Who Thinks Abstractly? Deleuze on Abstraction

Journal of Speculative Philosophy 30 (3):352-360 (2016)
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In his well-known essay “Who Thinksly?” Hegel argues that abstraction is in fact the sign of nonphilosophical thought.1 Despite the common misconception, only philosophical thought is truly concrete. In fact, thought itself, according to Hegel, is the movement from the abstract to the concrete. For philosophers this is an intuitively appealing idea insofar as it rescues philosophy from a charge leveled against it since Thales, namely, that philosophy is more concerned about abstract ideas than concrete reality. Within this context it is difficult to know what to do with Deleuze’s championing of concepts such as “abstract machine” and his criticisms of some ideas as “not abstract enough.” The crucial...



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