- ---- by Constantin V.BoundasDeleuze's concept of 'individuation' is a genetic account of individuals. The concept emerges from a critique of hylomorphism that exposes the error in thinking of an individual as the end point of a progressive specification of the species. Substituting the image of 'the mould' for a processfriendly idea of modulation, this critique also repudiates the idea that an individual is moulded in a specific way. As he develops his theory of individuation, Deleuze borrows and transforms analyses made by Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz and Gilbert Simondon.Deleuze's theory of individuation addresses - in the process of virtual, continuous (intensive) multiplicities becoming (extended) discrete - the apparently contradictory co-existence of the continuum and the discrete. The process of individuation is called 'differentiation' with respect to the continuum, and 'differenciation' with respect to the discrete. Given that Deleuze's concept of becoming is based on the co-imbrication of the virtual real and the actual real, the conception of the virtual is in terms of a differentiated ﬂow of events, singularities and intensities. Meanwhile, the actual is understood as the differenciated realm of bodies, their mixtures, and states of affairs. Actualisation does not mean the death of the virtual. Hence, Deleuze's ontology generates a robust theory of individuation that sustains a creative evolution developed around not just the non-fixity of species but that of individuals as well.For the elaboration of his theory, Deleuze appeals to Leibniz - first, to Leibniz's concepts, each of which corresponds to an individual; second, to the Leibnizian method of vice-diction that understands an individual as the product of the law of a series and the internal difference that distinguishes one moment of its becoming from another. Ultimately, though, Deleuze moves beyond Leibniz's theory of individuation because of the latter's reliance on a priori harmony, the compossibility of the series, and the best possible world.Finding fresh inspiration in Simondon's theory of individuation Deleuze considers 'modulation' (instead of the mould of the old image of thought) as the process by which metastable (virtual/real) systems explicate the potential energy implicated within them. Populated by singularities and events these systems bring about new (actual/real) metastable systems in the process of their explication. Their metastability is due to the fact that the virtual does not consist only of elements and ﬂows differentiated from one another. Rather the differentiated virtual is difference itself difference differenciating itself. The modulating process of individuation is the transduction (Simondon's term) of the virtual continuum of intensities to the discrete extended actual, all the while remembering that the actual is never totally devoid of the dynamism of the pre-individual virtual. Thus, the actual is capable of being reabsorbed by the virtual. Intensity is what makes the passage from the virtual to the actual possible.The modulation is in a state of permanent variation - a promise of becomings disallowing predictions of what an individuation is capable of.Individuals are not subjects. Deleuze understands 'haecceities' as degrees of intensity (a degree of heat, a certain time of the day) that, in combination with other degrees of intensity, bring about individuals. The individuals they bring about retain the anonymity of the pre-individual realm. First, haecceities consist entirely of movement and rest (longitude) between non-formed molecules and particles. Second, they have the capacity to affect and be affected (latitude). As in Baruch Spinoza's essences, haecceities co-exist on a plane of consistency, each one of which is compossible with, and responsible for, the generation of the others. In order to accentuate their impersonality, Deleuze argues that we need a new language by which to refer to them, one that consists of proper names, verbs in the infinitive, and indefinite articles and pronouns.Connectives§ differentiation / differenciation§ virtual / virtuality
The Deleuze dictionary. Revised Edition Edited by Adrian Parr . 2010.