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Peirce and Deleuze in the "Protoplasm of Philosophy": Triadic Relations and Habit as Pragmatic Concepts.

Pragmatist, n., in philosophy, one who professes to practice
pragmatism. Thus Schiller of Oxford, author of Riddles of the Sphinx,
is a pragmatist, although he does not very thoroughly understand the
nature of pragmatism. (Peirce, 1935, vol. 5: 13, n. 1; c. 1902)


Introduction: Conceptual Metabolism in the Protoplasm of Philosophy

Peirce sustains that philosophy has a "protoplasm" (Peirce, 1932, vol. 2: 198; 1902 (1)), which is the philosophical "life-slime" that allows philosophy to grow by itself (Peirce, 1932, vol. 1: 393; c. 1890). The protoplasm holds a reversible characteristic: "Protoplasm, when quiescent, is, broadly speaking, solid; but when it is disturbed in an appropriate way, or sometimes even spontaneously without external disturbance, it becomes, broadly speaking, liquid" (Peirce, 1935, vol. 6: 247; 1892). The liquid state of the protoplasm is the condition for metabolic processes with concepts to succeed: "The protoplasm of philosophy has to be in a liquid state in order that the operations of metabolism may go on" (Peirce, 1932, vol. 2: 198; 1902).

Deleuze responds that there are two models that underlie the ambience of philosophy: the "legalist," overcoding, "hylomorphic" model, and the "hydraulic," "nomad" model (Deleuze and Guattari, 1987: 363 [1980: 449-450]). (2) The solid and the liquid models are interchangeable, but work differently:
The search for laws consists in [...] an invariable form for variables
[...]: such is the foundation of the hylomorphic [legalist] schema. But
for the [...] nomad [liquid model] the relevant distinction is [...]
not exactly a question of extracting constants from variables but of
placing the variables themselves in a state of continuous variation
(Deleuze and Guattari, 1987: 369 [1980: 455]).


This article neither considers the extent to which Deleuze's thought should, or could, keep up with pragmatism (3) nor assesses the right of calling Deleuze a pragmatist, (4) in terms of cultural contexts, philosophical genealogies or dense Weltanschauungen. According to the mutual--liquid--disposition of Peirce's and Deleuze's philosophical atmosphere, our argument promotes instead a limited confluence between them in the more humorous micro-analyses of their respective concepts of (triadic) relations and habit. This aim fit in, and specifies, the recent general agreement among scholars dedicated to Deleuze's relationship with pragmatism: "To attempt to characterize Deleuze as first and foremost a pragmatist would be a gross simplification. [...] Nevertheless, [...] he treats a number of concepts in ways that are suggestively close to some pragmatists." (Bowden, Bignall, and Patton, 2015: 10). This approach, according to Stuhr, of limited use, however, has a positive side effect, it allows "...a reading of Deleuze against himself, and in this light it may be useful to call Deleuze a pragmatist in order to read him against himself..." (Stuhr 2015: 137). Reading Deleuze against himself is particularly significant regarding his relationship to Peirce, because "...he [Deleuze as much as Schiler] does not very thoroughly understand the nature of pragmatism" (Peirce, 1935, vol. 5: 13, n. 1; c. 1902).

Beginning with an Embarrassing Issue: Deleuze Does Not Associate Peirce with Pragmatism

In the books published before his death in 1995, What Is Philosophy? (Deleuze and Guattari 1994 [1991]) and Essays Critical and Clinical (Deleuze 1998 [1993]), six short, en passant, statements reveal the Deleuzian picture of American pragmatism (5):

1) Pragmatism is not an American ideology: "Pragmatism is misunderstood when it is seen as a summary philosophical theory fabricated by Americans" (Deleuze, 1998: 86 [1993: 110]).

2) Pragmatism commits to a broad political-social agreement: "We understand the novelty of American thought when we see pragmatism as an attempt to transform the world, to think a new world or new man insofar as they create themselves" (Deleuze, 1998: 86 [1993: 110]; see also Deleuze and Guattari, 1994: 98-99, 103-104 [1991: 100-101, 105])

3) Pragmatism claims for a non-totalitarian world through an appropriate conceptual program: "Pragmatism will fight ceaselessly on two fronts: against the particularities that pit man against man and nourish an irremediable mistrust; but also against the Universal or the Whole, the fusion of souls in the name of great love or charity" (Deleuze, 1998: 87 [1993: 111]).

4) Pragmatism is based on an ontological principle rooted in relations:
[Pragmatism] is first of all the affirmation of a world in process, an
archipelago. Not even a puzzle whose pieces when fitted together would
constitute a whole, but rather a wall of loose, uncemented stones where
every element has not only value in itself but also a relation to
others: isolated and floating relations, islands and straits, immobile
points and sinuous line (Deleuze, 1998: 86 [1993: 110]).


5) Pragmatism belongs to a philosophical lineage based on habit as a theoretical and practical concept: "To what convention is a given proposition due; what is the habit that constitutes its concept? This is the question posed by pragmatism" (Deleuze and Guattari, 1994: 105-106 [1991: 106]).

6) Deleuze's pragmatic maxim: "... all the meanings one wants it [a concept, a work of art] to have [must be] according to its functioning; the essential point being that it functions; that the machine works" (Deleuze, 2000: 156 [1964: 187]).

The previous excerpts, exception made of the sixth, are mostly related to Deleuze's suggestive approach to James' radical empiricism in the light of American writers, especially Herman Melville (Flaxman, 2015: 56-57). In general, Deleuze thinks of pragmatism as a Weltschauung or as a philosophical temperament. Peirce, though, neither in these excerpts nor anywhere else in the works of Deleuze appears related to any sort of pragmatism. Peirce is not presented as a pragmatist even in Deleuze's studies on Peirce's semiotic in the 1980s five year-long lectures related to the signs of cinema (Deleuze, 1981/1982 and 1982/1983) and in the books that are edited versions of these lectures (Deleuze, 1986 [1983] and 1989 [1985]). Notwithstanding this gap in the Deleuzian appreciation of Peirce's philosophy, three main issues summarize Deleuze's approach to Peirce in the 1980s:

1) Peirce's definition and classification of signs:
We will frequently be referring to the American logician Peirce (1839-
1914), because he established a general classification of images and
signs, which is undoubtedly the most complete and the most varied. It
can be compared with Linnaeus's classifications in natural history, and
even more with Mendeleev's table in chemistry (Deleuze, 1986, preface
[1983: 7]).


2) Peirce's phenomenology and categories (study of the phenomena and their modes of being: feelings-qualities, things-resistance and law-relations):
Peirce begins [...] from the phenomenon or from what appears [...] [it]
seems to him to be of three kinds, no more: firstness (something that
only refers to itself, quality or power, pure possibility [...];
secondness (something that refers to itself only through something
else, existence[...]); thirdness (something that refers to itself only
by comparing one thing to another, relation, the law, the necessary)
(Deleuze, 1989: 30 [1985: 45]).


3) Peirce's triadic logic: "...what Peirce reproaches is that logic restrains itself to secondness. And he considers himself as the inventor--and this is historically true--of a triadic logic..." (Deleuze, 1982/1983, lecture 26, part 1, 14/12/1982; my translation).

The passages in Deleuze's works--the six ones about pragmatism and the three ones about Peirce--are completely unrelated and reveal a surprising divorce in his oeuvre. Nevertheless, Deleuze indicates a deeper compromise with Peircean concepts than his suggestive approach to a watered-down pragmatism reveals. Despite Deleuze's unawareness of Peirce's pragmatism, this article assumes that the role Peirce plays for Deleuze's thought authorizes his (Deleuze's) proximity to Peirce's pragmatism, on the basis that his use of the Peirce's triadic logic and categories in the 1980s virtually moves Deleuze's former concepts of relation and habit (from the 1950s) closer to the pragmaticism (6) that Peirce acknowledges as his utmost creation. Besides accomplishing this main conceptual manoeuvre, this article traces back the French reception of pragmatism to explain the reasons why Peirce's pragmatism is out of sight for Deleuze as a chapter in the history of philosophy. Accordingly, we take three steps to achieve these goals:

1. Deleuze and Peirce on (triadic) relations: correspondences;

2. Deleuze and Peirce on habit: correspondences;

3. Deleuze and the early and recent French reception of Peirce: in the blind spot.

1. Deleuze and Peirce on (Triadic) Relations: Correspondences

1.1. Deleuze on relations

Deleuze's very first book, Empiricism and Subjectivity: An Essay on Hume's Theory of Human Nature (2001 [1953]), contains some tones of Peirce's pragmatism even before Deleuze's actual contact with Peirce in the 1980s. He defines by then the concepts of relation, which remains until Deleuze's last book, Critical and clinical (1998 [1993]), with an important addition due to Deleuze's exposition to Peirce's ideas in the lectures (Deleuze, 1981/1982 and 1982/1983) and books (Deleuze, 1986 [1983] and 1989 [1985]), both on the semiotic of cinema.

Deleuze's complete approach to relations is based on a negative and on a positive condition. As for the positive condition, it holds two clauses and one corollary each, being the first clause related to Deleuze's approach to Hume (1953), which Deleuze extends to Peirce. The second is related to Deleuze's approach to Peirce (1981 to 1985):

A) Negative condition: experience is not the question of empiricism

"It seems impossible to define empiricism as a theory according to which knowledge derives from experience" (Deleuze, 2001: 108 [1953: 122]). Deleuze explains that the question of the empiricism is not "... 'does the intelligible come from the sensible?'" (Deleuze and Parnet, 2002: 55 [1977: 69].

B) Positive condition: the question about relations defines empiricisms, according to two clauses.

First clause: relations do not derive from the nature of the objects they connect in experience, because they are external to the connected terms (Deleuze, 2001: 66, 98-104, 107 [1953: 62, 108-117, 120). Deleuze associates the first clause with Peirce's triadic logic in the 1980s, as we will see ahead (1.3). Corollary of the first clause: relations are experienced as their terms are, but they belong to a realm of experience of their own. Thus, neither can they derive from the terms nor can they be reduced to them (Deleuze, 2001: 98-104, 107 [1953: 62, 108-117, 120). They have a reality of their own. Deleuze associates this corollary with Peirce's triadic logic in the 1980s.

Second clause: external relations form a whole (Deleuze, 1998: 59-60 [1993: 78] and "If one had to define the whole, it would be defined by Relation" (Deleuze, 1986: 10 [1983: 20]; Deleuze, 1986: 219, n. 16 [1983: 20, n. 16]). Besides associating the whole of relations with the continuum:
We raise the problems of relations at this point, although it was not
explicitly by Bergson. We know that the relation between two things is
not reducible to an attribute of one thing or the other, nor, indeed,
to an attribute of the set (ensemble). On the other hand, it is still
quite possible to relate the relations to a whole (tout) if one
conceives the whole as a continuum, and not as a given set[ensemble]
(Deleuze, 1986: 219, n. 16 [1983: 20, n. 16]).


Deleuze associates later the second clause with Peirce's continuum as "the general of relations." Corollary of the second clause: the whole of relations is the continuum of time or the form of change. Relations "... constitutes a variable, continuous, temporal mould" (Deleuze, 1986: 24 [1983: 35]) that Deleuze specifies as the continuum that the whole of relations brings about: "We can say of duration itself or of time, that it is the whole of relations" (Deleuze, 1986: 10 [1983: 21]; see also 55 [81-82]). In short, the "whole of relations" is a "continuum of time," for "Time is the full, that is, the unalterable form filled by change" (Deleuze, 1989: 17 [1985: 28]). Deleuze associates the corollary of the second clause with Peirce's continuum of time as "the form of change" in the 1980s.

