A New Philosophy of Society: Assemblage Theory and Social by Manuel De Landa

By Manuel De Landa

Manuel DeLanda is a exceptional author, artist and thinker.

In his new publication, he deals a desirable examine how the modern global is characterised by means of a unprecedented social complexity. due to the fact that such a lot social entities, from small groups to massive realms, could disappear altogether if human minds ceased to exist, Delanda proposes a unique method of social ontology that announces the autonomy of social entities from the conceptions we've of them.

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The third qualification relates to the question of the relevant scale at which a particular social process is to be explained. As I argued above, sometimes questions of relevance are settled through the concept of causal redundancy. But this does not imply that explanations will always involve a single spatial scale. The Napoleonic revolution in warfare - a revolution which transformed war from one conducted through relatively local battles of attrition to one based on battles of annihilation in which the entire resources of a nation were mobilized - is a good example of a process demanding a multiscaled explanation: it involved causal changes taking place at the urban and national scale (the French Revolution, which produced the first armies of motivated citizens instead 39 A NEW PHILOSOPHY OF SOCIETY of expensive mercenaries); causes and reasons at the organizational scale (the breaking-down of monolithic armies into autonomous divisions each with its own infantry, cavalry and artillery); and reasons and motives at the personal scale, since Napoleon's own strategic genius and charisma, amplified by his influential position in interpersonal networks, played a crucial catalytic role.

Moreover, the link from one to another would not be a process of logical differentiation, but one of historical differentiation, that is, a process involving the divergent evolution of all the different vertebrate species that realize the abstract body-plan. 29 A NEW PHILOSOPHY OF SOCIETY The taxonomic categories bridging the level of phyla to that of species would represent the successive points of divergence that historically differentiated the body-plan. 6 Thus, while persons, communities, organizations, cities and nation-states are all individual singularities, each of these entities would also be associated with a space of possibilities characterized by its dimensions, representing its degrees of freedom, and by a set of universal singularities.

But does such a bottom-up approach, coupled with the assumption that individual persons are the bottom-most level, commit us to the methodological individualism of microeconomics? No, and for several reasons. First of all, methodological individualists invoke reified generalities ('the rational individual') and use them in an atomistic way: individuals making rational decisions on their own. In assemblage theory persons always exist as part of populations within which they constantly interact with one another.

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