8 Jan 2013

Pt3.Ch7.Sb6 Somers-Hall’s Hegel, Deleuze, and the Critique of Representation. ‘Conclusion.’ summary

Corry Shores
[Search Blog Here. Index-tags are found on the bottom of the left column.]

[Central Entry Directory]
[Deleuze Entry Directory]
[Henry Somers-Hall, Entry Directory]
[Hegel, Deleuze, and the Critique of Representation, Entry Directory]

[Note: All boldface and underlining is my own. It is intended for skimming purposes. Bracketed comments are also my own explanations or interpretations.]


Henry Somers-Hall


Hegel, Deleuze, and the Critique of Representation.

Dialectics of Negation and Difference


Part 3: Beyond Representation

Chapter 7: Force, Difference, and Opposition

Subdivision 6: Conclusion

Very Brief Summary:

Deleuze’s philosophy of difference is more resilient to attack than Hegel’s, when both are pitted against one another.

Brief Summary:

Both Hegel and Deleuze have a non-spatialized sense of difference. Hegel’s is an integration of contraries, but Deleuze’s is an integration of singularities. A Hegelian critique of Deleuze’s virtual would not hold because it is not a contrary to the actual. So Deleuze’s philosophy cannot be subsumed into and critiqued by Hegel’s. However, within Deleuze’s philosophy we might say that Hegel’s dialectic is a false movement. But Hegel could respond that on logical grounds there is no such difference as the kind in Deleuze’s philosophy. So we now turn to organisms to test the applicability of their theories of difference.


Both Hegel’s and Deleuze’s concept of difference “moves beyond that provided by empirical, spatial intuition.” (209) Deleuze’s difference makes it so that Hegel’s criticism of the notion of essence does not apply to Deleuze’s virtual (we examined Hegel’s criticism in terms of the dialectic of the inverted world.) (209-210) [The contrary of essence is normally accident. The contrary to accident is not essence but multiplicity, and this is the closest we have to what essence is (as what remains the same despite variation). Hegel would identify accident and essence. I am not sure if this is what Somers-Hall is saying here (maybe it is just simply difference not as contrary but as singularity):]

As Deleuze writes, somewhat polemically, "no doubt, if one insists, the word 'essence' might be preserved, but only on condition of saying that the essence is precisely the accident, the event, the sense; not simply the contrary of what is ordinarily called the essence but the contrary of the contrary: multiplicity is no more appearance than essence, no more multiple than one" (DR, 191). That is, Deleuze's contrary of the contrary involves neither term, rather than, for Hegel, both terms in an identity of identity and difference. In showing that Hegel is unable to think this concept of difference, I hope to have demonstrated the novelty of Deleuze's philosophy, which provides a viable alternative to Hegel. (210)

But note an asymmetry in their concepts of difference. We can within Deleuze’s philosophy understand Hegel’s philosophy of negation as false movement, but Deleuze’s philosophy of difference cannot be placed into Hegel’s system and thus cannot be evaluated. Yet “This fact does not on purely logical grounds entail a rejection of Hegelian dialectic, however, since the Hegelian can simply deny the actual existence of Deleuzian difference.” (210) But the question is, which philosophy best applies to the world?

The ultimate test must therefore be the extent to which any logical theory captures the nature of the world, not simply by ranging over all phenomena, but also by capturing their singularity, or used in the term's loosest possible sense, their essence. (210)

In the next chapter we test their theories with regard to the structure of the organism.

Somers-Hall, Henry (2012) Hegel, Deleuze, and the Critique of Representation. Dialectics of Negation and Difference. Albany: SUNY.

No comments:

Post a Comment