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Transcendental Experience and the Transcendental Experience and the Thought of the Virtual Thought of the Virtual

Vale ntine M ou l ar d-Leonar d Vale ntine M ou l ar d-Leonar d


SUNY series in Contemporary French Thought David Pettigrew and Franois Raffoul, editors

The Creation of the World or Globalization by Jean-Luc Nancy, translated and with an introduction by David Pettigrew and Franois Raffoul


Transcendental Experience and the Thought of the Virtual

Valentine Moulard-Leonard

State University of New York Press

Published by

State University of New York Press Albany

2008 State University of New York All rights reserved Printed in the United States of America No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission. No part of this book may be stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means including electronic, electrostatic, magnetic tape, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without the prior permission in writing of the publisher.

For information, contact State University of New York Press, Albany, NY www.sunypress.edu Production by Eileen Meehan Marketing by Michael Campochiaro

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Moulard-Leonard,Valentine, 1972 Bergson-Deleuze encounters : transcendental experience and the thought of the virtual / Valentine Moulard-Leonard. p. cm. (SUNY series in contemporary french thought) Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-0-7914-7531-7 (hardcover : alk. paper) 1. Bergson, Henri, 18591941. 2. Deleuze, Gilles, 19251995. 3. Philosophy, French20th century. I.Title. B2430.B43M67 2008 194dc22 2007042891 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Papa et Maman

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Acknowledgments Introduction.Virtual Empiricism: The Revaluation of the Transcendental Briefly Mapping Our Experimental Journey 1. Bergsons Genealogy of Consciousness The Immediate Data of Consciousness The Role of the Body Pure Perception and Beyond 2. Introducing Memory: From the Psychological to the Virtual Memory and the Brain:Which Survival? Folding Over:The Psychological Is Also Necessarily Virtual 3. The Unconscious as Ontology of the Virtual From Dualism to Difference The lan Vital or the Ontologization of Duration Memory as Virtual Coexistence Sense and Sensibility: Bergsonian Positivism


1 5 11 12 19 24

33 35 44 55 55 58 64 74


4. Between Bergson and Deleuze: The Method of Intuition as Transcendental/Virtual Empiricism Absolute Movement and Intuition Intuition and Superior Empiricism 5. Cinematic Thought: The Deleuzean Image and the Crystals of Time Why the Cinema? Toward the Crystal-Image: A Vision of the Genesis of Time 6. Proust and Thought: Death, Art, and the Adventures of the Involuntary Death Is the Truth of Thought How Might Death Be Put to Work? Art as the Production of Essences Conclusion. Bergson-Deleuze Encounters: Machinic Becomings and Virtual Materialsm What Does Deleuze Find in Bergson? Why the Image? Why Read Deleuze after Bergson? Which Machinic Becomings? Closing Notes References Index

89 89 100

105 106 112

123 124 129 135

141 142 144 146 148 152 155 179 187



The Philosophy Department of the University of Memphis has served as my adopted home and chosen family for almost nine yearsfrom my first fumbling attempts at philosophizing fresh off a plane from Paris in 1997 until my last two years as a visiting assistant professor. Like all the best families, it has seemed dysfunctional at times but loving and respectful always. It has certainly sustained my intellectual growth and has nourished me in many other but no less important ways. I will always be affectionately grateful to everyone there. This path has been strewn with inspiring encounters with fascinating, passionate, and brilliant thinkers for which I feel blessed. Leonard Lawlor, at Memphis, has been my most consistent, faithful, and influential guide throughout. I am thankful to him for having set by example the highest standards of rigor and creativity in thought. Keith Ansell-Pearson, at Warwick, not only strengthened and enlivened my passion for Bergson and Deleuze but welcomed me into his home for three months and provided me with a rare instance of great intellectual and personal charisma. James Williams, at the University of Dundee, offered me the rare opportunity to spend a year on a postdoctoral fellowship in Scotland to continue my research and broaden my horizons. He also fostered further confidence in my abilities as a thinker and provided a bright model of sanity and simplicity in the midst of the often overwhelming world of academia. Robert Bernasconi has remained throughout a persistent and highly influential inspiration. I hope to never lose sight in myself of the unfailing commitment to justice, humanity, care, responsibility, and fulfillment that he tirelessly cultivates in himself, his students, and his colleagues. His humility, authenticity, and enlightened generosity are truly to be admired and prized. During her toobrief stay at Memphis, Sara Beardsworth fostered a rich, brilliant, and original atmosphere of truly demanding but always friendly and loving honesty toward self and others. I will always be thankful to her for not letting me get away with denial and self-deception. I am grateful to Mary-Beth Mader for the sparkling


Acknowledgments intelligence she generously spreads, for her down-to-earth good-heartedness, and for her friendly encouragement. Richard Beardsworth, at the American University in Paris, is responsible for having sparked in the wide-eyed undergraduate that I was the love and fascination for the rigors of philosophical thinking that have sustained me in the last twelve years. I also hold him responsible for having opened the doors of Memphis and, beyond that, of America for me. I cannot imagine what my life would have turned out to be without his confidence in my abilities. I thank Nancy Simco for her unflinching dedication to promoting and defending the best interests of her students and colleagues. Her personal investment in upholding the most supportive, caring, and respectful professional and social environment cannot be underestimated. And I am eternally grateful to Lisa Andrews for the bureaucratic miracles she has repeatedly performed on my behalf over the years. Her humble, cheerful, yet fiercely efficient assistance has turned many an administrative nightmare into a breezy walk in the park.This is definitely no light achievement. I am thankful to Franois Raffoul and Jane Bunker at State University of New York Press for agreeing to publish this book. And a heartfelt thank you to Anna Esquivel for all her invaluable editorial help. My dear friends and fellow graduate students from the Memphis Philosophy Department should know that I could not have made it through without them. Donna Marcano, Ann Murphy, Stacy Keltner, Rex Gilligand . . . we sure had a fabulous time together working, partying, struggling, laughing, and thinking hard.You are all brilliant, fabulous, and beautiful people. I am deeply grateful to Diane Brandon and Wayne Knerr. Because of their enlightened wisdom I have been able to maintain the precious (if relative) mental and spiritual health that this and future endeavors require. To Jack, Dave, and Rico I send a heartfelt thank-you for having lightened up my Sundays and for having repeatedly rescued my brain from overheating with the joyful beats and metaphysical rhythms we shared. I thank my family for the love and encouragement they have generously bestowed upon me and for the trust in my abilities that they have never ceased to expound. From all the way across the big pond, they have made sure that I never felt forsaken in this strange land that fails to grasp the magical virtues of mold-flavored cheese. Finally, I thank my dear, sweet, wonderful husband David. His strength, talent, and free spirit never cease to amaze and inspire me. His love, trust, and understanding fill my soul and nourish my body, always. He has supported me throughout this process with otherworldly patience. I adore him.


Virtual Empiricism: The Revaluation of the Transcendental

To philosophize would be easy if ready-made ideas were not constantly inserting themselves between the things and us. Henri Bergson, Une pense de Bergson in Mlanges The transcendental form of a faculty is indistinguishable from its disjointed, superior or transcendent exercise. Transcendent in no way means that the faculty addresses itself to objects outside the world but, on the contrary, that it grasps that in the world which concerns it exclusively and brings it into the world. The transcendent exercise must not be traced from the empirical exercise precisely because it apprehends that which cannot be grasped from the point of view of common sense, that which measures the empirical operation of all the faculties according to that which pertains to each, given the form of their collaboration. That is why the transcendental is answerable to a superior empiricism which alone is capable of exploring its domain and region. Gilles Deleuze, Difference and Repetition

Until Gilles Deleuze set in motion the revival of Henri Bergsons philosophy beginning in the late fifties,1 the Bergson rage of the teens had receded into 1

Bergson-Deleuze Encounters the unconscious depths of European thought. Nevertheless, Bergsons contribution to the posing of the philosophical problems central to contemporary philosophy is inestimable. His novel concept of duration (la dure), the nexus of his new philosophy, and his innovative methodology of metaphysical pragmatism have challenged our thinking of time, and they continue to defy any established idea or philosophical system concerning consciousness, perception, memory, knowledge, life, evolution, reality, causality, and freedom. Bergson has not only redefined the terms of the relations between science and philosophy, but his political engagement also has contributed to shaping the geopolitical face of the Western world.2 In fact, both his declarations and his practice of philosophy testify to the necessary relevance of concrete life to metaphysical thought and of philosophy to social and political life. This indisputably makes him one of our most significant contemporary interlocutors. While Deleuzes somewhat unorthodox philosophical practice has captivated, puzzled, and sometimes irritated many, much serious work still needs to be done for his legacy to achieve the position it deserves. To be sure, anyone who has ever attempted to grapple with Deleuze can testify to the extreme difficulty of his thought.This difficulty is as much due to its innovative character as it is due to the vertiginous wealth of intertextual and interdisciplinary references pulsing through his writings. Metaphysics, the history of philosophy, mathematics, physics, psychoanalysis, literature, cinema, painting, music, and politics all figure as major, lively, rambunctious characters in his playful, dramatic, yet deeply scholarly probings into the nature of reality and thought, the eventfulness of life, materiality, and subjectivity. Although Deleuze seems to be finding his inspiration in and somehow responding to every thing, idea, work of art, or school of thought he comes across, some salient points and clearly determined series arise from these avid encounters; Nietzsche, Spinoza, Kant, Flix Guatarri, Proust, Francis Bacon, Blanchot come to mind, and, of course, Bergson.This books ambition is to shed some light on the intricate relation of creative involution that ties Deleuze to Bergson and that sweeps them both along in a common, though not undifferentiated, bloc of becoming.3 The major insight that has driven this project from the outset is the realization that these two thinkers share a more or less explicit dedication to a revaluation of the transcendental conditions informing the Kantian and phenomenological image of experience. As it copies the supposedly a priori conditions of experience from the given (e.g., in order for this kind of sensible intuition to be possible, such and such formal conditions have to be there in the first place), transcendental philosophy simply forecloses any account of the production of the new from the outset. In response, Bergson and Deleuze wish for philosophy to procure conditions that may still be called transcendental (since they lay the ground and the reason for the particular kind of experiences we have) but that would open up experience to novelty and to other dimensions of the real rather than closing it down and confining it to some phe-

Introduction nomenal realm postulated by the dictates of common sense.This means that the nature of time and space, perception and subjectivity, knowledge, truth, and, ultimately, thinking, is at issue here. The key word informing this revaluation of the transcendental is the virtual. I intend to show that Bergsons metaphysical pragmatism and Deleuzes transcendental (or superior) empiricism could equally be called virtual empiricism. In effect, it is in Deleuzes encounter with Bergsonism that the philosophical significance of the term virtual is rooted. This, however, should not overshadow the irreducible originality of their respective thought. While Kants invaluable contributions to modern thought have become inseparable from the idea of a Copernican revolution (i.e., let us suppose that objects are a function of our cognitive faculties, rather than assuming that our knowledge must adjust itself to objects4),William James has suggested that the Bergsonian methodology that Matter and Memory introduces also constitutes, in its own right, yet another Copernican revolution.5 In fact, I want to add, it amounts to a Copernican revolution of the Copernican revolution, as Bergson shows that Kants divisions between the phenomenal and the noumenaland his consequent affirmation that knowledge cannot possibly reach beyond sensible experienceare themselves contingent. Relying on his groundbreaking notion of duration to rework the differences and relations between matter and perception, consciousness and memory, and spirit and experience, Bergson concludes that it is only abstractly that we can separate brain, body and world, as Keith Ansell-Pearson explains (2002, 12).We will see that immeasurable consequences follow from this. The main consequence of the Bergsonian revolution is that the conditions of experience can no longer fit in the Kantian or traditional phenomenological framework. Since, for Bergson, the conditions of experience are no longer external to it, he in effect provides us with a new conception of experience as integral experience.6 This in turn signifies the opening up of the realm of knowledge to include the dimension of spirit (lesprit)7 and the redefinition of philosophy as methodological intuition, driven by an effort to reach beyond (dpasser) the human condition (2001b, 1425/1965, 193). In Deleuzean terms, we could say that the main effect of this Bergsonian revolution consists in the elaboration of a plane of immanence. This plane is neither a thing nor a form, neither objective nor subjective, neither indeterminate nor fully determined, neither a simple whole nor a part, neither material nor spiritual. Real without being actual, ideal without being abstract,8 it is a virtual field of vibrational potentials, of preindividual singularities out of which the thought of pure immanence must be produced. One of the internal conditions of this production lies with a certain kind of experimentation, a certain kind of lived reality.While it is lived, it cannot be experienced if experience here means conscious representation. Deleuze calls it the transcendental lived

Bergson-Deleuze Encounters reality (le vcu transcendental). Like the Bergsonian integral experience, then, this experimentation is conditioned by the inhuman. Eventually, Deleuze will use the word machinic to refer to this immanent process of production by means of unconscious and impersonal experimentation. Here it may seem tempting to take a shortcut and read Deleuze as a raving materialist. I contend that this cannot be the case, as not only is he careful to distinguish between machinism and mechanism (Bergsons greatest enemy), he also never separates the machine from its virtual becomings. But a new conception of matter is definitely at stake in Deleuzes appropriation of the virtual. Most generally speaking, the virtual coincides with an immanent plane of self-alteration that subtends and traverses all beings, thereby constantly informing and deforming the real. It challenges all ready-made conceptions of identity from the outset. The virtual thus necessarily carries us away from consciousness-centered accounts of time and subjectivity, as it is indissociably linked to the unconscious, which is to say to the impotence (impuissance) that lies at the core of thought, at once grounding and ungrounding it. As such, it not only problematizes transcendental idealism but also any philosophy that situates itself within the Cartesian dualistic problematic, be it in its idealist, materialist, existentialist, or phenomenological shape. Hoping to limit the scope of this potentially endless inquiry, I have chosen to engage in a selective reading of both thinkers, more interpretive than critical in nature.While Bergsons engagement with the sciences of his time is visionary in many respects, it might appear dated to some today. I am happy to leave to other, more qualified scholars and/or scientists the task of unraveling the potential inadequacies of his accounts of perception, memory, and the brain, for instance, in light of recent discoveries in the neurosciences.9 Similarly, while I have no doubt that Deleuzes creative appropriation of quantum physics and differential calculus (most notably in the fourth and fifth chapters of Difference and Repetition) is highly relevant to the metaphysical issues he takes on, I harbor no ambition of delving into any critical assessment of this move.10 As is typical with both Bergsons and Deleuzes writings, many different points of entry into their thought are provided, and they all are equally valid. Because Bergsons writings are still very little known in contemporary academia (and still relegated to a minor, if not nonexistant, position in most curriculums), and because despite their exemplary precision and clarity they have traditionally been subject to numerous misinterpretations, I have chosen to offer a fairly straightforward reading of them on their own terms.11 In contrast, the Deleuze scholarship has exploded in the last five years or so, and the topic of his connection to Bergsonism has attracted much attention. However, much of this literature has tended to either focus on Deleuzes work with Guatarri or on Difference and Repetition.12 Here, in addition to Deleuzes explicit dealings with Bergson, I have sought to bring out the centrality of his books on the cinema for reconstructing the Bergsonian landscape hosting Deleuzes own philo-

Introduction sophical peregrinations. I argue that it is also there that the point of diffraction between the two thinkers becomes most visible. Finally, while Deleuzes explicit criticisms of his guide are extremely rare, I have found a few cues in Difference and Repetition and Cinema 2 that pointed to the nonphilosophical image of thought Deleuze finds in Proust as a necessary complementin the shape of what could perhaps be called an ungroundingto the Bergsonian account.With the cinema books of the early eighties and Deleuzes 1964 Proust and Signs (revised and expanded in 1970 and 1976), I am taking a scenic road through Deleuzes Bergsonisma road that allows for different, yet no less crucial, vistas into Deleuzes own account of the emergence of thought.

Briefly Mapping Our Experimental Journey

I begin by focusing on Bergsons genealogy of consciousness in terms of the theory of pure perception he proposes in his 1896 Matter and Memory. There I argue that Bergson is able to overcome the sterile paradoxes that plague dualism on the basis of a displacement of the mind/body problem. This displacement (and the concomitant resolution) of the problem of dualism takes place in Bergsons seminal distinction between two kinds of multiplicities, namely, the actual, quantitative, and homogenous multiplicity that corresponds to space, on the one hand, and the virtual, qualitative, and heterogeneous multiplicity coinciding with duration, on the other.Arguably, the sterility of the traditional dualistic problematic is attributable to the assumption, shared by idealists and realists alike, that matter and spirit are two separate substancesthat, in other words, they are inscribed in a relation of transcendence. By shifting to a vision of the real, with its two sides (spatial and temporal, actual and virtual, quantitative and qualitative) in terms of different kinds of multiplicities, Bergson is able to bridge the otherwise insuperable gap between the two. Matter and spirit then turn out to be two opposite poles, intensities, rhythms, or levels of contraction/expansion of the same, one, underlying, virtual, immanent duration. The vital dynamism of this vision may fully come into focus when one imagines the universe as a giant beating heart, endlessly contracting and expanding. This vision of the real implies that one begins with mobility rather than inertia.As Bergson untiringly reminds us, one may very well analyze movement into inert positions, but one will never reach mobility by juxtaposing positions. On the basis of this vision, Bergson reinterprets consciousness as motility and presenceor a diminution, a closing down of the open whole of absolute movementwhile unconsciousness coincides with the ever-excessive open whole of virtual memory or of the preservation of the past in the present. Both heterogeneity and continuity are accounted for. Bergsons seminal distinction between the two multiplicities thus allows for a displacement of the traditional

Bergson-Deleuze Encounters mind/body problem (together with, in its wake, the problems of freedom and causality) onto the terrain of the relation between continuity and discontinuity, extensity and duration, present and past, perception and memory, and consciousness and unconsciousness. The second chapter tackles the original theory of memory that Bergson elaborates in the central chapters of Matter and Memory. I give a detailed account of the issue of the survival of the past subtending Bergsons approach to the relationship between memory and the brain.As he argues that the preservation of the past in the present (i.e., memory) must be thought independently of any material inscription within the cerebral matter, I conclude that for him the actual epistemological domain of our psychological determinations must necessarily be referred back to, or folded over, the metaphysical realm of our virtual conditions. Once again, his original notion of duration qua both heterogeneous and continuous multiplicity will provide the key to the immanent yet nonreductive relation he establishes between epistemology, psychology, and metaphysics. This relation finds its reason in Bergsons demonstration of the positive existence of the unconscious. For him, the unconscious is not only psychological but also ontological.As a pure past that preserves itself in itself, it also is the virtual point of contact between the two multiplicitiesthe point at which dualistic dichotomies become nuances of difference. If being endures, if it is not to be collapsed into an eternal present, then it must be equated with this virtual unconscious. Put otherwise, the virtual is necessarily of an ontological nature, just as being, qua survival, must be primarily virtual. The first two chapters are mainly concerned with following Bergson in his effort to disencumber our minds from all the ready-made ideas and all the intellectual illusions that stand in the way of philosophythat is, of the effort to reach beyond the contingent limitations that define a certain conception of the human condition.With the unmixing of psychology and metaphysics, the way is finally cleared for the radically new philosophy Bergson wants to create. This new philosophy consists in the solution of the problems inherent in dualism by way of a dissolution of its false problems. Bergson is then able to pose the true problems at stake (empiricism) to finally solve them (by way of the virtual).This is what the third chapter tries to convey. With this unmixing, Bergson shows that the Kantian account of the transcendental conditions of experience ultimately relies on the confusion between contingency and necessity: these supposedly transcendental, impervious, and necessary conditions that remain external to what they conditionnamely, the homogenous forms of time and space, which in Kants view are themselves outside of experienceindeed turn out to be merely contingent on certain intellectual and utilitarian habits of the mind that can and must be overcome. Kant equates the intellect or the understanding with the necessary forms of all possible experience and concludes that all intuitions must be sensible or infra-intellectual.13 In other words, in the confrontation between the real and

Introduction the intellect, it is the latter, in its fixing, delimiting, and symbolizing activity, that has the last word. In contrast, Bergson shows that the intelligences negative activity must be the negation of something, and that this something we must grasp in some sense in order to delimit it in the first place. Kants reliance on possibility implies an unbridgeable gap between contingency (or the possible, the conditioned, experience, knowledge, sensibility) and necessity (the unconditioned conditions, reason, the unknowable, the supersensible). Bergsons appeal to virtuality allows him to establish a passage between contingency and necessity: because actual consciousness necessarily involves memory, it coincides with duration; because duration, like life, is a virtual multiplicity, it is the point of contact with the vital order of evolution; because evolution is creative, it involves a vital impulse (lan vital) that can no more be reduced to material determinism than it collapses with traditional teleology. For Bergson, then, the relation between thought and things cannot simply be a matter of the understanding imposing its a priori categories on the real. More profoundly, it must and can be traced to an intuition of the vital itself. Ultimately, it is for the sake of this affirmation of the reality of a supra-intellectual intuition (that nonetheless remains continuous with sensible intuition) that Bergsonism repudiates transcendental idealism. By focusing on Bergsons method of intuition, the fourth chapter tries to recapitulate the most important Bergsonian insights concerning the relation he sees between perception and memory, the psychological and the metaphysical, and the actual and the virtual. This relation is one of contraction/expansion of the virtual. I argue that it is here that the hypothesis of a point of indiscernibility between Bergsons and Deleuzes virtual empiricism is most likely to take hold. For both thinkers, the formula of this new philosophical method could be stated as follows:The transcendental conditions of experience are no longer abstract conditions of possible experience, they are virtual conditions of real experience. As such, they are not transcendent or baggy; rather, they are immanent or tightly fitted to what they condition. They are no longer Kant-like conditions of all possible experience in general; rather, they are the conditions of experience in all its peculiarities, in its uniqueness or singularity. In fact, the conditions of real experience are no broader than what they condition, because experience reaches them by broadening itself out (expansion) by means of intuition, by opening itself up to other rhythms of duration, to the inhuman or the superhumanin a word, by going beyond the human condition, but doing so immanently. Thus, Deleuze concludes,The conditions of experience are less determined in concepts than in pure percepts. And, while these percepts themselves are united in a concept, it is a concept modeled on the thing itself, which only suits that thing (1998a, 19/1988, 28, emphasis added). Here Deleuzes appropriation of the Bergsonian method of intuition not only confirms the overcoming of transcendental idealism brought about by virtual empiricismthings are no longer modeled after

Bergson-Deleuze Encounters concepts, but concepts are modeled after thingsit also strikingly resonates with Deleuzes own definition of philosophy as the creation of concepts.14 The fifth chapter inaugurates a series of more original and exploratory reflections on Deleuzes original brand of Bergsonism on my part. Although Deleuze teases out of Bergson the new conception of the transcendental necessary for his own philosophy of pure immanence, he appropriates the Bergsonian insights to radicalize the notion and the status of transcendental experience.The result is a conception of the virtualand therefore, of thought and its conditionsthat must be distinguished from Bergsons. In the final analysis, we could say that the ultimate point of diffraction between Bergson and Deleuze lies in their respective conceptions of life, being, or timewhich is to say the human condition. On the one hand, Bergsons conception of the virtual privileges continuity, as his founding notion of duration and his ontology of memory testify to. For him, transcendental experience is the experience of memory, of the preservation of the past in the present, of time as the interiority in which we live: in a word, it is the experience of survival. For Deleuze, on the other hand, transcendental experience is the experience of death: a minute freed from the order of time, as Proust put it. Following the great modern art, cinema, and literature, Deleuze thus privileges discontinuity and fragmentation over continuity. I argue that this is where art takes up the baton from philosophy, where Proust and the great modern cinema take up the baton from Bergson, where the pre-World War II humanist hope for progress still held by Bergson is replaced with the postwar vision of a world reduced to chaos and crumbs.The whole has been shattered, the human has been demoted from its pedestal, and the only junction between the human and the world now lies in their shared positive fragmentation. But for Deleuze, this transcendental experience also is the experience of becoming, because it coincides with experimentation as the very force of time (and not only of its effects): the empirical cycles of creation and destruction are shown to be conditioned by deeper, machinic processes governed by a necessary absence of unity.And of course we must keep in mind that for Deleuze this fundamental fragmentation of the world, the self, and time also coincides with the future, with the untimely event of A life. The fifth chapter is dedicated to an examination of this point of diffraction between Bergson and Deleuze based in the latters extensive study of the cinema. Through his reinterpretation of the status of the cinematographic image, Deleuze launches into a full-blown revaluation of the Bergsonian metaphysics of movement and time.This yields a vision of the very genesis of timeits constant splitting into past and future.Arguably, it is this properly genetic dimension of time that was missing in Bergson.15 Of course, what is also at stake here is the distinction that must be introduced between Bergons and Deleuzes respective accounts of the emergence of subjectivity, knowledge, truth, and thought.A further exploration of this distinction is the object of our last chapter.

Introduction In the sixth chapter, through an inquiry into the Proustian influence on Deleuzes philosophy, I strive to bring to light the central role that the Deleuzean image of thought ascribes to death, qua artistic experimentation. I propose to sum up the most significant differences between Bergsons and Deleuzes positions on art, philosophy, thought, and experience with the following syllogism: 1. For Bergson, art equals life (creation), and life is the truth of thought (intuition). 2. For Deleuze, thought equals (the encounter with) death (artistic production) and is the truth of life. 3. Therefore, death is the truth of thought. I conclude that in light of this formula, we can say that Deleuze is neither rejecting Bergsonism nor is he, strictly speaking, proposing an alternative for it. Rather, in a typical fashion, he is faithfully traveling farther down the same path when, pushing Bergsons insights to their extreme limits, he is able to provide a ground/unground for a Bergsonism of the future. In the conclusion, I provide some observations on what such a productive Bergsonism of the future could look like. I also take this as an opportunity to offer a brief reconstruction of the Deleuzean ontology of becoming from the perspective of his theory of machinic production. My hope is that this journey will contribute to revitalizing scholarly interest in Bergson; that those who wish to explore possibilities for alternative accounts of experience, subjectivity, thought, and their conditions might be tickled; and that those who are curious about transcendental (or virtual) empiricism might find it helpful, or at least provoking.

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Bergsons Genealogy of Consciousness

The percept is the landscape before man, in the absence of man. . . . We are not in the world, we become with the world; we become by contemplating it. Everything is vision, becoming. We become universes. Becoming animal, plant, molecular, becoming zero. Gilles Deleuze and Flix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus

In Time and Free Will,1 Bergson endeavors to demonstrate a traditionally overlooked yet radical difference between two kinds of multiplicities: an actual, quantitative, discrete, and homogenous multiplicity that coincides with space, on the one hand, and a virtual, qualitative, heterogeneous, yet continuous multiplicity that corresponds to psychological duration, on the other.Against Kant, Bergson contends that it is in fact heterogeneity that constitutes the ground of experience (2001a, 72/2001, 97).When, by making it an a priori form of sensibility, Kant provides space with an existence independent from its content (i.e., sensibility), he is in fact defining space as a homogenous milieu. This implies that he conceives sensations themselves, considered independently of the form of space, as nonextended and simply qualitative. Now, Bergson explains, If space is to be defined as the homogenous, it seems that inversely every homogenous and indefinite milieu will be space. For homogeneity here consisting in the absence of any quality, it is hard to see how two forms of the


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters homogenous could be distinguished from one another (2001a, 73/2001, 98, trans. modified). However, Bergson continues, it is customary to regard time as an indefinite medium, different from space yet homogenous as well. But when we make time a homogenous medium in which conscious states (or inner sense) unfold, we take it (time) to be given all at once, that is, simultaneously. This amounts to saying that we thereby abstract time from duration, or from the irreversibility of succession. Indeed, we are thereby really, though unconsciously, giving up time by making it a mere ghost of space. We then end up trying to spatialize our conscious states, to juxtapose them simultaneously as if they were well-defined, discrete, and mutually exclusive objects. Instead of thus reducing everything to space, Bergson demands that we begin to think in terms of time.

The Immediate Data of Consciousness

Duration (la dure) and the Two Multiplicities Bergsons seminal insight lies in the insistence, against all scientific and metaphysical approaches, that time not be confused with space.While space or matter consists in an actual, discrete, or quantitative multiplicity akin to unit and number, time or psychological duration can only be thought of as a virtual, continuous, or qualitative multiplicity. Lived duration is continuous and qualitative because it enfolds a confused plurality of interpenetrating terms. It is only by means of an intellectual abstraction from this incessant flow that we can even begin to speak of discrete states and well-defined discontinuous objects. Our ordinary conception of time as a homogenous medium in which our conscious states are placed alongside one another as in space thus fails to take into account the essential heterogeneity of duration.The difficulty and novelty of Bergsons approach here lies in his connection of the continuous with the heterogeneous (duration), on the one hand, and of the discontinuous with the homogenous (space), on the other. In their comprehensive and penetrating introduction to Bergson: Key Writings, Keith Ansell-Pearson and John Mullarkey (2002) note that although the use of the term multiplicity refers to Riemannian geometry, Bergson wants to show that timethat is, life or changeis psychical in essence; as such, it is not of a mathematical or logical order. In a somewhat counterintuitive way, it now appears that duration is heterogeneous because it is continuous. As a virtual multiplicity of interpenetrating states, it is essentially indivisible, which means that as soon as we try to divide itor break the continuityit changes in kindhence the qualitative heterogeneity. In contrast, space is discontinuous because it is homogenous. Each discrete element or unit is simply a different degree of the same inert underlying milieu.


Bergsons Genealogy of Consciousness As Gilles Deleuze saw, what is at stake in Bergsons distinction between the actual and the virtual multiplicities is no less than a radical revaluation of the metaphysics of the real and of the qualitative change that essentially informs it. The radicality of Bergsons philosophy becomes even clearer in his subsequent works, as his notion of duration evolves so as to become, by his 1907 Creative Evolution, the nexus of a full-blown ontology of self-alteration. As Ansell-Pearson and Mullarkey note, this involves breaking down the form-matter opposition that structures his account in Time and Free Will. But this must not overshadow the fact that the method of intuition he elaborates, alone capable of coinciding with this change, is one of perhaps unequaled precision and rigor. One crucial outcome of Bergsons overcoming of sterile dualisms on the basis of duration lies in a metaphysics and an epistemology capable of shaking to their foundations Kants critique and the phenomenological approaches of his inheritors. Duration is no longer restricted to the realm of consciousness and instead coincides with the movement of life itselfthat is, external things do endure in their own way, independently of our psychological experience (contra subjectivism) and duration is shown to be immanent to the universe. Thus it turns out that the transcendental forms applicable to things cannot be entirely our own work: if we do give much to matter, then we probably receive something from it as well. In short, the very meaning of the transcendental is transformed for, as a residual product of the evolution of life, consciousness is only a determined case of duration.As such, it can neither encompass the open whole nor condition it; rather, consciousness very existence (and not only its possibility), as well as that of its conceptual categories, is conditioned by it.This, in turn, means that psychological durationthat is, consciousness and memory (or the unconscious)constitutes the point of contact and the immanent opening onto ontological duration. Because we have memory, it is possible to reintegrate all closed systems (be they individuals, species, or political societies) into that ever-evolving whole. From the disinterested point of view of duration, they turn out to be products of only one of the two tendencies of the real: evolutions own tendency to slow down and arrest its forward movement within extensity (space or materiality). Indeed, the intelligence and the categories of the understanding follow a similar tendency. Although this forming, materializing, and measuring activity is a natural and necessary tendency from the point of view of practical interest, it is really a mere habit of the mind. For Bergson, this habit is essentially what accounts for the kind of science and metaphysics we know; but it can be overcome. In a word, the kind of phenomenological experience that has defined the conditions and the limits of our possible knowledge may capture one aspect of the real, but this is only one particular line of access. By methodically turning intelligence against itself to follow the other, durational tendency, through the kind of intellectual effort that Bergsons writings force us into, we can integrate a different kind of experience (namely, Bersgonian intuition) and rejoin the


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters source of experience, the point at which the mind becomes continuous with creative duration. For Bergson, this means that against Kant, knowledge does not have to be relative: it can be absolute (that is, coincide with the real), though necessarily incompleteas the coincidence can only ever be partial, and the real is the moving, variable essence of things. For Bergson, then, truth will have to be defined as the stable (though not immutable) accord between the real and intuition.2 The Split Self In Time and Free Will, Bergson shows that these two tendencies or multiplicities coincide with the two sides of the self. On the one hand, lived duration (that is, the heterogeneous qualitative multiplicity) corresponds to the fundamental self, considered independently of its symbolic representation. In Matter and Memory, this deep self will be called the unconscious. On the other hand, the homogenous, quantitative multiplicity informing spatial representation corresponds to the superficial or social self. Although these two sides ought not to be confused, Bergson acknowledges that we arrive naturally at such confused representation.This is because in a series of identical terms, each term assumes a twofold aspect for our consciousness: one that is always identical to itself since we are then projecting onto it the identity of the external objectand another that is specific and singular, since the addition of this term brings about a new organization for the whole (2001a, 92/2001, 124). In a word, our self is split up; it is dual. Insofar as it comes into contact with the external world at its surface, its successive sensations, although dissolving into one another, retain something of the mutual externality of their objective causes; this is why our superficial psychological life unfolds in a homogenous milieu without this symbolical representation requiring any effort from us. But as we advance farther into the depths of consciousness, the deep-seated self that senses and loves, deliberates and decides, is encountered as a force whose states and modifications permeate one another and undergo a deep alteration as soon as we separate them from one another in order to set them out in space, that is, in order to actualize and communicate them (2001a, 93/2001, 125).This is a crucial aspect of Bergsons new metaphysics: the virtual necessarily transforms itself in the process of its actualization.3 Nevertheless, given that it is the refracted ego that best lends itself to the exigencies of social life and language, consciousness tends to hold onto it and to forget about the fundamental self. In order to recover this fundamental self such as it would present itself to an immediate consciousness, a vigorous effort of introspection and analysis is necessary; by means of this effort of the will, we may isolate the living psychological facts from their refracted and solidified double. Once again, Bergson concludes that all of our perceptions, sensations, emotions, and ideas present themselves under a twofold aspect: the one clear


Bergsons Genealogy of Consciousness and precise, but impersonal because reified, and the other indistinct, infinitely mobile, and inexpressible because profoundly subjective (2001a, 96/2001, 129). Ultimately, however, both of these opposite tendencies of the ego are rooted in the same one, natural phenomenon called intelligence. As the center of indetermination inserting duration into a refractory and simultaneous matter, the brain embodies the fundamental psychological duplicity just described, thereby allowing for hesitation and choice. But I insist that hesitation, or deliberation, must not be identified too quickly with choice, or decision. They are two very distinct moments in a persons psychological life, in the sense that their respective qualitative what its likeness takes on a very different tone. Just think of what it feels like to be stuck in an apparently insoluble dilemma, as opposed to what it feels like to finally make a decision and/or act on it. If we are duration essentially, if our deep psychological states penetrate one another constantly, then (1) at what point can we say that we actually made a decision, and (2) to what extent can this decision be said to constitute a free choice? Put otherwise, the new problem that the analysis of the twofold nature of consciousness conjures up is one of free will and determinism. The Two Causalities: Determinism and the Free Act According to Bergson, the problem of freedom is a false problem: it deals with a badly stated question, because it relies on the confusion between the two multiplicities, duration and simultaneity. What is the question Are we free? really asking? Most generally, and as Kant himself understands it, it is asking whether any given psychological state can be said to be determined on the basis of certain laws, that by establishing a causal connection between past and present facts, claim to be able to calculate, that is, to predict the future. It thus relies on the illusion that psychic duration is measurable, when we have already shown that such measurement would imply reducing it to the discrete multiplicity of number, to which it is de jure irreducible. Bergson contends that such a mechanistic approach to the issue of freedom falls prey to the Eleatic confusion between movement (duration) and inertia (space). In fact, it is significant that his discussion of Zenos paradoxes returns virtually untouched in every one of his major texts, from Time and Free Will to the Two Sources, through Matter and Memory, Creative Evolution, and the Introduction to Metaphysics. Like Zeno of Elea, the determinist attempts to explain motion in terms of resting points. If we abstract each one of Achilles strides from the simplicity of the act of running in the process of being performed, then we can easily divide them into shorter and shorter intervals, and do so ad infinitum. This is to say, with arithmetic, that we can divide any given motion into an infinite number of fixed points, or positions. But in order to do this, Bergson points out, we would have to be positioned at the static end of each one of those intervals and look back, after the fact, at the distance that has been covered.We may then try


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters to reconstruct the movement by means of positions; but since these positions are mere suppositionsAchilles was never really in any one of these points; at best, he passed themwe may multiply the number of points as much as we want: we will never create motion out of immobility. From the dynamic point of view of immediate consciousness, then, this approach does not make any sense. Each of us has the immediate feeling of her or his own spontaneity, without the idea of inertia having anything to do with it. In fact, while the idea of inertia can only be understood and defined by means ofif only in contrast withthe idea spontaneity, spontaneity itself is self-sufficient (2001a, 106/2001, 142). As Bergson sees it, it is therefore only from the static and retrospective point of view of the mechanist that the idea of freedom can be put into question, for it is necessarily first, and simpler, than the notion of inertia. With regard to immediate reality, the point of view of the determinist is an illusion. This mechanistic approach consists in overlooking the irreducible difference in kind between the two series, an error that ultimately results in an equivocal notion of causality. Leaving aside the case of physical determinismwhich, Bergson argues, simply assumes the universality of the mechanic law of the conservation of energy, thereby dismissing a priori the possibility of novelty and spontaneity we can turn to the theory of psychological determinism and prove that it relies on the same fundamental illusion, which overlooks the potentiality inherent in time. Psychological determinism implies an associationist conception of the mind according to which the present state of consciousness would be necessitated by the states that precede it. However, with Bergson we want to ask, what kind of necessity are we here talking about? As we showed that there exists between the successive states of consciousness a qualitative difference, we will always fail to deduce one state from the other a priori.Therefore, a strong conception of causality cannot account for the transition. One is then tempted to turn to experience, with the object of showing that the passage from one state to the next can always be explained by some simple reason, the second obeying as it were to the call of the firsta bit like the spark provoking the explosion of the stick of dynamite. Indeed, experience does show such a relation.Yet Bergson asks, Is this relation, which explains the transition, the cause of it? (2001a, 117/2001, 156, emphasis added).4 For instance, Bergson examines the case of a subject who carries out at the appointed time the suggestion received in a hypnotic state; the act that this subject performs is brought about, according to her, by the preceding series of her conscious states. However, Bergson points out, these states are really effects, not causes. It was necessary that the act should take place; it also was necessary that the patient should explain it to herself; but it is the future act, not the past series, that determines, by a kind of attraction, the whole series of psychic states of which it is to be the natural consequence. Now, Bergson warns us, the determinists will seize on this argument to prove that we in effect are sometimes


Bergsons Genealogy of Consciousness irresistibly influenced by anothers will.Yet Bergson asks, does it not show us as well that in the first place our own will is capable of willing for willings sake (spontaneity) and secondly of leaving the act that has been performed to be explained by antecedents of which it (i.e., the act) has really been the cause?5 Indeed, we all know that we sometimes weigh motives and deliberate over them when we have already made up our mind (2001a, 11819/2001, 15758). But, I want to add, is willing for willings sake identical to willing freely? Before I address this question, let me sum up by insisting that according to Bergson if there is such a thing as psychological determinism, then it is the future, rather than the past, that determines not only the present but the past as well: any new event reorganizes the whole. Now although it eventually constitutes an integral part of the ever-changing rhythm of the heterogeneous multiplicity of duration, this future is always novel and unpredictable, since it necessarily introduces qualitative difference in the series. In fact, because associationist psychology assumes a mechanistic rather than a dynamic approach to psychic processes, it confuses the fact itself with its retrospective explanation. In a word, associationism implies a defective, abstract, intellectualized conception of the self by overlooking its twofold nature, which in turn implies a faulty, impersonal, and reified conception of the multiplicity of its conscious states. But once again, as mistaken as this approach may be, it can be explained naturally. Due to the simple fact that we use language (that is, by definition, general impersonal terms that we share with a community), we tend to overlook the specifically personal impressions that define our feelings, and to associate ideas with one another; we thereby juxtapose these ideas instead of letting them permeate one another. We thus fail to translate entirely into language what our soul senses: thought remains incommensurable with language, since the latter necessarily cuts up the durational real in accordance with social utility.6 In light of the purely qualitative nature of the multiplicity that consciousness is, it appears that the act of thinking itselfas distinguished from its static explanationis none other than a feeling (sentiment) of the soul. Now, Bergson claims, as long as those feelings have reached a sufficient depth (i.e., the deepseated self), each one represents the whole of the soul; because feelings are essentially heterogeneous and permeate one another, the whole content of the soul is reflected in each. So to say, as the coarsest psychology does (and here, Bergson has in mind such English psychologists as J. S. Mill), that the soul is determined under the influence of any one of those feelings (e.g., sympathy, hate, aversion) is in fact to admit that the soul determines itself. In other words, rather than reducing the self to an impersonal aggregate, we can take psychic states with the specific coloration they have in any determinate persona specific and determinate nuance that comes to them as a reflection of all other states; then we do not need to associate several facts of consciousness in order to reconstruct the person; she is entirely in any single one. Finally, Bergson


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters writes,The external manifestation of this internal state will precisely be what one calls a free act, since the self alone will have been the author of it, and since it will express the whole of the self in one simple act (2001a, 12425/2001, 16566). For Bergson, then, what defines freedom is consciousness unification with itself, a unification that can only occur as the result of a violent effort of the intellect to revert its natural tendency.This effort is at once of the will and spontaneous. In this sense, freedom is not absolute, but it admits gradations. As we just saw, because the self is twofold as well as one, it is not the case that all conscious states necessarily blend with one another. Insofar as it perceives homogenous space, the superficial self also is the ground for conscious states that can remain independent of the heterogeneous mass of the fundamental self. For example, this would be the fate of a suggestion received under hypnosis or, similarly, of some repressed anger suddenly springing forth for no apparent reason. But precisely, says Bergson,
thereby endowed with a life of its own, it will usurp the whole personality when its time comes. And alongside these independent elements, there may be found more complex series, the terms of which do permeate one another, but never succeed in blending perfectly with the whole mass of the self. Such is the system of feelings and ideas which are the result of an education not properly assimilatedthe kind of education which appeals to memory rather than judgment. (2001a, 125/2001, 166)

This distinction is mirrored in the Two Sources of Morality and Religion, where Bergson differentiates between dressage and asceticism: while the first has to do with the formation of a parasitic self within the fundamental self, the second allows for the true creative integration of the twofold self.While one is an obstacle to freedom, the other is its very source. When a decision emanates from the dynamic series to which the free act belongs, this decision will be said to arise from the whole soul.The self modifies itself, as well as the feelings that animate it, at each moment of the deliberation. In this dynamic series, the states reinforce one another and lead by a natural evolution to a free act. Only from the mistaken point of view of the deterministic approach can we distinguish states and forces from one another and represent a mechanistic self as hesitating between two feelings, passing from one to the other and finally deciding in favor of one of them. For in this case Bergson asks, If it is always the same self which deliberates, and if the two opposite feelings by which it is moved do not change, how, in virtue of this very principle of causality which determinism appeals to, will the self ever come to a decision? (2001a, 129/2001, 171).The truth is that even the coarsest determinist would have to assume some kind of internal, continuous, and vital impulse underneath the static representation of its discrete states.


Bergsons Genealogy of Consciousness From a Bergsonian point of view, then, the willinformed as it is by its past experience and capable of projecting itself into the futuredoes not exclude spontaneity. On the contrary, the living self evolves naturally from deliberation to decision, since its two opposite tendencies are mere symbolical representations of one single self that lives and develops by the very effect of its hesitations, until the free act drops from it like an over-ripe fruit (2001a, 132/2001, 176).The very notion of psychological conflict turns out to be a false problem too, stemming from the confusion between duration and simultaneity, and its consequent unjustified extension of the useful yet fictional tool of abstraction.7 In Time and Free Will, consciousness is thus defined as the juncture of the two sides of the self on the basis of real duration as its most primordial ground. So far, however, this account fails to capture the process of the emergence of consciousness. Bergsons rendering of the phenomenon of consciousness in Time and Free Will remains limited to its psychological manifestation.8 This means that it does not, as yet, provide a necessary ontological grounding for this phenomenon, traditionally held by phenomenology to be the condition of all thought, all experience, all knowledge: the first condition for the possibility of any phenomenological inquiry. Let us turn to the first chapter of Matter and Memory for what I take to be Bergsons genealogical account of the phenomenon of consciousness.

The Role of the Body

Preliminary Remarks: Science and Philosophy As its title clearly indicates, Matter and Memory aims primarily at tackling the problem of dualism. Furthermore, Bergson suggests that such metaphysical antinomies as those that both plague the Kantian critique and made it necessary must be brought back to the wider issue of the relationship between science and philosophy.9 In fact, this is one of the many aspects of Bergsonism that makes it particularly relevant today. In a world of increasing technological complexity, in our everyday life as much as in our philosophical attempts and spiritual endeavors, we come to rely more and more on science for a new promise for eternal life and absolute knowledge. This tendency toward the unification of all knowledge and strivings under the heading of science and technology is diagnosed by Bergson as relying on a profound confusion between science and philosophya confusion that leads, ultimately, to the reduction of metaphysics to physics, and of thought to logic, just as the confusion between spatialized time and duration leads to the reduction of freedom to mechanistic determinism. For Bergson, it is not a question of some nostalgic return to an imaginary state of nature. His self-declared optimism is clearly directed at the future;10 he situates his greatest hopes for the actual progress of humanity


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters toward universal peace in the combination of mystical aspiration and technological progress (1997b, 310/1935, 291). Such remarks as those we find in the Two Sources only reinforce the work he performed in Creative Evolution, when he proposed a method based in the necessity of the convergence between the respective efforts of philosophy and the sciences (1998, 85/1998, 94). One central aim of Matter and Memory thus consists in identifying the original illusion that allowed for metaphysics to be sacrificed to physics, and the consequent impasse that the philosophies speculating about the relationship between body and mind, or matter and memory, find themselves in. As is typical of his larger effortthe striving for the liberation of spirit for a new philosophy capable of sympathizing with the flowing real so as to introduce real change in the worldBergsons critical work is both rooted in a positive philosophy based in experience and observation and directed at generating potentialities for creating new avenues of thought and activity.11 Now if science and philosophy must complement one another, then it also means that they must be irreducible to one another. But for Bergson, this irreducibility is no more based in the diversity of their objects than in the diversity of their methods per se; these differences may be an effect, but they cannot be the cause of their necessary distinction, since ultimately the object of both science and philosophy is (at least in principle) reality itself. According to Bergson, the difference between science and philosophy lies in their respective functions. On the one hand, the goal of science is to make possible and increase ones material and intellectual grasp onto the world, so one can manipulate to ones advantage, calculate, predict, and utilize its resources. This natural, vital, yet purely pragmatic need requires that the everchanging real be arrested, fixed, and symbolized. In a word, science naturally tends to eliminate concrete duration from its field of operation; henceforth, it is generally, though unconsciously, left dealing with discrete multiplicities alone. In Bergsons view, this teleological attitude becomes deeply problematic when it is extended unlimitedly, and ultimately conjures up the belief that its own methods and conclusions apply equally to the real itself, in all of its aspects, including the metaphysical. On the other hand, Bergson writes,Philosophy . . . is not constrained to the precision of science, since it does not aim at any application (1998, 85/1998, 94, trans. modified). Because philosophy is essentially speculative and does not aim at any practical application, it does not have to restrain itself to working with discrete multiplicities, and it can extend its vision to the qualitative tendencies that fundamentally constitute the real as a whole, in its duration. In a word, while for Bergson the teleological approach of science (and, by extension, of all traditional metaphysics) can only account for the residual part of the real that remains relative to the limited powers of the intelligence, true philosophy has the potential to access the real absolutely, if only incompletely.This conviction underlies one of the main complaints that Bergson has against Kants claim concerning the relativity of knowledge.


Bergsons Genealogy of Consciousness If philosophy is to escape Kantianism, then, it must expand the critical project to include the very conclusions of science that Kant himself was only trying to ground, without being able or desirous to put them into question (1998, 358/1998, 390). Since the issue at hand is that of the genesis of consciousness, a novel reflection on matter, or on the function of the body, must lie at the heart of Bergsons dualistic project for a new philosophy.This is the focus of the first chapter of Matter and Memory, which culminates with Bergsons theory of pure perception. I read Bergsons theory of pure perception as constituting a provisional yet highly significant account of the genesis of consciousness; in order that we may nevertheless keep an eye to the nonprovisional conclusions of the book, let me recall the closing words of Matter and Memory: Spirit borrows from matter the perceptions on which it feeds and restores them to matter in the form of movements which it has stamped with its own freedom (1997a, 280/1991, 249, emphasis added). The World of Images In his attempt at lessen[ing] greatly the theoretical difficulties which have always beset dualism, Bergson proposes a new philosophy of matter based in the notion of the image. Contending that idealism and realism are both excessive thesesthe one reducing matter to a subjective representation, the other to an objective thing that would mysteriously produce representations in us he proposes to conceive matter as an ensemble of images. And by image, we mean a certain existence which is more than what the idealist calls a representation, but less than what the realist calls a thingan existence placed half-way between the thing and the representation (1997a, 1/1991, 9, emphasis added, trans. modified). To decipher the process by which conscious representations come about, we will need to momentarily place ourselves, with Bergson, at the standpoint of common sense, which only perceives images, or phenomena.When my eyes are open, images appear to me; when my eyes are closed, images disappear. Insofar as I perceive them, then, objects and their qualities are images, but images that exist in themselves (1997a, 2/1991, 10): I do not expect my desk to be gone when I close my eyes.That images exist in themselves means that they constitute a neutral positive reality, which is neither subjective nor objective; it also means that those images act and react on one another.They are not merely a basis for action and reaction, but the images themselves, in all of their parts, are indeed action and reaction in accordance with constant laws of nature.This in turn means that the knowledge of those laws would allow for predicting what will happen to each and any one of those images, or that the future of the images must be contained in their present and will add nothing new to it (1997a, 11/1991, 17, trans. modified). At this point, we are in a world of images in which duration has no efficacy; we are in the realm of pure perception, exclusive of memory.


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters Yet, Bergson continues, there is one particular image that progressively stands out in the midst of all others. If all images act and react constantly on one another in all of their parts, then it means that there is no center, no one organizing principle coordinating their henceforth indeterminate positions12not until, that is, one particular image stands out, around which all other images organize themselves concentrically.This image is the one I call my body. It becomes a center in that I do not merely know its external surface by means of perception, but that I also know it from within, through affections. Affections are those particular images that interpose themselves between the movement-images I receive from without, and those movement-images I am going to execute.13 It looks, then, as though [affections] had some undefined influence on the final issue (1997a, 12/1991, 18).They have some influence on the outcome insofar as each appears as an invitation to act; yet this influence also is undefined insofar as it contains an authorization to wait (ibid.). In other words, affections are movements begun, but not executed, the indication of a more or less useful decision, but not that constraint which precludes choice (ibid.). For Bergson, then, sensibility appears to the same extent as does the ability to move. The living body is its cradle. In Creative Evolution, he writes:
Between mobility and consciousness, there is an obvious relationship. No doubt, the consciousness of the higher organisms seems bound up with certain cerebral arrangements (dispositifs).The more the nervous system develops the more numerous and more precise become the movements among which it can choose; the more illuminating, also, is the consciousness that accompanies them. (1998, 111/1998, 122, trans. modified)

Consciousness is thus primarily the consciousness of movements received in the shape of perceptions, and of potential movements to be executed in the shape of actions. Consciousness appears as a feeling or a sensation at every step at which I have to take an initiative, and it disappears as soon as my activity, by becoming automatic, does not need its assistance any longer (1997a, 12/1991, 18). In the language of Time and Free Will, we could say that at the level of pure presence, the origin of the phenomenon of consciousness, whose site is the body, is none other than the feeling of spontaneity. As a feeling (sentiment), it coincides with sensibility itself. Between input and output the body, or the brain, thus consists in a zone of indetermination, a distance or delay (cart) between centrifugal and centripetal movements, between perception and action. It is in this sense that Bergson (in)famously claims that the brain is none other than a central telephonic switchboard, whose role is to allow for communication or to delay it (ibid., 26/30).What happens in this delay that distinguishes my brain-image from all other images, allowing me to choose between diverse courses of action?


