What I plan to do in this paper is to provide a survey of the ways in which Spinoza’s philosophy has been deployed in relation to early modern thought, in the history of ideas and in a number of different domains of contemporary philosophy, and to offer an account of how some of this research has developed. The past decade of research in Spinoza studies has been characterized by a number of tendencies; however, it is possible to identify four main (...) domains that characterize these different lines of research: studies of Spinoza’s individual works, of its problematic concepts, from the point of view of the history of ideas, and comparative studies of Spinoza’s ideas. (shrink)
Maimon’s theory of the differential has proved to be a rather enigmatic aspect of his philosophy. By drawing upon mathematical developments that had occurred earlier in the century and that, by virtue of the arguments presented in the Essay and comments elsewhere in his writing, I suggest Maimon would have been aware of, what I propose to offer in this paper is a study of the differential and the role that it plays in the Essay on Transcendental Philosophy (1790). In (...) order to do so, this paper focuses upon Maimon’s criticism of the role played by mathematics in Kant’s philosophy, to which Maimon offers a Leibnizian solution based on the infinitesimal calculus. The main difficulties that Maimon has with Kant’s system, the second of which will be the focus of this paper, include the presumption of the existence of synthetic a priori judgments, i.e. the question quid facti, and the question of whether the fact of our use of a priori concepts in experience is justified, i.e. the question quid juris. Maimon deploys mathematics, specifically arithmetic, against Kant to show how it is possible to understand objects as having been constituted by the very relations between them, and he proposes an alternative solution to the question quid juris, which relies on the concept of the differential. However, despite these arguments, Maimon remains sceptical with respect to the question quid facti. (shrink)
Of all twentieth century philosophers, it is Gilles Deleuze whose work agitates most forcefully for a worldview privileging becoming over being, difference over sameness; the world as a complex, open set of multiplicities. Nevertheless, Deleuze remains singular in enlisting mathematical resources to underpin and inform such a position, refusing the hackneyed opposition between ‘static’ mathematical logic versus ‘dynamic’ physical world. This is an international collection of work commissioned from foremost philosophers, mathematicians and philosophers of science, to address the wide range (...) of problematics and influences in this most important strand of Deleuze’s thinking. Contributors are Charles Alunni, Alain Badiou, Gilles Châtelet, Manuel DeLanda, Simon Duffy, Robin Durie, Aden Evens, Arkady Plotnitsky, Jean-Michel Salanskis, Daniel Smith and David Webb. (shrink)
Explications of the reconstruction of Leibniz’s metaphysics that Deleuze undertakes in 'The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque' focus predominantly on the role of the infinitesimal calculus developed by Leibniz.1 While not underestimat- ing the importance of the infinitesimal calculus and the law of continuity as reflected in the calculus of infinite series to any understanding of Leibniz’s metaphysics and to Deleuze’s reconstruction of it in The Fold, what I propose to examine in this paper is the role played by other (...) developments in mathematics that Deleuze draws upon, including those made by a number of Leibniz’s near contemporaries – the projective geometry that has its roots in the work of Desargues (1591–1661) and the ‘proto-topology’ that appears in the work of Du ̈rer (1471–1528) – and a number of the subsequent developments in these fields of mathematics. Deleuze brings this elaborate conjunction of material together in order to set up a mathematical idealization of the system that he considers to be implicit in Leibniz’s work. The result is a thoroughly mathematical explication of the structure of Leibniz’s metaphysics. What is provided in this paper is an exposition of the very mathematical underpinnings of this Deleuzian account of the structure of Leibniz’s metaphysics, which, I maintain, subtends the entire text of The Fold. (shrink)
In the paper “Math Anxiety,” Aden Evens explores the manner by means of which concepts are implicated in the problematic Idea according to the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze. The example that Evens draws from Difference and Repetition in order to demonstrate this relation is a mathematics problem, the elements of which are the differentials of the differential calculus. What I would like to offer in the present paper is an historical account of the mathematical problematic that Deleuze deploys in his (...) philosophy, and an introduction to the role that this problematic plays in the develop- ment of his philosophy of difference. One of the points of departure that I will take from the Evens paper is the theme of “power series.”2 This will involve a detailed elaboration of the mechanism by means of which power series operate in the differential calculus deployed by Deleuze in Difference and Repetition. Deleuze actually constructs an alternative history of mathematics that establishes an historical conti- nuity between the differential point of view of the infinitesimal calculus and modern theories of the differential calculus. It is in relation to the differential point of view of the infinitesimal calculus that Deleuze determines a differential logic which he deploys, in the form of a logic of different/ciation, in the development of his proj- ect of constructing a philosophy of difference. (shrink)
