- ---- by James WilliamsDeleuze's work is opposed to the coherence theory of truth and to the correspondence theory of truth. The first claims that the truth of a proposition depends on its coherence with some other propositions. The second claims that the truth of a proposition depends on its correspondence to some objective facts. So a proposition is either true due to certain logical relations or due to a relation to things in the world.For Deleuze, both theories are wrong-headed from their very premisses. That is, propositions are false simplifications of reality and cannot be bearers of truth in any significant sense. Objective facts do not exist and cannot be identified or shown, because real things are limitless and always caught in endless processes of becoming. To abstract from these processes is to give a false image of reality.So, in contrast to the two traditional and dominant theories of truth, Deleuze defines truth in terms of creativity and construction. We create truth in complex constructions of propositions and sensations that express the conditions for the genesis and development of events. Truth then would not be a property of single propositions in a book or in a paper. It would be a property of a series of them through a work as it captured and changed our relation to the events expressed in the work.Deleuze is apt to mock philosophical theories based on simple propositions that say little of the world. According to him, it is a mistake to begin an enquiry about truth with abstracted propositions such as 'The cat is on the mat'. Instead, truth only appears in more complex works such as a series of paintings or literary and philosophical works. It is a mistake to think that the truth of such works depends on the truth of their components because the significance of the components only appears when they are in context.It is not so much that simple propositions have no relation to truth at all. It is rather that truth is a matter of degrees. The more a work, or a proposition in a work, expresses about reality and the inter-relation of all things, and the more a work creates with that inter-relation in order to be able to express it, the more truth it will carry. This carrying is itself a matter of the transference of significance and intensity in the event, rather than a representation of it.Thus, to say something is true is not to say something verifiable in some way, but to say something that vivifies and alters a situation. A poem about World War I that makes us sense it and live through and with it in a different way is truthful. A statistic about the war that is not accompanied by sensations and transformations is not truthful. The less statistics transform and give us signs of the deeper ideas and intense sensations at work in the war, the less truthful they are.This means that Deleuze is caught in a difficult position of opposing concepts of truth, but without being able to say that we can somehow move beyond truth or stop using the concept at all. In Nietzsche and Philosophy, he notes how truth and the search for truth fixes worlds, in the sense of setting down truths that become immutable and settled representations of states of things. Instead, truth should be a destructive and transforming process. Similarly, traditional concepts of truth turn us away from the world, in the sense of searching for truths that are not here or missing; whereas, for Deleuze, truths are always latent and it is a matter of dramatising them, of bringing them out and allowing them to transform us, rather than a matter of projecting ourselves into an identifiable truthful future.Again following Friedrich Nietzsche, Deleuze sees truth as necessarily involved in moral presuppositions. Truth is associated with the morally good and it is assumed that through truth we arrive at the moral good. For Deleuze this cannot be the case because both the moral good and truth are part of a struggle between different values with no external way of dividing them into true and false, good and evil. Instead, the good and the true are relative to different attitudes to life - where Deleuze and Nietzsche seek those that affirm becoming over being, transformation (or transvaluation) over identity and sameness.In Cinema 2, Deleuze extends this view of truth as becoming and part of the complex struggle for life, by pointing out that there are no simple oppositions of the true and of the false. This is already an idea from his Difference and Repetition, where the false can have an affirmative power and where the deep opponent of both the true and the false (and life) is stupidity - defined as the desire for simple oppositions, for common sense and for transcendent life-denying values. Thus, in Cinema 2, Deleuze emphasises the variation of truth over time and hence the power of falsehoods to vary those truths (any given settled series of truths must be challenged by falsehoods from their angle, but truths from a different one). Falsehoods, for example in cinematic narration, have the power to reveal different and more affirmative views of life.It could be objected that when Deleuze moves away from truth as an arbiter of propositions, it is as if he does not care about facts and logical necessity. That is not the case. He believes that facts and logical necessity have roles to play, but these are secondary to a much higher vocation for truth; which is to reveal deep connections between all things and to allow us to live up to the events that make and transform us. In this respect, a temperature reading has some importance but a film capturing the significance of the cracking ice-caps is more truthful.Connectives
The Deleuze dictionary. Revised Edition Edited by Adrian Parr . 2010.