: Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque (): Gilles Deleuze: Books. GILLES DELEUZE. The Fold*. MATERIAL COILS1. The Baroque does not refer to an essence Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Philosophical Papers and Letters, vol. Title, The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque. Author, Gilles Deleuze. Edition, illustrated, reprint. Publisher, University of Minnesota Press, ISBN,

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In scholastic logica syncategorematic term syncategorema is a word that cannot serve as the yhe or the predicate of a proposition, and thus cannot stand for any of Aristotle’s categories, but can baroquue used with other terms to form a proposition. Words such as ‘all’, ‘and’, ‘if’ are examples of such terms. So there are two stages of deduction, first from the monad to what is perceived, but here we encounter [the problem of idealism via] Berkeley, and we cannot conclude that actual barroque bodies exist, not even our own.

We only have perceptions. However, Leibniz argues that what is perceived has a double structure. Macroperception arises from the differential relations among microperceptions, and what this means is that any phenomenon, anything that is perceived must be collective ‘like a herd, an army, or rainbow’ [we are going to quibble about this notion of collective in the baroquue chapter].

This collection is given a mental unity by differential relations, and differential relations themselves are reciprocally determined by ‘relations carried out necessarily through thought’. The issue is whether or not there is anything outside thought and perceptions, some material force which engenders bodies, external to monads.

These represent stable, unstable,neutral and metastable equilibria respectively. There is also reference to a ‘caternary’ curve — that formed when a chain caternaria is suspsended from either end — could be stable equilibrium as above but with a different curve. The point is that this notion leads on to all sorts of modern stuff about vectors and attractors, and the terminiology used in DeLandalike states of systemts etc.

We are going to ‘solve’ the problem of linking the two levels or floors using dogmatism or incoherence as ever. There will be God or a magic substance — vinculum subtantiale — as well as the usual slippery and ambiguous definitions etc]. We start with Leibniz arguing that totalities are not just collectives, not just names. There is the bwroque of the collectivity which depends on shared or distributed individual qualities.

Monads, for example, are a collective in that they share the same relation to the world.

: Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque (): Gilles Deleuze: Books

They are ‘each, or every one for itself, while [other, external, material] bodies are onesome, or any’ Totalities of this kind are distributive, with relations of parts and wholes, as opposed to bodies which are merely gold, where one relates to the others [at the same level. The upper floor of the monad, the soul, belongs to the distributive totality.

In the material universe of bodies, we find bagoque, propagating waves and interactions. Whereas monads express the world, bodies are impressed by other bodies. This gives us two different regimes and two dold sorts of cause. Souls are in ‘vertical immanent causality’ with the world, while bodies are in ‘transitive horizontal causality’.

In the first case, we find notions of liberty or grace, final causes and moral necessity, in the second one, we find efficient causes, physical laws and only hypothetical necessity ‘ if one is…, so deleuz the other… ‘ Yet these two must still be seen as connected, as two halves, We have already noticed that there is primal matter or primal force, arising between the minute perceptions of the monad, differentially related. In this way, the object tye something ‘perceived or the world as expression’.

However, we need a different understanding of the other parts, the material part, which is not affected by the pure relations, but by those that produce efficient causes, producing bodies which can only resemble perceptions. Here we are talking about ’empirical laws of second Nature’.

The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque by Gilles Deleuze

Here we find empirical singularities, like the extremum. Curves are now finite, with definite coordinates, minimum and maximum, not just ‘vectors of concavity’ that defined inflection and inclusion. We can now determine the position of objects on such curves as effects of efficient causes [the forces at work, like gravity and other extrinsic vectors].

We can calculate particular curves, or contours, measure actual areas, baroquw movements, including vibrations affected by specific frequencies, and the interactions leeibniz ‘all deleue of derivative forces, elastic and plastic alike’ So there are two equations of the world, delwuze in minds and conceptions, and one in nature itself.

How are they related? For Leibniz they have to be ‘concatenated ‘or continuous [arising from the monistic and universal nature of God again? The dominant singularity in the material world is the extremum, but the other 3 are also connected, and presuppose it [the other singularities relate to more general properties of curves and have developed the mathematics of curves first?


In this way, the two floors are related but also different. The upper floor of the baroque house displays weightlessness, the lower floor the ‘gravity of mass’, and they are connected by vertical transitions ‘spiritual elevation and physical gravity’. Others te talked about the differences between structures and figures [the latter being empirical shapes, as it were, while structures refer to relative positions]. A disciple, Ruyer, insists on the connection, however, in ‘substantial or individual forms’, although we ffold work with figures as having an autonomy of their own.

The vertical dimension explains the soul of the monad, its ability to survey itself [and reflect], its quality as a superject. We are not just talking about autonomous objects grasped by conventional subjects, but a notion of self presence, an absolute interiority, that displays self fulfilment and self enjoyment [developing perceptions regardless of material influences from organs or extrinsic forces].

Absolute forms can oversee the whole operation of perception, unconstrained by local linkages, and not just functioning to understand the empirical, but forming themselves.

These processes affect not just living organisms but even inorganic particles and molecules, although in different varieties. These forms are the primary forces, or primary unities, and they are ‘actualize a virtuality or a potential’. They also have a relation of harmony with each other. A connection is established with a dispute between Leibniz and Newton, which partly turned on the ‘critique of vacuum’ and notions of attraction.

If I recall accurately the discussion in Kuhn Structure of Scientific RevolutionsNewton was at odds with those who held a more mechanistic view of the universe—he actually specifies Descartes—who saw a mysterious ether filling the spaces between objects like planets, with forces traversing the ether literally by vibrating adjacent molecules of it. Newton’s originally bizarre idea was that the planets actually attracted each other with a mysterious new force, gravity, that operated even across vacuums, without having to transmit vibrations.

