International Journal of Philosophical Studies 12 (1):47 – 60 (2004)
According to the reading of Spinoza that Gilles Deleuze presents in Expressionism in Philosophy: Spinoza, Spinoza's philosophy should not be represented as a moment that can be simply subsumed and sublated within the dialectical progression of the history of philosophy, as it is figured by Hegel in the Science of Logic, but rather should be considered as providing an alternative point of view for the development of a philosophy that overcomes Hegelian idealism. Indeed, Deleuze demonstrates, by means of Spinoza, that a more complex philosophy antedates Hegel's which cannot be supplanted by it. Spinoza therefore becomes a significant figure in Deleuze's project of tracing an alternative lineage in the history of philosophy, which, by distancing itself from Hegelian idealism, culminates in the construction of a philosophy of difference. Deleuze presents Spinoza's metaphysics as determined according to a 'logic of expression', which, insofar as it contributes to the determination of a philosophy of difference, functions as an alternative to the Hegelian dialectical logic. Deleuze's project in Expressionism in Philosophy is therefore to redeploy Spinoza in order to mobilize his philosophy of difference as an alternative to the dialectical philosophy determined by the Hegelian dialectic logic.
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