---- by Bruce Baugh
  'Genealogy' refers to tracing lines of descent or ancestry. Deleuze's use of the term derives from Friedrich Nietzsche's On the Genealogy of Morals, which traces the descent of our moral concepts and practices. One key precept of the genealogical method is that effects need not resemble their causes, as the forces that produce a phenomenon may disguise themselves (for example, a religion of love can arise out of resentment); another is that outwardly similar phenomena may have entirely different meanings because of the difference in the forces that produce them (for example, 'good' as an expression of the affirmative will of 'masters' has an entirely different significance from 'good' as an expression of the negative will of 'slaves', for whom 'good' is merely the negation of 'evil'). In Deleuze's hands, Nietzschean genealogy is allied with the philosophies of immanence (Henri Bergson and Baruch Spinoza), such that the 'past' from which a phenomenon is descended is a set of forces immanent in the phenomenon that expresses those forces, and thus coexistent with the present.
  Deleuze distinguishes between force and will. Forces are either 'active', in which case they go to the limit of what they can do by appropriating and dominating, or 'reactive', in which case they are separated from what they can do through a limitation that comes either from external dominating forces or from turning against themselves. Although a force's quality, as active or reactive, is nothing but the difference in quantity between a superior and an inferior force (D 1983: 43), an inferior force can defeat a superior one by 'decomposing' it and making it reactive, so that the genealogist must evaluate whether the forces that prevailed were inferior or superior, active or reactive (D 1983: 59-60). Power or the will is either affirmative or negative, and designates the differential relation of forces which either dominate (active) or are dominated (reactive) according to whether the will affirms its difference from that difference it dominates and enjoys, or whether it negates what differs from it and suffers from that difference (often in the form of resentment). The affirmative will, in affirming itself, wills that it be obeyed; only a subordinate will can obey by converting 'actions' into reactions to an external force, and this becoming-reactive is the expression of a negative will.
  Genealogy thus interprets and evaluates the hierarchical difference between active and reactive forces by referring these to the hierarchical 'genetic element' of a 'Will to Power' that is either affirmative or negative. Will to Power differentiates forces as active and reactive, as through it one force dominates or commands another that obeys or is dominated (D 1983: 49-51). However, Will to Power is not external to the forces it qualifies or conditions, but is an immanent principle of forces and the relations of forces, their 'internal genesis' by conditions immanent to the conditioned (D 1983: 91). Genealogy thus connects consequences to premisses, products to the principle of their production, by seeking the sense of phenomena in the forces they express (symptomology), interpreting forces as active or reactive (typology), and evaluating the origin of forces in a quality of will that is either affirmative or negative. For example, reason, rather than being merely a given faculty of the mind, expresses a nihilistic and negative will which negates the senses and the sensory world to produce a 'True world' beyond appearances (D 1983: 91, 125, 145).
  Deleuze continues using his genealogical method in later works. In Anti-Oedipus, he traces memory and morality to the debtor-creditor relation and the primitive practice of inflicting physical pain for unpaid debts. Originally justice is the assertion of an equivalence between the creditor's pleasure in pain inflicted on the debtor and the injury caused by the unpaid debt; memory is the product of marks inscribed on the body for a debt not paid, living reminders that produce the capacity to remember the future moment at which the promise must be kept. The sovereign individual who can make and keep promises and defines himself by power over himself is thus the product of punishment: how culture trains and selects its members (D 1983: 134-7; D&G 1983: 144-5, 190-2). Deleuze also uses genealogy to show that the reactive forces and negative will expressed by the priest type are also expressed in the figure of the psychoanalyst; both create guilt out of an infinite and unpayable debt, whether that be to a God who sacrifices himself for us, or to the analyst as cure for the condition the analyst produces (D&G 1983: 108-12, 269, 332-3; D&G 1987: 154). Even at the basic ontological level, as when he finds 'the being of the sensible' in 'difference in intensity as the reason behind qualitative diversity' (D 1994: 57), Deleuze remains a genealogist, interpreting phenomena through the hidden relations of forces immanent in them.
   § active / reactive
   § immanence

The Deleuze dictionary. . 2010.

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  • genealogy — genealogy. phylogeny (cм.). (Источник: «Англо русский толковый словарь генетических терминов». Арефьев В.А., Лисовенко Л.А., Москва: Изд во ВНИРО, 1995 г.) …   Молекулярная биология и генетика. Толковый словарь.

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