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THE VERTIGO OF IMMANENCE:

DELEUZES SPINOZISM
by
MIGUEL DE BEISTEGUI
University of Warwick/Universit degli Studi di Milano
ABSTRACT
This paper is an attempt to identify the source of Deleuzian thought, that is, the
plane or image from which it unfolds despite its many twists and turns. This, I
believe, is immanence. The thread of immanence appears most clearly in What Is Philosophy?
but can be shown to have been at work from the very start. But immanence is not
just the plane of Deleuzian thought. It is also, and above all, that of philosophy itself,
especially in its dierence from religion and onto-theology. This in turn means that,
following Spinoza and his univocal ontology, Deleuzian thought can be seen as com-
pleting or realizing the conditions of philosophy itself.
Given the relatively recent nature of Deleuzian scholarship, we still
lack a unied understanding of the signicance (and signication) of
that thought. We are still unsure as to what the name Deleuze stands
for and what place his thought occupies in the history of philosophy.
Judging by the ever-increasing number of publications devoted to it,
this is a thought that is in the process of being canonized. There seems
to be little agreement, however, as to what exactly is entering the
canon. At the same time, and almost paradoxically, Deleuzian thought
seems to be facing a twofold danger. First, to the extent that its con-
ceptuality underwent a series of (often abrupt) changesthe neces-
sity of which Deleuze rarely felt the need or the desire to justify or
clarifywe can easily have the impression of a thought that lacks in
coherence and direction. Secondand this only aggravates the rst
dangerbecause Deleuze writes about science, cinema, literature, the
visual arts, economics, ethics, and politics as well as the history of phi-
losophy, his thought runs the risk of being fragmented and distributed
across those various elds, chopped into bits as it were. This perhaps
would not be a problem were it not for the fact that Deleuzes own
commitment to philosophy as univocal ontology aims to overcome the
Research in Phenomenology, 35
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fragmented nature of todays epistemological eld and of philosophy
itself. That being said, it cannot be a question of minimizing the
signicance of the changes that thought underwent: after all, how com-
patible are Deleuzes early insistence, say, in relation to Proust (1964),
that thinking is interpretation, an activity of decoding of signs, and the
later insistence, say, in Capitalism and Schizophrenia, and even in the later
edition of Proust and Signs (1970), that thought has nothing to do with
interpretation but is essentially a process of production and creation?
Can we reconcile the image of the professor at the Sorbonne with
that of the professor at Vincennes, the historian of philosophy of the
early years with the anarcho-dsirant of the 1970s? The greatest danger,
then, in the context of the fragmentation and division of Deleuzes
thought, is one of nding oneself in the situation of having to adopt
one aspect or moment of his thought before having had a chance to
raise the question regarding its unity and inner consistency. This is
the question I wish to explore here, albeit schematically and pro-
grammatically.
1
No doubt, it is a delicate taskextracting the consis-
tency of a thought always ismade more complex by the extraordinary
diversity and versatility of the thought we are confronted with.
In what follows, I shall try to begin to understand something like
the necessity of Deleuzes thought, something like that which, at the
most fundamental level, a level that can only remain partially claried
by the thinker himself, motivates that thought, sets it into motion. I
shall try to identify something like an original impetus or a driving
force that sustains all of Deleuzes texts, one that can be identied
even behind the seemingly most abrupt and radical changes his thought
undergoes, behind the boldest innovations it adopts. I am seeking to
nd, or perhaps only suggest, a way through a philosophy in its entirety.
Needless to say, this has nothing to do with an attempt to summarize
or synthesize that thought. It has everything to do, however, with the
possibility of extracting its inner coherence.
Let me try to be more specic. My aim is to return to the source
of Deleuzes thought. The source in question does not coincide with
Deleuzes philosophical beginnings, with his rst attempts at writing
philosophy. The method I shall adopt will not consist in following the
development of such beginnings from the early work on. In fact, the
source in question will be identied in the later work and used as a
guiding thread through the thought as a whole, illuminating it retro-
spectively. Adopting Deleuzes own vocabulary, I suggest we under-
stand the source of his thought as its plane. The source of a thought
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is not to be mistaken for where (or when) that thought actually begins.
