Reading notes: Deleuze’s Empiricism and Subjectivity, Chapter 3

For Hume, general rule is combination of reflection and extension

Sometimes they are identical: extended because they are reflected (institution as a rule)

Other times they are not: determining rules are more extensive than reflective (two types of general rules as presented above).

H: “we often carry our maxims beyond those reasons, which first induc’d us to establish them.”

So: determining rules extend beyond circumstances of their emergence. They don’t account for exceptions and misconstrue accidents.

Then there are corrective rules, which, unsurprisingly, correct the extension of the determining rules. They address the accidental and exceptional.

Corrective rules rely on experience accounting for different possible cases; “exception is a natural thing, and by mean of habit and imagination, it becomes the object of experience and knowledge (savoir), that is, the object of casuistics (recording and study of different individual cases).

So, extension and correction are identical but also different. Help!

They are two kinds of rules because although they have the same origin/principles of constitution, they go against one another…

Starting with the first case: the rule is both extension and reflection of passions in imagination (it is through this reflection that the mind transcends flux of perception). “Being reflected, the passions are found before an enlarged reproduction of themselves, and see themselves liberated from the limits and conditions of their own actuality.” An artificial domain opens – the world of culture: a set of images through which passions can be deployed. “The reflected interest transcends its own partiality” (57). The imagination is thus filled w/ images of passions and their objects; it has its own set of passions wherein “the rule is possible.”

Three types of rules

Rule of taste: how does feeling shift from inconstancy to aesthetic judgment? Passions flow but are inferior to belief…taste is a feeling of imagination, not a raw passion. The imagination grounds general rule b/c it can distinguish “between power and the exercise of power” by reflecting passions and their object, “separating them from their actuality and recuperating them in the mode of the possible” (57). Aesthetics: science envisaging things under the category of power and possibility (perhaps useful for my argument about vision of city being a motivation realized via capital). In the same way that reflection of interest transcends passion, the reflection of passions (in art, for example) changes their quality.

Rule of freedom: the will (a kind of passion) moves madly, producing images of itself everywhere (~Nietzsche?).

Rule of interest and duty: arise from either force or agreement. Example of feminine virtues arising from the possibility that a child may be fathered by someone other than the husband.

In each of these cases, the imagination makes reflection on passions possible.

Previously: principles of nature and qualities of passions were studied in terms of effect on mind. This is just the first half of the process, by which the imagination is fixed.

Now: the imagination reflects affection, the latter or which “resounds inside the mind” (59) (settling on different constructions of possible objects of passions…different rules emerge in response to these different possibilities (taste, freedom, interest/duty). [In my own words: one is affected by the empirical world, the mind transcends these affections and is capable of separating out the affections from the objects causing them, and rules can be constructed that mediate between these objects and effects]. This is a shift from “fancy” to “human nature” but since not everything can be fixed (something always escapes), what we really have is a new version of fancy that is “reestablished in the principles of its own transformation” (dynamic: temporary fixing, undoing, reconstitution, etc., ad infinitum – unless one gets stuck).

Still on page 59, where I also see the opening for affective politics:

“Imagination, as it reflects on the forms of its own stability, liberates these forms, and liberates itself from them; it extends them infinitely [other possible objects]. This means that it makes the limit an object of the fancy, it plays with the limit by presenting the accidental as essential, and separates power from its actual exercise. This illusion, says Hume, is an illusion of the fancy. The power of the imagination is to imagine power. In short, the passions do not reflect themselves in the imagination without the imagination extending the passions. The general rule is the absolute unity of the reflection of the passions in the imagination and the extension of the passions by the imagination. It is in this sense that reflection and extension are one.”

Second case – reflection and extension are two b/c corrections are needed to establish rigor. Now reflection is taken to be at a remove, a reflection on initial reflection, a reflection on reflected interest. Previously, extension was already correction since it transcended natural partiality, but still confused essence and accident, and therefore needed a new correction (simple effect: nature; complex effect: culture).

From first case: passions are reflected in the fancy and “resonate within a fancy which is already settled, affected, and naturalized.” It is not settled by passions’ quals but by association (fixing of the mind). “Only on this condition, the passions are able to trace affectively constant and determined figures in the imagination” (60) – the associations are the channels.

H’s example of hunter and apple-plucker: injustice of someone snatching the spoils of an exhaustive hunt vs. no complaints over someone else picking an accessible apple…D: “the entire domain of the right is associationist” (61). The imagination relies on association.

Still, the fancy invokes association’s principles by using them to explain culture.

But moreover, it sees associations logic as “specious and merely plausible” – sees the weakness in rules of property, sovereignty…this is the force behind endless discussions and interpretations.

Therefore, “the historian is perplexed” (62) in a way that completes the philosopher’s skepticism, and this is why the correction is necessary. The rule must become the object of a second reflection…fill in gap btwn understanding and how fancy applies to it.

Overall, the core of problem: relations between passions and imagination. The true originality of H’s theory of passions lies in how this relationship is determined. Like association, the principles of passions transcend and fix the mind, but in a different way.

