Geology and Genesis: Hegel, Deleuze and the philosophy of nature.


One of the few projects within their respective inquiries into the philosophy of nature which, superficially at least, bring Hegel and Deleuze together, is their mutual interest in the science of geology. They each, at some time or other, have rocks in their heads. What, I suggest, attracts them to this area of research, is their abiding fascination with processes of genesis. They want to understand, albeit in a necessarily limited way, the processes which actualize the structures of the Earth, to reveal the principles and properties which its geography presupposes. I am not interested, therefore, in isolating specific points of dispute between these two philosophers, but choose instead to highlight some important distinctions and observations which Hegel makes in the section devoted to geology in The Philosophy of Nature (1830), and to show how these same problematic claims find new relevance and direction in the ontology of what D/G call the 'Mechanosphere' as it is developed in A Thousand Plateaus (1980).
       Hegel, it goes without saying, depends on his dialectical method for diagnosing the processes which begin, for him, with primitive rock formation and proceed, eventually, to the emergence of life and beyond. He thus traces a path from the inorganic to the organic which proceeds by the 'sublation' of contradictory properties present in the nature of things as he finds them. I shall not go into details here, for to do so would, I think, achieve little else but to ridicule a thinker who otherwise provokes profound respect. The dialectic, and its relevance within a philosophy of nature, is not all that Hegel has to offer. Rather, what is significant, as far as we are concerned in the present context, is his identification of a range of specific problems with which any philosophy is inevitably faced. It is these problems which we shall now proceed to isolate and briefly elaborate.
       Hegel begins with the claim that we are correct to view "the Earth-body as the universal system of individual bodies". The importance and priority of the Earth as both source and environment is thus established. Further to this, Hegel is quick to clarify a distinction between the Earth as physical entity, as object, and the creatures which inhabit it, its subjects, or the instances of subjectivity, used in its broadest possible sense, to which it gives rise. The basis for this distinction is understood as a difference in kind, manifest in the relation to the specific processes of formation upon which each depends. The earth, or the inorganic, remains totally independent of the process which produce it. We shall label this property, following biologists Maturana & Varela, allopoiesis. The creature, or organism, on the other hand, Hegel insists "has its powers within itself" (1830, 278), exhibiting the exclusively organic quality of autopoiesis. What results from this distinction is that the organism cannot presuppose the inorganic as its condition - that is, the processes which give rise to the latter do not extend into the formation of the former. As Hegel explains: "the organism makes itself into its own presupposition, in this way giving itself the form of immediacy in which it sets itself over against its condition and outer substance" (1830, 277). In this way, the real distinction between the inorganic and the organic is established and made absolute. Any contradictions detected in this claim Hegel would naturally overcome by means of dialectic. Such will not concern us here, as we are not in the business of assessing Hegel's claims.
       Such absolute real distinction leads to the proposal of absolute physical individuality. There is no room in Hegel's account for any blurring of the boundaries between genera or species, or even, and especially, between individuals which make up these collectives. It is a condition of existence for the living that each individual be just that, determinate, bounded, indivisible. Plant-life is explicitly excluded from the truly organic, or occupies a place only on its very borders, because of the manifest divisibility of its instances. A whole new plant can grow from only a tiny stem remnant of another example. The Earth, therefore, does not possess individuality as such, which remains a property exclusive to the living organism:


"even if the earth was once in a state where it had no living things but only the chemical process, and so on, yet the moment the lightning of life strikes into matter, at once there is present a determinate, complete creature, as Minerva fully armed springs forth from the head of Jupiter" (1830, 284).

       Despite these seemingly hard and fast distinctions, there are still profound points of connection between the allopoietic and autopoietic natures. The former, it must be admitted, in some sense gives rise to the latter, although there arises a point of separation, as we have seen. Hegel discovers specifically organic processes manifest in inorganic formations, but these are always implicit (an sich) and never achieve their potential in the context of allopoiesis. He frequently employs the now somewhat hackneyed example of the crystal, which exhibits the property of 'quantitative alteration' which only finds its complete manifestation in the living thing.
       Another aspect of Hegel's account to which I wish to draw attention here concerns the problem which he raises with regard to the univocity of being and the equivocal nature of its manifestation in beings. Hegel, it seems, wants to preserve univocity in two instances in the face of the diversity or fundamental inequality which we observe. The first, as we have seen, finds its place in the Earth as universal system of individual bodies. The second comes after, in the form of a resolution of the equivocal diversity produced. Toward the end of his speculations with regard to the fundamentals of geology as he perceives them we find the following rather enigmatic assertion:


"The general mode of vivification (Belebung) displayed by land and sea is generatio aequivoca, whereas in the sphere of vitality proper, the existence of an individual presupposes another of the same kind (generatio univoca)" (1830, 296).

