Gilles Deleuze: The Logic of Sense

04 October 2019


To be actualized is also to be expressed. Leibniz held the famous thesis that each individual monad expresses the world. But this thesis is poorly understood as long as we interpret to mean the inherence of predicates in the expressive monad. It is indeed true that the expressed world does not exist outside of the monads which express it, and thus that it does exist within the monads as a series of predicates which inhere in them. It is no less true, however, that God created the world rather than monads, and that what is expressed is not confused with its expression, but rather insists and subsists. The expressed world is made of differential relations and of contiguous singularities. It is formed as a world precisely to the extent that the series which depend on each singularity converge with the series which depend on others. This convergence defines ‘compossibility’ as the rule of a world synthesis. Where the series diverge, another world begins, incompossible with the first. The extraordinary notion of compossibility is thus defined as a continuum of singularities, whereby continuity has the convergence of series as its ideational criterion. It follows that the notion of incompossibility is not reducible to the notion of contradiction. Rather, in a certain way, contradiction is derived from incompossibility. The contradiction between Adam-the-sinner and Adam-non-sinner results from the incompossibility of worlds in which Adam sins or does not sin. In each world, the individual monads express all the singularities of this world – an infinity – as though in a murmur or a swoon; but each monad envelops or expresses ‘clearly’ a certain number of singularities only, that is, those in the vicinity of which it is constituted and which link up with its own body. We see that the continuum of singularities is entirely distinct from from the individuals which envelop it in variable and complementary degrees of clarity; singularities are pre-individual. If it is true that the expressed world exists only in individuals, and that it exists there only as a predicate, it subsists in an entirely different manner, as an event or a verb, in the singularities which preside over the constitution of individuals. It is no longer Adam-the-sinner but rather the world in which Adam has sinned… It would be arbitrary to give a privileged status to the inherence of predicates in Leibniz’s philosophy. The inherence of properties in the expressive monad presupposes the compossibility of the expressed world, which, in turn, presupposes the distribution of pure singularities according to the rules of convergence and divergence. The rules belong to a logic of sense and the event, and not to a logic of predication and truth. Leibniz went very far in the first stage of the genesis. He thought of the constitution of the individual as the center of envelopment, as enveloping singularities inside a world and on its own body.

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