The aim of this seminar will be to discuss the central animating concerns and influences at work in the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze. These are often obscure, both thanks to the popularity of certain Anglophone interpretations of his work, and as a result of Deleuze’s own practice of composition.
In the first half of the seminar, the focus will be on his work up to the two major works that close out the 1960s, Difference and Repetition and The Logic of Sense. The proximate goal of this session will be a definition of Deleuze’s self-ascribed transcendental empiricism.
The second part of the seminar (to be taught in a future semester) will address the work framed by two books written with Guattari, Anti-Oedipus and What is Philosophy? Here, a broader ambition will be in play: to determine the significant points of continuity and discontinuity with the earlier books.
Influences and Themes I
Week 1: Introduction. Three sets of distinctions
Week 2: Leibniz and the concept of expressionism
Week 3: Kant’s transcendental philosophy
Week 4: The later Kant, Maimon and genetic thought
Week 5: Raymond Ruyer’s philosophy of morphogenesis
Week 6: Freud
Week 7: The structuralist legacy
Week 8: Signs and symptoms
Week 9: Time I: monism and dualism
Week 10: Time II: the triadic account
Week 10: Morality, ethics, politics
Week 11: Empiricism
Week 12: Conclusion
Level: Intermediary-Advanced. A working knowledge of Deleuze’s works will be presumed, along with a basic grasp of the history of modern Western philosophy and psychoanalysis