Philosophy and the sciences in the work of Gilles Deleuze, 1953-1968

Doctoral thesis English OPEN
Allen, David James
  • Subject: B1

This thesis seeks to understand the nature of and relation between science and philosophy articulated in the early work (1953-1968) of the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze. It seeks to challenge the view that Deleuze’s metaphysical and metaphilosophical position is in important part an attempt to respond to twentieth century developments in the natural sciences, claiming that this is not a plausible interpretation of Deleuze’s early thought.\ud \ud The central problem identified with such readings is that they provide an insufficient explanation of the nature of philosophy’s contribution to the encounter between philosophy and science that they discern in Deleuze’s work. The philosophical, as opposed to scientific, dimension of the position attributed to Deleuze remains obscure. In chapter 1, it is demonstrated that this question of philosophy’s contribution to intellectual life and of how to differentiate philosophy from the sciences is a live one in Deleuze’s early thought. An alternative, less anachronistic interpretation of the parameters of Deleuze’s early project is offered.\ud \ud The remaining chapters of the thesis examine the early Deleuze’s understanding of the divergence between philosophy and science. Chapter 2 gives an account of Deleuze’s metaphilosophy, alongside a reconstruction of his largely implicit early understanding of science. The divergent intellectual processes and motivating concerns that account for Deleuze’s understanding of the differentiation of science and philosophy are thus clarified. In chapter 3, Deleuze’s use of mathematical and physical concepts is examined. It is argued that these concepts are used metaphorically. In chapter 4, the association between modern science and the Deleuzian concept of immanence that has been proposed by some Deleuze scholars is examined and ultimately challenged.\ud \ud The thesis concludes with some reflections on the significance of Deleuze’s early work for contemporary debates concerning the future of continental philosophy and the nature of philosophy more generally.\ud
  • References (84)
    84 references, page 1 of 9

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    Aristotle (1984a). Metaphysics. Trans. by W.D. Ross. In: Aristotle. Aristotle: complete works, vol. 2. Ed. by J. Barnes. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

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    Bachelard, G. (1966). Le rationalisme appliqué. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

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