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Book Title: Difference and Repetition|
The author of the book: Gilles Deleuze
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Reader ratings: 3.1
Edition: Columbia University Press
Date of issue: May 18th 1995
ISBN 13: 9780231081597
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 763 KB
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Difference and Repetition, a brilliant exposition of the critique of identity, has come to be considered a contemporary classic in philosophy and one of Deleuze's most original works. Successfully defended in 1969 as Deleuze's main thesis toward his Doctorat d'Etat at the Sorbonne, the work has been central in initiating the shift in French thought away from Hegel and Marx, towards Nietzsche and Freud. The text follows the development of two central concepts, those of pure difference and complex repetition. It shows how the two concepts are related - difference implying divergence and decentering, and repetition implying displacement and disguising. In its explication the work moves deftly between Hegel, Kierkegaard, Freud, Althusser, and Nietzsche to establish a fundamental critique of Western metaphysics. Difference and Repetition has become essential to the work of literary critics and philosophers alike, and this translation his been long awaited.
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Read information about the authorDeleuze is a key figure in postmodern French philosophy. Considering himself an empiricist and a vitalist, his body of work, which rests upon concepts such as multiplicity, constructivism, difference and desire, stands at a substantial remove from the main traditions of 20th century Continental thought. His thought locates him as an influential figure in present-day considerations of society, creativity and subjectivity. Notably, within his metaphysics he favored a Spinozian concept of a plane of immanence with everything a mode of one substance, and thus on the same level of existence. He argued, then, that there is no good and evil, but rather only relationships which are beneficial or harmful to the particular individuals. This ethics influences his approach to society and politics, especially as he was so politically active in struggles for rights and freedoms. Later in his career he wrote some of the more infamous texts of the period, in particular, Anti-Oedipus and A Thousand Plateaus. These texts are collaborative works with the radical psychoanalyst Félix Guattari, and they exhibit Deleuze’s social and political commitment.
Gilles Deleuze began his career with a number of idiosyncratic yet rigorous historical studies of figures outside of the Continental tradition in vogue at the time. His first book, Empirisism and Subjectivity, isa study of Hume, interpreted by Deleuze to be a radical subjectivist. Deleuze became known for writing about other philosophers with new insights and different readings, interested as he was in liberating philosophical history from the hegemony of one perspective. He wrote on Spinoza, Nietzche, Kant, Leibniz and others, including literary authors and works, cinema, and art. Deleuze claimed that he did not write “about” art, literature, or cinema, but, rather, undertook philosophical “encounters” that led him to new concepts. As a constructivist, he was adamant that philosophers are creators, and that each reading of philosophy, or each philosophical encounter, ought to inspire new concepts. Additionally, according to Deleuze and his concepts of difference, there is no identity, and in repetition, nothing is ever the same. Rather, there is only difference: copies are something new, everything is constantly changing, and reality is a becoming, not a being.
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