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Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy (Transversals: New Directions in Philosophy) Paperback – 18 Apr 2002

3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: The Athlone Press (18 April 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826456235
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826456236
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.3 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,864,560 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

'[A] highly original...book...The structure of the book is simple, with four chapters devoted to mathematics, space, time, and physics, respectively. Quarrels over Deleuzian terminology are banished to a very helpful appendix...DeLanda has certainly rendered this territory more palpable to the analytically oriented.' -- Leslie Dema, University of Guelph, Canada, Journal of The European Legacy, (Vol 11, No. 6)

'...Manuel DeLanda's Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy ...an exceptionally wrought and detailed investigation of Deleuze's philosophy in relation to contemporary debates in science, including the 'new science' of complexity theory...exceptional. DeLanda is and has been for many years one of the best explicators of Deleuze...his skill in this area is very much in evidence in his most recent book.' -- Marcel Swiboda Immanence --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy cuts to the heart of the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze and of today's science wars.

At the start of the 21st Century, Deleuze is now regarded as the most radical and influential of contemporary philosophers. Yet his work is widely misunderstood and misinterpreted. Here Manuel DeLanda does what the growing host of Deleuzians have failed to do - he makes sense of Deleuze for both analytic and continental thought, for both science and philosophy.

DeLanda focuses on the intersection of philosophy and science, explaining how Deleuze's system of thought is fundamental to a proper understanding of contemporary science - from self-organistion to non-linear dynamics to complexity theory.

Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy is written for Deleuzians, for anti-Deleuzians, for philosophers, for anti-philosophers. Quite simply, it will change the way you think.

Manuel DeLanda began his career in experimental film, became a computer artist and programmer and now teaches philosophy at Columbia University. He is author of the bestselling books, `War in the Age of Intelligent Machines' and `A Thousand Years of Non-Linear History'.

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Format: Paperback
Funny that the review above should say that the reader felt "like it was hidden on purpose" - the virtual processes of the world being hidden by extensive beings is a recurring theme throughout the book.

I found De Landa's prose to be accessible and, although at times it was "thick", when compared to the texts of Deleuze, it read like children's literature. He wrote lucidly and repeated when it seemed necessary. He unravels and explains some difficult concepts in a professional yet informal manner.

He seems to follow one of Deleuze's ideas well: Philosophical buggery, make a philosopher say what you want. He certainly knows how to connect Deleuze's often times puzzling (difficult to fully understand) choice of language with mathematical and scientific language; see topology and advances in modern evolutionary biology.

Over all, I found this book entertaining and enlightening. And would recommend it to people interested in the philosophy of science and also ontology: In Intensive Science & Virtual Philosophy De Landa expounds a realist take on ontology, which does away with Essence and instead seeks to explain the becoming of extended beings (assemblages - its assemblages all the way down) through intensive processes guided by "virtual" nodes (attractor basins) through the use of state-spaces. Assemblages are explained as being bodies able to affect, and being affected by other bodies. An example would be the leg-foot-floor assemblage with solves the problem of movement for a vast number of different bodies, the foot is affected by the floor, just as the floor is affected by the foot; and the same goes for the leg.
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Format: Paperback
Some really interesting ideas - drenched in the most thick, treacle-like over-written prose...
A shame - as there is something rather intriguing to the work - but felt like it was hidden on purpose...
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