Despite his reputation for empiricism, Deleuze's philosophy is profoundly rationalist in tenor (as is this empiricism itself). This is easily seen by considering his debts to the two greatest rationalist philosophers, Spinoza and Leibniz. This session of the Deleuze Seminar will focus on the 1988 book The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque, at once a very orthodox and typically eccentric text, and the last of Deleuze's works on other philosophers. The goal will be to present Leibniz's philosophy through Deleuze's reading of it, noting both its insightfulness and the creative extensions it introduces. The final class will be devoted to the theme of expression, which is the thread that connects Deleuze's reading of Leibniz to that of Spinoza.
Week 1: Introduction - Leibniz throughout Deleuze's work - Brief introduction to Leibniz's philosophy
Week 2: Pleats of matter - Folds in the soul - A definition of the baroque
Week 3: Sufficient reason - Incompossibility, individuality, freedom - the event in Leibniz
Week 4: Perception and appetition - The body - Vinculum substantiale
Week 5: The collapse of the baroque - From monad to nomad
Week 6: Expressionism in philosophy: Spinoza, Leibniz, Deleuze
Level of Difficulty: Intermediate