1.1.1. Remarks

a) The negative condition, for Deleuze, launches a false image--that empiricism is based on experience--which ratifies his "geophilosophy": the German care about the underground foundations; the French about the scaffoldings and structures; and the English about inhabiting someone else's house of philosophy (Deleuze and Guattari, 1994: 105 [1991: 106]). According to this image, that Deleuze denies, the English would not be creative in the sense that they do not invent as many concepts as the German and the French, so that it would have remained for them only the practical realm of space and time.

b) the positive condition denies this shabby image that downgrades the English philosophy, since the secret of the English philosophical creation, according to Deleuze, lies on relations, not on empirical experience.

c) the first clause, which underpins Deleuze's book on Hume, sustains that the externality of relations is central to Deleuze's approach to Hume, because it reinforces the limits between the empiricism and the non-empiricism: "we will call 'nonempiricist' every theory according to which, in one way or another, relations are derived from the nature of things" (Deleuze, 2001: 109 [1953: 123]).

d) the second clause, related to lectures and books on cinema in which Peirce plays one main reference, estates that every relationship is in relentless instability since it is part of a whole of relations; and vice-versa: "... through relations, the whole is transformed or, changes qualitatively" (Deleuze, 1986: 10 [1983: 20]). The reciprocal disposition of relations as parts to the whole of relations implies that relations may change without the terms changing:
In my opinion, you understand, what poisons the problem of relations is
that we do not realize enough, once again, that relations are
variables. It means that any relation is inseparable from its possible
change. Again, no one looks like someone without risking to not looking
like anymore. And conversely there is no absence of resemblance without
the risk that the two terms become similar. In other words, abstract
relations are inseparable from a changing whole that is constantly
changing, while concrete relations are established between distinct
parts (Deleuze, 1982/1983, lecture 26, part 2, 14/12/82; my translation
(7)).


e) from the positive condition and its clauses, Deleuze extends the reach of the empiricism to all the philosophers that claim relations as the main philosophical problem. He even includes William James (1842-1910) and Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) as developers of the theory of relations (Deleuze, 2001: 99 [1953: 109]). From his very first book (Empiricism and Subjectivity, 2001 [1953]), Deleuze maintains this position until the last book (Essays Critical and Clinical, 1998 [1993]), extending the empiricist label to the Anglo-American philosophy in general: "It's only the English and the Americans who have freed conjunctions and reflected on relations." (Deleuze and Parnet, 2002: 56 [1977: 70]; see also Deleuze, 2004: 163 [1972: 227-228]; Deleuze, 1986: x, preface to the English edition; 10 [1983: 21]), Deleuze, 1995: 44 [1976: 64-65] and (1998: 58-59 [1993: 77-79]).

As we indicated above Deleuze associates the clauses of the positive condition and their respective corollaries with Peirce's ideas in the 1980s. We will consider this association later (1.3). Meanwhile, aiming at inspecting if these associations are real correspondences between Peirce's and Deleuze's concept of relation, we shall henceforth let Peirce speak for himself to check if he properly responds to Deleuze.

1.2. Peirce on (triadic) relations

Pragmatism is mostly related to a philosophical problem that can be comprehensively formulated as follows: Could there be in the experienced reality any indecomposable element besides feelings (related to personal mind) and things (related to matter)? The answer is affirmative: there is a third element in any phenomenon, which is neither material (things) nor refers to individual mind (feelings). This third in the phenomenon that refers to laws that go beyond both the individual mind and the laws that rule physical matter.

For Peirce phenomena are "...the collective total of all that is in any way or in any sense present to the mind, quite regardless of whether it corresponds to any real thing or not" (Peirce, 1932, vol. 1: 284; 1905) and "... Everything that you can possibly think involves three kinds of elements" ("Phenomenon," 2018: 1903). Peirce's phenomenology explains that the phenomenon is a relationship between these three elements: feelings, things and thought. In fact:
...a Phenomenon, that is to say, anything that can emerge in knowledge
or in fancy, has in the first place its own peculiar smell, apart from
any reflexion or comparisons [quality]. But in the second place, the
coming of this phenomenon is an event. [...] That consciousness of
insistence betrays the fact that I have in conservatism resisted
[effort-resistance]. [...] The only remaining element of the Phenomenon
is Thought ('Phenomenon,' 2018: 1903).


Accordingly, the three elements in the phenomenon instantiates three indecomposable modes of being: "My view is that there are three modes of being. I hold that we can directly observe them in elements of whatever is at any time before the mind in any way" (Peirce, 1932, vol. 1: 23; 1903). These modes of beings are experienced as feelings, things and laws (thought, relations).

Peirce states: "...by a feeling I mean an instance of that sort of element [...] which is all that it is positively, in itself, regardless of anything else" (Peirce, 1932, vol. 1: 306; 1906). Feelings as phenomena can be experienced due to certain conditions:
Imagine me to make and in a slumberous condition to have a vague,
unobjectified, still less unsubjectified, sense of redness, or of salt
taste, or of an ache, or of grief or joy, or of a prolonged musical
note. That would be, as nearly as possible, a purely monadic state of
feeling (Peirce, 1932, vol. 1: 303; 1894).


Feelings hold a monadic state ("regardless of anything else") that stands as possibilities--"mere may-bes, not necessarily realized" (Peirce, 1932, vol. 1: 304; 1904) for the mind through which feelings instantaneously pass as qualities of sensation ("...sense of redness, or of salt taste, or of an ache, or of grief or joy, or of a prolonged musical note."). Feeling is the mode of being that instantiates quality as the first element in any phenomenon. A thing, an actual thing or brute fact, in comparison with feelings, holds a (dyadic) relation ("sense of resistance and at the same time sense of effort"), which conveys the actuality of matter. For Peirce:
...when you put your shoulder against a door and try to force it open
[you] have a sense of resistance and at the same time a sense of
effort. There can be no resistance without effort; there can be no
effort without resistance (Peirce, 1932, vol. 1: 324; 1903).


Thing is the mode of being that instantiates effort-resistance as the second element of actuality in any phenomenon. Differently, law is the mode of being mostly related to mediation as the third element in any phenomenon; not the laws of brute force in nature, but "intelligent laws" of thought (Peirce, 1935, vol. 6: 101; 1903). Accordingly, these laws of thought mediate between things or brute facts.

Moreover, Peirce summarizes all the characteristics of the phenomena (elements, modes of beings and relation) according to the categories of Firstness, Secondness and Thirdness:
In the contents of consciousness we recognize three sorts of elements:
Firstness, Secondness, Thirdness. A First is whatever it is in itself
regardless of all else whether exterior to it or parts of it. [-]
Firstness is feeling-quality; secondness is brute reaction; thirdness
is mediation ('Firstness,' 2018; 1898).


It is useful to organize the characteristics of the phenomena and the categories they instantiate, according to Peirce:
Elements              Modes of being          Relations     Categories

quality (of feeling)  feeling                 monadic (1)   Firstness
effort-resistance     thing/brute fact        dyadic (2)    Secondness
thought               law/mediation/relation  triadic (3)   Thirdness


The explanation of the third in the phenomena invokes Peirce's concept of relation and opens the way to the central triadic relations. The monadic state (Firstness) is not properly a relation, because, being independent of anything else, qualities of feeling "... will be regarded as a monad or non-relative term" (Peirce, 1933, vol. 3: 625; 1902). In its turn, "A fact relating to two individuals. Thus, the fact that A is similar to B, and the fact that A is a lover of B, and the fact that A and B are both men, are dyadic relations. Nevertheless, the fact that A gives B to C is a triadic relation" (Peirce, 1935, vol. 3: 625; 1902). The mediation (Thirdness) of B from A to C cannot be reduced neither to monadic (Firstness) nor to dyadic relations (Secondness) (Leo, 1992: 170-171) because it stems from a triadic relation.

Due to their mediating mode of being, triadic relations "are the heart and soul of pragmaticism" (Deely, 2000: 17). They are central for Peirce's logic due to some characteristics:

1) The triadic "relation is unique among the modes of being in being objectively indifferent to the subjective ground, physical [thing/brute fact] or psychical [feeling], which makes the relation actual under any given set of circumstances" (Deely, 2000: 17).

2) So, triadic relations are real per se; they don't lack reality when compared to dyadic relations between things or monadic relations of a quality with itself (Deely, 2000: 17).

3) The special kind of law that triadic, intelligent laws stand for feelings (qualities) in relation to actual things (effort-reaction), so that a relation "is that which is what it is by virtue of imparting a quality [feelings] to reactions [things] in the future" (Peirce, 1932, vol. 1: 343; 1903). In short, triadic relations convey meaning. Without them the whole accomplishment of meaning--"...imparting a quality [feelings] to reactions [things] in the future"--collapses:
I will sketch a proof that the idea of meaning is irreducible to those
of quality and reaction. It depends on two main premises. The first is
that every genuine triadic relation involves meaning, as meaning is
obviously a triadic relation. (Peirce, 1932, vol. 1: 345; 1903)


4) Being real per ser (1) and responsible for meaning (2), triadic relations are "categorial or real relations" (8) (Deely, 1985: 495-496), because they refer to "ideal or final causation" that grants determination of the "general character" that these relations afford (thirdness; see Peirce, 1932, vol. 1: 26; 1903): "Final causation does not determine in what particular way it is to be brought about, but only that the result shall have a certain general character" (Peirce, 1932, vol. 1: 211; 1902). Being categorial means, after all, that triadic relations maintain a distinctive logic role regarding monadic and dyadic ones and cannot be reduced either to monadic or triadic ones, "... a triadic relation is inexpressible by means of dyadic relations alone" (Peirce, 1932, vol. 1: 345; 1903).

5) Relation as thirdness (triadic relation) performs the continuity of time: "... continuous time [is] of triadic constitution..." (Peirce, 1935, vol. 6: 330; 1909) The continuity of time allows the "... universal form of change..." (Peirce, 1935, vol. 6: 132; 1892). The continuum of time, in its turn, is a "general of relation": "The continuum is a General. It is a General of relation. Every General is a continuum vaguely defined" (Peirce, 1976, vol. 3: 925; 1901).

In a nutshell, Peirce's pragmaticism relies upon triadic relations as its utmost characteristic. Consequently, we will have henceforth to show that there are effective and close correspondences between Deleuze and Peirce about triadic relations.

1.3. Correspondences between Deleuze's and Peirce's concept of (triadic) relation

Henceforth, the correspondences between Peirce and Deleuze with respect to the concept of relation from the confrontation of the contents of items 1.1. and 1.2. are summarized:

1) 1st correspondence (on triadic relations and reality)

Peirce: triadic relations are real per se and they form an independent reality (thirdness)

Deleuze (first clause): the externality of relations is extensible to Peirce: "Empiricism defines itself by the following position: 'relations are exterior to their terms' [...] looking forward to create a logic of relations PEIRCE assumes it all..." (Deleuze, 1982/1983, lecture 26, part 1, 14/12/1982; emphasis added, my translation (9); see also Deleuze, 1986: 197 [1983: 266]).

2) 2nd correspondence (on triadic relations and meaning)

Peirce: triadic relations convey meaning.

Deleuze: "This [Peirce's] third instance appeared in signification, law or relation" (Deleuze, 1986: 197 [1983: 266]).

3) 3rd correspondence (on the irreducibility of triadic relations) Peirce: triadic relations cannot be reduced either to monadic or dyadic ones.

Deleuze (corollary of the first clause) external relations having a reality of their own are extensible to Peirce (thirdness is irreducible):
...according to Peirce, there is nothing beyond thirdness: beyond,
everything is reducible to combinations between 1, 2, 3. On the other
hand, thirdness, that which is three by itself, will not let itself be
reduced to dualities: for example, if A 'gives' B to C, it is not as if
A threw B (first pair) and C picked up B (second pair); if A and B make
an 'exchange,' it is not as if A and B parted with, respectively, a and
b, and took possession of, respectively, b and a (Deleuze, 1986: 197
[1983: 266-267]).


Thirdness as triadic relations are real: "Thirdness perhaps finds its most adequate representation in relation; for relation is always third, being necessarily external to its terms" (Deleuze, 1986: 197 [1983: 266-267]).

4) 4th correspondence (on triadic relations and time as the form of change) Peirce: triadic relations form a "general of relation" (continuum) that is time ("form of change").

Deleuze (second clause): the whole of relations applies to Peirce (the whole of relations is changeable): "I come back to Peirce to draw a conclusion. In my opinion [...] relationships are inseparable from a changing whole that does not stop changing..." (Deleuze, 1982/1983, lecture 26, part 2, 14/12/82; my translation). Deleuze (corollary of the second clause): the whole of relations as the continuum of time holds good for Peirce (the continuum of time is the form of change): "Time [is] the unalterable form filled by change" (Deleuze, 1989: 17 [1985: 28]).

