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The Force of the VirtualDeleuze, Science, and Philosophy$
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Peter Gaffney

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780816665976

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816665976.001.0001

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Superposing Images: Deleuze and the Virtual after Bergson’s Critique of Science

Superposing Images: Deleuze and the Virtual after Bergson’s Critique of Science

(p.87) Chapter 2 Superposing Images: Deleuze and the Virtual after Bergson’s Critique of Science
The Force of the Virtual

Peter Gaffney

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter considers the notion of visuality offered by Deleuze and Guattari, which elaborates and extends what Bergson called the “superposition” of metaphysics and science. This connection is important not only because Deleuze borrows much of his conceptual system from Bergson, but because he resumes the philosopher’s attempt to “superpose” metaphysics on the scientific image. It is in this sense that Deleuze’s (and Guattari’s) thinking on science exceeds and elaborates the standard acceptations of scientific terms. The chapter analyzes what Bergson means by this superposition, and how it relates to two very different ways in which thought confronts its own indeterminacy: on one side, as epistemological impasse, a consequence of what Deleuze calls a “retrograde movement of the true”; on the other, as virtual image. Finally, the chapter considers how the virtual, as framed by Bergson’s critique of science and by early attempts to reconcile quantum with classical physics, provides the theoretical grounds on which Deleuze will establish a new set of practices with respect to thought.

Keywords:   Deleuze, Guattari, visuality, Bergson, superposition, metaphysics, science, thought

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