By Luciana Parisi
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Extra resources for Abstract Sex: Philosophy, Biotechnology and the Mutations of Desire (Transversals: New Directions in Philosophy Series)
Spinoza’s ethology of nature provides a new route to engage with these problems. For example, the pragmatics of affect is a pragmatics of desire whose tendencies of composition are induced by encounters between the most different modes. This desire is machinic as it entails the association of heterogeneous particle-forces running at different speeds and entering different kinds of relations. Far from being primarily repressed, desire ceaselessly ﬂows and produces modes of power that are neither primarily good nor bad.
In particular, Foucault refers to the sadist obsession of disciplining sexual behaviour through the proliferation of deviancies in all spheres of organization – from the architecture of institutions to the rules in the family house, at school, the factory, the army etc. Yet, this sadist machine of sex governed by the entanglement between sex and death only deﬁnes one of the aggregates of desire–power or machines of sex that constitute the multifaceted layers of the biocultural stratum. The machinic assemblage between the physics of thermodynamics, the biology of variation in evolutionary theory, the inorganic reproduction of industrial machines and the psychoanalytical and anatomical study of sex, maps a double process of overcodiﬁcation and decodiﬁcation of the entanglement between sex, reproduction and death deployed by the organic stratum.
On the contrary, we judge a thing to be good because we endeavor, will, seek after and desire it’ (Ethics, III, 9, scholium). Desire should never be subjectivized. It is always already part of a composition, a machinic assemblage, the encounter and the collision of particles and forces. The subject is an appendix to the machine in desire, an accessory that does not determine ethical relations but only positions of will. Desire is detracted from individual pleasure and climactic purposes to become part of a machine in production: an endosymbiotic multiplicity.
Abstract Sex: Philosophy, Biotechnology and the Mutations of Desire (Transversals: New Directions in Philosophy Series) by Luciana Parisi