This article examines the seventeenth-century debate between the Dutch philosopher Benedict de Spinoza and the British scientist Robert Boyle, with a view to explicating what the twentieth-century French philosopher Gilles Deleuze considers to be the difference between science and philosophy. The two main themes that are usually drawn from the correspondence of Boyle and Spinoza, and used to polarize the exchange, are the different views on scientific methodology and on the nature of matter that are attributed to each correspondent. Commentators (...) have tended to focus on one or the other of these themes in order to champion either Boyle or Spinoza in their assessment of the exchange. This paper draws upon the resources made available by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari in their major work What is Philosophy?, in order to offer a more balanced account of the exchange, which in its turn contributes to our understanding of Deleuze and Guattari’s conception of the difference between science and philosophy. (shrink)
The reconstruction of Leibniz’s metaphysics that Deleuze undertakes in The Fold provides a systematic account of the structure of Leibniz’s metaphysics in terms of its mathematical foundations. However, in doing so, Deleuze draws not only upon the mathematics developed by Leibniz—including the law of continuity as reflected in the calculus of infinite series and the infinitesimal calculus—but also upon developments in mathematics made by a number of Leibniz’s contemporaries—including Newton’s method of fluxions. He also draws upon a number of subsequent (...) developments in mathematics, the rudiments of which can be more or less located in Leibniz’s own work—including the theory of functions and singularities, the Weierstrassian theory of analytic continuity, and Poincaré’s theory of automorphic functions. Deleuze then retrospectively maps these developments back onto the structure of Leibniz’s metaphysics. While the Weierstrassian theory of analytic continuity serves to clarify Leibniz’s work, Poincaré’s theory of automorphic functions offers a solution to overcome and extend the limits that Deleuze identifies in Leibniz’s metaphysics. Deleuze brings this elaborate conjunction of material together in order to set up a mathematical idealization of the system that he considers to be implicit in Leibniz’s work. The result is a thoroughly mathematical explication of the structure of Leibniz’s metaphysics. This essay is an exposition of the very mathematical underpinnings of this Deleuzian account of the structure of Leibniz’s metaphysics, which, I maintain, subtends the entire text of The Fold. (shrink)
Much has been made of Deleuze’s Neo-Leibnizianism,3 however not very much detailed work has been done on the specific nature of Deleuze’s critique of Leibniz that positions his work within the broader framework of Deleuze’s own philo- sophical project. The present chapter undertakes to redress this oversight by providing an account of the reconstruction of Leibniz’s metaphysics that Deleuze undertakes in The Fold. Deleuze provides a systematic account of the structure of Leibniz’s metaphys- ics in terms of its mathematical underpinnings. (...) However, in doing so, Deleuze draws upon not only the mathematics developed by Leibniz – including the law of continuity as reflected in the calculus of infinite series and the infinitesimal calculus – but also the developments in mathematics made by a number of Leibniz’s contemporaries – including Newton’s method of fluxions – and a number of subsequent developments in mathematics, the rudiments of which can be more or less located in Leibniz’s own work – including the theory of functions and singularities, the theory of continuity and Poincaré’s theory of automorphic functions. Deleuze then retrospectively maps these developments back onto the structure of Leibniz’s metaphysics. While the theory of continuity serves to clarify Leibniz’s work, Poincaré’s theory of automorphic functions offers a solution to overcome and extend the limits that Deleuze identifies in Leibniz’s metaphysics. Deleuze brings this elaborate conjunction of material together in order to set up a mathematical idealization of the system that he considers to be implicit in Leibniz’s work. The result is a thoroughly mathematical explication of the structure of Leibniz’s metaphysics. What is provided in this chapter is an exposition of the very mathematical underpinnings of this Deleuzian account of the structure of Leibniz’s metaphysics, which, I maintain, subtends the entire text of The Fold. (shrink)
In Hegel ou Spinoza,1 Pierre Macherey challenges the influence of Hegel’s reading of Spinoza by stressing the degree to which Spinoza eludes the grasp of the Hegelian dialectical progression of the history of philosophy. He argues that Hegel provides a defensive misreading of Spinoza, and that he had to “misread him” in order to maintain his subjective idealism. The suggestion being that Spinoza’s philosophy represents, not a moment that can simply be sublated and subsumed within the dialectical progression of the (...) history of philosophy, but rather an alternative point of view for the development of a philosophy that overcomes Hegelian idealism. Gilles Deleuze also considers Spinoza’s philosophy to resist the totalising effects of the dialectic. Indeed, Deleuze demonstrates, by means of Spinoza, that a more complex philosophy antedates Hegel’s, which cannot be supplanted by it. Spinoza therefore becomes a significant figure in Deleuze’s project of tracing an alternative lineage in the history of philosophy, which, by distancing itself from Hegelian idealism, culminates in the construction of a philosophy of difference. It is Spinoza’s role in this project that will be demonstrated in this paper by differentiating Deleuze’s interpretation of the geometrical example of Spinoza’s Letter XII (on the problem of the infinite) in Expressionism in Philosophy, Spinoza,2 from that which Hegel presents in the Science of Logic.3. (shrink)
