Events of Difference: The Fold in between Deleuze’s Reading of Leibniz

Abstract

Throughout all of Deleuze’s work one finds an extended encounter with the Event of Difference. Deleuze’s extraordinary work on Leibniz is no exception. In the ‘later’ work, and regarding Leibniz, Deleuze remarks, “no philosophy has ever pushed to such an extreme the affirmations of one and the same world, and of an infinite difference and variety in this world”. This positive identification with Leibniz is not found in the ‘earlier’ wave of Deleuzian texts from the sixties where Leibniz is captured hesitating over the possible and the virtual. Any such hesitation over the possible and the virtual is “disastrous” for a philosophy of the event and difference since it abolishes the reality of the virtual and subordinates it to the identical, replacing pure immanence with a ‘theological model’ of creation. Is the Leibniz of Deleuze’s early texts compossible with the later? What is the significance of the event of difference or fold that joins and separates Deleuze’s continuing encounter with Leibniz? We will examine what is at stake in these differing understandings of Leibniz to Deleuze’s philosophy of events of difference

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