10 Feb 2015

Somers-Hall, (0.1), Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition, ‘Introduction [to DR’s Introduction]’, summary

Corry Shores
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[The following is summary. All boldface, underlining, and bracketed commentary are my own.]

Henry Somers-Hall

Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition.
An Edinburgh Philosophical Guide

Part 1
A Guide to the Text



0 Introduction: Repetition and Difference

0.1 Introduction


Brief summary:

In the Introduction to Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition, he argues repetition is commonly understood in terms of generality and law, when in fact it is not related to these concepts. We are mistaken when we think we encounter repetition in scientific experiment, moral law, and psychological habit. These are generalities and not repetitions.




The Introduction of Difference and Repetition is mostly about how repetition is not generality. One dimension of this has to do with law. Laws normally apply generally to many similar particular situations. For example, “the laws of gravitation apply to particular bodies in so far as they have mass” (7). When laws are applied generally, it would appear that we are dealing with repetitions of the same particulars.

Scientific laws are formulated by repeated experimentation, and Kant’s moral law appears, in the form of the categorical imperative, to provide a test of what actions can be repeated.

Deleuze then discusses three ways that we might relate to the world and think we are encountering repetition: scientific experiment, moral law, and the psychology of habit (7). Somers-Hall then explains Deleuze’s basic strategy in this section:

[a] show what is wrong with the notion of law in scientific experiment is that we never encounter real repetition,

[b] argue that cases of moral law and psychological habit are based on this scientific model and thus do not go beyond its limitations. (7)


Somers-Hall, Henry. Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition. An Edinburgh Philosophical Guide. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University, 2013.


  1. Thanks for all the good work. Reblogged this on Agent Swarm: https://terenceblake.wordpress.com/2015/04/09/reblog-pirates-revolutionaries-somers-hall-deleuzes-difference-and-repetition/.

    1. Thank you too! That is very kind of you, Terry.