Plato’s philosophy is important to Badiou for a number of reasons, chief among which is that Badiou considered Plato to have recognised that mathematics provides the only sound or adequate basis for ontology. The mathematical basis of ontology is central to Badiou’s philosophy, and his engagement with Plato is instrumental in determining how he positions his philosophy in relation to those approaches to the philosophy of mathematics that endorse an orthodox Platonic realism, i.e. the independent existence of a realm of (...) mathematical objects. The Platonism that Badiou makes claim to bears little resemblance to this orthodoxy. Like Plato, Badiou insists on the primacy of the eternal and immu- table abstraction of the mathematico-ontological Idea; however, Badiou’s reconstructed Platonism champions the mathematics of post-Cantorian set theory, which itself af rms the irreducible multiplicity of being. Badiou in this way recon gures the Platonic notion of the relation between the one and the multiple in terms of the multiple-without-one as represented in the axiom of the void or empty set. Rather than engage with the Plato that is gured in the ontological realism of the orthodox Platonic approach to the philosophy of mathematics, Badiou is intent on characterising the Plato that responds to the demands of a post-Cantorian set theory, and he considers Plato’s philosophy to provide a response to such a challenge. In effect, Badiou reorients mathematical Platonism from an epistemological to an ontological problematic, a move that relies on the plausibility of rejecting the empiricist ontology underlying orthodox mathematical Platonism. To draw a connec- tion between these two approaches to Platonism and to determine what sets them radically apart, this paper focuses on the use that they each make of model theory to further their respective arguments. (shrink)
In the chapter of Difference and Repetition entitled ‘Ideas and the synthesis of difference,’ Deleuze mobilizes mathematics to develop a ‘calculus of problems’ that is based on the mathematical philosophy of Albert Lautman. Deleuze explicates this process by referring to the operation of certain conceptual couples in the field of contemporary mathematics: most notably the continuous and the discontinuous, the infinite and the finite, and the global and the local. The two mathematical theories that Deleuze draws upon for this purpose (...) are the differential calculus and the theory of dynamical systems, and Galois’ theory of polynomial equations. For the purposes of this paper I will only treat the first of these, which is based on the idea that the singularities of vector fields determine the local trajectories of solution curves, or their ‘topological behaviour’. These singularities can be described in terms of the given mathematical problematic, that is for example, how to solve two divergent series in the same field, and in terms of the solutions, as the trajectories of the solution curves to the problem. What actually counts as a solution to a problem is determined by the specific characteristics of the problem itself, typically by the singularities of this problem and the way in which they are distributed in a system. Deleuze understands the differential calculus essentially as a ‘calculus of problems’, and the theory of dynamical systems as the qualitative and topological theory of problems, which, when connected together, are determinative of the complex logic of different/ciation. (DR 209). Deleuze develops the concept of a problematic idea from the differential calculus, and following Lautman considers the concept of genesis in mathematics to ‘play the role of model ... with respect to all other domains of incarnation’. While Lautman explicated the philosophical logic of the actualization of ideas within the framework of mathematics, Deleuze (along with Guattari) follows Lautman’s suggestion and explicates the operation of this logic within the framework of a multiplicity of domains, including for example philosophy, science and art in What is Philosophy?, and the variety of domains which characterise the plateaus in A Thousand Plateaus. While for Lautman, a mathematical problem is resolved by the development of a new mathematical theory, for Deleuze, it is the construction of a concept that offers a solution to a philosophical problem; even if this newly constructed concept is characteristic of, or modelled on the new mathematical theory. (shrink)