1.3.1. Remark

The conditions that define Deleuze's concept of relation are extensive to Peirce's. In return, Peirce's triadic logic (triadic relations) and metaphysics of time (whole of relations, continuity and form of change) engage Deleuze's concept of relation in the core of Peirce's pragmatism.

What about the Deleuzian concept of habit, does it allow resonances with Peirce's pragmatism either?

2. Deleuze and Peirce on Habit: Correspondences

Making closer Deleuze's and Peirce's concepts of habits requires a different demarche than that followed regarding (triadic) relations. In fact, Deleuze does not involve his early (1953) concept of habit with a later inspection of Peirce's in the 1980s. Nevertheless, we can develop their metabolism with respect to triadic relations to break through the Deleuze's conceptual chains so as to capture his concept of habit to the Peircean ambience. It is a more forceful operation, but not altogether abusive; it is peirceanizing Deleuze.

2.1. Peirce on habit

If relations (monadic, dyadic and triadic) hold the elements and modes of being that appear in the phenomena: feeling/quality; thing/effort-resistance; and law/thought, habits instantiate the whole accomplishment of triadic relations when they succeed in mediating feelings and things to convey meaning. The following diagram represents the relationship that sustains the formation of habits--habituation or habit-taking--for the pragmatist:

The importance of Peirce's concept of habit increases as its inserted in his pragmatist maxim and at the same time attached to the triadic logics.

Peirce's foundational pragmatic maxim, in 1878, reads as follows: "Consider what effects, that might conceivably have practical bearings, we conceive the object of our conception to have. Then, our conception of these effects is the whole of our conception of the object" (Peirce, 1935, vol. 5: 402; 1878). Peirce, in 1902, details the original maxim to dissociate his pragmatism from James'. He defines by then meaning as the practical effects of "general ideas." It means that human action conveys something that is not the end of action as such, since "...that end [of action] must be something of a general description [...] would direct us towards something different from practical facts, namely, to general ideas, as the true interpreters of our thought" (Peirce, 1935, vol. 5: 2; 1902). Accordingly, Peirce insists that the pattern of the action whose effects determine meaning is not human, but "something of a general description," "...in such a sense as to insist upon the reality of the objects of general ideas in their generality" (Peirce, 1935, vol. 5: 2; 1902).

Nevertheless, what kind of ideas of a general description insists in their generality upon reality as to produce practical effects and convey meaning over the ends of action? To answer to this question, in 1907, Peirce inserts the concept of habit in the pragmatic maxim: "Consider what effects that might conceivably have practical bearings you conceive the object of your conception to have: then the general mental habit that consists in the production of these effects is the whole meaning of your concept" ("Maxim of Pragmatism," 2018; 1907).

Habits endure and, thereby, make themselves effective upon reality as meaningful. Habits must have a (general) reality of its own not limited to the thing and the feeling. According to Peirce, "there are, in a Pragmatistical sense, real habits (which really would produce effects, under circumstances that may not happen to get actualized, and are thus real generals)" (Peirce, 1935, vol. 6: 485; 1908). "Real habits" share the general reality of intelligent laws, for they produce effects beyond those that feelings and things produce. The condition underlying meaningful habits is the triadic relation "...that which is what it is by virtue of imparting a quality [feelings] to reactions [things] in the future" (Peirce, 1932, vol. 1: 343; 1903).

In fact, there are habits related to feelings and things--"habits of feeling" and "habits of action" (Noth, 2016)--but they cannot reach habits that are real according to the mode of being of intelligent laws based on triadic relations/thirdness (10): "the third category--[...] triadic reality, mediation, genuine thirdness, thirdness as such--is an essential ingredient of reality, [...], since this category (which is that cosmology appears as the element of habit) can have no concrete being without action..." (Peirce, 1935, vol. 5: 436; 1904). Therefore, habits are not a supplementary category; they are the result of the triadic logic that Firstness, Secondness and Thirdness maintain. Habits have as its primary, active element Thirdness, the mode of being of relations, because without relation there is neither habit nor meaning. In fact, there are habits of different types depending on the grade of thirdness that forms them. The "habit of action" is related with first-grade degenerate thirdness; while the "habit of feeling" with second-grade degenerate thirdness. Thus, says Peirce, "there is such a thing as the Firstness of Thirdness; and there is such a thing as the Secondness of Thirdness" (Peirce, 1932, vol. 1: 530; c. 1896). In short, the work of habit must be observed in conjunction with the categories. However, the relationship that habit and the categories entertains eventually integrates the categorial system into the higher-level pragmaticist cosmology. In this superior dependence of Peirce's architectonics, habits correspond, not only to the meaning of things, but join in the overall development of reasonableness: "The only ultimate good which the practical facts to which it directs attention can subserve is to further the development of concrete reasonableness; so that the meaning of the concept does not lie in any individual reactions at all, but in the manner in which those reactions contribute to that development" (Peirce, 1935, vol. 5: 3; 1902).

In the following lines, we provide some examples of the main sorts of habits in their interplay.

When one imagines a fragrant cup of coffee, automatically the feelings associated to it are felt without having to really drink the coffee--it's a "habit of feeling" (Noth, 2016)--the monadic state of habit (11) or the possibility of drinking coffee. If one sees the cup of coffee in a cafeteria, without feeling its smell, one's mouth waters because one feels like taking a cup of coffee right away--it is a "habit of action" (Noth 2016)--the dyadic state of habit. The habit of action transforms the thing considered, either consciously or unconsciously. Peirce explains:
A habit [of action] is a general law of action, such that on a certain
general kind of occasion a man will be more or less apt to act in a
certain general way. [...] If I have a habit of putting my left leg
into my trouser before the right, when I imagine that I put on my
trousers, I shall prob- ably not think of putting the left leg on first
(Peirce, 1932, vol. 2: 148; 1902).


Real habits, though, are different from the habits of action ("be more or less apt to act in a certain general way"), because they are bound up with triadic relations--the triadic state of habits. The habit is real even it is not actualized as a quality of feeling in a thing that offers resistance:
Even though I did not comb my hair at, say, moment A, still it is
meaningful to say that if I had combed it at moment A, I would have
combed it with my right hand since I have a real habit, [...], which
would produce effects under circumstances that did not happen to get
actualized (Moore, 1966: 95).


This usage of the concept of habit means that triadic habits of relations allow thought to "prepare or anticipate practical ways of doing things in the outer world" (Noth, 2016: 42). Peirce provides an example of the anticipatory character of habits regarding the practical realm:
I slip a cent into a slot, and expect on pulling a knob to see a little
cake of chocolate appear. My expectation consists in, or at least
involves, such a habit that when I think of pulling the knob, I imagine
I see a chocolate coming into view. When the perceptual chocolate comes
into view, my imagination of it is a feeling of such a nature that the
percept can be compared with it as to size, shape, the nature of the
wrapper, the color, taste, flavor, hardness and grain of what is within
(Peirce, 1932, vol. 2: 148; 1902).


Habits correspond to general reality of relations that dwells both in the human self as in nature. The human self is an exercise of habituation, since habits compose a person: "... you are well aware that the exercise of control over [your] own habits, if not the most important business of life, is at least very near to being so..." (Peirce quoted in Colapietro, 1998: 111; 1908). Additionally, according to Noth, "Charles S. Peirce, the Bachelor of Science in Chemistry [...] attributed habits both to plants and to crystals without marking his usage as metaphorical" (Noth, 2016: 37). For Peirce, indeed, "[...the word habit] denotes such a specialization, original or acquired, of the nature of a man, or an animal, or a vine, or a crystallizable chemical substance, or anything else" (Peirce, 1935, vol. 5: 538; c. 1902). Thus, there is, in humans and in nature, a general principle regarding habits of all sorts: "the tendency to form habits or tendency to generalize, is something which grows by its own action, by the habit of taking habits itself growing" (Peirce, 1958, vol. 8: 318; 1891).

2.2 Deleuze on habit

Deleuze defines the concept of habit in Empiricism and Subjectivity (2001 [1953]) along with that of relations. As relations are external to their terms and do not depend on them, their reality qua relations is instantiated by habits of all sorts. In short, habits instantiate the clause on externality of relations explained previously (1.1.).

For Deleuze, human beings are habits: "We are habits, nothing but habits--the habit of saying 'I.' Perhaps, there is no more striking answer to the problem of the Self" (Deleuze, 2001: x; preface to the English edition). Likewise, organic and inorganic bodies are habits. Habits rule any reality whatsoever, from human self to inorganic nature: "...water, earth, nitrogen, carbon, chlorides, and sulfates. [...] We are all [...] habits" (Deleuze and Guattari, 1994: 105 [1991: 107]).

The principle of habit-taking is the main determination of the concept of habit: "the principle is the habit of contracting habits" (Deleuze, 2001: 66 [1953: 92]).

2.2.1. Remarks

Later, Deleuze's works of the early 1990s (see heading 1.1.1.e), in a similar demarche concerning the empiricist concept of relation, authorize to read the pragmatists' concept of habit through his understanding of Hume's:

a) Deleuze supposes this coverage to underpin the entire Anglo-American philosophical enterprise with respect to philosophy's anecdotic history: "In the trinity Founding-Building-Inhabiting, the French build and the Germans lay foundations, but the English inhabit. [...] They develop an extraordinary conception of habit" (Deleuze and Guattari, 1994: 105 [1991: 106]).

b) Deleuze and Guattari, in associating the English philosophy and American pragmatism through the concept of habit, conclude that they do not lack conceptual creation in comparison with German and French philosophies: "That is why English [American] philosophy is a free and wild creation of concepts. To what convention is a given proposition due; what is the habit that constitutes its concept? This is the question posed by pragmatism" (Deleuze and Guattari, 1994: 105-106 [1991: 107]; emphasis added).

All the same, when Deleuze makes contact in the 1980s with Peirce's concepts of (triadic) relations, his (Deleuze's) previous concept of habit from the 1950s, retrospectively fall under Peirce's triadic pragmatic framework. Henceforth, we must prove this hypothesis to be true.

2.3. Correspondences between Deleuze's and Peirce's concept of habit

Henceforth, we establish the correspondences between Peirce and Deleuze with respect to the concept of habit from the confrontation of items 2.1. and 2.2.:

1) 1st correspondence (on habits and relations)

Peirce: Habits of thought are based on triadic relations.

Deleuze: Habits instantiate the external reality of relations.

2) 2nd correspondence (on habits and human beings)

Peirce: "... you are well aware that the exercise of control over [your] own habits, if not the most important business of life, is at least very near to being so" (Peirce, quoted in Colapietro, 1998: 111; 1908).

Deleuze: "We are habits, nothing but habits--the habit of saying 'I' (Deleuze, 2001: x, preface to the English edition).

3) 3rd correspondence (on habits and nature)

Peirce: "[...the word habit] denotes such a specialization, original or acquired, of the nature of a man, or an animal, or a vine, or a crystallizable chemical substance, or anything else" (Peirce, 1935, vol. 5: 538; c. 1902).

Deleuze: "...water, earth, nitrogen, carbon, chlorides, and sulfates. [...] We are all [...] habits" (Deleuze and Guattari, 1994: 105 [1991: 107]).

4) 4th correspondence (on the principle of habit-taking)

Peirce: "the tendency to form habits or tendency to generalize is something which grows by its own action, by the habit of taking habits itself growing" (Peirce, 1958, vol. 8: 318; 1891).

Deleuze: "the principle is the habit of contracting habits" (Deleuze, 2001: 66 [1953: 92]).

