All 4 entries tagged Creativity

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November 06, 2004

The power of the migrant versus the authority of Heidegger and the Volk–State

Follow-up to The ethics of rivalry, friendship and the creation of concepts in Ancient Greece from Transversality - Robert O'Toole

Deleuze and Guattari on Heidegger's membership of the Nazi party:

Perhaps this strict professor was madder than he seemed. He got the wrong people, earth and blood. For the race summoned forth by art or philosophy is not the one that claims to be pure but rather an oppressed, bastard, lower, anarchical, nomadic and iremediably minor race – the very ones that Kant excluded from the paths of the new Critique. Artaud said: to write for the illiterate – to speak for the aphasic, to think for the acephalous. (What is Philosophy? p.109)

Geophilosophy then is about the engagement with minor races, or better (to avoid the mistakes of the English) the engagement between minor races: at the edge of understanding, in discomfort. And then to take that a step further, which is the point of so much literature that comes out of this geophilosophical deterritorialization, to make oneself, ones body, path, existence, a composition of such minor races, minor species:

I looked at myself in the same light, as a monkey given my life to play with, prodding it, trying to stretch it into different shapes, dropping it and picking it up again, suspecting always that it must have some use and meaning, tantalized and frustrated by it but always unable to make any sense of it. Ted Simon, Jupiter's Travels

Travel writing, deterritorialization, creativity and philosophy.


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.


October 31, 2004

What Is Creativity?

Writing about web page http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/elearning/aboutus/robert/projects/creativity/

Over the last few days I have been working on the proposal for my PhD application. My aim is to come up with something that gives me sufficient scope for:

– an explication of the Deleuze and Guattari's method (explicitly stated in What Is Philosophy?);

– an investigation of the role of technology and technological change in that method (relating to Anti-Oedipus and A Thousand Plateaus);

– an application of that method to a concept that is both of historical significance and currently of increasing power, especially in cultural/educational policy;

– a further development of the work of Deleuze and Guattari and that concept in application to current technological, social and political conditions, and specifically to learning/academic technology.

The concept that I have chosen to investigate is that of creativity. Interestingly, throughout their work on aesthetics, ethics, psychotherapeautic practice, and philosophy, Deleuze and Guattari seem to imply a concept of creativity as a positive force, but very rarely mention it by name. This may have been because they were wary of using a concept that may itself perform the function of a transcendent figure, and hence is best avoided.

The proposal is being developed in this web site


September 15, 2004

Bergson's intuition and reflection in learning

…negative freedom is the result of manufactured social prejudices where, through social institutions, such as education and language, we become enslaved by 'order-words' that identify for us ready-made problems which we are forced to solve. This is not 'life', and it is not the way life itself has 'creatively' evolved. Therefore, true freedom, which can only be a positive freedom, lies in the power to decide through hesitation and indeterminacy and to constitute problems themselves.

Ansell Pearson, Germinal Life, Routledge 1999, p.23

This 'experimental and ethical pedagogy' (ibid, p.14) employs the Bergsonian method of intuition, which involves a reflection on the difference manifest in creative thought. When one realises that a currently held concept simply could not have existed nor could have been analytically deduced at a previous time in a previous state, one gets a sense of time as pure difference, despatialized. That feeling is creative, and the philosophical method that draws people into this reflection is Bergson's intuition. Only once the reliance on ready-made problems is abandoned can creativity occur.

The word 'implication' has a special meaning in this. Imagine reality as a large sheet of fabric. The fabric is folded to present you with one aspect, which you may grasp at. The fold (French – pli) is an aspect. You struggle to hold onto that fold, and find that you can only do so by holding onto other folds that follow on to it. As you try to grasp other folds, to unfold the folds, to follow the im-pli-cations, your actions on the further folds cause the first fold to be pulled and distorted in your grip. Out of this feedback loop the specific problem of this set of folds emerges. At some point you are able to stabilise the folds in relation to each other, and have a solution.

When you grasp the fact that a new problem has emerged, that the positing of the problem is beyond your control, and that you must evolve in relation to the problem in a way that was previously both unthinkable and impossible, you have intuition in Bergson's sense. Intuition is a reflection on learning, a creative learning.

And that's why Deleuze makes such a big issue out of the role of fabric in baroque art (le Pli, Leibniz and the Baroque), the role of the curtain in the paintings of Bacon (Logic of Sensation), and the relationship between canvas, paint and brush-stroke.