Bergsons Genealogy of Consciousness The idealist tells us that this particular image that Bergson calls cerebral vibration (branlement crbral, ibid., 13/19, trans. modified) generates external images, or representations. But this would imply that this molecular movement-image (the brain) really did contain, in some mysterious way, the representation of the whole material universe. As Bergson points out, To state this proposition is enough to show its absurdity.The brain is part of the material world; the material world is not part of the brain. Eliminate the image which bears the name material world, and you destroy at the same time the brain and the cerebral [vibration] which are parts of it (ibid.).14 Against both idealism and realism, this also means that nerve centers cannot condition the image of the universe (ibid., 14/19). In factand I believe this is the full significance of the metaphor of the central telephonic exchangeBergson simply wants to insist that the brain does not add anything to what it receives (ibid., 26/30), although as a delay rerouting movement toward more or less complex sensory-motor avenues it embodies choice. We established as a fact that my body can act on the world of images, which means that it can efficiently affect the universe. But preciselyand here Bergson tackles what he considers the fundamental illusion common to both idealism and realismthis is all my body can do: as a center of action destined to move other objects, it cannot give birth to a representation (ibid., 16/20). In fact, this is one of Bergsons central theses in Matter and Memory, the point of departure of his theory of knowledge which, in stark contrast to traditional epistemology, affirms that perception is entirely directed toward action, not speculation. We also established that the cerebral matter consists in the ability to choose between several possible courses of action, or images, themselves suggested in accordance with their greater or lesser utility for my body. As Bergson points out, then, These images must display in some way, upon the aspect which they present to my body, the profit which my body can gain from them (ibid., 15/20, emphasis added). But we know that this display is not what the idealist calls a representation. Now, How do we get from the sheer presence of images, or phenomena, to representation? If, according to Bergson, matter is an ensemble of images, and if the perception of matter consists in those same images referred to the possible actions of one particular image, namely, my body (ibid., 17/22), then no doubt my perception is a function of molecular movements; it depends on them. But the true problem for Bergson is how? How does my perception depend on centripetal and centrifugal nerves (ibid.)? To appeal to the vague notion of translation would be to fall back into the sterile dualism that postulates a radical difference between matter and representation, which ends up conceiving matter as devoid of form and thought, and representation as devoid of mattera dualism that henceforth must appeal to some mysterious, philosophically ungrounded force, to account for the passage from presence to representation.We showed that with Bergsonism, on the contrary, this transition can only be a matter of movement-images, of mobility among


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters the whole of the world of images. Bergson asks, what are those movementimages, and what particular role do they play in the representation of the whole? He claims that the answer is obvious: they are, within my body, the movements intended to prepare, while beginning it, the reaction of my body to the action of external objects (ibid., 18/23).They may be a very small part of the material world, but they are of capital importance for that part of representation which I call my body, since they foreshadow at each successive moment its virtual acts (ibid.). Granted, here we are using the term representation in a fairly loose sense; as may be expected, it will only acquire the kind of subjective richness and complexity that phenomenology ascribes to it when we reintroduce memory into the picture. But for now the crucial point that Bergson wants to make against both idealism and materialism is the following: There can only be a difference in degree, and not a difference in kind, between matter and perception (ibid., 19/24).This is the central claim of Bergsons theory of pure perception, from which everything else unfolds.

Pure Perception and Beyond

If it is the case that there is only a difference of complication of movement between the perceptive faculty of the brain and the reflex functions of the spinal cord, then we can specify a bit further the kind of relation we have established between perception and molecular movements. Not only do our perceptions depend on the molecular movements of the gray matter, but they also vary with them; and since those movements are indissolubly linked to the rest of the material universe (ibid., 20/25), we can see that the psychological problem of perception becomes a metaphysical issue. The problem regarding the passage from presence to representation stated earlier may now be restated in the following terms:
How is it that the same images can belong to two different systems: one in which each image varies for itself and in the well-defined measure that it undergoes the action of the surrounding images; another in which all images vary for a single image, and in the varying measure that they reflect the possible action of this privileged image? (1997a, 2021/1991, 25, trans. modified)

As Bergson indicates, the first system is that of science, wherein each image is related only to itself, thereby acquiring an absolute value.The second system is that of consciousness (con-science), in which all images are referred to a central image, our body, whose slightest variations they follow (21/26).We can finally see more clearly why Bergson deems it necessary to address the problem of dualism left hanging between idealism and realism in terms of images. And


Bergsons Genealogy of Consciousness once again, it appears that the reason both idealism and realism must appeal to a deus ex machina (be it in the form of a mysterious force or a preestablished harmony between the faculties) is that they both address the metaphysical problem at stake through the postulate that perception has a speculative interest rather than, as Bergson would have it, a pragmatic interest. When it affirms that there is a mere difference in degree between matter and perception, the theory of pure perception also suggests that there is a mere difference in complication, or degree, between the pure automatism of, say, the activity of the lamp ray and the voluntary activity of higher vertebrates. Once again, it seems that spontaneity, for Bergson, is not the monopoly of humanity. Yet we did see that this difference between matter and perception consists in the distance (cart) between incoming and outgoing movements. Now as the French term suggests, this distance also is a delay; it is not only a spatial interval, it is a little slice of time between two movements as well. And this delay, ultimately, is going to be the fulcrum we need to account for the richness of human thought and creative abilities, a creative richness immeasurably greater than that of the other living beings. As we will see when we turn to the next section, this delay (the brain) is the point at which memory inserts itself into matter. But before we turn to an examination of the second and third chapters of Matter and Memory, which deal specifically with Bergsons conception of memory and the role it plays in the generation of thought, let us return to the issue at handnamely, that of the material genesis of consciousness. For Bergson, the true distinction that needs to be accounted for is not simply that between body and mind. His rooting of consciousness within matter testifies to that. I will argue that the true significance of his use of the terms matter and memory rather than body and mind, or receptivity and intentionality lies in the fundamental displacement of the problem of philosophythat of establishing a ground for itself, hence for thought and experienceonto the terrain of the relationships between consciousness and the unconscious. In Creative Evolution, Bergson writes:
Here again, however, we must beware of radical distinctions. Unconscious and conscious are not two labels which can be mechanically fastened, the one on every vegetable cell, the other on all animals. While consciousness sleeps in the animal which has degenerated into a motionless parasite, it probably awakens in just the degree to which the vegetable has regained liberty of movement, and awakens in just the degree to which the vegetable has reconquered this liberty. (1998, 113/1998, 124)

From Presence to Representation: Discernment We have seen that the degree of consciousness varies in accordance with the living beings freedom of movement. Now going farther down the genealogical path of the birth of consciousness, we want to ask, what is it that makes a


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters perception conscious in the first place? But once again, Bergson warns us, this is not the right question to ask. As soon as we give ourselves the least parcel of mattersuch as, for instance, the brainthen we have also thereby given ourselves the totality of images, the whole universe, since each image is inscribed in a continuum of action and reaction, in a system of total mutual reflection. What needs to be explained is not how conscious perception is born, but how it limits itself. Bergson showed that in principle conscious perception should be the image of the whole, but in fact it is limited to what interests my body.We already know the reason for this limitation; as a point of contact between perception and affection, my body becomes the varying center of a world of images (or of the simple image of the whole) that would otherwise remain indefinite because absolutely continuous, hence prior to any determination or indetermination. To define consciousness in terms of freedom of movement, or of the zone of indetermination generated by my body qua sensibility is also to provide it with the power of determination that comes with choice, or selection. My body introduces both indetermination and determination into the world on the basis of the discontinuity of its needs. Against both idealism and realism, it turns out that what primarily defines consciousness for Bergson is not anything added onto inert matter but the diminution of the pure image of the whole. In Bergsons words, Our representation of things would thus arise from the fact that they are thrown back and refracted by our freedom (1997a, 34/1991, 37). But, he adds, there also is something positive in this necessary paucity of our representation that already announces spirit; this is discernment (ibid., 35/38), or the work of intelligence par excellence, which consists, literally, in cutting up the real. What happens in the cart between pure presence and conscious representation, between the images being and their being consciously perceived, is the elimination of that which does not interest us. Bergson sums it up as follows:Our zones of indetermination play in some sort the part of the screen [upon which the image could be projected behind the photographic plate].They add nothing to what is there; they effect merely this: that the real action passes through, the virtual action remains (ibid., 36/39). An image among other images, the brain is a mere yet crucial screen.15 Since it does not preexist perception, the brain is not the cause of perception. But it is its occasion.The rigorous correspondence, or reciprocal dependence between representation (or conscious perception) and cerebral variations, thus turns out to be a function of a third term, which is the indetermination of the will (ibid., 39/41)or freedom of choice. To recapitulate, here are the most significant implications of Bergsons theory of pure perception. First, the image is perceived exactly where it is; it is not in my brain, it is in the world: it coincides with a neutral and veridical domain of reality. As Bergson puts it, By [pure perception] I mean a perception that exists in principle rather than in fact, and would be possessed by a being placed where I am, living as I live, but absorbed in the present, and which is capable, through the elimination of memory in all its forms, of obtaining a vision of


Bergsons Genealogy of Consciousness matter both immediate and instantaneous (ibid., 185/34). And since the brain has been defined as delay, it cannot be where this instantaneous vision of matter takes place. Second, there is only a difference in degree and not a difference in kind between matter and perception, or between being and being perceived (ibid., 187/37). Third, representation starts out by being impersonal. It adopts our body progressively, to become our representation through a phenomenon of frustrated refraction against that particular image I call my body, which introduces indetermination in matter. I conclude that the Kantian unity of apperception does not have to be assumed; we can show its genealogy by tracing it back to the sensory-motor system qua small part of the universe. In the Critique of Pure Reason, Kant must postulate the unity of apperception as the ultimate ground of his phenomenological critique. But subjectivity itself thereby remains groundless; its metaphysical necessity is reduced to an epistemological, or a logical necessityunless one appeals to God, which in a post-Nietzschean world cannot but seem philosophically naive. Furthermore, while the Kantian unity in which subjectivity is rooted only arises from the abstract, hence arbitrary work of the intellect,16 Bergson provides it with a concrete foundation in the Being of the Sensible itselfor that which, in Difference and Repetition, Deleuze will call the Sentiendum. With Bergson, then, the body and sensibility acquire the kind of privilege, in the constitution of subjectivity, which Merleau-Ponty will attempt to give it.17 My personality acquires a concrete, physical, and spatial absoluteness that idealism (be it transcendental or Platonic) could only derive from an abstract posit, thereby making it relative to the work of the intellect. It is in this sense that Renaud Barbaras could write that [perception] hence does not go toward exteriority, it proceeds from it.18 Beyond Pure Perception (1): Affection Several corrections must be brought to the theory of pure perception once we reintroduce affectivity. Bergson ascribes a privilege to the body, insofar as my body is the only image I perceive both from within and from without. It is this relationthat Merleau-Ponty calls touching-touched, or the Chiasm in his 1947 The Visible and the Invisiblethat constitutes the site of affection.This means, Bergson points out, that we eventually must take into account the fact that the body qua actualization of consciousness is not a mere mathematical point in space (1997a, 59/1991, 58). Its virtual actionssuggested by the sensory-motor system that, as we showed, coincides exactly with pure presenceare complicated and impregnated with actual actions that take place in duration. Says Bergson, There is no perception without affection. Affection is that which, from within our body, we mix with the image of external bodies (ibid.). Affection, then,is not the primary matter of which perception is made; it is the impurity with which perception is alloyed (ibid., 60/58). Against psychologists (e.g., Hume) who see a mere difference in degree between perception and affection,


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters Bergson thus establishes a radical difference in kind between the two. It can only be a mistake to consider perception as an aggregate of inextensive sensations, for the qualitative difference between the two prevents such an a priori deduction. Nevertheless, we just showed that perceptions, being the qualities of external objects, must be extended from the outset. Similarly, each affection must itself be extended, or localized immediately (even though its self-conscious localization may require some education) in the shape of its own proper, hence objective, tone (ibid., 61/60). How else would it ever gain the extensity that, for instance, a localized pain has? According to Bergson, the famous objection that could be opposed to his theory of the extensity of affectionsnamely, the phenomenon of the phantom limbonly attests to the fact that the necessary education of the senses subsists once it has been acquired (ibid.). In other words, it only attests to the role that memory plays within the mechanism of consciousness. After having restored its depth to the body by reinstating its affections, we may finally reintroduce memory into the picture. Beyond Pure Perception (2): Memory With the theory of pure perception, Bergson has been able to isolate an objective material order of absolute exteriority, independent of us and of sensation. By reinstating the central role of affection, he has complicated the role the body plays in the phenomenon of consciousness, in the shape of the twofold experience that this body possesses, of both performing actions and undergoing affections (1997a, 6263/1991, 61). Now, If we went no further, the role of consciousness in perception would . . . be confined to threading on the continuous string of memory an uninterrupted series of instantaneous visions, which would be a part of things rather than ourselves (ibid., 67/65). But if, as we have demonstrated, consciousness is choicehence the introduction of indetermination into matterthen it remains to be explained why this choice cannot be pure whim, why this indetermination does not proceed from mere chance. For Bergson, if the indetermination of the will coincides with freedom, then it must be that the choice among the diverse possible reactions, or virtual actions of the body, is inspired by past experience; it requires the conservation of past images (ibid.).With Bergson, then, we will want to ask, what is the mode of this survival of the past in the present? In other words, what do the mechanism and the function of memory consist in? Although it was necessary to isolate the function of perception in its pure, virtual form, it is clear that it is never encountered as such in its actual activities. In fact,Past images . . . will constantly mingle with our perception of the present and may even take its place (ibid., 68/66, trans. modified). Bergsons self-declared dualism is therefore to be understood as a very nuanced, original form of the metaphysical polarities he is engaging. His conclusions concerning


Bergsons Genealogy of Consciousness the role of consciousness, or the body, with regard to knowledge, or self-consciousness, then insist on the necessity of reintegrating temporality into the picture. For on the one hand, if our action-oriented consciousness is to have any efficacy (i.e., if it is to be able to introduce voluntary change into the world), then we must recognize that its fundamental characteristic, qua action, is to be an encroachment onto the future. Bergson explains:
We have no grasp onto the future without an equal and corresponding perspective onto the past . . . and memory is thus the repercussion, in the sphere of knowledge (connaissance), of the indetermination of our will. But the action of memory goes further and deeper than this superficial glance would suggest. (1997a, 67/1991, 65, trans. modified)

Most generally defined as the survival of past images, memory also displaces present perception. Again, perception is essentially directed toward action, hence informed by utility. But precisely there are going to be cases where analogous prior images may turn out to be more useful, capable of throwing a better light on our decision than the present intuitionsfor, says Bergson, those past images are themselves bound up in our memory with the whole series of subsequent events (1997a, 68/1991, 66). As both The Memory of the Present19 and the theory of memory in Matter and Memory show, the role of actual perception (in contradistinction to pure perception) may then merely consist in call[ing] up the recollection, giv[ing] it a body, render[ing] it active and thereby actual (ibid., 67/65). Our practical interests, the imminence of a real or an imaginary danger, will therefore be capable of displacing reality for the sake of utility.20 In other wordsand this will be the central thesis of my argumentconsciousness, or the power to act, is necessarily and positively informed by the unconscious, or nonpower, impotence (impuissance). For Bergson, this implies that the coincidence that the theory of pure perception established between perception and the object perceived (i.e., the absolute objectivity of knowledge) exists in principle rather than in fact (ibid., 68/66).This does not mean, however, that idealism is justified. If it is true that our complete perception is impregnated with images that belong to us personally, it does not follow that perception is entirely subjective. Bergson is careful to remind us to not forget the impersonal ground that always subsists as exteriority itself (what Blanchot, Foucault, or Deleuze would call the Outside), where perception coincides with the object perceived (ibid., 69/67). But given that in its very absoluteness, exteriority preexists the distinction between exterior and interior, it cannot be experienced as such any longer once the interior, or self-consciousness, has been generated.21 The persistence and consistence of the Outside allow us to understand more clearly the reproach that Bergson addresses to both psychologists and metaphysicians who see a mere difference in degree instead of a qualitative difference in


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters kind between pure perception and memory. Bergson is particularly interested in demonstrating that there is a constant phenomenon of endosmosis at work between perception and memory, but it is precisely on the basis of the substantial difference of nature between the two that he enforces this argument. Indeed, Bergson adds, the failure to see this distinction condemns us to ignore either of the two phenomena, which is to say to misunderstand the essential difference between past and present (ibid.). This psychological error thus has immense metaphysical implications.This error also condemns us to abandon all hope of understanding the phenomena of recognition and, more generally, the mechanism of the unconscious (ibid., 70/67).22 In my view, this suggests that the mechanism of the unconscious, for Bergson, does not only refer to the role of memory but also to the original act constitutive of pure perception through which we place ourselves among things immediately.23 Consciousness would thus merely consist in the mediation between those two extremes (i.e., pure perception and pure memory, matter and spirit).While its examination must be primary when it comes to epistemological issues, it will turn out to be secondary when we turn to metaphysical matters. In short, I want to add, the fundamental error that consists in overlooking the difference in kind between perception and memory cannot but vitiate all philosophies of experience. Indeed, phenomenology and existentialism themselves do not escape this fate. Despite their attempts at elaborating a theory of experience based in temporality, they fall prey to Bergsons pitiless condemnation. For it is not enough to take time into account; we also need to understand the fundamental difference between the time of the philosophers, which remains relative to space and movement, and concrete duration, which makes time into an absolute, independent of simultaneity. I argued that duration coincides with succession, with the irreversibility of the arrow of time.This means that the future must be open, unpredictable, since past and present (where present also is an encroachment onto the future) are qualitatively heterogeneous. On the one hand, the present is essentially that which acts; it is power (puissance).The past, on the other hand, is that which does not act any longer; it is nonpower (impuissance). But precisely, Deleuze points out, it does not mean that it has ceased to be;useless and inactive, impassible, it IS in the full sense of the word: It is identical with being itself (1998a, 50/1988, 55, trans. modified, emphasis in original [in capitals]).24 Ultimately, then, for Bergson, if this primordial difference is overlooked, then no difference but that of mere degree will remain between perception and memory and neither from the one nor from the other will the subject rise outside of herself (1997a, 71/1991, 69, trans. modified, emphasis added); I argue that Bergson is here claiming that there can be no transcendence, no ground for subjectivity, unless one establishes a true difference in kind between past and present. For him, it is to mistaken epistemologies founded on a fundamental error about the function of perception that we must ascribe the failure to account for the birth of subjectivity.


Bergsons Genealogy of Consciousness Subjectivity and Memory We are now in a position to clarify the aforementioned claim that Bergsons work may be characterized as capable of thinking both continuity and discontinuity.While the theory of pure perception allowed him to isolate an order of objective reality constituted by discontinuous successive vibrations,25 his theory of memory accounts for an order of continuity that memory, qua condensation, is able to realize. In order to really understand the basis for those affirmations, we need to keep in mind that although Bergson sees a mere difference in degree between matter and conscious perception, he establishes a difference in kind between perception and memoryeven though, practically, perception and memory are inseparable.This nevertheless means that matter and spirit are two orders of reality independent from one another. Against Kant, then, it is clear that our intuition of matter cannot be a mere rational construction; rather, it is necessarily immediate, hence objective. And just as we were able to establish the absoluteness of matter by means of the theory of pure perception, Bergson adds that if, then, spirit is a reality, it is here, in the phenomenon of memory, that we may come in touch with it experimentally (1997a, 77/1991, 73). The full sense of Bergsonian dualism can now come into focus. To conclude this inquiry into Bergsons account of the nature of consciousness, let me just indicate yet another consequence of his insistence on the qualitative difference between matter and memory. All questions concerning the mode of the survival of the past will dismiss from the outset any psychological theory trying to locate recollections within the cerebral matter of the brain.To say, with Bergson, that the brain is a mere central telephonic switchboard transmitting movements is also to say [that] it is in vain to attribute to the cerebral substance the property of engendering representations (ibid.). In fact the final conclusions of Matter and Memory run as follows: Questions relating to subject and object, to their distinction and their union, must be put in terms of time rather than of space (ibid., 74/71, emphasis in original). As Frdric Worms insightfully points out, we are here witnessing a crucial reversal of the relationship between the body and memory.Whereas from a practical point of view, the body is occupying the foreground in the theory of perception, it gets relegated to the background in the theory of memory. Similarly, while memory remains secondary from a practical point of view, it returns as primary with the reintroduction of time, which is to say, of becoming.Worms writes,At bottom, the stakes are the following: the body, whose existence had been posed as an absolute in the first chapter, now depends on memory for its conservation in time!26 This is the key to the Virtual informing the Bergsonian unconscious.


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Introducing Memory: From the Psychological to the Virtual

If we begin by isolating man on the instantaneous island of his present, and if all his modes of being as soon as they appear are destined by nature to a perpetual present, we have radically removed all methods of understanding his original relation to the past. We shall not succeed in constituting the dimension past out of elements borrowed exclusively from the present any more than the geneticists have succeeded in constituting extension from unextended elements. Jean-Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness

As we turn to the second chapter of Matter and Memory, titled Of the Recognition of Images. Memory and the Brain, we must begin, with Bergson, by establishing secure foundations for the comprehensive theory of memory that constitutes the cornerstone of the book as a whole. I argue that in order to grasp the full significance of Bergsons theory of memory, we must equally appreciate its psychological and its metaphysical, or ontological, reach. Although the ontological significance of memory is not explicitly thematized by Bergson until the third chapter on Memory and Spirit, his insistence that memory-images cannot depend entirely on the body, or the brain, for their


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters conservationbut rather that it is the other way aroundis already providing us with crucial clues as to the issue of the survival of the past, of its specific mode of being. I have suggested that one way of reading Bergsons philosophical project is to establish a parallel between Bergsonism and Kants early critical philosophyat least in spirit, and primarily for the sake of appreciating the extent to which Bergson goes beyond Kantianism, while acknowledging Kants crucial contribution to a philosophical theory of knowledge. Indeed, like Kant, Bergsons central interest lies in providing a ground for knowledge and experience. But unlike Kant, who merely aimed at grounding the conclusions of the scientific knowledge of his time without questioning those conclusions themselves and the metaphysical assumptions they rely on, Bergson wants to establish both the necessity of the system we call the sciences,1 on the one hand, and the system he calls metaphysics, on the other.2 This explains Bergsons insistence on the complementarity of science and philosophy, a relation whose necessity will be made fully explicit as we turn to what Deleuze has called Bergsons method of intuition. In my view, Bergsonism remains intent on locating freedom, as opposed to mechanistic associationism, at the heart of our everyday psychological experience. I hope to establish in what follows that for Bergson, freedom, spontaneity, and creativityor, as Deleuze would put it, differenceas opposed to metaphysical determinism, also function ontologically as the fundamental defining feature of spirit. Necessity in Bergsonism must be understood quite differently from the way in which it informs the hypostasized Ideas of Platonism or Aristotles ousia. Nevertheless, in an Aristotelian fashion, to ground a system for Bergson is to give its reason (1998, 347/1998, 378). But a sufficient reason would be too general, too baggy: it may justify a system, tell us why a system arose rather than nothing; it cannot tell us why this system rather than anotherany other imaginable and sometimes equally justifiable system.What Bergson is after, then, is not Kant-like conditions for the possibility of a system of knowledge or experience but its real conditions of necessity. In fact, we will see, as Deleuze brilliantly points out, that this demand for conditions both tightly fitted to the conditioned and absolutely prior to it (unlike Kantian conditions which, Deleuze argues after Bergson, are merely copied off of the conditioned and then projected back) constitutes the core of both Bergsons and Deleuzes Superior Empiricism. But more about this later. For now, I just want to bring out a move central to Bergsonism as a whole, and to Bergsons theory of memory in particular. This move Leonard Lawlor has tagged the paradox of the double.3 Faithful to his self-declared dualism, Bergson establishes radical distinctions between what he considers extremes in their pure forms, and among otherwise unified concepts or entitiesdistinctions that, according to him, have typically been overlooked by the tradition, hence throwing it into confused, endless, and sterile arguments. Among such distinctions we have already encountered the difference in kind between (1) time and space; (2) quantitative (homogenous)


Introducing Memory and qualitative (heterogeneous) multiplicities; (3) motion and rest; (4) spontaneity and mechanism; (5) matter (perception, body) and memory (spirit); and (6) present and past. In a similar move, Bergson introduces his theory of memory with a radical distinction between two forms of memory, namely, habitmemory and representation-memory. In fact, just as he established the aforementioned differences in order to both secure philosophical precision and allow himself to work out the convergence of the terms thereby isolated, we could say with Worms that the object of the whole second chapter of Matter and Memory consists in establishing both the distinction and the convergence between the two forms of memory (Worms 1997, 96). Accordingly, I dedicate the first section of this chapter to a close examination of this distinction and of its significance regarding the phenomenon of recognition, which Bergson identifies as the point of convergence between the two memories. In the second section, I extend my inquiry into the methodological role and the ontological signification of Bergsons paradox of the double.

Memory and the Brain:Which Survival?

We have seen that for Bergson the body functions as the real condition for the actualization of memory as subjectivity. But we also have pointed out, following Worms, that the transition from matter to spirit consists primarily in the reversal of the relation between matter and spirit, as a result of which the body now depends on memory for its conservation in time. How are we to understand such a claim? How is it that memory, qua order of reality independent of matter, may ground the very survival of the latter? Furthermore, if spirit is to correspond to the condition for the survival of matter, and memory cannot simply be preserved in the brain cells due to its essential independence from matter, then how does memory/spirit ground its own reality and persistence? Both the second section of this chapter and the next chapter will attempt to answer this last question. Here I want to clarify what I believe is at stake in those problems and how Bergson proposes to solve them. So far we have seen that according to him, while the past differs essentially from the present, they both participate in the underlying Ur dimension of becoming, or the constant unidirectional flow of duration. Moreover, we know that we obtain the image we call our body by operating a cut into becoming in general, thereby obtaining an instantaneous slice of time and space within which my body, as a sensory-motor nexus, occupies the center.This means that my body, in its very spatiality, coincides with presence; therefore, Bergson concludes, it can only store up the action of the past in the form of motor arrangements (dispositifs moteurs), and of motor arrangements alone (1997a, 77/1991, 81, trans. modified), whence it results, Bergson continues, that past images


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters themselves must be otherwise preserved (ibid.). This implies, as Bergson will show with his famous treatment of aphasia, that the forgetting involved in various forms of mnemonic pathologies usually associated with the damaging of a certain localized part of the brain must not be ascribed too quickly to the destruction of the memory-images themselves, images that would otherwise have to be strictly localized in that particular part of the brain. Such forgetting should be identified with the diminution of the function of memory rather than that of the number of recollections (ibid., 131/119). We thus have a distinction between, on the one hand, memory as a unified function of the bodywhose role consists in the actualization of the virtual memoryimagesand, on the other hand, memory as the diverse recollections that the sensory-motor mechanisms may or may not actualize. If both of those forms of memory survive, then they must correspond to different kinds of survival, which is to say different forms of life, or modes of being. The Two Forms of Memory The first proposition of Bergsons theory of memory is expressed as follows: The past survives under two distinct forms: first, in motor mechanisms; secondly, in independent recollections (1997a, 82/1991, 78).This implies, Bergson adds, that the ordinary practical operation of memory, which consists in the utilization of past experience for present action, and which Bergson will identify as recognition, must take place in two different ways. First, recognition can happen within action itself, that is, through movements automatically putting to work the mechanisms appropriate to the present situation (ibid.).This is the kind of experience that Deleuze, in his cinema books, will call the action-image, which is based in the movement-image. This type of recognition belongs to the present, and according to Bergson, its impulse proceeds from the object. Second, recognition may imply the intervention of spirit, in which case it proceeds by representations emanating from the subject (ibid.).The kind of experience resulting from this centrifugal movement corresponds to what Deleuze will call the time-image. Although the timeimage does not exclude movements, since it requires them for its actualization within recognition, it does not depend on them for its existence. What is here at stake, existentially speaking, is two distinct orders of experience, one that can be reified, and therefore generalized as a result of its objective, hence impersonal origin, and the other that necessarily remains purely subjective, personal, and unique. Bergson then tells us that the question of how past images are preserved cannot be addressed outside of the problematic of the unconscious and its ontological status. For if, as we have shown, consciousness coincides with the present and action, then the pure past will have to be located outside of consciousness, in the unconscious. In order that this difficult and unorthodox idea


Introducing Memory may be fully understood, or even taken seriously in spite of our realist and scientifically oriented intelligence, we must begin by focusing on what the actual empirical work of recognition consists in. Following Bergson, then, I will endeavor to test the validity of his proposition in light of the simple, everyday example of memorizing a lesson to both demonstrate the necessity of the distinction between the two kinds of memories and exemplify the actual process through which the two kinds of memory relate to one another. Habit and Representation:The Lesson Example Bergson chooses the experience of learning a lesson as a privileged instantiation of the process by which the present activity becomes recollection. Memorization, in both its voluntary and involuntary forms, thus corresponds to the becoming memory of the sensory-motor information. In a move with which we are now familiar, Bergson explains that the retrospective self-examination of consciousness yields two different ways in which one can memorize a lesson, each coinciding with one of the two forms of memory he has hypothetically isolated a priori. First, he says, I can learn a lesson by heart by analyzing each sentence into segments within my reading, and then repeating that segmented reading several times. Each such additional reading constitutes a progress, insofar as the words are increasingly linked together, and at last the readings organize themselves into a continuous whole. It is at the precise moment when this organic whole is constituted, by analysis and repetition, that I can say that I know the lesson, that I have memorized it. Now if I look back onto the memorizing process I just went through, it appears that each reading comes back to my mind with its own individuality. It is distinguished from those which preceded or followed it by the very place it has occupied in time; in short, each reading recurs before me as a determinate moment of my history (1997a, 8384/1991, 79, trans. modified, emphasis added). I have thus acquired this recollection through the repetition of one identical effort, one closed system of automatic movements of decomposition and recompositioneach repetition nevertheless producing a difference, a progress in relation to the preceding one.This first kind of memorizing, Bergson concludes, has all of the characteristic features of habituation (ibid., 84/80). The recollection resulting from it is therefore indistinguishable from habit; it is habit, and as such it belongs to the activity of the body. Are we justified, then, in calling it memory proper? For, Bergson adds, there is a second aspect to this process of memorization, one that does not involve habituation. If I now focus on the recollection of any particular reading within the whole process, I can see that it does not have any of the characteristics of habit, no analysis and no repetition.Its image was necessarily imprinted at once onto memory, since the other readings constitute, by


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters definition, different recollections (ibid., trans. modified, emphasis added). Whereas in the first case, each reading represented a moment of my history, in this situation each reading coincides with an event of my life.4 In its unity, this event bears a date and can therefore not lend itself to repetition, since in fact any additional reading would only alter its original nature (ibid.). In other words, the memorized lesson as a whole is a case of a voluntarily acquired recollection, which necessarily involves movements of articulation, hence action. In its final form, it does not bear any mark of the past any longer, since it has become a so-called recollection by virtue of having organized itself into an organic whole, whose parts have been superseded (i.e., aufheben, cancelled and lifted up) through the dialectical process of their mutually mediated organization. On the contrary, each individual reading consists in an innate recollection, a recollection that remains self-sufficient since it was immediately memory at the same time as it was present, which means that it does not require any voluntary effort of the will in order to become memory. For Bergson, it is in this temporalhence at once ontological and psychologicaldifference between the two kinds of recollections that their qualitative difference lies. While the second kind coincides with memory proper, the first can only be called memory derivatively. While the latter, rooted in action, necessarily occupies a determinate duration (i.e., the time it takes to develop each movement of articulation, even if only in imagination), the former is inscribed in an intuition of spirit, whose duration remains arbitrary, hence variable. Indeed, this variable duration, or virtuality, is precisely what characterizes a representation for Bergson (ibid., 85/81). Indeed it is this variability, more importantly than the immateriality of representations, that defines their virtuality. Furthermore,Worms insists,this variability of memories alone forces us to assume that they have an autonomous source, of a new genre, radically different from the source of material perception (1997, 104). Note on the Two Forms of Time In light of Bergsons notion of duration, which we examined in the context of its role within psychological life in Time and Free Will, those last remarks may sound contradictory. It seemed, then, that the succession involved in duration constituted the most fundamental, although mostly hidden, element underlying any conscious experience. So what are we now to make of the paradox of the coexistence between past and present as what essentially defines the life of spirit? I contend that this shift is a precious indication of the crucial reversal we announced earlier. First, I noted that both Time and Free Will and the first chapter of Matter and Memory situated their domain of inquiry within the psychological field of everyday experience, rooted in action and motivated by utility and social interactions. The body occupied the foreground. The displacement that is now taking place with the introduction of spirit seems to indicate not


Introducing Memory only that the body is receding in the background but that duration itself, which in Time and Free Will characterized the fundamental self, is losing its originary and productive function. However, this apparent tension between the two accounts does not, in my reading, constitute any philosophical contradiction. On the contrary, it testifies to the radical difference between the realm of the psychological (the actual) and the realm of the metaphysical, or the ontological (spirit, the virtual). Ultimately, this radical distinction is precisely that which is going to allow Bergson to argue for the necessary doubling, or folding over, of the two realms.The reversal that we are now witnessing indicates the necessity of establishing a further distinction, which will prove more explicitly central as we turn to Deleuzes work. It is, I argue, the distinction between the time of consciousness, or duration, and the time of the unconscious, or what Deleuze calls the empty form of time, that is, transcendental time.While the former remains actual and informs the real through and through, the latter is essentially virtual; it is the absolute outside of consciousness, although it precisely conditions it. Nevertheless, as Worms points out, it also is because our body is capable of being habituated that our memory is able to rejoin it and relate to it (1997, 102). Two Recognitions In a typical move, Bergson tells us that in their pure states, the two forms of memory are theoretically independent, although in practice neither is ever encountered as such.The first kind of memory,5 he writes, records in the shape of memory-images each event of our everyday life as it occurs, without neglecting any detail, even the most insignificant onesmost insignificant, that is, insofar as spontaneous memory has no utilitarian ulterior motive, no intention. It simply stores up the past by the mere effect of a natural necessity. It is through it, Bergson adds, that the intelligent (or rather the intellectual) recognition of a past perception becomes possible (1997a, 86/1991, 81). Each perception prolongs itself into a nascent action so, as the perceived images fix themselves within spontaneous memory, the movements that continued those perception-images create new dispositions to act within the body: they modify the organism (ibid.). This consists in a radically different order of experience than that of the recording process of spontaneous memories.This second order of experience is at last deposited within the body in the form of ready-made and ready-to-hand mechanisms.We become conscious of those mechanisms as they spring into action. Bergson insists that unlike the recording process of memory-images, this consciousness is the consciousness of a whole past of efforts stored up within the present, or within the body in action (ibid.).While the former is a passing present that is therefore always already past, the latter consists in a past that is in the process of becoming present for the sake of the future (i.e., utility).In truth, it no longer represents our past to us, it acts it; and


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters if it still deserves the name of memory, it is not because it conserves bygone images, but because it prolongs their useful effect into the present moment (ibid., 87/82, ephasis added). In fact, according to Bergson, these two processes coincide with two different kinds of recognition, one that is thought (or intellectual recognition) and one that is lived (or sensory-motor equilibrium). Two Orders of Experience: Actual and Virtual Consciousness Bergson points out that while the spontaneous recollection is immediately perfect, which means that repetition and time will not be able to add anything to its image without denaturing it, the acquired recollection will spring outside of time as the lesson is better known; it becomes more and more foreign to our own past life, that is, more and more impersonal (1997a, 88/1991, 83). The qualitative difference between the two also means, then, that repetition cannot convert the former into the latter.The only progress repetition may introduce within the process of recognition is to better organize the movements through which spontaneous memory extends itself and to create a habit of the body (ibid., 8889/8384). Moreover, once again, this memory of the body is only memory to the extent that I can remember having acquired it. Howeverand this is the crucial pointI can only remember having acquired it because I appeal to spontaneous memory (ibid., 89/84). If the memory of the body that belongs to the actual present we call psychological memory, and if spontaneous memory, which belongs to the past we call virtual memory, then we can say that psychological memory only survives qua memory on the basis of virtual memory. Furthermore, as the rest of my argument will strive to establish, if consciousness can be identified with psychological memory springing into action, and virtual memory can be shown to coincide with the unconscious, then we can say that consciousness is necessarily grounded in the unconscious. But consciousness, embodied in the nervous system as it is, is exclusively interested in utility.The primordial condition for its efficacy thus lies in maintaining ones life, whose primary form coincides with adaptation to ones environment, to the immediate threats and promises this environment presents. In contrast, to evoke the past in the form of a representation requires being able to abstract oneself from present necessities, to care about the nonuseful; in a word, says Bergson, it requires that one be willing to dream (ibid., 87/82). But then why would consciousness actually retain not only the useful mechanisms that allow it to act on and react swiftly to external reality but also virtually preserve the images of the situations that led to the construction of those mechanisms? Bergson writes, of what use are those memory-images (ibid., 90/84) since once it has been formed and survives as a set of mechanical arrangements, habit no longer needs the images that have served to compose those arrangements? If representations are closer to dream-life than to reality, are they not then going to threaten the practical adaptive function of consciousness?


Introducing Memory This would be the case, Bergson suggests, if consciousness were not itself twofold. We saw earlier that Bergson considers the self as dual. On the one hand, consciousness is for the most part actual, insofar as its role is to maintain a relative sensory-motor equilibrium. To this effect, its positive function consists in using those, among the past images, that are capable of throwing light onto the present situation. Conversely, this means that envisaged negatively, the role of consciousness is also to inhibit all those past images that cannot accommodate actual perception in order to form a useful combination (ibid., 90/85). Practically speaking, then, spontaneous memory is dependent on the actual bodily consciousness for its actualization. But, on the other hand, I read Bergson as suggesting that there persists such a thing as a virtual consciousness as well.This would be the kind of consciousness we experience in dreams as we sleep, or in accidental situations capable of upsetting the equilibrium maintained by the brain between external reality and the motor reaction (ibid.). Such traumatic situations can have the painful anxiety-producing effects that Freud analyzed in such texts as Beyond the Pleasure Principle.6 They may also, as Deleuze points out in Cinema 2, be identified with the experience of the sublime as a possible genetic condition for art, or even of genuine thought qua creation of concepts.7 In either case, we are confronted with a kind of experience informed by a duration that can only be called pathological, as its primary effect, Deleuze suggests, is to throw time out of joint. Between the Two Recognitions:The Pendulum Here I want to introduce the phenomenon of attention to life, which according to Bergson is the essential point of the debate (1997a, 108/1991, 99). The debate is the problem situated between the two kinds of recognition, namely, automatic recognition (or recognition by distraction), on the one hand, and attentive, or complete, recognition, on the other.We have seen that in principle the utility-oriented present displaces the useless past, but that there are exceptional cases where an old image will displace present perception (ibid., 104/96). Automatic recognition takes place entirely on the level of the body, which means that the role of memory-images in it remains accessory, or accidental. On the contrary, attentive recognition is characterized by the fact that memory-images rejoin present perception as a rule (ibid., 107/99). The problem that lies at the core of my argument concerning the relationship between consciousness and the unconscious is expressed by Bergson in the following terms: In those cases where recognition is attentive . . . is it the perception which determines mechanically the appearance of the memories, or is it the memories which spontaneously go to meet the perception (ibid.)? We can see what is really at stake here. If, as I want to argue, the unconscious does ground and condition consciousness, then it means that the unconscious is


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters ontologically prior, and that consciousness, or what is traditionally identified as the subject, is a mere negative manifestation relative to utility. But if I am wrong, then either the appearance of consciousness must be ascribed to some chance ex nihilo divine act, or (which in fact amounts to the same) subjectivity must be retrospectively posited as a logical requirement, as happens in the Kantian critique. In either case, I contend, consciousness and subjectivity would fail to be properly grounded, and thought itself would have to be accidental. In short, if with Bergson I can show not only that consciousness is necessarily grounded in the unconscious but also that subjectivity is thereby not an accidental epiphenomenon of some obscure divine will, then idealism, even in its transcendental version, will be invalidated. Furthermore, as Bergsons conclusion to Matter and Memory claims (as well as the whole of Creative Evolution), this would entail that spontaneity is metaphysically first, even though it is constantly and necessarily contradicted by determinism. Realism would thus be shown to remain insufficient. We have suggested that the relation between consciousness and the unconsciousa relation that defines experience in its diverse manifestations, be they practical or theoretical, perception or memory, action or thought, material or spiritual necessarily involves two movements working in opposite directions. In the language of Creative Evolution, we could say that, on the one hand, we have an originary life impulse (the lan vital) working in the positive direction of the creative evolution of life; on the other hand we have inert matter, constantly busy with arresting, stabilizing the forward impulse, in order to form speciesa process Bergson also calls involution (in contrast to evolution). In The Two Sources, Bergson identifies the constant play of those two opposite tendencies with the swing of a pendulum, balancing back and forth between two extreme states, eventually passing through momentary equilibrium, yet unable to arrest the cosmic motion completely. In this sense, Bergsons pendulum resembles Foucaults pendulum. Recognition versus Association:The Case of Aphasia In an attempt to clarify the phenomenon of doubling at play in Bergsons virtual empiricism, let us look more closely at the kinds of experiences that result from the interaction of the two opposite tendencies.We mentioned that what happens within the folding over of perception and memory is recognition.This is the most general definition of recognition Bergson gives: The concrete act by which we grasp the past anew within the present (1997a, 96/1991, 90, trans. modified).Therefore, he adds,to recognize would be to associate with a present perception the images which were formerly given in contiguity with it (ibid., 97/90, trans. modified). But what does this association of a perception with a recollection consist of? According to associationist psychology, it may be either the juxtaposition or the fusion between perception and memory. In both hypotheses, however, it is


Introducing Memory assumed that it is the resemblance between the actual perception and the memory of the old perception that drives the association. But since perception and recollection are by definition qualitatively different, the association cannot be made a priori: the resemblance would have to be perceived. How do we perceive a resemblance between a perception and a recollection? Trying to endorse this Humean viewpoint for the sake of his argument, Bergson points out that resemblance is a relation established by the mind between terms it compares and therefore already possesses. So contra Hume, Bergson concludes, the perception of a resemblance is an effect of association rather than its cause (ibid., 98/91). Furthermore, we have established with Bergson that recollections are not stored in the brain, which means that we cannot possess them, or keep them at hand, as if they were located in some specific storage room just in case. In the final analysis, then, Bergson contends that associationism cannot account for recognition, as is confirmed by scientific experiments regarding several cases of aphasia (ibid., 99/91). Bergson mentions such facts of experience as certain illnesses where the patients are able to summon up the mental picture of an object named to them; they can describe it very well, but they cannot recognize it when it is shown to them (ibid., 99/92). Conversely, Bergson cites a case where a patient was unable to recognize his own wife and children, yet he knew that she was a woman and that they were children (ibid., 100/92).8 Finally, Bergson concludes, not every recognition implies the intervention of a memory-image, and, conversely . . . we may still be able to call up such images when we have lost the power to identify perceptions with them (ibid.).This means not only that there must be different kinds of recognitionat least two, as we already knowbut also that the failure to fully recognize certain images must be ascribed to the diminution of the function designed to ensure the actualization of memory-images rather than the destruction of those images themselves. As we mentioned earlier, Bergson isolates action-recognition (or motorrecognition), which takes place within the instant.This habit-recognition does not require the intervention of true memory but merely takes place through the education of the senses in the shape of mechanisms in the process of being perfected by repeated movements. As such, action-recognition itself does not contribute directly to the solution of our problem. However, what does have significance in relation to my argument is that which the existence of such a recognition implies. Bergson writes:
If, then, every perception has its organized motor-accompaniment, the ordinary feeling of recognition has its root in the consciousness of this organization.This is to say that we ordinarily act our recognition before we think it. . . . Motor tendencies would, then, be enough by themselves to give us the feeling of recognition. But we hasten to add that in most cases there is something else besides it. (1997a, 102103/1991, 9495, emphasis added, trans. modified)


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters Once again, besides the motor arrangements constituted along with the memory of the body, the entirety of our past psychological life survives in all of its detail.Although it constantly tends to be inhibited by practical consciousness, this virtual memory simply awaits the occurrence of a rift within the sensorymotor equilibriumthat is, of a fissure between the actual impression and the concomitant movementin order to slip in its images (1997a, 103/1991, 95). In principle, then, it looks as if movement tended to drive away the image. Nevertheless, Bergson insists, it also must contribute to preparing the insertion of this image as a means of selecting the appropriate image among all possible representations (ibid.). This is why in our first chapter we defined the brain as a central telephonic switchboard as well as an organ of choice. For again, Bergson contends, if we are constitutively beings for whom present impressions prolong themselves into the appropriate nascent movements, and if the goal of perception is action, not speculation, then nothing prevents old images from slipping into the actual perception and being adopted by it if it so happens that those old images can just as well be prolonged into useful movements (ibid., 104/95). It is in this sense that Bergson was able to claim that although in principle the present displaces the past, there also are cases where the past can displace the present. Indeed, in his masterful 1908 essay The Memory of the Present: False Recognition (from Mind-Energy), Bergson goes so far as to claim that this apparently exceptional and usually considered pathological phenomenon of displacement of the actual by the virtual is in fact the normal mode by which intellectual recognition takes place. Not only does such principled displacement positively account for the phenomenon of dj vu but also, envisaged negatively, it offers a basis for the fact that there exists different kinds of experienceor, as Bergson also puts it, different tones of psychological life. In other words, Bergson is here arguing that in the context of intellectual recognition (i.e., the most frequent kind of recognition in humans), the doubling of the present and the past is not merely accidental or possible but really necessary. He writes:
If we accept this principle, we shall not, in the case of a morbid or abnormal phenomenon presenting special characters, have to seek any active cause, because the phenomenon, despite appearances, has nothing positive and nothing new about it. It was already being manufactured while the conditions were normal; but it was prevented from emerging, when about to appear, by one of those continually inhibitory mechanisms which secure attention to life. (1996, 126/1975, 12425, emphasis in original)

Folding Over:The Psychological Is Also Necessarily Virtual

We mentioned at the beginning of this inquiry that the fundamental problem addressed in Matter and Memory is one of dualism. Practically, we saw in the first


Introducing Memory chapter that the problem of dualism is the question of the relation between body and mindor, more exactly, following Bergsons fundamental restating of the true problem at stake, the question of the nature of the relations between memory and the brain. Finally, our examination of Bergsons account of recognition has led us to locate the nexus of the debate in the phenomenon of attention to life.The true problem that Bergsons theory of memory must be able to solve may then be reformulated as follows: if attentive recognition necessarily occurs within the folding over of perception and memory, and if memory survives outside of consciousness, then where does the impulse for the doubling come from? In other words, to which of the two tendencies (actual perception or virtual memory) must we give ontological primacy in the generation of the phenomenon of attention? We already suggested that for Bergson it is ultimately to pure memory that the positive force underlying human striving for speculative knowledge must be ascribed. But this resolution of the problem of memory will not be explicitly explained until we turn to Bergsons philosophy of life.The aim of this section thus consists in clarifying the methodological move that will both allow Bergson to affirm the existence of the unconscious in the third chapter of Matter and Memory and to establish its nature as well as the status of its function within the process of the generation of self-conscious knowledge. I thereby intend to establish the ground of such knowledge within a certain kind of experiencean experience he calls intuition. I will argue that beyond Kants transcendental idealism, it is to a Bergsonian/Deleuzian virtual empiricism based in the unconscious that philosophy must appeal if it is to prove its own necessity and provide a ground for its age-old claim to being the mother of all sciences. In this attempt, I will trace back the real genetic conditions for the actualization of the virtual. First, this will require that we examine closely the phenomenon of attention as Bergson analyzes it. Second, this will introduce us to the notion of contraction or condensation as the central characteristic feature of the work intrinsic to memorya work we will examine closely in the next chapter. It also should shed some light on Bergsons conception of reflection together with the notion of subjectivity it yields. Finally, the analysis of the phenomenon of reflection will allow us to examine both the actual and the virtual conditions for the positivity of spirit constituted by the paradox of the double. Attentive Recognition: Doubling as the Creative Evolution of Reflection In his effort to trace the process by which a recollection may progressively insert itself into the motor mechanism, Bergson analyzes the phenomenon of attention into its negative and positive sides (1997a, 109/1991, 100). According to him, automatic recognition is by definition recognition by distraction (ibid., 107/98). It can occur without the subject making any particular effort of the will, and it is for this reason, too, that it does not usually require the


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters intervention of representation-memory. Considered in its material aspect, then, the effect of attention is simply to render perception more intense and to give out its details. But it would seem that this increase in the intensity of perception results from a magnifying of the intellectual state (ibid., 109/100). For, Bergson notes, at the same time as it exercises its power of attention, consciousness testifies to an irreducible difference of form between this increase of intensity and one that would result from a higher power of the external stimulus (ibid).We can conclude with Bergson that the stimulus at the origin of the increase of intensity of perception he identifies with attention seems to come from within, thereby indicating a certain attitude adopted by the intellect rather than a mere attitude of the body imposed by the external situation. In either case, attention would primarily be the product of an intellectual attitude. But, Bergson asks, what exactly is an intellectual attitude? In continuity with his critical work from Time and Free Will, Bergson argues against most psychologists of his time, who typically tend to translate this psychological fact (this so-called concentration of the mind) into a physiological one. For Bergson, although it is true that in its purely material manifestation attention does coincide with concomitant physical movements of inhibitionif only movements of arrestwe still need to account for the work of the mind that accompanies it. Put otherwise, Bergson argues that the material aspect of attention merely coincides with the negative condition of the phenomenon (ibid., 110/101). As a negative condition, it can only account for the possibility of the phenomenon as a whole, but not for its substantial reality that is, for the fact that the same organ (i.e., the brain), perceiving the same object in the same surroundings, discovers in it a growing number of things and characteristics (ibid.). In short, the material conditions for the possibility of attention cannot fully account for its positive occurrence. It has to leave the explanation of its completion to mystery or chance. Bergson concludes that we must go farther and look for the positive conditions of attentionconditions that by inference we can anticipate as belonging to spirit. Just as motor mechanisms in general both inhibit and prepare the work of memory, here in the specific case of attention we can theorize that the phenomena of inhibition constitute a mere preparation for the effective, or positive, movements of voluntary attention that prolong them (ibid.).What do those positive movements consist in? Bergson writes:
While external perception provokes on our part movements which retrace its main lines, our memory directs upon the perception received the old images that resemble it and which have already been sketched out by our movements. Memory thus creates anew the present perception, or rather it redoubles this perception by reflecting upon it either the latters own image or some memory-image of the same genre. (1997a, 111/1991, emphasis added, trans. modified)


Introducing Memory I believe that there lies the key to understanding the phenomenon of doubling at the heart of Bergsons theory of matter and memoryand therefore, the key to his conceptions of attentive recognition, reflection, and subjectivity.While external perception, no matter how intensified, remains in the domain of the impersonal and objective (i.e., the main lines just quoted), something moresomething not merely more intense but also of a different natureis required for the experience to become subjective, with a specific color and a tone of its own. This something more belongs to the realm of memory.9 Furthermore, Bergson makes it clear that self-conscious representation consists literally in a re-presentation, a doubling over, a reflection of memory upon perception, of the past upon the present, of the virtual upon the actual. Now, Bergson points out, in order to literally reflect (as in a mirror) upon a perception the image we have received of it, we must be able to reproduce it, which is to say to reconstruct it, by an effort of synthesis; if attention consists in the analysis of the external object, then the truth is that this analysis is effected by a series of attempts at a synthesis, or . . . so many hypotheses (ibid., 112/102). And we know that those hypotheses are not selected at random. Before we move on, let me recapitulate the process of attentive recognition according to Bergson. First, we are given an external perception, the consciousness of which really consists in centripetal movements of imitation continuing this perception.These movements coincide with an impersonal motor schema, which will provide a common framework for both the present perception and the past images that are constantly trying to insert themselves into the present. This common framework prepares the effective movements by which our memory then reaches out into its own depths in search for appropriate (i.e., analogous or superimposable) images. This search consists in so many hypotheses, which memory launches in the direction of the new perception (centrifugal movement). We thus have two movements, two opposite tendencies at work, and their hinge is reflection. Furthermore, says Bergson, The operation can go on indefinitelymemory strengthening and enriching perception, which, in its turn becoming wider, draws into itself a growing number of complementary recollections (ibid., 111/101). I wish to insist that reflection thus understood involves re-construction, which means that it involves creationa creation made possible by the sensorymotor schema, but a creation also made necessary by the intrusion of memory. This implies that active creation occurs at the precise point where matter and memory become indistinguishable or, as Deleuze puts it in Cinema 2, at the point of indiscernibility between reality and fiction.10 But, Deleuze insists,this point of indiscernibility of the real and the imaginary, or of the present and the past, of the actual and the virtual, is definitely not produced in the head or the mind, it is the objective characteristic of certain existing images which are by nature double (1985, 93/2001, 69).


