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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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A Leibnizian World

A Leibnizian World

(p.88) 4 A Leibnizian World
Affirming Divergence

Alex Tissandier

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter uses concepts from Leibniz’s philosophy to provide an account of the metaphysical system Deleuze constructs in Difference and Repetition and Logic of Sense. This account has four key components. 1) An ideal continuum populated by reciprocally determined differential relations, from which individuals are produced. Leibniz’s infinitesimal calculus is the technique most suited to describe this continuum. 2) The singularities or events which populate the continuum and which eventually form the “predicates” which are included within individuals. An inverted version of Leibniz’s theory of infinite analysis, which Deleuze dubs ‘vice-diction’, allows us to describe how these singularities are distributed. 3) The relations of compossibility between singularities which allow the articulation of a structure prior to any logical relations of opposition or contradiction. In Leibniz, a divergence between singularities marks a bifurcation into two distinct possible worlds. In Deleuze, by contrast, divergent series resonate and communicate with one another. 4) An “ideal game” which presides over the actualisation of this pre-individual continuum through the genesis of individuals. In Leibniz this game is subject to the rules of a divine calculus in which God selects a “best of all possible worlds” whose harmony is guaranteed. Deleuze, however, will reject this theological constraint.

Keywords:   Deleuze, Leibniz, Difference and Repetition, Logic of Sense, Vice-diction, Divergence, Singularity, Infinite analysis, Infinitesimal calculus

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