Rather, it indicates the place from which it ows. It is, as such, always
dicult to locate, and especially so in the case of Deleuze, for rea-
sons that will become apparent. What I wish to do, then, is to ask
about what, exactly, orients Deleuzian thought. It is a question of
direction. And if, as we shall see in some detail, following Deleuzes
own conceptuality, I choose to refer to it as a plane, it is precisely
insofar as a plane denes not a surface or a volume, but a direction,
or a manifold of directions. That which orients and guides a thought
does not lie only behind it. It is also ahead of it. To follow that thread
is not to carry out a historical, genealogical approach. It is not an
eort to trace a thought in its progressive emergence, to identify
inuences and to follow their course. What History grasps of the
event, Deleuze writes, is its eectuation in states of aairs or in lived
experience, but the event in its becoming, in its specic consistency,
its self-positing as a concept, escapes History.
2
Another way of describ-
ing my goal, then, would be to say that what I am seeking to iden-
tify is the event of Deleuzian thought. And if Deleuze himself is indeed
at times and in certain ways a historian of philosophy, it is precisely
in the sense in which he is engaged in extracting the event or the
becoming that belongs to a given thought. My concern, then, will not
be that of the historian. In many ways, it will be more tentative and
less secure. Potentially, it is philosophically more fruitful. Taking my
clue in Deleuzes later work, I will look back at his thought in its
entirety and formulate a hypothesis regarding its trajectory. Naturally,
the hypothesis in question would need to be put to the test of a series
of close readings of Deleuzes most signicant textssomething that I
am not in a position to do here. Ultimately, though, it will be a ques-
tion of asking whether there is something like a singular philosophical
intuition, a single problematical horizon, behind the proliferation of con-
cepts with which we have come to associate his thought. In order to
identify the source of a thought, it is not enough to analyze its con-
cepts. It requires that we identify its consistency. And that, we can
hope to do by looking into that aspect of a thought that always remains
concealed to it (at least in part), by looking into what we could call
its unthought. This is the true source or the horizon from which the
thinkers thought unfolds. For reasons that will also become apparent,
it is most dicult, if not altogether impossible, to produce the con-
cept of that source, that is, to grasp it fully.
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I
What is Philosophy? is a text in which uniquely and retrospectively
Deleuze tries to identify the driving force (the source) behind his thought
as a whole. This is a text of maturity in the strongest and best sense
of the word, that is, a crucial testimonya philosophical testament
almostin which, among other things, Deleuze is concerned to iden-
tify the nature and ultimate signicance of the enterprise he has been
involved in all his life. Besides the general tone of the text, which
remains as jolly and humorous as usual, besides its (still) experimen-
tal nature, there is a certain serenity, I would not be afraid to say a
certain wisdom, that prevails. Most of all, though, this is a text that
has the virtue of isolating the thread that, I believe, runs through the
whole of his work. This is the thread of immanence. But, as were
about to see, this concept is complex and highly problematic. In fact,
we shall have to wonder whether it is a concept at all. We shall have
to wonder whether immanence can itself become an object of thought,
can be turned into something that, from its position of withdrawal and
presupposition, thought could hold up before itself and clarify completely.
In a way, all I shall be doing here is to probe the ambiguous and
problematic nature of immanence as the project that philosophy in
general, and Deleuzian philosophy in particular, is made to stand for.
What is Philosophy? puts forward a thesisnow famousaccording
to which philosophy is the creation of concepts. Philosophy, Deleuze
and Guattari tell us, begins with the creation of concepts. And con-
cepts, we are told, exist only insofar as they attempt to isolate and
solve specic problems. Philosophy is the art of posing the right prob-
lems and developing the concepts by means of which such problems
can be solved. In this respect, concepts are valuable only to the extent
that they allow us to designate specic problems, and not mere gen-
eralities. They must allow us to delimit and dene situations that are
themselves singular. Nothing isor should bemore concrete and
precise than a concept. This, perhaps, is the most signicant lesson
Deleuze drew from Bergson and that he tried to apply systematically.
Leaving aside the question of how we ought to understand the cre-
ation in question, let me simply mention the fact that it is to be
understood not as a creation ex nihilo, but as an eort to extract
from the sensible the singular points at which the constitution of a
phenomenon, whatever its nature, is being decided. Concepts in that
respect, while created, are the concepts of the sensible itself, and not,
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as Kant thought, the a priori categories of a faculty of understanding
used in connection with a faculty of intuition.
