- Series: European Perspectives: A Series in Social Thought and Cultural Criticism
- Paperback: 350 pages
- Publisher: Columbia University Press; Revised ed. edition (April 15, 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0231081596
- ISBN-13: 978-0231081597
- Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 19 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,033 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Difference and Repetition Revised ed. Edition
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This is a long-overdue, and skillful, translation of one of Deleuzes most important and original works...It occupies an important place in Deleuzes oeuvre as the first text, following a series of historical commentaries, in which he philosophizes on his own behalf. It occupies an equally important place in the evolution of French philosophy in the 20th century, as it articulates a profound critique of the philosophy of representation while constructing a metaphysics of difference freed from subordination to a logic of identity. While charting the development through the history of philosophy of the concepts of ' pure difference and ' complex repetition, Deleuze proposes a new image of thought, which readers familiar with his later works will recognize. A difficult and challenging text that has done as much as any to initiate the philosophy of difference that characterizes much recent French thought, this book is one of the classics of recent European philosophy.
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top customer reviews
True Thinking has finally been discovered by philosopher Giles Deleuze as revealed in his original work Difference and Repetition (1968). Hiding behind the illusion of thought promoted by almost all philosophers, and by everyday common sense as well, Deleuze describes in Chapter 3 how to think authentically and philosophically about the universe.
Rather than relying on the Cogito of logical thinking and understanding to enable us to grasp the reality of what we sense in the world, true thinking arouses "not a sensible being but the being of the sensible . . . not the given but that by which the given is given." (p. 140) "That which can only be sensed . . . the being of the sensible, moves the soul, `perplexes' it--in other words, forces it to pose a problem."
True thinking is aroused by the nomadic and the radical encounter of problems in this world, not by the abstractions of answers and similarities.
What is the foundation upon which this revolutionary form of thought rests? Not turtles or elephants or reasons, but: Difference. What Derrida has applied to the world of the text, Deleuze applies to the universe of biopsychical life as well. In so doing he shreds the barriers of both time and space.
But what has kept this veil of ignorance over the mind of man throughout time? Fear of the abyss, common sense and a false reliance on "good thought." Why is this a fearful abyss? If we ground true thinking on the groundlessness of Difference, not sameness or identity, there is no God (who can fully describe god?) there is no Self (who can fully describe a self?) there is no Universe (who can fully describe the universe?) That tends to make most people nervous when you realize the implications. There is fundamentally the encounter with the being of the sensible, the problematic, the creative, the nomadic, the chaotic.
FOUR POSTULATES OF ERRONEOUS THINKING (Chapter 3)
Dogmatic Representational Thinking
Traditional thinking such as for Kant, mistakes representational thinking for thinking itself--asserting that the representation is the "dogmatic" entirety of thought. Deleuze here presents eight postulates of erroneous thinking, the first four are subjective errors (what we all know), and the last four are based on objective errors (presuppositions based on propositions, or logical assertions)
Deleuze's First Postulate
States that based on `the principle of the Cogitatio natura universalis', we are all born with a capacity to think and that once this capacity is actualized it naturally wants the truth or has a natural orientation towards the true.
Subjective presuppositions are what we all know, the collective we, what everyone understands (see Caputo, Lecture 7). Philosophy presupposes that there is something that we all understand, a consensus we can reach and agree upon. The task of philosophy is recognition, because there is a cogito that we all have, given to us by nature. That nature is good, moral and upright.
Good Will as Truth:
Illusion of Representational Thought. Thinking has a natural talent for truth "under the double aspect of a good will on the part of the thinker and an upright nature on the part of thought." (p. 131) As in Bob Marley's song, "Don't Worry," just trust in thinking and in its good nature and all will be good. Everyone knows that thinking results in truth and in moral goodness.
The task of philosophy is then to bring what we understand implicitly (pre-conceptually, pre-ontologically) to explicit comprehension (the hermeneutical circle of Heidigger). This is re-presentational thinking of the image of thought. Recognitional thought is radically conservative, about the familiar--and rejects the unrecognizable-deals only with the world that is already constituted, at the expense of the constituting, the created rather than the creative.
Ill Will as Truth:
The only way to break free of this good will and representational thinking is to have the strength of ill will, untimeliness, destructiveness, demoralization and the paradoxical (Nietzsche's beyond good and evil and genealogy of morals), based on radical, nomadic thinking.
Deleuze's Second Postulate
`The ideal of commons sense', says that thought in general functions harmoniously. All of the various faculties--sensibility, imagination, memory and thought all work together in their attempt to explicate the object.
"Common sense provides us with the formal nature of a unified subject to which objects correspond. Good sense on the contrary is how we actually carve up the world. " "Common sense forces an understanding of the world in terms of unified subjects, whose faculties are in (or can at least can be brought into) accord with one another, and recognition posits a world of objects as a correlate of the unified view of the subject." (pp 107,108, Sommers-Hall)
"Common" in the common sense comes from the harmony of the faculties to produce a common object. Common sense is the pure transcendental unity of apperception in Kant or the Cogito in Descartes or the Soul in Plato, the pure self directed at a pure object which supplies the unity of the object and the harmony of the faculties. Good sense is the empirical self directed at empirical objects that supply the given contents that common sense requires. Good sense has to do with the specific contributions of the individual faculties. Common sense is the form of unity. Common sense and Good sense together form the doxa or public opinion.
