display | more...

in mille plateaux, the second part of gilles deleuze and felix guattari's magnum opus on capitalism and schizophrenia, they offer (n-1) as the formula for "doing the multiple" and escaping the philosophy of identity. they encourage us to subtract the grand unifying element from any state of affairs. only then can we give up on the false analogies, oppositions, and comparisons inspired by a philosophy of identity.

when you subtract the single unifying element, the el grande signifier, like say god or man, the complexities of the situation become clear. no more pesky transcendence; with (n-1), rather than n-as-compared-to-1, thinkers can occupy the middle ground where accidents happen and events occur, without overcoding them with the sainted sign of the same.