Contemporary culture, today's capitalism - our global information society - is ever expanding, is ever more extensive. And yet we seem to be experiencing a parallel phenomenon which can only be characterised as intensive. This thought provoking, innovative book is dedicated to the study of such intensive culture. Whilst extensive culture is a culture of the same: a culture of fixed equivalence; intensive culture is a culture of difference, of in-equivalence - the singular. Intensities generate what we encounter. They are virtuals or possibilities, always in process and always in movement.
We thus live in a culture that is both extensive and intensive. Indeed the more globally stretched and extensive social relations become the more they simultaneously seem to take on this intensity. Ours is a relational world where each intensity ? whether human, technological or biological ? provides a distinct, specific window onto the whole.
Lash tracks the emergence and pervasion of this intensive culture in society, religion, philosophy, language, communications, politics and the neo-liberal economy itself.
In so doing he redefines the work of Leibniz, Benjamin, Simmel, and Durkheim and inititates the reader into the ontological structures of our contemporary social relations. In the pursuit of intensive culture the reader is taken on an excursion from Karl Marx's Capital to the 'information theology' in the science fiction of Philip K. Dick.
Diverse, engaging and rich in detail the resulting book will be of interest to all those studying social and cultural theory, sociology, media and communication and cultural studies
Professor Scott Lash is the Director of the Centre for Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths College, as well as a a project leader in the Goldsmiths Media Research Programme. He is a leading name within sociology and cultural studies, has written numerous books and articles over the last twenty years, and is currently the managing editor for the journal Theory, Culture and Society.
Introduction Culture: Extensive and Intensive What is Intensive Culture? Ontology and Religion Overview Social Theory Intensive Sociology: Georg Simmel's Vitalism Forms: From Cognitive a priori to Social a priori Value: Nietzsche and Simmel Social substance: from Labour to Life Monadology: Simmel, Bergson, Metaphysics Conclusions: Towards a Global Politics of Flux Intensive Philosophy: Leibniz and the Ontology of Difference Leibniz, Aristotle, Ontology Sensation, Perception, Knowledge Intensive Causation Language: Intrinsic Predication Substance and System: From Exchange of Equivalents to Exchange of Difference Intensive Language: Benjamin, God and the Name Leibniz and Benjamin: From the Monad to the Word Intensive Method: From Epistemology to Truth Language: Things, Man and God Intensive Capitalism: Marxist Ontology Introduction: From Commodity to Difference Causation and value: Aristotle and Marx Externalities: Intensive Capitalism and Neo-Liberalism Financialization The Intensive-material: Machines of Predication Intensive Politics: Power after Hegemony Language: Power becomes Ontological Two Types of Power From Norm to Fact From Representation to Communication Cultural Studies: First and Second Wave Intensive Religion: Emile Durkheim's Elementary Forms The Soul: From Rite and Totem to Myth and Ancestor The Totem: Clan and Emblem Alimentary Communion Totemic Vitalism: Durkheim and Freud Extensive Religion: Sociological Categories The Social Fact: Metaphysical Things Information Theology: Philip K. Dick's Will to Knowledge Transmigration (a) Faith versus knowledge (b) Dick's St. Paul: Against Law and the Messianic (c) Christ's mushroom: Salvation by Eating (d) Vast Active Living Intelligence System The Gnosticism of Philip K. Dick Horselover Fat: Healing the Subject Valis: The Movie Conclusions Intensity: Ontology and Religion Intensity's Outside: Chinese Social Theory?