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Gilles Deleuze The Logic of Sense: The Paradox of Regress

5 Aug

Sense being one of the main discussions in Deleuze’s book Logic of Sense, the fifth series talks about sense and why it is more than the presuppositions it leads to on a daily basis. This series in Deleuze’s book has a few paradoxes of sense in it. One being the paradox of regress. This series has difficulty in coming to understand it because of how Deleuze believes the sense to regress.

But I am all about paradoxes and understanding them.

“…I never state the sense of what I am saying. But on the other hand, I can always take the sense of what I say as the object of another proposition whose sense, in turn, I cannot state. I thus enter into the infinite regress of that which is presupposed” (Deleuze).  Deleuze state the sense to be not which is discussed out in front, but it is what is presupposed in any discussion on any issue. The sense that is used in any proposition/statement is not needed to be brought into discussion even if it is dominant in everything. Because the sense is so widespread, the sense of one proposition reaches the boundaries of other propositions, although the sense of this proposition is different and cannot be stated because of the fact that it is a different sphere of knowledge and propositions. Because of how the sense is presupposed in all propositions, it becomes ambiguous (?) creating the inability to actually state the sense of the other propositions that the sense for the discussed proposition had also.  “This regress testifies both to the great impotence of the speaker and to the highest power of language…” (Deleuze).  I state this quote because the high power of language contributes to this infinite regress of the sense, and the infinite regress of the sense causes a lot of the impotence of the speaker. “In short, given a proposition which denotes a state of affairs, one may always take its sense as that which another proposition denotes.” (Deleuze).  I quote Deleuze so much in this writing because no one can put this infinite regress better than he did. Deleuze states this paradox to be Frege’s paradox (other writings on Frege on this website, not on language but on logic in the ~F Logic page found in the above right). Deleuze again refers to Alice to exemplify in a real example this infinite regression.  Alice speaks with the Knight about a song he intends to sing. He states the name of the song to be Haddock’s Eyes,  where the Knight responds by saying that that is what the name of the song is called. With more discussion, the name of the song is called The Aged Aged Man. The song is then said to be ‘called’  The Ways and Means. With more discussion, the song ‘is’ A sitting on a Gate. The names (Aged Aged Man, Ways and Means, A sitting on a Gate, and Haddock’s Eyes) vary about the same song because of sense and how it reaches from statement to statement while ambiguously varying. One name is ‘what the song is called’, another is ‘what the name of the song is called’, another is what the song ‘is’. The same song being discussed is presupposed to have one name, but it has many different names when it is concerned what of the song is discussed. The talking between Alice and the Knight is stated by Deleuze to not be the infinite regression discussed, but it is finite in the fact that they get to understanding what the song is. Infinite regression (could even happen with the song, Alice and the Knight’s discussion could go on forever if they keep bringing up propositions about the same song varying because of the same sense that occurs in all of them) occurs when you do not come to a finite conclusion because different aspects of the same thing bring up different propositions because of the ambiguous outsretching sense that occurs in everything in existence. Sense cannot be defined and stated outright in a single proposition because it is not a state of affairs or an object, it is a quality and a feature that occurs in all states of affairs and objects because of the sense humans have. I explain this detailedly because I think (Deleuze also thought) that this infinite regression of sense being from our perception is a part of the power of language and contributes to the fact that language is not advanced enough to represent and state wholly our thoughts and ideas. This infinite regression is the clear reason for the faults language has when comparing it to our thoughts, and is the reason for the (unfortunate) enormous power language has over all. If sense was more simple and fathomable philosophy and linguistics would not be necessary (much science wouldn’t be necessary either) because we would easily be able to understand the world around us. I believe that God intentionally made sense this way so that we would seek him out and trust him with our lives, and so that we would know that we have to wait to get to Heaven to understand God’s works and everything else. Sense not having this infinite regression would defeat the purpose of our lives because of the fact that our purpose of life is to find the Lord and to seek salvation in him. If we knew everything we would all be  followers of the Lord which would be against what God wants for this world and His followers. We are all here together to sort through the nonsense of this world and find Him. There are reasons we are not able to know some of the things around us. God made it that way so that we would seek something to trust in. People respond to this worldly ambiguity by seeking God, atheism/agnosticism, solipsism/neutral monism, and other things. Solipsism and neutral monism (by Wittgenstein) are obviously (as stated in previous writings on this website), not the way to seek truth in the world. We can seek truth in the world, but we must know that we cannot know everything, and we must turn to faith for the rest.