       I take Hegel to be asserting here that the equivocal, or the processes of formation which give rise to beings as equivocal, constitutes the very possibility of univocity as manifest between beings of the same kind. We begin with forces which give rise to beings to which we attach the attribute Being in different senses (equivocality), but we end up with a somewhat limited univocity when we consider collections of individuals of the same type which necessarily presuppose each other. However, we cannot leave the matter here, for as we have noted, the generatio aequivoca is not at all the first stage, but presupposes itself a certain and maintained univocity. As Hegel reminds us: "in general, the existence of organic being is the act of the whole earth, in which it individualises and contracts itself, the reflection-into-self of the universal" (1830, 302). The circle closes.
       This leads us to a final observation, a distinction which plays a minor and almost hidden role in Hegel's account, but which is nonetheless significant in the overall development of the allopoietic/autopoietic dichotomy. In order to best introduce this notion, we shall need to look in its entirety at the complete passage where it first arises. Hegel presents his thesis thus:


"The non-organic nature is the universality as the non-actual genus, which is subject partly to individuality as such, to the earth, and partly to the singularity which frees itself from it; this universality is mere passivity. But in its actuality, as it is in its own self, the universality is the sunderance (Auseinandertreten) of organic Nature and its non-organic nature: the former being the form of individuality and the latter the form of universality. Both are abstractions; the substance is the same in both forms (Arten) into which it has differentiated itself" (1830, 301).

