Tutor profile: Julian J.
In the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze, what is a rhizome?
Deleuze was a philosopher who thought that philosophy was constrained by a certain way of thinking (what he called "arborescent" thinking). He thought that philosophers always tried to see the world through modes of thinking that were based on hierarchy, stability, duality, and separation. One example Deleuze uses is Plato's concept of Forms. In Plato's philosophy, there are metaphysical entities called "Forms" or "Ideas", which are the basis of all physical objects. For example, Plato would say, for any circle, there is an "Idea" of a circle which all physical circles imperfectly imitate. The idea of Forms is supposed to explain what makes objects what they "are", and also explain how we come to know what an object "is". Something is a circle, because it participates in the Form and we know it is a circle, because we have unconscious knowledge of the Forms. This type of thinking is "arborescent", insofar as there's a fundamental separation between the world of Ideas and the physical world and insofar as one is supposed to represent the other. In opposition to arborescent thinking, Deleuze poses his concept of the "rhizome", which is based on connection, multiplicity, and heterogeneity. Instead of seeing a stable world, where the identity of an object is based on the Form it participates in, Deleuze saw a world of "aggregates". For Deleuze, an object has no inherently stable identity; instead, every object is made up of a multiplicity of other objects which only temporarily form any sense of stability, and which is can break down at any time. The circle has no "Form", but instead is an aggregate of the pencil it was drawn with, the paper it was on, and so on. It has no inherently stable identity, and it can change at any time. A better example to illustrate Deleuze's concept of the rhizome might be the concept of a community. Deleuze would say that a community has no predetermined "Form" which it represents, but only forms an identity through all the things (people, languages, institutions, location, etc.) that make it up and that is always changing. The community also gains an identity through how it connects with everything else in the world, whether that be other locations, other languages, different animals it hunts, etc. Everything is connected when thought of as a rhizome. So, the rhizome is ultimately a way of conceiving the world. Anything can become a rhizome, and anything can be connected to anything else.
What is linguistics? How does it differ from learning foreign languages?
Linguistics is the scientific study of language; in linguistics, we study the elements that all languages share, instead of focusing on any particular language. All languages have a set of sounds, rules to organize them, a set of words with meaning, speakers, etc. In linguistics, the goal is simply to understand each of these elements. What sounds can be used in a language? What sounds do languages put together? Which ones do they keep apart? Do speakers of a language talk in the exact same way, or are there differences? These are the types of questions linguists attempt to answer.
What is one of your happiest memories? What happened? Be detailed and make sure to use the different forms of narrative tenses (past perfect, past simple, past continuous, etc.).
My favorite memory if from a couple of years ago, when I performed at a local poetry even called Native Tongues. I was used to performing here, but never received the reaction that I wanted; I always felt like the other performers were better than me. This time, I had put a lot of effort into my piece, and it worked. I was featured on their social media sites, became popular in the city for a while, and I was very happy.
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