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters Now, we want to ask, does this necessary creativity of complete recognition coincide with freedom? In order to answer this question, we need to turn to an examination of (1) the specific function and sense of the motor schema with regard to the acquisition of knowledge, and (2) the contraction involved in the work of memory in the process of its actualization. Motor Schema and Sense: Hearing a Foreign Language A philosopher of nuances, Bergson is here echoing his remarks from Time and Free Will centering on the issue of freedom. From what we have just seen, it appears that the question of freedom will have to be addressed in terms of degrees of freedom, since both material determinism and spiritual indeterminacy are involved in the act of attentive recognition. But it is not because freedom cannot be absolute actually speaking, that Bergson does not hold on to a strong notion of ontologically pure, virtual freedomwhat I want to call affirmative or positive freedom, as opposed to a negatively conceived freedom fromas the defining feature of spirit. He insisted throughout Time and Free Will that spontaneity and unpredictability are first, and that quantitative multiplicities cannot be thought without an implicit appeal to qualitative multiplicities. Still, ultimately, for Bergson the phenomenon of recognition is partly automatic, determined and impersonal, partly active, thus inserting indetermination and subjectivity into the actual material world. The degree of freedom of action therefore depends on the share that can be ascribed respectively to the intelligence of the body and to the work of memory. In this attempt at discerning the respective roles of perception and memory in the phenomenon of complete recognition, let us, with Bergson, focus on the empirical case of hearing a foreign language. When I hear two people having a conversation in a language unknown to me, I do not actually hear them (in the sense of a true auditory recognition). All I perceive is a confused, continuous, and indeterminate sonorous mass. I do not distinguish anything, which means that I would be incapable of repeating anything.Within this same sonorous mass, however, the two foreign interlocutors are able to distinguish separate syllables and words. Nevertheless, the vibrations that reach my ears are identical to those that reach theirs.The true question, for Bergson, is How can the knowledge of a language, which is only memory, modify the materiality of a present perception and cause some listeners actually to hear what others, in the same physical conditions, do not hear? (1997a, 120/1991, 109, emphasis added, trans. modified). In my view, this remark testifies to the fundamental relevance of epistemology to metaphysical issues and therefore to the crucial importance of Bergsons endeavor to establish the mutual interdependency of the study of knowledge and the philosophy of spirit. I maintain that if Bergson can account for the actual process here alluded to, then his hypothesis that memory, or virtual-


Introducing Memory ity, can operate a real modification of matterand not merely impose some abstract, more or less arbitrary imaginary form onto itwill be grounded. Furthermore, both his otherwise paradoxical claimsthat (1) matter ultimately consists in pure exteriority or objectivity, as we saw in the first chapter, and (2) that memory introduces subjectivity and indetermination into itwill be reconciled without one having to be sacrificed for the other. Bergsons philosophy will thus be truly situated between idealism and realism, between metaphysics and the sciences. In accordance with the account of complete (i.e., meaningful) recognition to which we have alluded, the process of recognition of an unknown language would first imply that auditory recollections answer to the call of auditory impressions, reinforcing their effect through repetition. However, Bergson points out, in order for the recollection of a word to be evoked, it is necessary that the ear hears the word in the first place (ibid.). In fact, as long as we (i.e., psychologists) assume that we only have purely objective auditory impressions, on the one hand, and auditory recollections, on the other, the psychological question of the process of discernment remains insuperable. On the contrary, says Bergson, if auditory impressions were indeed already organizing nascent movements of articulation, then we could account for the phenomenon of forming ones ear to the elements of a new language and ultimately to language in general. Those automatic movements of internal accompaniment would become more and more precise through repetition, and eventually the motor schema of the speech we hear would unfold within our consciousness in the shape of nascent muscular sensations. Forming ones ear to a foreign language would thus consist in perfecting this motor accompaniment by coordinating the motor tendencies of the muscular apparatus of the voice to the impressions of the ear (ibid., 121/111). At the level of the motor schema, then, the role of repetition consists in a rudimentary analysis of the underlying brute sonorous continuity that the ear perceives. But we are still, at this point, at the surface level that coincides with automatic recognition; no sense can be ascribed to the words we hear. Once the memory of the body has made possible the actual registering of present impressions that then become past images, how is memory itself going to insert itself into matter? In other words, how do we get from the automatic to the complete recognition of the others discourse? How do we get from distinguishing words within a continuity of sound to understanding the sense of those words? Paradoxically (yet in a typical fashion), Bergson responds that we indeed have to place ourselves among the interlocutors corresponding ideas at once (ibid., 129/116), just as we had to place ourselves within the world of images at once in order to account for perception in the first place. Continuity must be first metaphysically, although it becomes second epistemologically. Earlier it was shown that the motor schema is the receptacle of the understanding, that is, of the experience of sense.According to Bergson, then, the intelligence of the body,


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters or the motor accompaniment, constitutes the form of the understanding: it determines it.This determination occurs at the precise moment of the practical convergence of the two forms of memorywhere convergence must be understood as the unity resulting from a movement starting from distinct origins. But the decisive argument, for Bergson, must show that recollection ultimately anticipates perception. In fact, the same example of hearing a foreign language testifies to the necessity of both the motor schema as forming the experience of sense and of the preexistence of a mnemonic or an imaginary schema.11 According to Bergson, to understand the others discourse involves true activity on our part, and not merely receptivity. I will never be able to understand the others discourse on the basis of the verbal images themselves.Those images are by definition discontinuous; I only perceive them to the extent that they are separated by an interval that my needs have carved up within the continuity of the real. In this sense, we can say that my consciousness is by definition discontinuous. Now, Bergson adds, no concrete representation will ever fill in this interval, just as it is impossible to embrace Achilles stride on the basis of a juxtaposition of indefinitely divisible (sup)positions. As Bergson puts it, Images will only ever be things, and thought is a movement (ibid., 139/125, trans. modified).This means that I will never be able to understand the others discourse unless I place myself within an analogous mental attitude at once.The progress from motor schema to sense must therefore primarily be a progress from memory to perception, from continuity to discontinuity, from virtual subjectivity to actual consciousness.Two opposite movements must fold over one another. As Worms points out, this is because recognition for Bergson is not a limited or local function: it is the very principle of our continuous and temporal relation to the worldand to others (1997, 100). The Memory of the Present (Bergsons First Diagram) Bergson recapitulates his claims about the relations between the two kinds of recognition, or the two kinds of experience, in the following terms: Our distinct perception is really comparable to a closed circle in which the perceptionimage directed toward spirit and the memory-image launched into space careen the one behind the other (1997a, 113/1991, 103, emphasis added, trans. modified).This circuitous image with two faces (as opposed to the traditionally linear model of reflective perception) further signifies that no vibration (branlement) starting from the object can stop on its way and remain in the depths of the mind: it must always find its way back to the object itself (ibid., 114/104, trans. modified).This conception of the work of the intellect relies on a profound solidarity between spirit and its object, a connection that cannot be deemed either abstract or arbitrary. In fact, Bergson insists, the circuit is so tightly shut that we cannot pass to states of higher concentration without creating, whole and entire, so many new circuits which envelop the first and have


Introducing Memory nothing in common between them but the perceived object (ibid.). Keeping in mind the characterization of the heterogeneous multiplicity of duration from Time and Free Will, we can see how he is able to assert that any new addition, any increase in intensity, must produce an entirely different whole. Thus the reflective work of memory coincides with creation. Nevertheless, the radical difference between the diverse circles of memory does not excludeand indeed, it entailsthat each time, it is the whole of memory that passes over into each of these circuits (just as, in Time and Free Will, it was the whole personality that passed into each free act). In other words, because memory virtually survives entirely, it is always presentat the same time as it is past. Envisaged metaphysically then, memory is one because its duration is elastic, variable, and virtual. But considered psychologically (in its actual duration), memory is multiple, since this very duration coincides with heterogeneous succession. It is because of this elasticity or arbitrariness of virtual duration that memory can be dilated indefinitely and reflect upon the object an increasing number of suggested images. Indeed, for Bergson, these increasingly expanded virtual circles of memory correspond to growing efforts of intellectual expansion (ibid., 11415/104). From this he concludes that the progress of attention attains to deeper and deeper strata of reality. On the one hand, the work of intellectual recognition reproduces the perceived object at the actualized surface of memoryor the smallest circle, which also contains the external object itself, which means that this smallest circle coincides in fact with the point of indiscernibility between the actual and the virtual. But, on the other hand, we also reconstruct together with this object the more and more distant, or profound, conditions with which it forms a system.12 Notice that unlike the Kantian homogenous and impersonal transcendental conditions (i.e., time and space), those Bergsonian virtual conditions of experience are essentially heterogeneous and personal. In fact, if those Bergsonian conditions of experience can be called transcendentalinsofar as they condition the specific kind of reflective experience that we humans have, and indeed, Deleuze will not hesitate to use the term transcendentalthen they must correspond to a profound transvaluation of the transcendental. Conditions for the Actualization of the Virtual:The Proustian Experience Unlike Kantian forms those profound Bergsonian conditions of experience consist in personal memories. As such, they are exactly localized events within the unfolding of my life, and their heterogeneous series sketches out the course of our past existence; taken together they make up the last and largest envelope of our memory (1997a, 116/1991, 106, trans. modified). This essentially subjective, and therefore unique, last and largest envelope of our memory is precisely what I want to call the ultimate, or the transcendental, form of meaningful experience. I argue that they also differ from Kantian forms insofar as


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters they are not given but rather essentially fugitive (ibid.) and variable. This implies that we cannot voluntarily recall those innermost memories. Like Prousts Combray, memory-images remain hidden, captive of an object or a sensation (for instance, a tea biscuit [the famous madeleine]since in relation to us all objects are a sensationupon which we may never stumble again). For Bergson, too, our most profound fugitive recollections only materialize (or actually come to consciousness) by chance, either when an accidentally precise determination of our bodily attitude attracts them or when the very indetermination of that attitude leaves a clear field to the caprices of their manifestation (ibid.).13 Notice that this does not contradict Bergsons earlier claim that the appropriate recollections returning to redouble the present perception are not selected at random.What belongs to chance is the occurrence of the situation or sensation that constitutes the occasion (as opposed to the cause) for recollections to manifest themselves; it is in this sense that Deleuze begins by characterizing the Proustian experience in terms of involuntary memory. But which one, among the innumerable series of memory-images, is actualized is a selection that occurs precisely on the cusp between voluntary and involuntary processes. In other words, while the deep virtual condition for the actualization of memory remains unconscious, the actual condition for this materialization belongs to the order of consciousness. Now what about the actual empirical process of actualization that the unconscious thus conditions? Actualization as Transformation of the Virtual According to Bergson, the whole of the past constantly weighs on the body, trying to insert itself into present perception; at the same time, the present prepares and calls on the virtual past for added information and depth as to the course of action to be actualized. The outcome of the convergence of those two movements consists in the following:
[T]he outermost envelope contracts and repeats itself in inner and concentric circles, which in their narrower range enclose the same recollections grown smaller, more and more removed from their personal and original form, and more and more capable, in their banality, of being applied onto the present perception and of determining it after the manner of a species which defines and absorbs the individual.There comes a moment when the recollection thus brought down is capable of blending so well with the present perception that we cannot say where perception ends and where memory begins. (1997a, 116/1991, 106, emphasis added)

Once again the two opposite movements converging within the kind of meaningful recognition occurring when one understands the others discourse


Introducing Memory may be recapitulated as follows: from perception to memory, analysis and repetition perform the work needed for the deepening or virtualization of the present. But from memory to perception, contraction (or synthesis) and repetition implement the actualization of the virtual. In both cases, however, repetition is the vehicle of difference, of a transformation in kind. At the precise point of convergence, or of indiscernibility between perception and memory, then, memory turns into something other than itself. Since, according to Bergson, memory is by definition virtual, it necessarily turns into something else in the process of its actualization.We know that this something else is a perception or a sensation, an image in the widest sense of the term; in any case, it is a phenomenon; it is that which appears but also disappears. Now, as explained earlier, in order for an image to be able to appear and disappear, to remain in a process of becoming between appearance and disappearance, this image must have at least two sides: an actual side when it becomes present and a virtual side when it recedes in the obscure depths of the mind. Like Kants transcendental forms, these obscure depths cannot be experienced as such in their pure state. They survive outside of consciousness, given that with Bergson we have defined consciousness in terms of actuality or of the embodied part of the process of actualization of the virtual.The shelter of the virtual images that condition actual experience must therefore correspond to the unconscious. Nevertheless, as I will continue to argue, Bergsons implicit transvaluation of the transcendental by the virtual yields a kind of experience that cannot be captured by Kants critical work. Beyond the Kantian negative conditioning of experience in terms of possibility, we now have to work out the positive grounding of experience in terms of the virtual and its ontological status. The time has thus come to turn to the third chapter of Matter and Memory to examine more thoroughly this virtual mode of being that Bergson ascribes to that which, with Deleuze, I want to call Bergsons transcendental unconscioustranscendental, that is, insofar as it constitutes the condition for the actualization of consciousness in the shape of freedom.


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The Unconscious as Ontology of the Virtual

We believe we think the strange and the foreign, but in reality we never think anything but the familiar; we think not the distant, but the close that measures it. And so again, when we speak of impossibility, it is possibility alone that, providing it with a reference, already sarcastically brings impossibility under its rule.Will we ever, then, come to pose a question such as: what is impossibility (impuissance), this non-power that would be the simple negation of power? Or will we ask ourselves: how can we discover the obscure? How can it be brought into the open? What would this experience of the obscure be, whereby the obscure would give itself in its obscurity? Maurice Blanchot, The Infinite Conversation

From Dualism to Difference

The outcome of the convergence of Bergsons general psychology of memory with his account of the material genesis of consciousness consisted in the affirmation of the reality of enlarged experience in the shape of intuition. First, by redefining perception in terms of its pragmatic interest rather than some alleged speculative function, Bergson was able to establish the de jure objectivity of pure perception against not only realism and idealism, but also against the Kantian


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters critique. No longer relative to the forms of transcendental idealism (that is, homogenous time and homogenous space), knowledge would thus necessarily, if only incompletely, attain to the absolute real, to the noumenal realm that Kant excluded a priori from the grasp of human intuition.The Bergsonian notion of intuition cannot be equated with Kants. One of the goals of this chapter is to show that for Bergson, intuition must be inhuman; as a method rooted in the essentially utility-oriented human experience, it is also, at the same time, the means to that which lies beyond human experience, beyond the turn at which experience becomes human.1 Indeed, it will appear that all along, and unlike the Kantian critical effort, Bergsons own critical work has been exclusively directed at bringing to light the fundamentally positive dimension out of which metaphysics will be resurrected. This positive dimension he calls the virtual, the pure past, the unconscious. So far we have been following Bergson in his genealogical exhibition of the necessity of assuming the existence of the virtual, or the survival of the past, independently of its material actualization; as he puts it, memory is other than a function of the brain (1997a, 238/1991, 268). Concretely, Bergson upholds the necessity of this existence on the basis of the difference in kind (and not merely in degree) between perception and memory, present and past, presence and absence. Our last chapter was indeed dedicated to proving, with Bergson, that we must postulate the reality of pure memory in order to account for the facts of human experiencefrom actual perception to intellectual recognition.The aim here is to examine the source of this experience, its ontological status, the metaphysical nature of this virtual existence that defines memory proper. Our central claim will be that methodologically, such metaphysical endeavor can only be carried out on the basis of a genuine philosophy of difference. This is where I suggest that the project of the renewal of philosophy informing the French philosophy of the latter half of the twentieth century is profoundly indebted to Bergson.This I will illustrate by examining the shape this legacy takes in Deleuzes 1968 Difference and Repetition, as well as in his cinema books of the early eighties. It will appear that through Deleuzes reworking of Bergsons entire philosophical enterprisea project for a new philosophy of concrete perceptionan alternative irreducible to the phenomenological approaches that have hitherto dominated our philosophical landscape may be outlined. In his 1956 Bergsons Conception of Difference,2 Deleuze writes that a philosophy of difference always plays itself out on two levels, methodological and ontological.While the methodological level consists in determining differences of nature (or in kind) between things, the ontological level focuses on determining the nature of difference. But, he adds, these two problems, namely, of the differences of nature and of the nature of difference, constantly refer to one another. For it is only by establishing differences of nature between things that we will be able to account for the things themselves without reducing them to


The Unconscious as Ontology of the Virtual something other than themselveswhich is to say, we will be able to grasp them in their being. Furthermore, says Deleuze,if the being of things is . . . in their differences of nature, we can hope that difference itself is something, that it has a nature, finally that it will deliver Being to us (2002a, 43/1999, 42). Now, Deleuze continues, in Bergson we encounter those two problems in their bond, we discover the passage from one to the other (ibid.). If we are to understand the full import of Bergsons ontology of the virtual, then we must fully comprehend this passage. I argue that that is precisely what we are now faced with, as we turn from the second to the third chapter of Matter and Memory, from the issue concerning memory and the brain to the problematic of memory and spirit. While the former was still dealing with the psychological dimension of the problem of memoryhence of the process of its actualizationthe latter attaches itself to the metaphysical double of this psychology of memory.Whereas the first two chapters of Matter and Memory aimed primarily at posing the true problem of difference by grappling with dualism, the third and fourth chapters consist in solving this problem by examining the mode of the union of body and mind.Yet I indicated that it is through his determination of the differences of nature between homogenous and heterogeneous multiplicities, between spatialized time and duration, between perception and memory, between matter and spirit, and between the actual and the virtual that Bergson was able to displace profoundly the problem at stake between idealism and realism. Bergsons dualism thus already aims at situating philosophical inquiry anew. No longer caught up within the sterile debates inherited from Cartesianism, Bergsonism displaces the issue of the relationship between mind and body onto the terrain of the relation between consciousness and the unconscious.This was the conclusion of our first chapter. We then tried to show that Bergsons notion of the virtual, articulated around the paradox of the double involved in both its determination and its movement of actualization, constituted the bond between consciousness and the unconscious, between actual perception and memory, and that it therefore coincided with both the core of the problem at stake and the key to its solution. The time has now come, finally, to examine how Bergson proceeds to offer such resolutionhow, in other words, Bergsonism resolves the problem of dualism, all the while generating a true philosophy of difference in the shape of what Deleuze has called superior or transcendental empiricism (and of what I call virtual empiricism). So far, then, we have witnessed Bergsons hyperbolization of dualism. On the one hand, functionally, or psychologically speaking, matter (the brain, the body) depends on memory for its conservation in time, and pure virtual memory requires material cerebral arrangements for its actualization. But, on the other hand, Bergson insists, matter and spirit constitute two metaphysically independent orders of existence, which is to say two essentially opposite tendencies which, in their pure states, remain mutually exclusive. But as the very use


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters of the term tendency suggests, these two distinct essences are neither immutable nor immediately able to be experienced as such. In fact, there is a sense in which we could say that Bergsons theory of tendencies, although it is not made fully explicit until his 1907 Creative Evolution, subtends both his psychology of memory and his metaphysics of matter. Our first step in the direction of capturing the ontological status of the virtual will therefore consist in a brief examination of Bergsons theory of tendencies as it appears in Creative Evolution. This will bring to light the fundamental basis of the Bergsonian method (the method of intuition), which in turn should allow us to fully appreciate the ontological dimension of the problem at stake, and ultimately to reformulate the question of the difference between matter and spirit in terms of the difference (hence the relation as well) between difference in kind and difference in degree. So that we may keep in mind the horizon that awaits us, let me simply announce that this resolution, which is to rise out of Bergsons further transmutation of the problem, he envisions as coinciding with a process of differentiation and integration3 rooted in memorys constant effort of contraction. In contrast to traditional metaphysics primary method of hypostatic identification, based in association and resemblance, it is ultimately in terms of tension, or of rhythms of duration, that Bergson will resolve the problematic of unity and differencethat is, the problem of the unity of the personality and the difference of nature that subtends it. We will see that this consists of what Deleuze has provocatively called Bergsons dualistic monism. I will strive to show that the very notion of rhythms of duration can only be understood on the basis of a profound intertwining between duration and virtuality, or between succession and coexistence.4 Put otherwise still, I will strive to trace Bergsons final resolution of the problem of dualism (or difference) into his concomitant reformulation of the traditional dialectics of necessity and freedom. Once again, if philosophy for Bergson is to be a new philosophy, then it must at the same time be a philosophy of the new, of variability, of movement and creation which is to say, it must be a philosophy of freedom.

The lan Vital or the Ontologization of Duration

lan Vital and Individuation Most generally, we could say that Creative Evolution consists in Bergsons revaluation of the history of the evolution of life. In this sense, it is a philosophical examination not only of the concept of life but also of that which essentially defines it, namely, the phenomenon of change.The empirical study of the evolution of life does not go without both an examination of the concept of life itself qua creative impulse (the lan vital) and of the true conditions, or the


The Unconscious as Ontology of the Virtual profound causes, of this necessary production of the new. We already know that for Bergson the notion of causality cannot be left unquestioned. His affirmation of the reality of freedom as the unity of self with self in Time and Free Will turned out to rely on his critique of the mechanistic conception of cause. Echoing this early argument, the first chapter of Creative Evolution rehearses the critique of mechanism, as applied to the concept of life itself, and to both the evolution of life and of its concept. But as its title (The Evolution of Life: Mechanism and Finalism [trans. modified]) indicates, this first chapter also makes it clear that although finalism could provide us with a philosophically satisfying alternative to mechanism, such a teleological approach to the issue of evolution must first be disencumbered from its intellectualistwhich is to say abstract and dogmaticbent. In this attempt, Bergson embarks once again upon a genealogical project, this time of intelligence itself, but also of its vital counterpart in the form of instinctthat is, ultimately, of what he considers the two essential tendencies that constitute life. This is not the place to delve into Bergsons transvaluation of teleology, but let me simply mention that for him, if there is a telos to life, then this telos must be understood in terms of origins rather than ends, in terms of external finality rather than internal finality. Against radical finalisminstantiated by the Leibnizian theory that the universe as a whole is the carrying out of a plan, a theory that makes all genuine creation of the new impossible from the outset, since just as mechanism, it entails that the whole is givenBergson writes, Radical as our own theory may appear, finality is external or it is nothing at all (1998, 41/1998, 41). Indeed, he argues, the doctrine of internal finality simply destroys itself: if we consider the most complex and most harmonious organism, then internal finalism tells us that all of its elements conspire for the greatest good of the whole. But in light of Bergsons conception of individuation, it appears that each of those elements may in turn be a smaller organism.5 Ultimately, then, by subordinating the smaller to the greater organism, the theory of internal finality accepts the thesis of external finality. To affirm that individuation is never perfect, as Bergson does, is to uphold both the relative autonomy of the organism and its continuity with the rest of the livingjust as, in Matter and Memory, he demonstrates both the ontological independence and the functional complementation of matter and memory.6 Against vitalism, Bergson then asks the following: If the individual is not independent enough, not isolated enough from the rest for us to allow it a vital principle of its own, then where does this vital principle of the individual start, and where does it end? (ibid., 43/43). Gradually, if we go back far enough, we shall find the individuals solidarity with each of its remotest ancestors, and ultimately with that little mass of protoplasmic jelly that is probably at the root of the genealogical tree of life. This solidarity with its primitive ancestor further entails a solidarity with all that descends from this ancestor in divergent directions (ibid.). Thus Bergson concludes, if there is finality in


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters the realm of life, then it embraces the whole of life in one single, indivisible embrace (ibid.).7 This one simple principle, which constitutes the original impulse of life, he calls the lan vital. Now we want to ask if on the basis of a close examination and evaluation of the facts of scientific experience (primarily embryology), Bergson is able to lay down a fundamental principle of unity and continuity at the source of life, then what are we to make of the divergent directions instantiated within the evolution of life? In short, what is a tendency? Between Continuity and Discontinuity:The Tendencies Once again we can see that the central problem we are faced with is that of the relation between continuity and discontinuity, between unity and difference. And once again, Bergson insists, we have to understand that the real motor of evolution, be it of the evolution of life or of thought, is not association or aggregation (as both Darwin and the associationist psychologists would have it) but division and differentiation. For, he says, throughout the process of individuation, the characters of a group (e.g., a species) appear as general themes, comparable to a musical theme, in relation to which each subgroup executes its particular variations in rhythm.8 For Bergson, this relation also describes exactly the relation, informing the animal and vegetal worlds, between the genitor and that which it generates. For instance, scientific experience shows that until a certain period in its development, the embryo of the bird is barely distinguishable from the reptiles. But throughout embryonic life in general, the individual develops a series of transformations comparable to those through which one would pass, according to evolutionism, from one species to another. Bergson insists, however, that it is a single cell, obtained by the combination of a male and a female cell, that accomplishes this work by division. For him, then, experience establishes that the most complex can arise from the simplest by evolution (ibid., 24/24)that, in other words, divergent tendencies can be generated out of simple duration. For an individual to realize itself is to differentiate itself in a vital form. But this differentiation is only the separation of that which coexisted virtually in duration. Again, for Bergson, individuation is never fully realized and thus contains an infinity of degrees (ibid., 12/12). This means that we cannot give a perfect definition of individuality, for such a definition applies only to already-made reality, whereas vital properties are never entirely realized but always in a process of realizationin this consists their virtuality. Those vital properties are what Bergson calls tendencies, as opposed to states.As a tendency, then, individuation is not only present everywhere in the organic world, but it is also everywhere disputed by the antagonistic tendency to reproduction. If individuation were perfect, then none of the parts (not even the reproductive germ cells) would be able to live independently of the organism, and reproduction would be impos-


The Unconscious as Ontology of the Virtual sible.The vital necessity of the organisms perpetuation in time condemns it to never being complete in space. Antagonistic tendencies are therefore always implicated into one another. Ultimately for Bergson there are two series of causes for the fragmentation of life into individuals and species. One is the resistance to life on the part of brute matter: its negativity.The other is an explosive forcedue to an unstable equilibrium of tendencieswhich life bears within itself (ibid., 99/98, trans. modified).9 As the earlier example of the cell shows, however, it turns out that organized matter itself has a limited power of expansion that is very quickly reached; beyond a certain point it has to divide, to double itself up (se ddouble). It is indeed through this repetition on the basis of a division of labor that it can obtain that an increasing number of elements, always ready to divide further, remain united in an indissoluble knot (ibid).10 This doubling by division thus corresponds, in the realm of evolution in general, to the paradox of the double involved in the relation between memory and the brain that we examined in the preceding chapter.This relation can only be grasped as a paradox because it involves the interaction of two distinct principles, working in opposite directions. And ultimately, Bergson adds, the true and profound causes of this division inherent in matter must be ascribed to life qua lan vital. He says, Life is a tendency, and the essence of a tendency is to develop in the form of a sheaf, creating, by its very growth, divergent directions among which the impetus is divided (ibid., 100/99). Indeed, Bergson continues, this explosive force of life we equally observe in ourselves, in the evolution of that tendency we call our character. Glancing retrospectively over our history, we find that our child-personality, though indivisible, united in itself diverse persons, which could only remain blended because they were in their nascent state. But these interwoven personalities become incompatible in the course of growth, and as each of us can live but one life, a choice must perforce be made. As Bergson puts it, The route we pursue in time is strewn with the remains of all that we began to be, of all that we might have become (1998, 101/1998, 100).We saw in our last chapter that those remains, those nascent personalities, together with the acts they accomplished, all of those divergent virtual tendencies whose actualization has been voted out, are indeed the stuff of memory. They are what psychoanalysis calls the unconscious.11 And we saw that for Bergson, if they happen to reach actualization, it is as necessarily differing in kind with themselves, as contracted within one single heterogeneous multiplicity, one single life. In contrast, nature has at command an incalculable number of lives and thus is in no wise bound to make such sacrifices. She preserves the different tendencies that have bifurcated with their growth. She creates with them diverging series of species that will evolve separately (ibid.).12 In Bergsons view, then, on the one hand there are the unorganized material bodies, which we need in order to act and consequently on which we have


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters modeled our ways of thinking. But those are governed by the simple rule that the present does not contain anything more than the past, and what we find in the effect is already present in the cause (ibid., 14/14, emphasis added). Negatively, this entails that the explosive force inherent in life must be equated with duration a duration that has therefore no efficacy in the realm of dead matter. On the contrary, the distinctive feature of organic bodies is that they grow and change constantly; there is therefore nothing surprising, Bergson concludes, in the phenomenon that the living body is one first and then many (ibid.). In the realm of life in general, the lan vital coincides exactly with that which, in the domain of consciousness, Bergson called duration: their essential function is to introduce variability, although they are by nature one and simple. Once again, this intertwining of unity and difference escapes contradiction, because it is grounded in the coexistence of degrees that essentially defines difference of nature qua temporal difference (or heterogeneous multiplicity).We will show that in the end, it is this coexistence that allows for variability and that accounts for the positivity of the virtual. Notice that as the earlier illustration suggests, the duality of the Bergsonian tendencies does not distribute the ontological difference along the lines of Cartesian dualism, with inert matter, on the one hand, and spiritual movement, on the other. Rather, both individuation and reproduction occur within one of the two directions, namely, the direction of life. In accordance with Time and Free Will if, on the one hand, pure matter is a mere quantitative multiplicity whose variations consist in differences in degree (e.g., augmentation and diminution), then, on the other hand, life or consciousness coincides with a qualitative multiplicity. And it is solely on account of that heterogeneous multiplicity itself that further differences in kind will be produced. Thus beyond Time and Free Will we must say that there is not only a difference in kind between the two halves of the division between space and duration. Moreover, and perhaps more importantly, The qualitative difference is entirely on one side, as Deleuze points out: it is on the side of duration, of temporal difference, because it alone is endowed with the power of qualitatively varying with itself (alteration)and not only with other things (1998a, 22/1988, 31). Let us take, for instance, Bergsons famous example of the lump of sugar. When we only approach it from the angle of its spatial configuration, all we ever grasp are differences in degree between that lump of sugar and any other thing. But, Deleuze adds,It also has a duration, a rhythm of duration, a way of being in time which is at least partially revealed in the process of its dissolving, and that shows how this sugar differs in kind not only from other things but first and foremost from itself (ibid., 23/32).This shows that this internal difference or alteration is one with the essence or the substance of a thing, and it is what we grasp when we conceive it in terms of duration (ibid., emphasis added).13 In other words, it all happens as if, with the theory of tendencies he proposes in Creative Evolution, Bergson extended the bearing of duration beyond consciousness, to


The Unconscious as Ontology of the Virtual the things themselves. Indeed, this may be the greatest import of Bergsonism that which, beyond phenomenology, establishes it as signifying the end of the Cartesian era in French philosophy.14 Metaphysics beyond Descartes and Kant: Life Philosophy as Ontology We noted earlier the necessary complementation Bergson sees between philosophy and the sciences. In fact, in his excellent introduction to Bergsons uvres, Henri Gouhier insists that Descartes and Bergson have the same conception of philosophy as science; but, he adds, they do not have the same conception of science (2001b, xi). In Descartess time, if philosophy is a science, then it can only be so as mathematics, which alone offers in its geometrical method (unifying intellectual intuition with deduction), the type of certainty to which reason must pretend. However, Gouhier points out, Bergsonism presents itself as the self-conscious realization of a novel situation in the history of the sciences (ibid., xii).The nineteenth century saw the constitution of a positive biology; after the sciences of organic life, there appeared naturally the sciences of social life and psychic life.These pursue their development outside of the framework that Descartes had provided for them, since their progress manifests truths that are indisputably scientific and yet that are not true as 2 + 2 = 4 is true.There is thus a type of evidence that is not that of intelligible relations (or laws) but that of facts. And if a method is required in both instances, then it is not the same method, for in the end while philosophy is a science in the way of mathematics for Descartes, it is a science in the way of biology for Bergson (ibid.), as Creative Evolution shows most prominently. For Bergson, then, to follow the example of the Cartesians is not to do what they did but to do what they would have done in the situation in which we arethat is, to think at the level of a broader experience. Indeed, this metaphysics that imitates the life sciences Bergson embraces and calls a positive metaphysics, a metaphysics which searches for facts, models itself after their contours, cuts out concepts to their measure and leads, for each problem, to a theory saturated with experience (ibid., xiv). Furthermore, Gouhier emphasizes, in order to properly understand not only that which Bergsonism puts an end toCartesianismbut also that which it generatesthat is, an ontology of the virtual, or of becomingwe need to go back to the origin of the concept of being. For the Greeks, being is opposed to becoming as the more real is opposed to the less real, or the real to appearances. It follows that for them that which is fixed, immutable, and intemporal enjoys an ontological privilege in which existence is synonymous with identity. As Bergson insists in the final sections of Creative Evolution, it is the same opposition between being and becoming that informs the philosophies of Plato,Aristotle, Zeno, Descartes, Leibniz, and even Kant, when he postulates his transcendental subject (ibid., xv). However, Gouhier continues,


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters something happens as philosophy turns to the life sciences for its model, something that, in its radicality, is able to interrupt this tradition. What happens is that the life sciences put spirit in the presence of a reality that is change (ibid.). Confronted with organisms that are born, grow, and perish, that constantly adapt actively to their environment, it becomes impossible to dissociate being and becoming. Life, in its constant intertwining with material negativity and inertia, is precisely this union of being and becoming. Henceforth, we want to argue, such life philosophy, which renounces the postulate of an immobile and intemporal being, remains an ontology, albeit a new ontology; indeed, I shall add, it is the only possible ontology in modernity. We said that the novelty of Bergsonism consists in the fact that while Bergson has the same idea as Descartes of philosophy as science, he does not have the same idea of science. Similarly, we can say that while like his great predecessors prior to the Kantian critique, Bergson thinks that spirit can attain to being, he does not have the same conception of being. We just saw that with Creative Evolution, and the profound connection Bergson establishes between life (or being) and duration, he is in fact going beyond the psychological account of duration he provided in Time and Free Will. But, as we will strive to show, this radicalization of duration through its ontologization was already occurring in Matter and Memory. By ontologization of duration, I mean that things are no longer a liminal case of duration, relative to our consciousness that is, we have to wait for the lump of sugar to dissolve. Rather, things themselves participate in duration directly, absolutely: the lump of sugar has to wait for its own dissolution. For Bergson, then, matter is not entirely devoid of virtuality; put otherwise, virtuality is not simply reducible to subjectivityat least not to a traditional, humanistic conception of subjectivity. Before returning to a full examination of the method of intuition that Bergson is able to design on the basis of this enlarged notion of duration and of the diverse tendencies that embody it, I now pursue an investigation of the source of Bergsons ontology of the virtual. I locate this ontological move within his examination of the union of memory and spirit in the third chapter of Matter and Memory.

Memory as Virtual Coexistence

If memory is primarily defined as the conservation and preservation of the past in the present, and if the main function of memory proper is to carry out this preservation by contracting a number of external moments into a single moment of our consciousness, then it appears that Bergson is pointing to the structural identity of memory and duration: they both consist in a heterogeneous multiplicity, in a unified series of coexisting qualitative differences. In a word, their difference is based in their continuity.


The Unconscious as Ontology of the Virtual The Real as Becoming Recapitulating his conclusions of the second chapter of Matter and Memory, Bergson starts out his third chapter by reminding us of his ontological assay so far. On the one hand, we have pure memory, which remains independent of perception in principle. On the other hand, we have perception, which in its pure virtual state remains equally independent of memory. But we also have a third term, the memory-image (located within consciousness), which participates both in pure memorywhich it begins to materializeand in perception where it tends to be incarnated. However, says Bergson, what consciousness bears witness to, whenever it follows the movement of memory at work so as to analyze it, is that our thought describes a continuous line from pure memory to perception, and that it is impossible to say precisely where one of the terms ends and another begins (1997a, 148/1991, 133).We saw that, according to Bergson, the consciousness striving to evoke a period of its past history performs an act sui generisan act without a genre, an act that resembles no other conscious actby which we detach ourselves from the present to replace ourselves, first in the past in general, and then in a certain region of the past.This work of adjustment Bergson compares to the focusing of a camera, or more famously, to the turning of a kaleidoscope. But, he maintains, we thereby simply prepare ourselves to receive it by adopting the appropriate attitude; the recollection itself remains virtual, but at the same time it transforms itself through the process of actualization. Says Bergson,Little by little it comes into view like a condensing nebulosity; from the virtual state it passes into the actual; and as its outlines become more distinct and its surface takes on color, it tends to imitate perception. But it remains attached to the past by its deepest roots (ibid., 148/134, trans. modified). Even in its actualized state, then, a recollection retains something of its original virtuality.This is because, like life, memory is a tendency, a qualitative multiplicity capable at once of preserving and altering itself. Bergson seizes this opportunity to clarify his contention with the associationists account of the work of the mind: they substitute an abstract, discontinuous (or discrete) multiplicity of inert elements for this real, living continuity of becoming (ibid.). In a word, the error of associationism consists in desperately trying to erect into a difference of nature that which it has condemned to being a mere difference in intensity (or of degree) between recollection and sensation. Situated within the actual from the outset, associationism can only try in vain to discover, in a present and already-made state, the mark of its past origin. In contrast, Bergson argues that we shall never reach the past unless we place ourselves in it at once (demble): immediately. Since the past is essentially virtual, we can only grasp it as past by following and adopting the movement by which it emerges from obscurity into the light of the day (ibid., 150/135).This means that for Bergson there is much more than a difference in degree between past and present, between memory and perception: there is a


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters difference of nature, for while my present is that which interests me, that which is alive for me, the place where I act, my past is at once impotent (impuissant) and the mark of my impotence (ibid., 152/137). The Concrete Present and the Nature of the Pure Past Because Bergsons investigation of the nature of the virtual must follow and adopt the movement of thought, it must begin with a self-examination of consciousness in the act of apprehending its past as pastthat is, it must follow consciousness involved in the effort of recollection. And since that which defines consciousness qua activity is the present that interests it, we must begin by asking:What, concretely, is the present moment for me? That which properly defines time is that it flows.What we call the present is the instant in which it flows. But, as Aristotle holds, the now is always already gone: this instant is not reducible to a mathematical point. Concretely, says Bergson, the present necessarily occupies a duration (ibid). Now, he asks, where is this duration located? Obviously it is located both below and beyond the ideal present, which means that my present encroaches onto both my past and my future. From this, Bergson concludes, The psychological state that I call my present must be both a perception of the immediate past [or a sensation] and a determination of the immediate future [in the shape of an action or a movement] (ibid.). In essence, my concrete present is an indivisible sensory-motor whole, which is to say that it consists in the consciousness I have of my body. Put otherwise,my present represents the actual state of my becoming, that which is in the process of being formed with and in my duration; as such, it coincides with the quasi-instantaneous cross section that my perception operates within the flowing mass of reality. And we know, from the first chapter, that this cross section is precisely what we call the material world, within which my body occupies the center (ibid., 154/138). But notice that because my concrete present endures, because it is more than a mathematical instant, it cannot exactly coincide with matter. Matter is absolute exteriority; insofar as it is extended in space, it must be defined as a present that is always beginning anew.15 Conversely, says Bergson, as a system of sensations and movements and nothing else,our present is the very materiality of our existence (ibid., 154/139). In other words, the present is both juxtaposition in space and succession in time, the coexistence of repetition and difference, matter and memory. The validity of this paradoxical claim stems not from a clever logical game on Bergsons part. For him, this paradox of repetition and difference, which defines the present, refers to a positive reality, namely, the reality of the unconscious. Existence of the Unconscious Let us not forget that the immediate past or sensation that remains indistinguishable from my psychological present may be a memory-image, but it can


The Unconscious as Ontology of the Virtual never be misconstrued as pure recollection. Bergson reminds us that, unextended and powerless, pure recollection does not participate in sensation in any way (1997a, 156/1991, 140). Indeed, he adds,this radical powerlessness of pure memory is just what will enable us to understand how it is preserved in a latent state (ibid., 156/141). How so? Bergson explains that it is because we are so used to considering consciousness as the essential property of psychological states that we are so unwilling to conceive unconscious psychological states: it seems to us that a psychological state could not cease to be conscious without ceasing to exist. But if, as we have been arguing, consciousness is only the characteristic of the present, or the active, then that which does not act may cease to belong to consciousness without thereby ceasing to exist (ibid.). A psychical state can very well be without, for that matter, being active. As we have been insisting, it is because he was able to introduce scientific-like precision into the traditionally vague term consciousness, that Bergson is able to positively show the existence of unconscious states. By creating a concept that fits tightly the phenomenon of consciousness, he has built the foundation from which to embark upon a metaphysical quest. This quest he likes to call a science of spirita kind of knowledge capable of complementing the sciences, which obviously have remained dedicated to the study of matter, or, in the case of psychology, to the study of materialized spirit. Bergson begins his empirical demonstration of the existence of unconscious representations on the basis of a parallel between the material and the spiritual realms. Everybody agrees that the images actually present to our consciousness do not exhaust the whole of the material world. But then, what could be a nonperceived material object, if not a kind of unconscious mental state? Both realists and idealists must admit that such perceptions as the other rooms in the house, which are presently absent from my consciousness since I do not perceive them, are nevertheless given, and they are given outside my consciousness: they are not created as my conscious perception welcomes them. This means, Bergson continues, that they already were, in some way or another: that they already existed in themselves, independently of my consciousness. They existed in an unconscious state (ibid., 158/142). Now why do we have no resistance to conceiving of such objective unconscious representations while the notion of subjective unconscious representation seems so obscure to us? Why would space seem to be able to preserve indefinitely the things that are juxtaposed in it, while time would simply destroy states to the extent that they succeed one another in it (ibid., 159/143)? Once again Bergson locates the source of the confusion inherent in the failure to distinguish properly between present and past in the pragmatic destination of intelligence. The nonperceived part of the material universe consists for us in possible actions, hence, in potential energy. Our past, on the contrary, has exhausted its possible action and will only recover its efficiency to the extent that it is able to borrow present perceptions vitality (ibid.). But although this


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters distinction is entirely relative to our practical utility, it takes in our mind the shape of a neat metaphysical distinction (ibid., 160/144). In short, an error that is psychological (habit and utility) in its origin turns out to have metaphysical pretensions. For to the extent that spatial objects represent our possible action, or the possible action of objects on us, we also could say that space gives us at once the scheme of our futurea future that must remain indefinitely open, so that the space that symbolizes it remains equally open. Thus Bergson concludes,It is of the essence of our actual perception, inasmuch as it is extended, to be always only a content in relation to a vaster, even an unlimited, experience which contains it (ibid., emphasis added). Insofar as it remains grounded in a homogeneous conception of spatio-temporality, this vaster, unlimited experience nevertheless appears to us as given (at least potentially). It does not, as yet, account for the entirely positive kind of experience both Bergson and Deleuze are gesturing toward, beyond the Kantian framework. This psychological error rooted in pragmatism explains the fact that when a recollection reappears within consciousness, it produces on us the effect of a ghost, whose mysterious apparition must be attributable to specialindeed, pathologicalcauses. But, Bergson adds, the adherence of this memory to our present condition is really exactly comparable to the adherence of unperceived objects to those objects that we perceive: it is no more mysterious, and no more abnormal, than the latter. Finally, Bergson writes, The unconscious plays in each case a part of a similar kind (ibid., 161/145, trans. modified). The Ontological Unconscious:The Past Preserves Itself in Itself It turns out that for Bergson the unconscious is not merely subjective but also objective, and it can be both because it exists really, though virtually. Despite the similarity of the role of the unconscious across the objective and the subjective orders, or the spatial and the temporal orders, we usually insist on noticing only the differences between the two series. Out of habit and pragmatism, we point out that while in the case of objectivity the order of the representations is necessarysince the terms condition one another in a fully determinate mannerin the case of subjectivity this order is contingent, as memories present themselves in an apparently capricious order (1997a, 161/1991, 145). But, Bergson warns us:
If we look at the matter closely, we shall see that our memories form a chain of the same kind, and that our character, always present in all our decisions, is indeed the actual synthesis of all our past states. In this epitomized form our previous psychical life exists for us even more than the external world, of which we never perceive more than a very small part, whereas on the contrary, we use the totality of our lived experience. It is true that we only possess it in an abbreviated form. (1997a, 162/1991, 146, trans. modified)


The Unconscious as Ontology of the Virtual Before we turn to an examination of what Bergson really means by this abbreviated form, let me insist with him once again that it is merely due to the practical interest of consciousness that we overlook the fundamental continuity of the unconscious underpinning either situation (i.e., the objective and the subjective). As actual consciousness continually accepts the useful and rejects the superfluous, it overlooks the temporal intervals separating the present situation from a prior one, so that the intermediate past escapes its hold. Thus, Bergson concludes, it is for the same pragmatic reasons that we represent our perceptions as arranging themselves in strict continuity in space, and that we conceive our memories as being illuminated discontinuouslyhence, contingentlyin time (ibid.). Psychologically speaking, there is a mutually exclusive distinction between unconscious objective representations and unconscious subjective representations. But metaphysically speaking, the forms of the existence of objects unperceived in space and those of unconscious memories in time are not radically different. In Bergsons view, existence is virtually one. But as the exigencies of action are the opposite in one case of what they are in the other, we assume that those are two radically distinct modes of beingone that coincides with reality, the other that corresponds to an illusion. In truth, while the virtual or temporal order coincides with the real itself, the real as continuous becoming (the actual or spatial order) is the result of a turn of experience, at which our experience is bent in the direction of practical utility. But while the existence of internal states and external perceptions does not differ in kind, each nevertheless corresponds to different degrees of existence. For in fact, Bergson explains, two necessary and cumulative conditions define for us the problem of existence.We usually say that the objects of experience (be they things or psychic states) exist if (1) our consciousness can perceive them, and (2) they belong to a temporal or spatial series in which the terms determine one another.Yet those two conditions, although equally necessary, do admit of degrees, and can therefore be unequally fulfilled.We established that the first condition does not entail the nonexistence of unconscious psychic states but simply assesses their virtuality.As for the second condition, we already suggested that to define it in terms of a logical or causal connection is already to situate ourselves on the plane of pragmatically determined experience, which fails to capture the whole of experience.Yet we can agree that, on the one hand, within human experience, the connection between past and present does not have the characteristic features of a mathematical derivation, since it leaves a lot of room for contingency. On the other hand, the presentation to consciousness is perfect, as an actual psychical state immediately yields the whole of its content in the very act whereby we perceive it (ibid., 163/147).The emotional content of the feeling is the act of feeling, immediately and completely. On the contrary, in regard to external objects, it is the connection that is perfect, since it obeys necessary laws, while the second condition is only ever partially fulfilled,


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters as the material object appears to enfold within itself and to hide behind it much more than it displays (ibid., 16364/147). Finally, says Bergson, we ought to say that empirical existence always implies at the same time, but in different degrees, both conscious apprehension and regular connection. But our intelligence sees it otherwise. As its essential function is to establish clear-cut distinctions, it prefers to dissociate those two elements and to distribute them among external objects, on the one hand, and internal states, on the other, rather than admitting the presence of both conditions in both cases, although in different proportions (ibid., 164/147). In short, the two elements that condition empirical existence for us consist in tendenciesindeed, the admission of variable intensities within one and the same kind is the essential import of the theory of tendencies. If it is true that the regular connection between objects preponderates in the assessment of the existence of things, while the presentation to consciousness is more perfect for mental states, then we must also keep in mind that the presence of these elements is not, for that matter, mutually exclusive.As I have been insisting, the illusions informing our failure to view the conditions for the possibility of existence as tendencies admitting of degrees rather than states monolithically localized generate not only a mistaken representation of matter but also a corrupted conception of spirit (ibid.).We can now see that this error is attributable to an unduly and artificially obscure idea of the unconsciousan unconscious whose existence we have shown to be real, althoughor precisely becausethis reality is of a virtual nature. Now due to the same obsession with spatial images dominating the intelligence, one cannot help but ask, where is this existence of the unconscious localized? We have shown that the brain cannot function as the site of the conservation of unconscious memories. Moreover, Bergson here points out, to locate memory in the brain does not account for the conservation of the brain itself, or for the survival of the past thereby identified with the brainunless the brain itself preserves itself. But we know that as a spatial, extended image, the brain coincides entirely with the present moment, since the brain constitutes, with all the rest of the material universe, an everrenewed section (coupe) of universal becoming (ibid., 165/149).This means, Bergson adds, that in order to account for the fact of the survival of the past and its concomitant coexistence with the present, either one will have to assume that this universe constantly perishes and resuscitates, by some kind of miracle, at each moment of duration; or one will have to attribute to it the continuity of existence one denies to the unconscious. In the end, to deposit memories in matter will compel one to confront an absurdity that consists in extending to the totality of the states of the material world the complete and independent survival of the past that had been denied to psychical states. Finally, says Bergson, either way the survival in itself of the past imposes itself to philosophers (ibid., 166/149). And in light of the present discussion,


The Unconscious as Ontology of the Virtual together with the affirmation of the difference in kind between past and present that Bergson keeps emphasizing, we can see that this survival in itself of the past can only be virtual. In the end, what this issue of survival tells us is that there is in fact a point of contact between the two multiplicitiesthat is, between differences in degree and differences in kind, a point at which differentiation becomes integration. But this point of contact is metaphysical or virtual: it is the unconscious past. I want to suggest that in this survival in itself of the past precisely lies the sense and the bearing of Bergsons conception of the unconscious. I conclude that if being endures, if it is not to collapse into an eternal present, then it must be equated to the virtual unconscious. Put otherwise, the virtual is necessarily of an ontological nature, just as being, qua survival, must be primarily virtual. Nuances of Difference With Bergsonism, being is thus fundamentally redefined as both becoming and preservationwhich is to say, as Life. This becoming is grounded in the past, in that which has ceased to act but has not ceased to exist, thereby allowing for the present to pass. In contrast, the abstract present, this indivisible limit separating past from future, as that which is in the process of making itself, is not. But between the pure past and the abstract present, between pure succession and pure juxtaposition, we have the concrete present, a present that endures and is therefore always already past at the same time as it constantly gnaws at the future. It is in it that actual perception, with all its richness, takes place (1997a, 167/1991, 150). We said that, on the one hand, there is habit-memory, deposited and fixed within the organism, and thereby evolving within an eternal present; guided by utility and adaptation to the present situation, it automatically plays our past experience without conjuring up its representation. On the other hand, there is true memory, which retains and ranges alongside of each other all our states in the order in which they occur; it is thereby coextensive with consciousness, says Bergson: it redoubles it although (or rather, precisely because) it evolves within a definitive past (ibid., 168/151). We argued that the latter must subtend the former, that the unconscious past necessarily grounds actual consciousness. But that only tells us that metaphysically speaking, true memory must be prior to the memory of the body. It does not tell us what, concretely, the link between those two kinds of memories is (ibid.). With the introduction of the problematic of existence and the affirmation of the ultimate unity of existence (together with the examination of concrete perception in its essential duration) we can now see how the two distinct terms must be intimately knitted together. Indeed, it is precisely because they are constantly intertwined in fact, that Bergson felt the need to distinguish them rigorously in principle. But in the end, it turns out that the whole point


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters of the discussion, its ultimate philosophical import, was to show that our consciousness of the present (concrete perception) is always already memory. The establishment of the difference of nature was necessary in order to situate Bergsons theories of matter and memory between idealism and realism: matter can no more be collapsed into spirit than spirit can be reduced to material determinations. They both exist, which entails that their difference of nature is resolvable into different degrees of existence, different tones of life or rhythms of duration. Furthermore, we have shown that in this difference of nature lies the true nature of difference qua heterogeneity, alterationin a word, difference of nature qua duration as that which essentially differs with itself.This also entails, as we suggested earlier (following Deleuze), that the difference of nature is not between the two tendencies; rather, it is itself one of the tendencies, one of the multiplicities, opposed to the other (2002a, 88/1999, 4748). Finally, then, to say that the difference in kind (life itself) is resolvable into degrees is not to say that it collapses into differences of intensity or of quantity. If, as Deleuze writes, virtuality could only differentiate itself on the basis of the degrees that coexisted within itand therefore, differentiation would simply be the separation of that which coexisted in durationthen we can see that more profoundly, the differentiations of the lan vital are the degrees of difference itself (ibid, 100/55).Those degrees of existence are no mere quantitative differences in degree resolvable into a homogenous milieu; they are nuances, and as such, they are pure heterogeneous qualities.We must understand that the degrees of Difference-in-itself are not differences in degree; Bergsons philosophy of difference is a philosophy of nuances. The Cone: Spiritual Life as Internal Difference Deleuze writes,Psychic life is, then, the difference of nature itself: within psychic life, there is always other without there ever being number or several (2002a, 88/1999, 48). This is exactly what I take the famous Bergsonian image of the cone to be striving to convey. When psychic life is instantiated in concrete experience, it becomes clear that the two kinds of memory are not two separate things; rather, they are two functions. Simply, says Bergson, the memory of the body, as the place of passage of the movements received and thrown back, is none other than the mobile pointof the inverted cone of psychic life, whose base is constituted by the mass of pure memoryinserted by true memory in the shifting plane of experience (ibid., 169/152). It is therefore not surprising that the two functions should lend each other mutual support (ibid.). Finally, confirming the hypotheses he presented in the second chapter, Bergson concludes that it is from the present that the appeal to which memory responds comes, and it is from the sensory-motor elements of present action that a memory borrows the warmth which gives it life (1997a, 170/1991, 153). For Bergson, then, the actualization of the virtual consists in a transformation


The Unconscious as Ontology of the Virtual which is not, for that matter, a denaturalization: in this profound alteration consists the very substance of the virtual. Because of this mutual support that the two memories lend one another, it appears that this movement of actualization is indeed twofold, and it is so in at least two ways. First, we showed that there is, subtending recognition, a backand-forth movement between action and memory, between the virtualization of the present and the actualization of the past. But also, more profoundly and perhaps more importantly for the issue at stake, Bergson now points out that there are two simultaneous movements at work within memory itself. Focusing on those should help clarify further the ontological status of the virtual qua difference that arises from Bergsons science of spirit. Bergson sums up in the following terms his discussion of the empirical verification of this hypothesis through the examination of the formation of general ideas:
. . . integral memory responds to the appeal of a present state by two simultaneous movements, one of translation, by which it proceeds in its entirety to meet experience, thus contracting more or less, though without dividing, with a view to action; and the other of rotation upon itself, by which it turns toward the situation of the moment, presenting to it that side of itself which may prove to be the most useful. To these varying degrees of contraction correspond the various forms of association by similarity. (1997a, 188/1991, 16869, trans. modified, emphasis added)

On the one hand, the action to be performed determines the actualization or the becoming-consciousof an unconscious recollection. On the other hand, which one, among those recollections, is carried out is determined by the internal movement of memory rotating upon itself like a kaleidoscope. While the intended action constitutes the condition for the possibility of the actualization of memory, the internal difference (or heterogeneity and self-alteration) of memory itself constitutes the condition for the reality of this actualization.16 This distinction is essential to our comprehension of Bergsons sublation of Kantianism through his reexamination of the transcendental. With Bergson, if memory (or time) is to thus contract and rotate, then it cannot be a homogeneous, undifferentiated milieu. This further means that which one, among all the recollections, comes to life is determined in accordance with necessity rather than mere possibility (or contingency). Consider for example the association triggered by my hearing someone utter a foreign word. It can make me think of this foreign language in general, or of a particular voice formerly pronouncing it in this particular way; eventually it brings back specific recollection-images connected to this voice. But in truth, Bergson points out, these two different associations by similarity are not due to the accidental arrival of two different representations, which chance


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters brought by turns within the attracting influence of the actual perception.They answer to two different mental dispositions, that is, to two distinct nuances of tension of memory; in the latter case, they are closer to the pure image, while in the former, they are more disposed toward immediate response, which is to say, to action (1997a, 188/1991, 169). As the image of the cone suggests, there are indeed two extreme limits, separated by an infinity of degrees, to be distinguished within memory proper. At the wide basis of the cone we would find the dreamer type. According to Bergson, this human being would dream her life instead of living it: she would keep before her eyes at each moment the infinite multitude of the details of her past history. She would never depart from the particular, as she would attach each image to its own proper date and place (ibid., 172/155). Conversely, at the opposite, pointed end of the cone, we would find a conscious automaton who would repudiate this memory, thereby constantly acting out, or playing her existence, instead of representing it.While the former, caught up in particularity, would only ever see the differences between things and events, the latter, prompted by habit, would only ever distinguish in any situation that aspect in which it practically resembles former situations (ibid.).While the dreamer would be incapable of acting and would constantly contemplate visions, the actor would simply be unable to think. But obviously, in normal life those two extremes penetrate one another constantly.As the title of Bergsons 1937 intervention at the Congrs Descartes puts it,Il faut agir en homme de pense et penser en homme daction.17 In fact, he says, it is at the junction of the two currents of the memory of differences and of the perception of similarities that the general idea lies (ibid., 172/155).

