Temporality and Truth

Deleuze and Guatarri Studies 7 (3):377-389 (2013)
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This paper examines the intersecting of the themes of temporality and truth in Deleuze's philosophy. For the ancients, truth was something eternal: what was true was true in all times and in all places. Temporality (coming to be and passing away) was the realm of the mutable, not the eternal. In the seventeenth century, change began to be seen in a positive light (progress, evolution, and so on), but this change was seen to be possible only because of the immutable laws of nature that govern change. It was not until philosophers such as Bergson, James, Whitehead – and then Deleuze – that time began to be taken seriously on its own account. On the one hand, in Deleuze, time, freed from its subordination to movement, now becomes autonomous: it is the pure form of change (continuous variation) that lies at the basis of Deleuze's metaphysics in Difference and Repetition (and is explored more thematically in The Time-Image). As a result, on the other hand, the false, freed from its subordination to the form of the true, assumes a power of its own (the power of the false), which in turn implies a new ‘analytic of the concept’ that Deleuze develops in What Is Philosophy?

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Daniel W. Smith
Purdue University


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