Abstract
This thesis investigates Deleuze-Guattari's notion of stratification through a series of investigations into their material on language. Stratification is their term for the process by which matter-energy comes to assume the relatively stable historical formations of our social world, and in particular the relationship between subjects, objects and words. The complex notion of the order-word/password is proposed as key to this process, with its role in the articulations of the strata and in movements of creation and escape. I explore this apparatus from a variety of angles, in order to present an account of Deleuze-Guattari's pragmatics that demonstrates both its basis in philosophy and its connections with the world. I begin by introducing the notion of 'difference in itself', through Deleuze/Deleuze-Guattari's critique of representation and their account of subjectification, the creation of the subject in space and time - and then feed this material through an encounter with Judge Schreber, in the process filling out our account of the subject. The resulting diagram of stratification is further explored through a dialogue with two other key thinkers of language - Wittgenstein, in relation to his social conception of meaning as use, and Derrida, in relation to his critique of Austin and Searle's Speech Act theory - in either case, demonstrating important connections and contrasts with Deleuze-Guattari. I then examine the specifics of stratoanalysis through an examination of the related zones of the formal, the abstract and the incorporeal, bringing this to bear on Deleuze- Guattari's appropriation of the linguist Hjelmslev, and to the criticisms of Ruthrof. The final step is to relate this apparatus both to linguistic and everyday understandings of language, connecting this pragmatics of the order-word with the notion of an 'art of living' through a consideration of standardised language and 'verbal hygiene'.
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