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By A Customer
This review is from: Difference and Repetition (European Perspectives: A Series in Social Thought and Cultural Criticism) (Hardcover)
It has been said that Deleuze stands in a class all his own. Moving freely between the movements of structuralism, psychoanalysis, logical analysis, phenomenology, Kantian critique, and on, Deleuze proves unlocalizable in any one tradition (with the possible exception of a certain form of Bergsonism). Unlike other French philosophers from the school of sixty eight, Deleuze does not seem to fall into the so-called linguistic turn, but instead formulates a highly complex process philosophy capable of simultaneously accomodating these views and going beyond them.
_Difference and Repetition_ is perhaps the single most important text in Deleuze's corpus for understanding the nature of his project. It is likely that fans of _Anti-Oedipus_ and _A Thousand Plateaus_ will disagree with this assesment, but these latter texts only take on their full critical force when understood in light of this text.
The aims of _Difference and Repetition_ are two-fold: On the one hand, Deleuze presents his critique of what he calls "the image of thought" which, he contends, is a way of thinking that tends to dogmatically reinforce dominant ways of thinking. Here we are given Deleuze's critique of representation and identity and the grounds under which they become possible and come to totalize the field of thinking. On the other hand, _Difference and Reptition_ strives to formulate a new ontology and aesthetics capable of explaining the conditions under which it is possible for something new to be created. The result is that Deleuze is able to avoid substance metaphysics based on the matter/form distinction in order to formulate a metaphysics of morphogensis capable of explaining how forms themselves are generated. Thus Deleuze brings about a reversal of Platonism, such that beings are no longer seen as the realization of forms, but instead as the actualization of processes in becoming. Putting Deleuze's project in Kantian terms, difference becomes the cipher for a transcendental aesthetic that no longer shackles the different to the identical (Deleuze claims that the philosophical tradition is without a concept of difference, but has always subsumed difference under identity), repetition describes the modes of synthesis taking place in relating differences to differences through differences (Deleuze argues that repetition is not the repetition of the same but of a difference and is thus productive). The final two chapters of _Difference and Reptition_ then give a complex account of the process of individuation that takes place through difference and its synthesis by repetition in generating new forms out of problems, questions, and the intensities they produce. Where Kant had only been able to approach aesthetics from the perspective of the spectator and the subject, Deleuze produces an aesthetics of creation itself, where the aesthetic process becomes unbound from the subject and is the affirmative and productive power of being producing itself in and through itself.
This book is as difficult as it is rich, but will deeply reward the diligent reader with both a new perspective on the world and how we relate to it, and an increased understanding of what it means to do philosophy.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 10, 2014, 10:54:24 AM PDT
Thank you for the great review!
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 29, 2015, 9:16:42 PM PDT
lbj is dead says:
No. Wayne's was a great review. This guy just sounds like a Deleuze hipster.
Posted on Nov 10, 2015, 8:53:42 PM PST
Can anyone figure out what this guy is trying to say? I cannot. Friend: do everyone, including yourself, a favour, by writing in intelligible prose. No one is impressed by this anymore. (Ah, I see it was written in 2000... It was probably still cool to carry on like that back then.)
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