18th out of 18 books — 12 voters
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A New Philosophy of Society: Assemblage Theory and Social Complexity
Manuel DeLanda is a distinguished writer, artist and philosopher. In his new book, he offers a fascinating look at how the contemporary world is characterized by an extraordinary social complexity. Since most social entities, from small communities to large nation-states, would disappear altogether if human minds ceased to exist, Delanda proposes a novel approach to social ...more
Paperback, 150 pages
Published November 14th 2006 by Bloomsbury Academic
(first published 2006)
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Speculative Realism, Actor-Network Theory, Object-Oriented Ontology
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I'd say deLanda is at his best when following Deleuze closely. This book is both there and quite away from it at times. What I really like about the author is the honesty with which he deliberately brackets out many parts of the more detailed Deleuzoguattarean philosophy in order to focus on rather general patterns. In this sense, the book works as an excellent broad synthesis of almost everything (history, sociology, political economy, biology, philosophy). On the other, at times the slip towar ...more
This is a very interesting read. The five chapters are quite diverse but at the same time are unified in the general theme of assembly theory which the writer uses to for his new philosophy of society. One of the great things about it is that being based on the theories of Deleuze, which are known to be quite difficult reads, the writer simplifies many of Deleuze's concepts and makes practical use of them allowing the reader to form a better understanding of these concepts. It is necessary howev ...more
This was perhaps not the right place to begin my introduction to the arguments of DeLanda, one of Deleuze's most important contemporary interpreters. Though I found the first two chapters occasionally interesting and compelling, the remainder of the book is given to a somewhat hurried, boilerplate sociology of different kinds of formations (persons, networks, organizations, states, etc.). The treatment of these various assemblages is not done with sufficient depth or incisiveness to see how asse ...more
Brilliant effort, The first 45 pages, in which De Landa describes his adaptation of Deleuze's assemblage theory to social analysis, demand a lot of work (hint: don't read that part while on public transportation or in noisy places). Also it seems too short by half, as if some external pressure forced the book into printing early. The promised example analysis of the USA never shows up. If that was meant to be left as an exercise to the reader, it's a whopper of a homework assignment. Still, more ...more
The first two chapters, which define the theory of assemblages in opposition to theories of totalization and essentialism, are quite interesting. The analysis and departure from Deleuze is quite compelling. Where the book falters is in its deployment of the theory of assemblages. The latter three chapters strike me as lacking depth and a failure to live up to the promise of a 'new social ontology'.
I think my problem with Delanda is, though I find the framework incredibly useful, he plays fast and loose with evidence--which to be honest is not really required. You could colour every page of this book green or red depending on whether his analysis is solid, or whether he's speculating/simplifying/making stuff up while continuing to use strong, confident language.
manuel delanda adalah 'penerjemah' gagasan filosofis deleuze ke ranah arsitektur. itu sebabnya niat banget aku baca buku kecil ini, setelah buku pertamanya "a thousand years of nonlinear history" [halah... judulnya aja deleuzian banget, mirip: "thousand plateaus"nya deleuze+guatarri]
Manuel De Landa (b. in Mexico City, 1952), based in New York since 1975, is a philosopher, media artist, programmer and software designer. After studying art in the 1970s, he became known as an independent filmmaker making underground 8mm and 16mm films inspired by critical theory and philosophy. In the 1980s, Manuel De Landa focused on programing, writing computer software, and computer art. Afte ...moreMore about Manuel De Landa...