Deleuze and the Transcendental Conditions of Thought

Deleuze and the Transcendental Conditions of Thought

Deleuze and the Transcendental Conditions of Thought

Deleuze and the Transcendental Conditions of Thought

Synopsis

Analyses Deleuze's notion of transcendental and genetic Ideas as conditions of creative thought. From his early work in 'Nietzsche and Philosophy' to 'Difference and Repetition', Deleuze develops a unique notion of transcendental philosophy. It comprises a radical critique of the illusions of representation and a genetic model of thought.Engaging with questions of representation, Ideas and the transcendental, Daniela Voss offers a sophisticated treatment of the Kantian aspects of Deleuze's thought, taking account of Leibniz, Maimon, Lautman and Nietzsche along the way.

Excerpt

This project on a Deleuzian transcendental philosophy is born out of a feeling of astonishment. On the one hand, the theme of the transcendental runs through many of Deleuze’s works, in particular those published between 1962 and 1968. On the other hand, the spirit of Deleuze’s philosophical thought seems so very different from that of Kantian transcendental philosophy: Deleuze does not bother to seek a justification or ground for the possibility of experience and its objects. He does not put together a table of categories, nor does he give any transcendental deduction of a priori conditions. Moreover, in Deleuze, there is certainly no transcendental subject, which would have the task of representing the world according to a priori conditions. So why should he label his own philosophy of the 1960s a transcendental empiricism (cf. dr 144/187 and 56/79–80)? in what way, if at all, is his philosophy transcendental?

Our approach to this problem has been guided by the intuition that the key had to be found in Deleuze’s critique of the so-called dogmatic Image of thought, a critique that appears in almost every book from this early period and that makes up the central part of Difference and Repetition. the first thing to be noted is that Deleuze understands philosophy fundamentally as critique, and in Nietzsche and Philosophy he explicitly demands a rethinking and radicalisation of Kant’s critical project. the Kantian critique sought to describe and ultimately prevent the illusions of reason that are to be found on the ‘battlefield’ of metaphysics and to lead thought back to its proper use. By comparison, Deleuze also finds that Western philosophical thought has fallen prey to illusion, but for Deleuze it is the ‘illusions of representation’ (dr 270/346) that must be subjected to critique. Thought has been subordinated to some proper image of itself that ties it to a logic of representation. Kant’s critical philosophy sought to overcome the traditional metaphysical divide between the essences of things or Ideas and their mere appearance. For instance, he criticised Plato for the enthusiasm that led him to pass ‘beyond the concepts of experience to ideas, which seemed to him explicable only . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.