Sense and Sensibility: Bergsonian Positivism

According to Bergson, the psychological issue of the formation of general ideas coincides with the key verification of his identification of memory with differentiation. It also allows him to establish the definitive role that sensibility plays within the formation of thought. Let us focus on the latter first. Sensibility and Generality To begin with, it all looks as if any account of the birth of thinking were caught up within a vicious circle, revolving around the problem of general ideas. Bergson writes,to generalize, it is first of all necessary to abstract, but to abstract to any purpose we must already know how to generalize (1997a, 174/1991, 156). This is the aporia of the particular and the universal that both nominalism and conceptualism seem to remain caught up in.What Bergson is questioning is the assumption, common to both nominalism and conceptualism, that we start


The Unconscious as Ontology of the Virtual from the perception of individual objects, on the basis of which we are able to form a concept or a genus through abstraction of individual qualities. Indeed, this latter approach is also embraced by Hegel in his historical account of the formation of consciousness in the Phenomenology of Spirit. Obviously such a point of departure will necessitate the intervention of negation (of the particular), and eventually of the negation of the negation (the dialectic), as a motor of the abstraction process allegedly producing thought. But like the Kantian conditions of possibility, the Hegelian account of differentiation as negation yields such an abstract notion of the work of the negative and of difference that it becomes impossible to establish with precision the necessary link (if any) between thought and sensibilityhence an idealism that eventually collapses into subjectivism.18 In truth, Bergson explains, the real question we want to oppose to the traditional theories of the formation of concepts is the following: Is it not the case that individual qualities, despite being isolated through an effort of abstraction, remain individual? Is it not the case, therefore, that a new operation of the mind would be needed in order to turn a quality into a name capable of collecting under itself a multiplicity of individual objects? In short, he suggests, nominalism brings us back to conceptualism, and conversely, conceptualism leads back to nominalism, since generalization can only be effected by extracting common qualities; however, in order that qualities should appear common, they must have already been subjected to a process of generalization (ibid., 175/157, trans. modified).19 For Bergson, although at first glance this circularity seems to present an evidence, it indicates a failure to capture the real process of the formation of thought. For if, as he showed, the two polar tendencies of psychical life (i.e., contemplation and action) are constantly intertwined in fact, it appears that psychologically speaking we start neither from the perception of the individualwhich presupposes the faculty of noticing differences, that is, the memory of imagesnor from the conception of the genuswhich implies a reflection through which we eliminate from a representation the particularities of time and place. Instead, we start from an intermediate knowing (connaissance intermdiaire). This intermediate knowing, says Bergson, is indeed a confused feeling (sentiment), a feeling of a striking quality or resemblance. And, he adds,equally remote from generality fully conceived and from individuality clearly perceived, [this feeling] begets both of them by a process of dissociation (ibid., 176/158, emphasis added). In a typical and crucial move, Bergson is thus once again able to solve the static, hence superficial, paradoxes informing the dualistic tradition. Once again he does this by (1) reestablishing the intermediate degrees, or the continuity, between the poles at which traditional dualisms crystallize; (2) being thereby able to redefine the principle of this faulty, because abstract, distinction and introducing concrete differentiation to bear immanently onto the


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters things themselves; and (3) offering an empirical verification of his metaphysical findings (i.e., the necessity of immanent differentiation) on the basis of the facts of psychological experience. In this consists precisely the new method that Bergsonism introduces into philosophy, a method that Deleuze appropriates and calls transcendental empiricism.20 At this point what I take to be crucial in this last declaration by Bergson is the confirmation of the essential role that sensibility plays within the process of thought formation. Indeed, we could say that for Bergson, sensibility, insofar as it generates both perception and conceptualization, coincides with the very source of experience. As that which can only be as sensed (that which Deleuze calls the Sentiendum), this sensibility coincides exactly with the sensible; it is neither purely objective nor subjective; rather, it is entirely positive. I contend that in this, too, lies the novelty of Bergsonism: between objectivity and subjectivity, between pure matter and pure spirit, between perception and thought, and grounding them both, what we have is pure positivity. Composed of pure qualities, of pure forces, this simple heterogeneous continuity of the real inevitably expresses itself in the form of a sheaf, sprouting personalized, human experience from an impersonal ground by dissociation. In Bergsons view, this should become evident if we refer this process once again to the pragmatic, vital origin of perception.What primarily interests us in a given situation, and therefore, that which we first grasp from it (by diminution), is the aspect by which it answers to a need. Now, Bergson points out, a need goes straight to the resemblance or quality; it cares little for individual differences (ibid.). For instance, it is grass in general that attracts the herbivorous animal. The only immediate data of its perception are the smell and color of the grass. Notice that here we do not need to appeal to a representation or a consciousness of the grass: those qualities are felt and undergone as forces; they are the impersonal positive ground of resemblance on the basis of which memory will eventually highlight contrasts, hence out of which differentiations will be generated.The animal will thus eventually be able to distinguish a field from another field (ibid., 177/159). Going back to the account of pure perception from the first chapter of Matter and Memory, we must keep in mind that from the point of view of perception, the operation of differentiation is merely the superfluity of perception, not a necessary part (ibid.). We now know that the necessary part is the positive ground constituted by the Sentiendum. Bergson then anticipates a possible psychological objection to this view. He notes,Are we thereby simply relegating to the unconscious the process by which similarity is discovered and genera are constituted? (ibid.), and falling back into the very subjectivism we are trying to escape? His response is quick to come:
[W]e relegate nothing to the unconscious for the very simple reason that it is not, in our opinion, an effort of a psychological nature which here disen-


The Unconscious as Ontology of the Virtual

gages similarity; this similarity acts objectively like a force and provokes reactions that are identical in virtue of the purely physical law which requires that the same general effects should follow the same profound causes. (1997a, 177/1991, 159)

Here he is telling us that because there is a fundamentally positive dimension underpinning conscious activities, there is no need to abstracthence to fold back onto the arbitraryin order to perceive similarities between qualities, or generality. It does not matter how diverse in their detail the perceptions may be; as long as they prolong themselves into the same useful motor reactions, something common will issue from them.The general idea will have been felt and passively undergone before being represented (1997a, 178/1991, 160). This testifies not only to the breaking of the vicious circle we indicated earlier, but also, correspondingly, to the necessary phenomenon of doubling between the psychological and the virtual, or between perception and memory, that we alluded to in our second chapter. For we now find ourselves with two kinds of similarities, or two kinds of representations. On the one hand, the resemblance from which the mind starts is felt, acted, that is, it is automatic. On the other hand, the resemblance to which it returns when it consciously generalizes (i.e., full-fledged representation) is intellectually perceived, or thought (ibid.). For Bergson the motor of this profound alteration of generality itself is reflection, not negation. Now in light of Bergsons account of reflection we touched upon earlier, we know that reflection is a creative, productive process and not merely an operation of selection by diminution.We thus go from the mechanically sketched genera to the general idea of the genus through an effort of reflection over this very operation of habit: a redoubling, a repetition that, as such, generates difference.21 And once again, unlike Hegel, Bergson grounds this evolution from consciousness to self-consciousness in the pure positivity of the sensible as the unity of the actual and the virtual. Ultimately if we are to pick one element, within Bergsons ontology of the virtual, to which his overcoming of the false problem of dualism must be ascribed, then it must be to sensibility in its positivity. For Bergson, the sensible corresponds to the positive and irreducible ground out of which both the objective and the subjective (and, indeed, all dualisms) are generated. Furthermore, and on this basis, we can say against Hegels negativism that the real motor of the progress from consciousness to self-consciousness, or from automatism to freedom, lies in an effort, in a positively creative activity of the mind.22 The Planes of Consciousness: Dynamic Schema and Intellectual Effort The fact of experience that prompted Bergson to question once again, though on a deeper level, the associationistic account of the generation of thought in


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters terms of the representation of images is the feeling that we sometimes have of performing an effort.There is a distinguishing principle between thought that lets itself live (in a state of relaxation) and thought that focuses on something, that makes an effort of attention or invention (in a state of tension).This distinguishing principle is the feeling of effort, which is present in one case and absent in the other. Now, Bergson asks, is the play of representations, or of intellectual elements, the same in either case? (1996, 153/1975, 152). Put otherwise, What is the intellectual characteristic of intellectual effort? (ibid., 154/153). In Matter and Memory, Bergson distinguishes between a series of different planes of consciousness, beginning with the plane of pure, virtual memory (at the wide basis of the inverted cone) not yet translated into distinct images and descending toward the plane where the same memory is actualized in nascent sensations and movements.There, he claims, the voluntary calling up of a recollection consists in traversing these planes of consciousness one after another in a definite direction (1997a, 155/1991, 154). This movement of thought was represented in Bergsons second cone diagram, which unlike the first one comprises several slices, layers, or planes; each plane coincides with a different degree of translation (rather than division) of the whole of memory, which marches forward toward experience by contracting itself to gain the power to act. We noted that there was indeed a simultaneous movement of rotation of memory upon itself, through which it directs itself toward the present situation to present it with the most useful aspect. We concluded, with Bergson, that our normal psychic life constantly oscillates between the two extremities of dream (integral, personal memory), on the one hand, and action (useful, impersonal, actualized memory), on the other.23 As Bergson also points out, it is precisely the essence of the general idea to move unceasingly between the sphere of action and the sphere of pure memory (ibid., 180/161).The general idea then simply consists in this double movement. Like the normal self, it never stays in either of these extreme positions but rather moves between them, adopting in turn the positions corresponding to the intermediate sections (ibid., 181/163). In his 1902 The Intellectual Effort, Bergson identifies the specifically intellectual mark of intellectual effort as spirits displacement from one plane (or degree of tension) of consciousness to another (1996, 159/1975, 158); only in such cases would we experience the feeling of effort. On the basis of the distinction between the two kinds of memory and of the corresponding two kinds of representation (i.e., spontaneous and attentive), Bergson examines the case of the great magician Houdinis experiment with educating his sons visual memory. The goal of this education was to allow the boy to apprehend in a single glance around an assembly room, the objects the individuals in the audience carried on their person to be able to simulate double vision with bandaged eyes and recall them immediately on a conventional sign from his father. Commenting on the boys skill, Bergson writes,He took, as it were, a mental photograph of


The Unconscious as Ontology of the Virtual the whole, and this enabled him to call up an immediate recollection of the parts (ibid., 158/157, trans. modified).Without here getting into the details of the educational process involved, we can see that the principal spring of this memory education was to keep the mind on the plane of visual images by excluding all interpretation of the visual images from the act of seeing (ibid.). The recall could then be instantaneous, because it did not involve any effort on the part of the mind: it did not involve spirits displacement from one plane of consciousness to another. In contrast, if we now examine the process of memorization when the goal is not instantaneous recall, then we see that the educational process of memory involved must be quite different. It involves primarily the analysis of the whole into parts instead of the instantaneous mental photograph of the whole that Houdinis son was able to take. In this second case, where the recall requires an effort, the perfecting of memory consists in memorys increasing ability to make all the ideas and all the images and words converge in one and the same point, one simple representation, which nevertheless contains the ability to develop again into multiple imagesindeed, this is what treatises on mnemonics teach us. This simple representation Bergson calls the dynamic schema. It is characterized by the fact that it does not contain the distinct images themselves so much as the indication of what we must do to reconstruct them (1996, 161/1975, 160).This indication will turn out to be irreducible to a partial extract of the imageor else how would we ever be able to recover their integrality? It cannot be reduced to an abstract representation of the signification of the whole of imagesfor although the idea of signification must play a large part in the process, the signification of the whole cannot account for the retention and reconstitution of a determinate series of images rather than of any other series, since the same abstract signification (which is by definition detached from the particular images themselves) may very well apply to a quite different series of images. In his attempt at isolating the proper nature and structure of this dynamic schema, then, Bergson focuses on this second case of memorization and its concomitant operation of recall by reconstitution. This nonvisual memory effort he identifies with the operation that the great chess player must be able to perform, namely, play several games at once without looking at the chessboards. At each move of one of its opponents, the new position of the piece is indicated to the player; he then moves a piece on his own side and is thus able to win games simultaneously played while playing blindly, yet representing mentally to himself at each moment the respective positions of all the pieces on all the chessboards (ibid., 162/161). Following Ribot, Bergson concludes from this fact of experience that it could not be the case that the image of the chessboard with all its pieces be presented to memory as in a mirror: it cannot be a case of pure visual memory in which the mind is kept on the plane of the actual visual images. Rather, it must be that at every move, the


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters player must make an effort of reconstruction of the whole image of each of the particular chessboards he is playing. It must be, then, that what the players retain and picture mentally (and this is confirmed by their declarations) of each piece is not its external aspect but its power (puissance), its bearing and value, in a word, its function. For instance, a bishop is not a piece of wood of more or less fantastic shape: it is an oblique force (ibid., 163/162). As for the game as a whole what is present to the mind of the player is a composition of forces or, better, a relation between hostile and allied powers. By remaking mentally the history of the game from the beginning, by reconstituting the successive events that have brought about the present situation, the great player is able to obtain a representation of the whole that allows him, at any moment, to visualize the elements. Now this is what the dynamic schema consists in: a unified, abstract idea of the whole, which eventually allows to retrieve all the individual elements in accordance with the proper function they perform within that whole (ibid.,163/162).This means that the unity of the dynamic schema is a unity in multiplicity, which implies the reciprocal penetration of all the elements in one another. For Bergson the dynamic schemathe essential operation of mental lifeconsists in a heterogeneous multiplicity; as such, it exists in a state of virtuality that does not require the juxtaposition of the discrete images implicated in it: There is an ideal scheme of the whole, and this scheme is neither an extract nor a summary. It is as complete as the image will be when we call it up, but it contains, in the state of reciprocal implication, that which the image will develop into parts external to each other [i.e., the homogenous multiplicity] (ibid., 164/162). I believe this description of the dynamic schema as a unity consisting of a virtual multiplicity explains the illustration of memory as a cone consisting of numerous horizontal slices, with each slice containing the whole of memory in a different state of contraction. Bergson identifies this internal complexity of the dynamic schema as the essential of representation. This internal difference, this differentiation with and from itself that does not involve any negation or diminutionin a word, this virtualityis indeed, for Bergson, not only the very structure of the dynamic schema, but it also provides us with a model of the mind as a basis for the science of spirit he wants to carry out. Thus understood, the effort of recall consists essentially in developing a concentrated (if not always simple) schema into an image whose elements are more or less distinct and independent from one another (ibid., 166/164). In short, we have the feeling of effort whenever memory, or the mind, is involved in a process of transformation of an unconscious, virtual, heterogeneous, qualitative multiplicity (the schema) into a conscious, actual, homogeneous and quantitative multiplicity (the image). Because this movement is constant, it is hard to see exactly where the transition from recollection-memory to body-memory occurs.At this point, all we know is that the distinction between the different planes of consciousness is necessary.


The Unconscious as Ontology of the Virtual Sense and Signs Next Bergson wants to establish that similarly, in the work of intellection (i.e., interpretation and comprehension) in general, it is the same movement working in the same essential direction (from schema to image, and not from image to schema) that is involved. We already examined his account of full recognition in the preceding chapter, so I will not rehearse it here. The point I want to emphasize here is that in light of the psychological mechanism of comprehension (or full recognition), it turns out that according to Bergson,
the fact is that it is the memory which makes us see and hear, and the perception is incapable by itself of evoking the memory which resembles it, because, to do that, it must have already taken form and itself be complete; now, it only becomes complete and acquires a distinct form through that very memory, which slips into it and supplies most of its content. If this were so, then, it must be the meaning (sens), before everything, which guides us in the reconstruction of forms and sounds. (1996, 171/1975, 169)

When we examined attentive recognition, we concluded that one had to place oneself at once in the corresponding ideas of the interlocutor, hence to reconstruct his discourse for ourselves, in order to make any sense out of it. Similarlyalbeit on a deeper level of consciousness (which is to say, on a deeper ontological level as well)we can now see that for Bergson this structure is not a mere manifestation or phenomenon of human experience, it also coincides with its necessary condition, its ground. In the progress from perception to meaning, or from consciousness to self-consciousness, brute perception is limited to furnishing us with guiding signs; it is limited to drawing an outline that we fill in with memories.What we hear of the sentence uttered is only what is necessary in order to place us in the corresponding class of ideas.24 This placing oneself at once in the corresponding class of ideas is exactly the characteristic of what Bergson calls intuition. I will examine in detail later how it is that, according to Bergson, we leap into intuition. For now I proceed with Bergsons account of the actualization of the virtual as ontogenesis. Coming from memory, sense not only preexists its actualization, but it is also always already and essentially personal; in short, we could say that for Bergson sense is a pure past, a past that was never present. It is as such that it is identified with the form of the understanding (that is, of meaningful experience), or better, with its transcendental condition. According to Bergson, then, sense in its virtual state coincides with unconscious or involuntary memory, with time, with what, for Deleuze, must be the empty form of timeso that it may accommodate different kinds of content depending on the present situation. For Bergson, unlike for Kant, however, this accommodation of form and content cannot be reduced to a container-contained


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters relationshipwhereby the homogenous abstract temporal milieu would simply inertly await its fulfillment. Bergson then endeavors to verify his hypothetical law according to which the feeling of effort, in intellection, occurs on the trajectory from the schema to the image (ibid., 174/172, trans. modified) through what he considers the highest form of intellectual effort, which is to say, the effort of invention. As Ribot suggests, to invent is to solve a problem; now, Bergson asks, what other way is there to solve a problem than by supposing it already solved?25 One who wishes to invent a machine, for instance, must first form a representation, an ideaor better, an idealof a certain effect the machine is to obtain, of a certain work or function it is to perform.The abstract form of this work will evoke successively in his mind by tentative experiments, the concrete form of the different elementary movements that will realize the total movement. In other words, we leap at once to the complete result, to the end we want to achieve, and the whole effort of invention is then an attempt to fill in the gap over which we have leapt, and to reach anew that same end by following, this time, the continuous thread of the means that will realize it (ibid., 174/173). Put otherwise, our access to the end must be intuitive; as such, it is achieved immediately (though discontinuously), since it requires a leap.This discontinuity testifies to a difference in kind between the end and the means, the whole and its parts. But the effort itself consists precisely in bridging the gap, in reestablishing a continuitywhere continuity here coincides with repetition of the same end, although on a different ontological level; the effort thus consists in integrating the difference between the abstract idea and its concrete actualization into nuances. Note that this resolution differs from the phenomenological account of the fulfillment of intentions. Although the Bergsonian account of the work of the intellect (and, indeed, of any evolution within the living realm) relies on a certain kind of finalism, it cannot be said to be teleological. It is not teleological for several reasons, which all have to do with Bergsons inscription of the problematic within duration. Hesitation and Conversion: Contra Teleology First, the fact that we can intuitively perceive the whole without perceiving its parts proves that this whole must be a schema, not an image. So the whole is presented as a schema, and invention consists in converting the schema into images (1996, 174/1975, 173). This conversion thus implies a transformation, an alteration of the virtual schema itselfin fact, this is what the feeling of effort, corresponding to spirits difficult movement from one tonality of consciousness to another, consists in. This conversion is therefore to be distinguished from a mere teleological filling in of the blanks by means of an aggregation of juxtaposed parts. This is because, Bergson adds, unlike some


The Unconscious as Ontology of the Virtual predestined, hence somewhat mechanical, accumulation, the conversion involves hesitation; it involves, as he says, tentative experiments: hesitation necessarily takes time, it endures.26 Just as in the first chapter of Matter and Memory, Bergson based his theory of pure perception in the delay between input and output that defines the brain, he is now grounding his science of spirit in the delay that coincides with the intellectual effort. But is it one and the same delay we are talking about in either situation? Is it one and the same duration that informs both intervals? Following both Bergson and Deleuze, I argue that it is and it is not. It is not, because the brain delay belongs to the actual.Yet at the same time it is, because as a delay, as the temporal dimension of the actual gray matter, it also is the bond between matter and spirit, the point at which the virtual cone of memory inserts itself into the actual physical plane.27 Second, the conversion of the abstract schema into concrete images is to be distinguished from a teleologically driven dialectical accumulation of images because the hesitation or duration entailed by the intellectual effort involves the elasticity and the concomitant transformation of the schema itself. Failed tentative experiments of, say, the realization of the first turbine engine testify to the necessity, in some cases, of modifying the original schema to effect a mutual adaptation of the schema and the images by which it endeavors to be filled in. For Bergson, the schema, or the form, is thus not immutable: it is in a process of becoming.This becoming, this movement by which the image turns around toward the schema in order to modify it, also testifies (against mechanistic accounts) to the necessary part of unpredictability within the actualization process. Finally, and for all of these reasons, Bergson adds, it is not even always the case that the schema explicitly precedes the image. Ultimately, he writes:
[I]n place of a single schema with fixed and rigid lines, given to us immediately in a distinct concept, we may have an elastic or mobile scheme the contours of which our mind will not fix, because it will get the suggestion of the definite shape from the very images which the scheme is calling up in order to be embodied in them. (1996, 176/1975, 175)

Bergson argues that all effort of creation proceeds along the same lines.The musician who composes a symphony, the poet who creates a poem, all start from something simple and abstractwhich is to say incorporealin their mind. It is then a matter of unfolding or developing a novel impression into sounds or imagery (1996, 175/1975, 174).This unfolding or expression of the implicated multiplicity constitutes, for Bergson, a certain kind of bringing about, which, he insists, must be clearly distinguished from either mechanistic or teleological causality. The mark of the intellectual effort then consists in the delay, the waiting time, or the duration that defines the work of the intellect qua effort of translation of


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters an incorporeal, variable, and abstract schema into concrete and well-defined images. He writes,Does not this delay measure the interval between the difficult attempt and the easy execution, between the learning and the doing of an exercise (ibid., 181/179)? Ultimately, this feeling of effort, most clearly experienced during the effort of invention, yet present in any effort of recall or comprehension, is the distinct feeling of a form of organization, variable no doubt, but anterior to the elements, then of a competition between the elements themselves, and lastly, if we succeed in inventing, of an equilibrium which is a reciprocal adaptation of the form and of the matter (ibid., 182/181). Feeling, Struggle, and Emotion This means that in Bergsons view, the mutual adaptation of matter and spiritthat is, full-fledged or integral experience in all its richnesscannot be accounted for in terms of some Kantian preestablished harmony of the faculties under the forming guidance of the understanding and of its homogenous transcendental forms. Rather, the relationship between mind and body is one of constant struggle between the faculties, of constant play between form and content. Furthermore, and most significantly for our own argument, it seems as if on Bergsons account, and in stark contrast to Kants, we do indeed experience the transcendental condition of the work of the intellect, or of thought: it is, after all, a feeling (sentiment). As Deleuze claims in Cinema 2, thought is none other than a feeling of the soul.Therefore, after having laid down the foundations for the solution of the problem of the relationship between matter and spirit in terms of sensibilityor the feeling of effort inscribed in duration Bergson endeavors to further integrate the two multiplicities by grappling with the problem of the relationship between affect and representation.This he does through emotion. Anticipating some possible objections to his increasingly monistic ontology of psychical life, Bergson now asks, How can a play of representations, a movement of ideas, enter into the composition of a feeling? (1996, 183/1975, 181, trans. modified). It seems as if affectionwhich, as we showed, is by definition an extended phenomenonwere irreducible to representation. Cartesian dualism would thus once again return to cover over and invalidate all of Bergsons efforts to displace and solve it. But precisely, we said, Bergson is able to succeed in his project of overcoming dualism, because he is able to establish that in its Cartesian form, the problem is a false one, resulting from a badly analyzed composite, hence a badly stated and unsolvable problem. In its place, Bergson substitutes the problem of the difference and the relation between quantitative multiplicities that belong to spatiality and qualitative multiplicities defined by duration. This leads him to problematize the relation between difference in kind and difference in degree, thereby translating philosophical dual-


The Unconscious as Ontology of the Virtual ism into a philosophy of difference. We said that the issue of the relation between differences of nature and differences of degree is equally the issue of the nature of difference. Once again, it is in terms of duration that this question will be answered. As Deleuze puts it, Bergson shows that duration itself is difference of nature and the nature of difference. It includes matter as its lowest, most relaxed, degree, as an infinitely dilated past, but duration also includes itself by contracting itself into an extremely tight, or tense, present. Finally, Bergson shows that if all those degrees in fact coexist within duration and memory is this coexistence, since duration is memory insofar as it prolongs the past into the presentthen duration also is that which differentiates itself constantly; this means that the present splits itself up into two directions, namely, the past and the future.28 We saw that this notion of duration as difference of nature, nature of difference, coexistence, and differentiation allows Bergson to come up with a model of the mind, or memory, as a virtual cone consisting of different tones of psychic life, or nuances of duration. On the basis of this model he proceeds to give his own account of the creation of difference (differentiation) as the passage, the bond between the methodological and ontological aspects of the problematic of difference. Says Deleuze:
What, in fact, is a sensation? It is the operation of contracting trillions of vibrations onto a receptive surface. Quality emerges from this, quality that is nothing other than contracted quantity.This is how the notion of contraction (or of tension) allows us to go beyond the duality of homogeneous quantity and heterogeneous quality, and to pass from one to the other in a continuous movement. (1998a, 7273/1988, 74)

In order to discover the exact relation between the affective tone that gives all intellectual effort its sui generis nuance, on the one hand, and the particular play of representations that analysis discovers in it, on the other, all we need to do is assume that the play of sensations responds to the play of ideas and is an echo of it, so to say, in another tone (1996, 183/1975, 182). Indeed, Bergson adds:
That is the easier to understand inasmuch as we are not in fact dealing here with an idea, but with a movement of ideas, with a struggle or an interference of ideas with one another. We may conceive that these mental oscillations have their sensory harmonics.We may conceive that this indecision of the mind is continued in a disquietude of the body. The characteristics of intellectual effort are likely to express that very suspension and disquietude. (1996, 183/1975, 182, emphasis added)

We have a natural tendency to act out our thoughts. According to Bergson, consciousness precisely coincides with this movement of externalization. Furthermore, as I have been trying to show, the consciousness we have of this


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters centripetal movement is always necessarily redoubled by a movement in the opposite direction. Consciousness is thereby sent back to thought itself (the virtual schema) by a kind of ricochet (the pendulum). Now we can see that what happens within this folding over of consciousness and memory (or the unconscious) is emotion. Says Bergson, Thus arises an emotion, which usually has a representation as its center, but in which are especially visible the sensations in which that idea is prolonged (1996, 184/1975, 182). Emotions thus have two faces, two sides to them. They are both affective and intellectual, objective and subjective, since like the Proustian/Deleuzian signs, they both refer to an object and signify something elsesomething subjective. As such, they are the deepest, most fundamental point of contact between matter and memory. In fact, in the Two Sources, it is to what he calls the creative emotion that Bergson is going to ascribe the power to generate true, that is, dynamic, religion and morality.29 This emotion is creative insofar as it generates out of itself something other than itself, thereby allowing for transcending the human condition, primarily defined by its fastening to material negativity in the shape of habit and vital needs.The emotion signifies a tension, a problem to be resolved, which eventually necessitates an intellectual effort, since qua tension the emotion brings together elements at different levels of contraction. This generation through internal differentiation coincides, for Bergson, with the movement of life itselfthat which, after Gilbert Simondon, Deleuze calls heterogenesis. On the one hand, then, emotion coincides with the conscious equivalent of the conflict between the schema and the image, between abstract representation and concrete sensation. On the other hand, the intellectual effort echoes this tension and strives to resolve it by operating a transition from the abstract and vague unity of the scheme to the concrete and clear unity of its actualized expression.This passage requires a selection. Mental effort, then, consists in the internal movement by which a representation or idea is isolated from all others, because the organizing scheme rejects the images which are not capable of developing it, and confers thus a real individuality on the present content of consciousness (ibid., 185/183). As a continuous movement in duration, the intellectual effort brings together unity and multiplicity, simplicity and richness; there is intellectual effort only where a multiplicity of intellectual elements is in the process of getting organized. But, Bergson insists, the key is to understand the nature of this unity, which in his view has been largely misunderstood. This unity toward which all mental effort tends is no longer abstract and empty. Rather, it becomes the unity of a directive idea common to a great number of organized elements. It is the very unity of life (ibid., 186/184). In other words, like the lan vital, it is one and complex at the same time: it is a heterogeneous unity. And this heterogeneity is precisely the reason we can explain the intellectual effort on its own terms, without referring it to something other than


The Unconscious as Ontology of the Virtual the intellect itself. For if sensation and emotion play a necessary role in the generation of thought, then they do so as thoughts qualitative nuance, not as external elements. Thus, Bergson concludes, what distinguishes passive representation from representation accompanied by an intellectual effortor, put otherwise, what distinguishes consciousness from self-consciousnessis a difference in internal contexture, a difference in the relation between the elements of the composite idea (ibid., 187/185); the mark of the intellectual effort is therefore itself intellectual. This difference, which is necessarily internal to thought, is what allows for the very movement that characterizes the intellectual effort. Indeed, Bergson concludes,why not see in the movement the very essence of the intellectual effort? (ibid.). I am well aware that this discussion of the intellectual effort involves too many problematic and novel notions to dispel the residual questions we might have about Bergsons effective carrying out of his dualistic monism. Those difficulties are due both to the extreme complexity of the issues at hand and to the novelty and radicalism of Bergsons approacha radicalism that necessarily and self-consciously disrupts our customary, limiting thinking habits. Personally, I do not see the need to try to justify and legitimize the violence that Bergsons philosophy is inflicting on a sterile orthodoxy that he has rightly diagnosed as stemming from profound metaphysical illusions resulting from natural psychological errors of judgment. I believe that nobody can show the necessity for this violence better than Deleuze (after Nietzsche and Heidegger) has. I will return, with Deleuzes help, to many of the issues I have only begun to distinguish and clarify so far, in the hope of shedding some new light onto them. Hoping to bring to light the philosophical transition I see between Bergson and Deleuze, let me recapitulate what I take to be the most fundamental imports of Bergsonism.With Deleuzes invaluable assistance, I do this by examining the method of intuition that, while constantly developing throughout Bergsons oeuvre, has been at work from the outset.


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Between Bergson and Deleuze: The Method of Intuition as Transcendental/Virtual Empiricism

Lintuition est la jouissance de la diffrence. Gilles Deleuze, Le Bergsonisme But a true empiricism is the one which purposes to keep as close to the original as possible, to probe more deeply into its life, and by a kind of spiritual auscultation, to feel its soul palpitate; and this true empiricism is the real metaphysics. Henri Bergson, Introduction to Metaphysics

Absolute Movement and Intuition

Matter and Memory aims at producing a new philosophy, disencumbered from the badly analyzed composites informing dualistic metaphysics. For Bergson, only such a philosophy can rejoin the things themselves, from which critical philosophies have insuperably separated us. A clear thread runs through Bergsons philosophical achievements, from his 1889 Time and Free Will to his 1932 The Two Sources. This thread I have identified successively as the distinction between the two multiplicities, the theory of tendencies, and the ontology of the virtual qua philosophy of difference. But underlying those divisions there


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters always remains, as the unmistakable mark of Bergsonism, the notion of real duration, defined as the virtual coexistence of succession and interpenetration. Far from thereby wanting to somehow retrospectively reduce the richness and complexity of the development of Bergsonisman attempt that would a priori betray the very spirit of this philosophyI have sought to follow Bergson as closely as possible in his own following of the movement of thought qua philosophy proper, as the only way to reach, beyond the turn of experience, the very source of experience. Unlike the critical philosophies indebted to Kant, however, Bergson insists on determining the conditions of experience in terms of reality rather than possibility.This demand for conditions of reality or, as Deleuze would call them, genetic conditionsrather than conditions of possibility is indeed required by Bergsons rigorous self-imposed methodology of following the movement of thought. Of course, this movement is a contorted, complicated, meandering, and at times seemingly impossible one. Like the movement of life, it sometimes encounters dead ends; like the lan vital, it is constantly in conflict with the negativity of matter, with death and entropy. But ultimately, for Bergson, this movement is metaphysically first; it is the metaphysical absolute.Absolute movement is at once the essence of the real, the substance of life and the ontological virtuality accounting for the necessity of understanding thought as a movement, as something always in the process of making itself, thereby constantly struggling with its own tendency to degenerate within habit, opinion, or ready-made ideas. Metaphysics must therefore rejoin this movement if it is to explain anything at all. But as Bergson shows, the work of the intelligence, left to its own devices, can only capture a partial and superficial residue of this movement, as intelligence itself is a mere residual alluvium of an infinitely grander cosmic evolution. According to Bergson, it is on the basis of a widespread (because natural) failure to notice this fundamental nature of the intelligence that philosophers have traditionally either appealed to some mysterious, hence unaccountable, faculty of the mind (for instance, Platos reminiscence) or simply, in a self-defeating resignation, they have sought to establish and recognize the relativity of knowledge. The reason Kant, more so than any other thinker, ends up under Bergsons pitiless scrutiny is because he represents, for early twentieth-century continental thought, the model for trying to overcome the so-far unbridgeable (and therefore sterile) divide between idealism and empiricism, dogmatism and materialism. Like Bergsons virtual empiricisim, then, transcendental idealism was aimed at reconciling spirit and matter, reason and sensibility, truth and imagination. In this respect, there is no doubt that Kants Copernican revolution constituted an immense contribution to the advances of philosophical thinking, and of knowledge in generalalthough this contribution, as we know, is primarily negative, since its goal lies in determining the limits of the understanding.Yet as Bergson untiringly reminds us, the Kantian critique simply failed in its attempt at liberating thought from its dogmatic image. Kants


Between Bergson and Deleuze de jure insistence on the impossibility of ever grasping the noumenon and his concomitant apology for the subjectivity and relativity of knowledge testify to this. Furthermore, I have been trying to establish that what I take to be Kants ultimate reinstatement of dogmatism within a transcendentalism originally intended to avoid such dogmatism has in fact, from the outset, sacrificed the very experience it was aimed at accounting for to the contingency of so-called pure reason, abstracted from its essential duration. In response to Kant, Bergson advocates for integral experience1or what I have been calling transcendental experienceas a solution to the aporias vitiating such philosophical endeavors. Bergson argues that as long as philosophy pretends to penetrate the secrets of the real (that is, the secrets of creation) by analysis and circumspection (that is, by presupposing that the human intellect is originally and inevitably external to the vital movement, as if it had been mysteriously added onto it, thus remaining essentially separated from it) as long as philosophy thereby locates the conditions of experience outside of experience, metaphysics will be condemned to failure. In contrast, he writes at the end of his remarkable Introduction to Metaphysics,Metaphysics has nothing in common with the generalization of experience, and nevertheless it could be defined as integral experience (2001b, 1432/1965, 200, emphasis in original). Now I argue that for Bergson, this integral experience is none other than intuition itself. Insofar as it consists in an immediate sympathizing with the absolute, intuition is opposed to analysis. But this immediate sympathizing cannot be explained in terms of some mysterious faculty of the wise mans intellect. Once again, if the necessary connection between thought and reality cannot be shown, then metaphysics remains condemned to contingency and relativity be it in the form of material reductionism or idealistic negativism. In order to establish the necessary connection between thought and things grounding any proper metaphysical endeavor, Bergson provides us with a method of intuition. Obviously the very formula method of intuition seems to involve a self-contradiction: how can a method, which by definition involves a series of mediations, have immediacy as its defining characteristic? The ontology of the virtual we have examined, which establishes a principle of positive internal alteration as substance, already suggests possibilities for making sense of Bergsons apparently contradictory project. We can conjecture that his notion of absolute movement (or ontological duration) will subtend the solution to the apparent paradox of intuition. In a typical move, Bergson starts out by distinguishing between two profoundly different ways of knowing a thingthat is, between two different types of conscious psychological experiences. He writes:
The first implies going all around it, the second entering into it. The first depends on the viewpoint chosen and the symbols employed, while the second


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters
is taken from no viewpoint and rests on no symbol. Of the first kind of knowledge [i.e., analysis] we shall say that it stops at the relative; of the second [i.e., intuition] that, wherever possible, it attains the absolute. (2001b,1393/1965, 159, emphasis in original)

For instance, he says, I perceive a movement in space differently depending on the mobile or immobile point of view from which I look at it. Not only do I perceive it differently, but I also express it differently, depending on the system of reference points, or symbols, by which I translate it. I thus call this movement relative, because in either case I place myself outside the object (2001b, 1393/1965, 159). Both relativism (hence, skepticism), when it posits axiomatically the incommensurability of thought and world, and Eleatic monism, when it affirms the oneness of being and the consequent contingency of time, stem from such an approach.2 In contrast, Bergson notes, whenever I speak of an absolute movement, it is because I ascribe an inner being, or something like states of mind, to the mobile.This, in turn, is because I can sympathize with those states and insert myself within them by an effort of the imagination. In this case, it is not only my expression of the movement that will vary; more profoundly, depending on whether the object is mobile or immobile, depending on the specific kind of movement it adopts, I will not experience the same feeling. Furthermore, the feeling I experience will neither depend on the points of view I could adoptsince I will thereby be within the objectnor on the symbols by which I could translate itsince I will have thereby renounced all translation. In short, Bergson concludes, the movement will not be grasped from without and, as it were, from where I am, but from within, inside it, in what it is in itself (ibid.): The movement will be grasped as an absolute. Put otherwise, all I can perceive in the first case are calculable, measurable, and emotionally indifferent quantitative changes; but what I experience in the second case is a qualitative variation, a positive alteration of my own affective states. While the first case coincides with subjective perception, mediated through socially and intellectually constructed criteria, the second resembles what, in the first chapter, I identified as pure, objective, immediate perception, for it is characterized by simplicity and continuity. But pure perception and intuition ought not to be confused.They resemble one another insofar as they are both defined by immediacy, simplicity, or continuityinsofar, too, as they both involve an enlargement of consciousness to include the unconscious.3 But while pure perception was the theoretical removal of duration from perception, pure intuition consists in the methodological disengagement from ones particular rhythm of duration to access experiences or rhythms of duration other than our own (sympathy). According to Bergson, this is possible because as a continuous and heterogeneous multiplicity, memory virtually contains the infinite wholeof the past and eventually of nature as well.


Between Bergson and Deleuze Now, just as Zeno was incapable of reconstructing motion out of fixed positions, even through the infinite juxtaposition of infinitesimal points, I cannot reconstruct an absolute movement out of relative movements. In order to obtain the indivisible feeling of the absolute movement, I must leap at once into its mobility. Similarly, says Bergson, a writer could accumulate as many details, as many perspectives on the hero of her novel, but it will never approximate the simple feeling she would obtain by coinciding momentarily with him. The actions, gestures and words would then appear to flow naturally, as though from their source (ibid., 1394/160). We mentioned earlier the necessity for this leap directly to the source that Bergson locates at the origin of any true comprehension of the others discourse. In the same vein, his discussion of the intellectual effort (including the effort of recall) pointed to the necessary preexistence (or at least concomitance) of the dynamic schema over the images that develop it.We also saw that according to Creative Evolution, any true understanding of the evolution of life must grasp the simple original life impulse in order to make any sense of the products of this evolution. In all those cases, Bergson wanted to demonstrate that when I limit myself to the symbolical representation of particular aspects of a thing or person, I in fact remain stuck in generality, in that which this thing or person shares in common with others. I can never grasp that object in its uniqueness, in its being, in what makes it properly what it is, or in its own proper essential duration. Thus intuition, as Bergson understands it methodologically, already presupposes duration (Deleuze 1998a, 1/1988, 13). Only when combined with duration can it be both a simple act by which one sympathizes or coincides with what is unique about an object and at the same time a series of acts or a method. Intuition is a simple act when seen from within, but it also can be analyzed retrospectively into a series of actsjust as when I raise my arm, I am performing a simple act of which I have a simple internal perception, and yet for an outside observer (or for myself, looking back on that movement from without), my arm passes through a point, and then another, and so on, ad infinitum. However, we must keep in mind that the retrospective analysis and the immediate sympathizing do not bear on one and the same object, since the former deals with an already-made reality, a product, a symbol, whereas, the latter attaches itself to a reality in the process of making itself, or the movement of creation, which exceeds all symbolization. According to Bergson, it is to the failure to see this distinction and the concomitant distinction between past and present that the defeat of metaphysics and its correlative sacrifice to physics must be ascribed. For him, on the contrary, metaphysics must be defined as the science which claims to dispense with symbols (2001b, 1396/1965, 162, emphasis in original). But how does one sympathize with the absolute, since the work of our intelligence is always already mediated through pragmatic analysis? Is our knowledge of everything necessarily mediated through forms and symbols that, although coming from us, remain external to us, as Kant claims? Not so for


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters Bergson. Echoing the founding argument from Time and Free Will, he contends that there is at least one reality which we all seize from within not by simple analysis. It is our own person in its flowing through time, the self which endures (ibid.). It is in this sense that Deleuze can claim that the method of intuition owes everything it is to duration. If Bergsons philosophy aims at establishing a new kind of relation between thought and world, then this relation is rooted in my own relation to myself qua difference and differentiation. For when I focus on that which the inner gaze of my consciousness yields, I find a multiplicity of perceptions, a multiplicity of memories serving to interpret those perceptions, and a multitude of motor habits, of virtual tendencies to act that are more or less tightly linked to those perceptions and memories. But that is only the surface of my self. Below this superficial crystallization and subtending it what I find is a continuous flow, incommensurable with any of the states that are flowing in it.What I find is a succession of states, each of which announces what is to come and contains what precedes. Indeed, says Bergson, they only constitute multiple states to the extent that I have already gone beyond them to look back at them after the fact.Yet as I was consciously feeling them, I was unable to tell where one ended and another started. According to Bergson, this is because in reality, none of them begins or ends.They all prolong into one another, which means that they all prolong the past into the present and future. For him, then, there is no consciousness without memory, and that which defines memory is duration (ibid., 1398/164). If Bergsons philosophy is to establish a new connection between thought and worlda connection that would complement yet not replace the sciences limited analytic approachthen this connection will be grounded in my own immediate contact (i.e., a feeling) with my own profound self qua qualitatively heterogeneous simplicity, that is, qua alteration. Says Deleuze, Bergson often presents intuition as a simple act. But in his view, simplicity does not exclude a qualitative and virtual multiplicity, various directions in which it comes to be actualized (1998a, 2/1988, 14). Notice that Bergsons appeal to the self s own duration as the foundation of my relation to the worldhence the foundation of knowledgecannot be confused with some elaborate form of solipsism.The profound self he is referring to is not some hypostasized, conceptual, artificial recomposition of the unity of apperception; rather, it is the self as essentially sharing in the cosmic duration, the self as a particular rhythm of duration. As such, the profound self cannot be represented, since in its fluidity it always transcends the fixed concepts and ideas that aim at defining it once and for all. The error of the psychologists is therefore no different than the error of the metaphysicians, who look for an intuition in the analysis that precisely negates intuition from the outset.As Bergson tells us, the psychologists look for the ego, but they claim to be able to find it within psychic states, whereas this diversity of psychic states can only have been obtained by transporting oneself outside the ego and tak-


Between Bergson and Deleuze ing a series of sketches and more or less symbolical representations of the person. However, they may juxtapose states with states as much as they want:The ego will always escape them, so that they end up seeing it as a mere ghost (2001b, 1406/1965, 173).4 When philosophical empiricism ends up declaring that there is nothing beyond the multiplicity of psychic states, it is due to this confusion between two points of view, namely, analysis and intuition, which consists in looking for the original in the translation, where it can obviously not be, and then to negate this original, since it cannot be found there (ibid., 1407/173). In contrast, Bergson continues,a true empiricism is one which purposes to keep as close to the original as possible, to probe more deeply into its life, and by a kind of spiritual auscultation, to feel its soul palpitate; and this true empiricism is the real metaphysics (ibid., 1408/175, emphasis in original). False Problems: Intuition versus the Retrograde Movement of the True In Bergsonism, Deleuze writes:
Intuition certainly is second in relation to duration or memory. But while these notions by themselves denote lived realities and experiences, they do not give us any means of knowing (connatre) them with a precision analogous to that of science. We might say, strangely enough, that duration would remain purely intuitive, in the ordinary sense of the word, if intuitionin the properly Bergsonian sensewere not there as a method. (1998a, 2/1988, 14, emphasis in original)

What is at stake for us in the problematic of intuition as a method, then, is the properly epistemological issue inherent in the sterile metaphysics that Matter and Memory intends to overcome. Of course this epistemological problem cannot be separated from the metaphysical claims it seeks to establishthe question How do we know? is always implied within the question of the nature of being. In fact, I have argued that one of the crucial imports of Bergsonism precisely consists in reminding us of the necessity we are faced with of grounding ontology within psychology, as well as of grounding psychology within ontology. I further argue that the method of intuition not only embodies this twofold demand but also that, taken in connection with duration (with its two sides, psychological and ontological), it manages to carry this circularity of metaphysics and epistemology beyond formal logics worries about the viciousness of such circularityand to thereby succeed in grounding Bergsons solution to the problems plaguing dualism. According to Deleuze, the Bergsonian methodology may be summarized in three great steps. Each coincides with one of the virtual tendencies of the simple enduring ego; each is a sort of act, which in turn determine[s] the rules


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters of the method.The first concerns the stating and creating of problems; the second, the discovery of genuine differences in kind; the third, the apprehension of real time (1998a, 3/1988, 14). For the sake of clarity, I will examine each one of these separately to eventually capture the movement from one to the othermovement of thought, that is, which is none other than the movement we have sought to convey since the beginning of this project: a movement from psychology to ontology, from consciousness to the unconscious, from experience to its real genetic conditions. The first rule of the method of intuition is to apply the test of true and false to problems themselves. Condemn false problems and reconcile truth and creation at the level of problems (ibid., 3/15). As we know, this is the prerequisite that already informs Time and Free Will, where Bergson was claiming that the problem of freedom is a false problem. It is a false problem because it relies on a badly analyzed composite, which is why it calls for the establishment of the distinction between the two kinds of multiplicities in the first placea distinction that in turn corresponds to the second rule of the method of intuition, namely, the establishment of differences in kind. Incidentally, I find it noteworthy that while the first false problem Bergson identifies is that of freedom, the very act of bringing the trial of true and false to bear on problems themselves also coincides with Bergsons attempt at freeing thought from the psychological illusions naturally resulting from the normal work of the intellect. The dominant belief that true and false concern only solutions is simply the product of what Bergson calls the retrograde movement of the true.5 This movement he ascribes to the intellects pragmatic orientation and its resulting tendency to analyze, hence to reify and hypostasize its own mental states, as well as all things and all concepts. But Bergson insists that our mind can follow the opposite course of action and install itself within the mobile real to succeed in producing fluid concepts, capable of following the real in all of its meanderings. According to Bergson:
Only in that way will a progressive philosophy be constituted, freed from the disputes which arise between schools, capable of resolving problems naturally because it will be rid of the artificial terms chosen in stating them. To philosophize means to reverse the habitual direction of the workings of thought. (2001b, 1422/1965, 191, emphasis in original)

Applying the test of true and false to problems is the necessary prerequisite for doing any philosophy, because the traditional problems (for instance, the one and the many, freedom, etc.) are always already vitiated, since they stem from a thought already abstracted from the real, hence necessarily artificial, contingent and relative. This first requirement, as the means for rejoining the real to give an empirical ground to thoughta ground within sensibility, such


Between Bergson and Deleuze as, for instance,the feeling of our own spontaneity, which undercuts the false problem of freedomalso indicates the necessity for understanding philosophy as empiricism, albeit a superior or virtual one. Intuition thus consists in turning intelligence against itself, in reversing the work of the intellect, but doing so in a methodical way. Deleuze asks, How can this constitutive power which resides in the problem be reconciled with the norm of the true? (1998a, 5/1988, 16). In other words, what criterion are we going to use to reconcile truth and creation? What makes a problem true or false? Unsurprisingly, for Bergson the answer lies with positivity. I have tried to bring out the fundamental role that Bergson ascribes to positivity. I believe that nowhere is it more clearly expressed than in his critique of possibilitywhich he masterfully brings to bear on Kants conception of the transcendental in order to operate a transvaluation of transcendentalism. The point is, according to Bergson, the philosophers who have realized this need to bring the test of truth to bear beyond solutionswhich is to say, transcendental philosophers, who beyond experience (i.e., the solution) seek the conditions for experience (i.e., the problem to which experience answers), have simply defined the truth or falsity of a problem by the possibility or impossibility of its receiving a solution.Thus a problem would be a true problem if and only if it can be solved. In accordance with this view, then, the conditioned (i.e., experience) would have to precede and condition its very conditions (i.e., the forms of time and space). This means that by defining the transcendental in terms of conditions for the possibility of experience, Kant could not escape the psychological illusions that his critique sought to dispel. Moreover, such an approach necessarily forecloses any creation, any future for thought, since the making is the measure of the already made, thereby remaining subordinated to it. Instead of such an external (i.e., negative and necessarily contingent) conditioning of the truth of problems, what Bergson offers with the expression false problem is an intrinsic (i.e., immanent and positive) determination of the false (1998a, 56/1988, 17). He argues that the problem of possibility can be shown to be a false problem, because when we actually follow the movement of the thought that comes up with the idea of possibility, we find that this idea results from a confusion between the more and the less. Against the doctrines of the possible, which believe that the possibility of things (or their representation) precedes their existence (or their realization) on the basis of the idea that the possible is less than the realagainst Aristotle and KantBergson shows that it is the other way around, that there is more in the idea of the possible than there is in the idea of the real.For the possible is only the real with the addition of an act of mind which throws its image back into the present, once it has been enacted. But that is what our intellectual habits prevent us from seeing (2001b, 1339/1965, 100). Just as the grounding of the intellectual


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters effort required the identification of a properly intellectual mark within itthat is, of an internal determination, which also is the mark of its internal differencethe Bergsonian demonstration that the problem of possibility lying at the heart of the problematic of existence is a false problem relies on the intrinsic positivity of its falsity. And once again, Bergson points out, the psychological error resulting from the natural work of the intelligence qua retrograde movement of the true dangerously reaches out into the metaphysical stuff of both thought and the world. He explains:
As reality is created as something unforeseeable and new, its image is reflected behind it into the indefinite past; thus it finds that it has from all time been possible, but it is at this precise moment that it begins to have been always possible, and that is why I said that its possibility, which does not precede its reality, will have preceded it once the reality has appeared. The possible is therefore the mirage of the present in the past. . . . It is as though one were to fancy, in seeing his reflection in the mirror in front of him, that he could have touched it had he stayed behind it. (2001b, 1340/1965, 101, emphasis added)

Bergsons introduction of the notion of false problems in general, and his critique of the problematic of possibility in particular, not only provides us with a positive internal criterion for the determination of the falsity of the problem. It also at once articulates one fundamental dimension of that which is at stake in Kants erroneous conception of the transcendental in terms of conditions of possibility, and it points to the way in which that error can be avoided namely, by rejoining the real in its essential duration, by apprehending real time or, in other words, by turning intelligence against itself. If the normal work of the intellect consists in the retrospective reduction of novelty to possibility, or of the making to the already madea normal work that Kants critique exemplifies perfectlythen it necessarily results in the metaphysical misconceptions plaguing philosophy. Furthermore, Deleuze points out, such metaphysical misconceptions based in the confusion of the more and the less coincide with none other than the negation of true differences in kind, and the concomitant reduction of profound qualitative differences to superficial quantitative distinctions.6 It is for this reason that, in Deleuzes view, the second step of the method of intuition requires the discovery or reestablishment of differences in kind.Again, while the natural tendency of the intellect is to think in terms of differences in degree where there really are differences in kind, and this illusion cannot be dispelledas, indeed, Kant knew and showedBergsons method of intuition tells us that this tendency can nevertheless be repressed.7 Quite typically, it is therefore by means of a method of positive compensation of one tendency by another, opposite tendency, rather than by means of negation, that Bergson proposes to restore its rights to metaphysics. Says Deleuze:


Between Bergson and Deleuze

We can only react against this intellectual tendency by bringing to life, again in intelligence, another tendency, which is critical. But where, precisely, does this tendency come from? Only intuition can produce and animate it, because it rediscovers differences in kind beneath the differences in degree, and conveys to the intelligence the criteria that enable it to distinguish between true and false problems. (1998a, 1011/1988, 21, trans. modified, emphasis in original)

Intuition and the Articulations of the Real The second rule of the method of intuition thus runs as follows: Struggle against illusion, rediscover the true differences in kind or articulations of the real (1998a, 11/1988, 21). I have been insisting throughout what precedes on this fundamental requirement of the Bergsonian method. There lies the key to the radical significance of Bergsons new dualisma dualism, Deleuze points out, that does not have the last word in his philosophy (ibid., 11/22). For instance, I pointed out in the first chapter of this book the importance of Bergsons displacement of the traditional distinction between matter and perception, and its replacement with the more profound difference between perception and affection, on the one hand, and between perception and recollection, on the otheror what I have identified as the difference in kind between consciousness and the unconscious. I also explained that Bergson is aware that experience itself offers us nothing but compositesof matter and memory, space and time, extensity and duration. The problem for Bergson is that we fail to distinguish, within that composite representation, between the two pure presences of matter and memory.As Deleuze puts it,In short, we measure the mixtures with a unit that is itself impure and already mixed.We have lost the reason for the mixtures.The obsession with the pure in Bergson goes back to this restoration of differences in kind. Only that which differs in kind can be said to be pure, but only tendencies differ in kind (ibid., 12/22, trans. modified, emphasis in original). We are now familiar with this Bergsonian leitmotiv. At this point, what I want to emphasize is the relation that is now being drawn between false problems and the failure to rediscover the articulations of the real informing those false problems.We can now see more clearly than ever the connection, within Bergsons thought, between differences in kind and tendencies. The two notions are shown to be both functionally identicalsince they signify the necessary task of tracing experience back to its sourceand substantially identicalsince they consist in directions of movement, as explained in the last chapter. In fact, I have been arguing that the word virtual precisely aims at conveying the transvaluated status of those pure conditions: they are the absolute outside of experience and can therefore not be found in experience, as Kant tried to (all the while denying the possibility of experiencing them as such). Their ontological principle is one of alteration and mobility, so if there is a sense in which they can still be called pure forms, then they


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters can no longer be reduced to some ready-made, abstract containers for experience, like Kants transcendental forms.8 It is becoming obvious that even though Bergson did not clearly thematize it as such, what Deleuze calls the method of intuition has been constantly and consistently at work throughout Bergsons uvre, from Time and Free Will and its identification of the false problem of freedom on the basis of the distinction between the two multiplicities to The Two Sources and its solution for the inescapable war instinct driving human societies: in terms of the production of an opposite tendency capable of repressing the war instinct (in the form of the creative emotion leading to universal love, exemplified by the great Christian mystics rapture).