Let me leave to one side this very brief account of the concept (we
shall return to it) and turn to another thesis of What is Philosophy? intro-
duced immediately after the one I have just alluded to. This second
thesis stipulates that behind or beneath every set of concepts consti-
tuting a thought, there is something like an intuition, or a precon-
ceptual, prephilosophical understanding that orients that thought. Take
the example of Descartes cogito, which correctly, in Deleuzes mind,
has been understood as designating the rst or founding concept of
his thought, if not of modern thought itself. That concept, along with
its various components (doubting, thinking, being), is nonetheless cre-
ated only with a view to making possible what is announced as the
ultimate project or plan of that thought, namely, to establish truth as
absolute certainty, to secure this new conception of truth and this new
point of departure for philosophy. An integral and crucial part of this
process involves the neutralization of all explicit objective presupposi-
tions, which philosophy had taken for granted up until that point, such
as the denition of man as rational animal. But even this plan or fun-
damental aim, this project that can be distinguished as distinctly
Cartesian and that involves the elimination of all presuppositions, pre-
supposes something. Even this project of objective presuppositionless-
ness, which so much of modern philosophy up until Hegel will be
concerned to carry out, involves something like a subjective presupposi-
tion, a prephilosophical understanding of what it means to think and
of thoughts (intimate and as it were natural) relation to truth. Chapter
3 of Dierence and Repetition refers to it as the image of thought and
is itself an attempt (one, I would argue, that was subsequently aban-
doned) to produce a thought without image.
3
In the case of Descartes,
the image in question is the presupposition according to which every-
one knows what thinking, being, and I mean, and the fact that we,
as thinking things, are naturally disposed or inclined towards truth (such
would be the meaning of the lumen naturale). In fact, this presupposi-
tion turns out to be that not just of Descartes but also of the history
of philosophy in its quasi entirety. And such is the reason why, in
wanting to produce a thought without image, Dierence and Repetition
insists on the bad will of the philosopher, that is, on his opposition
to the good and the common sense that lie at the heart of the
image that governs much of Western thought. As far as the example
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of Descartes is concerned, we should say that the cogito is at once the
rst concept on the plane of objective presuppositionlessness, the absolute
and unquestionable point of departure for thought, and at the same
time, the result of a subjective presupposition regarding the image of
thought. This image is what indicates, always indirectly, obliquely, what
it means to think, to use thought, to orient oneself in thought.
We began by saying that philosophy is the creation of concepts,
that philosophical thought begins with that activity. We now need to
rene and nuance that statement, insofar as there always seems to be
something that precedes that activity, something of the order of an
image of thought, a preconceptual understanding of what it means to
think. In other words, there seems always to be something prephilo-
sophical at the heart of philosophy, and something that, furthermore,
signals the internal conditions of philosophy. If philosophy indeed begins
with the creation of concepts, the image of thought is where that
thought really originates. The image is what institutes that thought as
the thought that it is, with its concepts and notions. It designates the
horizon from which it thinks, and so something like its unthought. In
What is Philosophy? Deleuze and Guattari refer to it as a plane ( plan).
In that respect, What is Philosophy? seems to mark a shift from a fun-
damental aspect of Dierence and Repetition insofar as Deleuze and Guattari
are now claiming that philosophyincluding their owncan never
quite shake o or determine entirely its own image: a purely image-
less thought is but an illusion. Contrary to what Deleuze once thought,
then, it would seem that thought cannot operate without a certain
image, an image that, furthermore, it cannot quite turn into a con-
cept. If philosophy proceeds by way of concepts, yet in such a way
that the horizon from which it proceeds is itself not a concept, but
indeed something like an image, does it not mean that non-philoso-
phy gures (quite literally) at the heart of philosophy? That the purest
of philosophers is always he whose thought is born of a non-philo-
sophical origin, and that philosophy is structurally, originally, irreducibly
open to, and bound up with something that is itself non-philosophical?
This, in turn, would suggest that philosophy can never quite conceptualize
its own image or appropriate that which, in a way, belongs to it most
properly. It would suggest that the dimension that shapes thought most
decisively is also the dimension that escapes the conceptual power of
thought, that thought is never quite able to bend backwards towards
its own presupposition and make its own image transparent to itself.
All that thought could ever hope to do, then, would be to intimate
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its own image, to approach it asymptotically, as it were. What it could
not hope to do, however, would be to produce the concept of its own
image. Concepts ow and follow from their image or plane, of which
there is no concept.
The question, now, would be one of knowing which plane or image
other than the one I have just alluded to and that runs through much
of the history of philosophybelongs to Deleuzian thought. In addi-
tion, the question will also be one of knowing whether the source or
the plane of Deleuzian thought coincides with that of philosophy itself,
philosophy as such (as opposed to, say, religion). Is there something like
THE plane of philosophya plane that, in his own way, Deleuze
would have helped to complete? Does philosophy (nally) reach home
when reaching the shores of immanence?
