The “Rhizome” and Dasein


In the Introduction to A Thousand Plateaus, Deleuze and Guattari summarize the “principal characteristics” of a rhizome as: “…connect[ing] any point to any other point, and its traits of the same nature; it brings into play very different regimes of signs, and even nonsign states.” Based on this, the rhizome—if it “connects any point to another point”—seems to relate itself to “any point,” while positioning itself as something capable of being a relation between points. The rhizome is, first and foremost, positioned and situated between points—it is an entity that is both a passive and active participant in a dialectic of “being.” A rhizome is, in fact, seemingly in a position that “connects any point to any other point,” through a degree of existential connectedness and disconnectedness. If a rhizome is an existential dialectical entity that connects and categorizes “points”—it both forges relatedness and differences between “points.” Through this connectedness and disconnectedness, it would seem that—especially if interpreting the summarization Deleuze and Guattari give—that rhizomes have analytic possibilities similar to Heidegger’s Dasein. As Heidegger contends in Being and Time, Dasein—though generally defined in the German as “human existence,” but modified narrowly by Heidegger to mean “being there” with “da-” standing for “there” and “sein” for “being—is an existential entity with “analytic possibilities.” Like Heidegger’s Dasein, the rhizome is at the metaphysical center of what is ontologically possible—it is, just as Heidegger conceives of Dasein, an entity that translates “being” from the metaphysical into the ontological, situating the former at the core of what makes the latter possible as plateaus.

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