Immanence and the Vertigo of Philosophy

Immanence and the Vertigo of Philosophy: From Kant to Deleuze

Christian Kerslake
Copyright Date: 2009
Pages: 334
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  • Book Info
    Immanence and the Vertigo of Philosophy
    Book Description:

    One of the terminological constants in the philosophical work of Gilles Deleuze is the word 'immanence', and it has therefore become a foothold for those wishing to understand exactly what 'Deleuzian philosophy' is. Deleuze's philosophy of immanence is held to be fundamentally characterised by its opposition to all philosophies of 'transcendence'. On that basis, it is widely believed that Deleuze's project is premised on a return to a materialist metaphysics. Christian Kerslake argues that such an interpretation is fundamentally misconceived, and has led to misunderstandings of Deleuze's philosophy, which is rather one of the latest heirs to the post-Kantian tradition of thought about immanence. This will be the first book to assess Deleuze's relationship to Kantian epistemology and post-Kantian philosophy, and will attempt to make Deleuze's philosophy intelligible to students working within that tradition. But it also attempts to reconstruct our image of the post-Kantian tradition, isolating a lineage that takes shape in the work of Schelling and Wronski, and which is developed in the twentieth century by Bergson, Warrain and Deleuze.

    eISBN: 978-0-7486-4247-2
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Note on the Text and Acknowledgements
    (pp. vii-vii)
  4. Note on Sources and Abbreviations
    (pp. viii-x)
  5. Introduction: The Problem of Immanence – Kant, Hegel and Spinozism
    (pp. 1-46)

    One of the terminological constants in Deleuze’s philosophical work is the word ‘immanence’. That this ancient and well-travelled notion of immanence is held to have been given new life and new meaning by Gilles Deleuˆe is evidenced in much recent secondary literature on continental philosophy, as well as in recent key texts on political philosophy, such as Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s turn of the millennium tome Empire, which takes up and deploys the Deleuzian theme of ‘the plane of immanence’ as a means for thinking outside of the distorted norms of contemporary capitalist society.¹ In the rare explicit directions...

  6. 1 Critique and the Ends of Reason
    (pp. 47-100)

    The notion that the Critique of Pure Reason is the enactment of a critique of reason by itself has itself been subject to a ‘peculiar fate’. The title of Kant’s great work would appear to carry the suggestion of an internal connection between the powers of self-consciousness (or ‘apperception’) discovered within the pages of the Transcendental Analytic, and the very idea of a ‘self critique’ of reason. The notion of a self-critique of reason entails that the critique be immanent: if reason is to fully criticise itself, it can allow nothing beyond itself, i.e. beyond reason, into the process. This...

  7. 2 The Metaphysical Origins of Kantianism
    (pp. 101-166)

    In this chapter we return to Kant’s origins in metaphysics in order to attempt to reactivate the real lines of tension between metaphysical and properly transcendental thought. In the main body of the chapter an assessment is given of the character of Kant’s break with Leibniz. It has already been argued that Kant’s critical project cannot be separated from metacritical issues, which in turn find vexed outlets in teleological issues. Now the claim will be that Kant’s critical turn must be understood in relation to its transformation of Leibnizian rationalism. This claim will be gradually developed (and restricted) further throughout...

  8. 3 Kant and the Structure of Cognition
    (pp. 167-209)

    The breakthrough in the critical project is usually taken to be outlined in Kant’s letter of 21 February 1772 to Marcus Herz, where Kant realises that he has no justification for assuming that the pure concepts of the understanding used by the intellect have any relation at all to the given in sensibility.

    ‘Our understanding, through its representations, is neither the cause of the object (save in the case of moral ends), nor is the object the cause of our intellectual representations in the real sense (in sensu reali) . . . [But] if such intellectual representations depend on our...

  9. 4 Deleuze and the Vertigo of Immanence
    (pp. 210-285)

    We began with a series of puzzles about Deleuze’s use of the term ‘immanence’. In Spinoza and the Problem of Expression (1968), Deleuze presents the notion of immanence as rooted in Neo-Platonic conceptions of the metaphysical ‘One-All’, and as waiting for Spinoza to liberate it from the transcendence implied in traditional conceptions of emanation. He presents Spinoza as reclaiming the thesis of univocity of being, so that hierarchy is abolished in the Absolute. But in Difference and Repetition, published in the same year, where eternal return is presented as the completed ‘realization’ of the univocity of being (DR 304/388), the...

  10. Appendix: Francis Warrain’s Diagram of Wronski’s Law of Creation
    (pp. 286-287)
  11. Bibliography
    (pp. 288-326)
  12. Index
    (pp. 327-334)