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Affirming DivergenceDeleuze's Reading of Leibniz$
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Alex Tissandier

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474417747

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474417747.001.0001

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Leibniz and Expression

Leibniz and Expression

(p.40) 2 Leibniz and Expression
Affirming Divergence

Alex Tissandier

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter looks at Leibniz’s central role in the concluding chapter of Deleuze’s Expressionism in Philosophy: Spinoza. His elevated presence suggests a dramatic shift in Deleuze’s reading when compared with the rest of the text. It examines Deleuze’s lengthy discussion of Leibniz’s concept of expression and argues that within this discussion there is a shift from a ‘two-term’ concept of expression to a triadic concept which is closer to the one Deleuze finds in Spinoza. It then re-examines Deleuze’s central criticism of Leibniz, this time understood as a criticism of his ‘equivocal’ concept of expression compared to Spinoza’s ‘univocal’ concept. It shows that ultimately all of Deleuze’s criticisms of Leibniz can be reduced to an aversion to certain of Leibniz’s theological commitments and motivations. Finally, it looks in detail at the penultimate paragraph which, it argues, ends with a brief description of what will ultimately become Deleuze’s double process of actualisation and counter-actualisation. Crucially, Deleuze turns to Leibniz, rather than Spinoza, in order to explain these processes.

Keywords:   Deleuze, Leibniz, Spinoza, Descartes, Expressionism in Philosophy : Spinoza, Expression, Actualisation, Counter-actualisation, Univocity, Sense, Sufficient Reason

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