This thesis sets out an argument in defence of moral objectivism. It takes Mackie as the critic of objectivism and it ends by proposing that the best defence of objectivism may be found in what I shall call Kantian intuitionism, which brings together elements of the intuitionism of Ross and a Kantian epistemology. The argument is fundamentally transcendental in form and it proceeds by first setting out what we intuitively believe, rejecting the sceptical attacks on those beliefs, and by then (...) proposing a theory that can legitimize what we already do believe. Chapter One sets out our intuitive understanding of morality: that morality is cognitive, moral beliefs can be true or false; that morality is real, we do not construct it; that morality is rational, we can learn about it by rational investigation; and that morality places us under an absolute constraint. The chapter ends by clarifying the nature of that absolute demand and by arguing that the critical idea within morality is the idea of duty. In Chapter Two Mackie’s sceptical attack on objectivism is examined. Four key arguments are identified: that moral beliefs are relative to bfferent agents; that morality is based upon on non-rational causes; that the idea of moral properties or entities is too queer to be sustainable; and that moral objectivism involves queer epistemological commitments. Essentially all of these arguments are shown to be ambiguous; however it is proposed that Mackie has an underlying epistemological and metaphysical theory, scientific empiricism, which is hostile to objectivism and a theory that many find attractive for reasons that are independent of morality. Chapter Three explores the nature of moral rationality and whether scientific empiricism can use the idea of reflective equilibrium to offer a reasonable account of moral rationality. It concludes that, while reflective equilibrium is a useful account of moral rationality, it cannot be effectively reconciled with scientific empiricism. In order to function effectively as a rational process, reflective equilibrium must be rationally constrained by our moral judgements and our moral principles. Chapter Four begins the process of exploring some alternative epistemologies and argues that the only account that remains true to objectivism and the needs of reflective equilibrium is the account of intuitionism proposed by Ross. However this account can be developed further by drawing upon number of Kantian ideas and using them to supplement Ross’s intuitionism. So Chapter Five draws upon a number of Kant's ideas, most notably some key notions from the Critique of Judgement. These ideas are: that we possess a rational will that is subject to the Moral law and determined by practical reason; that we possess a faculty of judgement which enables us to become aware of moral properties and that these two faculties together with the third faculty of thought can function to constitute the moral understanding. Using these ideas the thesis explores whether they can serve to explain how intuitions can be rational and how objectivism can be justified. (shrink)
The aim of this chapter is to test the degree to which Deleuze’s philosophy can be reconciled with the subject naturalist approach to pragmatism put forward by Macarthur and Price.
To make sense of what Gilles Deleuze understands by a mathematical concept requires unpacking what he considers to be the conceptualizable character of a mathematical theory. For Deleuze, the mathematical problems to which theories are solutions retain their relevance to the theories not only as the conditions that govern their development, but also insofar as they can contribute to determining the conceptualizable character of those theories. Deleuze presents two examples of mathematical problems that operate in this way, which he considers (...) to be characteristic of a more general theory of mathematical problems. By providing an account of the historical development of this more general theory, which he traces drawing upon the work of Weierstrass, Poincaré, Riemann, and Weyl, and of its significance to the work of Deleuze, an account of what a mathematical concept is for Deleuze will be developed. (shrink)
Michael Hunter, The Boyle Papers: Understanding the Manuscripts of Robert Boyle. With contributions by Edward B. Davis, Harriet Knight, Charles Littleton and Lawrence M. Principe. Aldershot, England; Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2007. Pp. xiii + 674. US$139.95/£70.00 HB. -/- The publication by Michael Hunter of this revised edition of the catalogue of the Boyle Papers contributes admirably to the renaissance in Boyle studies which has taken place over the past decade and a half. Robert Boyle (1627–91), arguably the most influential British (...) scientist of the late seventeenth century, was a pioneering experimenter, profound thinker, and figure-head of the new science in its early years of development. This volume brings together the materials necessary for understanding the Boyle archive, one of the most important archives from this period, which has been at the Royal Society since 1769. (shrink)
Michiel Wielema: The March of the Libertines. Spinozists and the Dutch Reformed Church (1660–1750). ReLiC: Studies in Dutch Religious History. Hilversum: Uitgeverij Verloren, 2004; pp. 221. The Dutch Republic of the seventeenth century is famous for having cultivated an extraordinary climate of toleration and religious pluralism — the Union of Utrecht supported religious freedom, or “freedom of conscience”, and expressly forbade reli- gious inquisition. However, despite membership in the state sponsored Calvinist Dutch Reformed Church not being compulsory, the freedom to (...) gather and worship, or “to air anti-Christian or atheistic opinions” was little tolerated “within” the organized structure of the church, which functioned more as “an exclusive organisation for those willing to submit freely to certain confessional canons and to the disciplinary author- ity of the church’s governing bodies” (10): the consistories, classes, and synods. Those not prepared to submit to Reformed doctrine were free to leave the church without fear of any legal or political repercussions. However, for those not prepared to leave for reasons of personal belief, matters turned out to be quite different. Because the Reformed Church enjoyed full State protection, matters of doctrinal conflict could well evolve into political affairs. And, contrary to the Union of Utrecht, religious inquisition was in some cases actually applied with political approval for “heretics” within the Reformed Church. The main focus of The March of the Libertines is an investigation of this obvious tension. (shrink)
