The Priority of Events

The Priority of Events: Deleuze's Logic of Sense

Sean Bowden
Copyright Date: 2011
Pages: 304
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  • Book Info
    The Priority of Events
    Book Description:

    This is a radical interpretation of Deleuze's Logic of Sense. It focuses on Deleuze's concept of events and brings Deleuze's work into relation with the traditions of process philosophy and American pragmatism.

    eISBN: 978-0-7486-4360-8
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-v)
  3. Acknowledgements
    (pp. vi-vi)
  4. Abbreviations
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. Introduction: The Ontological Priority of Events in The Logic of Sense
    (pp. 1-14)

    The aim of this present study is above all to examine and clarify the complex way in which Deleuze asserts the ontological priority of events over substances in his 1969 work, The Logic of Sense. In particular, the book will analyze the way in which Deleuze grounds this assertion by establishing a relation, the precise nature of which will be seen below, between the works representative of several philosophers and intellectual movements, namely, the Stoics, Leibniz, Albert Lautman, Gilbert Simondon, structuralism and psychoanalysis. In short, it will be shown how Deleuze constructs a concept of the ontologically primitive event by...

  6. 1 The Stoics – Events and Sense
    (pp. 15-55)

    The Stoics are of central importance to Deleuze’s project in The Logic of Sense. As he writes in the Preface, the ‘privileged place assigned to the Stoics [in this text] is due to their having been the initiators of a new image of the philosopher which broke away from the pre-Socratics, Socratic philosophy and Platonism. This new image is already closely linked to the paradoxical constitution of the theory of sense’ (LS, xiii–xiv). So what is this image and how is it linked to Deleuze’s theory of sense and the event?

    In the ‘Eighteenth Series of the Three Images...

  7. 2 Leibniz – The Static Ontological and Logical Geneses
    (pp. 56-94)

    Deleuze’s philosophical relation to Leibniz has in general been downplayed in the secondary literature.¹ Deleuze’s major, pre-Difference and Repetition influences are frequently cited as Nietzsche, Bergson and Spinoza, and that these figures are constant touchstones for Deleuze is undeniable.² Nevertheless, in his 1968 Spinoza book it is clear that, in certain respects, Deleuze reads Spinoza through Leibniz.³ It is also clear that Leibniz is a major reference in ‘The Method of Dramatization’, which is an early summary of the major themes of Difference and Repetition. In the text of The Logic of Sense, which was published one year after Difference...

  8. 3 Lautman and Simondon – Problematic Ideas and Singularities
    (pp. 95-151)

    Let us review the ground covered thus far. First of all, we examined how, after analyzing verbs of becoming such as ‘to grow’, Deleuze contends that events must be understood as ideal changes which are ontologically prior to individuated states of affairs. While they are not themselves objectively ‘present’ in the same way as fixed things and states of affairs, Deleuze maintains that events are nevertheless the prior condition for the constitution of new, present states of affairs, as well as for the simultaneous constitution of those presents which are determined as past with respect to these new presents. In...

  9. 4 Structuralism – Structure and the Sense-Event
    (pp. 152-184)

    As noted in the previous chapter, Deleuze’s work on the relation between language and the problem is primarily couched in a structuralist vocabulary, and no longer explicitly in terms of ‘problems’ and ‘solutions’. However, as we shall see, Deleuze’s concept of structure is, to all intents and purposes, identical to that of the problem. Indeed, in Difference and Repetition – the text which formed the basis of our examination of the concept of the problem in The Logic of Sense, and published only one year before this latter – Deleuze explicitly aligns the problematic Idea and structure. He writes, for example, that...

  10. 5 Psychoanalysis – Dynamic Genesis
    (pp. 185-261)

    Deleuze’s relation to psychoanalysis in The Logic of Sense is ultimately governed by the following problem: how can the surface (that is to say, the metaphysical surface, transcendental field, problem or structure of sense), with its constitutive series of things and propositions, be understood as an event which is itself determined on the surface? In other words, if the above-analyzed structure of sense is supposed to account for the progressive evental-determination of events in general, and if events have ontological priority over fixed things ‘all the way down’, then Deleuze must show that the structure of sense is not an...

  11. Conclusion
    (pp. 262-279)

    The task set at the beginning of this study was to understand the precise way in which Deleuze asserts the ontological priority of events over substances in his 1969 publication, The Logic of Sense. This assertion, it has been seen, takes a very particular and complex form. Indeed, it has been shown throughout the preceding chapters how Deleuze constructs a concept of the ontologically primitive event – the event which ontologically depends on no underlying substance, but on which all substantial things ontologically depend – with reference to the way in which various figures and intellectual movements in the history of thought...

  12. Bibliography
    (pp. 280-289)
  13. Index
    (pp. 290-296)