       Hegel here distinguishes the inorganic as 'non-actual genus', as mere passivity. Rather than persisting with the negative, we shall follow Bergson in calling the non-actual the virtual. Allopoietic nature for Hegel, as we see, comes to have two aspects, virtual and actual, the second only appearing through a moment of violence, a sunderance. It is a virtual nature until it achieves actuality through its opposition to the organic. The allopoietic and autopoietic are abstractions, but they are nonetheless real for being so - one substance (univocity) differentiating itself to produce infinite diversity (equivocality). Again we remind ourselves that Hegel insists on an absolute distinction at the level of sunderance, fundamental separation. Thus for us the important thing is to recognise both that the virtual/actual distinction is present in Hegel and that the relationship between the two is viewed as one of violence or contradiction. It is also clear that he is fundamentally a monist, and despite the evident influence of Aristotle in the speculations on the philosophy of nature, never does he entertain the notion of being as analogous in the diversity of its manifestation. He talks of univocity and equivocality, but never of analogy.
       To be fair we must reiterate the point that in presenting aspects of Hegel's philosophy in this rather disjointed way does not do it any justice as a system of speculative thought. But this is not our intention. Instead our motive has been one of isolation and separation, for we have completely neglected to give an account of the method which can allow Hegel to move from inorganic nature to its organic actualisation. Only by means of the dialectic can we understand the progression in nature which Hegel envisages, the processes by which nature moves from one moment to the next, from granite to fletz, or from bacteria to plants and animals. The dialectic is neglected here because in our view it is inadequate to the task of accounting for the complex nature of the processes we find operating in nature. It relies on materials existing in contradictory states, being in opposition to themselves and always seeking ways to resolve their implicit contradictions. What we shall learn in the following section of this essay is that we do not have to rely on such a negative conception in order to account for both the relative stability and transient characteristics of natural objects, and for unity and diversity as the two aspects of nature, both of which must be taken into account in any credible philosophy of nature.
       We turn now to the work which Deleuze and Guattari have undertaken in this area, a project which we see as a direct continuation of the Hegelian problematic, although with many differences. We shall focus on the essay from A Thousand Plateaus (1980) entitled "10,000 BC: The Geology of Morals" to which our authors give the enigmatic but enticing subtitle "Who does the Earth think it is?", an essay which represents D/G's most complete inquiry into the philosophy of nature. Within these pages they develop an elaborate account of the processes of the formation of the Earth, focusing on its organic nature, although they begin, like Hegel, with geology, and a brief account of its formative principles. Our analysis cannot hope to do justice to the complexities of the theories expounded, and much will necessarily be omitted. For our purposes, we shall need to concentrate on the particular method which D/G discover, one very different from the Hegelian dialectic, but which can be seen to replace it in the general project of the philosophy of nature. We shall then be limited to a consideration of the problematic distinctions which we have seen Hegel identify and to show what relevance they have within what might initially seem to be a vastly different characterisation of nature and its processes. Before we begin our examination of D/G's account, it will be helpful to enumerate the Hegelian notions we have discussed in the form of a simplified list, as follows: 1) Earth as universal system; 2) real and absolute distinction between allopoietic and autopoietic natures; 3) the living organism conceived as an individual presupposing only itself; 4) the univocal/equivocal distinction, and 5) the virtual/actual distinction and the constitutive notion of sunderance. These problems will all, as we shall discover, find a new relevance in the philosophy of nature proposed by D/G. We shall not stick to the order that these problems are given in Hegel's work, but rather find them interspersed in the work of D/G, occurring and recurring under various guises and in different contexts.
       D/G begin, as does Hegel, with a characterisation of the Earth, but with a point of emphasis which is completely lacking from the Hegelian account. "The Earth", they write, "is a body without organs. This body without organs is permeated by unformed, unstable matters, by flows in all directions, by free intensities or nomadic singularities, by mad or transitory particles" (Deleuze & Guattari, 1980, 40). The possibility of a dialectical method to bring all this into line is immediately discounted. We do not detect dichotomous elements which struggle against each other as contradictory forms to produce new solutions through dialectical antagonism. Instead we find a chaotic complexity as the precondition of creative potential and the manifestation of extreme diversity. D/G have not simplified matters for themselves, although they will find more empirical support for their transitory particles than will Hegel for the dialectical elements of granite or the tendency for certain types of rocks to form themselves into patterns resembling crustaceans. If we begin with a certain chaotic element, we need to understand how we are to proceed from here to the structures and static elements that make up the bulk of the Earth's empirical aspect - the phenomena we observe and which science studies and categorises. D/G's contention is that these two natures, or as they prefer, planes, are mutually necessary and co-dependent, and that they relate by means of the paradoxical mode of 'reciprocal presupposition'. On the one hand we have mad particles and unformed and unstable matters, on the other strata and processes of stratification. The function of strata is identified as one of ordering, they "are acts of capture, they are like 'black holes' or occlusions striving to seize whatever comes within their reach" (1980, 40). Hegel, it seems, may have been too quick to proceed from the Earth as inorganic virtuality to the actuality of the organism, although he spends much longer that do D/G on strictly geological considerations. The latter get all they need from geology in the concept of stratification, although for them the crucial idea is that this order presupposes another which displays none of its properties of form and relative rigidity. The virtual for D/G remains the inorganic, within its realm, but this is not its defining characteristic. Instead the virtual is defined in terms of its formlessness and instability; the actual in terms of the inorganic is always stratified, the very condition of its actuality being its stratification.
       The notion of stratification is taken from geology, but D/G's understandingand development of it is quite different from Hegel's; in fact we can say it is the inverse. Whereas the latter imagines primitive rock, granite ostensibly, as possessing an implicit tension giving rise to the progressive layers or strata, in effect a gradual softening as we move nearer the surface, D/G imagine the process going in the opposite direction. As they explain:


"In a geological stratum, for example, the first articulation is the process of 'sedimentation', which deposits units of cyclic sediment according to a statistical order: flysche, with its succession of sandstone and schist. The second articulation is the 'folding' that sets up a stable functional structure and effects the passage from sediment to sedimentary rock" (1980, 41).