2.3.1. Remarks

a) The last--fourth--correspondence makes the most important point for the relationship between Deleuze and Peirce. Being related to the Deleuzian pragmatic maxim--"... all the meanings one wants it [a concept, a work of art] to have [must be] according to its functioning; the essential point being that it functions; that the machine works" (Deleuze, 2000: 156 [1964: 187])--this correspondence is the central issue over which converges the association of Deleuze and Peirce thoughts. This Deleuzian statement about meaning and practical effects ("functioning") is a general pragmatic maxim that fits most of the pragmatists'. However, if Peirce's pragmatic maxim, which involves habit, encompasses Deleuze's maxim, the Deleuzian habit-taking principle is attracted to the Peircean field.

b) On the contrary, Reynolds calls upon a supposed consensus between different pragmatists to endorse a final obstacle to approximate Deleuze and pragmatism: "In regard [to the] statement, which is meant to capture a central platform of the varieties of pragmatism, Deleuze's philosophy strongly disagrees: the intentionality of thought [for Deleuze] is founded on those experiences which are not teleologically integrated into a particular action that aims at a given end state" (Reynolds, 2015: 247). On the one hand, this statement really applies to Deleuze, who disagrees with the teleology of action, since actions do not seek the human ends of actions. On the other hand, the claim that the teleology of action "capture[s] a central platform of the varieties of pragmatism," it means, that "the intentionality of thought is founded on those experiences which are [...] teleologically integrated into a particular action that aims at a given end state" (Reynolds, 2015: 247; emphasis added), requires further inspection. In fact, this statement does not suitably capture Peirce's variety of pragmatism. Peirce strongly advises about the type of pragmatism he assumes (pragmaticism):
The doctrine [James' pragmatism] appears to assume that the end of man
is action. [...] If it be admitted, on the contrary, that action wants
an end, and that that end must be something of a general description
[...] would direct us towards something different from practical facts,
namely, to general ideas, as the true interpreters of our thought
(Peirce, 1935, vol. 5: 3; 1902; emphasis added).


Peirce's pragmatism is related to the end of general ideas and habits, not to the ends of action itself. Likewise, for Deleuze: "...habit is a principle different from experience, although it also presupposes it. As a matter of fact, the habit I adopt will never by itself explain the fact that I adopt a habit..." (Deleuze, 2001: 67 [1953: 93]).

2.3.2. The different emphasis of Peirce and James on habits brings Deleuze's thought nearer Peirce's pragmatism

A closer comparative view about Peirce's and James' respective pragmatisms reinforces the assumption made about the affinities between Deleuze's and Peirce's concept of habit and (triadic) relations. In fact, the different emphasis on the element (feelings, things, or laws) that ultimately establishes diverse pragmatic concepts of habit defines three sorts of pragmatism as Moore summarizes:
Pragmatists of all stripes sooner or later relate meaning to a habit of
action. But there are, in the main, three possible emphases which may
result from this relation. In the first place it is possible to
emphasize the habit prior to its acting; the emphasis here is upon the
habit as a potentiality. [...] In the second place, it is possible to
take the other extreme and to emphasize not the habit but the results
of it; [...], the particular, discrete actions. Finally, it is possible
to mediate between these two extremes and to emphasize the habit as a
way of acting. The first of these, [...], gives the pragmatism of
Peirce; the second, the habit as a source of individual acts, gives the
pragmatism of James; the third, the habit as a means to an end, the
pragmatism of Dewey (Moore, 1966: 138-139).


The general character of habit based on laws ("prior to its acting") differentiates Peirce's pragmatism--the pragmaticism--from the other pragmatists. Effectively, Peirce's pragmaticism develops the overall dynamic of habit in a way, since "this [triadic] relation cannot consist in any actual event that ever can have occurred" (Peirce, 1932, vol. 1: 542; c. 1896). The Peircean definition of habit argues for its irreducible character if it takes part on the general character of relations/laws: "Let us use the word 'habit' throughout this book [...] in a way describable in general terms upon every occasion (or upon a considerable proportion of the occasions) that may present itself of a generally describable character" (Peirce, 1935, vol. 5: 538; c. 1902). Habits and habit-taking tendency--"the tendency to form habits or tendency to generalize, is something which grows by its own action, by the habit of taking habits itself growing" (Peirce, 1958, vol. 8: 318; 1891)--amounts to the dynamic between feelings, things and laws, but they are primarily instances that belong to the mode of being of relations (thirdness). Peirce, thus, considers monadic "habits of feeling" and dyadic "habits of action," since the latter are taken as dependences of the triadic habits of relation: "habits of feeling are phenomena of Thirdness of Firstness, and habits of action are phenomena of Thirdness of Secondness" (Noth, 2016: 40).

From the fact that habits are primarily related to triadic relations, according to Peirce, it follows that they cannot be purely made from feelings or things. The role that triadic relations, which perform habits, plays over the dyadic and/or monadic ones can be explained through both modal and categorial proofs:

a) Modal proof:

This proof is based on the independent mode of being of relations with regard both to the monadic relation of feelings to itself and to the dyadic relation of things. It means that there would be no effective and genuine triadic relationship without relation as the third intermediating term. The mode of being of triads holds, furthermore, a universal characteristic that raises its status to that of a category. Peirce names this characteristic "teridentity" (Peirce, 1932, vol. 1: 292; c. 1908). It means that no triad could be reduced to monads or dyads; reversely, any relationship with more than three elements (tetrads, pentads, and so on) could be reduced to triads: "it can be proved... that no element can have a higher valency than three" (Peirce, 1932, vol. 1: 292; c. 1908). Accordingly, the triadic relation rules the dyadic relations and mediates among a monadic and a dyadic relation as to perform non-degenerate triadic relations. Therefore, the triadic relations make habits do not depend on the discreteness of individuals (feelings or things), since as thirds they are real regardless of the terms they come to connect. Proof (a) by modality ratifies that relations have a general reality of their own, but this reality itself depends on the categorial proof of "teridentity."

b) Categorial proof:

This proof depends on Peirce's prescission method. "Prescission," according to Peirce, is a proceeding aiming at "mental separation" which lies between two other methods: "discrimination" and "dissociation" (Peirce, 1932, vol. 1: 549; 1867). (12) In fact, prescission is the mental separation that allows for discriminating terms that cannot be dissociated: "precision, therefore, supposes a greater separation than discrimination, but a less separation than dissociation" (Peirce, 1932, vol. 1: 549; 1867). For instance, blue car: blue is the feeling of the color; the car is an actual thing. One can prescind color from the car that actualizes it, so that blueness can be conceived of. However, the reciprocal is not true: no one can prescind the thing from the feeling actualized in it, since no colorless car can be conceived. Both thing and feeling can be prescinded from relation. The reciprocal, again, is not true, for relation cannot be prescinded from the thing that actualizes some feeling.

The prescission method thus does not admit the reciprocal rule. In short, prescinding allows discrimination without dissociation. As Peirce asserts: "the category of first [feeling-quality] can be prescinded from second [thing-effort] and third [relation-law], and second can be prescinded from third. But second cannot be prescinded from first, nor third from second" (Peirce, 1932, vol. 1: 353; 1880). Proof (b) by category ratifies that the triadic relation is the type relation that involves the other ones--monadic and dyadic--with teridentity.

Envisaging the complete observation of the dynamic that triadic relations bring about, proofs (a) and (b) must be interconnected. On the one hand, feelings, things and relations can be discriminated but not dissociated according to the method of prescission (b). By the proof of modality (a), on the other hand, the non-dissociative feature of the three terms is based on the role that relations play as the mediating mode of being between feelings and things. The combination of (a) and (b) guarantees that relations cannot be prescinded from feeling and thing and, simultaneously, that they are the condition for the relationship between the three terms to apply. Moore summarizes the logical framework that sustains proof (a) and (b) together: "The signification by [term] A that [term] B is related to [term] C cannot be reduced simply to A plus B plus C. It is something more than its constituents; it is the assertion of a relation between them, [so that the third C] cannot be completely reduced to a combination of the first two types [A and B]" (Moore, 1966: 39). Thus, habit-taking demands from relations to assume relations (C) as the active principle for the whole relationship to be accomplished.

The development of relations as the active element on habit-taking receives different approaches as to develop an ordered framework. This development can be traced in three different periods of Peirce's works (1868, 1886, and 1903). In effect, any triadic relation is made of ordered terms (A, B, C), since C takes part in every relation between the three terms. In short, in any genuine triadic relation there is 1, 2, and 3. Peirce helps to summarize to whole statement of the triadic relations in 1868, for "The Third [...] is that which brings about the pair by establishing a relationship. [...] It is the whole process by which the first is evolved the second" (Peirce, 1993, vol. 5: 239; 1868). In the period of the revision of the categories (from 1886 on), Peirce also shows that triadic relations have an ordered frame by saying that:
Secondness is an essential part of Thirdness though not of Firstness,
and Firstness is an essential element of both Secondness and Thirdness.
Hence there is such a thing as the Firstness of Secondness and such a
thing as the Firstness of Thirdness; and there is such a thing as the
Secondness of Thirdness. But there is no Secondness of pure Firstness
and no Thirdness of pure Firstness or Secondness (Peirce, 1932, vol. 1:
530; c. 1896).


In the last revision of his thought (from 1898 to 1914), the ordered framework of the categories is completely integrated: "In the ideas of Firstness, Secondness, and Thirdness, the three elements or Universal Categories, appear under their forms of Firstness. They appear under their forms of Secondness...; and under their forms of Thirdness..." (Peirce, 1998, vol. 2: 272).

If modal (a) and categorial (b) proofs do not hold good at once, the relations' mode of being is demoted from its categorial function and pragmatism falls into a harmful anti-realistic point of view. As a realistic philosophy, Peirce's pragmaticism duly obeys to this leading principle.

James' radical empiricism, as Peirce's pragmaticism, argues for relations as phenomena of a general reality: "The relations that connect experiences must themselves be experienced relations, and any kind of relation experienced must be accounted as 'real' as anything else in the system" (James, 2003: 42; 1912). Thus, James' concept of relation verifies the proof (a). It does not hold good, though, for proof (b). He ends up downgrading the generality of relations because the concept of habit is ingrained and bound up with matter (things-effort) and the end of human action:
The moment one tries to define what habit is, one is led to the
fundamental properties of matter. [...] The habits of an elementary
particle of matter cannot change [...] because the particle is itself
an unchangeable thing (James, 1890, vol. 1: 104).


James only admits changes on habits related to higher levels of matter, since compounds of isolated particles are supposed to alter their structures through the associationism of relations (James, 1912: 22). As the higher levels of matter are made from combinations of elementary particles, compounds of matter can change their habits, but they are necessarily limited to relations that associate unchangeable particles. The limit that matter imposes to relations-habits is extensive to organic bodies, since "the phenomena of habit in living beings are due to the plasticity of the organic materials of which their bodies are composed" (James, 1890, vol. 1: 105). Similarly, relations change habits regarding feelings that fulfill mind, but the plastic feature of relations ceases when habits reach minute feelings data in one's mind. James endorses thereby the idea that habits could be ultimately reduced to feelings: "It is true that, under an ultimate analysis, what we call a relation proves to be itself a kind of feeling" (Spencer, in James, 1890, vol. 1: 249). The Jamesian way of managing the dynamic that habits perform is rooted in a faint or degenerate triadic relationship--in Peirce's sense--regarding the dependent character habits acquire, as long as relations can be reduced to matter and mind. This is an important difference that stems from the confrontation between James' pragmatism and Peirce's pragmaticism. This discrepancy ultimately addresses the opposition between realism and nominalism. Boles (1963: 94-97) claims that Peirce emphasizes the philosophical realism the other pragmatists comparatively put aside. A nominalistic pragmatism--contrary to pragmaticism--therefore stains every philosophy that conceives habits as reducible to mind and/or matter (Peirce, 1932, vol. 1: 21; c. 1896). In fact, Peirce extends his claim on the nominalistic bias to detect anti-realistic traces inserted in the very tradition of pragmatism (Deely, 2000: 13). According to Moore, nominalists only admit a habit to be real when it gets actualized:
[...] suppose that it is a habit of mine to comb my hair with my right
hand. For the nominalist the habit is real only at the times when I am
actually combing my hair. That is, the habit is reduced to a series of
individual events which exhibit a uniformity, and it is meaningless to
talk about the habit being real at a time when I did not comb my hair
(Moore, 1966: 95).


As for Peirce's realistic position, habits "really would produce effects, under circumstances that may not happen to get actualized" (Peirce, 1935, vol. 6: 485; 1908). The reality of habits overcomes all instances in which they might come to get actualized in matter and/or to be felt in mind as a feeling. From Peirce's point of view, the reducibility of relations to mind and matter weakens the very concept of habit. Nominalistic custodies, from a Peircean stand point, corrupts James' pragmatism since his concept of habit fails categorial, triadic relations as required by proof (b).

