Hegel, Deleuze and the critique of representation

Por • 5 feb, 2018 • Sección: Crítica

Henry Somers-Hall

Gilles Deleuze is now considered to be one of the most important continental philosophers of the twentieth century. Deleuze’s philosophy marked a radical break with the dominant postwar phenomenological tradition in France and a return to metaphysics, albeit a ‘metaphysics of difference’. One of the key influences on the direction of Deleuze’s philosophy is his attempt to avoid what he calls the ‘philosophy of identity’ or ‘representation,’ which he sees as culminating in the absolute idealism of the nineteenth-century German philosopher G. W. F. Hegel. Deleuze argues that Hegel’s philosophy completes the philosophy of identity, which can be traced back to Aristotle. He claims that the privileging of identity leads to certain fundamental structural difficulties in the history of philosophy. Deleuze’s claim that he wrote in an atmosphere of “generalised anti-Hegelianism” (DR, xix) makes clear the centrality of Hegel for Deleuze’s own project, but the vehemence of his rejection of Hegelian dialectic often occludes the affinities between them. These affinities are not to be found in the results of their investigations, nor in their methods, but rather in the central problems from which their respective philosophies emerge. Both Hegel and Deleuze can be seen as attempting to overcome the limitations of Kantian philosophy, on the one hand, and an abstract and external image of thought, on the other.

SUNY series, Intersections: Philosophy and Critical Theory Rodolphe Gasche, editor


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