§ recap of 2 contrasts between repetition and generality: conduct & law; synopsis of 3rd contrast: concepts, or representation
(‘Repetition and generality are opposed from the point of view of conduct and from the point of view of law. It remains to specify a third opposition from the point of view of concepts or representations.’)
Deleuze closes his introductory comments on operators of repetition, and so for the time being closes his concern with Kierkegaard and Nietzsche. The opening line from the Introduction’s second textual break commences with a recap of the two contrasts already made by Deleuze –that repetition and generality are opposed (i) in conduct (exchange) and (ii) in law (theory of value) – to which he now adds that they are also opposed from the point of view (iii) of concepts, or representations.
Having already cursorily familiarized ourselves with his two prior contrasts, the reader will understand that with this 3rd contrast Deleuze has now introduced to his reader three differences in kind on which pivot his exposition of an ontology of the synthetic, his revaluation of the concept of value, and his advocation of a new materialist political economy. Deleuze’s Introduction is dense, difficult, and at times poorly edited. But if we appreciate that its final aim is to provide us with a rough outline of an ontological disquisition for a synthetic system of exchange founded on difference and repetition, we will feel better prepared to follow his guide. Let us therefore recap Deleuze’s two prior contrasts, and then commence with our initial consideration of his third contrast, as briefly as it’s itemized at this point in DR.
To recap and move forward: there are 3 contrasts to make when distinguishing as different in kind, ontologically-speaking, the domains of repetition and generality (and it’s perhaps worth observing here that Deleuze believes the three contrasts are itemizable in any order):
1st contrast: from the perspective of conduct, i.e. our conduct in exchange, or, the activity of a quasi-causal operator amidst the transformation of economic objects from one to another place in space. The question for Deleuze is one of how we are to regard our conduct in the course of exchange? This is a question of microeconomics.
2nd contrast: from the perspective of law, i.e. if not a theory then at least a concept of value, or, of the change in values of the properties of economic objects. If the spatiotemporal transformation of economic objects is predicated on their symmetry (viz. commensurability, equivalence), the question for Deleuze is what kind of symmetry, where, and what is its relation to value? This is a question of macroeconomics.
And now a 3rd contrast: from the perspective of concepts, or representation, i.e. of the relation of the coming-into-being of value to that of the representation of value, or, of our cognitive and perceptual relation to the registers of reality through which our concept of value passes. For Deleuze, the form of the question of what is value already thoroughly begs an ontological question that demands our better understanding of the relation of epistemology to ontology? This is a question of the relation of ontology and epistemology of finance.
With this third contrast we are given cause to preliminarily concern ourselves with Deleuze’s three registers of reality. We will follow Deleuze’s prefatory sketch of this third contrast, and therein inaugurate our understanding of that which will be more fully developed throughout DR, as Deleuze incrementally but comprehensively elaborates these three registers.