Association makes reciprocal relations between ideas possible, while passions give relations a direction/sense. Association links ideas and passions give a sense to the relations…

Passions need the association of ideas; assoc presupposes passions. “Ideas get associated in virtue of a goal, an intention, or a purpose which only the passions can confer upon human activity. We associate our ideas because we have passions” (63). This occurs in the imagination.

Solving H’s problem of the self: the subject is not a quality but a qualification of collection of ideas. The idea not an object of thought nor a quality of a thing, but is a rule of construction that involves not just understanding but culture, morality, and politics. Self is constituted through “the synthesis of affection and its reflection, the synthesis of an affection which fixes the imagination which reflects the affection” (64).

Practical reason: establishing whole of culture and morality. Schematizing imagination makes this possible, but in the realm of imagination it functions differently: instead of integrating partial elements it determines parts of a whole. Unlike passions, association does not have to be calmed…

“In this sense, reason is imagination that has become nature; it is the totality of the simple effects of association, general ideas, substances, and relations” (65). Two kinds of relation/reason:

Relations                 Type of reason (both based on comparison)

Between ideas             basis of certainty (intuition and
demonstration)

Between objects          basis of probabilities; belief (experimental
reason, understanding)

Example of causality: not object of certainty/knowledge, but the question remains whether or not understanding creates it (as obj of understanding) or whether or not causality comes from probability.

“The principle from which the causal relation is derived as an effect has a gradual formation. Here, human nature does not by itself produce its effect” (65) because it must observe nature (therefore it cannot be derived from probability). Every determined degree of habit is a probability and probability presupposes habit as a principle (?). Paradox of habit: both a principle of human nature and is formed by degrees (historical).

Principle: habit of contracting habits. “Habit is the root of reason, and indeed the principle from which reason stems as an effect” (66). But this is reason as belief.

In the other type of reason (intuition, certainty), it is determined immediately under influence of human nature.

But back to habit: experience is a principle of nature, and habit is a different principle that presupposes experience. Exp causes us to observe connections, repetition…this is how we go from imagination to understanding (yet we still do not know how understanding can see cause and effect…surely it is through association?). There must be a principle beyond experience that allows understanding to draw conclusions from experience, as well as transcend experience to make inferences. “The repetition of similar cases does not move us forward, since the only difference between the second case and the first is that the second comes after the first, without displaying a new idea” (67).

Therefore, habit is another principle while causality is a natural relation or association of ideas; its effect is to turn imagination into belief. Double implication:

  1. Habit allows understanding to reason about experience
  2. Habit presupposes experience. Or habit is experience in that it produces ideas via imagination, not understanding.

Repetition becomes production when we do not see it in relation to repeated objects, when we see it from perspective of contemplating mind – creating anticipation or tendency.

Experience is constant presentation of connected cases

Habit is the union of these cases inside the mind

H combines these in his definition of causality: a union of similar objects + mental inference from one to the other.

Analogy between artifice (morality) and habit (knowledge), which are at origin of general rules (extensive and corrective), but they function differently.

In system of morality: rules reflect in general the principles of nature in imagination

In system of knowledge: condition of rules presupposes experience and must be formed.

The idea we believe is idea associated w/ present impression, “the idea to which the impression communicates its vividness” (69). Habit and experience are diff principles and their unity is not given.

Habit can invoke false experience (belief through repetition that is not grounded in experience)…illegitimate belief, fiction of imagination.

Although illegitimate, this will “form the set of general, extensive, and excessive rules that Hume calls nonphilosophical probability” (69). Therefore, understanding cannot rely on nature to determine laws of its legitimate exercise; such “can only be the product of correction and reflection…” Philosophical probability/calculus of probabilities. Extensive rules in moral world must be corrected b/c “causality has already, by itself and on its own level, a fanciful extensive use.” The understanding can do this b/c it must first correct extension of knowledge itself.

Sources of illegitimate beliefs: language and the fancy.

Language substitutes observed repetition with spoken repetition.

The fancy confuses essential and accidental.

In fields of understanding and morality the imagination exceeds: when knowledge is exceeded, we don’t get positivity of art, but negativity of errors and lies. Correction does not come as institution of qualitative rigor by calculus of quantities. Habit always falsifies experience/invokes fictitious repetitions.

Object of philosophical probability/calculus of probabilities is to “maintain belief within the limits of the understanding and to ensure conformity between habit and experience” (71) – habit and experience are means to dissolve fiction/prejudice. Legitimate reason is born of habit obliquely, not directly.

To believe is an act of imagination.

Both kinds of rule, extensive and corrective, are effect of habit.

But since habit is not confined to observation w/in experience, the adequation of habit and experience is a scientific result. How? “This task is accomplished to the extent that the act of belief bears exclusively upon an object being determined in accordance with the nature of the understanding, and in accordance with repetitions observed in experience” (72). Corrective rules. Habit has opposite effects on imagination and judgment: extension and the correction of extension.

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