The Pure Form of Time and the Powers of the False

Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 81 (1):29-51 (2019)
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This paper explores the relation of the theory of time and the theory of truth in Deleuze’s philosophy. According to Deleuze, a mutation in our conception of time occurred with Kant. In antiquity, time had been subordinated to movement, it was the measure or the “number of movement” (Aristotle). In Kant, this relation is inverted: time is no longer subordinated to movement but assumes an independence and autonomy of its own for the first time. In Deleuze’s phrasing, time becomes the pure and empty form of everything that moves and changes — not an eternal form (as in Plato), but precisely the form of what is not eternal. In turn, the theory of time is inextricably linked to the concept of truth, since to say that a proposition is true means that it is true “in all times and in all places.” Truth, in other words, is timeless, eternal, non-temporal. When the form of the true is confronted with the form of time, the concept of truth is necessarily put into crisis, and Deleuze’s argument is that time allows the power of the false to assume an autonomy of its own. The analysis will attempt to show how the liberation of time from movement (the pure and empty form of time) leads to a liberation of the false from the true (the power of the false).

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Daniel W. Smith
Purdue University


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