiguity about Deleuzes assessment of Structuralism. How can his Univocity shed light on this ambiguity?
Univocity and Structuralism (Part 2)
(2010) In Deleuzes article How Do We Recognize Structuralism? he criticizes the old structure of structuralism and foresees the new structure of univocity. I attempt to address the confusion that results when Lacans disciples project notions of the old structure into their reading of Deleuze.
The Old and The New Structure
(2014) In How Do We Recognize Structuralism Deleuze tells of two accidents that are the immanent tendencies of structure whenever its series remain at the level of signifieds/signifiers. Todays task is to reach a new structure that can avoid the accidents of the old classical structuralism.
Sub-representative Domain (Part 1) Individuation
(2010) We cannot reach Deleuzes univocity unless we reach his sub-representative domain of univocality. Singular individuation is pre-individual. It is a process beneath the forms and substances of representation. The plane of representations must always remain open to its sub-representative transcendental source, not in negative opposition but in vice-diction.
Sub-representative Domain (Part 2) Deleuze-Spinoza
(2010) Deleuzes univocity must include the sub-representative domain if it is to reach real difference. I believe we can best understand this through Deleuzes Spinozism. Difference is modal, not substantial. To reach this modal difference, we must reach the sub-representative plane that Deleuze finds in Spinoza.
Sub-representative Domain (Part 3) Perspectivism
(2010) Deleuzes perspectivism is the truth of the relative, not the relativity of truth. But we can reach this perspectivism only if we reach Deleuzes sub-representative plane of univocality. I explore the example of two critics of Deleuze, Badiou and Hallward, to ask if they are reaching his perspective.
Sub-representative Domain (Part 4) Intensity
(2011) Intensity is pure difference in itself. But we cannot reach this difference if we are still thinking in terms of concepts bound by extensive relations. We must reach a sub-representative domain of intensity.
Univocity vs. Phenomenology
(2011) Consciousness is a double of something. Deleuzes reading of Foucaults univocity shows that consciousness is a statement where a prior doubling makes it flush with the real. Consciousness as a statement is said in one sense. But consciousness has real difference on different historical strata (e.g. the stratum of phenomenological intentionality or the stratum of univocity).
Genesis: Ontological and Logical
(2012) It is a serious, yet common, misunderstanding of Deleuze's univocity to assume that it describes a simple correspondence between the singularity of the individual and the generality of the logical proposition.
Hyppolite and Hegel
(2012) Hyppolite credits Hegel with the insight that philosophy must be an ontology of sense. However, Deleuze notices a problem that Hyppolites's Hegelian bias won't permit him to see --- a problem that prevents both Hyppolite and Hegel from reching an ontology of sense.
Numerical and Real Distinction
(2012) Deleuzes Spinozist univocity is offered as a solution to the problems of Representational philosophy. But it is not simple to reach the real distinction of Deleuzes sub-representative virtual. In this article, I try to make the case that Deleuzes univocity is really different from the Representational interpretations that are so prevalent. I contend that commentary on Deleuze never escapes Representational Thinking because it still confuses numerical distinction of substances for real distinction.
How Can We Avoid Relativism?
(2013) This article is in response to those who accuse Deleuze of "intellectual imposture" and postmodern relativism. In particular, this is in response to 'Fashionable Nonsense' by Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont; and 'Postmodernism Disrobed' by Richard Dawkins.
Two Types of Multiplicities
(2014) According to Gödels Incompleteness Theorem, there can be no proof of consistency within an arithmetic system (no endoconsistency). Also, there will be true statements that are not demonstrable within a consistent system (no exoconsistency). Set theory is not adequate for finding both conceptual consistency and functional reference. But Deleuze and Guattari introduce univocity in order to reach an intersection of two types of multiplicities for both consistency and reference.
The Difference of Univocity
(2015) When under the shackles of the Representational Image of Thought, difference is seen to be merely the variable relations that maintain and produce identity. And, there is still a common misconception that Deleuzes difference must maintain that Image of what is possible. However Deleuze, even when he writes with Guattari, always presents univocity as the way to reach real difference that, from the point of view of the Representational Image, seems impossible. The difference of Deleuzes univocity escapes any principle that would maintain or produce identity.
Politics of the War Machine
(2015) Liberal political traditional analyzes social structures at the level of normative Ideology. Many individuals and groups are unified according to collective normativity of State. But this type of political thought cannot account for any real revolutionary change. Deleuzes univocity introduces real revolutionary difference that does not maintain or reproduce the same State structure. Univocity is the ontological process of becoming minoritarian that does not maintain or reproduce a unifying normativity.
Postulates of Linguistics
(2016) In chapter 4 of A Thousand Plateaus Deleuze and Guattari examine four postulates of traditional representational linguistics. They challenge these postulates of representation and contrast them with their own linguistic postulates based on univocity.
Deleuze's Repetition of Kant
(2016) Deleuze returns to what he sees as Kant's insight that was promised but never fulfilled by his Copernican Revolution. Deleuze makes a new repetition of Kant with real difference.
(2017) Deleuze and Guattari tell us that philosophical concept has often been confused with scientific function. However, philosophy and science are two types of multiplicities that intersect without resemblance. Today there is the need for a new contemporary (sub-atomic) philosophy of univocal being that alludes to contemporary science.
