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A New Philosophy of Society: Assemblage Theory and Social Complexity Hardcover – 14 Sep 2006


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 150 pages
  • Publisher: Continnuum-3PL (14 Sept. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826481701
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826481702
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,938,706 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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About the Author

Manuel DeLanda began his career in experimental film, later became a computer artist and programmer and is now Adjunct Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University, USA. He is the author of the bestselling books War in the Age of Intelligent Machines and A Thousand Years of Non-Linear History and of Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy, also published by Continuum.

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By T. J. H. Marshall on 5 Mar. 2011
Format: Paperback
This fascinating "Scherzo" is an exploration of Delanda's wider philosophical project- the development of an all purpose Deleuzian ontology- in the context of the social sciences. In the same way that Delanda's "Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy" was intended to popularise Deleuze within science/philosophy of science fields, this book is intended to do the same for Deleuze in the social sciences. Although Delanda's ontology is overtly Deleuzian, it bears the mark of a wide reading of philosophy of social science literature and suggests a prolonged engagement with the work of Roy Bhaskar. Designed to be- in the wake of Deleuze and Guattari's interest in the abstract machine- suitably flexible, this is perhaps where Delanda's book falls down slightly. In attempting to make a general ontology, as applicable to biology as it is to the social sciences, Delanda is left re-inventing the wheel in a number of areas.

None of this should discourage you from picking this up, though. For the social scientist, this acts as an excellent introduction to Delanda's work, whilst for those who are familiar with Delanda's other writings, this develops his ideas in new and interesting ways. The book begins by discussing personal relations, reaching larger and larger scales of complexity using the same mereological approach to ontology. As ever, Delanda is exceptionally erudite, operating within a wide variety of literatures, bringing together social science, complexity theory, geography, history and economics. Although this book- much like Delanda's philosophical project- is not without its flaws, it is one that I would highly recommend to anyone interested either in Deleuze's philosophy or ontologies used by social scientists.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dennis McDuff on 4 Dec. 2014
Format: Paperback
the collective madness that has descended on so-called social theorists (the people today who are wholly uneducated in the history of the subject) is embodied/disembodied in this sort of book, a veritable internal monologue signifying nothing. Deleuze was a great philosopher but he knew nothing about social relations. As for Guattari, he wasn't even the first.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Assemblage Intro 27 Mar. 2008
By Mordikai Crump - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I thought this was a very useful introduction to Assemblage theory. Of course, as with all of De Landa's work, it is unapologetically Deleuzeian, evinced by copious footnotes citing Deleuze and Guattari at length. This is just an introduction, and I think the title is horrible, despite his explicit statements that he wants to open the debate for an ontology of sociology (personally I think the title evokes a New Age contingent). Finally, the book is written in essay form (intro, body, conclusion) and his conclusions really are recapitulations of statements already made in the body of the text, although, his conclusions seem rushed and truncated, as though he just wanted to get the book to print.
23 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Dry. So very dry. 26 Jun. 2007
By R. Jordan Greenhall - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am an enormous fan of DeLanda. I literally keep copies of Virtual Science and 1000 Years in my desk to give to unsuspecting strangers. When I first cracked 1000 Years, it felt like I was finally seeing the clouds lift on a whole array of challenging subjects.

Which is why I was quick to pick-up A New Philosophy of Society. Yikes! I suppose if you live and breathe sociology and academic social theory, and have never touched anything else by DeLanda, this might be a good read. But otherwise . . .

Honestly, I'm not sure what is going on here. Most of it seems like a retread of ground that DeLanda plowed years ago. To be fair (although this fact seems like the most salient) - I never did finish the book. Its possible that the last 20 pages contain the sweet nectar promised by the books cover. If so, let me know, I'll be waiting for the next installment.
A lucid introduction to Delanda's application of Deleuze and Guattari 19 May 2014
By Doc Adam - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
While the later chapters in this text move a bit fast and loose with regards to their objects of application, the first three chapters are a lucid presentation of the particular brand of realism and materialism that Delanda draws out of his seemingly exhaustive knowledge of Deleuze's philosophical project. While lacking the precision and attention to detail of some of his other works, this is a good place to start if you're trying to decide if Delanda's assemblage theoretics provides novel solutions to seemingly intractable and entrenched philosophical problems at the level of ontology.
Great 21 Dec. 2013
By ND RCKR - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
DeLanda is an easy and enjoyable author to read. His writing style flows well. I read this entire book in two sittings. Good times.
4 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Emergence of a Style 9 Dec. 2007
By L. J. Tan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
DeLanda's latest book, whilst re-assembling many components from his previous books, is a masterful articulation of his own style. The book provides a rigorous and highly usable conceptual framework for the analysis of social networks or 'assemblages'.
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