       In other words, a gradual hardening from the relatively unformed, loose matter of the sediment to the concrete formations of sedimentary rock. We should not be overly concerned with who is empirically right or wrong here. What is important is that D/G get from their geology textbook the initial formulations of a method for which they detect possibilities in a more generalised field. That method or process they call 'double articulation', a method which allows us to have done once and for all with the dialectic within the context of the philosophy of nature. This may not, it should be stressed, be a viable alternative for Hegelians, who would undoubtedly reject the formless/formed distinction upon which D/G rely. This should not trouble us unduly however as we are only interested in the speculations in terms of what they can do. As we have argued, the dialectic can do little to persuade us that it has a handle on the observable natural phenomena and the processes which led to their constitution. It remains then to assess what 'double articulation' can do in terms of its usefulness as an explanatory device or machine.
       As we have noted, in contradistinction to the dialectic, double articulation relies on a real distinction between two orders of being, the virtual and actual as we have described them. The function of double articulation is to explain how relations between the two realms such as their complementarity and necessary mutual dependence are established. These relations are far from simple to characterise and conceptualise, but we must devote some time to at least partially establishing their nature and operation if we are to assess the functionality of the method in question. Unlike Hegel, D/G do not dwell on geological details, but move quickly to see how their notion of double articulation might apply to organic entities. They look initially at the chemistry of the organism. specifically cellular chemistry and the genetic code. We note here that the move from the inorganic to the organic does not require the change of register that we have seen Hegel make. The same processes of stratification which are detected in geological formations are made to operate also in the organic strata, that is they are given a certain generalisation. This is tantamount to the postulation that there is a strict continuity between the two. Enter the concept of 'expression'. D/G take this term from Danish linguist Louis Hjelmslev, whom they credit as being the first, though not the last, to formulate a general linguistics which goes beyond the signifier/signified distinction of Saussure. Instead of being a structural linguistics, they interpret Hjelmslev's research as being an analysis of strata, of which language is but one of many forms. Expression, D/G explain, breaths an important element of commonality into the multiplicity and diversity of the strata: "not only do plants and animals, orchids and wasps, sing or express themselves, but so do rocks or even rivers, every stratified thing on earth" (1980, 44). The moments of double articulation may then be seen to coincide with the distinction between content and expression, the former being primary, the first articulation, the latter secondary. This allows D/G to avoid the form/content or form/substance dualism, because form and substance apply equally to both content and expression - forms/substances of content, forms/substances of expression. But haven't we simply replaced one dualism with another equally problematic one? There is a fundamental difference between the two which indicates that this is not in fact the case. The content/expression duality does not in fact operate as such, in that each of the terms occupies one side of a single surface, a strip with content on one side, expression on the other. Deleuze, in The Logic of Sense (1969), uses the notion of the Möbius strip, in order to characterise the idea he has in mind. The strip twists, so that the sides change their priority and an interrelationship is established, with content at times coming to the fore, expression at others. The purpose of this allusion is to give a better understanding of the distinction postulated between the two terms. As D/G explain it: "The distinction between content and expression is always real, in various ways, but it cannot be said that the terms preexist their double articulation. It is the double articulation that distributes them according to a line it draws in each stratum, it is what constitutes their real distinction" (1980, 44). So, we have a real distinction between the terms of a double articulation, but not an absolute one. Whereas we saw Hegel insist on the absolute distinction between inorganic and organic nature, D/G would have to insist that while it is certainly real it is always relative, or inter-relative. Double articulation will always allow us to avoid duality in this way, and a stratum always appears as a balance or semi-stable equilibrium between seemingly opposed characteristics. We can say, for example, that strata involve both degrees of stability and degrees of transiency without falling into contradiction, degrees of speed and slowness as D/G would put it. But we are still at the highest level of simplification. Not only do all strata exhibit double articulation as their formative process, but every articulation, is double. So that we cannot stop at saying that the double articulation of strata takes the form of an interrelationship between content and expression, because the articulation of these two terms themselves is also always double. To understand this is to understand double articulation as a generative or creative process, producing diversity - generatio aequivoca. We step up the complexity as we recognise a further order of doubling, but we also thereby reveal and account for the very possibility of diverse and diversifying stratification. D/G relate this idea as follows:


"The articulation of content is double in its own right and constitutes a relative expression within content; the articulation of expression is also double and constitutes a relative content within expression. For this reason there exist intermediate states between content and expression, expression and content: the levels, equilibriums, and exchanges through which a stratified system passes. In short, we find forms and substance of content that play the role of expression in relation to other forms and substances, and conversely for expression" (1980, 44).