Consequently, the extra syllable added to the word pragmatism--pragmaticism--sustains the decisive weight that eventually determines the sort of pragmatism considered. That is why, towards James' pragmatism Peirce throws a definitive, though kind, rebuke: "The famed psychologist, James, first took it [the word pragmatism] up, seeing to it that his 'radical empiricism' substantially fits the definition of pragmatism--albeit with a certain difference in the point of view" (Peirce, 1935, vol. 5: 414; 1905). Or, more harshly: "You [James] think there must be such isolation [of the subject's mind into itself], because you confound thoughts [thirdness] with feeling qualities [firstness]; but all observation is against you" (Peirce, 1958, vol. 8: 81; c. 1891).

As Deleuze's concept of habit matches Peirce's because of the former's agreement with the latter's triadic logic, it is true that he is nearer Peirce's pragmatism than James'. Despite such conceptual affinities, Deleuze does not look to Peirce as a pragmatist as he did to James.

3. Deleuze and the Early and Recent French Reception of Peirce: In the Blind Spot

The question remains as to why Peirce is for Deleuze out of sight as a pragmatist philosopher.

A dynamic formed in the early French reception of pragmatism (from 1900 to 1920) generates the blind spot that makes the pragmatist Peirce out of sight for Deleuze, despite the mutual framework that relates their thoughts around central concepts (relation and habit) of a pragmatist ambience. This dynamic of the early French reception of pragmatism, which involves Deleuze, presents three combined motivations:

1) Peirce is considered at best as an "older companion" that influenced the pragmatists Josiah Royce (1855-1916) and W. James.

2) James is by far the preferred pragmatist in France.

3) James and Bergson mutual readings take over the French scene.

We will henceforth develop these 3 characteristics to observe their consequences for Deleuze's incomplete reception of pragmatism.

3.1. The influence of Wahl's book upon Deleuze: Peirce is considered at best an "older companion" that influenced the pragmatists Josiah Royce (1855-1916) and W. James

Jean A. Wahl's (1888-1974) book, Les Philosophes Pluralistes d'Angleterre et d'Amerique (Wahl, 1920), represents at best the pragmatism's reception in France around the World War I. Especially regarding Deleuze's reception of pragmatism during his formative years in the 1940s: "Jean Wahl played the most important role, as Deleuze indicates, in introducing France, through his students [Deleuze among them], to the 'American pluralist pragmatism'; particularly that of William James" (Zamberlin, 2006: 13).

The early reception of American pragmatism in France has three important conditions. First, "Reactions by French philosophers depends on [among other factors] whether the philosopher was already inclined to pragmatism because he was already persuaded by native French pragmatic trends that predated the appearance of that American pragmatism..." (Shook, 2009: 59). Second, the French attention to pragmatism starts when "William James announced the existence of this new philosophical movement" in 1898 (Shook, 2009: 59). Third, as Schloesser warns, these conditions are involved in a theological quarrel, for there is "not merely one of French 'reception' of American ideas, but far more complex: American pragmatist ideas were themselves in some respects responses to receptions of French Catholic thought" (Schloesser, 2009: 56).

Wahl includes pragmatism in the family of the broader and older pluralist thought. For Wahl, the pluralist pragmatism is a global philosophy, since it arises in the Anglo-Saxon philosophical thought by the middle nineteenth century with a return to Berkeley's and Hume's ideas, which are stirred up in their turn by ideas that came from different philosophical traditions. For Wahl, the American pragmatism was predated not only by English, but also by French, German and Polish pluralist philosophers. What integrates the pragmatism into the pluralism is a movement that begins in the former and merges in the latter: pragmatism only apply to "what is individual"; while pluralism offers a "collective metaphysics" as a line of flight away from the pragmatist individualism (Wahl, 1920: 92). (13) Being so, pluralism includes pragmatism and a new variety of the pluralistic thought comes into light. The most accomplished version of these mixing trends comes from the United States, as Whitman, Emerson, Henry James refined the "American spirit" of the "men of action" and passed it on to W. James philosophical synthesis: "In his lecture at Berkeley, James calls upon the 'Practical Americans' to gather around his pragmatism the philosophical troops of the New World" (Wahl, 1920: 85; my translation). This heritage puts James at the top of the American philosophical movement that binds together pluralism and pragmatics: "William James is unquestionably the most important of the 'pluralistic pragmatists'" (Wahl, 1920: 101; my translation).

The integration of pragmatism and pluralism does not mean identity, though. Wahl explains their differences on the basis that the pluralism is a metaphysics or a cosmology that may adopt pragmatism as its method, whose main heir is W. James. In fact, his "radical empiricism," which is a "pluralist metaphysics" adopts pragmatism, but they are not mutual dependent since there are pluralisms without pragmatism (Wahl, 1920: 91). Reciprocally, "Pluralism is most often a metaphysics of pragmatism: but pragmatists cannot reserve the monopoly of this metaphysics" (Wahl, 1920: 239; my translation). In special, James grants the union between pluralism and pragmatism, but he is aware that both are at once complementary and independent, so that their combination can generate different tones. In James' pluralist cosmology or metaphysics, pragmatism is rather a methodological support:
Pragmatism, says James, is essentially a method, it is not a cosmology;
it can serve as a starting point for the most different metaphysics;
and radical empiricism, (it is one of the names it gives to one of the
aspects of his pluralist metaphysics) is, he declares in the preface to
pragmatism, independent of the pragmatist method (Wahl, 1920: 91; my
translation).


After all, from the facultative complementarity of pluralism and pragmatism arises a pragmatic pluralism with characteristics of its own.

Despite Wahl's point of view about pragmatism, the position with respect to Peirce's pragmatism remains unchanged: silence. It is due partially to the scarce material from Peirce available to Wahl in France by the early 20th century. According to Shook, by that time "there was no notice of fellow American pragmatist Charles Sanders Peirce" (Shook, 2009: 6). Consequently, Peirce's role in Wahl's book is restricted to ten scarce, short references (Wahl, 1920: 321; "index of names"), which amount to a six-paragraph exposition of the most influential of Peirce's theories (logic, metaphysics, tychism, pragmatist maxim) (Wahl, 1920: 82-83, 120); this short exposition is made on the behalf of whom Peirce influenced, not of himself. Even worse is that Wahl--as Deleuze later--never ascribes to Peirce the status of a pragmatist. At best, he recognizes Peirce only as a predecessor who influenced James' pragmatism: "Another philosopher exerted on James a profound influence; it was for him as an older companion. James says he owes him more than he can say" (Wahl, 1920: 82).

3.1.1. Consequence

Wahl's book portrays the early reception (from the beginning of the twentieth century to the World War I) of the American pragmatism in France: the magnification of James; the absence of Peirce. According to Madelrieux, "in the name of James pluralism" as Wahl read it, Deleuze adopts a "metaphysical pluralism" and assimilate it as the pragmatism tout court; the pragmatism that is in fact "forgotten and repressed in the French appropriation of James..." (Madelrieux, 2015: 95). Confined to Wahl's influence, which presents the American philosophy to Deleuze's generation in the 1940s (Zamberlin, 2006: 12-17; Bowden, Bignall, and Patton, 2015: 2-5), one can extrapolate that Deleuze seems not to have even been aware of splitting Peirce from the pragmatism that he (Peirce) first established as a long-trend in the history of philosophy.

According to Shook, in the 1950s, after a long delay between War I and II, (14) "a considerable understanding of James, Dewey, and Peirce awaken in France" (Shook, 2009: 75). For Girel, "The next step [of Peirce's reception in France] occurs in the 1960s, when the publication of the Collected Papers was complete" (Girel, 2014: 3). (15) As Deleuze only reads systematically Peirce in the 1980s, it sounds strange that he does not update the idea of pragmatism inherited from his master Wahl, from the early twentieth century.

3.2. James is by far the preferred pragmatist in France

While Deleuze's master downgrades Peirce, the whole seventy-five-page third section of Wahl's book is dedicated to James (Wahl, 1920: 100-175): "... even though Wahl's book synthesizes a remarkable range of thinkers from both sides of the Atlantic, he fashions James as the principal (though by no mean exclusive) protagonist" (Flaxman, 2015: 58). Moreover, James' dominance in this book shows that the French reception had different emphasis depending on the pragmatist on focus: "The thought of Charles Peirce and John Dewey (1859-1952) penetrated the French intellectual scene to only a small degree before World War I; in France, William James was the face of pragmatism" (Shook and Schultenover, 2009: 2) and "had nine books published in France during this period" (Sook, 2009: 60). Therefore, "France was the golden door for James's introduction in Europe" (Nubiola, 2011: 79).

Wahl's book presents important clues about the successful early recognition of Jamesian ideas in France, which concern particularly our argument about Deleuze's concepts of relation and habit and their pragmatic ambience. According to Wahl, there's a direct path that leads the theory of relations from the supporters--forerunners or contemporaneous--of the Anglo-American pluralist philosophers to James. The "relational thought" is found in the English philosopher F. H. Bradley (1843-1893) (Wahl, 1920: 4), in the German H. Lotze (1817-1881) (Wahl, 1920: 45), in the Polish W. Lutoslawski (1863-1954) (Wahl, 1920: 50), and in the "relationalism" (Wahl, 1920: 100-175) of the French philosopher C. B. Renouvier (1815-1903). In the end, "James will choose Renouvier, and he will only want to continue [Renouvier's ideas] in a more radically empiricist way..." (Wahl, 1920: 74). Little by little, Wahl inserts James in the French philosophical world, the first step being the decisive influence of Renouvier concerning the theory of relations: "the relationship and correspondence between them extended over a quarter of a century" (Nubiola, 2011: 76). Accordingly, Wahl shows that relations define the purport of James's pluralism: "Thus, by his idea of the existence of relations, this empiricism differs from that of Hume for example" (Wahl, 1920: 123). The next step and decisive step to frenchfy James is taken when, in developing his own pluralistic theory of relations, James would naturally retrieve the problem of relations among the philosophical affinities with his contemporary philosopher Bergson.

In fact, the theory of relations makes the pluralistic philosophy to assume different positions concerning the issue of the interiority or the exteriority of relations with regard the terms they connect. If the relations are internal, they do not hold a reality of their own and exist on behalf of the terms they connect; on the contrary, if relations are external to their terms, their existence sustains an ens realis qua relations. The pluralistic philosophical tradition has on relations their pivotal characteristic, according to Wahl, for James avoids the relational internalism of his predecessor Bradley (Wahl, 1920: 126) and places instead the relational externalism of the "pluralistic world" in the core of his (James') thought: "Pluralism, realism, pragmatist theory of knowledge, theory of possibility, theory of time, the different conceptions of William James are linked to the affirmation of the externality of relations..." (Wahl, 1920: 127).

On the one hand, from the thesis of the externality of relations, Wahl adds, "James arrives at a doctrine that is similar to that of G. Moore and Russell" (Wahl, 1920: 126). On the other hand, despite the refusal of Bradley internalism, James welcomes another sort of relational internalism, which matches properly his pluralistic universe, that of Bergson:
It is in the same way that James will be with Mr. Bergson for the idea
of the interiority of relations (for example in the Pluralistic
Universe) and with Mr. Russell for the idea of the externality of
relations (Wahl, 1920: 127).


