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Durée Réelle : microphysical indetermination : creative emergence


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Presentation given at Deleuze Studies Conference 2016: Virtuality:Becoming:Life, Rome, Italy, 13/7/16

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Durée Réelle : microphysical indetermination : creative emergence

  1. 1. Virtuality, Becoming, Life. Deleuze Studies Conference Rome 2016 Durée réelle : microphysical indetermination : creative emergence David Kreps
  2. 2. Agenda ✤ Introduction - my first time, be gentle with me! ✤ Theatre - Arts Mgt - Cultural Theory - Sociology - 
 Information Systems - Business School ✤ Book: Bergson and Systems Theory : ✤ Philosophy need neither be the ‘handmaiden of science’ nor divorced from instrumental reality ✤ Science need neither compromise its principles nor attempt to go beyond its scope ✤ Time - Bergson’s durée réelle and irreversible time in physics ✤ Becoming - durational succession and microphysical indetermination ✤ Life - élan vital, complex environmental biology and creative emergence
  3. 3. Durée Réelle Bergson’s Core Philosophical Insight ✤ Real time – the durée réelle. ✤ Scientific time spatialises time, and does not endure ✤ Zeno’s paradoxes - Achilles does overtake the tortoise: movement is not a series of immobilities ✤ Free Will: ’the movement from past to present to future is pregnant with possibilities and it is choice, based upon memory of the past and imagination of the possible future, which settles on one rather than another.’ Time and Free Will ✤ Evolution: the élan vital - that which drives durée réelle forward, acting in opposition to entropy - the means by which consciousness enters into inert matter through life: vitalism ✤ Often described as a dualist Bergson insists he is a monist: characteristic ‘deconstruction’ of dualities ✤ He uses a great deal of scientific literature in his philosophy ✤ He praises Darwin for his clarity about the (secondary) adaptationist force in evolution time
  4. 4. Irreversible time Modern physics and the durée réelle ✤ Reversible time: 
 - classical dynamics, Einsteinian physics
 Irreversible time: 
 - thermodynamics, geology, evolution ✤ Irreversible time in quantum and astrophysics:
 Macroscopic: Hubble’s expanding universe 
 Microscopic: Planck’s quanta / Bohr’s Wave-Particle Duality of light / Heisenberg’s uncertainty - ‘God plays dice’ irreversibility ✤ de Broglie: wave/particle duality of ALL subatomic particles
 …in Bergson we find Heisenberg before Heisenberg, Bohr before Bohr: the “author’s doctor’s thesis, dates from 1889 and consequently antedates by forty years the ideas of Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg on the physical interpretation of wave mechanics” Bohr time
  5. 5. Microphysical Indetermination de Broglie and durational succession ✤ de Broglie: “when an experiment or an observation makes it possible to define the state of a particle at an instant t1 … wave mechanics is in a position to announce what will be the particle’s possible locations at a succeeding instant t2 and their respective probabilities; but it can not generally make definite predictions, and it is in thus substituting for the definite predictions of the older mechanics simple probabilities referring to diverse possibilities, that quantum mechanics finds itself renouncing the rigorous determinism of classical physics. If now, at the instant t2 which follows t1, an experiment or observation permits us to precisely locate the particle, the situation changes completely for us, since it is one of the possibilities and no other which is realised. Thus in quantum theory far more than in classical theories, time seems to produce, in flowing, new and unforeseen elements” de Broglie becoming t1 -> t2
  6. 6. Microphysical Indetermination Durational succession,conscious choice ✤ “Durational succession is intelligible only in terms of the qualitative differentiation of present from past, which differentiation itself depends on the mnemonic survival of the past in the present.” Bjelland ✤ Our experience of duration is multiple, pregnant with possibilities, encompassing past, present, and potential futures ✤ Čapek: organisms may be thought of as amplifiers of quantum mechanical indetermination - as suggested by Neils Bohr in 1931 - choice - free will ✤ Durational consciousness - making choices - is thus central to Bergson’s understanding of a physical universe that endures - and places humanity at the centre of the universe ✤ Deleuze: “durations that are inferior or superior are still internal to us” Bohr becoming
  7. 7. life Bergson Complexity élan vital self-organisation /
 order at the edge of chaos tendencies attractors durée réelle 
 life is not an accident shortest description Kauffman Durée Complexe The Irreversibility ofTime and the Complexity of Life ✤ Systems theory : ecology, biology, general systems theory, cybernetics, 2nd order cybernetics, complex adaptive systems: open systems - no closed systems - spatialised time ✤ Complex evolutionary biology and the élan vital in Creative Evolution (1907) ✤ Open systems; dissipative structures (bath-tap); Belousov- Zhabotinsky reactions; network dynamics
  8. 8. Creative Emergence The Responsibilities of Humanity - Knights of faith? ✤ Creative emergence as a composite of Bergson’s ideas and those of complexity theory : a post-Darwinian evolutionary theory ✤ Jeremy England at MIT - statistical physics suggests self-organising complexities more efficient entropy producers: life is inevitable ✤ A universe understood upon the model of consciousness, engendering life, begets a Human exceptionalism (shared by Deleuze): ✤ not because we are inevitable or perfect, but because something like us is the ultimate point - for life to become self-aware - the only ‘finality’ which Bergson will allow in creative evolution ✤ counter both to religiously inspired notions of our innate perfection, and biodeterminist notions of our accidental irrelevance - a universe making itself up as it goes along ✤ It places on us a responsibility to know that we are in it together, we can fail as a species just as likely as we can succeed, and we will only have ourselves to blame – or praise - if we do. Bergson memorial coin Jeremy England life
  9. 9. Contact ✤ Dr David Kreps ✤ ✤ ✤