The Matter of Truth, the Matter of Matter: Which Matters More? Part XI
In order to make clear that my machinery of mapping fires on all cylinders, I need to elaborate in more detail just what kind of space these maps are mapping.
It will not be a surprise to learn that this space is not a uniform, homogeneous, or absolutist kind of space: it is not a relative space, either.
It is a differential space, and it is mapped using differential geometr(ies).
Just what is a differential space, and to just what extent is it necessary to understand differential geometry in order to understand what is happening in this kind of space?
I want to begin exploring the nature of this kind of space and geometry by looking at a passage from William James’s “A Pluralistic Universe” which may say everything about differential space and geometry I need to say, and which I find particularly striking and beautiful in its (apparent) simplicity:
" But first of all I must parenthetically ask you to distinguish the notion of the absolute carefully from that of another object with which it is liable to become heedlessly entangled. That other object is the ‘God’ of common people in their religion, and the creator-God of orthodox christian theology. Only thoroughgoing monists or pantheists believe in the absolute. The God of our popular Christianity is but one member of a pluralistic system. He and we stand outside of each other, just as the devil, the saints, and the angels stand outside of both of us. I can hardly conceive of anything more different from the absolute than the God, say, of David or of Isaiah. That God is an essentially finite being in the cosmos, not with the cosmos in him, and indeed he has a very local habitation there, and very one-sided local and personal attachments. If it should prove probable that the absolute does not exist, it will not follow in the slightest degree that a God like that of David, Isaiah, or Jesus may not exist, or may not be the most important existence in the universe for us to acknowledge. I pray you, then, not to confound the two ideas as you listen to the criticisms I shall have to proffer. I hold to the finite God, for reasons which I shall touch on in the seventh of these lectures; but I hold that his rival and competitor – I feel almost tempted to say his enemy—the absolute, is not only forced on us by logic,but that it is an improbable hypothesis.”
“…not with the cosmos in him, and indeed he has a very local habitation there…” This amounts, I think, to a differential theology, which activates concepts of space(s) which are differential.
Thinking falters in absolutist space:
“ When John Mill said that the notion of God’s omnipotence must be given up, if God is to be kept as a religious object, he was surely accurately right; yet so prevalent is the lazy monism that idly haunts the region of God’s name, that so simple and truthful a saying was generally treated as a paradox: God, it was said, could not be finite. I believe that the only God worthy of the name must be finite, and I shall return to this point in a later lecture. […] Observe that all the irrationalities and puzzles which the absolute gives rise to, and from which the finite God remains free, are due to the fact that the absolute has nothing, absolutely nothing, outside of itself.” - James, page 65, IBID
I want to relate all of this to multiplicity, by quoting very briefly and somewhat haphazardly, these thoughts from Deleuze:
“ But we must note that in general a dualism has at least three meanings: it involves a real dualism marking an irreducible difference between two substances, as in Descartes, or between two faculties, as in Kant; or it involves a provisional stage that subsequently becomes a monism, as in Spinoza or Bergson; or else it involves a preliminary distribution operating at the heart of a pluralism. Foucault represents this last case. For if the visible and the articulable elements enter into a duel, it is to the extent that their respective forms, as forms of exteriority,dispersion or dissemination, make up two types of ‘multiplicity’, neither of which can be reduced to a unity: statements exist only in a discursive multiplicity, and visibilities in a non-discursive multiplicity. And these two multiplicities of relations between forces, a multiplicity of diffusion which no longer splits into two and is free of any dualizable form.
Discipline and Punish continually demonstrates that dualisms are molar or massive effects occurring within ‘multiplicities’. And the dualism of force, the ability to affect and be affected, is merely the index in each one of the multiplicity of forces, the multiple being of force. Syberberg once said that dividing something into two is an attempt to distribute a multiplicity which cannot be represented by a single form. But this distribution can only distinguish multiplicities from multiplicities. This is the whole of Foucault’s philosophy, which is a pragmatics of the multiple.” - from Foucault, by Deleuze, the chapter “ Strategies or the Non-stratified: the Thought of the Outside (Power)”, pages 83 and 84.