Deleuze and the Time for Non-Reason

According to the French philosopher, rationalism is an illusion

The scandal of rationalism is its claim to be reasonable. The shame of reason is when it abets rational control. The close horizon of both is our final submission to autopoietic systems. The computer says ‘Do it now’.

In response, having defined contemporary worlds as societies of control, Gilles Deleuze argues that reason and rationalism are dangerous illusions when they are seen as self-contained and self-sufficient. Their independence is a form of self-deception or, worse, a way of deceiving and exploiting others. The humans or things deciding on the structure and, applying it, don’t really know what they are doing or why they are doing it, or they know they don’t know, but act as if they do anyway.

I define rationalism as a way to structure the world according to a pre-set logic and series of identities. Thus defined, it leads to forms of rational control, such as the organisation of a workforce into distinctive tasks according to a plan and grid of measureme

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Liz Bee 2 September 2021

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Pete Harrison 28 June 2019

Some brief extra context (particularly for those of us outside - even 'against' - the arena of the properly trained and functioning intellectual):

“As Gilles Deleuze affirms: “Foucault’s key historical principle is that any historical formation says all it can say and sees all it can see.” (Deleuze ‘Negotiations,’1995: 96) To claim that my words and my life are not part of the civilizing discourse would be to say that I was out of history, and such a situation would mean that my words would be, in effect, inaudible and invisible.”

(from: 'The Freedom of Things: An Ethnology of Control,' P Harrison, TSI Press, 2017, p37)

From: 'Deleuze and Guattari 's What is Philosophy?' P113-114, Jeffrey A. Bell, 2016:

If we recall how Descartes began his Meditations, he was taking
advantage of the luxury of time to withdraw to his study, in solitude,
and give himself the opportunity to question his beliefs and raise
doubts he would not otherwise have been able raise while engaged
in his everyday affairs. The process of being freed from the social
role associated with knowledge is integral to Descartes's concept
of the cogito for this concept, as we saw (see example 1), was an
attempt to conceptualize the preconceptual and avoid any "any
explicit objective presupposition" (WP 26/QP 31) whereby concepts
always refer to other concepts.

In this context, therefore, the
private thinker avoids the associations that come with what Deleuze
and Guattari describe as "the public teacher (the schoolman)" who
is tied to an accepted body of knowledge - an orthodoxy - and as
such the public teacher "refers constantly to taught concepts (man-rational
animal), whereas the private thinker forms a concept with
innate forces that everyone possesses on their own account by right
('1 think')" (ibid.). The private thinker is also able to avoid the
sociological pressures of conformity and is therefore able to explore
questions and doubts that might otherwise appear idiotic to one
actively engaged in a social life. In his Discourse on Method Descartes
recognizes this when he notes that conversing with those of other ages is about the same thing as traveling.

“It is good to know something of the customs of various peoples, so as to
judge our own more soundly and so as not to think that everything that
is contrary to our ways is ridiculous and against reason, as those who
have seen nothing have a habit of doing.”

In other words, for Descartes it is important to be able to "form a
more correct judgment regarding our own" manners and beliefs by
being able to contrast them with those of different times or by traveling
to different countries. Doing this should also instil a modicum
of tolerance too, for we should come to recognize that customs,
manners, and beliefs that are unlike our own are not, for that
reason, to be thought of as "ridiculous and irrational." However,
and this is key, Descartes warns that if "too much time is occupied
in travelling, we become strangers to our native country," and
hence we are unable to fit in anywhere - we become an outsider,
a stranger, and if taken to an extreme we become "ridiculous and
irrational," an Idiot.

And for context:
Deleuze follows Nietzsche:

Ibid. p7:
For Deleuze, […] the immanent nature and
substance that is the sufficient reason for the extrinsic determinations
and properties of things is not an already presupposed unity,
but rather multiplicity, or a substance consisting of divergent series
and differences. Instead of a world of convergent series, we have for
Deleuze and for Deleuze and Guattari a "world [that] is now made
up of divergent series (the chaosmos) ," and instead of Leibniz's
monadology we have "a 'nomadology' ."

The subsequent problem
for Deleuze, then, is to account for the emergence of systematic
unity in the first place. If the sufficient reason for existing phenomena
is a multiplicity of divergent series, then what accounts for the
apparent convergence of predicates and qualities upon the unity of
a subject? It is precisely this problem that would occupy Deleuze's
early work on Hume, and it is one that continues to motivate him
up to his final essay, "lmmanence: A Life."