Repetition as Universality of the Singular
(2017) I suggest that, in order to understand Deleuzes univocity of singular difference, it is important to remember page 1 of Difference & Repetition, Generality, as generality of the particular, thus stands opposed to repetition as universality of the singular Generality of the particular is Representational Thought, but univocity is the intersection of two types of multiplicities that reaches repetition as universality of the singular.
Individual Difference in Evolutionary Theory
(2018) Evolution of species through time is a fact of biological science. However as long as evolutionary theory assumes only a generalized taxonomic structure, how can it reach the singular individual difference which alone can account for creative change? The discoveries of evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) could never have been predicted under the assumptions of generalizing theory. Is Deleuze's concept of univocal being more consistent with the new findings of evo-devo?
Art as Apprenticeship of Signs
(2018) In Proust and Signs, Deleuze understands Proust to say that the work of art is always singular style. It is singular use of a general law of series of signs. Artistic style is never derived from an image or memory that comes before. There is no totalizing generality of meaning. Style comes after an apprenticeship of signs that makes use of singular-universal viewpoint. In other words, art is univocal.
Logic of Sensation
(2019) Deleuze sees in Francis Bacons art disparate monuments of sensation conditioned by a transcendental field of univocality. Deleuze sees in Bacons art an irrational logic of sensation.
How Can We Avoid a Theological Vision?
(2019) The question, How can we avoid the analogical transcendence of a theological vision? becomes the question, How do we reach the ontological immanence of univocal being with its positive use of the disjunctive synthesis? The Kantian transcendental ushered in the speculative death of God. God, from then on, can merely preside over the disjunctive synthesis. However, Deleuze argues that Kants God did not reach the positive use of the disjunctive synthesis and therefore is still a theological vision.
Widders Genealogies of Difference
(2003) Nathan Widder remains in Representational thought. He does not reach Deleuzes Univocity.
Levi Bryants Difference and Givenness
(2011) Difference and Givenness, by Levi Bryant is a traditionally strucutralist reading of Deleuze. He believes that we can reach an understanding of Deleuze by way of the structural relations of structuralism. However, I see Deleuze as going beyond traditional structuralism in order to reach a more truly anti-essentialist structure.
Zizeks Organs Without Bodies
(2012) Zizeks structural relations of elements (organs without bodies) prevent him from reaching Deleuzes intensive forces of difference (bodies without organs). As long as Deleuze is read from a classical perspective, a Unifying One-ness will be the only possible way to understand him. However, once we finally reach Deleuzes plane of univocity, we can see that Deleuzes forces never approach Univeralizing Unity. Deleuze says that univocity is the only ontology of immanence, because it is not a unifying theology of transcendence.
Daniel W. Smiths Essays On Deleuze
(2014) Daniel W. Smiths collection of essays on Deleuze is an attempt to think that strange thought of univocity. I use this attempt to illustrate why I think it is necessary to reach a sub-representative and extra-propositional domain where differential forces of vice-diction are different in kind from variables that maintain identity.
Foucaults Theatrum Philosophicum
(2015) Here I review an essay by Michel Foucault in which he reviews Deleuzes Difference & Repetition and Logic of Sense. Foucault discusses Deleuzes theater of mime where sense intervenes in uses of representation. These uses have nothing to do with the old philosophies of Representation-Analogy.
Manuel Delandas Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy
(2016) I argue that, since Delanda leaves out Deleuzes ontology of univocal being, his reconstruction of Deleuzes thought can only maintain a structure of conceptual identity. Delanda sees Deleuzes ontology as a mind-independent realism with an added speculative dimension. If he wants his reader to see this Speculative Realism as something other than naďve realism, he has a lot more explaining to do.
Art and Madness
(2017) Raymond Roussel wrote How I Wrote Certain of My Books. Michel Foucault wrote a commentary on Roussels book entitled Death and the Labyrinth. Gilles Deleuze and Maurice Blanchot each wrote a commentary on Foucaults book. They all discuss an apparent deficiency in language. There seems to be an excess of things and a lack of forms. Foucaults Roussel reverses this fault in language with what, as I see it, Deleuze calls univocal being.
Foucaults The Life of Infamous Men
(2018) In Part three of Negotiations, Deleuze reviews Foucaults essay, noting the parallels between their works. Neither Deleuze nor Foucault is a structuralist. As I see it, they both are able to go beyond structuralism by way of what Deleuze calls univocity.
Klossowskis Nietzsche and the Vicious Circle
(2018) Deleuze encounters Klossowskis reading of Nietzsche. In my summary of Klossowskis book, I will sometimes substitute, or parenthetically add, Deleuzes terms where I think that encounter is revealed. Nietzsches Eternal Return is, in Deleuzes terms, univocal being.
Blanchot's Infinite Conversation
(2019) Blanchot's writing is an example of what Deleuze calls 'univocal being'. His space of literary writing is what Deleuze calls 'the empty form of time' or 'Aion'. It is Nietzsche's 'eternal return' of real difference.
Foucaults Order of Things
(2020) Foucault looks for a subterranean field beneath what is possible to see and say in different historical eras.
(2020) I write a favorable review of Deleuze: A Philosophy of the Event along with The Vocabulary of Deleuze, by Francois Zourabichvili. Zourabichvili's book is a rare event. His writing demonstrates that, if we are to reach an understanding of Deleuze, our use of terms must take on new ontological sense. Our thought must encounter a plane of univocal immanence.