“The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.”
–Alfred North Whitehead

Deleuzean Diagrammagic


Here’s a quick sketch of a diagram I’ll continue to refine that came to me while reading Deleuze’s discussion of the passive synthesis of imagination in D & R (71cf).

An easier to read version:


The past and the future are rhythmically/repeatedly synthesized via contraction into the lived present by imagination. The actual occasions of the past are gathered together via physical prehension, while the eternal objects of the future are envisaged via conceptual prehension. Both the cellular heredities of the past and the modal anticipations of the future are arrayed in a fractal structure of branching multiplicities. The concentric rings are the echoes of repetition, the rhythm of concrescence repeating again and again, though never in the same way.

[Update: a few videos with more explanation]:

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4 responses to “Deleuzean Diagrammagic”

  1. Leon Avatar

    What is your take on “general future possibilities” in your diagram? Curious to know if you hold them to be determinate and pre-individuated, as well as temporally “eternal” with respect to the past; or if you hold the nature of the possible to be indeterminate and vague, as of yet having any identity, and temporarily “eternal” in the sense that “time” does not apply to it in any respect.

    The former would render future possibility as “mere” and in di-polar opposition to the actuated past, the latter would render future possibility as a power and ground of “potential,” in some sense “superior” to particularity and actuality as it is for both a sustaining and generating condition. The latter view could hold that potentiality is “deeper” ontologically than individuated (conceptually or ontologically) possibility.

    I am wondering what is the distinction between possibility, potentiality, and virtuality per your diagram.

    1. Matthew David Segall Avatar

      I’m on the run so this will be brief, but I think I may have gotten the axis wrong, such that the general-particular polarity runs on each side (past and future) and is not simply futural. The diagram evolves….

      More soon.

    2. Matthew David Segall Avatar

      Hey Leon, here is a more thorough response for you.

      As I said in my initial comment, I just shouldn’t have written general on the side of the future in the earlier iteration of the diagram. The future is no more general than the past. Both past and future have their own sort of particularity and generality. In the latest iteration of my diagram, the the past appears to bifurcate into macro- and micro-cosmic, or phylo- and onto-genetic lines of inheritance, while the future bifurcates into cosmopolitical/public and psychospiritual/private lines of expectation/graded desire.

      I would see the future as a pre-individuated set of determinate possibilities, eternal with respect to the passage of time. They are “mere” in that a di-polar relationship binds together eternal ideas with the yearning of actualities. The relationship between Potentiality/Creativity is the ground of actuality/God; but Actuality is at the same “time” the foundation of Potentiality. The objective immortality of God’s primordial yearning for definiteness always already conditions the indefiniteness of Creativity.

  2. […] PhD, M. T. (2012-12-28 2012) ‘Deleuzean Diagrammagic’, Footnotes2Plato. Available at: https://footnotes2plato.com/2012/12/27/deleuzean-diagrammagic/ […]

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