The Problem of the Actual

Simone Bignall

in Postcolonial Agency

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780748639434
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671878 | DOI:
The Problem of the Actual

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Chapter 3 seeks the basis for a new resolution to the problem ofpostcolonial agency by contrasting the problematic conception of agency grounded in the causal negativities of desire-lack and the deficiency of difference (together with the process of social trans/formation it generates), with Deleuze's non- dialectical concept of different/ciation. This chapter shows how Deleuze offers an alternative philosophy of transformative process, or ‘becoming’, which is grounded in a positive model of desire and insists upon a positive and creative causal role for difference. On this view, history is not produced by the negation of difference, but by affirming and multiplying it through the creation of novel associations and complex social forms. This chapter outlines the kind of critical practice that is enabled by this philosophy of transformation, thereby addressing the concern that a purely positive philosophy of virtual difference, and a decentred and fragmented subject of transformative agency, is unable to sustain a critical and collectivist politics.

Keywords: Deleuze; Bergson; anti-Hegelianism; actual-virtual; different/ciation; becoming; desiring-production; causal positivity; critique

Chapter.  11485 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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