📙 A New Philosophy of Society
Author: Manuel DeLanda
Full Title: A New Philosophy of Society
Of all the obstacles standing in the way of an adequate social ontology none is as entrenched as the organismic metaphor. In its least sophisticated form this stumbling-block involves making a superficial analogy between society and the human body, and to postulate that just as bodily organs work together for the organism as a whole, so the function of social institutions is to work in harmony for the benefit of society.
The basic concept in this theory is what we may call relations of interiority: the component parts are constituted by the very relations they have to other parts in the whole.
Allowing the possibility of complex interactions between component parts is crucial to define mechanisms of emergence, but this possibility disappears if the parts are fused together into a seamless web. Thus, what needs to be challenged is the very idea of relations of interiority.
Today, the main theoretical alternative to organic totalities is what the philosopher Gilles Deleuze calls assemblages, wholes characterized by relations of exteriority.