What Deleuze is exposing is that transcendental conceptualization is nothing more than taking the empirical of good sense and declaring that there is some magical transcendental knowing and unification of the object and faculties through common sense that is nothing more than the empirical object and a multiplicity of faculties. Transcendental knowing and unity are illusions of philosophy, especially as developed by Kant and Husserl. Deleuze has a generative view of the transcendental which is not grounded in the cognitive, but in the sensible. (see Caputo, Lecture 7)
Deleuze's Third Postulate
The model of recognition' is the objective correlate to `common sense'. Instead of finding unity in the harmonious exercise of the faculties, the unity now lies in the object: the object is supposed the same for each faculty: sensibility, imagination, memory and thought all confront one and the same object.
The Model (form) of recognition (of the possible) may contain errors within it's domain of knowledge which need to be corrected, the Model itself can not be questioned. The form of recognition sanctions only the recognizable, never the unrecognizable, the impossible, the beyond-the-known. Philosophy submits itself to the banal, instead of being nomadic, adventurous and open to the creative.
Deleuze believes that Kant and Plato discovered breakthrough, radical concepts regarding the sensible and the ideal, the empirical and the transcendental. The ideal of Plato is what breaks us free from the senses to escape the cave. However Plato fell back into the cave by clinging to the forms of recognition, like Kant who revealed the empirical ego and then fell back into the transcendental forms of recognition (TUA).
"Kant traces the so-called transcendental structures from the empirical acts of a psychological consciousness: the transcendental synthesis of apprehension is directly induced from an empirical apprehension, and so on. In order to hide this all too obvious procedure, Kant suppressed this text in the second edition. Although it is better hidden, the tracing method, with all its `psychologism', nevertheless subsists." (p. 135) It is this Kantian `psychologism' which Deleuze will employ to develop his metaphysics.
Deleuze makes use of Kant's exposition of the transcendental illusion, that one of the natural outcomes of reason is that it naturally results, not simply in error, but in illusion. Because our understanding includes unrecognized sensibilities (reason operating without reference to intuition), we therefore come to false understandings which Kant called illusions. Deleuze's solution is to renounce the image of thought (model of recognition) and instead embrace radical thinking: thinking without method, thinking without image, thinking on its own, thinking faced with a singularity which is unprecedented.
Deleuze's Fourth Postulate
"The element of representation' states that the previous postulates search for the true, the relations among the faculties, and the relation of the faculties to the object, all within the `element of representation' as opposed to the paradoxical elements that do not behave.
Again, he is continuing his counter-Kantian argument based on the Critique of Pure Reason, so he argues against the faculty of recognition based on representation--defined as an identity we can conceive of (understanding of concepts), an analogy (distribution of identity) that we can judge (judgment), an opposition or contradiction that we can imagine (imagination, schematized under time) and a similarity that we can perceive(perception)--obvious Kantian faculties paired with Aristotle's categories of identity, analogy, opposition and similarity. Representation is thus the inability to see difference in itself and repetition for itself.
Thinking without Image
Sensation divests us of the image of thought with that which is: not recognizable, imponderable, unthinkable, without image, and without the machinery of representational thought. It is in this sensational way alone that we do not think, either as individuals or as a society. As in the becoming of Plato, thought becomes born of a "fundamental encounter" yielding a sign that makes us to think with the force of a problem without answers, without images, and with discord/shock and trauma to the faculties, forcing us to think in new ways with a `superior empiricism,' with `transcendental empiricism.'
"Discord of the faculties, chain of force and fuse along which each confronts its limit, receiving from (or communicating to) the other only a violence which brings it face to face with its own element, as though with its disappearance or perfection" (p. 141).
What understanding can I have beyond understanding, what judgment can I have beyond judgment, what can I imagine beyond imagination, what can I perceive beyond perception. And what is the genesis of this knowing? What is its source, pathway and destination? How are my faculties derivative and generative of other faculties? How are these faculties continuously in flux transforming and being transformed? Experimentation, experience and transcendental thinking will reveal (and conceal) the being of the sensible--we shall see (perceive, understand, judge, imagine, beyond perception, beyond understanding, beyond judgment, beyond imagination).
Trespass and Violence
Thought must be awakened from its "natural stupor." "Thought is primarily trespass and violence-the enemy-and nothing presupposes philosophy: everything begins with misosophy" (p. 139) and ill will. What is needed is "the power of a new politics which would overturn the image of thought. Even the dead God and the fractured I are no more than a passing bad moment." (p. 137)
Start with Chapter 3 and make your way through a new view of the universe through the rest of the book.