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Variants of Peirce's triad are often presented as ' the semiotic triangle' as if there were only one version. The broken line at the base of the triangle is intended to indicate that there is not necessarily any observable or direct relationship between the sign vehicle and the referent.

Unlike Saussure's abstract signified which is analogous to term B rather than to C the referent is an 'object'. This need not exclude the reference of signs to abstract concepts and fictional entities as well as to physical things, but Peirce's model allocates a place for an objective reality which Saussure's model did not directly feature though Peirce was not a naive realist, and argued that all experience is mediated by signs.

Note, however, that Peirce emphasized that 'the dependence of the mode of existence of the thing represented upon the mode of this or that representation of it The inclusion of a referent in Peirce's model does not automatically make it a better model of the sign than that of Saussure.

Indeed, as John Lyons notes:. Language stabilizes around a parish, a bishopric, a capital. It forms a bulb. It evolves by subterranean stems and flows, along river valleys or train tracks; it spreads like a patch of oil. Notes on: Guattari, F. Essays in Schizoanalysis , translated by Taylor Adkins. Los Angeles: Semiotext e Foreign Agents. As if the frequent references to offers and discussions that I have not read are not difficult enough, the style is also close to impenetrable, with eternal sentences, and this quality of 'Schizo flow' that others have mentioned.

I should be lucky to pick even the most modest bones out of this mushy soup. I suppose the kindest thing that could be said is that this account is slightly more accessible than the pretentious rubbish in TP] Introduction: Logos or abstract machine?

Can it still be understood and translated? Modern conceptions see it is a structural matter, with very little left of Freud or Jung, structured like a language, even a mathematical language as in Lacan. For Guattari, the unconscious affects all kinds of perceptions and actions, affecting the possible itself and all forms of communication, not just linguistic ones.

He uses the term machinic unconscious to stress that it is full of 'machinisms that lead it to produce and reproduce these images and words' There is a need to reject both classic notions of causality, and structural abstractions. Instead, we need to consider interactions with objects, space and time, without worrying whether they are material, semiotic, or transcendental.

We should be working with 'abstract deterritorialized interactions' produced by abstract machines, especially as they traverse different aspects of reality and 'demolish stratifications' These interactions operate on a plane of consistency which crosses place and time. They should be grasped as the 'quanta of possibles'. Assemblages fix and unfix 'coordinates of existence', constantly deterritorializing and singularizing, and establishing new replacement territories—'machinic territorialities'.

These processes are universal, and are only slowed down or thickened on the '"normal" human scale'. The same goes for normal understandings of causality and temporal sequence. Machines are not just understood in terms of their current manifestations and they produce a plane of consistency enabling all sorts of other intersections.

Thom is on to this, but too likely to understand it in terms of mathematics, thus remaining at the abstract level, unable to talk about the process of singularization, which Guattari here refers to as 'extracts' from the cosmos and history].

Referring to abstract machines reminds us that we are not just talking about normal processes of abstraction to get to universals, and the need to think of mechanisms as well as assemblages. There are no universal general assemblages—universality is a function of power. The search for some systematic formal order, over expressions, for example, as studied in the social sciences is impossible, because it really depends on 'political and micro political power struggles' to attempt to stabilize an essentially drifting language.

Attempts to reduce behaviour and language to binaries or digits could be extended to all social phenomena, but we will not have grasped the essence of the phenomena, unless we make some assumptions that everything aims towards stabilized equilibrium.

Structuralism attempts to deal with contingency and singularity by probabalizing them along synchronic and diachronic axes, but this is only a tidying up, and it misses altogether those assemblages that produce 'rupture and innovation' The tendency to aim at general axioms in science, and at pure concepts in philosophy, has meant the dominance of epistemology.

The efforts to connect certain privileged denunciations with a transcendent order should be understood instead as a form of power, justifying 'the social status and the imaginary security of its pundits and scribes in the fields of ideology and science' It's possible to develop a formalism operating with 'transcendent universal forms cut off from from history', or to see 'social formations and material assemblages' as embodying them so that they can be inferred. Some encodings will come to appear to be natural, and accidental connections with 'sign machines' will appear as general laws.

These were sometimes misunderstood as comprising a metalanguage—but language, enunciation, states of affairs and subjective states are really all on the same level ['flat ontology']. There are no independent subjects or objects— their seeming independence is really an effect of deterritorialization.

Abstract machines connect with deterritorialization and this is what produces apparent universal causess, laws, and pre-established orders.

It is common to argue that we can never possible to develop abstract conceptions free from 'invasions' from social assemblages or mass media. Abstract machines do not code existing social stratifications from the outside. What they do is to offer transformations inside a general deterritorialization, by constructing 'an "optional subject"', a kind of focusing of possibilities, 'crystals of the possible' They assemble components in order to affect realizations, never logically or in a law-like way, but contingently, never simply passing, for example from the complex to the simple, and never establishing a systemic hierarchy.

For example, the most elementary elements can bring forth new potentialities and invade more complex assemblages. We need to lose terms like 'the elementary' when describing what goes on and refer instead to a 'molecular level', and this can never be simplified or reduced. Molecules can provide keys or seeds for more complex and differentiated developments.