If you feel anything I said above is wrong/fallacious, @reply on Twitter, email at, or comment below.

Thanks for the support.


Gilles Deleuze Logic of Sense: The Proposition

26 Jul

In Deleuze’s Logic of Sense, many arguable and intriguing things are brought to the table. I am only on the third series out of many series in the book (series here are like chapters). Only being at the third series, this is my second writing about the book.

In the third series, Deleuze begins to talk about what a proposition is created of, and how it comes to be. He divides the proposition between relations that are within it. These relations relate the proposition to its source, and influences that make it as it is so. Deleuze opposes the reliance of the proposition on signification because of the fact that universal propositions do not precede over as much as one may think. I think that the proposition relies mostly on denotation and manifestation because of the fact that propositions relate to specific unique states of affairs that we have questions about, and I also think that the person discussing the proposition has opinions and beliefs that direly affect that nature of the proposition itself.

We have questions about the world around us because of the fact that those things are specific in nature, and so specific that it is difficult to find truth about them. A preceding proposition having been validated has little grounds in the next proposition because of how this next proposition is as specific and unique as the one before. Because of these questions we have generating propositions to be validated, each proposition is extremely unique between it and the next one.

First, Deleuze states that one of the relations propositions have is denotation. This denotation is the relation to an outer state of affairs (correlating to Wittgenstein’s definition of state of affairs). States of affairs are single bodies, mixed bodies, grouped bodies, and the qualities and quantities thereof. Denotation is not to be confused with things related to propositions that are universal and widespread in nature. Denotation involves states of affairs that are singular and have a distinct when, where, and what about them. Deleuze exemplifies the uniqueness of each state of affairs within a denotation by saying how Benveniste  called the state of affairs indexicals. A proposition relying mostly on denotation and that denotation containing false states of affairs, makes that proposition false and likewise for truth. These indexicals of the denotation make the diversity of the world, causing issues to be discussed by use of proposition. These denotations make propositions what they really are.

The second kind of relation that propositions have to things outside it is the manifestation. The manifestation is the relation to the proposition of the  person advocating/opposing the discussed. A person with opinions putting forth a proposition about something, has his emotions, opinions, and beliefs. The proposition is made up by what the person discussing thinks.

Signification is the relation of the proposition to things that are universal and general in nature. Precedented propositions that are universal, and relating to a present argument is the relation of signification. Many things discussed are related to things that are precedented propositions because of their universality, and generality.

Sense being the fourth relational part of the proposition, is the relation of the proposition to sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch. Propositions being argued by people have root in the senses especially metaphysically.

I choose to explain these 4 relations in a proposition as stated by Deleuze because 2 of which I feel are more involved in the proposition than the others. Denotation and manifestation, in my opinion, are the best propositional relations, and signification and sense are relations that make propositions difficult and hard to understand.

Sense does well to distort the proposition because of how our perceptive senses are not often accurate or even correct. The sense shows things how we are able to see them, regardless of how correct those perceptions are. Because of how the sense has the commonality to convey inaccurate images, the direct use of the sense as a relation within a proposition is going backward. The proposition only goes backward if the sense is used directly as a relation. If the sense was not used at all in relations of a proposition, there would also be issues. Manifestation would not exist if there was no sense. Manifestation comes from the sense because of how our perceptions from the senses create our collective opinions and beliefs that become ingrained in our personalities. The sense’s indirect use with manifestation is helpful to the proposition, but its direct use does not help in forming or answering of the proposition.

Signification along with sense, is a propositional relation that also leads to difficulty and faults. Signification being relations within the proposition to universal/general concepts (Deleuze). Through denotation, the proposition will relate to universal concepts. Denotation (relation to specific states of affairs) will indirectly relate to certain universal concepts, without the direct relation of signification. Propositions are created because people have questions about the world around them that universal concepts already established cannot answer. The proposition is made because of how the question cannot be answered. The little relation to universal concepts the proposition has, in my opinion, is contained with denotation. The relation of signification is not necessary to state the relation to universal concepts.

