November 06, 2004

The ethics of rivalry, friendship and the creation of concepts in Ancient Greece

We do not lack communication. On the contrary, we have too much of it. We lack creation. We lack resistance to the present. (What Is Philosophy? p.108)

Ecstasy of communication = that which promises absolute deterritorialization, but in fact delivers only immediate reterritorialization on the concept of communication (pure exchage) itself. Deleuze and Guattari's criticism of Habermas and idea of founding an ethics on communicative action.

Instead they argue that the creation of concepts only occurrs when communication breaks down within a pre-constituted milieu. The impoprtance of the Greek sense of philosophical rivalry is precisely that. Friends who can misunderstand, or who have to forge a new concept to achieve an understanding, who necessarily have to philosophize because of their relative difference. The new concept makes an irreversible difference, an absolute deterritorialization, but the friends-rivals must move towards it in their own way. This act of mutual but differentiated moving-towards, this relative deterritorialization, also acts to define the rivals to each other more clearly. They understand the work that each must do to achieve the agreement on the new concept. It is in the work of that relative deterritorialization on the creation that Deleuze and Guattari find an ethic of friendship-rivalry.

And we should remember that this ethic emerged to serve diplomacy, international relations, a rhizomatic maritime people engaged with complex engagement with the East: the Greek people.

- 3 comments by 2 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Are you arguing that things have changed these days? Because I must say I disagree with loads of my friends' standpoints, perhaps not in a rivalry way (or perhaps in that way) but in a way that not setting their ideas straight can frustrate me.

    06 Nov 2004, 12:31

  2. Robert O'Toole

    Obviously we aren'y ancient Greeks, but I think D&G are arguing that an ethic based on the friendship with difference is important. They were Europeans after all.

    06 Nov 2004, 13:58

  3. Robert O'Toole

    But don't ask me to defend their scurrilous national stereotyping!

    06 Nov 2004, 13:58

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