The void in Deleuze: difference and the good

Hawkins, Stephen Bernard (2003) The void in Deleuze: difference and the good. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

Deleuze seeks to pry philosophy from the hands of those who would, grounding their judgments in a supposedly transcendent reality, distort or fail to recognize the true nature of things in the changing world. This task for a philosophy of the future, intended to project us beyond such moral categories as "good" and "evil" in favour of the alternative ethical categories, "good" and "bad", is to be achieved, Deleuze thinks, by overturning Platonism. Plato's doctrine of the forms is held by Deleuze to be an example of the corruption of metaphysics by the will to judge, characteristic of Christian morality (whose origins in Platonic philosophy are undeniable). For Deleuze, the philosopher is primarily a producer of concepts, not an agent who generates through judgment. Chapter One sets the agenda for the thesis by opening questions about what is good for the human agent, specifically in terms of the relation between an agent and the products s/he might produce. A brief account is given of Deleuze's position on goodness, offered in the light of his criticisms of the Platonic tradition. Questions are raised about what measures Deleuze takes to avoid transcendence, and about what consequences might follow from this move. Chapter Two attempts to rescue Plato from some of Deleuze's more serious charges, and does so by considering Plato's concept of the Good in relation to his accounts of measure and of the chora, a concept of place. Contemporary Plato scholarship is used to show questionable presuppositions in Deleuze's account of Plato, for instance regarding the physics of the Platonic universe, the status of transcendence, and the nature of the eidos, or form. Chapter Three examines Deleuze's own metaphysics of Difference, Multiplicity and Event, in relation to traditional atomism, the philosophy of time (duration) of Henri Bergson, and certain alternative theories of event. The relation of event and action is explored in the context of naming and intention. Chapter Four presents Deleuze's theory of the Event as a theory of the Void, in relation to Deleuze's monism, and to time, goodness, and negativity. The relation between Deleuze's theory of the Event and his Ethics is further developed, in order to open questions about the motivation for and nature of action in Deleuzian philosophy. Chapter Five synthesizes the various themes, and contrasts Deleuze with Plato on the question of the good for the agent, love, and action, all in relation to Deleuze's Stoicism.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7034
Item ID: 7034
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 120-125.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Philosophy
Date: August 2003
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Deleuze, Gilles, 1925-1995; Plato; Difference (Philosophy)

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