Intuition and Superior Empiricism

Notice that in the two earlier examples, the conditions we find beyond the turn of experience are concrete, positive conditions; we are able to rediscover the difference in kind between quantity and quality, or between two kinds of causalities, on the basis of our feeling of spontaneity. Similarly, according to Bergson, the mystical experience consists in an emotion, a direct contact between the soul of the mystic and the lan vital, experienced as universal love. This is precisely what the formula superior empiricism signifies: the conditions of experience are not only conditions of real experience, but those conditions themselves are real too. As Deleuze puts it, Intuition leads us to go beyond the state of experience toward the conditions of experience. But these conditions are neither general nor abstract.They are no broader than the conditioned: they are the conditions of real experience (1998a, 17/1988, 27).Yet, Deleuze adds, This going-beyond does not consist in going beyond experience toward concepts (ibid., 19/28). Concepts can only give us Kant-like conditions of all possible experience in general, whereas here, on the contrary, we are seeking conditions of real experience, that is, of experience in all of its peculiarities, in its uniqueness or singularity. Thus, Deleuze continues, The conditions of experience are less determined in concepts than in pure percepts. And, while these percepts themselves are united in a concept, it is a concept modeled on the thing itself, which only suits that thing, and which is no broader than what it must account for (ibid.). This brings us back to Bergsons requirement for understanding thinking, or philosophy, as an operation of differentiation and integration rather than association and circumspection. In fact, we know from Matter and Memory that the movement of thought is twofold.We start with phenomenological experience as a mixture of perception and recollection, of objectivity and subjectivity. Then we must go and seek experience at its source, above the decisive turn where it becomes properly human (i.e., utility-oriented experience).This


Between Bergson and Deleuze going beyond thus involves a broadening out or dilation of experience itself, which reaches out as far as pure perception, identical to the whole of matter, on the one hand, and pure memory, coinciding with the totality of the past, on the other. According to Deleuze, it is in this sense that Bergson (and Deleuze himself) compares philosophy to infinitesimal calculus. From, say, our own conscious experience of our feeling of spontaneity, we gain an insight that shows us an articulation of the real; then all that remains is to extend this insight beyond experience, to reconstruct the diverse series or tendencies to which those articulations correspondjust as mathematicians reconstitute, with the infinitely small elements that they perceive of the real curve, the curve itself stretching out into the darkness behind them (ibid., 18/27)a darkness which, as I have been trying to show, coincides with the unconscious. But this does not as yet yield the sufficient reason for the thing we are seeking to account for. Once we have followed the lines of divergence drawn from actual experience beyond experience to its pure virtual conditions, we must rediscover the point at which those lines intersect again. This time, Deleuze insists, this point is not an actual but a virtual point, a virtual image [or double] of the point of departure (ibid., 19/28).While the point of departure belonged to a spatial series, the point of return belongs to duration (or spirit). In accordance with the process of integration between the two series described earlier, the sufficient reason of the thing as we know it will ultimately and necessarily have at least two aspects, namely, extensity and duration, even though it will be located entirely on the side of the durational series. Once again, its virtuality does not exclude its empirical concretenessin fact, it conditions it. Furthermore, Deleuze points out, this explains what we meant when we suggested that dualism did not have the last word in Bergsons philosophy: turn and return; differentiation and integration; dilation (dtente) and contractionin a word the pendulum means that Dualism is therefore only a moment, which must lead to the reformation of a monism (ibid., 20/28). In the end, we are able to identify the precise point at which memory inserts itself into matter anew, as illustrated by the image of the cone. On the one hand, superior empiricism is empirical insofar as its concern lies primarily in accounting for the concrete diversity of the sensible. Indeed, as I will try to show in what follows, philosophical thinking for Deleuze, as for Bergson, aims directly at the very being of the sensible (the Sentiendum) in its immanenceas opposed to desperately wanting to reach sensible beings through a series of intellectual reductions. But, on the other hand, superior empiricism is properly transcendental because it searches for the necessary conditions that ground this richness of the real, and in fact produce it. For Deleuze, these conditions are not Kantian conditions of all possible experience, abstracted from the immanent incommensurabilities of the real they try to mediate, or copied off of what they are supposed to condition and then projected back retroactively. They are genetic conditions of real experience: different in kind


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters from what they condition, yet fitting the conditioned tightly enough that they contain their own necessity.9 Beyond the epistemological foundations of a possible, hence contingent, experience, which remains hostage to the idiosyncracies of human consciousness, Deleuze searches for the differential ontological ground of an experience that is properly metaphysical in the Bergsonian sense, in that it goes beyond human experience, beyond the sensory-motor schemes and intellectual consciousness qua consciousness of the worldthe inhuman rather than the human conditions. In contrast to the intentional model subtending possible experience, the fundamental concept informing what I want to call the transcendental experience generated by transcendental empiricism is the unconsciousan unconscious that is not merely psychological but also ontological, not simply actual but also virtual: an unconscious that, in Deleuzes and Guattaris words, produces the impossible real (1972, 62/1994, 53). This takes us to the third and final rule of the method of intuition. We claim that superior empiricism constitutes a progress over both empiricism and transcendental idealism, because ultimately it is capable of providing us with a genealogy of the necessary relation between the condition and the conditioned, by bringing the condition back to the conditioned (without, however, reducing one to the other), so that no distance remains between them.10 This ability, this power (puissance) of transcendental empiricism, in turn, stems directly from the specifically Bergsonian method, according to which problems must be stated and solved in terms of time rather than space (1998a, 22/1988, 31).11 Intuition and Time This third rule not only consists in the third kind of act demanded by the method of intuition, in its ultimate simplicity it also grounds and envelops all others. As Deleuze puts it,This rule gives the fundamental meaning of intuition: Intuition presupposes duration, it consists in thinking in terms of duration (1998a, 22/1988, 31). In other words, to think (i.e., to think intuitively) is to follow the movement of the real, which is the movement of thought as well. In it lies the fundamental unity between thought and world.We have shown that for Bergson this movement is absolute; it is the metaphysical absolute, which means that in the end, duration must coincide with the virtual as that which redefines substance in terms of self-alteration. At once psychological and ontological, duration has the power to ground thoughts relationship to the world (or the relation between consciousness and the unconscious) and to unground it at the very same time. For, on the one hand, what we grasp when we think in terms of duration is this alteration that is one with the essence or substance of a thing (ibid., 23/32); but, on the other hand, this entails the unpredictability of the future and the consequent necessity for constantly reinventing and recreating that link. If consciousness is nothing but a certain rhythm of duration, a certain mode of being in time determined by ones ability to evolve in space, then


Between Bergson and Deleuze memory or the unconscious, in its virtuality, escapes those spatial determinations that are nonetheless necessary for its actualization: the survival of the past does not depend on matter for its conservation in time.As consciousness, duration is the stuff of the immediate data informing our conscious perception. But as memory, duration also is the varying essence of being that refers things and their concepts to a grander differential fabric out of which they are carved.To say that intuition consists in thinking in terms of duration, and that such demand gives the fundamental sense of intuition, is precisely to capture the twofold movement I have strived to convey all along. It tells us that despite this ineluctable tie between the two notions, between the two experiences, intuition is not duration itself (ibid.). Says Deleuze,Intuition is rather the movement by which we emerge from our own duration, by which we make use of our own duration to affirm and immediately recognize the existence of other durations, above and below usthat is, of inhuman and superhuman durations (ibid., 2425/33). In short, when with Bergson intuition has become a method, the method has been reconciled with the immediatesince by dividing the mixture according to two tendencies (i.e., extensity and duration), with only one (i.e., duration) showing the way in which a thing varies qualitatively in timethe other one showing only the way in which a thing differs in degrees from other thingsBergson effectively gives himself the means of choosing the right side in each case, that of the essence (ibid., 24/32). As transcendental empiricism, Bergsons method of intuition does without the kind of mediation that is ultimately required of both the Platonic dialectic and transcendental idealism, since in both cases analysis fails to provide us with a means of choosing the right side: Why would the forms be more real than the appearances? Why would the noumena be truer than the phenomena? We showed that no experience that remains simply psychological can answer those questions, as the psychological is always already plagued with inevitable illusions. Deleuze writes, echoing Bergson, the retrograde movement of the true is not merely an illusion about the true, but belongs to the true itself (ibid., 26/34, emphasis in original). But precisely, as a problematizing, differentiating, and temporalizing method, intuition drives a folding over of the psychological and the ontological, of the actual and the virtual, which brings the condition back to the conditioned to leave no distance between the two, no room for the utility-oriented human intellect to introduce its contingent and ready-made categories between matter and spirit. I will now show that what virtual empiricism is able to achieve with this folding over that establishes a most intimate relationship between subject and object is to allow for thought to grasp at once the essence and the event of its own emergence. In fact, it is in this latter characterization of thoughts power that I locate Deleuzes departure from his master.


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Cinematic Thought: The Deleuzean Image and the Crystals of Time

The conditions of a true critique and a true creation are the same: the destruction of an image of thought which presupposes itself and the genesis of the act of thinking in thought itself. Gilles Deleuze, Difference and Repetition When we professional liars hope to service truth, Im afraid the pompous word for it is Art. Orson Welles, F for Fake

As I now turn to a closer examination of Deleuzes own philosophical project in light of the Bergsonian insights he has been so keen on reviving in his uvre,1 I find it necessary to unravel the intricate relation of creative involution that ties Deleuze to Bergson and that sweeps them both along in a common though not an undifferentiated bloc of becoming. I begin by locating the point of diffraction between the two thinkers in their respective conception of the ties between thinking and the cinema.


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters

Why the Cinema?

In a section of Creative Evolution titled Form and Becoming, Bergson establishes a parallel between the natural mechanism of knowledge that his method of intuition seeks to overcome and the cinematograph. For him, the best the cinema can do is artificially reconstitute movement, in a mode comparable to Zeno chopping up Achilles stride in a doomed attempt at accounting for mobility. Bergson writes, This is what the cinematograph does. With photographs, each of which represents the regiment in a fixed attitude, it reconstitutes the mobility of the regiment marching (1998, 304/1998, 305). Now where does the mobility that animates the image come from? According to Bergson, the mobility is in the apparatus.To which apparatus is he here referring? In 1907, it is unlikely that he could be referring to the mobility of the camera.The projector itself obviously does not move. So the mobility must be in the unrolling of the film reel. The process consists in extracting from each figures own proper movement an impersonal, abstract, and simple movement, in putting this movement in general in the apparatus, and in reconstituting the individuality of each particular movement by combining this anonymous and external movement with personal attitudes. The artifice of the cinematograph thus matches the mechanism of our acquisition of knowledge by means of analysis:Instead of attaching ourselves to the inner becoming of things, we place ourselves outside them in order to recompose their becoming artificially (ibid., 305/306). Like the pragmatic operation of our knowledge, the cinema seems to prohibit the immediate intuition of the becoming that subtends all forms. Indeed, Bergson concludes,The mechanism of our usual knowledge is of a cinematographic nature (ibid.). In the cinema books, Deleuze picks up on this Bergsonian insight, combines it with the theory of pure perception from the first chapter of Matter and Memory, and contends that in this consists Bergsons extraordinary leap forward: to see the material universe as cinema (motion picture, i.e., moving image) in itself, or as metacinema. However, Deleuze adds, this visionary insight implies a totally different view of the cinema from the one Bergson proposes in his explicit critique (1983, 88/2001, 59). The central insight animating Deleuzes cinema books is precisely that the cinema does not imitate natural perception; on the contrary, it frees itself from it, thereby presenting us with the means to go beyond everyday experience to its source. Image and Movement First Deleuze shows that the shot (plan) is not an immobile section of some abstract movement, as Bergson thinks. Insofar as it establishes the movement between the parts of an ensemble in a frame, or between one ensemble and another in a reframing, the shot relates movement to a whole that changes


Cinematic Thought picture, for example, the great spiral in Hitchcocks Vertigo (1958), which can become the vertigo plaguing Scottie, but also the circuit he covers in his car, or the curl in Kim Novaks hair, or even the overall spiraling down to his death of Scottie that animates the plot of the movie as a whole.The shot, then, is not so much an immobile section of abstract movement as it is a mobile section of duration (or of concrete time). Indeed, for Deleuze, this is precisely what defines the movement-image: it is a mobile section of duration. While natural perception introduces halts, fixed points, and separate points of view, cinematographic perception works continuously in a single movement whose very halts are an integral part of it and are only a vibration upon itself (1983, 36/2001, 22). In other words, the essence of the cinematic movement-image lies in extracting from movements the mobility that is their common substance.This, of course, is precisely what Bergson wanted: to extract from the relative movements of moving bodies the mobility or absolute movement that is their essence; to grasp the reality of movement as a change in quality of the whole rather than a mere local change of place (1997a, 219/1991, 196); to grasp the kinetic nature of mobility over and beyond mechanical movements of translation. Finally, Deleuze contends:
[B]ecause Bergson only considered what happened in the apparatus (the homogenous abstract movement of the procession of images) he believed the cinema to be incapable of that which the apparatus is in fact most eminently capable of: the movement-imagethat is, pure movement extracted from bodies or moving things. This is not an abstraction but an emancipation. (1983, 3738/2001, 23)

The difference between Bergsons and Deleuzes understanding of the status of the cinematographic (or kinetic) image thus lies in their respective localization of the source of the mobility of the moving image. Bergson ascribes the mobility of the image to the artifice of the mechanical apparatus. He treats the cinematographic image as a mere assemblage of discontinuous photographic poses to which mobility is artificially added from without. Accordingly, such an image remains incapable of accounting for the real qualitative transformations (that is, the duration) implied in any movement of translation (or spatial displacement). In contrast, Deleuze ascribes the mobility of the image not to an external mechanical cause (the unrolling of the reel) but rather to a set of features inherent in the very production of the cinematic image. Accordingly, the frame, shot, and montage must be recast within this wider genetic perspective. It is already worth noting that the technological advances separating Bergsons own experience of what the cinema can do from Deleuzessuch as the moving camerado not suffice to account for their differing conceptions of the movement-image. Nevertheless, such technological advances certainly do


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters facilitate the decentralization or deterritorialization that for Deleuze is another essential characteristic of the movement-imagepicture, for instance,Vertovs camera-eye constantly shifting points of view, the alternance between tracking shots and photograms, and so on.2 Acenteredness and Deterritorialization:The Experience of Pure Perception In fact, Deleuze insists, there lies the second great advantage the cinema presents over natural perception: Precisely because it lacks a centre of anchorage and of horizon, the sections it makes would not prevent it from going back up the path that natural perception comes down (1983, 85/2001, 58, trans. modified).What the cinema can do, its power (puissance) or essence (what defines it from the outset), is allow for an experience of pure perception, of the realm of acentered movement from which conscious perception must be deduced.Thus Deleuze concludes, Even in his critique of the cinema Bergson would be on a level with it, to a far greater degree than he thinks (ibid., trans. modified). The crucial difference, of course, is that while for Bergson pure perception had to remain an in principle hypothesis, Deleuze holds that the cinema yields a real experience of it. If, as I have been arguing, the import of the theory of pure perception over transcendental idealism consisted in allowing for an immanent account of the emergence of consciousness from mobile materiality, then the Deleuzian interpretation of the cinematographic movement-image goes even farther in the direction of pure immanence. In effect, The Movement-Image traces the genesis of consciousness back to a particular experience rather than a speculative methodological artifice.The cinematic images power is therefore to give access to the virtual experience of acenteredness and deterritorialization that characterizes pure perception. Not only does it replace the conditions of experience within experience (superior empiricism); it also redefines those transcendental conditions in terms of lightmatter, of material vibration, or of Becomingrather than form. The cinema thereby contributes to the elaboration of what I call a material transcendental. But that is not all. Thought and the Sensible Form of Time While The Movement-Image inaugurates a reading of the cinematic image as performing a transcendental function (i.e., grounding experience) by reinterpreting the transcendent form of space in terms of immanent material becoming, in The Time-Image the transcendental status of the image achieves full completion.There Deleuze tracks down the irruption of a new element, which is going to prevent perception from being extended into action, and put it into contact with thought instead. There, over and beyond the emergence of everyday consciousness from material vibration, what is accounted


Cinematic Thought for is the irruption of thought from within the image. Deleuze calls this new element the pure optical or sound situation, characterized by a detachment from action, which reaches its highest expression in the Nouvelle Vague (1985, 8/2001, 1). From Antonionis LAvventuras (1960) aimless wanderings (the search for the lost woman on the bare island quickly makes way for a series of lonesome roamings about the failure of individual encounters) to Godards lifeless passions and furious yet thwarted attempts at completing political and artistic projects (Passion), what bursts out of the image every time is a situation no longer determined by the ups and downs of the action, or the perception-action-affection triad that characterizes the movementimage.3 In that triad,
what the spectator perceived . . . was a sensory-motor image in which he took a greater or lesser part by identification with the characters. Hitchcock had begun the inversion of this point of view by including the viewer in the film. But it is now that the identification is actually inverted: the character has become a kind of spectator. He shifts, runs and becomes animated in vain, the situation he is in outstrips his motor capacities on all sides, and makes him see and hear what is no longer subject to the rules of a response and an action. He records rather than reacts. He is prey to a vision, pursued by it or pursuing it, rather than engaged in an action. (1985, 9/2001, 3, trans. modified, emphasis added)4

In this vision or pure optical situation stemming from motor impotence, Deleuze tells us, what we find is the point of indiscernability between the spectator and the spectacle, between the real and the imaginary, or even between the objective and the subjective.
We run in fact into a principle of indeterminability, of indiscernability: we no longer know what is imaginary or real, physical or mental, in the situation, not because they are confused, but because we do not have to know and there is no longer even a place from which to ask. It is as if the real and the imaginary were running after each other, as if each was being reflected in the other, around a point of indiscernability. (1985, 15/2001, 7, emphasis added)5

To the extent that the optical situation replaces the motor action, new connections and new circuits are uncovered. Pure optical situations put the senses (now emancipated from the requirements of action) into a direct relation with time, that is, with thought.With this direct presentation of time (the time-image) rather than the indirect representation of time we get in the movement-image, there is no need to invoke transcendence, since the defining characteristic of the time-image consists precisely in making time or thought sensible, in making them visible and audible.6


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters From Clichs to Camera Consciousness The pure optical situation takes us beyond the sensory-motor schematas informing the logic of recognition in accordance with which we perceive less than the whole thing or the whole image.As Bergson noted, we ordinarily perceive only what interests us in virtue of our pragmatic (i.e., economic, ideological, or psychological) exigencies.We ordinarily perceive only clichs. However, Deleuze adds,
[i]f our sensory-motor schemata jam or break, then a different type of image can appear: a pure optical-sound image, the whole image without metaphor, brings out the thing in itself, literally, in its excess of horror or beauty, in its radical or unjustifiable character, because it no longer has to be justified in terms of good or evil. (1985, 32/2001, 20, trans. modified)

Faithful to his seminal Nietzschean inspiration, Deleuze claims that the timeimage thus understood takes us beyond good and evil not so much in the sense of going beyond or transcending slave morality as in the sense of indicating or signifying the other, excessive side of the real.What is to be encountered on that other side? Pure powers (puissances) of expansion and forces of becoming.The important thing for us, at this point, is that according to Deleuze, these immanent forces of becoming are also, at the same time, mental relations. Of course, the key word here is excess (as opposed to the diminution that characterizes the Bergsonian account of consciousness). Following Deleuze, we can indicate at least three dimensions (or powers) in which the time-image expands beyond sensory-motor schematas and operates a junction between material vibration and thought. In the first place, this excess signifies that the movement-image has not disappeared. Rather, it now exists as the first dimension of an image whose powers keep expanding in excess of spatial dimensions. The movement-image no longer forms a circuit with an image of time (for example, the whole derived from montage). It now enters into relation with a direct time-imagepicture, for instance, the numerous nonchronological layers of the past through which the central character of Alain Resnaiss Je taime, je taime (1967) travels endlessly while his body remains locked up in a womblike cell. This in turn indicates a fundamental reversal of the relation between time and movement, whereby time takes priority over movement: time is no longer the measure of movement, but movement has become the perspective (or measure) of time (1985, 34/2001, 22). In this reversal consists the main import of the Deleuzean notion of the time-image over the movement-image. This emancipation of time from movement indicates a second dimension of expansion of the image. As Deleuze notes, at the same time the eye takes on a visionary function, the visual and aural elements of the image enter into


Cinematic Thought internal relations, which means that the whole image has to be read, no less than seen, readable as well as visible. For the eye of the seer as of the soothsayer, it is the literary quality (littralit)7 of the world which constitutes it as a book (ibid., trans. modified). For Deleuze, this means that in the time-image, the reference to some supposedly independent object out there does not disappear entirely, but it becomes subordinated to the internal elements and relations that tend to replace the object, to always displace it (ibid.). In short, the time-image gives rise to another type of signs, the signposts of the mental relationsor of the thought-sideof what I call the material transcendental.8 This principle of the readability of the cinematographic image holds the key to much of Deleuzes take on the cinema and the ability he attributes to the cinema to produce a direct time-image by establishing a direct connection between the actual elements of the image and the virtual or mental relations that constantly displace them.This readability of the image holds the key to the complicity Deleuze sees between the cinema and philosophy (as well as to the connection I see between the time-image and the Proustian image).This complicity between the cinema and philosophy (both understood as intersecting practices) is due to Deleuzes famous contention that it is at the level of interference of many practices that things are made, beings, images, concepts, all the kind of events (1985, 365/2001, 280). Of course, this level of interference coincides precisely with what, elsewhere, Deleuze calls Becoming, or the plane of immanence. Finally, the third dimension of the great reversal involved in the passage from the movement-image to the time-image lies in the transformation of the function of the camera.We noted earlier that Bergsons dismissal of the movement-images ability to emancipate mobility from movements of translation may not be entirely due to the fixity of the camera characteristic of the early cinema he explicitly criticized. In fact, with the passage to the time-image, the fixity of the camera no longer presents the only alternative to movement.Even when it is mobile, the camera is no longer content sometimes to follow that characters movement, sometimes itself to undertake movements of which they are merely the object, but in every case it subordinates description of a space to the functions of thought (ibid., 35/36). It is no longer only the characters who imagine, remember, question, object, hypothesize, or experiment, but it is the camera itself. This is Hitchcocks dream come true: a camera-consciousness which would no longer be defined by the movements it is able to follow or make, but by the mental connections it is able to enter into (ibid.). To sum up, we could say that by going beyond the movement-imageby liberating the image from the sensory-motor schematas, by becoming a pure optical and sound image, by connecting itself to excess forces and opening itself up to the powerful revelations of the time-imagethe cinema does not simply make us think.As it acquires the power to break away from the clichs of ordinary experience, the cinema itself thinks.


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters

Toward the Crystal-Image: A Vision of the Genesis of Time

The Recollection-Image (limage-souvenir) Let us note that Deleuzes account of the emergence of thought from within the cinematic image in terms of the images powers of expansion presents striking parallels to Bergsons theory of attentive recognition, or of the intellectual effort (which both involve a passage from one plane of consciousness to anotheror from automatism to thought). To begin with, the constitution of the pure optical image depends on the jamming or breaking of our sensorymotor schematas (clichs or automatic recognition); then, if this image cannot prolong itself into action, it gives rise to a visionary experience. Similarly, the experience of attentive recognition as described by Bergson ultimately depends on true or imaginative memorys independence from the bodys pragmatic orientation: To call up the past in the form of an image [rather than to simply play it or act it out], we must be able to withdraw ourselves from the action of the moment, we must have the power to value the useless, we must have the will to dream (1997a, 87/1991, 82).The difference, at this point, is that Bergson is here suggesting that only humans have this capacity, whereas Deleuze ascribes it to the machinic processes inherent in the production of the cinematic image: the cinema does not merely make us think; it itself thinks. Moreover, Bergson ascribes this detachment from action to the power of a human will, while Deleuze finds that it proceeds from the impossibility of assimilating the intolerable, or from an experience of fundamental impotence. I argue that such differences speak to a perhaps unbridgeable gap between the two thinkers conceptions of thought, the first remaining decidedly humanist or anthropocentric, the other emphatically machinic (though not mechanistic). Second, what Deleuze finds in this visionary experience is the point of indiscernability between the physical and the psychological, the real and the imaginary, or the objective and the subjective. Similarly, Bergson accounts for the introduction of the cone of memory into present materiality informing full recognition in terms of the indiscernability between perception and memory. As he puts it, there is no doubt that any memory-image9 that is capable of interpreting our actual perception inserts itself so thoroughly into it that we are no longer able to discern what is perception and what is memory (ibid., 113/103). It is clear that for both thinkers, this point of indiscernability is precisely the mark and the condition of the passage from movement to time, or from the sensory-motor situation to the pure optical and aural situation. Third, we may want to claim that the pure optical image in Deleuze corresponds to the memory-image in Bergson. As such, not only does it redouble or recreate the supposed independent object (what Bergson calls representation memory), it also displaces it constantlyjust as the past displaces the present in attentive recognition. Hence the readability of the image, which not


Cinematic Thought only conditions the pure optical images intrinsic connectedness to thought but also exhibits its infinite powers of expansion. Finally, it is very tempting to see a connection between what Deleuze calls the powers of expansion of the image and the increasingly wider circles of memory that attentive recognition must draw upon in order to throw light on the object perceived.This seems to coincide with the process of dilation examined in the second chapter, which Bergson illustrates with his first great schema.10 In fact, Deleuze does not hesitate to draw this connection explicitly:
How can we say that it is the same object [the heroine in Rossellinis Europe 51 sees a factory and thinks she is seeing convicts] which passes through different circuits, because each time description [or the formation of a pure optical sound image] has obliterated the object, at the same time as the mental image has created a different one? Each circuit obliterates and creates an object. But it is precisely in this double movement of creation and erasure that successive planes and independent circuits, canceling each other out, contradicting each other, joining up with each other, forking, will simultaneously constitute the layers of one and the same physical reality, and the levels of one and the same mental reality, memory or spirit. As Bergson says,it will be seen that the progress of attention results in creating anew, not only the object perceived, but also the ever-widening systems with which it may be bound up; so that in the measure in which the circles, B, C, D represent a higher expansion of memory, their reflection attains in B, C, D deeper strata of reality. (1985, 65/2001, 46, emphasis added)11

Nevertheless, we must keep in mind that in Bergsonism, the recollectionimage still pertains to the actual, since by definition, as an image, it coincides with the process of actualization of virtual memories. But for Deleuze, it is to a decidedly virtual image that the optical image gets connected. Now what can play the role of a virtual image? Beyond the Flashback:The Memory of the Present If the time-image is to yield an insight into the essentially productive nature of thought (and not merely into its derivative aspect from perception), then the visionary experience involved in great modern cinema must take us beyond the expanding circuits of memory, beyond dreams even. While the latter may be understood as a means to the virtualization of the image (its detachment from action and emancipation from clichs), that is not enough.This is because the flashback, which traditionally conveys the relation between recollection-images and actual images, actually remains a closed circuit, which goes from the present to the past and brings us back to the present. But, Deleuze warns us, the flashback remains a very conventional, extrinsic device, generally indicated by


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters a dissolve-link. As such, it is like a signpost with the words: Watch out! Recollection. It indicates a causality that may be psychological but is still analogous to sensory-motor determinism and only confirms the progression of a linear narration (1985, 67/2001, 48). In short, the flashback does not yield any true point of indiscernability between the real and the imaginary or past and present. In fact, the flashback must be given its necessity from elsewhere, just as recollection-images must be given the internal mark of the past from elsewhere (ibid.). This means that thus understood, neither the flashback nor the recollection-image can be said to constitute genuinely virtual images: they may be actualizing a virtuality, but they do not deliver the past itself; rather, they represent the old present that the subject has been. Now we know from Bergsons seminal distinction between two kinds of memory that this type of representation-memory indicates the deeper strata of reality mentioned earlier: the other side, the virtual or unconscious side of the real. But they are not identical. Both in the second chapter of Matter and Memory and in his 1908 The Memory of the Present: False Recognition Bergson argues that for memory to preserve its independence from the body and to remain self-sufficient, it must have constituted itself as recollection immediately, at the same time it was present.12 Subtending any recognition (or the mechanism by which we establish a rapprochement between a recollection and a present perception), there is therefore a virtual plane in which the past survives in itself, and not merely as an old present.This virtual plane is the one that holds the secret of thoughts inherent productivity (over and above its derivativeness from perception). According to Deleuze, this also is the plane with which the pure optical image has the power to establish a junction. What is to be encountered on that virtual plane? Deleuzes first answer is the crystal-image. On the one hand, although the recollection-image expands conscious perception into the ever-vaster powers of memory or thoughtthereby operating a virtualization of the presentit remains caught up within the actual.This means that if our inquiries are to yield some genuinely transcendental insights, then what needs to be discovered is the genetic element of the pure optical image.We know that this genetic element must somehow coincide with a point of indiscernability, solely capable of allowing for a purely immanent account of the transition from the actual to the virtual. So far, however, if I am right in establishing a parallel between the Deleuzean time-image and the Bergsonian memory-image, then all we have found is a point of confusion between perception and memory, whereby the memory-images insertion into the actual perception is still dependent upon its usefulnessand therefore upon the requirements of action (see 1997a, 113/1991, 103, quoted earlier).This confusion remains of a subjective nature. However, if this point of indiscernability is to be sufficiently grounded, if it is to hold the key to any significant insight into the nature of the relations between the actual and the virtual, then it ought to correspond


Cinematic Thought to an objective illusion, an illusion that is not merely accidental but necessary. This necessary illusion Deleuze finds in the crystal-image. While the memory-image finds its figuration in the expanding circuits of memory and the correlative deepening layers of reality (B-B, C-C, D-D in Bergsons first great diagram, see n. 10), the crystal-image is an elaboration or an expression, rather, of the AO circuit (object O and its immediate or spontaneous image) around which the memory-image is articulated. In other words, while the memory-image coincides with the dilation of consciousness inherent in the time-image, the crystal-image corresponds to the smallest circuit or the most contracted point, which must be presupposed by the wider circles. Deleuze writes:
The cinema does not just present images, it surrounds them with a world.This is why, very early on, it looked for bigger and bigger circuits which would unite an actual image with recollection-images, dream-images and worldimages. . . . Should not the opposite direction have been pursued? Contracting the image instead of dilating it. Searching for the smallest circuit that functions as internal limit for all the others and that puts the actual image beside a kind of immediate, symmetrical, consecutive or even simultaneous double. The broad circuits of recollection or of dream assume this narrow base, this extreme point, and not the other way around. . . . Ever vaster circuits will be able to develop, corresponding to deeper and deeper layers of reality and higher levels of memory or thought. But it is this most restricted circuit [short-circuit (court-circuit)] of the actual image and its virtual image which carries everything, and serves as internal limit. (1985, 9293/2001, 6869, emphasis in original)

On the one hand, the flashback or the recollection-image remains an external condition for the possibility of the time-imageindicating that the timeimage must find its justification elsewhere (say, for instance, in destiny). Here the foundation of the time-image remains relative or contingent, that is, baggy. On the other hand, the crystal-image (the short-circuit) constitutes the internal condition for the reality of the time-image. As such, it embodies superior empiricisms exigencies for conditions of reality rather than possibility, which must not only be internal, but also tightly fitted, to what they condition. My contention is that the crystal-image holds the secret of Deleuzes superior empiricism. What does this mean? First, that the crystal-image yields an experienceor rather it generates an experimentationof the perpetual foundation of time.This is the aspect I will examine in the next section. Second, it means that this experimentation lies beyond consciousness, beyond memory, recollection, or dreams (since the dream-image still has to be attributed to a dreamer, and the consciousness of the dream has to be attributed to a spectator; in short, the dream-image does not present a point of indiscernability). In


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters the next chapter, I reinterpret this experimentation as the experience of death in light of Deleuzes reading of Proust. We will show that ultimately the crystal-image thus understood marks Deleuzes departure from Bergsonism. Finally, to say that the crystal-image holds the secret of Deleuzes superior empiricism means that the crystal-image, in all of its aspects and implications, embodies the Deleuzean demand for pure immanence.This is because insofar as the crystalimage marks the necessary interruption of linear narrative (or history), it is the central figure informing Deleuzes nondialectical metaphysics of becoming.13 The Crystal-Image:Times Scission Rendered Visible In Cinema 2, Deleuze writes:
There is no doubt that attentive recognition, when it succeeds, comes about through recollection-images: it is the man I met last week at such and such a place. . . . But it is precisely this success which allows the sensory-motor flux to take up its temporarily interrupted course again. So that Bergson constantly circles around the following conclusion, which will also haunt cinema: attentive recognition informs us to a much greater degree when it fails than when it succeeds. When we cannot remember, sensory-motor extension remains suspended, and the actual image, the present optical perception, does not link up with either a motor image or a recollection-image which would re-establish contact. It rather enters into relation with genuinely virtual elements, feelings of dj vu or past in general (I must have seen that man somewhere . . .), dream-images (I have the feeling that I saw him in a dream . . .), fantasies or theater scenes (he seems to play a role that I am familiar with . . .). In short, it is not the recollection-image or attentive recognition which gives us the proper equivalent of the optical-sound image, it is rather the disturbances of memory and the failures of recognition. (1985, 75/2001, 5455, emphasis in original)

Bergsons conclusion appears clearly in his discussion of aphasia in the second chapter of Matter and Memory. But it is perhaps best articulated in his essay on false recognition.14 There he argues that false recognition is due to two concomitant factors; first, the diminution of psychological tension (or the dilation implied in dreamlike states); second, the objective splitting of the image (1996, 124/1975, 123). And then he adds, [T]here are morbid or abnormal states which seem to add to normal life, to enrich it rather than to lessen it. Delirium, hallucination, obsession are positive facts. They consist in the presence, not the absence of something.They seem to introduce into spirit certain new ways of feeling and thinking (ibid., 125/124). He contends that such phenomena may in fact constitute the normal operation of the mind simply, what keeps them from surfacing in most cases is the presence and con-


Cinematic Thought stant activity of antagonistic mechanisms designed to ensure attention to life. Bergson suggests that this must be because the formation of memory is never posterior to the formation of perception; it is contemporaneous with it. Step by step, as perception is created, the memory of it is projected beside it, as the shadow falls beside the body. But, in the normal condition, there is no consciousness of it (ibid., 130/128, emphasis in original). In fact, Bergson concludes, this continuous splitting of the image conditions the very formation of recollection: Either the present leaves no trace in memory, or it is twofold at every moment, its very up-rush being in two jets exactly symmetrical, one of which falls back towards the past whilst the other springs forward toward the future (ibid., 13132/130). It appears that what ultimately conditions natural perception and normal recognition (as folding over of past and present) is this originary splitting of the image. It is this memory of the present (or the immediate coexistence of the present with its past) that makes past and present communicate from within. Here, what is to be encountered is the formation of an image with two faces, actual and virtual at the same time (1985, 93/2001, 69).When the actual optical image crystallizes with its own virtual image on the most contracted circuit (the AO circuit discussed earlier), what presents itself is the genetic element of the objective illusion informing the birth of thought. This genetic element is what Deleuze calls the crystal-image. This crystal-image finally presents us with the true point of indiscernibility responsible for the genesis of thought. It does not suppress the distinction between the two faces or the two sides of the real; it simply makes them unattributable, each side taking the others role in a relation which must be described as reciprocal presupposition, or reversibility (ibid., 94/69). This exchange or reversibility is therefore not produced in the mind: it is not a subjective illusion. Rather, it is the objective characteristic of certain existing images that are by nature double (ibid.). We are finally in a position to answer the question, what do we see in the crystal? What we see in the crystal is none other than the perpetual foundation of time: the continuous splitting of the present into two heterogeneous directions, one that preserves all of the pastor spontaneous memorythe other that makes all of the present passmemory as a function of the future (ibid., 109/81).15 It is in this sense that we could affirm, at the beginning of this chapter, that with the time-image, the image achieves its transcendental status. We can now see that over and beyond recollection-images or dreamimages, the truth, the essence, or the ultimate power of the time-image lies in the crystal-image. It is there that finally, time qua perpetual nonchronological self-foundation becomes visible. In this cinema of the seer, the visionary encounters time in person, a little bit of time in its pure state (Proust), the very distinction between the two sides of the image that keeps reconstituting itself (ibid., 110/82).16


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters Recapitulation Before we go on to explore further the nature and the determinations of this experimentation of time in its pure state in the next chapter, let me attempt to summarize what we have seen so far. I began by noting that in contrast to Bergson, Deleuze contends that the cinematographic movement-image must be understood as a mobile section of duration (or of concrete time) rather than an immobile section of abstract movement.Thus, Deleuze explains, the movement-image presents an emancipation (rather than an abstraction) of mobility from movement.This means that insofar as the movement-image puts forth the qualitative change informing any movement of translation, it constitutes the overcoming of the Eleatic paradoxes that Bergsons philosophy is seeking. It appears that the mobility of the image is not artificially added from without as in the mechanistic accounts of reality Bergson tirelessly criticizes. Rather, the mobility is shown to be inherent in the very production of the cinematographic image. For Deleuze, this means that the cinematic process of production is not mechanistic: it is machinic. Since this image remains inherently connected to the essential mobility of the real, then we can say with Deleuze that the movement-image allows for going beyond natural perception or usual experience to its sourcethis, of course, being one of the central projects of Bergsonism. As in Bergsons philosophy, it quickly appears that for Deleuze this source of experience is dual: material and spiritual, actual and virtual.We know that in Bergson the material side of the genesis of conscious experience is discovered through the theory of pure perception.This theory argues for the necessity of positing a primeval world of moving images constantly acting and reacting upon each other.The deduction of consciousness consists in tracing the emergence of a center (my body) from this acentered world of images. I argued that in Cinema 1, Deleuze goes even farther in the direction of pure immanence when he shows that the movement-image actually yields an experience of such acenteredness. Pure perception is no longer a mere speculative methodological artifice: with the cinema, it becomes an actual experience. One of the reasons the cinema plays such a significant role in Deleuzes philosophy, then, is that it can be shown to contribute to the elaboration of what I have called the material transcendental, since it yields an account of the material genesis of conscious experience. Further, I argued that in Cinema 2 Deleuze tracks down the other, the mental or spiritual side of the source of consciousness. He holds that the image characteristic of great postwar cinema (beginning with Italian neorealism and Orson Welles) is marked by the irruption of a new element from within the image. We could say that by portraying situations that outstrip the characters motor capacities, such cinema tracks down the formation of interiority. No longer subject to the rules of response and (re)action, the character involved in


Cinematic Thought the pure optical and aural situation stemming from motor impotence records rather than reacts; he becomes prey to visions rather than an agent of actions. This is because this pure optical situation puts the senses into a direct relation with time or thoughtwhich is to say, with the other, excessive side of the real: in a word, with the Outside. Since the formation of interiority depends on the powers of expansion of the image, it is ultimately shown to be dependent on the forces of the Outside.The optical situation thus constitutes the passage from the movement-image to the time-image. The first implication of this passage consists in the reversal of the relation between time and movement, whereby time is no longer the measure of movement (as in the Aristotelian or, more generally, the metaphysical tradition); rather, movement has become a perspective (or the measure) of time.The second great implication consists in the introduction of a principle of readability of the image. This means that in the description involved in the time-image, the reference to the external object has not disappeared, but it has become subordinated to the internal elements and relations that tend to displace the object, or even to replace it. Here we can begin to see the formation of a point of indiscernability between the real and the imaginary, the objective and the subjective, or the actual and the virtual. Accordingly, the third implication of this passage from movement to time lies in the transformation of the function of the camera, which is no longer relegated to following the characters movements. Whether mobile or immobile, the camera subordinates the description of a space to the functions of thought. According to Deleuze, this marks the realization of Hitchocks dream of a camera-consciousness defined by the mental relations it is capable of entering into. Finally, I argued that what is at stake in this passage from the movement-image to the time-image is that the cinema no longer simply makes us think: the cinema itself thinks. I then suggested that this marks an implicit yet a crucial move on Deleuzes part.While he embraces the Bergsonian insight in accordance with which the mechanism of our usual knowledge is of a cinematographic nature (1998, 305/1998, 306), Deleuze radicalizes that insightor rather, he offers its precise counterpoint. The significance of the cinema for Deleuzes philosophy fully comes into focus when we realize that, in fact, it is not so much the mechanism of our usual knowledge but rather the machinism of thought, which is of a cinematographic nature.This is important, because ultimately what it means is that Deleuzes philosophy yields a conception of productive thought that needs to be distinguished from Bergsons epistemological approachalthough Bergson, as we saw, does ascribe a major role to creativity in thought. At this point, I want to recall a hypothesis I have already put forth, which will need to be confirmed in what follows. My hypothesis is the following: While this idea of machinism is undoubtedly rooted in Bergsons seminal distinction between spiritual determination and material determinism, or between duration (freedom, life) and mechanism, it goes one step farther in


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters the overcoming of sterile dualismthat is, in the affirmation of pure immanence.This step I locate in the Deleuzean concept of the crystal-image. The key to understanding the crystal-image lies in the Bergsonian idea of the memory of the present. This idea, which establishes the immediate doubling over or the immediate coexistence of the present with its own past, is the necessary foundation for the true point of indiscernability Deleuze is after. In this point of indiscernability lies the junction with the virtual plane, which alone can deliver the past in itself. Only by thus delivering the past in itself (rather than the old present it has been) can the image give us insights into the genetic element of thought, testifying to the essentially productive nature of thoughtrather than relegating thought to a more or less inadequate copy of the flowing real. Only then can the Bergsonian project of overcoming dualism and transcendental idealisms contingent limitations be realized. In the final analysis, what the point of indiscernability presented in the crystal-image embodies is the reciprocal presupposition, or the reversibility of the actual and the virtual, the real and the imaginary, matter and spirit. As an objectively dual image, the crystal-image testifies at once to the essentially dual aspect of the real and to the immanent, continuous exchange between its two sides.As Deleuze points out, what we see in the crystal is the spontaneous doubling, the perpetual foundation of time qua splitting between past and future within the present: a little bit of time in its pure state, as Proust most insightfully put it. Toward the Proustian Image: Crystalline Life and the Race to the Tomb In Cinema 2, Deleuze distinguishes between several states of the crystal. He writes:
What we see in the crystal is always the bursting forth of life, of time, in its doubling or differentiation. However, in opposition to Renoir, not only does nothing leave the crystalsince it keeps on growingbut it is as if the signs of selection are reversed. In Fellini, it is the present, the parade of presents that pass, which constitute the danse macabre. They run, but to the tomb, not towards the future. (1985, 121/2001, 91)

Although the crystalline structure relies on the bipolarity of the image and the constant exchange or perfect circuit between the two sides, it soon appears that the crystal cannot remain undisturbed. In Renoir, the flaw characteristic of the crystal is revealed in the depth of field. For example, The Rules of the Game (1939) produces a circuit or coexistence of the actual image of living beings and the virtual image of automata, the actual image of characters and the virtual image of their roles during the party, the actual image of the masters and their virtual image in the servants, and so on.Everything is mirror-images, dis-


Cinematic Thought tributed in depth. But depth of field always arranges a background in the circuit through which something can flee: the crack (1985, 113/2001, 85).Thus Deleuze continues:
Without recourse to violence, and through the development of an experimentation, something will come out of the crystal, a new Real will come out beyond the actual and the virtual. Everything happens as if the circuit served to try out roles, as if roles were being tried in it until the right one were found, the one with which we escape to enter a clarified reality (une ralit dcante). (1985, 114/2001, 86)

What flees through the crack is a new Real: the scene launching itself toward a future, creating a future as a bursting forth of life (1985, 117/2001, 88). But while what we see in the crystal is always a bursting forth of life, it is only in one of its states that this bursting forth appears as a fleeing toward the future. In the Fellinian state of the crystal, on the contrary, this bursting forth stems from the depths of the past. Amarcord (1973) depicts a group of schoolboys:
The timid one, the prankster, the dreamer, the good pupil, etc., who meet in front of the big hotel as soon as the season is over; and, while the snow crystals fall, each on its own and yet all of them together sketch a clumsy dancestep or an imitation of a musical instrument, one going in a straight line, another tracing circles, another turning round on the spot. . . . They lodge themselves in a depth which is no longer that of memory, but that of a coexistence where we become their contemporaries, as they become the contemporaries of all the seasons past and to come.The two aspects, the present that passes and goes to death, the past which is preserved and retains all the seeds of life, repeatedly interfere and cut into each other. (1985, 122/2001, 92, emphasis added)

I have highlighted the elements of the Fellinian crystal-image with which we will meet again as we turn to the Proustian theme of the powers of death and forgetting, constantly interfering with, yet at the very same time always constituting the resurrections and transmutations involved in the narrators apprenticeshipespecially as it is depicted in the final Guermantes matine crowning the revelations of Time Regained. Finally, Deleuze suggests, there may be yet another state of the crystal, when it is grasped in its decomposition. The work of Visconti testifies to this. Most significantly, for us, Deleuze suggests that the most important element in Viscontis crystals is the idea or the revelation that something comes too late:
This something that comes too late is not an accident that takes place in time but a dimension of time itself. As a dimension of time, it is, through the crystal, the one which is opposed to the static dimension of the past as this survives


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters
and weighs in the interior of the crystal. It is a sublime clarity which is opposed to the opaque, but it has the property of arriving too late, dynamically.As perceptible revelation, the too-late is a matter of unity of nature and man, as world or milieu. But as sensual revelation, the unity becomes personal. (1985, 12627/2001, 96)

Picture, for instance, the wifes pregnancy in The Innocent (1976), which rekindles her husbands desire for her. But this rekindling of course happens too late: the child is not the husbands, and the impossibility of forgetting that plagues the characters precipitates the killing of the child, the killing of innocence, albeit with a perfectly clear conscience, says the infanticide husband. In fact, this impossibility of forgetting precipitates all of them to the grave except the mistress, alone capable of accepting the radical unpredictability of the future. In fact, Deleuze continues, this searing too-late explains the direction in which Visconti would have taken on a translation of Proust: the work of art made from the pleas of aristocratic decadence and dereliction. For in the end, the too-late conditions the work of art, and conditions its success, since the perceptible and sensual unity of nature and man is the essence of art par excellence, insofar as it is characteristic of it to arrive too late in all other respects, except precisely this one: time regained (1985, 128/2001, 97).


