Political Theory After Deleuze (Deleuze Encounters)
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Recentpolitical theory has shifted decidedly towards ontology, the ‘science of being',and thus towards examining fundamental concepts of identity, difference, space,and time. This new focus has reinvigorated questions concerning the nature ofpower, meaning, truth and agency, inspiring novel approaches to individual andcollective subjectivity, the emergence of political events and the relationshipbetween desire and politics. In this new study, Nathan Widder shows how Deleuze's philosophy both inspires and pressesbeyond political theory's ‘ontological turn'.
Linkinghis thought to current political theory debates, Widder explains how Deleuze'sphilosophy and ontology of difference are cashed out through a micropolitics ofcreative and critical experimentation. He further demonstrates how Deleuze challengesideas of identity and the subject that still dominate both political thoughtand practice today. Connecting Deleuze to key figures in both classical andcontemporary political philosophy, from Plato and Aristotle to Hegel,Nietzsche, Lacan, and Foucault, this book will be of interest to students andscholars in political theory, philosophy, and related disciplines, looking toengage the emerging field of Deleuze studies.
that from which it differs (46). He maintains that Leibniz’s move in this direction remains important for an ontology of difference irrespective of the quandaries around infinitesimals that plagued his and other early formulations of the calculus (170–1, 176–7).13 This infinitely small and vanishing difference ensures both the continuity of the curve and the discreteness of each of its points. But it also establishes the criteria for judging this world as the best among all possible worlds that
Deleuze maintains that incompossibility in no way implies contradiction, but rather divergence from a continuous series of compossible individuals and events (DR 48). Nevertheless, he argues, Leibniz treats incompossibility as if it were contradiction, holding incompossibilities such as Adam avoiding sin simply to be false, in opposition to the truth of the best possible world. Leibniz thus uses incompossibility to exclude divergence from the world, treating it as a ‘negative of limitation,
The stability, which is certainly real, exists in the effect, it is a surface effect of processes of becoming and repetition, but through an illusion of perspective it appears to be the individual’s enduring base or character, persisting through all changes. A reversal of this perspective is what Deleuze has in mind when he speaks of identity as a principle that must now revolve around difference (40). Plato relies on the really existing partial stabilities of the physical world to posit a
negation only exists in relation to affirmation, just as reactive forces have their quality only through their relation to active forces. Affirmation, the becoming active of forces, is thus the ground for the existence of negation – ‘it is the ratio essendi of the will to power in general’ (173). The affirmative will to power, which in many respects Nietzsche associates with the noble and his morality, is realized in the idea of the Overman, who, Deleuze argues, must not be confused with the
albeit as an impossibility. Any further attempt to give lack a positive form, to say what would precede the subject and language, thus amounts to an illicit attempt to leap outside the boundaries that allow subjectivity and meaning to exist. But Lacan himself is hardly straightforward on these points. In the first place, as already seen, non-dialectical lack is introduced only through a detour made through language, or what Lacan calls the Symbolic, and the way this domain is established by