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The Fold: Deleuze and Leibniz

Lecturer: Jon Roffe

Originally Taught: Evening Sem 1 2021

The aim of this course is threefold. First, it will provide an introduction to the philosophy of GW Leibniz. Second, it will present a detailed overview of intricate and extensive engagement with Leibniz staged by Deleuze in The Fold, while placing this in the context of his broader reflections on Leibnizian metaphysics. Finally, we will consider the portrait of the Baroque that Deleuze intertwines with his reading of Leibniz.

Course Schedule

1. Introduction, Overview of Leibniz 1: logic, theology, necessity

2. Overview of Leibniz 2: substance, perception, the body

3. The physics of bodies

4. The soul and the world

5. Inclusion: from logic to individuality

6. Freedom

7. The event

8. Perception and the body

9. Domination and the vinculum substantiale

10. What is the Baroque?

11. Baroque art

12. Conclusion: from the monad to the nomad

Readings: Given the less than satisfactory character of the published English translation of The Fold, we will be using an unpublished translation by Daniel W. Smith, and the main readings will be drawn from this. Readings will also be set from the excellent Ariew and Garber collection of pieces by Leibniz, Philosophical Essays.

Difficulty: intermediate to advanced. This is among the most difficult of Deleuze’s texts, on a philosopher whose own thought is wide-ranging and difficult. Some background in the history of Western philosophy, and broad familiarity with Deleuze’s earlier Difference and Repetition would be of value.