The molecular is more deterritorialized, and this is essential for more complex assemblages to arise. So abstract machines can not be understood in terms of subject and object, nor in standard logical terms [like the subject of a sentence and its predicate? Instead, they offer something more general, 'the order of subjectivity and representation, but not in the traditional form of individual subjects and statements detached from their context' One consequence is to move away from anthropocentric conceptions, to move from, for example, logical propositions to 'machinic propositions' and to examine 'non - semiologically formed matter' [eg birdsong].

This will make [conventional, human] coding or signifying look more contingent. There will also be an emphasis on singularity as something that does not just contain 'a limited number of universal capacities'. Assemblages can be undone to reveal other possibilities, overcoming the alliance between universal thought and 'respect to an established order'. Linguistics and semiology claim a privileged place by claiming to be able to solve problems in other disciplines.

But this is really a matter of high status and an appearance of scientificity. Saussure, for example, has simply borrowed by lots of psychoanalysts, following some sort of tacit agreement over boundaries of domains.

It is this 'shared problematic' that will be investigated in particular Instead, it is important to look at issues which will help us revive the notion of the unconscious, and understand pragmatics in a new way.

We also want to look at two particular issues: 'faciality traits and refrains'. Then we want to develop 'a schizoanalytical pragmatics' to address political and micro political problems, and then to go on to develop new semiotic entities based on pragmatics in the form of 'a "machinic genealogy"'.

Then we will talk about faciality traits and refrains in Proust [see my summary --sic-- here. See also Deleuze's commentary on Proust] A glossary might help [ha!

Instead of dichotomous choices, as in Chomsky, rhizomes can connect any point to any other point. Each semiotic chain can refer to a number of 'encoding modes: biological, political, economic chains, etc. We will look at the relations between segments at different levels inside each semiotic stratum, in order to demonstrate 'lines of flight of deterritorialization'.

We will emphasize pragmatics rather than underlying structure, machinic unconscious rather than the psychoanalytic unconscious, something that resembles a map rather than 'a representational unconscious crystallized in codified complexes and repartitioned on a genetic axis': this map will be 'detachable, connectable, reversible, and modifiable'. Tree structures can appear within rhizomes, and conversely the branches of the tree can send out buds in a rhizomatic form [but we need a 'pure' model?

Interpretative components imply more importance for semiology and signification. There are two general types of transformations involved— analogical, as in iconic signs, and signifying, requiring more linguistic semiology.

A type becomes dominant only within particular modes of subjectification of power— re territorialized assemblages of enunciation for analogical transformations, and individual assemblages for signifying transformations. Non interpretative components are more general, with interpretative ones as 'a particular or borderline case'. Mutant possibilities arise with deviant groups --madmen or radicals].

At the semiotic level , there are also two types of redundancy. One involves 'redundancies of resonance'[and this is something to do with faciality and refrains] A second type is machinic redundancies' 'or redundancies of interaction' [something to do with diagrammatic components, presumably the ways in which one gives place to another within the overall diagram?

As in evolution through the machinic phylum? OR, the condensed versions of language in 'restricted codes' or ideologies?

At the existential level , there are three levels of consistency. The first one is molar consistency, relating to 'strata, significations, and realities', and this seems to have to do with phenomena as [collectively?

The second one is molecular consistency, relating to assemblages and how machines are embodied in them. The third one is abstract consistency that apparently 'specifies the "theoretical" degree of possibility of the two preceding consistencies'. The first note refers to differences in terminology, especially with Chomsky, and the second one distinguishes semiology from semiotics.

Semiology is 'the translinguistic discipline that examines sign systems in connection with the laws of language', with Barthes as the example, while semiotics proposes to study sign systems 'according to a [pragmatic? Chapter two. Escaping from Language [Lots of stuff here about different linguistic theories.

The main points seems to be to argue that pragmatics is far more important than any other aspect of language, and that general theories, including structuralism, are really describing particular clusters of pragmatic utterances, some of which come to seem important for political reasons] Functionalist accounts of language operated with phonological chains organized around binaries. Language was seen in terms of information theory, with messages and redundancy and so on. Social and political context were ignored, so that linguistics can appear to be scientific and 'serious'.

Generative linguistics, as in Chomsky, saw functionalist models as describing only the surface activity produced by underlying syntactic structures.

Some followers wanted to describe the syntax in terms of mathematics or types of logic. Even a more recent emphasis on enunciation [Foucault? Someone else I think] has failed to grasp the social and political context, and it is still common to study enunciation in general, or something abstract, 'an alienated enunciation' In all these approaches, pragmatics were seen as something to be dumped in a waste basket, either ignored, or grasped in 'a restrictive mode'.

Syntax and phonology dominated. Enunciations were supposed to be located at particular 'structural junctions', but were never seen as contingent or singular. Language was just assumed to be able to represent a social system.


The Machinic Unconscious: Essays in Schizoanalysis

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The Machinic Unconscious : Essays in Schizoanalysis

Distributed for Semiotext e. We certainly have the unconscious that we deserve, an unconscious for specialists, ready-made for an institutionalized discourse. I would rather see it as something that wraps itself around us in everyday objects, something that is involved with day-to-day problems, with the world outside. It would be the possible itself, open to the socius, to the cosmos

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