From the early 1960s until his death, French philosopher Gilles Deleuze wrote many influential works on philosophy, literature, film, and fine art. One of Deleuze's main philosophical projects was a systematic inversion of the traditional relationship between identity and difference. This Deleuzian philosophy of difference is the subject of Jeffrey A. Bell's Philosophy at the Edge of Chaos. Bell argues that Deleuze's efforts to develop a philosophy of difference are best understood by exploring both Deleuze's claim to be a Spinozist, (...) and Nietzsche's claim to have found in Spinoza an important precursor. Beginning with an analysis of these claims, Bell shows how Deleuze extends and transforms concepts at work in Spinoza and Nietzsche to produce a philosophy of difference that promotes and, in fact, exemplifies the notions of dynamic systems and complexity theory. With these concepts at work, Deleuze constructs a philosophical approach that avoids many of the difficulties that linger in other attempts to think about difference. Bell uses close readings of Plato, Aristotle, Spinoza, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Derrida, and Whitehead to illustrate how Deleuze's philosophy is successful in this regard and to demonstrate the importance of the historical tradition for Deleuze. Far from being a philosopher who turns his back on what is taken to be a mistaken metaphysical tradition, Bell argues that Deleuze is best understood as a thinker who endeavoured to continue the work of traditional metaphysics and philosophy. (shrink)
This essay responds to Badiou’s charge that Deleuze fails to set forth a philosophy that is “beyond categorical oppositions.” It is argued that this criticism of Deleuze is founded upon a misreading of the Deleuzean distinction between the virtual and the actual, a reading that carries forward Badiou’s misreading of Spinoza and, hence, of Deleuze’s Spinozism. With this corrected, we show how the virtualactual distinction operates within the experimental philosophy, or pragmatics, that Deleuze, and later Deleuze and Guattari, sets forth. (...) It is this pragmatics that is precisely the philosophy of difference that is beyond categorical oppositions. Through a comparison of Deleuzean pragmatics with the work of Hume and Peirce, we are able to respond to Badiou’s further criticism that Deleuze’s philosophy fails to understand the conditions for creativity in thought and culture. This criticism is itself resolved once one corrects for Badiou’s misreading of Deleuze’s virtual-actual distinction. (shrink)
In 1967, after a talk Deleuze gave to the Society of French Philosophy, Ferdinand Alquiéé expressed concern during the question and answer session that perhaps Deleuze was relying too heavily upon science and not giving adequate attention to questions and problems that Alquiéé took to be distinctively philosophical. Deleuze responded by agreeing with Alquiéé; moreover, he argued that his primary interest was precisely in the metaphysics science needs rather than in the science philosophy needs. This metaphysics, Deleuze argues, is to (...) be done ‘‘in the style of Whitehead’’ rather than the style of Kant, and in developing this metaphysics Deleuze draws heavily on Spinoza. The present essay examines this Deleuzian-Spinozist metaphysics done in the style of Whitehead, the ‘‘metaphysics science needs’’, drawing on the writings of David Hume and Bruno Latour in the process. This discussion will in turn enable us to situate Deleuze's metaphysics in relation to contemporary debates concerning speculative realism and correlationism, and especially Quentin Meillassoux's critique of the latter. Our conclusion will be that the kind of metaphysics Deleuze pursues is neither correlationist nor straightforwardly realist, but rather charts a course between realism and anti-realism. (shrink)
This book offers an extended comparison of the philosophies of Gilles Deleuze and David Hume. The book argues that Deleuze's early work on Hume was instrumental to Deleuze's formulation of the problems and concepts that would remain a focus of his entire corpus. Reading Deleuze's work in light of Hume's influence, along with a comparison of Deleuze's work with William James, Henri Bergson and others set the stage for a vigorous defence of his philosophy against a number of recent criticisms (...) and extend the field of Deleuze studies by showing how Deleuze's thought can clarify and contribute to the work being done in political theory, cultural studies, and history, particularly the history of the Scottish Enlightenment. By engaging Deleuze's thought with the work of Hume, this book clarifies and supports the work of Deleuze and exemplifies the continuing relevance of Hume's thought to a number of contemporary debates. (shrink)
This forward-thinking collection presents new work that looks beyond the division between the analytic and continental philosophical traditions—one that has long caused dissension, mutual distrust, and institutional barriers to the development of common concerns and problems. Rather than rehearsing the causes of the divide, contributors draw upon the problems, methods, and results of both traditions to show what post-divide philosophical work looks like in practice. Ranging from metaphysics and philosophy of mind to political philosophy and ethics, the papers gathered here (...) bring into mutual dialogue a wide range of recent and contemporary thinkers, and confront leading problems common to both traditions, including methodology, ontology, meaning, truth, values, and personhood. Collectively, these essays show that it is already possible to foresee a future for philosophical thought and practice no longer determined neither as "analytic" nor as "continental," but, instead, as a pluralistic synthesis of what is best in both traditions. The new work assembled here shows how the problems, projects, and ambitions of twentieth-century philosophy are already being taken up and productively transformed to produce new insights, questions, and methods for philosophy today. (shrink)
ABSTRACT In this article I extend Gilles Deleuze’s understanding of sense, as developed in Logic of Sense, by developing a metaphysics of problems. In doing this, we can appreciate the role Hume’s philosophy plays in Deleuze’s thought, and most importantly how we can understand sense in the context of making sense of life. With this perspective in place, we compare Deleuze’s project with Pierre Bourdieu’s and, finally, apply the notion of making sense to the history of the emergence of capitalism. (...) With this discussion of the history of capitalism, we see how Deleuze draws from both Hume and Marx, or, in short, we sketch a Deleuzo-Humean political theory. (shrink)
Considered together, Butler and Whitehead draw from a wide palette of disciplines to develop distinctive theories of becoming, of syntactical violence, and creative opportunities of limitation. The contributors of this volume offer a unique contribution to and for the humanities in the struggles of politics, economy, ecology, and the arts.
