All 3 entries tagged Dynamical Model
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March 22, 2005
Psychology diagrams the internal, mental and neuro-chemical constraints that limit how we think. Sociology diagrams the external, social constraints that limit how we think. Philosophy is different, it seeks new ways to think that go beyond those constraints. It looks for these by experimenting with and inventing the materials of our extended cognitive apparatus: the technology of thought (for example, new ways of writing that enable new concepts to be thought). In this way, as for Nietzsche, the thought experiment (the activity at the heart of philosophy) is not simply a matter of applying a familiar technology of thought to a familar set of concepts, combining them in a new way. Rather, it sets out to invent new concepts through the development and application of a new technology of thought. What kind of experiment is carried out by a child (or other learner) to move to a new way of thinking (not just a new concept)? A new technology of thought must be adopted. Cognitive development is in this way, driven by Nietzschean thought experiments.
A model of constraints only ever maps out an algorithm, programme or expression that repeats itself. It can only account for the emergence of that algorithm from another greater algorithm that contains entirely the conditions of its production. As such, disciplines other than philosophy are not able to account for or make possible creativity in thought. Or at least they cannot do so unless they become philosophical (speculative, experimental). Philosophy is the practice of speculation, experiment, risk. It goes beyond constraints.
September 15, 2004
…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.
August 18, 2004
Van Gogh's technique was also to apply a diagram to the figure in order to divert it from purposiveness into an unlocking of sensation. You can see in this work just how, as Deleuze says, for the painter the hand becomes a second eye and the canvas becomes a second mind.
The painter sees the figure. Seeing in this case is just the repetition of singular affects on the complex assemblage of planes of the mind. The eyes and their movement overlay a rhythmic action on this repetition of affects. Secondarily, the painter diverts this rhythm (of movement and light) to the hands, which have corresponding ways of moving, characteristic means of applying paint (and other painterly movements). This is what Deleuze calls the diagram. Van Gogh developed new diagrams of his own, of his own hands, which you can see clearly in this painting. With the application of sensation through the diagram and through the material of the painting, the canvas is built up into zones, lines, contours, planes, thicknesses, colours etc. At this point the painting faces a great danger, as described by Cezanne, the danger of becoming chaotic, of the sensations on the canvas failing to form a balanced and self-sustaining resonance: chaos. Adding new sensations to the canvas inevitably pushes it towards chaos. The greatness of the painter, as you can see in Van Gogh, is the ability to push the canvas towards this catastrophe, only to rescue it and restore the balance and resonances.
In this way, as Kant would have agreed, the adventure of painting is an adventure of the kind experienced in thought itself, an engagement with catastrophe and a subsequent return.