September 20, 2003

Intensive Gene Theory

The Pinocchio Theory: What Genes Can't Do. An interesting book review that tossed a couple more onto my wish list. Ends with the following:

What I’d like to see is a way that these considerations might hook up with the thinking of process and becoming that one finds in Bergson, Whitehead, and Deleuze; in opposition both to scientific reductionism and New Age holism. But of course I have little idea of whether such a thing is actually possible.

Which makes me wonder whether Shaviro has read Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy, which may or may not address the exactly what he's interested in...

Posted by William Blaze at September 20, 2003 07:53 PM | TrackBack

Actually, I tried working my way through Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy, but there were a lot of things there that I couldn't understand, much less make an intelligent judgement about. However, DeLanda is working mostly with the relevance of Deleuze to physics; this is probably because physics is the most fundamental of the "hard" sciences. But I'd be more interested in a discussion that focused on biology; I'm not convinced that science is necessarily so unified that what works for fundamental physics works for (supposedly less fundamental) biology, since biology has so many additional layers of systems complexity, etc.

Posted by: Steve Shaviro on September 20, 2003 09:13 PM

I don't have the book in front of me, and I'm due in for a second run through it, but I'll try to comment as best I can.

DeLanda breaks from physics math theory focus sometime in the 2nd (I think) chapter. He address the issue of moving from the physics to other sciences to some extent here as well. The part that seems like it be of most interest to you though is tucked all the way at the end in his discussion of What is Philosophy? where he really gets to the issue of intensive science. What he argues, in what seems like a very short period of time given the title of the book, is that there is that Deleuze's grouping of all science into the realm of the actual and metric is wrong, and that an intensive science also exists, and is in fact more in line with much of Delueze's other work.

Worth looking into, although I must say on first read it came off more as a teaser for another book then as a really satisfying argument. But I suspect there might be more to this to be gleaned on a return read.

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