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Contemporary Encounters with Ancient Metaphysics$
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Abraham Jacob Greenstine and Ryan J. Johnson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474412094

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474412094.001.0001

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Lucretius and Naturalism [1961]

Lucretius and Naturalism [1961]

(p.245) Chapter 13 Lucretius and Naturalism [1961]
Contemporary Encounters with Ancient Metaphysics

Gilles Deleuze

, Jared C. Bly
Edinburgh University Press

Gilles Deleuze’s “Lucretius and Naturalism” (1961; translated by Jared Bly) is the first version of an essay that would later appear in an altered form in the appendix to Deleuze’s 1969 Logique du Sens, “Lucrèce et le Naturalisme.” Here Deleuze shows how Lucretius, in the first truly noble deed of philosophical pluralism, articulates his atomism as a means to determine the speculative and practical object of philosophy as “naturalism.” To distinguish, in humanity, what belongs to myth and what belongs to nature; to distinguish, in nature, what is really infinite and what is not: such is the practical and speculative object of naturalism. One of the most profound constants of naturalism is to denounce everything that is the cause of sadness, everything that requires sadness in order to exercise its power. Atomism accomplishes this through the concepts of the clinamen and simulacra. From Lucretius to Nietzsche, the same goal is pursued and attained: to transform thought and sensibility into affirmations.

Keywords:   Lucretius, Naturalism, Atomism, Myth, Clinamen, Simulacra, Pluralism

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