Audronė Žukauskaitė is Chief Researcher at the Lithuanian Culture Research Institute. Her recent publications include the monographs: From Biopolitics to Biophilosophy (2016, in Lithuanian), and Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari’s Philosophy: The Logic of Multiplicity (2011, in Lithuanian). She also co-edited (with S. E. Wilmer) Interrogating Antigone in Postmodern Philosophy and Criticism, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010; Deleuze and Beckett, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015; and Resisting Biopolitics: Philosophical, Political and Performative Strategies, New York, London: Routledge, 2016.
Multiplicity as a Life: Deleuze, Ruyer, Simondon
Multiplicity is one of the crucial notions in Deleuze and Guattari’s philosophy. Multiplicity can be related both to the mathematical term of ‘manifold’, developed in the differential geometry of Friedrich Gauss and Bernhard Riemann, and to the philosophy of biology, developed by Raymond Ruyer and Gilbert Simondon. This paper will explore Deleuze and Guattari’s definition of multiplicity in terms of biological life and will trace specific aspects of multiplicity in the philosophy of Ruyer and Simondon. The essay will concentrate on such specific features of multiplicity as progressive differentiation, qualitative difference, immanence, and virtuality. These features of multiplicity highly depend on the specific concepts of Simondon (such as individuation, metastability, phase-shift, transduction) and Ruyer (morphogenesis, embryogenesis, equipotentiality). These insights into the philosophy of biology not only give a more nuanced account of Deleuze and Guattari’s ideas, but also inspire us to rethink life not in naturalistic or organismic terms but as an art of the creation of multiple assemblages. In this sense Deleuze and Guattari’s definition of life resonates with recent developments of bio-art, which redefine life in terms of plasticity and change.