       So, each stratum, including of course, any organic stratum, exhibits a certain individuality through a statistical levelling or equilibrium which it achieves by means of a coincidence of elements within the process of double articulation. It is, however, only a temporary balance, which will be overturned as the equilibrium starts to decay. D/G, on this account, simply could not accept Hegel's conviction with regard to the total physical individuality of living organisms. They begin by being informed by the process and continue to be so informed until their equilibrium of content and expression fails and they lose any trace of individuality they may have had. Before the individual there is the preindividual, the singularities and mad particles of the unformed, and the individual can never become immune from this debt, from its generative source. It is clear from this then that if D/G cannot distinguish the inorganic and organic strata by means of types of individuation specific to each - for them all strata, allopoietic and autopoietic alike, presuppose themselves, for all operate by means of double articulation which involves reciprocal presupposition - they must then discover other means.
       Their account does in fact turn on an aspect of individuation specific to the organic, but it has nothing to do with the ability to inoculate against the generative process. It is rather to do with types of unity, or unity of composition. The strata exhibit both diversity and unity. What distinguishes the organic from the inorganic cannot be accounted for in terms of differing processes of formation specific to each, nor in terms of the types of matter which these processes draw on and stratify - D/G insist that there is no 'vital matter' which animates the living. However it does seem that there is a possibility of distinguishing between the type of unity achieved by a living thing and that attributed to inorganic substances and objects. This clearly does have a certain resonance with Hegel's account, as we saw him exclude plant life from the organic world because of its divisibility or lack of unity. But there is an important difference: for D/G the unity of composition of a living thing is not generated purely from within, but is a result of evolutionary selection within the context of populations and speeds of development. We should just take a moment here to say something about D/G's use of evolutionary theory in this essay and to provide some background. Our authors relate an important debate from the 19th C between Georges Cuvier and Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire. The disagreement between these two scientists concerns the problem of continuity. For Cuvier, the important thing is the evidence which suggests that preformism is the ultimate guiding principle. That is, the form which an organism takes is always prefigured in its embryonic material. We can identify the egg of a tick, say, and we'll always get a tick produced from that egg, given that normal, natural development is allowed to continue. Geoffroy, on the other hand, is concerned to argue that while this is so, we need not presuppose preformism. D/G have him explain himself thus: "You have to bring 'degrees of development or perfection' into the picture. It is not everywhere on a stratum that materials reach the degree at which they form a given aggregate. Anatomical elements may be arrested or inhibited in certain instances by molecular clashes, the influence of the milieu, or pressure from neighbours to such an extent that they compose different organs. The same formal relations or connections are then effectuated in entirely different forms and arrangements. It is still the same abstract Animal that is realised throughout the stratum, only to varying degrees, in varying modes. Each time, it is as perfect as its surroundings or milieu allows it to be" (1980, 46). We favour this account because it allows for the maximum of continuity between organisms, without yet suggesting any evolutionary derivation from one genus or species to another. All types of forms descend from a single abstract Animal, to which they give diverse expression. Types of forms and degrees of development no longer descend from some preformed ideal, but rather are produced as statistical results from the complex interactivity between population competition, circumstances of milieu, and speeds or rates of development. Time, it seems, has come down on Geoffroy's side, as the examination of living embryos by means of modern endoscopy has shown that they all seem to allow for the same potential in the early stages of development - hens have teeth, human have gills and tails, and so on. Hegel, it seems, was on the right track with his non-actual genus, but failed to understand how to account for it without reducing it to a dialectical negative. Certainly he was correct to conceptualise it as pure passivity, and the single abstract Animal of D/G shares this characteristic - it becomes active by means of diverse actualisations, but in itself remains inert and unchanging.
       So, what identifies the living organism, above and beyond the inorganic object, is the unity of composition that it manifests within the context of its exterior and associated milieu and the populations within which it finds itself. Although it presupposes an abstract machine as its possibility, this does not bestow upon it its form or its path of development. These are decided by external forces rather than being implicit to the organism itself. But this is clearly not the end of the story, for D/G must admit, when all is said and done, the defining element of the organic entity is above all the genetic code. This allows for a real autonomy denied the inorganic and allows for a more complex relationship between the milieus which constitute the organism. The genetic code, as we would expect, operates through the process of double articulation, between two types of independent molecules, protein units and nucleic units. The former constitute the content, the primary articulation, the latter the expression. What is crucial, is the linearity of expression that is produced by the double articulation specific to the genetic code.. D/G go into some detail here to elaborate on the nature of this operation and its specificity, but we shall only have space here to consider the consequences of their deliberations. What the genetic code permits, initially, is the maintenance of new types of relations between molecular elements and molar compounds or structures. Rather than the former being led into statistical aggregates forming static entities, there remains a true reciprocity between the two realms. That is, the molecular elements continue to affect the molar structures, but now for the first time the latter can themselves produce changes in the constitutional elements. In other words, interior, exterior and associated milieus relate in ways precluded to the inorganic. As D/G put it, by way of summation:


"the detachment of a pure line of expression on the organic stratum makes it possible for the organism to attain a much higher threshold of deterritorialization, gives it a mechanism of reproduction covering all the details of its complex spatial structure, and enables it to put all of its interior layers 'topologically in contact' with the exterior, or rather with the polarized limit" (1980, 60).