2 of the 4 propositional relations that Deleuze states to exist I believe are truthful and not problematic. The problematic propositional relations are indirect relational parts of the other correct relation. For example,  I do not choose to advocate the use of signification, however, signification is a part of denotation. Signification is a part of denotation because of how specific states of affairs have some connection to universal concepts. Also, I do not advocate the use of sense in propositions, but manifestation has some relation to sense because of how our beliefs, opinions and thoughts are rooted in what we perceive. The 2 wrong propositional relations have small indirect foothold in the other 2 that are best to be used.

Denotation is a good propositional relation to use because of how it is the relation concerning specific states of affairs (groups of bodies). Propositions are created because we have questions about the world around, us and denotation being specific in nature is a relation that helps a lot in the creating and answering of the proposition. Denotation is one of the biggest things that make up a proposition because of how every question is specific in nature.

Manifestation is the second good propositional relation because of how the person creating the proposition is key in how it is the way it is. The beliefs, opinions, emotions, and thoughts of the person creating the proposition is the root of the proposition. If an atheist states “people are stupid to believe in a supreme deity”, the proposition says what it does because of the beliefs, personality, and emotion that the atheist has. Manifestation  along with denotation is one of the  only accurate relations that make up a proposition into what it is.

To sum up, Deleuze’s propositional relations all have roots in what makes up the proposition, but it is my opinion that sense is seen indirectly in the relation of manifestation, and signification is seen indirectly in the relation of denotation. The entities of sense and signification as single relations is not necessary because of how they bring inaccuracy by themselves.

Comment below, or @ reply on Twitter to talk about what propositional relations are accurate and should be recognized.

Gilles Deleuze Logic of Sense: Pure Becoming

21 Jul

In Deleuze’s book the Logic of Sense, there are 3 series in the book that discuss paradoxes. The first one discusses the paradox about pure becoming.

First Series of Paradoxes of Pure Becoming

The first one is the First Series of Paradoxes of Pure Becoming. I love how Deleuze uses in this book (and other writings too) the story of Alice in Wonderland. Especially the scene where she gets huge, and incredibly small to fit through the doors. After reading a few blogs about Deleuze, and reading his actual work, and finally writing about it, I feel a little cautious because of the fact that I do not feel able to understand his philosophy to the fullest degree. I feel like the First Series of the Logic of Sense is easy for me to understand, but the other 2 series I want to talk about, I worry about. If anything I say, and if I misconstrue Deleuze’s philosophy, go easy on me, and correct me, because I really want to grow to learn and understand his philosophy.  I feel I can understand this first series because of having seen and read Alice in Wonderland many times. Deleuze also explains well his meaning. Again, if I misconstrue, and misunderstand Deleuze’s meanings in any way, please say so (comment below, @reply on twitter, or email at

Deleuze uses Alice to proceed into Plato’s distinction between things that are measured and limited in what they become, and things that are of pure becoming. Pure becoming is what he wished to expound upon and explain. Before going into the issue of pure becoming, he does very well in defining the nature of paradox:

“…paradox is the affirmation of both senses or directions at the same time” (Deleuze).

The affirmation of both senses/directions at the same time, he explains, is not meaning that both occur simultaneously. When Alice grew she got larger than she was, and at the same time was smaller than she became (Deleuze). He explains that things that are of pure becoming go in both directions at the same time, and avoids the present. If something is of pure becoming, the present is avoided, because if something of pure becoming becomes something in its entirety, it stops becoming. The only things that end up becoming something are not things of pure becoming. The things not of pure becoming are finite in their nature. Things of pure becoming are infinite in their nature because they are always becoming something at all times in one direction or the other. Pure becoming avoids the present. Deleuze further explains the different between the limited becoming things, and the pure becoming when he introduces the model, copy, and the simulacrum. Simulacrum is the being of copies of copies. The copy is created after the model, and the simulacrum are created from the copy. The things of limited becoming are referred to as the copy because they stop becoming at a certain point and remain with a stagnant existence. The simulacrum is referred to as the pure becoming because of the fact that the pure becoming evades the present, and makes different versions of the copy at non-simultaneous existences. The pure becoming and the simulacrum have infinite identities.

Thinking about this pure becoming is a difficult thing (especially for me) to understand, but Deleuze does well to explain it when he says that “one becomes larger than one was, and smaller than one becomes.” This shows the non simultaneous eluding of the present. This is very paradoxical in its nature but, the paradox of the pure becoming is very true. Many things in the world are of pure becoming in one way, and not so in the other. My opinion about things of pure becoming is complex in a way.