James refuses Bradley and continues the relationalism of Renouvier to find Bergson. From this heritage that begins in the past of pluralism, James can feel chez lui in France: "His European reputation was possibly even higher than his standing in America" (Barbalet, in Nubiola, 2011: 74). As for Peirce, though, "If we compare [his reception in France] with another pragmatist, there was no one who played the active role Renouvier played for James, no equivalent of what Bergson would be to him after 1900" (Girel, 2014: 2). (16)

3.2.1. Consequences

1) "Jean Wahl played the most important role, as Deleuze indicates, in introducing France, through his students [Deleuze among them], to the 'American pluralist pragmatism'; particularly that of William James" (Zamberlin, 2006: 13). Predictably, when mentioning pragmatism, Deleuze often greets James, especially in the works that "bookend Deleuze's oeuvre, Empiricism and Subjectivity [1953] and his last published text, Immanence: A Life [1995]" (Bowden, Bignall, and Patton, 2015: 2). Consequently, through the influence of the French early reception of pragmatism, "Deleuze came to recognize in James' philosophy an important precursor to his own works" (Bowden, Bignall, and Patton, 2015: 4), (17) as the pragmatist Peirce remains unnoticed. (18)

2) If one checks Wahl's references on the existence, internality-externality and the whole of relations, it becomes evident that he partially reproduces James' thesis on relations from A Pluralistic Universe: "It [the relation] is external: the term's inner nature is irrelevant to it" (James, 1909: 360); "Radical empiricism takes conjunctive relations at their face-value, holding them to be as real as the terms united by them" (James, 1909: 357); "The great continua of time, space, and the self-envelop everything, betwixt them, and flow together without interfering" (James, 1909: 349). According to Madelrieux, Deleuze's thesis on the externality of relations is strange to James' philosophy, because one cannot posit that all relations are external or internal to their terms regardless of the experience: "James [...] settles for saying that some relations are external, which leads him also to recognizing the existence of internal as well as external relations. [...] Depending on the case... [any relation] can be internal or external, and only an empirical enquiry can determine the difference" (Madelrieux, 2015: 98-99).

Moreover, to adjust James's theory of relations to the former Deleuzian thesis on Hume, Deleuze rules the Jamesian thesis on internal relations out, which his master Wahl recognized. The externality of relations supports Deleuze's account of empiricism, which is extensive to pragmatism (item 1.1). The Deleuzian thesis that put together the English and the American thought regarding relations comes ipsis litteris from Deleuze's master Wahl: "It can be said that the development of the contemporary English and American philosophy is linked to the development of the problem of the externality of relations" (Wahl, 1920: 252; my translation). External relations perform a "partial conflux" which is the whole of time (Wahl, 1920: 126) (item 1.1., second clause). Consequently, being external to their terms, "the relations between the beings can change without the beings changing" (Wahl, 1920: 135) (item 1.1., second clause, corollary).

In fact, Deleuze borrows his thesis on the externality of relations from Wahl's book, who in turn reproduces them from James. Ultimately, Deleuze applies James' thesis on external relations to Hume's empiricism and to pragmatism handing over Wahl's analysis of pragmatism to his students and readers. According to Madelrieux, "Chronologically, Deleuze wrote on Hume before writing on pragmatism, but in reality, he attempted to find in Hume the pluralist description of the universe that he had found while reading Wahl as a student" (Madelrieux, 2015: 93).

3.3. James and Bergson mutual readings take over the French scene

James and Bergson exchange mutual readings of their theories between 1909 and 1911 (Worms, 2009: 77; Shook and Schultenover, 2009). This approach grants their mutual philosophical influence: "Without any doubt the most important philosophical and personal attachment of James's later years was that which he formed with Bergson" (Perry, 1936, vol. 2: 599). Both hold "the title of greatest philosopher of the period, which each conferred on the other!" (Worms, 2009: 76).

Concerning the ongoing argument about understanding what the mutual acknowledgement of James and Bergson amounts to Deleuze's heritage of pragmatism, it is important to emphasize the exchange between Bergons's vitalism and James anti-intelectualism and anti-logicism. James wrote in A Pluralistic Universe, in the sixth Hibbert lecture, "Bergson and His Critique of Intelectualism": "Bergson's philosophy [...] had led me personally to renounce the intellectualistic method and the current notion that logic is an adequate measure of what can or cannot be" (James, 1909: 225). (19) The vitalism of Bergson, in turn, rejected the intellectualism and logicism because it could not grasp life. This Bergsonian assumption arises from the principle of the elan vital, which asserts that life expands itself from an inner force that neither logic nor any intellectual resource are apt to render: "What we actually obtain in this way is an artificial imitation of the internal life, a static equivalent which will lend itself better to the requirements of logic and language, just because we have eliminated from it the element of real time" (Bergson, 1998: 4). The Bergsonian elan vital resonates with the Jamesian notion of truth, which assumes that human knowledge fails grasping experience logically through intellectual resources. Bergson declares about the failure of this natural conception of truth in the essay "About the Pragmatism of William James: Truth and Reality," published in the introduction of the French translation of A Pluralistic Universe in 1911 and republished in La Pensee et le Mouvant (1934):
This conception of truth is natural to our mind and also natural to
philosophy, because it is natural to represent reality as a perfectly
coherent and systematized whole, supported by a logical framework. This
frame would be the truth itself; our science would only find it. But
pure and simple experience does not tell us anything like that, and
James sticks to experience. ... if it is not supported by a framework
of intellectuality, the truth of intellectual order is a human
invention that has the effect of use reality rather than introduce us
to it (Bergson, 1969: 134 and 136; my translation).


The result of this mutual relationship is that the French reception splits pragmatism in two separate trends. On the one side, the Bergsonian-Jamesian vitalist pragmatism in which "real life laughs at logic's veto" (James, 1909: 257). And on the other, the pragmatism based on scientific inquiry and logic, which Peirce promotes, whose reception in France "is [nowadays] yet to happen" (Madelrieux, 2015: 103).

3.3.1. Consequences
[Deleuze] belongs to a line of French thinkers [Bergson and Wahl] who
sought to shift pragmatism's center of gravity from the theory of truth
to the affirmation of pluralism, as though pragmatism were above all
metaphysics, before being a method for clarifying ideas and an
epistemology (Madelrieux, 2015: 89).


Removing Peirce's "intellectualist logic" (James, 1909: 211) from pragmatism supposedly makes it easier for Deleuze to filter Peirce through Bergsonian resources, for Deleuze finds in "...the work of Charles Sanders Peirce a theory of signs adequate to the conceptualization of images introduced by Henry Bergson in Matter and Memory" (Bowden, Bignall, and Patton, 2015: 5). This Jamesian-Bergsonian lineage becomes effective only as late as the 1980s, when he discovers Peirce's thought. By that time the eight volumes of the Collected Papers (20) were available, and Peirce was globally well-known. It is remarkable that Deleuze by then does not know nor is he warned that Peirce was a pragmatist. Despite not being aware that Peirce is indeed the founder of pragmatism Deleuze knew an important fact of his personal biography: "And so it is this author that I was talking about, it's him that I really want to take back, who is called Pearce [sic]. He lives at the end of the XIX century, he writes at the end of XIXth century. Bizarre he is poor" (Deleuze 1982/1983, class 25, part 1, 07/12/81; my translation). (21) In a letter to James about their philosophical interplay, Peirce slides sotto voce, in a bracketed declaration, a clear signal of impoverishment: "Dear William,--Neither of your interpretations of my letter were right. (It is so cold in this room, 34[degrees], that I can hardly write)" (Perry, 1936, vol. 2: 420; Peirce to James, 04/01/1998; italics added) (22)

3.4. The overall result of the three interconnected characteristics of the French reception upon the recent assessment of Peirce in the Deleuzian scholarly literature

The Deleuzian scholarship has been developing the Deleuzian approach to pragmatism with an unexplained silence over Peirce. Or rather, when scholars dedicate to inspect the relationship between Deleuze and Peirce there always remains a final impairment which forbids strong association between them. For example, Bell concludes that the thematic connections between Deleuze and Peirce turn out to eventually split as to their diverse concepts of habit regarding the truth that experience accomplishes (Bell, 2015: 34-35). (23) Likewise, Williams argues that the signs for Peirce convey an external truth to be the goal of pragmatism; for Deleuze the truth is instead immanent to the encounter with the sign itself (Williams, 2015: 52-53).

Moreover, scholars mostly contemplate Deleuze's relationship to pragmatism from Deleuze's references to the pragmatism of William James. According to Lapoujade, James' idea of pragmatism can be correlated to the idea of "patchwork that Deleuze provides" (Lapoujade, 1998: 274; my translation) in instantiating his (Deleuze's) view of American pragmatism. In his turn, Bell acknowledges James as the proponent of an empiricism that "Deleuze himself (among others) will later take up" (Bell 2009, 21), and Flaxman states that "James brothers [James and Henry]... together anticipates Deleuze's transcendental empiricism..." (Flaxman, 2015: 70).

As a matter of fact, Deleuze refers James only six times throughout his works, articles, interviews and conferences, in friendly and cheerful, tough piecemeal, unsystematic allusions:

a) "Relations are external to their terms. When James calls himself a pluralist, he does not say, in principle, anything else" (Deleuze, 2001: 99 [1953: 109]).

b) "... when James longs for the "oxygen of possibility" [he is] only invoking the a priori Other" (Deleuze, 1990: 318 [1969: 370]).

c) "It is also within the perspective of marginal phenomena that the problem, nevertheless fundamental of the communication of unconsciousness was posed, first by Spinoza in letter 17 to Balling, then by Myers, James, Bergson, etc." (Deleuze and Guattari, 1983: 276n [Deleuze and Guattari, 1972: 328, n. 4]).

d) "William James and Russell used this difference [that Leibniz established] to their advantage. Monads are distributive units that follow a relation of part and whole, while bodies are collectives--flocks or aggregates--that follow a relation of the-ones-to-the-others" (Deleuze, 1993: 100 [1988: 133]). (24)

e) "This world-as-archipelago or this patchwork experiment [...] are to be found throughout Pragmatism, and notably among William James's most beautiful pages: the world as 'shot point blank with a pistol'" (Deleuze, 1998: 193, n. 21 [Deleuze 1993: 111, n. 17]).

f) "Such a plane [of immanence] is, perhaps, a radical empiricism: it does not present a flux of the lived that is immanent to a subject and individualized in that which belongs to a self. It presents only events, that is, possible worlds as concepts, and other people as expressions of possible worlds or conceptual personae" (Deleuze and Guattari, 1994: 47-48 [1991: 51]).

These offhand references have encouraged an almost consensual alliance between Deleuze and James. (25) Obviously, the association between Deleuze and James is not to be banned, but there is no reason why Deleuze's orientation should not turn to Peirce's pragmatism.

Final Remarks: The Protoplasm of Philosophy and the Peircean Monstrous Child

This article recovered correlated topics of Peirce's and Deleuze's thoughts to face the silence of Deleuze and the depreciation that the Deleuzian scholarly literature assumes with respect to Peirce (Bell, 2015: 34-35; Williams, 2015: 52-53). The silence, which makes Peirce barely heard for Deleuzian ears, is additionally baffled by the magnification of James as Deleuze's most desirable pragmatist ally (Lapoujade, 1998: 274; Zamberlin, 2006: 1-27; Bell, 2009: 18-22). These characteristics, though, do not do justice to Deleuze's minor dedication to James in comparison with that to Peirce's philosophy in his five-year long lectures on cinema (1981/1982 and 1982/1983) and his books Cinema1. The movement-image (1986 [1983]) and Cinema 2. The time-image (1989 [1985]). Most of all, the dedication to Peirce moves Deleuze towards the pragmaticist framework according to eight conceptual correspondences about (triadic) relations and habit (item 1.3. and item 2.3.).

The development of the Deleuzian-Humean empiricism is important to qualify Deleuze's approach to pragmatism and ultimately to Peirce. The commitments that the Deleuzian conception of relation and habit set forth grant a specific bond to Peirce's pragmaticism upon his own concepts of triadic relation and habit. These pivotal concepts allow the passage from the Deleuzian slogans on pragmatism to the specific pragmaticism with which Deleuze virtually compromises. One might object that the same Deleuzian-Humean dispositions are to be found in James, so that the Jamesian concepts of relation and habit would also match Deleuze's. In this article, the correspondences made refer to Peirce's concepts alone and cannot be extended to James' pragmatism (item 2.3.2.). James' and Peirce's respective concepts of relation and habit are as far apart as pragmatism is from pragmaticism, even though the "remarkable integrity we find among pragmatists" shall not be overlooked (Pihlstrom, 2004: 29).