       This 'amplification of resonance' between the molecular and the molar is explained as a shift from simple induction to 'transduction'. The processes of deterritorialization to which this gives rise have different effects dependent on the criteria we have mentioned - populations, milieu, rates of development. For example the change from ape to human is described by D/G as a general movement of deterritorialization - from the forest to the steppe, both the exterior milieu and elements of the associated milieu (sources of energy) significantly alter, and anatomical elements of the new organism become deterritorialized, the advent of the lips as deterritorialized mouth, the general motricity of the face, the supple larynx, breasts as deterritorialized mammary glands, and so on. These alterations are then communicated to the genetic code and therefore readily reproducible across generations. The various capacities specific to the human are attributable to the combination of all these elements and processes.
       We are now some way from Hegel, although we preserve many of the distinctions and observations that we have seen him make. One aspect of D/G's account may seem to distance us from Hegel more than anything else - the introduction of evolutionism into the philosophy of nature. In this way we may seem to lose the Earth as 'universal system' in which the various modes of individuation are played out, with ever increasing levels of deterritorialization, from the inorganic to the organic, and from the organic to the characteristics of human subjectivity, language and thought. But D/G are quick to insist that they are not at all proposing a grand cosmic evolutionism, as if strata were to be "arranged in stages and ascending degrees of perfection". The account they offer does not in fact require such a judgement; in fact it precludes it. Transduction as opposed to induction. "The different figures of content and expression are not stages. There is no biosphere or noosphere, but everywhere the same Mechanosphere" and further, "there is no fixed order, and one stratum can serve directly as a substratum for another without the intermediaries one would expect there to be from the standpoint of stages or degrees" (1980, 69). No missing links. The transition from forest to steppe brings about not an evolutionary change over a long time period, but rather a relatively instantaneous transduction whereby changes in the genetic code are effectuated to keep pace with the demands of the milieu. D/G do not preclude the possibility that viroid infections carrying elements of genetic code found in steppe dwelling creatures may contribute to the effectuated deterritorialization characteristic of the human (Man and Mouse). Elements of evolutionary theory, as we have seen, are isolated for their explanatory capacity, but this is never extended into a generalized theory regarding the interrelationships between strata. Univocity is thus preserved through the insistence that the diversification of beings is played out within the context of Being, the Mechanosphere.
       We shall conclude by making some general comments about the philosophy of nature and the two approaches to this project which we have elaborated. Perhaps what we can surmise from this admittedly contrived encounter between these two accounts separated by 150 years is that the philosophy of nature remains a valid project, even in the face of the hegemony of science. As Hegel is at pains to explain in his introduction, physics, chemistry, and biology, and now the multitude of specializations, are all of paramount importance to philosophy - it could not proceed without the empirical data provided by the so-called pure sciences. However, the nature of this data is rarely unproblematic and philosophy concerns itself with problems and thus sets up a complex interplay between itself and science whose concern is limited to empirical observation and the various forms this now takes. Philosophy of nature must then endeavour to remain current with changes in scientific theory as it seeks to understand the empirical data which it observes. But this does not indicate that we should not concern ourselves with the history of the philosophy of nature, the individual works of which quickly becoming irrelevant with regard to new and emerging scientific research. In this regard, although Hegel on many occasions clearly got it wrong, this does not indicate that the pages of his philosophy should be discarded to the dusty shelves of book depositories. Rather, what is interesting or remarkable about this work, remains so despite its all-too-readily accepted outdatedness. No doubt D/G also will be proved to be in error over certain details, but this is hardly the point. They each contribute to whatever degree to our understanding of a problematic, that of genesis and transformation, the investigation of which must remain one of the most important aspects of our philosophical activity and inquiry.