Homogeneity and heterogeneity  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
"We're tired of trees. We should stop believing in trees, roots, and radicles. They've made us suffer too much. All of arborescent culture is founded on them, from biology to linguistics" --A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia --Deleuze & Guattari
  1. like a tree in structure, growth, or appearance; branching.

Arborescent is a term coined by the French thinkers Deleuze and Guattari to characterize thinking marked by insistence on totalizing principles, binarism and dualism. The terms, first used in A Thousand Plateaus (1980) where it was opposed to the rhizome, comes from the way genealogy trees are drawn: unidirectional progress, with no possible retroactivity and continuous binary cuts (thus enforcing a dualist metaphysical conception, criticized by Deleuze). Rhizomes, on the contrary, mark an horizontal and non-hierarchical conception, where anything may be linked to anything else, with no respect whatsoever for specific species: rhizomes are heterogeneous links between things that have nothing to do between themselves (for example, Deleuze and Guattari linked together desire and machines to create the - most surprising - concept of desiring machines). Horizontal gene transfer is also an example of rhizomes, opposed to the arborescent evolutionism theory. Deleuze also criticizes the Chomsky hierarchy of formal languages, which he considers a perfect example of arborescent dualistic theory.

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connection - entity - relation - link - intertextuality - nexus - rhizome



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