This book offers the first extended comparison of the philosophies of Gilles Deleuze and David Hume. Jeffrey Bell argues that Deleuze's early work on Hume was instrumental to Deleuze's formulation of the problems and concepts that would remain the focus of his entire corpus. Reading Deleuze's work in light of Hume's influence, along with a comparison of Deleuze's work with William James, Henri Bergson, and others, sets the stage for a vigorous defence of his philosophy against a number of recent (...) criticisms. It also extends the field of Deleuze studies by showing how Deleuze's thought can clarify and contribute to the work being done in political theory, cultural studies and history, particularly the history of the Scottish Enlightenment. By engaging Deleuze's thought with the work of Hume, this book clarifies and supports the work of Deleuze and exemplifies the continuing relevance of Hume's thought to a number of contemporary debates. (shrink)
In this essay Deleuze's concept of intensity is placed into the context of the problem of accounting for the relationship between sense perception and our conceptual categories. By developing the manner in which Kant responds to Hume's critique of metaphysics, this essay shows how Deleuze develops a Humean line of thought whereby the heterogeneous as heterogeneous is embraced rather than, as is done in Kant, being largely held in relationship to an already prior unity.
11 essays by leading Whitehead scholars re-examinae Whitehead's Barbour-Page lectures, published as the book Symbolism: Its Meaning and Effect in 1927, to give you exciting insights into the contemporary implications of Whitehead's symbolism in an era of new scientific, cultural and technological developments.
"This volume brings together a team of international specialists on Deleuze and Guattari to provide in-depth critical studies of each plateau of their major work, A Thousand Plateaus. It combines an overview of the text with deep scholarship and brings a renewed focus on the philosophical significance of their project.'A Thousand Plateaus' represents a whole new way of doing philosophy. This collection supports the critical reception of Deleuze and Guattari's text as one of the most important and influential works of (...) modern theory. Key Features : emphasises the philosophical nature of A Thousand Plateaus, provides detailed coverage of the text as a whole, brings together cutting edge research from some of the leading lights in scholarship on Deleuze and Guattari, an ideal companion to a plateau-by-plateau reading of Deleuze and Guattari's work."--Back cover. (shrink)
For those familiar with the work of Deleuze, and Deleuze and Guattari, it might at first seem unwise to pursue a Deleuze and Guattarian philosophy of history. After all, is it not Deleuze who, in an interview with Antonio Negri, argues that ‘What history grasps in an event is the way it’s actualized in particular circumstances; the event's becoming is beyond the scope of history'? (Deleuze 1995: 170). And more damningly, Deleuze adds, ‘History isn’t experimental, it's just the set of (...) more or less negative preconditions that make it possible to experiment with something beyond history' (Deleuze 1995: 170). History, in short, is a starting point for experimental work, but it is precisely history ‘that one leaves behind in order to “become,” that is, to create something new’ (1995: 171). Similarly in A Thousand Plateaus, Deleuze and Guattari argue that ‘History is made by those who oppose history (not by those who insert themselves into it, or even reshape it)’ (Deleuze and Guattari 1987: 295). In the very first line of his book, Lampert recognizes the possible conclusion these citations might lead one to, namely, ‘Deleuze and Guattari’s philosophy of becoming seems at times opposed to the very idea of historical succession' (1); and yet, as Lampert adeptly demonstrates, it would be a mistake to conclude that opposing history to ‘create something new’, ‘something beyond history’, necessarily entails being hostile to history, to the ‘idea of historical succession’, and thus to a philosophy of history. (shrink)
In this article, we address the problem of predication, or the problem of connecting conceptual predicates to the sets of properties and attributes that correspond to these predicates. We take as our starting point Mark Wilson’s work, especially “Predicate meets Property,” and add to it a metaphysics of problems that one finds in the work of Gilles Deleuze. This enables us to understand the relationship between a predicate and the set of properties in terms of the relationship between a solution (...) to a problem. The advantage of this approach is that it helps to illuminate the key issues involved in contemporary work on human reasoning. We sketch some of these advantages by looking to recent work on literacy and how literacy affects the capacity to engage in formal reasoning. (shrink)