Before explaining what I think is of pure becoming, and what is not, I want to make the distinction within the creatum between physical tangible things, and things of spirit. The physical tangible things I mean to explain as the earth, things humans have created from the earth, suspended particles, human/animal bodies, extra-planetary physical things etc. Things we can see, touch, feel, taste, hear, smell etc. While on earth, everything we perceive is of physical and tangible nature. These physical and tangible things in the world are all of pure becoming. Our bodies, buildings, appliances, plants, animals, and human bodies are all becoming in both directions at all times. They all elude the present because each thing is of pure becoming infinitely.

For example, a man eats food grown in the ground, allowing him to be healthy enough for sexual activity and maintain sperm, and engages as such. A baby conceived in a womans womb starts as a sperm from the man entering the egg. The fetus grows within 9 months. The fetus grows larger than it was before, and was smaller than it is at the spontaneous moment. The baby born into the world ages and grows larger, and ends up being smaller than before in all instances. At age 75, the body decays, and becomes lesser than it was before, and was larger and more complex than it is at a specific instance. When the soul leaves the body, no life is left, and the body is left to decompose into the ground. The body being more decomposed, is more decomposed than before, and was more complex and not decomposed at a specific instance before. The soul having left this body, allows the body to decompose altogether into humus in the soil. As the decomposed body becomes a part of the ground as collective hummus, is at a later date used in a garden, where a sundry of vegetables and fruit are grown such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, potatoes, watermelon, rhubarb, etc. The person growing the garden harvests the crop, and eats the food allowing him to have more maintenance of sperm from nutrition, and engages in sexual activity with another woman, the sperm entering the egg, conceiving another fetus, to be born, grow old, die, and decompose in the soil for the cycle to occur again. All of the things except for the people’s souls are of physical tangible nature, and therefore, of pure becoming. The physically tangible particles of the creatum are always becoming both ways without simultaneity. This long repetitive (although grossly disgusting) cycle shows why physical and tangible particles of the creatum are of pure becoming.

Likewise, soil and rocks in the ground and seas gather together as sediments, and sedimentarily form together as one rock to be deposited as strata in the ground. Humans finding this sedimentary rock, cut it from the ground, and use it to form bricks (not all that sure how bricks are formed however). These bricks are used to create buildings for us to live, work, and be educated in. The building going through long periods of time, either is abandoned, imploded, naturally decays from weathering and erosion, or something else happens taking the building down, making it subject to the soil it falls upon. The ruins of the building (maybe relocated) lay upon the soil, as further weathering and erosion decay it to silt and therefore hummus. The sediment and soil used to make the building is now back where it started, and there to become something else by means of pure becoming because sediment and soil is of physical and tangible creatum.

Hopefully these two examples explain why physical and tangible things are of pure becoming, and are always becoming something and eluding the present. If you may think what these physical and tangible things will be of when Satan rises to the earth in the Revelation, the earth and its tangible beings will all still be here, and the processes they go through will most likely keep them of pure becoming. If Satan’s rise to the earth will end the pure becoming of the physical and tangible beings, that is not able to be seen at this point, and the truth of this possible action cannot falsify the state of pure becoming of these physical and tangible beings.

I believe that the things of spirit are not of pure becoming because of the fact that their state of becoming ends at a point. The soul of a person has a finite time of becoming because the soul is born when it is born inside a tangible body on earth, and soon later that physical tangible body dies, and that soul either goes to Heaven or Hell. When that soul goes to Heaven or Hell, the time of becoming ends. This falsifies the possibility of pure becoming in spiritual beings. Note that the physical tangible body is totally separate from the spiritual soul. The body is only a place for the soul to exist during the short duration of life on the tangible earth. When the soul goes to Heaven or Hell, the soul stays there fore eternity, and nothing else changes possibly putting that soul into becoming.

God, is also not a being of pure becoming because He has always existed , and always will exist. This calls for a new category of becoming: non-becoming. God is incredibly holy, and perfect, and His existence in the universe is never having the necessity to become anything.

This distinction between pure becoming, and finite becoming shows by my understanding the separation there is between the physical body, and the spiritual soul. This does so because of the fact that physical and tangible bodies are of pure becoming, and that spiritual bodies are of finite bodies. Not only are they both separated, but the soul is the only thing that really exists that is a part of the soul. This advocated Spinoza’s substance monism.

Again, if anything I talked about was misinterpreted from Deleuze’s text please say so.