Proust and Thought: Death, Art, and the Adventures of the Involuntary

What man can live and never see death? Psalm 89 Proust does not in the least conceive change as a Bergsonian duration, but as a defection, a race to the grave. Gilles Deleuze, Proust and Signs But let a noise, a scent, once heard or once smelt, be heard or smelt again in the present and at the same time in the past, real without being actual, ideal without being abstract, and immediately the permanent and habitually concealed essence of things is liberated and our true self which seemedhad perhaps for long years seemed to be dead but was not altogether dead, is awakened and reanimated as it receives the celestial nourishment that is brought to it. A minute freed from the order of time has re-created in us, to feel it, the man freed from the order of time. Marcel Proust, Time Regained

One major difference between Bergsons and Deleuzes philosophies lies in their respective accounts of the workings of thought. I have argued that this difference 123

Bergson-Deleuze Encounters comes into focus when we realize that for Deleuze it is not so much the mechanism of our usual knowledge (Bergson), which is of a cinematographic (or cinmatique: kinetic) nature, but rather the machinism of thought.This is important because ultimately it means that Deleuzes philosophy yields a conception of productive thought that needs to be distinguished from Bergsons epistemological approach. In what follows, I intend to explicate this claim further. I will examine the arrangements that Deleuzes thought establishes with Marcel Prousts literature to engender extraordinary philosophical insights into the nature, the genesis, and the workings of thought in relation to life, death, art, and machinic becomings.

Death Is the Truth of Thought

Truth and Reality: From Bergsonian Intuition to Deleuzean Thought Bergsons project of overcoming the dead ends of dualism culminates in his affirmation of the absoluteness of knoweldge (as opposed to the relativity to which Kants system had condemned it), which his method of intuition aims to establish.As is paradigmatically instantiated in Kants transcendental idealism, the scientific intellect has forsaken the living, ever-changing, and creative real for the sake of securing its critical grasp on itself and its phenomenological environment. The main problem with such an approach is that it fails to acknowledge the fundamental distinction between two domains of knowing, namely, the scientific (or pragmatic, spatial) and the philosophical (or speculative, temporal).1 The Bergsonian method of intuition thus consists in using intelligence against itself to return to the source of experiencenamely, duration, life, or the lan vital. For Bergson, this methodological return into the temporal flow of creative evolution is precisely what defines the specific task of philosophy. Finally, he says, it is only at the point of convergence or integration between the two tendenciesscientific and philosophical, respectively most capable of adopting and following the two movements of the realor the two multiplicities, that truth may be found.2 As he puts it in one of his many letters to his friend William James,
I began to read your Pragmatism the moment I received it by post and I have not been able to put it down before finishing it. It is the admirably drawn programme for the philosophy of the future. . . . When you say that for rationalism reality is ready-made and complete from all eternity, while for pragmatism it is still in the making, you give the very formula of the metaphysics which I am convinced we will come to, which we would have come to long ago if we had not remained under the charm of Platonic idealism.Would I go so far as to affirm with you that truth is mutable? I believe in the mutability


Proust and Thought

of reality rather than that of truth. If we can make our intuition accord with the mobility of the real, would not this accord be something stable, and would not truthwhich can only be this accord itselfparticipate in this stability?3

I suggest that despite his numerous strides toward a genuinely new philosophy capable of grasping the real in its vitality, Bergson remains committed to an otherwise conventional conception of truth as the stablethough not immutableaccord with reality.This connotes a number of implications. First, this implies that for Bergson the real can and should be distinguished from the imaginary, and that it is philosophical thoughts primary task to secure that distinction; in contrast, we saw that what Deleuze finds in the cinematographic crystal-image is precisely the point of indiscernibility between the real and the imaginary necessary to gain insight into the genesis of time, thought, and subjectivity.The second implication of Bergsons definition of truth is that thoughts return to the source of experience must proceed from a voluntary effort, on the part of the intellect to wring itself around to resist its natural tendency to fall into the inertia of habit and to rejoin dead materiality. In short, Bergson clearly insists on affiliating thought with spirit, memory, and life, on the one hand, while aligning the intellect with habit, automatism, matter, and death, on the other.These Bergsonian unmixings are always only the result of a violent effort aimed at working out the exact nature of the mixesand consequently the mode of their convergence and interaction. But it appears that for him the spark of creation always has to be situated on the vital side associated with spirit and the will, whereas for Deleuze, as for Proust, spirit, art, and thought will ultimately be aligned with the adventures of the involuntary and the race to the grave. Third, this in turn suggests that for Bergson genuine philosophical thought (or intuition) must be defined as a faculty capable of adopting and following the vital movement of the realthereby implying that creative evolution precedes thought or, more precisely, that thoughts creativity is a function of evolutions creativity. In contrast, Deleuze will insist with Proust that the creativity of thought must be first, and that the truth has to be produced.4 Ultimately, it seems that for Bergson thought remains equated with knoweldge of reality (intuition, or what could be called superior recognition), a knoweldge he calls truth, which stems from a personal effort of the will to rejoin the ever-changing duration that subtends it, and which coincides with spiritual freedom rather than material mechanism. Now the account of thought we get from Deleuze appears quite different, as it is explained in terms of accidental encounters with signs that force it to think, in terms of impressions or affects that demand to be explicated, in terms of processes of spiritualization by means of which worlds and subjects are formed, in terms of a dark, timeless dimension of transpersonal reality out of which truths and essences must be produced.This difference between Bergons and Deleuzes conceptions of thought becomes most apparent when seen


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters through the Proustian lens of The Search for Lost Time.5 Let us then embark with Deleuze on an experimental journey into The Searchs narrators continuous struggle with his own inability to live, to write, to create a work of artin short, to think beyond the chains of the intellect, beyond the inertia of habitual life, and in and through the gripping anxieties of time lost, time wasted, and time regained. The Emergence of Thought, or, Arent We Thinking Already? I intend this journey to convey that although Bergsons equation of thought with the knoweldge of life opens up numerous avenues for the philosophy of the future, it does not, in the end, yield an account of the very emergence of thought. While his philosophy offers a thoroughly insightful account that concludes that knowledge can and should be thoughtful, creative, and therefore truthful, it does not tell us why we would want to engage in such a difficult and painful quest. It all happens as if, like Plato, Descartes, Kant, Hegel, and pretty much every philosopher before Nietzsche, Bergson remained indebted, at least partially, to what, in Difference and Repetition, Deleuze calls the dogmatic, orthodox or moral image of thought. Deleuze writes,When Nietzsche questions the most general presuppositions of philosophy, he says that these are essentially moral, since Morality alone is capable of persuading us that thought has a good nature and the thinker a good will, and that only the good can ground the supposed affinity between thought and the True (1997, 172/1991, 132). To be sure, Bergson does not subscribe uncritically to the first postulate of the dogmatic image of thoughtin accordance with which thought has a good naturesince for him genuine thought stems precisely from the resistance to and the reversal of the intellects natural tendency. But is he not embracing the second postulatethereby falling back into the firstof the goodwill of the thinker, when he makes the effort of the will and voluntary memory so central to his method, and when he makes attentive recognition the model of knoweldge? Instead of this dogmatic image of thought, Deleuze proposes a thought without an image: The thought which is born in thought, that act of thinking which is neither given nor presupposed by reminiscence but engendered in its genitality, is a thought without an image (ibid., 217/167). But, he adds,What is such a thought, and how does it operate in the world? (ibid.). The last chapter was dedicated to examining the conditions of such a thought, and paradoxically, with the late Deleuze we found these conditions enveloped in a certain kind of image: the crystal-image. But this image also was the product of a fundamental reworking of Bergsons cinematographic model of intellectual knowledge. In fact, I maintain that the Deleuzean crystal-image of the 1980s provides the model for this thought without an image that


Proust and Thought Deleuze has been after throughout his life. So far, however, following Deleuzes fertile reading of Bergson, we have merely laid down the conditions for such a thought.We have not yet given a positive account of itof what it is and of how it operates in the world. My contention is that Prousts masterpiece, together with Deleuzes reading of it, provides a privileged milieu for such an account. If it is the case that Bergsons philosophy gives a descriptive account of how knowledge can and should be thoughtful, as well as an implicit prescription that it ought to be so, yet without telling us why we would engage in such a quest; if it is true, as I am suggesting, that his implicit solution to the resulting problems lies in his postulate of the goodwill of the thinker; then it is precisely at this point that Proust intervenes, taking up the baton from Bergson (ibid., 115/85). Deleuze says no less when, in the conclusion of the first part of Proust and Signs, he writes:
If time has great importance in the Search, it is because every truth is a truth of time. But the Search is first of all a search for truth. Thereby is manifested the philosophical bearing of Prousts work: it vies with philosophy. Proust sets up an image of thought in opposition to that of philosophy. He attacks what is most essential in a classical philosophy of the rationalist type: the presuppositions of this philosophy.The philosopher readily presupposes that the mind as mind, the thinker as thinker, wants the truth, loves or desires the truth, naturally seeks the truth. He assumes in advance the goodwill of thinking; all his investigation is based in a premeditated decision. (1998b, 115/2000, 94)

The thesis I develop here is the following. By determining anew the conditions in accordance with which philosophical thought may, and indeed must, go back to the source of experience (vital duration), by pointing the way of resistance to intellectual knoweldges natural slope (which leads it to fuse with habit, inertia, and death), Bergson has opened up avenues for what one may call, following Gregg Lamberts insight, Deleuzes non-philosophy.6 However, Bergson remains indebted to a philosophical, dogmatic image of thought that posits truth as knoweldge of the real and presupposes the goodwill of the thinker. In the language of the last chapter, we could say that the Bergsonian image of thought does not quite deliver the point of indiscernibility between the real and the imaginary that forms the kernel of the crystal-image and yields the key to the genitality of thought, time, and subjectivity. As such, Bergsons philosophy does not quite yield the thought without an image or the experimentation of pure immanence that Deleuze is after.7 In short, although Bergsons entire uvre could be read as a genealogical quest for the source of experience, it may not, for that matter, also account for the genitality of thoughtthat is, for the spark that provides the reason for the continual yet fortuitous genesis of a thought that must not be equated with knowledge or representation.


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters He gives himself spirit, matter, and the image that lies in between, and then he works out the causes (both mechanical and nonmechanical) in accordance with which consciousness arises from them. In the end, these causes all fall under the general heading lifeunderstood in its dual nature: actual and virtual, memory and creation, positive movement in constant struggle with material negativity, and so on. My contention, then, is that from a Deleuzean perspective, something is still missing from the Bergsonian account. In the final analysis, what is missing is the why and how of thought: the event of thought. For instance, what is it that happened to the man Henri Bergson to make him embark on his own philosophical quest? What made him realize that traditional science and philosophy were wrongheaded, and that knowledge was in dire need of a new philosophy? I believe that these are the questions Prousts own Search has the power to answer. What is it that has to happen in order that the activity of thinking be born? One very general answer could be death. As Maurice Blanchot saw, it is not only life, which ultimately holds the key to the event of thought, but also deathit is the confrontation with death from within a life, the irruption of forgetting within memory, the incapacitation of the will by mortal anguish which sparks the activity of thinking within thought. In The Experience of Proust, Blanchot writes:
This anguish that surrounds the work with an ever more stifling horizon of sadness finds its most complete expression in a feeling of death that no illusion conceals. . . . But mortal anguish is not only expressed in the fact of death; it is also profoundly linked to the conditions of life, experienced in the irregularities and slumbers that forgetting introduces into an awareness that is losing itself and restores itself only by chance.Time lost [le temps perdu] is by no means lost because of death, which, by the end, inevitably destroys that which it could cause to appear; time is lost because one continually dies, and, except for some fortuitous exception, one is ones own ruin, the definitive ruin of the being who has lived such a moment of time. The feeling of time lost is the experience of a loss, like that of death, a loss that probably has no sense, no law, and that causes us to live each instant in the perspective of a double bottomless abyss. (2001, 43)

To this experience of death Deleuze will add the thought of death. This is because, as we will see, what happens in the last volume of The Search is that this experience of death gets transmuted, transfigurated into the work of art qua thought of death. Echoing Proust, Deleuze concludes that art is superior to life. To sum up one last time the distinction I want to establish between Bergsons and Deleuzes conceptions of thought by means of Proust, I propose the following, slightly twisted, syllogism:


Proust and Thought 1. For Bergson, art equals life (creation), and life is the truth of thought (intuition). 2. For Deleuze (following Proust), thought equals (the encounter with and the transfiguration of) death (artistic production) and is the truth of life. 3. Therefore, death is the truth of thought. If, as I hope to show, this formula does work, then we will have to conclude that Deleuze is neither rejecting Bergons philosophy nor is he, strictly speaking, proposing an alternative for it. Rather, he is providing the ground/unground missing from it, by clearing it from its dogmatic presuppositions. But in this clearing process, the very sense of life, death, truth, art, creation, production, and thought are being revaluated.

How Might Death Be Put to Work?

Upon The Searchs narrators belated realization of the full force of his grandmothers being dead, he declares:
I did not know whether this painful and for the moment incomprehensible impression would ever yield up any truth. But I knew that if I ever did succeed in extracting some truth from the world, it would be from such an impression and from none other, an impression at once particular and spontaneous, which had neither been formed by my intelligence nor attenuated by my pusillanimity, but whose double and mysterious furrow had been carved, as by a thunderbolt, within me, by the inhuman and supernatural blade of death, or the revelation of death. (Proust 1999, 1329/1981, vol. 2, 78687)

In his invaluable essay, titled Time, Space, Forced Movement, and the Death-Drive: Reading Proust with Deleuze,8 Keith Ansell-Pearson gives a powerful analysis of the note on Proustian experiences from the second chapter of Difference and Repetition.There, Deleuze concludes that the Proustian formula a little bit of time in its pure state refers first to the pure past, the in-itself of the past or the erotic synthesis of time, but more profoundly to the pure empty form of time, the ultimate synthesis, that of the death-instinct which leads to the eternity of the return in time (1997, 160/1993, 122). Beyond memory,a little bit of time in its pure statethe crux of the Proustian reminiscencethus refers to the timelessness of time: to Hamlets time out of joint, emancipated from the Bergsonian duration; in a word, it refers to death. Echoing Deleuze,Ansell-Pearson points out that this death seems to haunt life, to highlight the contingent nature of our affections and attachments, and to rob life of any meaning or sense. He asks, How can thought work the idea of death, supposing it can? (2004, 184). More generally, with Deleuze and AnsellPearson, we want to ask, how can death be put to work?


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters Let us already point out that Deleuze defines death as the last form of the problematic, the source of problems and questions (1997, 148/1993, 112). It is in this sense that we can say that death coincides with the very source of thought,the non-being in which every affirmation is nourished (ibid.). Similarly, in Anti-Oedipus, Deleuze and Guattari claim that the experience of death is the most ordinary occurrence within the unconscious, precisely because it takes place in life and for life, in every passage and in every becoming (1972, 394/1994, 330). In what follows, I examine this idea of death and the function it plays in Deleuzes inspired departure from the Bergsonian account of thought as a function of life. Samuel Beckett confirms this reading in accordance with which the encounter with death forms the kernel of the Proustian epiphany.9 What is revealed in the experience of irreparable loss, in the powerful and incomprehensible impression mentioned earlier, is not only the effect of time (change, aging, deliquescence) but the very essence or force of time10the telescoping of past and present, the cruel anachronism that resurrects not only the lost object but also the lost subject. In Time Regained, Proust writes:
A moment of the past, did I say? Was it not perhaps very much more: something that, common both to the past and to the present, is much more essential than either of them? So often, in the course of my life, reality had disappointed me because at the instant when my senses perceived it my imagination, which was the only organ that I possessed for the enjoyment of beauty, could not apply itself to it, in virtue of the ineluctable law which ordains that we can only imagine what is absent. And now, suddenly, the effect of this harsh law had been neutralised, temporarily annulled, by a marvelous expedient of nature which had caused a sensationthe noise made both by the spoon and by the hammer, for instanceto be mirrored at one and the same time in the past, so that my imagination was permitted to savour it, and in the present, where the actual shock to my senses of the noise, the touch of the linen napkin, or whatever it might be, had added to the dreams of the imagination the concept of existence which they usually lack, and through this subterfuge had made it possible for my being to secure, to isolate, to immobilisefor a moment brief as a flash of lightningwhat normally it never apprehends: a fragment of time in its pure state. The being which had been reborn in me when with a sudden shudder of happiness I had heard the noise that was common to the spoon touching the plate and the hammer striking the wheel, or had felt, beneath my feet, the unevenness that was common to the paving-stones of the Guermantes courtyard and to those of the baptistery of St Marks, this being is nourished only by the essences of things, in these alone does it find its sustenance and delight. (1999, 2266/1981, vol. 3, 905)


Proust and Thought How Can the Pure Past Be Saved for Us? For Proust, the fundamental effect of involuntary memory is that it erases the ineluctable and vital flowing forward of time that characterizes the Bergsonian duration.To be sure, this is possible, because as Bergson saw not only does the past coexist with the present (the passive synthesis of the memory of the present) but also the entire past is preserved in itselfindeed, this is the very significance of the Virtual. But as Deleuze notes:
The passive syntheses are obviously sub-representative. The question for us, however, is whether or not we can penetrate the passive synthesis of memory; whether we can in some sense live the being in itself of the past in the same way that we live the passive synthesis of habit.The entire past is conserved in itself, but how can we save it for us, how can we penetrate that in-itself without reducing it to the former present that it was, or to the present in relation to which it is past? How can we save it for us? It is more or less at this point that Proust intervenes, taking up the baton from Bergson. (1997, 11415/1993, 84, emphasis in original)11

Thus it appears that the point at which Proust takes up the baton from Bergson is precisely the point where an accidental encounter with a random impression does not only reveal that the entire past survives virtually but also the point where the pure past is saved for usby setting involuntary memory into action. It is the point where art surpasses life, because thought is forcefully delivered in and through the habitual, superficial self s confrontation with its own death. Beckett gives a remarkable account of the painful and incomprehensible impression in light of which the explosion of involuntary memory operates a reorganization of habit (Deleuzes first synthesis of time) over and beyond memory (the second synthesis of time), thereby revealing the empty form of time (death, the third synthesis, the eternal return).12 On the narrators second visit to Balbec, a year after his dear grandmothers death, he stoops down to unbutton his boots and is suddenly filled with a divine familiar presence that of his dead grandmother. Until then, the narrator had not fully realized thus neither experienced nor mournedthe death of his grandmother, for the person he had watched dying was so greatly diminished by the strokes she had suffered that she was no longer quite the adored figure he had known all his life, and who had consoled and cajoled him as the breakdown of his old habits had gripped him with terror upon their first trip to Balbec. Beckett sums up the revelation arising from the simple gesture of stooping down to unbutton his boots in these terms:
Now, a year after her burial, thanks to the mysterious action of involuntary memory, he learns that she is dead. . . . But he has not merely extracted from


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters
this gesture the lost reality of his grandmother: He has recovered the lost reality of himself, the reality of his lost self. As though the figure of time could be represented by an endless series of parallels, his life is switched over to another line and proceeds, without any solution of continuity, from that remote moment of his past when his grandmother stooped over his distress. (1957, 27)

Here Beckett seems to be attributing the work of extraction and recovery of the past to the narrator, to a he or an Ialbeit an I cracked open by the empty form of time. If we are to fully understand the nature and determinations of this experimentation of time in its pure state, and consequently, the redefinition of truth informing Deleuzes philosophy, then we ought to inquire further into the relation between this cracked I and the empty form of time. While the accidentally encountered impression, as a sign, is that which provides the occasion for the resurrection (or rather, the erection) of the pure past, a difficult work of interpretation must take place in order for the very essence or truth of the experience to be producedthat is, for the past to be saved for us. Proust explains that the signs he stumbles upon in his everyday experiences are like hieroglyphs, which appear to be representing only material objects, but which in fact are hiding something else, a thought, which he endeavors to discover. He writes:
No doubt the process of decipherment was difficult, but only by accomplishing it could one arrive at whatever truth there was to read. . . . In fact, both in one case and in the other, whether I was concerned with impressions like the one which I had received from the sight of the steeples of Martinville or with the reminiscences like that of the unevenness of the two steps or the taste of the madeleine, the task was to interpret the given sensations as signs of so many laws and ideas, by trying to thinkthat is to say, draw forth from the shadowwhat I had merely felt, by trying to convert it into its spiritual equivalent. And this method, which seemed to me the sole method, what was it but the creation of a work of art? (1999, 2271/1981 vol. 3, 912, emphasis added)

In the image of thought provided by Proust, thought must not only capture the event of its own birthin a mystical experience marked by the emancipation from time; if it is to yield any truth, it also requires the difficult work of interpretation.Thus if we are to make any strides toward the workings of the relation between the I and the empty form of time, then we now find ourselves confronted with two crucial questions. First, who interprets? Second, what does Proust really mean when he defines thinking in terms of this conversion of a feeling into its spiritual equivalent?


Proust and Thought The Ultimate Interpreter: Jealousy and the Strangers Within Who is it, then, who interprets the signs? Of course, it cannot be the habitual, superficial, social self ensnared in habitor the mystical experience could not happen in the first place, and no actual thinking or drawing forth from the shadow would take place. Could it be the deep self, which, as described by Bergson in Time and Free Will, is at one with the durations virtual multiplicity of mutually interpenetrating states? This is not likely either, since that self coincides with a voluntary effort of contraction which, for Bergson, is equated with freedom. I suggest that in Proust the interpreters are not selves; rather, they are affects: jealousy, anxiety, sorrowall of those dark, surprising, and troubling strangers within that we habitually prefer to keep at bay, that we refuse to recognize or integrate whenever they distatefully show up at the door.13 For, as Deleuze and Guatarri point out,The affect is not a personal feeling, nor is it a characteristic; it is the effectuation of a power of the pack that throws the self into upheavals and makes it reel.14 But The Searchs narrator shamelessly and obscenely lets them in:
My first reaction had been to ask myself, angrily, who this stranger was who was coming to trouble me.The stranger was none other than myself, the child I had been at the time, brought to life within me by the book which, knowing nothing of me except this child, had instantly summoned him into his presence, wanting to be seen only by his eyes, to be loved only by his heart, to speak only to him. (1999, 2276/1981, vol. 3, 920)

As we will see, to claim that the interpreters of signs are not selves but affects is to say that the difficult work of interpretation, the task of thinking itself, is incumbent upon machinic becomings rather than subjects.This is why Deleuze can claim, in Proust and Signs, that in the final analysis, the ultimate interpreter is time (1998b, 157/2000, 12930). In his assessment of Proustian semiology, Deleuze distinguishes between four types of signsthe worldly signs (les signes mondains), the signs of love, the material signs, and the signs of arteach type corresponding to the formation of a world. The first world is the worldly circle of the socialites, peopled with stereotyped and vacuous signs whose characteristic feature is that they do not signify anything else but rather stand for what they replace, claiming to be equivalent to it (for instance, Mme Verdurin makes a sign that she is laughing with Cottard instead of actually laughing).The second world is that of love and its deceitful signs. The beloved expresses a possible world unknown to us, implying, enveloping, imprisoning a world that must be deciphered, that is, interpreted. . . . To love is to try to explicate, to develop these unknown worlds that remain enveloped within the beloved (1998b, 14/2000, 7, emphasis in original).This remark points to the first determination of that which Deleuze calls the sign: like Albertines lies, it is at once deceitful on the surface and


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters revealing of an implicated, enveloped, hidden truth on a deeper level (for instance, the truth of her imprisoned homosexuality). The third type of signs consists in the material signs of the world of sensuous impressions or qualities (stooping over ones boots, Vinteuils little phrase, the cobblestones, the madeleine).What distinguishes them from the deceitful signs of love from the outset is that they immediately produce a prodigious joy, whose origin remains mysterious. This mystery produces a certain imperative of a mental effort to seek the signs significancealthough it often happens that we evade or put off this imperative, out of laziness, impotence, or bad luck (ibid., 19/12). Finally, if the sense of the sign does appear, it yields the concealed object it implicates (the death of the grandmother or Combray in its purity, as they were never lived). While Deleuze explicitly associates jealousy with the signs of love, he later insists that Jealousy is the very delirium of signs (ibid., 167/138).As such, jealousy forms the veritable logic of the search: the logic of open boxes and sealed vesselsof the obsession with and impossibility of immuring, appropriating, containing the beloved, fused with the necessity to keep searching, to keep developing the innumerable enveloped worlds she or he expresses. Jealousy thus coincides with the imperative, autonomous, and endless demand, inherent in love, to keep interpreting all of the signsendless for, even when love dies, even when the beloved dies, the old, insecure, suffering, and jealous stranger within may still be resurrected upon a chance encounter. Neither the narrators loss of interest for Albertine the prisoner nor her deathher emancipation from timewill calm his jealousy.This is because, as Beckett notes, they and their love were amphibious, plunged in the past and the present, straddling so many scattered times and places that the unification and possession of them all is impossible.As Proust puts it,In order to be consoled, I would have to forget, not one, but innumerable Albertinesand, Beckett adds,Not only I but the many Is (1957, 43): the incommensurable plurality of Is. I wish to emphasize the significance of this casting of affects (in particular, of jealousy) in the role of interpreters of signs.What is at stake here is Deleuzes revaluation of truth and of the genesis of thought in light of the nonphilosophical image of Proust. In fact, what is at stake is no less than the Deleuzean understanding of the relations between time, subjectivity, knowledge (as apprenticeship rather than knowing, as we will see later), art, philosophy, truth, essences, thought, and production. In the final analysis, then, what is at stake in Prousts casting of the affect of jealousy as the ultimate interpreter upon which the genesis of thought is incumbent is Deleuzes ontology of machinic becomings. In Proust and Signs, Deleuze writes:
Jealous of Albertine, interpreter of Charluswhat is the narrator, ultimately, in himself? To accept the narrator and the hero as two subjects (subject of nonciation and subject of nonc) would be to refer the Search to a system of subjectivity (a doubled, split subject) that is alien to it.There is less a narrator


Proust and Thought

than a machine of the Search, and less a hero than the arrangements by which the machine functions under one or the other configuration, according to one or another articulation, for one or another purpose, for one or another production. (1998b, 217/2000, 181)

Finally, if the idea of death can be put to work, it is for the sake of the production of truth. What Deleuze finds in Prousts literature is a monstrous and an amphibious machine capable of putting the idea of death to work for the sake of the future, of life, of a reading and a creation of concepts: of the genitality of thought.Through Deleuzes lens, then, Prousts literary machine yields an image of thought that vies with philosophy, a thought without an image capable not only of following the movement of life (Bergson) but also of remaining faithful to, and of becoming equal to, the event of life. Here I am echoing (albeit in a different context) Ansell-Pearsons final word on the difference between what he insighfully calls Deleuzes schizoanalytic reading of Proust and Julia Kristevas psychoanalytic slant in Time and Sense. Ansell-Pearson writes:
What makes Proust a supremely modernist writer for Deleuze is the fact that he constructs an individuating world from out of fragments, in which its parts are produced as asymmetrical sections and exist as hermetically sealed boxes, noncommunicating vessels . . . in which there are gaps even between things that are contiguous, gaps that are affirmations, pieces of puzzle belonging not to any one puzzle but to many (AO, p. 51, pp. 4243).The whole of the novel is itself a production but it too is produced as a part alongside other parts, it does not serve to unify or totalize these parts.The psychoanalysis-inspired reading would refuse to see becomings taking place in the novel and stress only the closed system of supra-egotistical self.This is a self that has fully incorporated itself and feeds not only on the idea of death but on the deaths the narrator stages, anticipates and executes. . . . For [Deleuze] philosophy cannot be restricted to the territory of subjectivity since subjectivity is a black hole. (2004, 19596)

This then draws to a close our answer to the first of the two crucial questions involved in the problematic of the relation between the I and the empty form of time. If it is possible to talk of a self or a subject of The Search, then this subject is the product rather than the source of experience: an essentially plural and incommensurable body without organs whose necessary fragmentation coincides with the affective and ideal incorporation of death.

Art as the Production of Essences

The second question we asked earlier was the following: What does Proust really mean when he defines thinking in terms of the conversion of a feeling


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters into its spiritual equivalent? It is here that we must inquire into the role and significance of what Deleuze calls the signs of art in Proust, for it is through those that this conversion is effected. I am hoping that this inquiry into the process of spiritualization informing the Proustian/Deleuzean revaluation of truth and essences in terms of artistic production also will bring to light the final and, in my view, most fundamental point of diffraction between Bergson and Deleuze, namely, the difference between (voluntary) creativity and (involuntary) productivity. The Apprenticeship: Knowledge and Learning At the closing of the third chapter of Difference and Repetition, Deleuze establishes a distinction between knowledge (savoir) and learning (apprendre). He writes:
The exploration of Ideas and the elevation of each faculty to its transcendent exercise amounts to the same thing. These are two aspects of an essential apprenticeship or progress of learning. . . . Learning is the appropriate name for the subjective acts carried out when one is confronted with the objecticity of a problem (Idea), whereas knowledge designates only the generality of concepts or the calm possession of a rule enabling solutions. (1997, 21314/1993, 164, emphasis in original)

Clearly this distinction between the realm of Ideas (learning) and the realm of concepts (knowledge) fits in with Bergsons insight, in accordance with which philosophical thinking must be situated on the level of the position of true problems rather than the search for solutions. Says Bergson, A speculative problem is solved as soon as it is properly stated. By that I mean that its solution exists then, although it may remain hidden and, so to speak, covered up: the only thing left to do is to uncover it. But stating the problem is not simply uncovering, it is inventing (2001, 1293).And, he continues, invention here coincides with an effort, which gives being to what did not exist; it might never have happened (ibid.).This is why, in Deleuzes view, the first rule of the Bergsonian method of intuition calls for applying the test of true and false to problems themselves, and for reconciling truth and creation at the level of problems (1998a, 3/1988, 15). Finally, to pose a true problem (to invent) consists in stating problems and solving them in terms of time rather than space.This is the third rule of intuition, and according to Deleuze, it gives the fundamental meaning of intuition, which consists in thinking in terms of duration (ibid., 22/31). It thus appears that ultimately Bergson and Deleuze agree about the nature of thinking. It must involve creation, invention, and for this very reason, it must be situated on the temporal or nonlocal plane. However, I continue to affirm that in the final analysis this temporal, nonlocal, or virtual plane on which thinking must be situated does not operate according to the same determina-


Proust and Thought tions for Bergson and Deleuze. While Bergson defines this temporal plane in terms of vital duration (or the second synthesis, of memory), Deleuze relates it to a third synthesis, of the empty form of time or the timelessness of time that is, death. In other words, while both Bergson and Deleuze define thought in terms of creation and invention, this creation does not quite mean the same thing for them both. Hence the centrality of the theme of production in Deleuzes account of truth and essences. Once again, this is where Proust takes up the baton from Bergson. In a typically iconoclastic move, Deleuze insists that,
Prousts work is not oriented to the past and the discoveries of memory, but to the future and the progress of an apprenticeship (apprentissage). What is important is that the hero does not know certain things at the start, gradually learns them, and finally receives an ultimate revelation. . . .As a matter of fact, a certain partial revelation appears in a certain realm of signs, but it is sometimes accompanied by regressions in other realms, it is drowned in a more general disappointment or even reappears elsewhere, always fragile, as long as the revelation of art has not systemized the whole. (1998b, 36/2000, 26)

Thus this systemization or unity of the Searchin a word, its truthis the result of a long, painful, and discontinuous process of learning; in short, it is the result of the subjective acts carried out when one is confronted with the objecticity of a problem (Idea) (1997, 214/1993, 164). This result consists in the revelation of art, but what does this objecticity of the problem consist in? What does this Ideathe fundamental element of thoughtconsist in? In Difference and Repetition, Deleuze explains, It is the signs which cause problems and are developed in a symbolic field.The paradoxical functioning of the facultiesincluding, in the first instance, sensibility with respect to signs thus refers to the Ideas which run throughout all the faculties and awaken each one of them in turn (ibid.). This is precisely why Proust and Signs constitutes such a priviledged milieu for the exploration of the Deleuzean understanding of thought: it is there that Deleuze engages in his most extensive study of those signs that cause problem thereby entering into certain configurations with the Ideas that run the machine of the activity of thinking. Now if they are to run thoughout all the faculties and awaken each one of them in turn, then these Ideas (or intensities) cannot coincide entirely with the material element of thought. Rather, they must be the result of a process of spiritualization. In the Search, it is art that has the power to effect this spiritualization. Spiritualization and Style:Thinking without an Umbrella In Proust and Signs, Deleuze points out that the superiority of the signs of art over all others lies in the fact that only the signs of art are immaterial (1998b,


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters 51/2000, 39, emphasis in original).Thus,It is only on the level of art that the essences are revealed, for while the wordly signs, the signs of love, and even the sensuous signs bring us closer to the essence, they always fall back into the trap of the object, into the snare of subjectivity (ibid., 51/39). The material signs are material both in their emission (odors, flavors, loved faces are still matter) and in their development or explication. Deleuze writes:
The madeleine refers us to Combray, the cobblestones to Venice, and so on. . . . So that each time memory intervenes, the explanation of the signs still involves something material. . . . Proust often speaks of the necessity that weighs upon him: that something always reminds him of or makes him imagine something else. But whatever the importance of this process of analogy in art, art does not find its profoundest formula here. As long as we discover a signs meaning in something else, matter still subsists, refractory to spirit. On the contrary, art gives us the true unity. . . .The essence is precisely this unity of sign and meaning as it is revealed in the work of art. Essences or Ideas, that is what each sign of the little phrase reveals. . . .The superiority of art over life consists in this: all the signs we meet in life are still material signs, and their meaning, because it is always in something else, is not altogether spiritual. (1998b, 53/2000, 40)

The absolute privilege of art over life is that it reveals the essence or Idea qua true unity, but this unity of sign and sense is neither simple nor immutable. This is because it coincides with the junction of the two multiplicities, of difference in kind and difference in degree, of absolute difference and repetition, of spiritualization and materialization. Of course, this absolute or ultimate difference is not empirical; it is no more the extrinsic difference between objects than it is the difference between subjects. Rather, the essence revealed in the work of art is the difference that constitutes being and makes us conceive being (1998b, 53/2000, 41). As such, it is not only individual but also individualizing (ibid., 56/43). In Prousts inimitable words:
Real life, life at last laid bare and illuminatedthe only life in consequence which can be said to be really livedis literature, and life thus defined is in a sense all the time immanent in ordinary men no less than the artist. But most men do not see it because they do not seek to shed light upon it. . . . But art, if it means awareness of our own life, means also awareness of the lives of other peoplefor style for the writer, no less than colour for the painter, is a question not of technique but of vision: it is the revelation, which by direct and conscious methods would be impossible, of the qualitative difference, the uniqueness of the fashion in which the world appears to each one of us, a difference which, if there were no art, would remain for ever the secret of every individual. . . . Thanks to art, instead of seeing one world only, our own, we


Proust and Thought

see that world multiply itself and we have at our disposal as many worlds as there are original artists, worlds more different from one another than those which revolve in infinite space, worlds which, centuries after the extinction of the fire from which their light first emanated, whether it is called Rembrandt or Vermeer, send us still each one their special radiance. (1999, 2285/1981, vol. 3, 93132, emphasis added)

Like the great modern cinema examined in the last chapter, then, literature holds the power to yield the only true life, the only truth, because it alone has the visionary character necessary for revealing the multiple, self-altering, and transpersonal essence that habitually lies enveloped within the material signs and the abstract subjects. If art is superior to life, it is not so much because it is opposed to it or transcends it. Rather, art is the true art of living:In short, this art which is so complicated is in fact the only living art (1999, 2285/1981, 93132). As the unity of sign and sense, the true unity or essence revealed in the work of art is also, at the same time, the unity of life and art, of impressions and imagination, of the actual and virtual sides of the real. Indeed, the work of art is fundamentally visionary because in its double movement it yields an image of thought that vies with philosophy: on the one hand, it goes back up the slope down which habit and the intellect tumble, thereby revealing the absolute and necessarily implicated ultimate difference (in kind); this is the movement Deleuze calls spiritualization. On the other hand, art develops this implicated difference, it communicates this essence or incarnates it in a style. In so doing, art transmutes matter, forms a spiritualized matter. Echoing Proust, Deleuze writes:
At the same time that essence is incarnated in a substance, the ultimate quality constituting it is therefore expressed as the quality common to two different objects, kneaded in this luminous substance, plunged into this refracting medium. It is in this that style consists. . . .Which is to say that style is essentially metaphor. But metaphor is essentially metamorphosis and indicates how the two objects exchange their determinations, exchange even the names that designate them, in the new medium that confers the common quality upon them. . . .This is because style, in order to spiritualize substance and render it adequate to essence, reproduces the unstable opposition, the original complication, the struggle and exchange of the primordial elements that constitute essence itself. (1998b, 6162/2000, 4748)

Now this refracting medium and the site of this exchange, what could it be but the very telescoping of past and present, the minute freed from the order of time, the transcendental experience coinciding all at once with the vision of the birth of time, the emergence of thought, and the event of a life?


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters Be it through producing cinematographic crystal-images or great literature, the work of art is superior to life because it is the only means of recovering Lost Time (1999, 2287/1981, vol. 3, 935). The time has now come to put an end to this exploration of Deleuzes revaluation of thought in light of Prousts artistic apprenticeship. But we are now, finally, in a position to risk an answer to the second problem, stated at the opening of this section.What does Proust really mean when he defines thinking in terms of the conversion of a feeling into its spiritual equivalent? What he means is that the activity of thinking can only be sparked by the chance encounter with an impression; that an involuntary sensitivity to signs is thus a precondition for any true thinking to take place; that this sensivity often translates as a certain courage in the face of strange, disturbing, destabilizing affects (jealousy, mortal anguish, profound sorrow); that this courage consists in a certain force, an obscene necessity to learn, accompanied by the perversethat is, unconscious and unintentionalwillingness not to know; that in this unconscious force lies a powerful becoming-artist, which constitutes the milieu for the struggle and exchange between the actual and the virtual determinations of the Real. In short, if to think is to convert a feeling into its spiritual equivalent, then to think is to give up on the habitual and intellectual opinions crowding conscious life; it is to dive into the abyss of the empty form of time, to confront the chaos, the darkness, and the madness that are always lurking thereand to draw out planes from them. In this consists precisely the definition of thought we get from Deleuzes and Guattaris late What Is Philosophy?: What defines thought in its three great formsart, science, philosophyis always confronting chaos, laying out a plane, throwing a plane over chaos (tirer un plan sur le chaos) (1991, 186/1994, 197).15 To think, then, is always to think without an umbrella.



Bergson-Deleuze Encounters: Machinic Becomings and Virtual Materialism

Movement occurs not only, not primarily, by filiative productions but also by transversal communications between heterogeneous populations. Becoming is a rhizome, not a classificatory or genealogical tree. Becoming is certainly not imitating, or identifying with something; neither is it regressing-progressing; neither is it corresponding, establishing corresponding relations; neither is it producing, producing a filiation or producing through filiation. Deleuze and Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus There are cases where old age produces not eternal youth but a sovereign freedom, a pure necessity in which one enjoys a moment of grace between life and death, and in which all the parts of the machine come together to send into the future a stroke that cuts across all ages:Titian,Turner, Monet. Deleuze and Guattari, What Is Philosophy, trans. modified

Our experimental journey through Bergsons and Deleuzes revaluation of the transcendental in terms of the virtual has carved out some meandering, crisscrossing paths that may not have reached any final destination after all. This is


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters because in my view, they form the transversals necessarily subtending an encounter between Bergson and Deleuze. They embody at once the deceptively simple creativity of Bergsons thought, the complexity of Deleuzes relationship with Bergsonism, and the originality of Deleuzes own philosophy. Here, I briefly recapitulate my findings to sketch out the final image of a possible Bergsonism of the future. It appears that four main questions must drive this inquiry. First, what does Deleuze find in Bergson? Second, why the image, why this fascination with the image on Deleuzes part? Third, why read Deleuze after Bergsonor why reread Bergson now that we have Deleuze? And finally, what is the philosophical status of those machinic becomings that Deleuze opposes to all other conceptions of being, evolution, and production?

What Does Deleuze Find in Bergson?

One most general answer would be: a nondialectical way of thinking change or evolution. This happens through Bergsons theory of multiplicities, which, Deleuze claims, is Bergsons greatest invention. As early as Time and Free Will, the word multiplicity is no longer used in its usual sense, as an adjective (e.g., number is multiple, or the thing can be one or multiple) but as a veritable substantive (e.g.,number is a multiplicity). Now, as Bergson shows in the second chapter of Time and Free Will, to say number is a multiplicity does not mean the same thing at all as saying a multiplicity of numbers. In fact, when we use the word multiplicity as a substantive, what happens is that we thereby indicate that we are situating ourselves on an entirely different plane, which implies a displacement of all thought: for the dialectical opposition of the one and the many we have substituted a typological difference between multiplicities.1 Philosophical problems are no longer posed in the form of the question Is it one or multiple? but rather What type of multiplicity is itquantitative or qualitative? actual or virtual? For Deleuze, as for Bergson, such a displacement coincides with a move away from the abstraction that plagues dialectical thinking and toward the kind of superior empiricism capable of grasping things in their singular, genetic, differential, and self-altering essence. A second answer to this question, which is intimately connected to the first, would consist in saying, what Deleuze finds in Bergson is a new way of thinking causality. I have attempted to show that, on the one hand, one of the roles of the virtual, the duration, or the lan vital is precisely to provide an alternative to mechanical causality. On the other hand, I have suggested with Deleuze that for that matter the virtual is in no way indeterminateremember, the role of thought is not to precipitate us into chaos or madness once and for all but rather to draw a plane of consistency (science), a plane of composition (art), or a plane of immanence (philosophy) from it (1991, 186/1994, 197). In fact, I have argued that much of the cinema volumes is dedicated to discovering the rigorous deter-


Conclusion minations informing the virtual itself, as well as those governing the mutually constitutive relations between the actual and the virtual. In other words, echoing Keith Ansell-Pearson, we could say that what Deleuze finds in Bergson is a rethinking of the part-whole relationship.2 In Cinema 1, Deleuze writes:
It [the plane of immanence] is a set, but an infinite set. The plane of immanence is the movement (the facet of movement) which is established between the parts of each system and between one system and another, which crosses them all, stirs them all up together and subjects them all to the condition which prevents them from being absolutely closed. It is therefore a section; but, despite some terminological ambiguities in Bergson, it is not an immobile and instantaneous section, it is a mobile section, a temporal section or perspective. It is a bloc of space-time, since the time of the movement which is at work within it is part of it every time. . . . This is not mechanism, it is machinism. (1983, 87/2001, 59)

Thus if the role of philosophy, as most explicitly defined in What Is Philosophy?, is to draw a plane of immanence, and if drawing a plane of immanence consists in grasping the precise relations between parts, wholes, and to thereby determine rigorously the spatial and temporal elements involved in these relations (i.e., intensities, preindividual singularities, signs, and images), then it seems that what Deleuze finds in Bergson is a paradigmatic instantiation of the kind of philosophical thinking he wants to embrace. A third answer to this first driving question, and one that would perhaps encompass all others, would be to say that what Deleuze finds in Bergson is a genuine philosophy of Life.This is not only true of Creative Evolution. From the theory of multiplicities through Matter and Memorys assessment of the nature and functioning of the virtual whole of memory, to Creative Evolutions examination of the processes of differentiation of species and individuals on the basis of the lan vital and the tendency theory, we could say that everything in Bergson leads to a return of a thought that had been lost in the abstract skies of analysis to its most fundamental, vital springs.3 Finally, there is yet another way of answering this first question.We could say that what Deleuze finds in Bergsonism is an alternative to phenomenology. This is most patent in Cinema 1, where Deleuze gives an extensive rereading of the theory of pure perception and its implications. The formula Deleuze cherishes to describe the difference between Husserl and Bergson has now become famous: All consciousness is consciousness of something (Husserl); all consciousness is something (Bergson).4 Husserlian phenomenology and Bergsonism both endeavored to respond to the crisis that plagued psychology at the end of the nineteenth century, namely, the unbridgeable gap between materialism and idealism, that is, the tenacious idea that in consciousness there


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters are only unextended images, whereas in space there are only extended movements. Both Husserl and Bergson tried to overcome this duality of movement and image, but they did so in different ways. On the one hand, phenomenology located this overcoming in consciousness transcendent being-in-theworld: the subjects natural perception is the basis of its anchoring in the world, and the gestalt or sensible form organizes the perceptive field as a function of a situated intentional consciousness. On the other hand, Bergsons approach consists in deducing conscious perception from moving matter: consciousness is no longer the transcendent light needed to reveal an otherwise obscure matter; on the contrary, matter equals pure light, and consciousness is the opaque screen through which some of it gets filtered to become conscious perception.This marks a reversal of the tradition. Most notably, it makes Bergson an immanentist. In What Is Philosophy?, Deleuze and Guattari write:
Will we ever be mature enough for a Spinozist inpiration [of immanence]? It happenend once with Bergson: the beginning of Matter and Memory marks out a plane that slices through the chaosboth the infinite movement of a matter that continually propagates itself, and the image of a thought that everywhere spreads as in principle pure consciousness (immanence is not immanent to consciousness but the other way around)? (1991, 50/1994, 4849)

In fact, yet another way of defining this difference between Bergsonism and phenomenology revolves around the status they respectively ascribe to natural perception. In short, it has to do with their respective conceptions of the image.This, then, leads to the second guiding question.

Why the Image?

Why this fascination with the image on Deleuzes part? Why did he write two books with image in their title (the two cinema books)? Why is this distinction between the movement-image and the time-image (and the whole spectrum of other types of images he introduces, such as the perception-image, the action-image, the affection-image, the pulsion-image, the crystal-image, etc.) so central to Deleuzes own thought in the 1980s? Furthermore, why is the decisive third chapter of his 1968 Difference and Repetition called The Image of Thought?5 And why does his last published book (with Guattari, namely, their 1991 What Is Philosophy?) ultimately confirm Difference and Repetitions definition of philosophy as a thought without an image? Some answers to these questions rush forward. First, it seems quite obvious that books whose explicit project consists not in a history of the cinema but in a taxonomy (a classification of the images and signs invented by cinematic thinkers)6 would take images as their object of inquiry.Yet while Deleuze engages


Conclusion in minute analyses of films and auteurs, it appears quickly that this taxonomy is not limited to the cinema, and that in fact it aims at opening us up to a thinking of both the very nature of reality (the movement-image) and the conditions of experience (the time-image).This twofold task, in turn, aspires to liberate thought and experience from the yoke of representation (reduction of difference to the same), and of the psycho-transcendental presuppositions that accompany it (the privileging of natural perception, common sense, and the transcendence of consciousness). In this respect, the cinema books seem to fall fully in line with Difference and Repetition. Moreover, we have seen that if by image Deleuze only meant the kind of immobile section of movement that Bergson had in mind when he criticized the cinema, then it would make sense for Deleuze to call for a thought without an image. However, Deleuze ends up subjecting this original notion of image to a reinterpretation that culminates in the crystal-image. This crystal-image is not only emancipated from Representation, it also yields the very vision of the genesis of time, thought, and subjectivity that the logic of Representation and Critical philosophies had obstructed. The cinema books also explicitly present themselves, at least in part, as commentaries on Bergson. Of course, the centrality of the notion of image in Matter and Memory has been discussed extensively: since, Bergson notes, the image is neither a thing nor a representation, neither simply matter nor pure spirit, it is a privileged starting point for a philosophy animated by the project of overcoming the dead ends of dualismand we must keep in mind that Deleuzes constant drive toward pure immanence also must be understood as aligned with such overcoming. Connectedly, as noted earlier, the image is the nexus of the difference between Bergsonism and phenomenologyand it is of course one of Deleuzes ambitions to provide an alternative to the phenomenological thinking that dominates the philosophical landscape of the twentieth century. In this respect, following Lawlors astute analysis, it is worth adding that while the study of perception plays a fundamental role in Bergsons ontology of memory, his philosophy is not ultimately based in a primacy of perception (Merleau-Ponty); rather, it relies on the primacy of memory. In other words, as a phenomenology of perception, phenomenology is always based in an intentional consciousness: it never really escapes the philosophy of consciousness. In contrast, we have strived to show that Bergsons philosophy is a philosophy of the unconscious, since it is not intentionality that forms perception but memory (Lawlor 2003, 28). Thus while the image is traditionally equated with presence, the Bergsonian image consists, rather, in a deepening or a virtualization of the present.This virtualization of the present that we find in Bergson provides the springboard for Deleuzes conception of time as an ever-renewed splitting between past and future (the crystal-image).7 Indeed, we could add that Deleuzes radicalization of this fundamental splitting or doubling of time inaugurates his departure from


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters Bergson and a return to the Kantian insight that the time is essentially out of joint (Hamlet) and consequently, I is [and remains] an other (Rimbaud). This, then, takes us to the third guiding question.

Why Read Deleuze after Bergson?

