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Gilles Deleuze's Luminous Philosophy$
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Hanjo Berressem

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781474450713

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474450713.001.0001

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Introduction: Lightning and Crystals

Introduction: Lightning and Crystals

(p.1) Introduction: Lightning and Crystals
Gilles Deleuze's Luminous Philosophy

Hanjo Berressem

Edinburgh University Press

The introduction contours, by way of Deleuze’s notion of the dark precursors that pilot the dynamics of lightning, Deleuze’s notion of an immanent light or light of immanence, which he stakes against a natural and a divine light respectively. It shows that the moment of lightning encapsulates the logic of Deleuze’s luminous philosophy, in which difference is set against, but simultaneously complementary to, an indifferent diversity. Deleuze develops the idea of a formal distinction but ontological complementarity against the dualisms of idealisms and materialisms. ‘Lightning distinguishes itself from the black sky but must also trail it behind, as though it were distinguishing itself from that which does not distinguish itself from it’, Deleuze notes, defining difference as ‘this state in which determination takes the form of unilateral distinction’. Crystals, which align the actual and the virtual, and thus thought and life, are Deleuze’s figures of this unilateral and luminous distinction.

Keywords:   lightning, difference, diversity, unilateral distinction, dark precursor, natural light, immanent light, idealism, materialism, complementarity

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