As for Deleuze's reception of pragmatism in his formative years (item 3.), although it makes Deleuze actually blind to Peirce's pragmatism, it must be reviewed in the light of Deleuze's later (1980s) commitment with Peirce's ideas. Surprisingly, and despite of his silence over Peirce's pragmatism, he has been unfaithful to the long-lasting reception of pragmatism that his former Professor Wahl began and that the ensuing French non-empiricist and anti-logicist tradition took for granted according to the Bergsonian-Jamesian alliance. First, in his five-year long lectures on cinema, Deleuze affirms that the Peircean categories (Firstness, Secondness and Thirdness) allow him to displacing Bergson's philosophical thesis on duration: "Peirce's categories will allow us to relaunch [Bergson]. And, indeed, this exceeds Bergson, it does not contradict him, it is totally a different kind of problem" (Deleuze, 1981/1982, lecture 13, part 1; my translation; italics added). (26) Second, again in his lectures on cinema, Deleuze does not make the mistake, either, of refusing to acknowledge Peirce for being a logician; on the contrary:
Especially after one has come to better understand his [Peirce's]
texts, one realizes that the very important discovery in formal logic
[,] namely [,] the invention of a three-valued logic [...] often dated
from the 1910-1920s, can be entirely found in Peirce. He does not
happen to publish; in a sense his invention is too far into the future,
too much bizarre [in his time], or else, all that [the clarification
and dissemination of his three-valued logic] does not interest him
(Deleuze, 1982/1983, lecture 25, part 1, 07/12/82; my translation).
(27)


An exegetical remark about these Deleuze's statements is that Peirce's influences on Deleuze's work were more gradual than previously thought or argued. Deleuze's lectures on cinema from 1981 to 1985 were edited to become the books on cinema (1986 [1983] and 1989 [1985]). From the former to the latter, many passages, like the ones quoted about Peirce relaunching Bergson and about Peirce's ground-breaking triadic logic, have been excluded. It is yet to be explained what might have been the criteria (either Deleuze's or his editor's) to exclude these passages that, at least, compensate the advantage of Deleuze's Bergsonism over Peirce that the books on cinema apparently ratify.

The scholarly analyses on Cinema 1 and Cinema 2 (1986 [1983] and 1989 [1985]) assumes that Deleuze forces the thesis that Bergson develops in Matter and Memory upon Peirce as to make him speak a Bergsonian language. Schwab categorically states: "[...] Deleuze's ontology is not Peircean but, as we will see, Bergsonian. In fact, it is so deeply Bergsonian that it is adequately called Deleuzian-Bergsonian ontology" (Schwab, 2000: 110). Bogue echoes: "Peirce's inspiration, however, is more general than specific, and despite Deleuze's frequent references to Peirce's works, the semiotic framework of Cinema 1 and Cinema 2 is much more Bergsonian than Peircean" (Bogue, 2003: 65-66). For Ehrat, in a severer tone, "Deleuze's theory of cinematic being also contains some Peirceish material, it is true, but this remains rather inconsequential" (Ehrat, 2005: 221).

After all, Deleuze would have conceived a Bergsonian child on Peirce's back. The story is well-known as the Deleuzian anecdote about his way of doing philosophy authorizes:
I suppose  the main  way I  coped with  it at  the time  was to see the
history of philosophy  as a sort  of buggery or  (it comes to  the same
thing) immaculate  conception. I  saw myself  as taking  an author from
behind and  giving him  a child  that would  be his  own offspring, yet
monstrous. It was really important for it to be his own child,  because
the author had to actually say  all I had him saying (Deleuze,  1995: 6
[1973: 15]).


As a matter of fact, Deleuze admits that he effectively did that "buggery" to extract from Peirce a Deleuzian semiotic:
We will have to compare the classification of [...] signs that we
propose with Peirce's great classification: why do they not coincide
[...]? But, before this analysis [...] we will constantly use the terms
that Peirce created to designate particular signs, sometimes retaining
their sense, sometimes modifying it or even changing it completely (for
reasons that we will make clear each time) (Deleuze, 1986: 69 [1983:
102]).


Nevertheless, why Peirce could not have taken Deleuze instead from behind? This article told the history backwards: Peirce gives Deleuze a monstrous pragmatist child that Deleuze would recognize as his own. For Peirce this protoplasmic, humorous buggery is preferable an immaculate conception, since
...it is universally true that wherever there is protoplasm, there is,
will be, or has been a power of reproducing that same kind of
protoplasm in a separated organism. Reproduction seems to involve the
union of two sexes; though it is not demonstrable that this is always
requisite (Peirce, 1935, vol. 6: 253; 1892).


All efforts to reconciliate Deleuze and Peirce do not excuse Deleuze, though, for having separated Peirce from pragmatism. Nonetheless, we should take a positive agenda, as does Zalamea who states that Peirce balances the modernist emphasis on unity and continuity with difference as much as the "amplitwist" (28) mind of Deleuze compensates difference with unity and continuity (Zalamea, 2009: 118-119).

The common disposition of Deleuze and Peirce about the concepts of relation and habit set up the way for a better understanding of their differences, beginning with Deleuze's question: "... why does Peirce think that everything ends with thirdness [...] and that there is nothing beyond?" (Deleuze, 1989: 33 [1985: 49]), to which Deleuze himself surprisingly answers: "...there will be a 'zeroness' before Peirce's firstness" (Deleuze, 1989: 31-32 [1985: 47]). It remains to be explained whether the claim on zeroness is a Bergsonian imposition over Peirce or is it a new Peircean offspring in Deleuze's thought.

The protoplasmic episode in the history of philosophy told hereby is yet to be continued.

Author Contributions

The author confirms being the sole contributor of this work and approved it for publication.

Conflict of Interest Statement

The author declares that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

NOTES

(1.) Assigning the year of publication or paper origin that of the Peirce's passages quoted in this article is important to making an accurate account of the conceptual operations required to sustain the ongoing argument. Moreover, the readings on Peirce's writings focus on "the revision of the categories" period (Murphey, 1993: 296), from 1885 to the beginning of the twentieth century, during which Peirce revised his architectural plan. From these revisional years, Murphey detaches another period that he calls "The Last Revision, 1896-1914" (Murphey, 1993: 355). Peirce by then tries to integrate his former theory of inquiry into an accomplished philosophical system that involves the reviewed categories, phenomenology and cosmology (habit-taking principle), all converging to the encompassing metaphysics of continuity known as "synechism" (Murphey, 1993: 355-365). These overlapping periods, in which we concentrate our investigation in this article, hold genetic effects that spread all over Pierce's philosophical architectonics, beginning with conceptual and terminological changes in the concepts of relation and habit by this period. In fact, the revision of the categories irradiates to other levels that will be secondarily considered in this article: the epistemic level in which Peirce's theory of inquiry and concept of truth play an important role; and the programmatic level related to Peirce dissociation from the pragmatisms his fellows practiced. The years of publication or origin of Peirce's Collected Papers are available in Peter Mahr, "Charles S. Peirce's Collected Papers, tables of contents of volumes I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII and VIII with numbers of pages and paragraphs and with years of publications or paper origin," online 23 Dec. 2011, available at http://home-page.univie.ac.at/peter.mahr/2011.7.html

(2.) Deleuze's--either or not coauthored--works: English edition referred before first French edition in brackets.

(3.) Despite the inflexions due to different pragmatists, pragmatism rather consensually is described as follows: "... distinctive rule or method for becoming reflectively clear about the contents of concepts and hypotheses: we clarify a hypothesis by identifying its practical consequences" (Hookway, 2016).

(4.) This term is taken hereafter according to Peirce's definition: "Pragmatist, n., in philosophy, one who professes to practice pragmatism" (Peirce, 1935, vol. 5: 13, n. 1, c. 1902).

(5.) "Although Gilles Deleuze frequently expressed his fondness for Anglo-American philosophy, his engagement with an especially American and specifically pragmatist philosophy seems to be a slender, if suggestive, affair" (Flaxman, 2015: 55).

(6.) Peirce, after James adopted the label pragmatism, invents (1908) the word pragmaticism, a word that "is ugly enough to be safe from kidnappers" (Peirce, 1935, vol. 5: 414; 1905). He declares his dissociation from other pragmatists towards a more specific--his own--version of pragmatism, in a letter: "I proposed that the word 'pragmatism' should hereafter be used somewhat loosely to signify affiliation with Schiller, James, Dewey, Royce, and the rest of us, while the particular doctrine in which I invented the word to denote [...] should be called 'pragmaticism' [...] the extra syllable will indicate the narrower meaning" (Peirce, 1958, vol. 8: 205; c. 1905).

(7.) << Moi, a mon avis, vous comprenez, ce qui empoisonne le probleme des relations, c'est que on se rend pas assez compte, encore une fois, que les relations sont des variables. A savoir que toute relation est inseparable de son changement possible. Encore une fois, personne ne ressemble a quelqu'un sans risquer de cesser de lui ressembler. Et inversement il n'y a pas d'absence de ressemblance sans le risque que les deux termes deviennent ressemblants. En d'autres termes, les relations abstraites sont inseparables d'un tout qui change et qui ne cesse pas de changer, tandis que les relations concretes s'etablissent entre des parties distinctes >> (Deleuze, 1982/1983, lecon 26, part 2, 14/12/82).

(8.) According to the hypothesis Deely (1985) advanced, the expression "categorial relations" follows John Poinsot's (1589-1644) conceptual requirements and fits Peirce's triadic logics: "In fact the three conditions of a categorial relation are implied in this conclusion: First, that it be an ontological relation, that is, a relation according to the way it has being; second, that it be mind-independent, where we include all the conditions required for mind-independent relation; third, that it be finite" (Poinsot, 1632: 92).

(9.) << L'empirisme se definit par cette position : 'les relations sont exterieures a leurs termes' [...] il faudra faire une logique des relations que PEIRCE suppose tout ca, car il n'est pas sur qu'une logique des relations puisse etre dyadique >> (Deleuze, 1982/1983: lecon 26, part 1, 14/12/1982). Deleuze raises the hypothesis that Peirce's conceptions of dynamic and final interpretant stand for the empiricist theory of relations (Deleuze, 1986: 240-241, n. 2 [1983: 267, n. 2)].

(10.) According to Gorlee's history of Peirce's concept of habit: "In Peirce's pragmatic period [1880-1900], habits tend toward real Thirdness" (Gorlee, 2016: 31).

(11.) The monadic state of habit corresponds to instinct according to Cannizzaro and Anderson: "While habit for Peirce prominently references regularities, generalities, and laws of thirdness, he allows that habit manifests also in firstness, with chance, as sensation and instinct" (Cannizzaro and Anderson, 2016: 318).

(12.) Peirce recovers these methods of mental separation in the last revision of his philosophy (Peirce, 1998, vol. 2: 270-271; 1903)

(13.) According to Madelrieux (2015: 89-90), Wahl extends the association between pluralism and pragmatism that Bergson began as a philosophical tactic which, on the one hand, assimilates pragmatism to his own (Bergson's) metaphysics and, on the other hand, dissociates it from the original pragmatic theory of inquiry and truth (how to make ideas clear). Madelrieux inspects this assimilation to James' pragmatism, not to Peirce's. Malderieux affirms though that Bergson-Wahl-Deleuze are mistaken about the principle of pragmatism to which both James and Peirce indorse: "Pragmatism was for him [James], as it was for Peirce, first and foremost a method for making our ideas clear according to the following rule: the meaning of a concept is only made clear if one can describe the practical consequences that its use may produce, in terms taken from experience" (Madelrieux, 2015: 102).

(14.) According to Nubiola, "the first World War changed the entire intellectual European stage, and both pragmatism and idealism soon became part of the past. The strength of Husserl (Herzog, 1995) and the attraction of Heidegger, in spite of their intellectual connections with pragmatism, eclipsed the figure of William James totally" (Nubiola, 2011: 78).

(15.) Before the hype of Peirce's semiotics in France (with the translation of Deledalle, Deleuze's main reference on Peirce's semiotics) and the revival of pragmatism in the 1980s, there were significant approaches to Peirce: Derrida, Lacan, Granger, and Recanati. More recently, the main scholars that dedicated to Peirce in France in the 1990s and ahead are: Bouveresse, Thibaut, Tiercelin, and Chauvire (Girel, 2014: 4-5).

(16.) According to Fisch, Peirce did not visit France for philosophical work, but for his geodetic activities for the US Coast Survey: "On astronomical or geodetic business for the U.S. Coast Survey [...] Peirce was in Europe five times--in 1870-71, 1875-76, 1877, 1880, and 1883--for periods adding up to nearly three years. He spent more time in France than in any other country, and more time in Paris than in any other city. [...] He became a familiar figure at the Paris Observatory, at the Bibliotheque National, and at the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures at the Pavillon de Breteuil in Sevres" (Fisch, 1990: xxx).

