The Actual: Posterior Analytics
Paul Rabinow
Anthony Stavrianakis
Posterior Analytics

All instruction given or received by way of argument proceeds from pre-existent knowledge. This becomes evident upon a survey of all the species of such instruction. The mathematical sciences and all other speculative disciplines are acquired in this way, and so are the two forms of dialectical reasoning, syllogistic and inductive; for each of these latter make use of old knowledge to impart new, the syllogism assuming an audience that accepts its premisses, induction exhibiting the universal as implicit in the clearly known particular. Again, the persuasion exerted by rhetorical arguments is in principle the same, since they use either example, a kind of induction, or enthymeme, a form of syllogism.

If you have determinations, then you can configure them. This step will enable one to judge whether the particular configuration is excessive or deficient. This will reveal whether it is possible to identify or imagine a mean.


The process of inquiry involves staying in the midst of things of the world but of transforming them in specific ways so as to give them the kind of form that is determinate. Therefore, our work in this category consists in identifying and formulating such determinations in their empirical specificity, i.e. their determinations. Hence the interest of an experiment is its ability neither to represent a pre-existing situation nor to construct an entirely new one but through reiterated and controlled adjustment to arrive at a set of determinations which vindicate and warrant the actuality of the inquiry.


The first question we pose about configurations is: what is their ontological status? In order to answer this question, we conclude that we have to address our relationship to the diverse objects we carry forward from fieldwork and which we curate, as well as how to provide a narrative that could open the possibility of further participant-observation in a different mode.


While [an entity’s] properties are given and may be denumerable as a closed list, its capacities are not given—they may go unexercised if no entity suitable for interaction is around—and for a potentially open list, since there is no way to tell in advance in what way a given entity may affect or be affected by innumerable other entities. In this view, being part of a whole involves the exercise of a part’s capacities but it is not a constituent property of it. And given that an unexercised capacity does not affect what a component is, a part may be detached from the whole while preserving its identity While logically necessary relations may be investigated by thought alone, contingently obligatory ones involve a consideration of empirical questions.--Manuel DeLanda (A New Philosophy of Society, Assemblage Theory and Social Complexity.)