According to the reading of Spinoza that Gilles Deleuze presents in Expressionism in Philosophy: Spinoza, Spinoza's philosophy should not be represented as a moment that can be simply subsumed and sublated within the dialectical progression of the history of philosophy, as it is figured by Hegel in the Science of Logic, but rather should be considered as providing an alternative point of view for the development of a philosophy that overcomes Hegelian idealism. Indeed, Deleuze demonstrates, by means of Spinoza, that (...) a more complex philosophy antedates Hegel's which cannot be supplanted by it. Spinoza therefore becomes a significant figure in Deleuze's project of tracing an alternative lineage in the history of philosophy, which, by distancing itself from Hegelian idealism, culminates in the construction of a philosophy of difference. Deleuze presents Spinoza's metaphysics as determined according to a 'logic of expression', which, insofar as it contributes to the determination of a philosophy of difference, functions as an alternative to the Hegelian dialectical logic. Deleuze's project in Expressionism in Philosophy is therefore to redeploy Spinoza in order to mobilize his philosophy of difference as an alternative to the dialectical philosophy determined by the Hegelian dialectic logic. (shrink)
The role of mathematics in the development of Gilles Deleuze's (1925-95) philosophy of difference as an alternative to the dialectical philosophy determined by the Hegelian dialectic logic is demonstrated in this paper by differentiating Deleuze's interpretation of the problem of the infinitesimal in Difference and Repetition from that which G. W. F Hegel (1770-1831) presents in the Science of Logic . Each deploys the operation of integration as conceived at different stages in the development of the infinitesimal calculus in his (...) treatment of the problem of the infinitesimal. Against the role that Hegel assigns to integration as the inverse transformation of differentiation in the development of his dialectical logic, Deleuze strategically redeploys Leibniz's account of integration as a method of summation in the form of a series in the development of his philosophy of difference. By demonstrating the relation between the differential point of view of the Leibnizian infinitesimal calculus and the differential calculus of contemporary mathematics, I argue that Deleuze effectively bypasses the methods of the differential calculus which Hegel uses to support the development of the dialectical logic, and by doing so, sets up the critical perspective from which to construct an alternative logic of relations characteristic of a philosophy of difference. The mode of operation of this logic is then demonstrated by drawing upon the mathematical philosophy of Albert Lautman (1908-44), which plays a significant role in Deleuze's project of constructing a philosophy of difference. Indeed, the logic of relations that Deleuze constructs is dialectical in the Lautmanian sense. (shrink)
The theme of the conflict between the different interpretations of Spinoza’s philosophy in French scholarship, introduced by Christopher Norris in this volume and expanded on by Alain Badiou, is also central to the argument presented in this chapter. Indeed, this chapter will be preoccupied with distinguishing the interpretations of Spinoza by two of the figures introduced by Badiou. The interpretation of Spinoza offered by Gilles Deleuze in Expressionism in Philosophy provides an account of the dynamic changes or transformations of the (...) characteristic relations of a Spinozist finite existing mode, or human being. This account has been criticized more or less explicitly by a number of commentators, including Charles Ramond. Rather than providing a defence of Deleuze on this specific point, which I have done elsewhere, what I propose to do in this chapter is provide an account of the role played by “joyful passive a affections” in these dynamic changes or transformations by distinguishing Deleuze’s account of this role from that offered by one of his more explicit critics on this issue, Pierre Macherey. An appreciation of the role played by “joyful passive affections” in this context is crucial to understanding how Deleuze’s interpretation of Spinoza is implicated in his broader philosophical project of constructing a philosophy of difference. The outcome is a position that, like Badiou in the previous chapter, rules out “intellect in potentiality” but maintains a role for the joyful passive affects in the development of adequate ideas. (shrink)
Create an account to enable off-campus access through your institution's proxy server.
Monitor this page
Be alerted of all new items appearing on this page. Choose how you want to monitor it:
Email
RSS feed
About us
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.