Gratitude : an Intellectual History


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In Spinoza contra Phenomenology, I would hazard, this indistinction is part of what allows for the overdetermination of the role of phenomenology. This alternative reconstruction involves the introduction of two tripartite distinctions in place of the serial pairs. At issue is a move from virtual-actual and substance-mode to virtual- intensity-actual and substance-modal essence-modal existence. This certainly might appear to be a technical point to make. Now, in his defence, Knox is of course aware of both the category of intensity in Deleuze, and the way in which Deleuze exceeds Heidegger — on this latter point, the analysis of the extinction of possibility in Deleuze is masterful.

It also provides a means to break with the hegemony of a certain reduction of this metaphysics to the virtual-actual pair, and the exaggeration of the role of the virtual itself. With the exception of the infamous rhizome, there is perhaps no single Deleuzean concept that has received so much unwarranted attention. Spinoza introduces the category of modal essence late in the first book of the Ethics.

Attributes are eternal and infinite qualities: as such they are indivisible. A footnote refers us back to Duns Scotus EPS n2 , and a note to the translator concedes the point EPS — if Spinoza joints this long Scholastic tradition, it is a clandestine membership. And potentia, being essentially variable, showing increase and dimunition, having degrees in relation to finite modes, is an intensity.

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The question of whether Deleuze is warranted to make this move aside, what is striking is that the very same line of argument appears in the final, relatively overlooked chapter of Difference and Repetition. However, Difference and Repetition gives us a very different picture, one in which this opposition is displaced in favour of a tripartite distinction virtual-intensity-actual. Or, to be more precise, the focus shifts to the fecund dynamism of the actual itself, conceived in terms of two poles: the regime of explicated subjects and objects, and the intensive milieu from which they unfold and into which they are refolded.

The role of the virtual here is very precise, and relatively minimal: it provides the differential structure — neutral, impassive and causally inert — that individuates the regime of intensity.

Giving Thanks for Gratitude

This notion is then taken up in dialogue with a wide range of figures in transcendental philosophy following Kant, and up to the emblematic figure of Gilbert Simondon. What exists for the Deleuze of Difference and Repetition is, strictly speaking, only intensity. The precursor that we should refer to here is not Spinoza or Heidegger, but some combination of Nietzsche, Simondon, and the even more obscure Raymond Ruyer.

Philosophy, Modernity, and Intellectual History, part 1 of 2

The virtual is but the grain of sand; intensive being is the oyster itself. What then does Deleuze take from Spinoza?

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At least in Difference and Repetition, there is only one thing: an inadequate conception of the univocity of being, in light of the doctrine of the eternal return. Nietzsche entirely supersedes Spinoza instead. Put another way, there is nothing to which the virtual corresponds in Expressionism in Philosophy. Related Papers. By Thomas Nail.

Substance Abuse: Spinoza contra Deleuze Epoche By Landon Frim.

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Substance Abuse: Spinoza contra Deleuze. By Harrison Fluss.


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Deleuze's Expressionism. By Audrey Wasser. The errant name: Badiou and Deleuze on individuation, causality and infinite modes in Spinoza. By Jon Roffe.

Navigating Knowledge: The Conflict of Gratitude and Equality

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