How it did actually work was clearly a philosophical problem, but physicists cheerfully ignored the problem, eventually anyway. Maybe, Leibniz is on the side of the mechanists here?

Deleuze is arguing that, at the time anyway, his notion of thrusts and impulsions instead of attractions works just as well. He says more contemporary uses of ‘the laws of extremum’ to explain organic phenomena still work with assumptions about preformed paths and abstract forms generally, and if we abandon those, we end with ‘linkages without sufficient reason’.

However, do we want to preserve the notion of sufficient reason? The whole use of the term ‘vibration’ in Deleuze, to explain the ways in which one series can affect another, or one point another for that matter, has always struck me as anachronistic.

Is Deleuze still using the preNewtonian understanding? Does it explain chaosmos better than Newtonian physics? He wold want to go beyond Newton, no doubt — but why back to mechanicism? He seems evasive here, so we never know if he is giving his opinions, or paraphrasing those of Leibniz, in the famous indirect free discourse]. They explain the distribution of ‘derivative forces’, and the distinction is really what is at stake when distinguishing the organic from the inorganic.

It is a matter of distinguishing the individual from a collective phenomenon, an absolute form from [empirical] ‘massive, molar figures or structures’.

Again, these phenomena live on different floors. However, it is individual beings that operate sufficient reason through their forms and primal forces, and it is these that make up collections as secondary. This is not to say that the lower floor is in some way merely secondary and composite, since ‘Clearly [! The levels have different sorts of folds, creases or ‘bends of matter’.

The Fold, explained

The difference between organic and inorganic can be explained in terms of different folds as well. The bends of matter manage to hide their influence on the boundary between the floors, however, while the folds of form on the upper surface are open to self examination, revealing the details ‘of an absolute surface that is copresent with all its modifications’. The only way the world can be actualized is in monads, even though this is conveyed through each monad ‘s point of view.

But there is another process at work as well, involving the possible and the real. Once God has chosen the best world, the other worlds are still being actualized in their own monads. In other words, a number of actuals can be possible, without being ‘forcibly real’. There is a further stage, where the actual is realised.


There is only a possibility of being realized. The issue is still related to the monads and their perceptions, since perceiving, which tne a resemblance of the perceived to something’ is itself a form of realization [here we go with ambiguous leiibniz.

Realization arises from something that happens deleuzze bodies, that makes bodies themselves real or substantial [another ambiguity is about to be introduced through the notion of substance]. So we have actualization in monads and realization in bodies, but how does the world manage to produce both? What is it that is being actualized and realized? We can perceive and experience events, like a physical blow which my body receives and my soul feels as pain, but what about the other part of the event, the bit that is not realised and actualized?

There must be another secret part, ‘a neutral singularity, incorporeal as much as impassable’, something which originates in all expression and all realizations, the eventum tantum ‘a pure virtualityy and possibility The event is totally dependent and totally autonomous, at the same time’ – 2.

One implication seems to be that philosophy should not domesticate this original event with schemas derived from ontology or epistemology, with names, by attempting to make sense—that would not be worthy of the event. Deleuze’s example, apparently, makes every event like death, both double and impersonal, almost the negation of the present, offering no form of human relation, so that it becomes impossible to talk about me actually dying, while recognizing that others die tye in Logic of Sense ].

Ultimately, at the level of the virtual, there is a relation between the ‘sense of the event, the proto events, and the event of sense’ ]. The world can be seen as ‘the “pure” reserve of events that are actualized and realized’.

Leibniz requires this preexisting world, this element of the event [since those bits of the events which are expressed and implemented are not the totality— deoeuze do they just add up to the totality], and that there is ‘a potential that exceeds the souls that direct it and the bodies that execute it’ It is the material universe that is expressive, [Reality 2 as opposed to the normal Reality anc both to leibbiz world and to the soul.

Actualization and realization are different regimes of expression: Actualization by monads is internal and independent of others, while realization at the level of bodies involves relations with other bodies, ultimately, the totality of bodies, the whole material universe. The first process goes from whole to part, from the entire leibnis to a zone of it; the second one relates parts and parts, near to far, from the expression of its related monad, to the zones of expression of others.

However, luckily, there is an accord between these regimes, or harmony, between the soul and its body, and therefore between other souls and other elibniz in its surroundings.

However, we still have a problem because the soul is an ‘each or every,’ while the body is a ‘one’. What forms the connection between one body and each monad [and here, Deleuze is is going to use the phrase ‘appurtenance’, which implies possessions]? Leibniz here is engaging in an old debate about the union of the soul and the body, about incarnation. However, harmony might explain the correspondence between each soul and the universe [because this has already ddleuze defined as a relation between parts and wholes], but there are still problems explaining food correspondence between the soul and the body.

The relation cannot just be an aspect of the body [I’m not sure why, you can define it however the hell you like –maybe this would introduce a hierarchy? Instead we need ‘a theory of appurtenance’, or belonging Husserl gives us an example of a theory of appurtenance, in the fifth of the Cartesian Meditations [discussing how we know hhe others] and this refers to Leibniz. For H, the monad is replaced by the ego, the self has a sphere of its possessions, and in that sphere of appurtenance, I can find something that I do not possess, something foreign to me, something objective, an other.

Leibniz has a similar strategy, and asks what belongs to me, with the answer that it is all the thoughts of the self, the cogitoand because thoughts are so diverse and changing, the predicates include the entire world as delfuze — or rather the entire world that I express clearly.

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