Conditions of Thought

Conditions of Thought: Deleuze and Transcendental Ideas

Daniela Voss
Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 296
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  • Book Info
    Conditions of Thought
    Book Description:

    From his early work in 'Nietzsche and Philosophy' to 'Difference and Repetition', Deleuze develops a unique notion of transcendental philosophy. It comprises a radical critique of the illusions of representation and a genetic model of thought. Engaging with questions of representation, Ideas and the transcendental, Daniela Voss offers a sophisticated treatment of the Kantian aspects of Deleuze’s thought, taking account of Leibniz, Maimon, Lautman and Nietzsche along the way.

    eISBN: 978-0-7486-7626-2
    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
    (pp. 1-17)

    This project on a Deleuzian transcendental philosophy is born out of a feeling of astonishment. On the one hand, the theme of the transcendental runs through many of Deleuze’s works, in particular those published between 1962 and 1968. On the other hand, the spirit of Deleuze’s philosophical thought seems so very different from that of Kantian transcendental philosophy: Deleuze does not bother to seek a justification or ground for the possibility of experience and its objects. He does not put together a table of categories, nor does he give any transcendental deduction of a priori conditions. Moreover, in Deleuze, there...

  6. 1 The Dogmatic Image of Thought
    (pp. 18-73)

    The image of thought is a recurrent theme in Deleuze’s philosophy: it appears already in his writings on Nietzsche (1962) and Proust (1964), and is then fully laid out in his magnum opus Difference and Repetition (1968).

    At first sight, it might seem peculiar to talk about an ‘image’ of thought, for it seems that the realm of images or the imaginary is opposed to the realm of thought or the intelligible. Is the expression ‘image of thought’ not a contradiction in terms? Must we not distinguish carefully between the imaginary and thought, or in fact between the imaginary and...

  7. 2 The Demand for Transcendental Genetic Conditions
    (pp. 74-141)

    As we have already mentioned, philosophy, for Deleuze, is inseparable from ‘critique’. He admires Kant for having brought a revolution to philosophy by means of his transcendental critique. The domain of the transcendental is not the domain of the transcendent. Kant undermines the traditional philosophical distinctions, in particular with his notion of ‘phenomenon’, which has a completely different meaning from the meaning that this term had acquired in the philosophical tradition. Since Plato, philosophers had distinguished the appearance of a thing from its metaphysical essence. They had opposed the ‘apparent world’ of sensuous, perishable and illusive appearances to the transcendent,...

  8. 3 Ideas as Problems
    (pp. 142-209)

    In the previous chapter we saw how Maimon took Kant’s transcendental philosophy in a radically new direction with his notion of differential Ideas of the understanding which serve to explain the genesis of real experience. We then saw how Deleuze reconstructed Maimon’s Ideas of the understanding as virtual Ideas belonging to an intersubjective differential unconscious. In this chapter we will continue our examination of Deleuze’s theory of Ideas by means of a closer analysis of the Kantian theory; in particular we will see the importance to Deleuze of Kant’s characterisation of Ideas as problems. We will also see how Maimon’s...

  9. 4 Time and the Split Subject
    (pp. 210-264)

    The concern of this chapter will be to show that the genesis of thought presupposes a fracture or rift in the thinking subject. This fracture, as we will see, is caused by time. Deleuze takes his inspiration from Kant, that is the Kantian notion of time as a pure and empty form, a form of interiority, but he does not follow all the implications that are drawn by Kant. Quite to the contrary, Deleuze criticises Kant for attempting to reconcile the two unequal halves of the split subject, the active faculty of synthesis and the passive faculty of receptivity, and...

  10. Conclusion
    (pp. 265-270)

    In this study we have examined Deleuze’s critique of the implicit and tacit Image of thought that emerged in the history of philosophy and that subjects the act of thinking to the postulates of good sense, common sense and recognition, thereby separating thought from its vital and genetic conditions. Calling this classic Image of thought into question, Deleuze sets out to determine the nature of thought anew and to relate it back to those elements which account for the genesis of the act of thinking in thought. He specifies the relation between thought and its conditions as ‘transcendental’, thereby making...

  11. Bibliography
    (pp. 271-280)
  12. Index
    (pp. 281-288)