(17.) The editors of Deleuze and Pragmatism, despite the emphasis on Deleuze's allusions to W. James, recognize that Deleuze sustains a longer engagement with Peirce, but on the behalf of Bergson: "Indeed, Deleuze's single most sustained engagement with a pragmatist philosopher occurs in the Cinema books, where he finds in the work of Charles Sanders Peirce a theory of signs adequate to the conceptualization of images introduced by Henri Bergson in Matter and Memory" (Bowden, Bignall, and Patton, 2015: 5).

(18.) Even though recognizing the long trend that Deleuze shares, beginning with Wahl's thesis that fuses pluralism and pragmatism and ends up associating James and Bergson, Madelrieux harshly argues: "In three different and complementary ways, Deleuze misunderstood pragmatism. He misunderstood it firstly in that he assimilated pragmatism to pluralism. He missed it a second time since he borrowed the definition of pluralism from Bertrand Russell and not from William James. And he missed it a third time because his own version of pluralism does not stand up to the pragmatist method for making ideas clear. [...] Deleuze offered a pluralism without pragmatism, which leads him back to a philosophical outlook that the pragmatist philosophers he claimed to follow wanted to dismiss" (Madelrieux, 2015: 89).

(19.) See Wahl (1920: 166, 138-139, 172) about James' rejection to intellectualism and logicism under Bergson's influence. If Bergson encourages James to reject some aspects of Peirce's philosophy, Peirce, in turn, unreservedly declines being associated to Bergson, in letter that James included in his book Will to Believe, in the context of Bergson's thought: "a man who seeks to further science can hardly commit a greater sin than to use the terms of his science without anxious care to use them with strict accuracy, it is not very grateful to my feelings to be classed with a Bergson who seems to be doing his prettiest to muddle all distinctions" (Perry, 1936, vol. 2: 438, Peirce to James, 03/09/1909).

(20.) There are some facts that bear witness for Deleuze's superficial or second-hand contact with Peirce's writing material. Deleuze refers to the Collected Papers of Charles Sanders Peirce (1986: 227, n. 33 [1983: 101, n. 31], but if he really has had a closer reading of these volumes, he would have noticed that the entire fifth volume of the Collected Papers is dedicated to the peculiarities of the Peircean pragmatism (Peirce, 1935). Additionally, the only reading that Deleuze mentions in his books and lectures about Peirce's semiotic is Gerard Deledalle's book, Ecrits sur le signe, which is an annotated collection of comments on some of Peirce's writings on signs (Deleuze, 1982/1983, lecture 23, part 1, and 1986: 231, n. 14 [1983: 139, n. 12]). According to Girel, "Ecrits sur le signe is where Deleuze found one of the main inspirations for his twofold book on Cinema, in particular for the classifications of signs and for the obvious resources provided by a non-linguistic semiotics for film analysis: Deledalle's volume is explicitly credited in the course that provided the materials for the book" (Girel, 2014: 3).

Deleuze refers the Collected Papers only once throughout the two books on cinema in order to indicate that Peirce's writings did not receive until then (1983) much attention from French editors. The reference notation is differently counted and edited in the two editions (French and English) of Cinema 1. In the French edition, the note 33 on page 227 reads: "The majority of Peirce's work was published posthumously under the title Collected Papers (Harvard University Press) in eight volumes." In the French edition the note 31 on page 101 reads: "L'oeuvre de Peirce, en majorite posthume, a ete publiee sur le titre Collected Papers, Harvard University Press, en huit tomes. En Francais, le lecteur ne dispose que d'une courte serie de textes, Ecrits sur le signe, mais dans une presentation et avec des commentaires remarquables de Gerard Deledalle." This note, regardless their differences in the French and in the English editions, seems to have been edited from a more generous passage on Deleuze's lecture on cinema note 23, part 1, from 11/23/82: "Et Pierce[sic] a peu publie de son vivant, et assez recemment a ete entrepris une edition complete de ce qu'il avait ecrit et pas publie ou tres peu--Cette edition comprend un grand nombre de tomes, sept ou huit tomes en anglais. Pour ceux qui ont une culture anglaise, je fais vivement appel a ce que vous alliez voir ces livres qui sont fantastiques. PIERCE[sic] etant considere comme tres important actuellement, c'est-a-dire etant redecouvert pleinement - en tant que c'est lui qui fonde ou qui passe pour avoir fonde ce qu'on a appele ou ce que lui-meme appelait la semiologie, c'est-a-dire une science des signes. Heureusement en francais, nous disposons d'un court livre, tres bref, mais qui est le modele d'un travail, d'un vrai travail. Il est fait par un monsieur qui s'appelle Deledalle. Il a paru a Seuil sous le titre Pierce[sic], Ecrits sur le signe. Il a du paraitre, il y a deux ans je crois. Et c'est un travail immense parce que c'est une espece de systeme; il y a des morceaux choisis de Pierce[sic], il y a des commentaires, et ca vous donne une idee de ce philosophe insolite et qui me semble tout a fait extraordinaire" (Deleuze, 1982/1983, lecture 23, part 1, 23/11/82).

(21.) << Et donc c'est auteur dans ce dont je parlais, la que je tiens vraiment a reprendre, qui s'appelle Pearce [sic]. Il vit a la fin du XIX siecle, il ecrit a la fin du XIX siecle. Bizarre il est pauvre. >> Most of his professional life, Peirce worked as astronomer for the US Coast Survey; he occasionally worked as a professor due to James' influence: "Peirce was to leave the Coast Survey only in 1891 when he retired to Milford, Pennsylvania. He held courses in logic at the Johns Hopkins University for a few years, and gave lectures here and there, but despite the efforts of William James, he never obtained a permanent position at a university" (Deledalle, 1990: 2).

(22.) "After [1891, the year that Peirce left the US Coast Survey] he and his second wife, Juliette, lived in increasingly desperate poverty in a large house they called 'Arisbe' near Milford, Pennsylvania which they had bought and moved into in better days..." (Ransdell, 1986: 673).

(23.) Bell indicates that the concept of habit is helpful to assess the influence of Peircean pragmatism on Deleuze's thought, even if it eventually sets them apart. Comparing Deleuze's and Peirce's concept of habits through the hypothesis of the continuum, Bell says that Peirce affirms the continuum "at the expense of the discrete and the singular"; while Deleuze maintains the continuum without dismissing "an infinite world teeming with singularities, but singularities that are not extensive and discrete" (Bell, 2015: 27). This dualism allows Bell to criticize Peirce for having overstated the role that habits play in the habituation of the discrete, since "the identity of the continuum" ultimately sacrifices actual or virtual differences on the behalf of "the Truth" (Bell, 2015: 29). For Peirce, though, there must be no dualism between the continuum and the discrete. There is always a third to elude any dualism in Peirce's philosophy; concerning the hypothesis of the continuum, between the continuum and the discrete lies the merging borders between them, which is a third. Continuity could not be conceived of without discontinuity, and vice versa. In effect, continuity is not separable from discontinuity, not only because the meeting between continuities (the blackboard and the white chalk line, according to Peirce's example) produces discontinuity, but because they maintain a relationship along their merging borders: "What I have really drawn there is an oval line. For this white chalk-mark is not a line, it is a plane figure in Euclid's sense--a surface, and the only line that is there is the line which forms the limit between the black surface and the white surface. [...] The boundary between the black and white is neither black, nor white, nor neither, nor both. It is the pairedness of the two" (Peirce, 1992: 261-262; 1898). Peirce's image of the line in the chalkboard as the example of the relationship between continuity (continuum) and discontinuities (discrete) must be inspected in full. It is in the borders that lie the singularities that Deleuze emphasizes and that Peirce would have denied. Ultimately, the alleged dualism between the continuum and the discrete allows Bell's thesis that Peirce's singularities of the discrete ("the boundary between the black and white is neither black, nor white, nor neither, nor both") tend to be habituated by "the Truth" of the continuum, blocking the reconciliation between Deleuze and Peirce with respect to their concept of habit. Additionally, Bell (2015: 29-30) provides an incomplete and chronologically inaccurate account of Peirce's theory of truth. Hookway (2004: 138-146) details that around 1880, Peirce's considers truth logically as the convergence of common sense towards the external reality of the modes of being either of Secondness or of Thirdness. Thus, by this period, Peirce's theory of truth matches Bell's portray: the truth of the continuum is external and there is asymptotically identity between truth and reality. Asymptotically because this identity can be only believed, never taken for granted. Nevertheless, Peirce's appreciation on the concept of truth changes significantly around 1900, because the external truth of the continuous (Thirdness) must also take in consideration the modes of being of qualities of sensation (Firstness) and of discrete things (Secondness), which differently represent vagueness that balances the stabilizing tendency of the continuous. In this second period, Peirce's theory of truth undergoes a significant change (see Peirce, 1935, vol. 5: 565-566; 1905), and Peirce "takes seriously the possibility that there might be truth where there is no reality, and, indeed, reality where there is no truth" (Hookway, 2004: 139). In short, truth and the external reality of the continuum are not convergent anymore as they were in Peirce's former account of truth.

(24.) Madelrieux (2015: 96) warns that "This link [Wahl's book] led Deleuze to unduly assimilate the two forms of pluralism so thoroughly that when he came to discuss pragmatism in the later texts on Whitman and Melville, in defining pluralism, he continued to use Russell's version of it and not James's. [...] Thus when Deleuze states, following Russell, that all relations are external, and that in this thesis is to be found the definition of empiricism and the criterion of its identity with pluralism, he demonstrates precisely an anti-empiricist dogmatism that is opposite to James's pluralism" (Madelrieux, 2015: 99). Madelrieux does not discuss if the Russell's thesis on external relations, which he finds to involve an ontological dualism between terms and relations--that Deleuze wrongly extends to James and to empiricism--applies to Peirce.

(25.) Roffe strongly objects this consensus: "The differences between Deleuze and James are not simply perspectival, but rather profound, structural, and irreducible--regardless of how bewitching initial resemblances may be" (Roffe, 2015: 84).

(26.) "Les categories de Peirce, il me semble, vont nous permettre de relancer [Bergson]. Et que la, en effet, ca deborde Bergson, ca ne le contredit pas, c'est un tout autre genre de probleme" (Deleuze, 1981/1982, lecon 13, part 1, 16/03/82)

(27.) << Notamment quand on a connu mieux ses textes on s'est apercu qu'une decouverte tres importante dans la logique formelle a savoir [que] l'invention d'une logique trivalente [...] ne date pas de ceux a qui on l'a prete vers 1910-1920 et est pleinement chez Peirce. Il n'arrive pas a publier, il est en un sens trop en avance, trop insolite ou bien il ne veut pas, ca ne l'interesse pas tout ca. >> (Deleuze, 1982/1983, lecon 25, part 1, 07/12/82)

(28.) The mot-valise "amplitwist" (amplify + twist) refers to a mathematical operation that describes the local changes that ordinary derivatives bear through amplifications and twists on infinitesimal geometric figures (Needham, 1999: 189-198). Bell would not agree with this amplitwist complementarity between Deleuze and Peirce because the former has a view of reality based on the differential power of matter; while Peirce has a gunky view of the matter so that for him the continuum take over differences: "The reason for steering clear of the continuum is to affirm the reality of differences, and the extensive determinations such differences make possible. In the case of Peirce, difference is ultimately subsumed by the identity of the continuum, an identity that surfaces in Peirce's philosophy as the Truth and opinion fated to be agreed to by all; that is, the opinion that correctly represents the infinite continuum" (Bell, 2015: 29). For Peirce, though, the continuum is not identical to itself.

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Helio Rebello Cardoso Jr.

herebell@hotmail.com

Sao Paulo State University, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Received 4 May 2018 * Received in revised form 14 August 2018

Accepted 16 August 2018 * Available online 5 September 2018

doi:10.22381/RCP1820192
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Author:Cardoso, Helio Rebello, Jr.
Publication:Review of Contemporary Philosophy
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:Jan 1, 2019
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