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This chapter places the neuroscientist Maurizio Rizzolatti into conversation with Whitehead, Marcuse, and Deleuze to deepen and extend themes advanced in the previous chapter. Marcuse advances a theory of cultural drives that are purposive, multiple, unconscious, and often repressive. Rizzolatti explores how mirror neurons enable us to incorporate practices and observations “horizontally” that are below the level of linguistic complexity and conscious attention. Whitehead, prescient about Rizzolatti’s theory, explores how “scars” from past propensities not then enacted can foster bouts of creativity in new circumstances. Deleuze, with affinities to all three of these thinkers, explores how “powers of the false” sometimes contribute to uncanny bouts of creativity. The chapter assesses his drive to “restore belief in this world” during an era when old debates between the ideal of mastery and that of organic belonging have lost their footing.

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