force
  ---- by Cliff Stagoll
  Deleuze's conception of force is clearest in his interpretative readings of Friedrich Nietzsche, but implicit throughout his corpus. Much of what he writes on the subject is borrowed directly from Nietzsche, although the way in which he uses the notion to theorise difference and becoming is Deleuze's own.
  For Nietzsche, the world comprises a chaotic web of natural and biological forces without any particular origin or goal, and which never comes to rest at a terminal or equilibrium state. These forces interact ceaselessly, constituting a dynamic world-in-flux rather than a collection of stable entities. The world is always in the process of becoming something that it is not, so that, for Deleuze, the principal (and eternal) characteristic of the world of forces is difference from whatever has gone before and from that which it will become.
  Neither Deleuze nor Nietzsche provides a clear definition of 'force'. Deleuze states overtly that he does not mean by it 'aggression' or 'pressure' (although Nietzsche is not so clear). For Deleuze, we can only truly perceive forces by intuiting them; that is, by grasping them without reference to a conceptual understanding of existence. To try and capture in a few words or sentences what is learned through intuition is impossible. Generally, though, 'force' means any capacity to produce a change or 'becoming', whether this capacity and its products are physical, psychological, mystical, artistic, philosophical, conceptual, social, economic, legal or whatever. All of reality is an expression and consequence of interactions between forces, with each interaction revealed as an 'event' (in Deleuze's specific sense of the term). Every event, body or other phenomenon is, then, the net result of a hierarchical pattern of interactions between forces, colliding in some particular and unpredictable way.
  This enigmatic characterisation of forces is developed in Deleuze's account of their activity. Every force exerts itself upon others. No force can exist apart from its inter-relationships with other forces and, since such associations of struggle are always temporary, forces are always in the process of becoming different or passing out of existence, so that no particular force can be repeated.
  Deleuze holds that types of forces are defined in both quantitative and qualitative terms, but in special ways. First, the difference in quantity is the quality of the difference in forces. Second, a force is 'active' if it seeks dominance by self-affirmation, asserting itself over and above another, and 'reactive' if it starts its struggle by first denying or negating the other force. Whereas 'quality' usually refers to a particular complex, or body, that results from interactions between forces, Deleuze uses it to refer instead to tendencies at the origin of forces, regardless of the complex that derives from them. On his reading, Nietzsche finds the origin of both quantitative and qualitative characteristics of forces in the Will to Power, and a kind of genealogy should be used to trace qualitative attributes of forces to particular cultures and types of people.
  Having no substance, forces can act only upon other forces, even though the interactions between them might result in an apparently substantial reality. 'Things' are merely a temporary outcome, and so ought not to be considered as having an independent existence or essence.Contrary to Immanuel Kant, for example, there are on this view no 'things-inthemselves', and nor are there, contrary to Plato, perfect originals of which all things are but copies. Furthermore, a physical world cannot be considered as an inevitable or permanent consequence of the cognitive equipment of a perceiver or of the nature of whatever is being perceived.
  Indeed, for Deleuze, this dichotomous understanding of the perceiver and the perceived is also groundless. In his view, the particularity of a pencil, here and now, involves not simply one 'gazing upon' an object, but a complex set of circumstantial interactions involving a whole 'plane' of events and organising principles ranging from the biology of sight to the circumstances of the pencil's being positioned here, and the physics of carbon structures. As such, the theory of forces challenges the traditional philosophical dualism between essence and appearance, and also draws attention to the contingent and infinitely complex nature of lived reality.
  Connectives
   § active / reactive
   § body
   § event

The Deleuze dictionary. . 2010.

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  • force — [ fɔrs ] n. f. • 1080; bas lat. fortia, plur. neutre substantivé de fortis → 1. fort; forcer I ♦ La force de qqn. 1 ♦ Puissance d action physique (d un être, d un organe). Force physique; force musculaire. ⇒ résistance, robustesse, vigueur. Force …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • forcé — force [ fɔrs ] n. f. • 1080; bas lat. fortia, plur. neutre substantivé de fortis → 1. fort; forcer I ♦ La force de qqn. 1 ♦ Puissance d action physique (d un être, d un organe). Force physique; force musculaire. ⇒ résistance, robustesse, vigueur …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • force — Force, Vis, Neruositas, Fortitudo, Virtus. Il se prend quelquesfois pour le dessus d une entreprinse ou affaire, comme, Il combatit si vaillamment que la force fut sienne, c est à dire, que le dessus du combat et la victoire fut à luy. Item,… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • force — 1 n 1: a cause of motion, activity, or change intervening force: a force that acts after another s negligent act or omission has occurred and that causes injury to another: intervening cause at cause irresistible force: an unforeseeable event esp …   Law dictionary

  • force — Force. subst. fem. Vigueur, faculté naturelle d agir vigoureusement. Il se dit proprement du corps. Force naturelle. grande force. force extraordinaire. force de corps. force de bras, la force consiste dans les nerfs. frapper de toute sa force, y …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Force — Force, n. [F. force, LL. forcia, fortia, fr. L. fortis strong. See {Fort}, n.] 1. Capacity of exercising an influence or producing an effect; strength or energy of body or mind; active power; vigor; might; often, an unusual degree of strength or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • forcé — forcé, ée (for sé, sée) part. passé de forcer. 1°   À quoi on a fait violence, qu on a tordu, brisé avec violence. Un coffre forcé. Une serrure forcée. •   Ils [les Juifs] répandirent dans le monde que le sépulcre [de Jésus] avait été forcé ;… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • force — n 1 *power, energy, strength, might, puissance Analogous words: *stress, strain, pressure, tension: *speed, velocity, momentum, impetus, headway 2 Force, violence, compulsion, coercion, duress, constraint, restraint denote the exercise or the… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • force — [fôrs, fōrs] n. [ME < OFr < VL * fortia, * forcia < L fortis, strong: see FORT1] 1. strength; energy; vigor; power 2. the intensity of power; impetus [the force of a blow] 3. a) physical power or strength exerted against a person or… …   English World dictionary

  • Force — Force, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Forced}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Forcing}.] [OF. forcier, F. forcer, fr. LL. forciare, fortiare. See {Force}, n.] 1. To constrain to do or to forbear, by the exertion of a power not resistible; to compel by physical, moral,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • force — ► NOUN 1) physical strength or energy as an attribute of action or movement. 2) Physics an influence tending to change the motion of a body or produce motion or stress in a stationary body. 3) coercion backed by the use or threat of violence. 4)… …   English terms dictionary

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