- ---- by Constantin V.BoundasFor Deleuze, philosophy is ontology. In this sense, he is one of only two philosophers (the other being Emmanuel Lévinas) of the generation we call 'poststructuralists' not to demur in the face of ontology and metaphysics. Deleuze's ontology is a rigorous attempt to think of process and metamorphosis - becoming - not as a transition or transformation from one substance to another or a movement from one point to another, but rather as an attempt to think of the real as a process. It presupposes, therefore, an initial substitution of forces for substances and things, and of (transversal) lines for points. The real bifurcates in two inextricably interlinked processes - the virtual and the actual - neither one of which can be without the other. Present states of affairs, or bodies with their qualities and mixtures, make up the actual real. Meanwhile, incorporeal events constitute the virtual real. The nature of the latter is to actualise itself without ever becoming depleted in actual states of affairs. This bifurcation of the real does not enshrine transcendence and univocity: becoming is said in one and the same sense of both the virtual and the actual. It should be noted here that there is no separation or ontological difference between the virtual and actual. Deleuze claims the virtual is in the actual; it is conserved in the past in itself. Meditating on temporality, Deleuze retrieves the Bergsonian durée, working it into three interrelated syntheses. First, the time of habit; second, the time of memory; and third, the empty time of the future.Substituting force for substance, and thinking of processes in terms of series, requires an ontology of multiplicities. This is because force exists only in the plural - in the differential relation between forces. Series diverge, converge and conjoin only in the deterritorialisation of themselves and other series. In the Deleuzian ontology, multiplicities, unlike the 'many' of traditional metaphysics, are not opposed to the one because they are not discrete (they are not multiplicities of discrete units or elements), with divisions and subdivisions leaving their natures unaffected. They are intensive multiplicities with subdivisions affecting their nature. As such, multiplicities have no need for a superimposed unity to be what they become. Forces determining their becoming operate from within - they do not need transcendent forces in order to function. It is in the virtual that intensive multiplicities of singularities, series and time subsist. It is the virtual that is differentiated in terms of its intensive multiplicities. As the virtual actualises and differenciates itself the series it generates become discrete, without ever erasing the traces of the virtual inside the actual.Hence, the ontology of Deleuze is firmly anchored by difference, rather than being. This is difference in itself, not a difference established post quo between two identities. The ontological primacy Deleuze gives difference can no longer be sublated or eliminated by either resemblance, analogy or the labour of the negative. In the space inscribed by Martin Heidegger with his Being and Time, Deleuze erects his ontology of Difference and Repetition. Being is the different/ciation at work in the dynamic relationship between the virtual and the actual. Actualisation occurs in a presence that can never be sufficient unto itself for three reasons. First, the actual carries the trace of the virtual difference that brought it about. Second, actualisation differs from the 'originary' difference. Third, actualisation is pregnant with all the differences that the never-before-actualised virtual is capable of precipitating at any (and all) time(s).Connectives§ becoming§ differentiation / differenciation§ force§ post-structuralism§ virtual / virtuality
The Deleuze dictionary. Revised Edition Edited by Adrian Parr . 2010.