Sunday, August 14, 2011

Temporary but Unrepentant Umbilical to Furthur Thought-Insanity, Part XII

If “Descartes” is a rhizome, it is difficult to understand what Deleuze and Guatarri were responding to when they invented the concept of the rhizome. What problem?

It has to be before Deleuze and Guatarri no one would have stated it (at all and definitely not as simple fact) that Descartes was a rhizome, even if Descartes had been a rhizome all along. However, Descartes couldn’t have been a rhizome all along (not simply because the term wasn't applied this way), and this is something we can’t overlook as we discuss Descartes, the Enlightenment, rhizomes, and categories.

Hopefully it is clear from the immediately preceding post (part XI) that what results from BOTH/AND is not a solution. It does not answer the problem of what is, or to which category something belongs. Hopefully no one thinks a rhizome is a category. (A rhizome is BOTH a category AND a rhizome, which means it is not a category.)

What results from BOTH/AND is a rhizome (when what’s acted on is a category) or another rhizome (when a rhizome was acted on.) BOTH/AND acts on a category to produce a rhizome—that doesn’t mean the category was a rhizome all along. The rhizome is something new and different. I hope someday ALL categories will have been acted on by BOTH/AND, so that the categories are all opened and become rhizomes, and the importance of categorical thinking becomes negligible—that’s the desire. But that’s not where we are now…

The rhizome is an open category—it opens. Instead of using the term rhizome, I could use the term “category o(∞)”. It is an action…It’s unfortunate rhizome in our grammar is a noun, but that’s a misfortune of our place in history. It's not a defect of a new concept of category.


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