If, as I have been arguing, Deleuze is so thoroughly inspired by Bergson; if he finds in his method of intuition, his ontology of the Virtual and his concept of the image the means to go beyond (or below) dialectical thought, the logic of representation and phenomenology; if, in short, Deleuze finds in Bergson the new conception of the transcendental necessary for a philosophy of pure immanencethen why read Deleuze after Bergson? Does Deleuze really have something to contribute to thought that was not already there, at least implicitly, in Bergson? Of course, the answer for me is yes. It is tempting to suggest one sole answer to this question: what Deleuze contributes to thought that was not already there in Bergson is Becoming.While this would seem to contradict the first answer to the first question (namely, that Deleuze finds in Bergson a nondialectical way of thinking evolution), I must insist that it does not. One reason Deleuzean Becoming cannot be reduced to Bergsonian Duration is that if the philosophy of Becoming must be defined as a thought without an image, then it cannot in any way be founded on recognition. In Difference and Repetition, Deleuze writes:
Like Bergson, we may well distinguish between two kinds of recognition that of the cow in the presence of grass [automatic recognition] and that of a man summoning his memories [full recognition]: the second can serve no more than the first as a model for what it means to think.We said above that the Image of thought must be judged on the basis of what it claims in principle, not on the basis of empirical objections. However, the criticism that must be addressed to this image of thought is precisely that it has based its supposed principle upon extrapolation from certain facts, particularly insignificant facts such as Recognition, everyday banality in person; as though thought should not seek its models among stranger and more compromising adventures. (1997, 176/1993, 135, emphasis added)

Here, in one of the very few remarks in which Deleuze explicitly points to a limitation in Bergsons approach, we can further locate his departure from his master. I have suggested that this departure consists in a different, more radical conception of transcendental experience, inspired by his reinterpretation of the Bergsonian vision of the world as metacinema.While Bergson concludes from this that the mechanism of our usual [i.e., intellectual, analytic, pragmatic, nonphilosophical] knowledge is of a cinematographic nature, Deleuze con-


Conclusion tends that it is the machinism of thought, which is of a cinematographic nature. For Deleuze, then, the cinema does not only imitate our thinking, and it does not only make us think, it itself thinks. Ultimately we could say with Deleuze that in contrast to Bergson
we no longer believe in a whole as interiority of thoughteven an open one; we believe in a force from the outside which hollows itself out, grabs us and attracts the inside. We no longer believe in an association of imageseven crossing voids; we believe in breaks which take on an absolute value and subordinate all association. It is not abstraction, it is those two aspects that define the new intellectual cinema. . . .The brain cuts or puts to flight all internal associations, it summons an outside beyond any external world. (1985, 276/2001, 212)

The Deleuzean brain no longer coincides with a delay in which the cone of memory inserts itself, as Bergson saw it. Following more recent discoveries in the neurosciences, the brain could now be described as a complex diagram riddled with interruptions, fragmented by irrational cuts (the cinematic fauxraccord), pervaded with little cerebral deaths, as Steven Rose put it.8 With Deleuze, the Bergsonian delay has been radicalized to the point where memory (understood as the survival of the past in the present) loses its primacy. Ultimately, while both thinkers seek to go beyond experience and consciousness, to their source (namely, the ontological unconscious), their respective philosophies do not yield the same experiencewhich means that they do not have the same conception of the unconscious. Bergson equates the virtual unconscious with the ontological or the metaphysical dimension primarily determined by a principle of continuity: memory as the preservation of the past in the present. It must be noted that for him this principle of continuity is inseparable from heterogeneity and the creation of the new: as a qualitative multiplicity, duration cannot be divided without changing in kind. This also means that all actual quantitative distinctions find their reason in a deeper, often hidden, yet contant process of self-alteration. But for Bergson what drives this process is life, now equated to creative evolution. For Deleuze, however, what drives this process is death, fragmentation, discontinuity, and the consequent necessity of machinic arrangements for conceiving of change and evolution. In A Thousand Plateaus, Deleuze and Guattari write:
How can we conceive of a peopling, a propagation, a becoming that is without filiation or hereditary production? A multiplicity without the unity of an ancestor? It is quite simple, everybody knows it, but it is discussed only in secret. We oppose epidemic to filiation, contagion to heredity, peopling by contagion to sexual reproduction, to sexual production. Bands, human or animal, proliferate by contagion, epidemics, battlefields, and catastrophes . . . the


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters
difference is that contagion, epidemic, involves terms that are entirely heterogeneous: for example, a human being, an animal, and a bacterium, a virus, a molecule, a microorganism. Or, in the case of the truffle, a tree, a fly, and a pig. These combinations are neither genetic nor structural; they are interkingdoms, unnatural participations. (1980, 295/1987, 24142)

Accordingly, the inorganic account of thought we get from Deleuze must be distinguished from Bergsons organic epistemological model. This distinction becomes particularly prominent in Deleuzes reading of Prousts uvre as a Literary Machine. There, Deleuze insists on maintaining a distinction between creation and production. On the one hand, the Bergsonian philosophical image of thought is driven by a creative effort which, Deleuze argues, remains a voluntary activity. On the other hand, Prousts nonphilosphical image of thought relies on machinic production, defined by involuntary work.

Which Machinic Becomings?

To be sure, Bergsons conception of the creative evolution of life is to be distinguished from the traditional evolutionist accounts in terms of simple filiation, genealogy, and adaptation.The first chapter of Creative Evolution introduces the idea of an original impetus (llan vital) to confirm Bergons own brand of internal [or immanent] finalism. His famous eye example functions as an empirical proof. The true problem at stake between mechanism and teleological (or external) finalism could be stated as follows: in light of (1) the incredible complexity of the eye machine, (2) of the perfect coordination of its parts, and (3) of the simplicity of the act of vision, from where does the (4) analogous structure between the eye of the vertebrate and the eye of the mollusc come? Darwins hypothesis of the accumulation of small accidental variations fails to account for the resemblance between eyes along two distinct lines of evolution; his idea of insensible variations to explain the conservation of these variations by means of natural selection is not very helpful eitherfor, if they do not hinder the eyes function, they do not serve it either.The alternative hypothesis, in accordance with which variations would be sudden,9 seems to lessen the difficulty of accounting for the resemblance between the two organs and the selective preservation of variations. But it raises another quite formidable problem concerning the subsistence of the coordination of all the parts of the functioning eye along two diverging lines of evolution (1998, 6566/1998, 6465). A third hypothesis would appeal to the identity of causes (i.e., light) between the two organs. Here the idea would be that although vertebrates and molluscs have evolved separately, they have both remained exposed to the influence of light. As a physical cause, light would bring forth definite effectsin this case, a continuous variation in a constant direction.The increasingly complex eye would


Conclusion be something like the deeper and deeper imprint of light on a matter that possesses a special aptitude for receiving it. But a new problem arises. The problem that this mechanistic account of evolution raises has to do with the equivocation between the passive and active senses of the word adaptation. While it is conceivable that the pigment-spot of the lower organisms could have been produced physically, by the mere action of light (passive adaptation), it is very hard to see how this accounts for the complex eye of the vertebrate, which does not only receive an imprint but also reacts positively to external circumstancesas an organic structure, it does not only submit passively to the influence of its environment, it also appropriates its advantages, it solves a problem.10 In short, Bergson contends, there is a difference in kind between the pigmentspot eye of the lower organisms and the complicated eye of the vertebrate. And while the latter has probably evolved from the former, Bergson insists that from the fact that we pass from one thing to another by degrees, it does not follow that the two things are of the same nature (1998, 71/1998, 70).Then he adds:
Now, living matter seems to have no other means of turning circumstances to good account than by adapting itself to them passively at the outset.Where it has to direct a movement, it begins by adopting it. Life proceeds by insinuation.The intermediate degrees between a pigment-spot and an eye are nothing to the point: however numerous the degrees, there will still be the same interval between the pigment-spot and the eye as between a photograph and a photographic apparatus. Certainly the photograph has been gradually turned into a photographic apparatus; but could light alone, a physical force, ever have provoked this change, and converted an impression left by it into a machine capable of using it? (7172/7071, emphasis added)

Thus Bergson clearly rejects all materialist reductionist explanations of evolution. We could multiply the observations and examples indefinitely. At best, we will find that one same physical-chemical cause does not elucidate the analogy of structure between the two organs, any more than the combination of different causes (i.e., accidental variations) accounts for the similarity of effect (the simple act of vision).Whether we like it or not, we must appeal to some inner directing principle in order to account for this convergence of effect across different evolutionary processes (1998, 77/1998, 76). Of course, this inner principle is what he calls the vital impetus. From a Bergsonian point of view, there would be yet another hypothesis to consider, namely, neo-Lamarckism.According to Lamarck, living beings vary by use or disuse of their organs, and they pass on the variations thus acquired to their descendents.The variations that result in a new species would thus not be merely accidental, nor would they be governed by some sui generis determinism independent of considerations of utility (ibid.). The advantage of this view over all the others is that it admits of an effort on the part of the living


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters being to adapt to the circumstances of its environment. Of course, this effort could simply be mechanically elicited by the pressure of external circumstances. But it also could imply consciousness and will. Regardless, neo-Lamarckism is the only evolutionary theory that might explicate the construction of identical complex organs on diverging lines of developmentfor it is conceivable that the same effort to turn circumstances to good account might have the same result, especially if the problem put forth by the circumstances only admits of one solution (ibid., 78/77). However, Bergson continues, the question remains as to whether the hereditary transmission of acquired characteristics is conceivablefor how else could the efforts of individual organisms, which would each have produced small differences, have resulted in the transmission of enormous amounts of accumulated variations, all in the same direction, involved in the passage from the pigment-spot of the infusorian, to the eye of the mollusc and the vertebrate (ibid., 84/85)? Given that in 1907 the transmission of acquired characteristics seems at best to remain the exception rather than the rule, neoLamarckism is no more capable than other mechanistic accounts of solving the problem of the analogy of organ structure across diverging lines of evolution.11 The single advantage of neo-Larmackism over other mechanistic doctrines lies in its admission of an effort at the heart of evolution. It allows for a conception of evolution that leaves room for the kind of spontaneity that life manifests through a continuous creation of formswhich means that evolution as a whole cannot be entirely predetermined. It also tries to account for the accumulation of variations in a definite (and not merely an accidental) direction. But for Bergson it is clear that this effort cannot simply be mechanically elicited. It must be of a psychological naturewhich is to say, it cannot simply be the result of the combination of physical and chemical causes. Furthermore, Bergson adds, this effort cannot simply be the conscious effort of the individualor it would be limited to a few cases and would not account for vegetal evolution at all. Finally, he concludes:
A hereditary change in a definite direction, which continues to accumulate and add to itself so as to build up a more and more complex machine, must certainly be related to some sort of effort, but to an effort of far greater depth than the individual effort, far more independent of circumstances, an effort common to most representatives of the same species, inherent in the germs they bear rather than in their substance alone, an effort thereby assured of being passed on to their descendants. (88/87, emphasis added)12

Notice that throughout this discussion leading up to the necessity of positing one common vital impulse at the origin of creative evolution, Bergson has made extensive use of the metaphor of the machine. Notice also that this metaphor always shows up in the context of his refutation of mechanism. In the end, Bergson writes:


For us, the whole of an organized machine may, strictly speaking, represent the whole of the organizing work (this is, however, only approximately true), yet the parts of the machine do not correspond to parts of the work, because the materiality of this machine does not represent a sum of means employed, but a sum of obstacles avoided: it is a negation rather than a positive reality. . . . Therefore the creation of the visual apparatus is no more explained by the assembling of its anatomic elements than the digging of a canal could be explained by the heaping-up of the earth which might have formed its banks. (94/93, emphasis added)

I contend that it is this metaphor that Deleuze is playing off of when he distinguishes between mechanism and machinism (1983, 87/2001, 59). But for Deleuze and Guattari, becoming can no longer be defined in terms of organic evolution, however creative. For them:
Becoming is always of a different order than filiation. It concerns alliance. If evolution includes any veritable becomings, it is in the domain of symbioses that bring into play beings of totally different scales [quantitative series] and kingdoms [qualitative series], with no possible filiation. There is a block of becoming that snaps up the wasp and the orchid, but from which no wasporchid can ever descend. (1980, 291/1986, 238, emphasis in original)

Once again, we could say that the most fundamental feature of Deleuzean becoming is incommensurabilityof container and content, of parts and wholes, of the implicated essence and its explicated representation, of ascendence and heredity, of the actual and the virtual.This principle of incommensurability finds its reason in the third order of time and truth, in the empty form of time or the idea of death that Deleuze finds it necessary to add to the Bergsonian dual, vital tendencies. In his chapter The Three Machines in the second edition of Proust and Signs, Deleuze insists on distinguishing between three orders of truth.The first order is that of memory: of the most singular reminiscences and essences, of the natural and artistic signs that intervene in the production of time regained.This machine may be compared to the cinematographic apparatus Bergson was so critical of at the end of Creative Evolution.The second order of truth is that of the pleasures and pains that remain unfulfilled in themselves and refer to something else, which may very well remain unperceived; such are the worldy signs and the signs of love. They produce effects of resonance between the present and the past that are a function of involuntary memory; they produce alliances that intervene in the production of time lost (e.g, jealousy).This machine corresponds to the Proustian telescope that characterizes artistic production. Now the third machine or the third order of truth concerns the link between the first two. In Deleuzes view, it is none other than the movement


Bergson-Deleuze Encounters of the text itself.And this movement, as Keith Ansell-Pearson points out, is necessarily a forced movement. As such, it is catastrophic, for it fits into the first two orders and would seem to negate any principle of meaning or value. Is not death lurking away in each and every moment? (2004, 187). Is not extinction threatening each and every species, each and every line of evolution? We encountered this catastrophic forced movement in the memory of the dead grandmother.The ecstatic joy that accompanies the return of the beloved grandmother upon the simple gesture of stooping down over the boots very quickly turns into an intolerable anguish as the pairing of the two moments breaks down and yields the disappearance of the earlier one in a certainty of death and nothingness (ibid.). A contradiction must be solved between the first two orders and the thirdin particular, between the survival inherent in the second order and the nothingness of the third. This contradiction is not resolved in the memory of the grandmother, which is why it demands further exploration (1998b, 189/1988, 15758). It turns out that this forced movement, embodied in the very movement of the Search for Lost Time, doubles the movement of duration, from past to presentyet in the contrary direction, which sweeps away the first two moments, emphasizes the gap between them, and pushes the past still farther back into time.This forced movement is none other than the idea of death. Since the first two orders were productive, their reconciliation raised no special problem. But the third order seems entirely unproductive. The contradiction here reaches its most acute form, because no filiation, no evolution, and no creation of form or sense seem to rise out of this encounter.This is precisely why Prousts uvre constitutes a paradigmatic instantiation of Deleuzean machinic becomingswhy Deleuze can claim that Proust takes up the baton from Bergson. Unlike Bergsons organic machines, which solve seemingly impossible problems through the continuous production of living forms that endure in time, Prousts literary machine engages incommensurability by stepping out of the vital duration and into the idea of death.

Is this contradiction between Bergsons organic machines and Prousts monstrous machines insurmountable? Could we solve it somehow? What would be at stake in such resolution? Perhaps what is at stake in the contradiction between Bergsonian survival and Proustian death is matter. More precisely, what might be at stake between vital duration and the idea of death as the empty form of time is a new understanding of materiality: matter in its virtuality; matter essentially imbued with an ever-contracting and expanding time, with a time irreducible to its physical, spatial coordinates; matter as pure potential, as impossible transversal commu-


Conclusion nication, as transpersonal reality, as proliferation of genders and as nomadic populations; matter as that which exceeds all systems of identity and subjectivity; matter as monstrous becoming. Such matter can only be conceived through the thought of pure immanence that Deleuze tirelessly requires of himself, that he tracks down throughout the history of philosophy, in works of art and in scientific endeavors. In so doing, Deleuze is profoundly faithfulbut not so much to a certain institutional image of thought, to an orthodoxy always in search of clear and distinct ideas.What Deleuze is faithful to is an endless quest for the eventfulness of life, for universal freedom, for a thought capable of communicating with the real qua becoming itself. He writes (with Guattari):
Becoming produces nothing other than itself . . . what is real is the becoming itself, the block of becoming, not the supposedly fixed terms through which that becoming passes . . . this is the point to be clarified: that a becoming lacks a subject distinct from itself: but also that it has no term, since its term in turn exists only as taken up in another becoming of which it is the subject, and which coexists, forms a block, with the first.This is the principle according to which there is a reality specific to becoming (the Bergsonian idea of a coexistence of very different durations, superior or inferior to ours, all of them in communication). (1980, 291/1987, 238)

If we were to sketch a Bergsonism for the future, then we would have to travel with Deleuze to an empty place, a place of discomfort and confusion where individuals (rhythms of duration) have to grasp themselves as events, and grasp the events effectuated in them as other individuals (rhythms of duration) grafted onto them.13 This would be possible because in this place, Time itself, as the ever-renewed splitting between past and future (the crystal-image), would have become sensible (Proust).This place would have to be produced by a machine of the third order, coming to join the preceding two (fragments, memories, selves), forcing them into monstrous movements, visions, irreconcilable transcendental experiences. This machine could be a literary machine, a cinematographic machine, a philosophical machine even: a brain machine always. And in each case it would have to be compared to an optical instrument, like the magnifying, the deforming glasses that the optician of Combray handed down to the prospective buyerslike Prousts book, thanks to which he provided his readers with the means to read within themselves. For in the final analysis, Deleuzes superior faithfulness to such Bergsonismthis virtual materialismmay very well be our only hope for radically ungrounding all fascistic systems sprawn by the transcendent image of thought, be they systems of subjectivism, nationalism, racism, sexism, or dogmatism.


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Introduction.Virtual Empiricism: The Revaluation of the Transcendental

1. Deleuzes first major work on Bergson, La Conception de la diffrence chez Bergson, first appeared in Les tudes Bergsoniennes, vol. IV, 1956. It is reprinted in Lle dserte et autres textes, pp. 4372.Whenever I refer to this text here, it will be to the le dserte version. Also appears in translation in The New Bergson, pp. 4264. 2. In 1917 and 1918, Bergson was sent to Washington as an unofficial representative of the French government. It seems he was instumental in convincing President Wilson to send 2 million American soldiers to the Western front.This, by all accounts, played a decisive role in the outcome of the Great War. Furthermore, due to his high intellectual and political stature, Bergson found himself, as early as 1917, at the center of the discussions that eventually led to the formation of the League of Nations. For more detailed information on these aspects of Bergons multifaceted personality, see Philippe Soulezs and Frdric Wormss (2002) comprehensive biography, Bergson. 3. In a section of A Thousand Plateaus, titled Memories of a Bergsonian, Deleuze and Guatarri define involution as follows:. . . the term we would prefer to use for this form of evolution between heterogeneous terms is involution, on the condition that involution is in no way confused with regression. Becoming is involutionary, involution is creative.To regress is to move in the direction of something less differentiated. But to involve is to form a block that runs its own line between the terms in play and beneath assignable relations (1980, 292/1987, 23839). 4. See Bergsons Leons sur la Critique de la Raison Pure, in Cours III. 5. In their introduction to Bergson: Key Writings, Keith Ansell-Pearson and John Mullarkey (2002, 12) explain that William James compared the effects of Matter and Memory to a Copernican revolution on a par with Berkeleys Principles of Human Know-


Notes to Introduction
eldge and Kants Critique of Pure Reason. See also W. Jamess letter to Bergson dated December 14, 1902, in Mlanges, 567. 6. Introduction to Metaphysics. In uvres, 1432. Trans. Introduction to Metaphysics in Creative Mind, 200. 7.While the French term esprit is often translated as mind, I find this choice of translation particularly misleading. Lesprit can mean mind, but it also is inseparable from spirit. If Bergson does mean mind when he uses esprit, then it must definitely be understood in its virtual sense, and never in its reductive materialist sense of the brain. While Bergsonism cannot and should not be reduced to some elaborate version of spiritualism (or idealism), it is no more to be confused with simple materialism. His whole philosophy is precisely an attempt at overcoming such simplistic dualisms. 8.This formula, borrowed from Marcel Proust, is the one that Deleuze constantly appeals to in order to refer to the virtual, from his 1964 Proust and Signs, through his 1966 Bergsonism to his 1991 What Is Philosophy? (with Guattari). 9. See, for instance, the provocative collected papers of the 1997 Bergson et les neurosciences symposium held in Lille, France. 10. For a helpful examination of these aspects of Deleuzes thought, see Manuel Delandas (2002) Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy. 11.That said, let us note that a number of excellent books on Bergson have been published recently in the English language. Of particular depth and scope are Keith Ansell-Pearsons (2002) Philosophy and the Adventure of the Virtual, Leonard Lawlors (2003) The Challenge of Bergsonism, and Ansell-Pearsons and Mullarkeys (2002) first English language collection of Bergsons most significant texts, Bergson: Key Writings. 12. Again, on the relation between Bergson and Deleuze, see Ansell-Pearsons Philosophy and the Adventure of the Virtual; see also Ronald Bogues (2003) Deleuze on Cinema. For a more general enagagement with the role of the virtual in Deleuze and Guattari, see Brian Massumis (2002) Parables for the Virtual and his (1992) Users Guide to Capitalism and Schizophrenia. For particularly acute and helpful readings of Difference and Repetition, see James Williamss Gilles Deleuzes Difference and Repetition and Miguel De Beisteguis (2004) masterful Truth and Genesis. 13. In his discussion of the Kantian critique at the end of Creative Evolution, Bergson writes: By regarding intelligence as pre-eminently a faculty of establishing relations, Kant attributed an extra-intellectual origin to the terms between which the relations are established. He affirmed, against his immediate predecessors, that knoweldge is not entirely resolvable in terms of intelligence . . . Thereby he prepared the way for a new philosophy, which might have established itself in the extra-intellectual matter of knowledge by a higher effort of intuition. Coinciding with this matter, adopting the same rhythm and


Notes to Chapter 1
the same movement, might not consciousness, by two efforts of opposite direction, raising itself and lowering itself by turns, become able to grasp from within, and no longer to perceive from without, the two forms of reality, body and mind? . . . But in this direction Kant himself would not go. He would not, because, while assigning to knowledge an extra-intellectual matter, he believed this matter to be co-extensive with intellect or less extensive than intellect.Therefore he could not dream of cutting out intellect in it, nor, consequently, of tracing the genesis of the understanding and its categories. . . . So that not only was it necessary to posit the intellectual form of knowledge as a kind of absolute and give up the quest of its genesis, but the very matter of this knowledge seemed too ground down by the intellect for us to be able to get it back in its original purity. It was not the thing-initself, it was the refraction of it through our atmosphere. (1998, 35758/1998, 35759) 14.This idea of philosophy as the creation of concepts is a leitmotiv of Deleuzes. It is most explicity articulated in What Is Philosophy? For example, So long as there is a time and a place for creating concepts, the operation that undertakes this will always be called philosophy, or will be indistinguishable from philosophy even if it is called something else (1991, 14/1994, 9). 15. While Bergsons philosophy is entirely geared toward accounting for change, novelty, and the creativity of all evolutionary processes, we could say that he does not go so far as to give a full-blown positive explication of the very source, spark, or secret of creation.While he shows very clearly and convincingly that time is and must be creative, he does not go quite so far as to tell us how time itself is created (or produced). He gives himself spirit (duration, memory), but he does not quite give us an account of the conditions of the emergence of spirit itself (which might explain why he has been subjected to vague accusations of mysticism by such people as Sartre and MerleauPonty). I argue in Chapter 5, and again in the Conclusion, that Deleuzes immanent account of the emergence of thought from material vibration in terms of production can be precisely interpreted as filling this gap.

Chapter 1. Bergsons Genealogy of Consciousness

1. Originally published in French as Essai sur les Donnes immdiates de la conscience in 1889.The French pages numbers, from the PUF (Quadrige) edition of 2001, will be given first. 2. Letter from Bergson to William James dated June 27, 1907, in Mlanges, 72627. Trans. Melissa McMahon, Bergson: Key Writings, 362. 3.We will return to a detailed examination of this claim in the second chapter of this book.


Notes to Chapter 1
4. For a detailed discussion of the three different kinds of causalities, see Creative Evolution (1998, 7274/73). There Bergson distinguishes between causes acting by (1) impelling (impulsion)e.g., the billiard balls; (2) releasing (dclenchement)e.g., the spark that blows up the powder; (3) unwinding (droulement)e.g., the gradual relaxing of the spring that makes the phonograph unwind the melody on the cylinder. He points out that only in the first case, really, does cause explain effect; in the others the effect is more or less given in advance, and the antecedent invoked isin different degrees of course its occasion rather than its cause (74/73). His point is that the billiard ball causality only applies to inanimate matter. In contrast, such mechanical determinism cannot be assumed in the realm of life, because there duration (heterogeneous multiplicity) operates.Yet most scientists and philosophers do not hesitate to use the word cause unquestioningly, which then makes them liable to equivocation. 5. Notice that in this second case Bergson is uncovering a natural mistake of the intelligence very comparable, in what I call its retroactive anticipation, to the Eleatic illusion concerning the nature of motion. 6. This critique of language is limited to common language for common use where by common I mean generalized and useful for communication. It could thus be argued that the case of genuine literary or poetic creation escapes such critique, for its very nature consists precisely in capturing profoundly subjective and singular states, or even generating new feelings and new ideas, which by definition are not generalizable, at least at the moment of their creation.We will say more about the specific temporality of art, and its relation to subjectivity, in the second part of this book, dedicated to Deleuze. For an insightful account of Bergsons philosophy of language, see Leonard Lawlors The Challenge of Bergsonism (2003,7079). 7. It may sound simplistic to dismiss such a prominent fact of human existential experience as psychological conflict or internal dilemma. However, I believe that Bergsons point here is not so much to negate the existence of such an experience as it is to suggest that this kind of experience is the product of a psychological misconception (mechanistic associationism) rooted in a metaphysical error (the confusion between duration and space). The rest of this discussion will endeavor to show that ultimately Bergson wants to claim that just as the sterile problems of dualism turn out to be false problems once screened through the lens of philosophical intuition, internal conflicts turn out to false conflicts once they have been subjected to consciousness effort of introspection and consequent rejoining of duration. 8.The use of the term psychological in relation to Bergsonism is not without problems. At times, Bergson seems to encompass the whole realm of the spiritual within it. But as we get involved more in depth with Bergsons theory of memory in Matter and Memory, we will see that there are two ways in which we may understand the meaning of spirit according to Bergson. From the point of view of the irreducible difference between matter and memory, spirit excludes matter entirely; it is synonymous with memory, or the pure past, which as such does not have any material existence. But from the point of view of immediate consciousness, or duration, spirit coincides with the cre-


Notes to Chapter 1
ative unification of matter and memory, present and past, and so on.Thus while in the monistic framework, it all happens as if the psychological were identical to the spiritual, from the point of view of the dualistic problematic, the psychological is the opposite of the spiritual. For consistency and clarity, I limit the scope of the term psychological to the realm of the actual, the present, the materialized aspect of consciousness. In this I am following Deleuze, who insists on limiting the psychological to the present to bring out the ontological significance of Bergsons theory of memory, as well as to contrast Bergsons conception of the unconscious with Freuds. Deleuze writes,Strictly speaking, the psychological is the present. Only the present is psychological; but the past is pure ontology; pure recollection has only ontological significance (1998a, 51/1988, 56). 9. In fact, I take Bergson to be doing much more than suggesting this. He makes the relationship between science and philosophy one of the core issues of his work as a whole. Although this was already perceptible in Time and Free Will, it becomes increasingly obvious as we move farther into Matter and Memory.While Time and Free Will tackles more particularly mathematics and psychology, and Matter and Memory addresses in more detail the insufficiencies of cognitive science, it is in Creative Evolution that Bergson most explicitly thematizes the problem of the relationship between philosophy and the sciences in general. In the Preface to Matter and Memory, he diagnoses this relationship as a vicious circle, in reference to the equivocal understanding of the idea of solidarity between consciousness and the brain (or the mental and the physical). Faithful to his constant self-imposed demand for precision in philosophy, Bergson starts out by asking something to the effect of Solidarity, bien sr, but what kind of solidarity are we here talking about? (1997, 5/1991, 12). 10.The charge of optimism frequently has been opposed to Bergsons philosophy. In The Two Sources, however, he is careful to distinguish between superficial optimism and true empirical optimism. He writes, No, suffering is a terrible reality, and it is a mere unwarrantable optimism to define evil a priori, even reduced to what it effectively is, as a lesser good. But there is an empirical optimism, which consists simply in noting two facts: first, that humanity finds life, on the whole, good, since it clings to it; and then, that there is an unmixed joy, lying beyond pleasure and pain, which is the final state of the mystic soul. In this twofold sense, and from both points of view, optimism imposes itself, without any necessity for the philosopher to plead the cause of god (1997b, 277/1935, 261). Bergson further introduces the notion of great or metaphysical optimism, which consists in beg[inning] by assuming as solved the problem to be solved (1997b, 306/1935, 287).We will see, when we turn to Bergsons method of intuition in the fourth chapter, that while Bergson endorses this metaphysical optimism, this last remark must be understood on the basis of his own specific conception of true and false problems. 11.Very generally speaking, this critical work both based in and directed at a positive philosophy instantiates the main characteristics of what Deleuze will call superior or transcendental empiricism.This method, I argue in what follows (but most specifically in Chapter 4), Deleuze borrows from Bergson and develops further into his own.


Notes to Chapter 1
12. Indeterminate positions in relation to an eventual subject, since the distinction between inside and outside, or space in general, has not, as yet, been generated. From the objective point of view of science, though, the relations between images are fully determined in accordance with universal laws, and they are so a priori.The point at issue here may finally be brought back to the problem of the Kantian transcendental forms. For Kant, the forms must exist prior to any experience, as a condition of its possibility; for Bergson, on the contrary, they must be cogenerated with the conscious subject. 13.The term movement-image is introduced by Deleuze in his cinema books, where he establishes a distinction between the movement-image and the time-image. For now it suffices to point out that since the realm of pure perception excludes real duration (i.e., memory, time), we are only dealing with movement-images. 14. For a tentative refutation of this argument and of Bergsons metaphor of the central telephonic switchboard, see Jean Delacours Matire et mmoire la lumire des neurosciences contemporaines, in Bergson et les Neurosciences, 2327. 15.This will be the point of departure of Deleuzes cinema works, which famously claim that the brain is the screen.This claim inspired the title for Gregory Flaxmans (2000) interesting collection of essays, The Brain Is the Screen: Deleuze and the Philosophy of Cinema. 16. In Bergsons view, this abstraction (or what he also calls intellectualism) betrays both the metaphysical confusion between space and time, mentioned earlier, and the consequent psychological confusion between present and past, or perception and memory (1997a, 47/1991, 48) that I address later. 17. However, as Leonard Lawlor (2003) insighfully notes in The Challenge of Bergsonism, echoing Derrida (in La Voix et le phnomne, 117; Speech and Phenomena, 104), while phenomenological consciousness is rooted in the body, it is rooted in the body as flesh. This flesh is, in turn, defined as corporeal intentionality. Thus, Lawlor concludes, with phenomenology we have not really escaped from the philosophy of consciousness (2003, 28). Such philosophy of consciousness (where consciousness is equated with intentionality) is precisely what Bergsonism offers an alternative for. We saw that for Bergson the body is a machine (a central telephonic switchboard)albeit a moving one. As Lawlor points out, the machine runs slower in the exact measure that it becomes more complicated.We will see that this slowing down of the machine is what allows for memories to be selected and inserted into the presentto the extent that in the fourth chapter of Matter and Memory, Bergson writes, Every perception is already memory, and We perceive, practically, only the past (291/15). Thus, Lawlor concludes, capturing the heart of the difference between phenomenology and Bergsonism, while phenonemonology always relies on a primacy of perception (Merleau-Ponty), Bergsonism is a primacy of memory (2003, 28). 18. Barbaras, Le Problme de la perception, in Le Magazine Littraire. Bergson, Philosophe de notre temps 386 (April 2000): 47 (my translation).


Notes to Chapter 2
19. In Mind-Energy, first published in 1919. 20. This is a key argument running through all of Bergsons works. We saw an instance of it when we examined the illusions subtending both science and metaphysics in his 1889 Time and Free Will. In his 1932 The Two Sources, Bergson indeed thematizes this practical, natural, hence necessary, displacement of reality informing normal experience, in terms of a myth-making function (fonction fabulatrice). He goes so far as to identify this myth-making function with intelligence, as one of the two sources of morality and religion. I argue that this also is one of the major inspirations for Deleuzes elaboration of transcendental experience over and above the limitative conditioning that Kants transcendentalism has imposed on experience. 21. Again, this is precisely what I read Deleuze as taking issue with when he suggests such a thing as transcendental experience. Furthermore, we will see that Bergsons method of intuition is indeed directed at establishing the possibility of intuiting the Outside. We can already see that for both Bergson and Deleuze, intuition cannot be equated to Kants conception of the intuition involved in empirical experiencean intuition that, as Bergson points out, always remains infra-intellectual (1998, 359/1998, 360). 22. As far as I can tell, this is the first time, in Matter and Memory, where Bergson uses the term the unconscious. 23. In Difference and Repetition, Deleuze will indeed identify this original constitutive act in terms of the first synthesis of time, in the shape of habit, which may be equated to the lowest degree of memory. 24.We will see that this survival of the past lies at the core of the notion of virtuality that Deleuze elaborates; it is also, by the same token, the basis for both the Bergsonian metaphysics and the Deleuzean ontology. 25.This Bergsonian order of discontinuous successive vibrations, I take it, coincides with that which Deleuze, in the fourth chapter of Difference and Repetition, will call preindividual singularities. 26. Frdric Worms, Introduction Matire et Mmoire de Bergson (1997, 98, emphasis added).

Chapter 2. Introducing Memory: From the Psychological to the Virtual

1. For, as Bergson shows in Creative Evolution, scientific research on living organisms such as embryology cannot be reduced to the study of lifeless entities such as mathematics. In other words, science is multiple. 2. As we advance farther into the examination of Bergsons project, it will become clearer that his conception and practice of metaphysics differ importantly from the tra-


Notes to Chapter 2
ditional systems that Heidegger was condemning. On this issue of the contemporary relevance of metaphysics, see Miguel De Beisteguis (2004) Truth and Genesis for a profoundly illuminating study of Deleuzes confrontation not only with Heidegger but also with Aristotle and Dun Scotus. 3. Lawlor,Lasctisme et la Sexualit, le progrs thique dans Les Deux sources de la morale et de la religion, in Annales Bergsoniennes I, Bergson dans le sicle, 23142. 4.There lies the essence of Deleuzes technical notion of the event; defined by singularity, the event belongs to the order of Life as a heterogeneous, hence essentially creative and unpredictable, multiplicity. It must be contrasted to the Hegelian notion of moment (Augenblick) which, belonging by definition to the dialectical history of the phenomenology of consciousness, is always already inscribed, through an operation of retroactive anticipation, within an organic totality. 5. Notice that while in the empirical examination of the memorizing process, habit-memory was first, since it is phenomenologically closer to the consciousness that performs the self-examination; but in the theoretical interpretation of the facts described, representation-memory becomes first, since it is metaphysically prior to habit-memory. 6. In Beyond the Pleasure Principle (1991), Freud revises his theory according to which all dreams are wish-fulfillments in light of the repetitive anxiety dreams of the victims of traumatic neuroses. From the existence of those repetitive anxiety-dreams besides dreams whose function is the fulfillment of repressed desires, Freud induces the existence of a death-instinct (Thanatos), which he characterizes as independent of the until then uniquely sovereign Eros. 7. For an account of the experience of the sublime as a genetic condition for thought, see for instance Cinema 2:A clich is a sensory-motor image of the thing. . . . We therefore normally perceive only clichs. But if our sensory-motor schemata break then a different type of image can appear: a pure optical-sound image without metaphor, brings out the thing in itself literally, in its excess of horror or beauty, in its radical or unjustifiable character (32/20, trans. modified). For an account of thought defined as the creation of concepts, see for instance What Is Philosophy?: As Michaux says, what suffices for current ideas does not suffice for vital ideasthose that must be created (195/207). 8. Bergson is there alluding, for either case of inhibited recognition, to experiments conducted by such scientists as Charcot, Mller, or Lissauer in the late 1880s. 9. In The Challenge of Bergsonism (2003), Leonard Lawlor compares the difference between these two states of recognition to the difference between a black-and-white and a color photograph. In contradistinction to Merleau-Pontys phenomenology of perception in terms of the primacy of perception, Bergsons account could be called a primacy of memory, precisely because, in his view, it is memory that provides the added detail that transforms the black-and-white picture into a fully colored one. See especially, pp. 2730.


Notes to Chapter 2
10. In Bergsonian terms, the real object is reflected in a mirror-image as in the virtual object which, from its side and simultaneously, envelops or reflects the real: there is a coalescence between the two. There is a formation of an image with two sides, actual and virtual (1985, 92/2001, 68).We will reserve the full examination of this point of indiscernibility for Chapter 5. 11. In the next chapter, we will examine in more detail this mnemonic schema, which Bergson also calls the dynamic schema. 12. Bergson illustrates this whole process with the following diagram (1997a, 115/1991, 105):


In Cinema 2, Deleuze suggests that it is this first diagram that marks the introduction of what I call transcendental experience. 13. Again, see Prousts description of the madeleine recollection. He writes: Very likely we may never happen on the object (or sensation, since we apprehend every object as sensation) that [the recollection] hides in; and thus there are hours of our life that will never be resuscitated: for this object is so tiny, so lost in the world, and there is little likelihood that we shall come across it. Several summers of my life were spent in a house in the country. I thought of those summers from time to time, but they were not themselves. They were dead, and in all probability they would always remain so.Their resurrection, like all these resurrections, hung on a mere chance. One snowy evening, not long ago, I came in half frozen, and had sat down in my room to read by lamplight, and as I could not get warm my old cook offered to make me a cup of tea, a thing I never drink. And as chance would have it, she brought me some slices of dry toast. I dipped the toast in the cup of tea and as soon as I put it in my mouth, and felt its softened texture, all flavoured with tea, against my palate, something came over methe smell of geraniums and orange-blossoms, a sensation of extraordinary radiance and happiness; I sat


Notes to Chapter 3
quite still, afraid that the slightest movement might cut short this incomprehensible process which was taking place in me, and concentrated on the bit of sopped toast which seemed to be responsible for all these marvels; then suddenly the shaken partitions in my memory gave way, and into my conscious mind there rushed the summers I had spent in the aforesaid house in the country, with their early mornings, and the succession, the ceaseless onset, of happy hours in their train. And then I remembered. See Preface to Contre Sainte-Beuve, in Du Ct de chez Swann (Paris: Folio Classique, Gallimard, 1988), 432. Reproduced in translation in Remembrance of Things Past, 1981, p. 20. Yet I will show that it is ultimately in the different conceptions of time Deleuze sees between Bergson and Proust that the difference between Deleuzes and Bergsons philosophies can be located.

Chapter 3.The Unconscious as Ontology of the Virtual

1.We will examine later what, following William James, I call Bergsons Copernican Revolution, which I believe coincides with his project of attaining the source of experiencea source he locates beyond the turn at which experience becomes human experience. He writes,But there is a last enterprise that might be undertaken [beyond critical philosophy, which holds all knowledge to be relative and the ultimate nature of things to be inaccessible to the mind]. It would be to seek experience at its source, or rather above that decisive turn where, taking a bias in the direction of our utility, it becomes properly human experience (1997b, 205/1991, 184, emphasis added). In fact, he points out in his 1903 Introduction to Metaphysics that what defines philosophy is an effort to transcend the human condition (uvres, 1425). 2. La Conception de la diffrence chez Bergson, in Lle dserte et autres textes (Deleuze 2002), pp. 4372. Trans. Melissa McMahon, in The New Bergson (Mullarkey 1999), pp. 4264. 3. In The Introduction to Metaphysics, Bergson writes, One of the objects of metaphysics is to operate qualitative differenciations and integrations (Oeuvres, 1423). 4. As could be expected, then, the differentiation we introduced earlier (Ch. 2) between what I called the time of consciousness (or duration) and the time of the unconscious (or the empty form of time) will ultimately be integrated; and it will be integrated, I argue, on the basis of Bergsons complexification of the notion of duration in reference to its virtual side. 5. Although individuation as a tendency is present throughout the organic world, it also is everywhere disputed by the antagonistic tendency to reproduction. However, while individuation is never perfect, Bergson does not hesitate to use the term individual as long as some systematization of parts precedes the fragmentation, and that the


Notes to Chapter 3
same systematization tends to reproduce in the detached fragments (1998, 14/1998, 15). For a detailed examination of this notion of individuation, see Gilbert Simondons (1995) LIndividu et sa gnse physico-biologique. See also Deleuzes discussion in the 4th chapter of Difference and Repetition. 6. I carefully chose to use the term complementation here in order to convey both the biological-like nature of the relation and the unpredictability of its outcome. According to the Websters Dictionary (1996), complementation is a term borrowed from genetics. It refers to the occurrence of a wild-type phenotype when two closely related, interacting mutant genes are expressed in the same cell. 7. For an illuminating discussion of this issue of individuation in Bergson and Deleuze, see Ansell-Pearsons (1999) Germinal Life, Ch. 2 (in particular his section on The Death-Drive: Freuds Reworking of Weisman). 8.This notion of variable rhythms points to duration as the nexus of the problematic of difference (hence, to a close connection between life and consciousness) as the underlying positive reality. Bergson writes, The thread attaching [the solar system] to the rest of the universe is doubtless very tenuous. Nevertheless it is along this thread that is transmitted down to the smallest particle of the world in which we live the duration immanent to the whole universe (1998, 11/1998, 1011). 9.This explosive force must be understood in terms of the gunpower causality isolated by Bergson in Creative Evolution (see my first chapter, note 5, and 1998, 74/1998, 73). 10. For a detailed discussion of individuation in relation to reproduction, see Keith Ansell-Pearsons (1999) discussion of Weismanns distinction between the soma and the germ (which Deleuze appeals to in the second chapter of Difference and Repetition) in Germinal Life (especially pp. 90114). 11. This is not the place to address the crucial issue of the relation and difference between psychoanalysis conception of the unconscious and Bergsons. I just want to insist that despite some striking similarities, Bergson does not, unlike Freud, limit the unconscious to the negative residue of consciousness; rather, with Bergson, it is consciousness that becomes a residue of the unconscious. 12. Interestingly, and in stark contrast to Deleuze, Bergson seems to be suggesting here that schizophrenia (or the splitting of ones personality) is not a reality of psychic life. Indeed, despite his account of freedom on the basis of a doubling of the self in Time and Free Will, he holds a principle of absolute indivisibility of the personality. In his 1916 Madrid Conference, entitled Personality (Mlanges, 121535), Bergson analyzes clinical cases of alleged split personality. Although he acknowledges the reality of the phenomenon, he ascribes it to a survival mechanism on the part of the one normal personality. He writes, Let us suppose that the person sees itself threatened by a serious mental illness, a complete disorganization of spirit following an excessive expense of energy.Well, nature possesses what the Ancients called vis medicatrix, a capacity to resist


Notes to Chapter 3
and defend itself against the illness. . . . She will tell us: take this forced rest, forget yourself.Thus, in such a case, nature imposes a forced rest on the person, during which she dreams and lives a simplified existence, a life from which all the memories that form the normal personality are absentmemories that are too burdensome for the weak forces available to this normal personality.Thus, it is not a case of doubling up or of dissociation of personality: there is but one personality, the normal personality (1972, 1228, my translation). Once again, Bergson is here privileging the simple and continuous nature as the primary element, but he does this on the basis of the recognition of the necessary phenomenon of doubling as the actualization of this ultimate simplicity. I believe that the contrast between the evolution of consciousness and the evolution of life he seems to be indicating in Creative Evolution is a provisional distinction, which the theory of tendencies endeavors to resolve. 13. In Proust and Signs and the Logic of Sense, Deleuze picks up on this identification between essence and alteration. He argues that this understanding of essence as alteration (the Virtual) marks the reversal of Platonism (or the anti-logos) that he, following Nietzsche, is after. 14. Although I do not pretend to offer a comprehensive discussion of the difference between Husserl and Bergson, I am suggesting here that unlike Bergsonism, Husserls famous declaration of intention of returning to the things themselves is compromised by his Cartesian framework. 15. Obviously, this contradicts what I said earlier about Bergson extending the efficacy of duration to the things themselves. But I have to wait until he focuses on memory proper to expose the mechanism of the shift that awaits. 16. In other words, we could say that while the Kantlike conditions for the possibility correspond to the question Why does memory actualize itself within experience?, the Bergsonian conditions for the reality of experience address the question, Which one of those recollections gets actualized? In this distinction consists precisely superior empiricisms philosophical import. 17.One must act as a man of thought and think as a man of action (1972, 1574, my translation). 18. Indeed, this is precisely the problem that Bergsons and Deleuzes superior empiricism is designed to overcome, by a genuine philosophy of positive difference. 19. Notice that the circularity that Bergson is here denouncing is indeed a repetition, on a deeper level, of the circularity that, according to him, plagues the associationist accounts of recognition. See especially the end of the section of the second chapter, The Pendulum: Recognition versus Association, where Bergson points out against Hume that the perception of a resemblance is an effect of association rather than its cause. Indeed, I take each chapter of Matter and Memory to consist in a repetition, on a deeper level (of the cone) of the preceding one. In accordance with the fundamental Bergsonian prescription, the structure of the book as a whole is a perfect instantiation of what it means to follow the movement of thought.


Notes to Chapter 3
20. The next chapter will be dedicated to examining this method and the way in which it offers unprecedented avenues for thought and experience. 21. For a detailed account of the effort of reflection involved in the formation of thought, see Bergsons Leffort intellectuel, in Lnergie spirituelle. Trans. H. Wildon Carr, The Intellectual Effort in Mind-Energy. 22.And indeed, Prousts entire Remembrance of Things Past, his whole search for lost time, testifies to the same idea, as ultimately it is to the difficultand for a long time seemingly impossiblework of art that he ascribes the power to regain time lost, which is to say to finally undergo what Bergson would call integral experience in all of its profundity. I will, however, argue in Chapter 6 that in the end, in Deleuzes view, the Proustian experience does not entirely coincide with Bergsons integral experience. 23. This is the second cone diagram (1997a, 181/1991, 162). The cone represents memory.The AB base of the cone coincides with the widest, most expanded cicle, closest to the dream state. S is the most contracted point, which marks the insertion of the cone (memory) into the plan P (for present, I presume) of matter. Therefore, S is also the site of action informed by memory.


24. Once again, it seems to me that this psychological mechanism, which for Bergson also testifies to a corresponding ontological structure of experience, is instantiated on numerous occasions in Prousts Remembrance of Things Past. I already referred to the famous Madeleine example, but among other things, la petite phrase de Vinteuil plays a similar role: every time the narrator hears it, it triggers a wealth of forgotten recollections or dispelled illusions. Moreover, and indeed for this very reason, each hearing of the petite phrase is both the same and qualitatively different. This is because, as Deleuze puts it in his Proust book,each sign has two halves: it designates an object [the


Notes to Chapter 4
little phrase, Combray], it signifies something different [hope, disappointment, love, loss of love] (Proust and Signs, 37/27). But I will come back to this issue of signs and sense, and how they relate to time and the unconscious, when I turn in Chapter 6 to Deleuzes third synthesis of time, where he locates Prousts (and his own) departure from Bergson. 25. Notice the apparently aporetic structure of the puzzle thus posed. Notice, also, that in a typical move, Bergson is already implying the temporal nature of the problem; in fact, as can be expected, he will use his own conception of time as virtuality, or variability, in order to solve this otherwise inescapable paradox. 26.We will see that for Deleuze, too, this work of conversion is that which essentially defines thought, except that Deleuze calls it the transversal and refers it to Proustian rather than Bergsonian time. 27. For a detailed account of this issue, and duration as what allows Bergson to restore the rights of a new monism, see Deleuzes Bergsonism, Ch. 4, One or Many Durations? 28. Deleuzes Bergson, 18591941, in Lle dserte et autres textes, 42. In Cinema 2, Deleuze picks up on this insight and carries it farther to account for an empty form of time that grounds/ungrounds Bergsonian duration. 29.Thus Bergsons critique of the Kantian critique reaches so far as to question the latters practical philosophy.To the Kantian account of morality in terms of duty based in reason, Bergson retorts the following:Because we have established the rational character of moral conduct, it does not follow that morality has its origin or even its foundation in pure reason.The important question is to find out why we are obliged in cases where following our inclination by no means suffices to ensure that our duty is done. That in that case it is reason speaking, I am willing to admit; but if it spoke only in its own name, if it did anything other than rationally express the action of certain forces [i.e., sensation and emotion] which dwell behind it, how could it struggle against passion and self-interest? (1997b, 86/1935, 85, trans. modified).

Chapter 4. Between Bergson and Deleuze:The Method of Intuition as Transcendental/Virtual Empiricism

1. Integral experience (exprience intgrale) are the last words of Bergsons Introduction to Metaphysics. For him, integral experience coincides with none other than metaphysics itself. Obviously the word integral here refers not only to the completeness of the kind of experience that metaphysics must be but also to the mode in which this completeness, or wholeness, must be achieved (i.e., through a method comparable to the mathematical integrationnot to be confused with reductionof difference). My goal, in what follows, is to show that the method of intuition consists precisely in achieving this wholeness by means of the two moments of differentiation and integration.


Notes to Chapter 4
2. See Bergsons discussion of Zenos paradoxes and the Eleatic illusion. For instance, 2001a, 84/2001, 6566. 3. In the second introduction to The Creative Mind, Bergson writes, Intuition, then, signifies first of all consciousness, but immediate consciousness, a vision which is scarcely distinguishable from the object seen, a knoweldge which is contact and even coincidence.Next, it is consciousness extended, pressing upon the edge of an unconscious which gives way and which resists, which surrenders and which regains itself (2001b, 1273/1965, 32). 4.Although Bergsons attack is here directed at such empirical psychologists as Mill and Taine, I contend that its validity reaches as far as psychoanalysis. Although Freuds thematization of the unconscious has opened up some promising ground for our understanding of the workings of memory, hence, of thought and subjectivity, the very analytic method he is proposing presupposes the separation of different psychical systems (i.e., the ego, the id, and the superego). Even though he tries, in his later writings, to overcome this separation through a dynamic model of the mind (see, for instance, his 1920 Beyond the Pleasure Principle and the fascinating treatment of Nachtrglichkeit in his 1914 Wolfman case study), it remains that the separation is first, and the dynamism artificially added onto it cannot mend the separation.Thus Freud himself was guilty of confusing intuition and analysis, and therefore he was forced to ascribe the driving force of our psychical workings to negativity rather than inner vitality. The result is the necessary loss of a positive connection between thought and world, mind and realitya subjectivism that easily evolves into neurosis. 5.The retrograde movement of the true is one of the subtitles of the first introduction to The Creative Mind. 6. Deleuze writes, In short, each time that we think in terms of more or less, we have already disregarded the differences in kind between the two orders, or between beings, between existents. In this way we can see how the first type of false problems [i.e., relying on the confusion between the more and the less, such as the problem of possibility or the problem of disorder] rests, in the final analysis, on the second [i.e., badly analyzed composites, such as the problem of freedom] (1998, 9/1988, 20). 7. Deleuze here refers us to a crucial note in the second introduction to Creative Mind (unfortunately omitted from the 1965 translation), where Bergson recommends a state of soul where problems disappear on the basis of intuitions capacity for creating an intellectual counterpart to the reductive intellectualism we have been criticizing. He writes, The illusion is not analyzed or dispelled since it does not make itself known; but it would be were it to show itself; and those two antagonistic possibilities, which are intellectual, cancel out intellectually, leaving place for nothing but the intuition of the real (2001b, 1306, emphasis added, my translation). Similarly, in The Two Sources, Bergson endeavors a critique of the myth-making function as a way of rejoining intuition, the only way for repressing the war instinct he has identified as defining the human condition. There again, it is the method of intuition that provides us with the


Notes to Chapter 5
way for overcoming the human conditionan effort that ultimately defines metaphysics (2001b, 1425/1965, 193). 8. I will return in more detail to this fundamental issue of the transvaluation of the transcendental involved in Bergsons and Deleuzes works, and of the necessity that Deleuze nevertheless insists on to retain the Kantian notion of a pure form to characterize his new conception of time. 9. It is important to insist once again on this fundamental difference between the Bergsonian-Deleuzean conception of the necessity informing the transcendental realm, on the one hand, and the Kantian account, on the other.As I explained earlier, the Kantian conditions of possibility are negative conditions of necessity in the sense that in his view we would not be able to have any meaningful experience at all if it were not for the positing of such conditions. In short, Kant claims that the forms of time and space are logically necessary conditions without which phenomenological experience would not be possible. However, as Bergson clearly suggests, Kants transcendentalism fails to establish what I would call the necessity of the necessity. For instance, Bergson writes, [The Kantian critique] gives itself space as a ready-made form of our perceptive facultya veritable deus ex machina, of which we see neither how it arises, nor why it is what it is rather than anything else (1998, 206/1998, 205). In contrast, superior or virtual empiricism searches for conditions of reality. It aims at generating the positive categories of thought rather than determining them through analysis (ibid., 208/226). In this sense, Bergson and Deleuze are looking for a deeper kind of necessity (i.e., how and why the form of space is what it is rather than anything else). Beneath or beyond the negative necessity invoked by transcendental idealism, superior empiricism points to the fundamental positivity of the real and its conditions: in this consist both their internal necessity and the virtually unlimited field of their transformative and creative actualization. 10. As we will see when we turn to Deleuzes Proust and Signs, such an intimate relationship between the condition and the conditioned also is what, for him, defines the essence. 11. Deleuze is here referring to Bergsons early demand, in Matter and Memory, that Questions relating to subject and object, to their distinction and their union, should be put in terms of time rather than space (74/71).

Chapter 5. Cinematic Thought: The Deleuzean Image and the Crystals of Time
In the English language, the word cinematic refers to the art of making films. It deals explicitly with cinematographic art. But I also chose to use the term cinematic here, because it is an interesting faux ami in reference to the French language. In French, cinmatique can be used interchangeably with cintique (kinetic). It thus refers primarily to kinetic energy, understood as the quantity of work a body can produce due to the


Notes to Chapter 5
movement that animates it (Dictionnaire de langue franaise Littr). Used as a substantive, cintique or cinmatique refers to the science whose object is the extent of the forces considered in the different movements they produce. In the context of this chapter, it is highly significant that cinmatique also replaces the term mcanique (mechanics or mechanical), which refers to the abstract science of movement (Dictionnaire de langue franaise Littr).As I suggest throughout the chapter, Deleuzes Bergsonian reading of the work cinema does seek to offer a nonmechanistic account of movement, as well as what could be called a kinetic (or machinic) account of the emergence of thought from material vibration. 1. Here I do not only have in mind Deleuzes 1956 article Bergsons Conception of Difference and his 1966 Bergsonism but also the two cinema volumes of the early 1980s, which explicitly resonate with and respond to Matter and Memorys main theses on perception, movement, and memory, as well as the more or less explicit references to Bergson sprinkled throughout Difference and Repetition, A Thousand Plateaus, and the numerous lectures, articles, and interviews that appear, among other places, in Negotiations and Desert Island. 2. Dziga Vertov, Man with a Movie Camera, 1929. 3. Jean-Luc Godard, Passion (1982). Although no single narrative line is allowed to take center stage, the film portrays a Polish director recreating in tableaux vivants a series of celebrated paintings by Goya, Ingres, Delacroix, Rembrandt, and El Greco. But the backers complain that there is no story. See Time Out Film Guide, pp. 99495. 4.This visionary situation of the actor reaches one of its most paradigmatic instantiations in Werner Herzogs Heart of Glass (1976). In order to make the hallucinatory atmosphere in which the film is bathed even more convincing, Herzog actually hypnotized his actors.Thus they not only appear to be in a trance, they actually are.They barely move, they speak with difficulty, and their empty gazes stare into the void. 5. See, for instance, Federico Fellinis The Clowns (1970), in which documentary interview material on now long-forgotten famous clowns is weaved with reconstructions of Fellinis childhood.The final slapstick yet highly pathetic funeral sequence climaxes into a point of indiscernibility between past and present, objective and subjective, real and imaginary. See also Orson Welles F for Fakes (1975) labyrinthine play of paradoxes and ironies informing the author principle in art and his sarcastic treatment of the original model/copy distinction. 6. Although I do not wish to treat the auditory aspect of the time-image here, Deleuze makes explicit reference to Guattaris concept of the ritornello to describe it a concept Guattari develops in reference to Prousts little phrase. As Deleuze puts it in Cinema 2, The gallop and the ritornello are what we hear in the crystal, as the two dimensions of musical time, the one being the hastening of the presents which are passing, the other the raising or falling back of pasts which are preserved (1985, 123/2001, 93). Of course, in such films as Godards Passion, Durass India Song (1974), or Resnaiss Last Year in Marienbad (1961), the extensive use of off-screen voices and the general non-


Notes to Chapter 5
coincidence of sound and image contribute significantly to the decentralization, the break with the action-image, and more generally the element of dissolution characteristic of the time-image. 7.The term littralit does not exist in French. But both the double t and the context are clear indications that what Deleuze has in mind here is not literalness (litralit), as the translators believe, but on the contrary the lack of literalnessprecisely due to the literary (littraire) qualityof the world. Hence the necessity for introducing a principle of readability of the image. 8. Although in the cinema books, Deleuze delves at length into a rigorous examination of the different types of signs that stem from different kinds of images, I do not wish to focus on this aspect of his analysis here. I turn to an examination of signs in the next chapter. Nevertheless, it seems worth noting that this process of displacement of the actual object inherent in the time-imagea displacement that cannot be deemed contingent, since it proceeds from the literary quality of the worldcoincides precisely with the analysis that Walter Benjamin (1969) gives of The Image of Proust. Benjamin writes,The outstanding literary achievement of our time is assigned a place in the heart of the impossible, at the centreand also at the point of indifferenceof all dangers, and it marks this great realization of a lifework as the last for a long time.The image of Proust is the highest physiognomic expression which the irresistibly growing discrepancy between literature and life was able to assume. This is the lesson which justifies the attempt to evoke this image.We know that in his work Proust did not describe a life as it actually was, but as it was remembered by the one who had lived it.And yet even this statement is imprecise and far too crude. For the important thing for the remembering author is not what he experienced, but the weaving of his memory, the Penelope work of recollection. Or should one call it, rather, a Penelope work of forgetting? (1969, 19798, emphasis added). I have highlighted the elements that, in my view, mark a striking resonance between Deleuzes account of the expanding powers that characterize the cinematographic time-image, and Benjamins rendering of what he calls the image of Proust. In fact, I will strive to show in what follows that it is precisely on the basis of the readability of the cinematographic image Deleuze introduces here that the connection between the time-image and the image of Proust needs to be drawn. 9. In Matter and Memory, the Bergsonian term image-souvenir is translated as recollection-image; in Cinema 2, it is translated as memory-image. I use both terms interchangeably. 10. 1997a, 115/1991, 105.Also refered to by Deleuze in Cinema 2 as Bergsons first great diagram (see figure on top of page 173) (1985, 65 n. 4/289 n. 3). 11. Here Deleuze is referring to Bergsons seminal argument in Matter and Memory, for the necessary doubling of psychological and ontological memory, and for his concomitant contention that there are several levels, planes or stories of consciousness. Bergson explains, The same psychical life, therefore, must be supposed to be repeated an endless number of times on the successive stories (tages) of memory, and the same


Notes to Chapter 5


act of the mind may be performed at various heights. In the effort of attention, the mind (lesprit) is always concerned in its entirety, but it simplifies or complicates itself according to the level on which it chooses to accomplish its evolutions (1997a, 115/1991, 105, trans. modified). 12. We explored this contention of his in the second chapter (especially the first section, Memory and the Brain: Which Survival?). In Matter and Memory, Bergson argues that such spontaneous memory (the immediate and automatic recording of every detail independently of utility) conditions habit-memory (or the memory of the body in accordance with which recollections insert themselves into the nascent movements that coincide with perceptions).The latter is only a recollection to the extent that I can remember having acquired it, but I can only remember having acquired it because I implicitly appeal to spontaneous memory (1997a, 89/1991, 94). See also Memory of the Present and False Recognition, in Mind-Energy (1996, 12425/1975, 12324). 13. In Nous avons invent la ritournelle, in Deux rgimes de fous (pp. 35256), Deleuze establishes an important distinction between history and becoming. I return to this in the Conclusion. 14. In Mind-Energy (1996, 11052/1975, 10952). 15. This is what Deleuze calls the 3rd diagram, which Bergson does not feel the need to draw (1985, 109, n. 22/2001, 295, n. 23).

16. And, of course, in accordance with our earlier claim that the cinema itself thinks, we must understand that the visionary here is no one in particular. In fact, it


Notes to Chapter 6
would have to be the cinematic process itself, which constitutes an arrangement between all the people and the machinic processes involved in the production and reception of the images.

Chapter 6. Proust and Thought: Death, Art, and the Adventures of the Involuntary
1.As shown in the first chapter, Bergson argues that Kants distinction between the phenomenal and the noumenal and his consequent notion of the transcendental fail to acknoweldge the purely temporal or durational side of the real, thereby remaining trapped in spatialized or abstract thinking. In short, Bergson argues that Kants inability to overcome dualism (see the antinomies, the relativity of knowledge, and the affirmation of the impossibility of intellectual intuition) stems from his inability to establish the true dualism (the difference in kind between space and time, the actual and the virtual, the quantitative and the qualitative multiplicities). Kant is thus unable to bridge the two sides of the real: given that the two multiplicities have not been distinguished, no convergence between them can be established. 2. In the absolute we are, we move and live. The knowledge we have of it is incomplete, no doubt, but not external or relative. It is being itself, in its depths, that we reach by the combined and progressive development of science and philosophy (1998a, 200/1988, 199, trans. modified). 3. Letter from Bergson to William James dated 27 June, 1907. Reproduced in Mlanges (1972, 72627).Trans. Melissa McMahon. Bergson: Key Writings (2002, 36162). 4. No one has insisted more than Proust on the following point: that the truth is produced, that it is produced by orders of machines that function within us, that it is extracted from our impressions, hewn out of life, delivered in a work (1998b, 176/2000, 146). 5. Although the Random House Montcrieff translation of A la Recherche du temps perdu I am using here is titled Remembrance of Things Past (1981), I much prefer to use a direct translation of the French title, namely, The Search for Lost Time. 6. See Gregg Lamberts (2002) The Non-Philosophy of Gilles Deleuze, especially his first chapter, titled Philosophy and Non-Philosophy. 7. As I pointed out in the last chapter, although Bergson hypothesizes the theory of pure or immanent perception to account for the emergence of thought, he does not go so far as to claim that this is anything more than an in-principle experience. In my view, it was precisely Deleuzes import to show that the great modern cinema could indeed yield the experience of acenteredness that characterizes pure perception. 8. In Pli, vol. 15 (2004): 15897. 9. In his wonderful little monograph from 1957, simply entitled Proust.


Notes to Chapter 6
10. Note that in the last chapter, this revelation of the very force of time (and not only of its effects) also constituted the nexus of the crystal-image. 11. Here Deleuze is refering to Prousts implicit criticism of Bergsons conception of memory (and, I want to add, of Truth). Proust writes: In spite of all that may be said about survival after the destruction of the brain, I observe that each alteration of the brain is a partial death.We possess all our memories, but not the faculty of recalling them, said, echoing M. Bergson, the eminent Norwegian philosopher whose speech I have made no attempt to imitate in order not to slow things down even more. But not the faculty of recalling them.What then, is a memory which we do not recall? Or indeed, let us go further. We do not recall our memories of the last thirty years; but we are wholly steeped in them; why then stop at thirty years, why not extend this previous life back to before our birth? If I do not know a whole section of the memories that are behind me, if they are invisible to me, how do I know whether in that mass that is unknown to me there may be some that extend back much further than my human existence? . . . A common oblivion obliterates everything. . . .The being that I shall be after death has no more reason to remember what I have been since my birth than the latter to remember what I was before it. (1999, 1496/1981, vol. 2, 1017) 12. In the third chapter of Difference and Repetition, Deleuze develops his critique of representation (informed by common sense and identity) as the model for thought through a reinterpretation of the Kantian notion of synthesis. For Deleuze, the first type of synthesis (or repetition) coincides with the largely unconscious and bodily formation of habit.The second type of repetition introduces memory and explains recognition: as James Williams puts it in his Gilles Deleuzes Difference and Repetition (2003), we come to recognize an actual thing and assign a fixed identity to it because habitual repetitions, recorded and synthesized in memory, allow us to have a fixed representation of things. But beyond recognition and representation, the third repetition (what Deleuze also calls the eternal return,the empty form of time, and what I here propose to call death) connects the first two repetitions to difference-in-itself: It explains how actual things change in relation to virtual becomings (12). From the point of view of that third synthesisor that superior, nonsubjective viewpointit now appears that habit and memory are the optical effects of daily life, which are only possible against a background of virtual differences or intensities. 13. Although on rare occasions, the outcome of the work of interpretation is crowned with joy, joy itself does not drive the work: it marks its contingent success. 14. A Thousand Plateaus, 294/240. 15. This last phrase is quite impossible to translate into English. In French tirer un plan is literally to make a print from a negative. It thus suggests a movement of pulling out, drawing out of some preexisting thing or state, but it also conveys the idea of a reversal (between the negative and the print), a transformation or a conversion involved


Notes to Conclusion
in this movement. Furthermore, the word plan is insuperably ambiguous. It conveys all at once the idea of a flat surface or a ground and a plan or a program. Thus when Deleuze and Guattari define thought in all of its forms as that which tire des plans sur le chaos, they are indicating at once all of the characteristics of their notion of the virtual (or the revaluated transcendental): positivity, inherent dynamic or variability, necessary interaction with the other side, and both its grounding (flat surface) and ungrounding (plan to go beyond the ground) powers.

Conclusion. Bergson-Deleuze Encounters: Machinic Becomings and Virtual Materialism

1. Deleuzes lecture The Theory of Multiplicities in Bergson, http://www. webdeleuze.com. See also 2001b, 1409/1965, 176. 2. See Ansell-Pearsons (2002) insightful first essay, Introducing Time as a Virtual Multiplicity, in Philosophy and the Adventures of the Virtual, 942. See especially the section The Whole of Duration. 3. Most importantly, what characterizes this genuine philosophy of life is that for Bergson as, more recently, for Raymond Ruyer, evolution does not go from one actual term to another in a linear and homogenous series (like traditional evolutionism does), but from a virtual to the terms that actualize it. See Raymond Ruyer, La gense des formes vivantes. In Bergsonism (103/100), Deleuze makes reference to Ruyers Elments de psycho-biologie (PUF), which I have been unable to locate or find any record of. 4. See, for instance, 1983, 8384/2001, 56, emphasis in original. 5. Decisive chapter in the sense that it is there that Deleuzes original accounts of difference-in-itself and repetition-for-itself find their reason, in the overcoming of a certain image of thought informed by forms of representation that always reduce difference to the same. 6. Cinema 1, Preface to the French Edition. 7. In Cinema 2, Deleuze writes, What constitutes the crystal-image is the most fundamental operation of time: since the past is constituted not after the present that it was but at the same time [cf. Bergsons memory of the present], time has to split itself in two at each moment as present and past, which differ from each other in nature, or, what amounts to the same thing, it has to split the present in two heterogeneous directions, one of which is launched toward the future while the other falls into the past (109/81). 8. 1985, 275/2001, 211. See also Steven Rose, The Conscious Brain (1975). 9. Attributable to such naturalists as William Bateson (1894). 10.This follows from Bergsons demonstration of the utilitarian orientation of conscious perception, on the one hand, and of his conception of the dynamic schema, on


Notes to Conclusion
the other (his idea that a perception is already the beginning of an action). As he notes, It may be claimed that considerations of utility are out of place here; that the eye is not made to see, but that we see because we have eyes; that the organ is what it is, and utility is a word by which we designate the functional effects of the structure. But when I say that the eye makes use of light, I do not merely mean that the eye is capable of seeing; I allude to the very precise relations that exist between this organ and the apparatus of locomotion.The retina of the vertebrates is prolonged in an optic nerve, which, again, is continued by cerebral centers connected with motor mechanisms (1998, 72/71). 11. As I noted before, my argument here does not concern the current validity of Bergons scientific references as much as it tries to convey his conception of evolution on his own terms. For more recent biological references regarding these issues, consult the extensive bibliography that Keith Ansell-Pearson has compiled in his Bergsons Creative Evolution/Involution, in The New Bergson, 14667. 12. Note the striking relevance of this whole discussion to the current debates between evolutionism and intelligent design! Note also that Bergsons vital impulse does not in any way negate evolutionary theories. On the contrary, it refines them in order to make room for both determinacy (directions of evolution) and indeterminacy (spontaneity and creation of forms). As he puts it, Each of [these theories], being supported by a considerable number of facts, must be true in its way. Each of them must correspond to a certain aspect of the process of evolution. Perhaps even it is necessary that a theory should restrict itself exclusively to a particular point of view, in order to remain scientific, i.e., to give a precise direction to researches into detail. But the reality of which these theories takes a partial view must transcend (dpasser) them all. And this reality is the special object of philosophy, which is not constrained to scientific precision because it contemplates no practical application (1998, 85/1998, 8485). 13. The Logic of Sense, 208/177. Deleuze adds, We do not raise contrary qualities to infinity in order to affirm their identity; we raise each event to the power of the eternal return in order that the individual, born out of that which happens, affirm her distance with respect to every other event. As the individual affirms the distance, she follows and joins it, passing through all the other individuals implied by the other events, and extracts from it a unique Event which is once again herself, or rather the universal freedom (209/178, trans. modified).


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abstraction, 19, 107, 118, 142, 147, 160n16; of individual qualities, 75; intellectual, 12 actual, the, 29, 39, 41, 4445, 47, 51, 57, 64, 83, 113114, 119121, 128, 142, 143, 151, 159n8, 163n10; consciousness, 40, 50, 69, 71; perception, 29, 41, 4345, 46, 56, 68, 71, 74, 112, 114 actualization, 48, 52, 57, 61, 73, 8182, 103, 166n12, 170n9; of consciousness, 27, 41, 53; of memory, 35, 52, 73; process of, 14, 48, 52, 53, 57, 65; of the virtual, 45, 51, 53, 72 affection, 22, 2628, 84, 99, 109 Albertine, 133134 Amarcord, 121 analysis, 37, 49, 53, 79, 85, 9195, 103, 106, 169n4, 170n9 Ansell-Pearson, Keith: 3, 1213, 129, 135, 143, 152, 155n5, 156nn1112, 165n7, 165n10, 176n2, 177n11 Anti-dipus, 130 Antonioni, Michelangelo: Avventura, L, 109 aphasia, 36, 4243 apparatus, 106107; cinematographic, 51; of locomotion, 177n10; muscular, 49; photographic, 149; visual, 151

apperception: unity of, 27, 94 apprenticeship, 121, 134, 136137, 140 a priori, 16, 37, 43, 56, 90, 159n10, 160n12; categories, 7; deduction, 28; form of sensibility, 11 Aristotle, 34, 63, 66, 97, 162n2 art, 105, 123, 128129, 131141; genetic condition for, 41; work of, 122, 126, 132 associationism, 17, 34, 43, 65, 158n7 associationist psychology, 17, 4243, 166n19 attention, 4547, 117; effort of, 78, 173n11; progress of, 51, 113; to life, 41, 45 Avventura, L, 109 Bacon, Francis, 2 Barbaras, Renaud, 27, 160n18 Beckett, Samuel, 130132, 134 becoming, 31, 35, 6366, 71, 106, 108, 130, 140141, 146147, 151, 153, 155n3, 173n13; block of, 2; experience of, 8; forces of 110; process of, 53, 83; universal 70 Being and Nothingness, 33 Bergsonism, 3, 5, 89, 87, 116, 142143, 153, 156n7, 158n8, 160n17; and dif-


Bergsonism (continued) ference, 71; and dualism, 19, 23, 57; and duration, 90; and false problems, 95; of the future, 9, 142, 153; and Husserl, 143, 166n14; and integral experience, 4; and Kant, 34; and metaphysics, 6364; and the mind/body problem, 57; and movement-image, 118; and the paradox of the double, 34; and phenomenology, 144145; and recollection, 113; and revolution, 3; and transcendental empiricism, 76 Beyond the Pleasure Principle, 41, 162n6, 169n4 Blanchot, Maurice, 2, 29, 55, 128; The Infinite Conversation, 5 body, the, 19, 2129, 3133, 3541, 4446, 4849, 52, 7172, 85, 112, 114, 160n17, 173n12; without organs, 135 brain, the, 3, 6, 15, 2227, 3233, 41, 4346, 5657, 61, 70, 83, 147, 156n7, 159n9, 160n15, 173n12, 175,11 Cartesian: era, 63; form 84; framework, 166n14 Cartesianism, 57, 63 causality: billiard ball, 158n4; conception of, 16; gunpower, 165n9; mechanical, 142; principle of, 18; teleological, 83 cause, 15, 52, 62, 77, 158n4, 166n19; conception of 59; for the fragmentation, 61; of perception, 26; mechanical, 107 central telephonic switchboard, 23, 31, 44, 160n14, 160n17 cerebral: arrangement, 22, 57; centers, 177n10; little deaths, 147; matter, 23, 31; substance, 31; variation, 26; vibration, 23 change, 64, 123, 130, 142, 147, 149, 157n15; hereditary, 150; phenomenon of, 58; of place, 92; qualitative, 13, 107, 118; quantitative, 92; voluntary 29 Chiasm, the, 27 cinema, the, 105108, 111112, 115119, 144145, 171, 173n16; Cinema 1, 118, 143; Cinema 2, 5, 41, 47, 84, 116, 118, 120; cinematic image, 107108, 112; cinematic process, 174n16; cinematic thought, 105; cinematograph, 106107; cinematographic art; 170, 172n8; cinematographic image, 108, 111, 118, 125, 140; cinematographic model of intellectual knowledge, 126; cinematographic nature, 119, 124; metacinema, 106 circuit, 5051, 107, 109110, 113, 115, 117, 120121; short-, 115 clich, 110, 113, 162n7 coexistence, 38, 58, 62, 64, 66, 70, 85, 90, 117, 120121, 153 common sense, 3, 21, 145, 175n12 concept, 83, 96, 100, 102103; of being, 63; creation of, 8, 41, 135; formation of, 75; of life, 5859 condition, 19, 35, 51, 6970, 97, 100, 102103, 115, 117, 122, 126128, 143, 157n15, 170,10; for the actualization, 51, 53; of experience, 3, 7, 51, 53, 9091, 97, 100, 108, 145, 166n16; genetic, 96, 101, 162n7; human, 6, 7, 86, 164n1, 169n7, 170n7; Kantian, 34, 100, 101, 166n16; of necessity, 34, 101, 170n9; negative, 46; for the possibility, 19, 34, 46, 73, 90, 9798, 115, 160, 170n9; pure, 99; for the reality, 73, 170n9; transcendental, 2, 7, 51, 81, 108; true, 58; virtual, 7, 45, 5152, 101 cone, the, of memory, 72, 74, 101, 112, 147, 166n19, 167n23 connaissance. See knowing


consciousness, 2, 56, 1319, 22, 2430, 3650, 5253, 57, 6271, 77, 8182, 8587, 92, 94, 96, 99, 102, 115118, 128, 143145, 150, 157n13, 158n7, 160n17, 162n4, 165n11, 166n12, 169n3; actual, 7, 50, 69, 72; actualization of, 27, 53; camera-, 110111, 119; conscious state, 12, 16; genesis of, 21, 25, 55, 108; immediate, 14, 16, 158n8, 169n3; phenomenon of; 19, 22, 28, 67; in Phenomenology of Spirit, 75; planes of, 7880, 112, 172n11 continuity, 75, 49, 5960, 82, 92, 132, 147; of becoming, 65; and discontinuity, 31, 50, 60; of existence, 70; heterogeneous, 76; sonorous, 49; of sound, 49; in space, 69; of the unconscious, 69 contraction, 7, 48, 53; degrees of, 86; dilation and, 101; effort of, 58, 133; levels of, 86; notion of, 45, 85; state of, 80 creation, 9, 8, 97, 105, 129, 136; of concepts, 135, 157n14, 162n7; of difference, 85; effort of, 83; of forms, 150, 152, 177n12; and invention, 137; memory and, 128; movement of, 93, 113; of the new, 147; poetic, 158n6; and production; secrets of, 91, 157n15; spark of, 125; truth and, 96, 97, 136; of the virtual, 151; of a work of art, 132 creative: abilities, 25; actualization, 170n9; effort, 148; emotion, 86, 100; evolution, 42, 45, 124125, 147148, 150151; impulse, 58; integration, 18; involution, 105, 155n3; time, 157n15 Creative Evolution, 13, 15, 20, 22, 25, 42, 45, 5859, 6264, 93, 106, 143, 148, 151, 156n13, 158n4, 159n9, 161n1 critique: Critique of Pure Reason, 27, 156n5; Kants, 13, 9798; Kantian, 19, 42, 56, 64, 90, 156n13, 168n29, 170n9; phenomenological, 27 crystal, 117, 120122, 171n6; crystalline, 120; crystallization, 94; -image, 114117, 120121, 125, 127, 140, 145145, 153, 175n10, 176n7, of time, 105 death, 90, 125, 127131, 135, 137, 141, 147, 151152, 175nn1112; in Amarcord, 121; as artistic production, 129; experience of, 116, 128, 130; -instinct, 129, 162n6; in Proust, 124, 152 dj vu, 44, 116 delay. See cart Descartes, 63, 64, 74, 126 determinism, 1517, 19, 34, 42, 48, 114, 119, 149, 158n4; determinist, 1516, 18 deterritorialization, 108 difference, 6, 20, 2425, 30, 3435, 37, 45, 53, 5758, 60, 62, 6466, 7377, 82, 85, 87, 94, 112, 138, 165n11, 168n1, 175n12, 176n5; in degree, 27, 30, 58, 62, 65, 7172, 8485, 98100, 138; internal, 62, 73, 80, 98; in kind, 16, 2728, 3031, 34, 56, 58, 62, 71, 82, 84, 96, 98100, 138139, 149, 169n6, 174n1; of nature, 30, 5658, 66, 72, 85; ontological, 62; philosophy of, 5657, 72, 85, 89, 166n18; qualitative, 17, 2829, 38, 40, 62, 64, 98; radical, 11, 39, 51; temporal, 62 Difference and Repetition, 45, 27, 56, 105, 126, 129, 136137, 144145, 146, 156n12, 161n23, 161n35, 165n5, 165n10, 171n1, 175n12 differential calculus, 4 discernment, 2526, 49 discontinuity, 6, 31, 50, 60, 82, 147 distance. See cart double, paradox of the, 14, 3435, 45, 57, 61


dream, 4041, 74, 78, 112115, 130, 162n6; anxiety dream, 162n6; dreamer, 74, 115, 121; -life, 40; dream state, 167n23. See also image dualism, 5, 12, 19, 21, 2324, 28, 31, 34, 4445, 55, 5758, 62, 75, 84, 95, 99, 101, 120, 124, 145, 158n7, 174n1, 156n7, 158n7, 174n1 dualist, 6 dualistic: metaphysics, 89; monism, 58, 87; problematic, 159n8; project, 21; tradition 75 duration, 23, 6, 12, 1421, 27, 30, 35, 3841, 51, 5760, 62, 66, 7072, 8286, 9095, 98103, 107, 118119, 123137, 142, 146147, 152153, 157n15, 158n4, 158nn78, 160n13, 164n4, 165n8, 166n15, 168nn2728; Bergsonian, 123, 129, 131, 146, 168n28; ontological, 58, 64, 91, 102; psychic, 15; psychological, 64, 102; rhythms of, 58, 62, 72, 92, 94, 102, 153; vital, 127, 137, 152 la dure. See duration dynamic schema, 77, 7980, 93, 163n11, 176n10 cart, 2227, 8384, 102103, 147, 177n13 effort, 7680, 8283, 92, 148, 150, 167n21; of abstraction, 75; of attention, 78, 173n11; of contraction, 58; intellectual, 18, 78, 8283, 8587, 93, 112, 167n21; of intuition, 156n13; of invention, 82, 84; of recollection, 66, 80, 84, 93; of reflection, 77; of synthesis, 47; of the will, 14, 18, 38, 45 lan vital. See vital impulse Eleatic, 15, 92, 118, 158n5, 169n2 empiricism, 8990, 95, 97, 102; philosophical, 95; superior, 34, 100102, 108, 115116, 142, 166n18, 170n9; transcendental, 57, 159n11; virtual, 3, 7, 42, 57, 103, 170n9 emergence, 103; of a center, 118; of consciousness, 19, 108; of a spirit, 157n15; of subjectivity, 8; of thought, 112, 126, 139, 157n15, 171, 174n7 epistemology, 6, 13, 23, 48, 95 essence, 58, 62, 68, 78, 90, 102103, 107108, 117, 123, 132139, 142, 151, 166n13, 170n10 Europe 51, 113 event, the, 51, 74, 80, 128, 132, 135, 139, 162n4, 177n13 evolution, 2, 42, 6061, 77, 82, 142, 146152, 155n3, 166n12, 176n3, 177nn1112; cosmic, 90; of life, 5860, 93; natural, 18; organic, 151; vegetal, 150. See also creative existentialism, 4, 30, 158n7 expansion, 7, 61; artistic, 9; experimentation, 3, 115; of the image, 110; intellectual, 51; powers of, 110, 112113, 119 experience: actual, 53, 101, 118; conscious, 38; of death, 128130; empirical, 161n21; existential, 158n7; ground of, 11; grounding, 53, 105; human, 56, 69, 76, 81, 102, 164n1; image of, 2; integral, 3, 91, 167n22, 168n1; human, 81; mystical, 100, 132133; orders of, 36, 39, 4041; past, 19, 28, 36, 71; phenomenological, 170n9; philosophies of, 30; Proustian, 5152, 129, 167n22; psychological, 34, 76, 91; real, 100, 108; reflective, 51; scientific, 60; of sense, 4950; sensible, 3; theory of, 30; transcendental, 91, 102, 139, 146, 153, 161nn2021, 163n12; virtual, 108; visionary, 112113. See also condition; pure perception extensity, theory of, 28, 99, 101, 103


F for Fake, 105, 171n5 feeling (sentiment), 17, 22, 69, 75, 78, 80, 84, 9294, 97, 100101, 132, 135, 140 Fellini, 120, 121, 171n5 finalism, 82; finality, 59; internal, 59; teleological, 148 flashback, 113115 fragment, 130, 135 fragmentation, 8, 61, 135 free will, 15, 1819, 51 freedom, 2, 11, 1516, 1819, 21, 2526, 28, 34, 48, 53, 5859, 77, 9697, 100, 119, 125, 133, 153, 165n12, 177n13 Freud, Sigmund, 41, 159n8, 162,6, 165n11, 169n4; Beyond the Pleasure Principle, 47, 162n6, 169n4 force of time, 8, 23, 111, 140, 175n10 form of space 6, 11, 108, 170n9 form of time 6, 39, 81, 108, 129, 131132, 135, 137, 140, 151152, 164n4, 168n28, 175n12 Foucault, Michel, 29, 42; pendulum 42 future, 1617, 2930, 39, 66, 68, 71, 85, 94, 97, 102, 117, 120122, 124, 126, 135, 137, 141, 142, 145 genesis: of conscious experience, 118; of consciousness, 21, 25, 55, 108; of thought, 117, 124, 127, 134; of time, 8, 112, 125, 145 Godard, JeanLuc, 109, 171n3, 171n6 Gouhier, Henri, 63 ground of experience, 11, 7677, 81, 96, 102, 108 Guatarri, Flix, 2, 4, 11, 133, 155n3; What is Philosophy?, 140141, 143, 162n7 Guermantes, Chteau de, 121, 130 habit, 6, 13, 37, 40, 68, 74, 77, 8687, 90, 94, 97, 125, 127, 131, 133, 139, 161n23, 162n5, 173n12, 175n12; memory; 35, 71; -recognition, 43 Hamlet, 129, 146 Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich, 75, 77, 126, 162n4; The Phenomenology of Spirit, 75 Heidegger, Martin, 87, 162n2 heterogeneity, 5, 11, 12, 7273, 86, 147 Hitchcock, Alfred, 107, 109, 111, 119; Vertigo, 107 Houdini, Harry, 79 human condition, the. See condition Hume, David, 27, 43, 166n19 Husserl, Edmund Gustav Albrecht, 143, 149, 166n14 idea: of death, 129030, 135, 151, 152; general, 7374, 7778; Idea, 136138; Ideas of Platonism, 34; ready-made, 90 idealism, 2129, 42, 49, 55, 57, 72, 75, 90, 143, 156n7; Platonic, 124; transcendental, 4, 45, 56, 90, 102104, 108, 120, 124, 170n9 idealist, 5, 21, 23, 67 identity, 4, 63, 153, 175n12, 177n13 illusion, 16, 23, 6970, 87, 9699, 103, 115, 117, 169n7 image, 2124, 142153; action-, 36, 144, 172n6; affection-, 144; Bergsonian, 72; brain, 22; cinematic, 108, 112; cinematographic, 107, 111, 118, 172n8; dogmatic, 90, 126127; memory-, 33, 36, 3941, 43, 46, 50, 52, 6566, 112, 114115, 172n9; movement-, 2224, 36, 107111, 118119, 144145, 160n13; optical-sound, 110111, 116, 162n7; past, 2829, 3536, 41, 47, 49; perception-, 38, 50, 144; Proustian, 111, 172n8; pure optical, 112114; recollection-, 73, 112117, 142n9; and schema, 8186, 93; sensory-motor, 109, 162n7; spatial, 70; time-, 36, 109111, 113115, 117, 119, 144145, 160n13, 171n6, 172n6, 172n8; virtual, 52, 101, 113115, 117, 120


immanence, pure, 3, 8, 101, 108, 116, 118, 120, 127, 142146, 153 immanent process, 4, 13, 76, 97, 101, 108, 114, 120, 138 immediate data of consciousness, 12, 16, 27, 31, 40, 66, 74, 79, 103, 172n12 impotence, 4, 29, 30, 66, 109, 112, 119, 134 impuissance. See impotence indeterminability, point of, 109 indetermination, center of, 15, 2629, 4849, 52 individuation, 5860, 62, 164n5, 164n7, 164n10 inertia, 1516, 64, 125127 Infinite Conversation,The, 55 inhuman, 4, 56, 102103, 129 Innocent,The, 122 intellect, 18, 27, 45, 50, 82, 84, 87, 91, 9698, 103, 124127, 139140, 157n13, 169n7 intellectual: attitude, 45; effort, 7778, 8387, 93, 112; illusion, 39, 46, 51, 63, 9799, 101102; recognition, 40, 44, 56; state, 45 intelligence, 7, 13, 15, 20, 26, 37, 4849, 59, 67, 70, 90, 93, 9799, 124, 129, 156n13, 158n5, 161n20 intensity (-ies), 45, 51, 65, 70, 72 intentionality, 25, 145, 160n17 interval, 15, 50, 84; spatial, 25; temporal, 69 Introduction to Metaphysics,The, 15, 89, 91, 164n1, 164n3, 168n1 intuition, 14, 45, 56, 81, 89103, 124129, 156n13, 158n7, 169nn34, 169n7: intellectual, 63, 174n1; method of, 7, 13, 34, 58, 64, 87, 89, 91, 94103, 106, 124, 136, 146, 159n10, 161n21, 168n1, 169n7; of matter, 31; paradox of, 91; present, 29; pure, 92; shape of, 55; of spirit, 38; of the vital, 7 involuntary, the, 52, 81, 123, 136 involution, creative, 2, 42, 105, 155n3, 177n11 James,William, 2, 124, 155n5, 156n5, 156n12, 157n2, 164n1, 174n3l; Pragmatism, 124 Je taime, je taime, 110 jealousy, 133, 134, 140, 151 Kant, Immanuel, 23, 11, 1415, 2021, 27, 31, 34, 45, 53, 56, 63, 81, 84, 9091, 93, 97100, 124, 126, 170n9, 174n1; Critique of Pure Reason, 27. See also critique knowing, 75, 124, 133134 knowledge, 2, 3, 1920, 23, 29, 34, 45, 48, 56, 67, 9092, 94, 106, 119, 124128, 134, 136, 146, , 157n13, 164n1, 165n12, 174nn12 Kristeva, Julia, 135 Lamarck, Jean-Baptiste, 149; neoLamarckism, 149150 Lambert, Gregg, 127, 174n6 language, 14, 17, 4850, 73, 158n6 Lawlor, Leonard, 34, 145, 156n11, 158n16, 160n17, 160n34, 162n3 Leibnitz, Gottfried Wilhelm, 59, 63; Leibnitzian theory, 59 lived reality, 3, 95; transcendental, 4; vcu transcendental, 4 machine, 82, 135, 137, 141, 148153, 160n17; cinematographic, 153; literary, 135, 148, 152153 machinic, 112, 118; arrangements, 147; becomings, 124, 133134, 141142, 148; processes, 112, 173n16; machinism, 4; production, 148. See also production madeleine, 52, 132, 134, 138, 167n24 materialist, 4, 149, 156n7


materiality, 48, 108, 112, 125, 141, 143, 151, 152 matter, 15, 21, 23, 2628, 3031, 42, 49, 6170, 8485, 90, 101, 103, 125, 128, 138139, 144, 149, 152153, 156n13, 158n4, 167n23; cerebral, 6, 23, 31; as an ensemble of images, 21; gray, 24, 83; intuition of, 31; and memory, 20, 25, 31, 35, 47, 57, 59, 65, 70, 72, 86, 99, 158n8; metaphysics of, 58; and perception, 2327, 31, 99; philosophy of, 21; and representation, 23, 70; and spirit, 3031, 35, 37, 5758, 76, 8384, 90, 103, 120, 145, 158n8; vision of, 27 Matter and Memory, 3, 5, 6, 1921, 25, 31, 33, 38, 42, 44, 45, 53, 56, 59, 6465, 76, 78, 83, 90, 100, 106, 114, 116, 143144, 155n5, 158n8, 159n9, 160n17, 171n1, 172n9, 173n12 mechanic: accumulation, 83; -al, 128, 717; -al determinism, 158n4; apparatus, 107; arrangements, 40; causality, 142; cause, 107; law, 16; movements, 107 mechanism, 4. 3536, 39, 40, 43, 106, 114, 119, 143, 150, 151, 165n12, 166n15; antagonistic, 117; of consciousness, 28; inhibitory, 44; of knowledge, 106, 119, 124, 146; material, 125; motor, 4546, 177n10; psychological, 81; 167n24; sensorymotor, 36; of unconscious, 30 mechanistic, 112; account, 83, 118, 149150, 171; approach, 1517; associationism, 34, 158n7; causality, 83; conception of cause, 59; critique of, 59; doctrines, 150; finalism, 148; process, 118, self, 18 memory, 2, 6, 8, 1315, 18, 2439, 4853, 5559, 61, 6468, 7181, 83, 8586, 9395, 99, 101, 103, 112117, 128, 131, 137138, 143, 145, 147, 151152, 157n15, 158n8, 160n13, 160nn1617, 161n23, 162n9, 166nn1516, 167n23, 169n4, 171n1, 172nn89, 172n11, 173n12, 175nn1112, 176n7; actualization of, 35, 52, 73, 78; conception of, 25, 175n11; involuntary, 52, 81, 131, 151; psychological, 40, 58; proper, 3738, 64, 74, 166n15; pure, 30, 45, 65, 67, 72, 78, 101; spontaneous, 3941, 117, 173n12; theory of, 3336, 45, 158n8; virtual, 5, 40, 4445, 57, 78, 83; voluntary, 126. See also cone of memory; image: memory; habit: memory; matter: and memory; present: memory; recollection: -memory; representation: -memory metacinema. See cinema metaphysics: 2, 6, 13, 49, 56, 58, 63, 9091, 93, 95, 98; of becoming, 116; of the real, 13, 89, 95 Merleau-Ponty, Maurice, 27, 145, 157n15, 160n17, 162n9 Mill, John Stuart, 169n4 mind/body problem, the, 56, 20, 25, 45, 57, 84, 157n13 Mind-Energy, 44, 161n19, 167n21, 173n12, 173n14 mobility, 5, 2223, 93, 99, 106107, 111, 118, 125 modernity, 64 molecular. See movement motility, 5 motor schema, 4750 movement: absolute, 8993, 102, 107; abstract, 106107, 118; of actualization, 57, 73; consciousness of, 22; form of, 21; freedom of, 2526; of memory 65; molecular, 2324; of the real, 102, 125; relative, 107; retrograde movement of the true, 9, 98, 103, 169n5; spiritual, 62; of thought, 66, 90, 100, 102, 166n19. See also image: movement-


Movement-Image,The, 108 Mullarkey, John, 12, 13, 155n5, 156n11, 164n2 Multiplicity, 15, 17, 7172, 75, 80, 8384, 86, 89, 9496, 100, 124, 138, 142143, 162n4; actual, 5, 12; discrete, 12, 15, 20, 65; of duration, 17; heterogeneous, 5, 14, 35, 51, 57, 6162, 64, 80, 92, 158; homogenous, 5, 14, 83; qualitative, 5, 12, 14, 17, 35, 48, 62, 80, 84, 147, 174n1; quantitative, 5, 12, 14, 48, 62, 80, 84; virtual, 5, 7, 1213, 80, 94, 133 Neo-Lamarckism. See Lamarck, JeanBaptiste Nietzsche, Friedrich, 2, 27, 87, 110, 126 noumenal, 3, 56, 174n1 Nouvelle Vague, 109 novelty, 2, 157n15; of Bergsonism, 12, 64, 76, 87; possibility of, 16; reduction of 98 nuance, 17, 48, 72, 82; of difference 6, 71; of duration, 85; of memory, 74; qualitative, 87; sui generis, 85 ontology, 55, 57, 6364, 84, 89, 91, 9596, 134, 145147, 159n8, 161n24, 172n11. See also unconscious: ontological order of time, 52, 57, 6869, 123, 139, 151 orthodoxy, 87, 153 Outside, the, 29, 119, 147, 161n21 uvres, 63, 164n1 Passion, 109, 171n3, 171n6 past: actualization of, 73; existence, 51; perception, 39; preservation of, 6, 64, 147; pure, 36, 56, 66, 71, 81, 129, 131132, 158n8; unconscious, 71; virtual, 52. See also experience: past; image: past; survival: of the past pendulum, 42, 86, 101; Bergsons 42; Foucaults, 42 percept, 7, 11 perception, 2; actual, 41, 4345, 5657, 68, 71, 74, 112, 114; cinematographic, 107; conscious, 26, 31, 67, 103, 106, 108, 114, 144, 176n10; consciousness in, 28; experience of, 108; material, 38; of matter, 23; optical, 116; phenomenology of, 145, 162n9; present, 20, 4142, 4648, 52, 114; pure, 21, 2425, 1731, 55, 76, 92, 101, 108, 118, 160n17, 174n7; reflective, 52; subjective, 92; theory of pure, 2526, 83, 143. See also images: perception-; past: perception phenomenal realm, 3 phenomenological: account, 82; approach, 56; consciousness, 160n17; critique, 27; environment, 124; experience, 100, 170n9; image of experience 2; inquiry, 19; thinking, 145 phenomenology, 19, 24, 30, 63, 75, 143146, 160n17, 162n4, 162n9 Phenomenology of Spirit, The, 75 photograph, 7879, 106, 149, 162n9 plane, 136, 140, 142, 144; of composition, 142; of consistency, 142; of consciousness, 7778, 80, 112, 172; of experience, 69, 72; of immanence, 34, 111, 142143; of memory. See memory; physical, 83; temporal, 137; virtual, 114, 120, 136 point of contact, 6, 13, 26, 71, 86 point of diffraction, 5, 8, 105 positive: positivity, 62, 7677, 9798, 170n9, 176n15 power (puissance), 30, 55, 6162, 67, 78, 80, 102, 108, 110 pragmatism, 68; metaphysical, 2, 3; Pragmatism, 124 preindividual singularities, 3, 143, 161n25


present: abstract, 71; actual, 40; concrete, 66, 71; doubling of, 44; eternal, 71; intuitions, 29; memory of, 50, 113, 117, 120, 131, 176n7; state of consciousness, 16; virtualization of, 53, 73, 114, 145. See also perception problem: false, 6, 15, 19, 77, 95100, 136, 158n7, 159n10, 169n6; true, 23, 45, 57, 97, 136, 148, 159n10 production, 3, 4, 100, 129, 134135, 137, 141142, 147148, 151152, 157n15; artistic, 129, 136, 151; machinic, 9, 118, 148, 174n16; of the new, 2, 59; of truth, 135 Proust, Marcel, 2, 5, 89, 116117, 120140, 148, 151152, 156n8, 163n13, 167n22, 167n24, 168n26, 170n10, 171n6, 172n8, 174n4, 175n11; Proust and Signs (Proust et les signes), 5, 127, 133134, 137, 151, 156n8, 168n24, 170n10; Proustian epiphany, 130. See also experience: Proustian psychoanalysis, 2, 61, 165n11, 169n4; Kristevas, 135 psychology, 6, 67, 143, 159n9; of memory, 5558; and ontology, 9596 quantum physics, 4 race to the grave, the, 123, 125 real, the, 23, 6, 14, 20, 26, 39, 50, 56, 63, 69, 76, 90, 9698, 101, 109110, 112, 114, 117121, 123125, 127, 139, 140, 153, 163n10, 170n9, 174n1; articulations of, 99101; as becoming, 65, 69; impossible, 102; intuition of, 169n7; mobile, 96; secrets of, 91 realists, 5, 21, 37 recognition, 3637, 40, 4245, 4950, 52, 73, 81, 114, 146, 162nn89, 166n12, 166n19, 175n12; action-, 43; attentive, 41, 45, 4748, 81, 112113, 116, 126; Sartre, Jean-Paul, 33, 157n15; Being and Nothingness, 33 schema, dynamic. See dynamic schema science, 13, 1921, 24, 34, 45, 49, 6364, 67, 73, 80, 83, 93, 9495, 128, 140, 142, 159n9, 160n12, 161n1, 161n20, 171, 174n2 Search for Lost Time, The, 126, 152, 167n22, 174n5 self, 1719, 123, 132133, 135; deep, 133; deep-seated, 17; as dual, 41; fundamental, 18, 39; split, 14 self-alteration, 4, 13, 73, 102, 139, 142, 147 automatic, 41, 45, 49, 112, 149; complete, 48, 49; definition of, 42; false, 116, 173,12; intellectual, 44, 51, 56; intelligent, 3940; logic of, 110; phenomena of, 30, 35; superior, 125. See also habit: -recognition recollection, 29, 31, 3638, 40, 4252, 6771, 73, 7580, 82, 8487, 93, 95, 97, 99, 109, 112, 114, 117117, 159n8, 163n13, 166n16, 167n24, 172nn89, 173n12; memory, 80. See also image: recollection-; unconscious: recollection Renoir, Jean, 120 representation, 3, 14, 21, 2327, 31, 3640, 44, 47, 50, 6771, 73, 7580, 82, 8487, 93, 95, 97, 99, 102, 112, 114, 127, 145146, 151, 175n12, 176n5; -memory, 35, 46, 114, 162n5 reproduction, 60, 62, 147, 164n5, 165n10 Resnais, Alain, 110, 171n5 revaluation, 2, 58; of thought, 140; of the transcendental, 141; of truth, 134, 136 revolution: Bergsonian, 3; Copernican, 3, 90, 164n1, 155n5 Riemanian geometry, 12 Rossellini, Roberto, 113; Europe 51, 113 Rules of the Game,The, 120


sensation, 14, 22, 28, 49, 5253, 6567, 78, 8587, 130, 132, 163n13, 168n29 sense, 4850, 52, 58, 71, 99, 128129, 152; Bergsonian, 95, 102; inner, 12; of intuition, 103; of life, 129; materialist, 156n7; and motor schema, 48; and sensibility, 74; and signs, 81, 134, 138139, 168n24. See also common sense sensibility, 22, 2627, 7477, 84, 90, 96, 137 sensory-motor system, 23, 2728, 3537, 4041, 66, 72, 102, 109112, 114 Sentendium, the, 27, 76 sentiment. See feeling shot, 106108 sign(s), 81, 86, 111, 132134, 136140, 143144, 151, 167n24, 172n8 Simondon, Gilbert, 86, 165n5 simultaneity, 15, 19, 30 source of experience, 14, 56, 76, 90, 118, 124125, 127, 134, 164n1 soul, 1718, 84, 89, 95, 100, 159n10, 169n7 Soulez, Philippe, 155n2 space, 15, 18, 27, 3031, 3435, 5051, 56, 6162, 6769, 92, 97, 99, 102, 108, 111, 136, 139, 144, 158n7, 160n12, 160n16, 170n9, 170n11, 174n1 Spinoza, Baruch, 2 spiritualization, 125, 136139 spontaneity, 1619, 22, 25, 34, 35, 42, 48, 97, 100101, 150, 177n12 style, 137139 subjectivism, 13, 7576, 153, 169n4 subjectivity, 4, 9, 27, 30, 42, 45, 47, 64, 68, 125, 127, 134135, 138, 145, 153, 158n6, 169n4; indetermination and, 4849; memory as, 35, objectivity and, 76, 100; and relativity, 91 succession, 12, 30, 38, 51, 58, 66, 71, 90, 94, 164n13 survival, 3536, 152, 165n12, 175n11; Bergsonian, 152; in itself, 7071; of matter, 35; of the past, 28, 31, 34, 56, 70, 103, 147, 161n24; of past images, 29 synthesis of time, 47, 53, 68, 129, 131, 137, 161n23, 168n24, 175n12 teleology: 7, 59, 82 temporality, 2930, 158n6 tendency (ies), 1314, 45, 57, 5965, 7075, 90, 96, 101103, 124, 164n5; antagonistic, 6061, 164n5; Bergsonian, 62, 51; intellectual, 99; motor, 43, 49; natural, 18, 85, 98, 125126; opposite, 15, 19, 42, 47, 57, 98, 100; qualitative, 20; theory of, 58, 62, 70, 89, 143, 166n12; virtual, 61, 94, 95 thinking, 17, 31, 62, 74, 90, 101103, 105, 116, 126128, 132133, 135137, 140, 142143, 145, 174n1 Thousand Plateaus, A, 11, 141, 147 Time and Free Will, 11, 1315, 19, 22, 3839, 45, 48, 51, 59, 62, 64, 89, 94, 96, 100, 133, 142, 159n9, 161n20, 165n12 Time-Image, 108 Time Regained, 121122, 126, 130, 151 Time and Sense, 135 transcendence, 3, 5, 30, 109, 117118, 120, 124, 136, 139, 141, 144145 transcendent exercise of the faculties, 1 transcendental, the, 51, 53, 71, 9798, 111, 141, 146, 170n8, 174n1, 176n15; exercise, 136; form, 51, 53, 84, 100, 108, 160n12; function, 108; insights, 114; material, 11, 108, 118; realm, 170n9; status, 108, 117. See also conditions; empiricism; experience; idealism, unconscious Two Sources of Morality and Religion,The (Two Sources), 15, 18, 20, 42, 86, 89, 100, 161n20


unconscious, the, 14, 25, 29, 36, 4042, 45, 5253, 57, 61, 6671, 8081, 86, 92, 96, 99, 101103, 114, 130, 140, 147, 159n8, 161n22, 162n11, 168n24, 169nn34, 175n12; Bergsonian, 31; existence of, 67; objective, 67; ontological, 6, 68, 82, 85, 90, 92, 95, 99, 102, 103; philosophy of, 145; problematic of, 36; recollection, 73; state, 67; subjective, 67; time of, 39, 164n4; transcendental, 53; unconsciousness, 6; virtual, 56, 71, 147. See also mechanism: of unconscious ungrounding, 153, 176n15 unity, 27, 38, 50, 5860, 62, 71, 77, 80, 86, 122, 138139, 147 utility, 17, 23, 29, 3842, 6869, 71, 149, 164n1, 173n12, 177n10 variability, 38, 58, 62, 168n25, 174n15 Vertigo, 107 virtual, the, 4, 6, 14, 31, 36, 3940, 42, 4447, 5158, 6266, 69, 7173, 77, 8183, 86, 8991, 95, 102103, 108, 111, 113114, 119121, 140143, 147, 151, 156n8, 156n12, 163,10, 174n1, 176n15. See also empiricism: virtual; memory: virtual virtualization, 53, 73, 113114, 145 Visconti, Luchino, 121122; Innocent,The, 122 Visible and the Invisible,The, 27 vision, 28, 74, 78, 109, 138139, 145, 148149, 169n3 vital impetus. See vital impulse vital impulse (lan Vital), 7, 20, 42, 58, 6062, 72, 86, 90, 100, 124125, 131, 142143, 148149 Welles, Orson, 105, 118, 171n4; F for Fake, 105, 171n5 What is Philosophy?, 140141, 143, 162n7 Worms, Frdric, 31, 35, 3839, 50, 152n2, 161n26 Zeno of Elea, 63, 93, 106; Zenos paradoxes, 15, 169n2


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S SUUN YY s se erri ie es s i in CCo n tte em ppo rraarryy F Frre en cch TTh o uug h tt N n o n m o n h h o g h t t PHILOSOPHY PHILOSOPHY


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The relationship between Bergsons and Deleuzes works The relationship between Bergsons and Deleuzes works has yet to be explored fully, and the author makes a a strong has yet to be explored fully, and the author makes strong case for a afundamental continuity in their thought. Her case for fundamental continuity in their thought. Her focus on them as advocates of a apost-Kantian philosophy focus on them as advocates of post-Kantian philosophy of transcendental experience brings to the fore the of transcendental experience brings to the fore the

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fundamental ontological and epistemological dimensions fundamental ontological and epistemological dimensions of their thought. of their thought. Ronald Bogue, Ronald Bogue, author of Deleuzes Wake:Tributes and Tributaries author of Deleuzes Wake:Tributes and Tributaries

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State University of New York Press State University of New York Press www.sunypress.edu www.sunypress.edu

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