The French word plan can be heard in many waysways that
Deleuze mobilizes more or less explicitly. At this early stage and in a
preliminary, preparatory way, let me simply say that it can suggest
something like a background, an arrire-plan, as in photography or in
painting, in the case of a visual object, or as in story-telling: it is on
the basis of or, more adequately perhaps, from a given background that
the foreground of a picture becomes visible, that the characters of a
story unfold. Likewise, it is on the basis of a distinct plane that philo-
sophical concepts come to life. Yet the plan also suggests something
that is not so much behind, in the background, as it is ahead, ori-
enting and shaping whatever it is the plan of. In that respect, it is a
plan, a design, something that is drawn in advance and points for-
ward. The image of thought is a plan in that sense: it provides a
thought with its fundamental direction and its general climate; it ori-
ents it and channels it. So, at this point, let me simply note the fact
that the plan is both behind and ahead, both a background and a
plan, and that thought, as the creation of concepts, unfolds on a stage
that it does not quite construct, or institute. It creates concepts, yet
against a background that it institutes more than it creates it, and
through which, in any case, it nds itself instituted. One creates con-
cepts, but one does not create the stage on which they unfold.
What have we established thus far? That philosophy is the creation
of concepts, but against the background of an intuition, or an image,
of what it means to think. In other words: that philosophy begins with
concepts, but nds itself instituted or established through a plane, which
it draws, intuitively as it were. A distinction must be drawn, then, between
what we could call the beginning of philosophy and its institution.
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Allow me to take this problematic a bit further by raising the fol-
lowing question: if philosophy is indeed instituted (and not merely ini-
tiated) through something that is itself preconceptual, something of the
order of a plane or an image of thought, why does Deleuze charac-
terize it further in terms of consistency and immanence? Consistency
is not mere coherence: whereas coherence, I would argue, has to do
with the relation between concepts, consistency is concerned with the
place or space from which a given thought unfolds. But why imma-
nence? Before addressing this question, let me, once again, wonder
as to the extent to which immanence and consistency are indeed con-
cepts, or at least concepts that we could situate alongside the many
concepts Deleuze creates. Inasmuch as they are associated with the
very plane of thought, should we not view them as quasi concepts,
operating on a dierent plane, indexes of that which in every thought,
yet always dierently, asserts itself, ultimately pointing to the horizon
of thought itself, to the very condition of philosophical thought as such,
which Deleuze wants to extract, over and beyond that of classical, rep-
resentational thought? The (quasi) concepts of plane, consistency,
and immanence point to the conditions of thought itself. The plane
of immanence, Deleuze and Guattari state very clearly in What is
Philosophy?, is not a concept that is or can be thought.
4
Why? Because
it is not a concept to begin with. Or if it is a concept, it is one that is
of an altogether dierent kind from the concepts that make up the
fabric and the distinct color of a given thought. But what is it, then?
An image, precisely: the plane of immanence is the image of thought,
the image thought gives itself of what it means to think, to make use
of thought, to direct oneself in thought.
5
From the start, and irre-
ducibly, concepts nd themselves indebted to something that is itself
not conceptual, to a horizon from which they emerge and that deter-
mines the meaning of thought. This horizon, this plane, is precisely
the one that Deleuzes concepts attempt to make room for, to inti-
mate, without there ever being a question of turning it into a con-
cept. His own concepts, then, can be seen as an attempt to draw a
plane, but one that would have no other goal than to bring out its
own image, to bring to the surface the image that simmers beneath
all concepts and that makes such concepts possible in the rst place.
His thought is this attempt to bring about the question What does
thinking mean? or What does it mean to think? We can wonder
whether there is not something intrinsically problematic, if not para-
doxical, in wanting to extract the preconceptual conditions of thought
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by way of thought (thus resisting the temptation to locate the condi-
tions of philosophy outside philosophy, in history, for example, or
anthropology), in wanting to bring out the horizon or the plane on
the basis of which philosophy unfolds, but which it itself does not insti-
tute. Is there not an intrinsic diculty, possibly a necessary incom-
pleteness, built into the attempt to name, to conceptualize that on the
basis of which concepts are generated, once the two most inuential
ways of addressing that problemthe Cartesian (and Platonic) way,
which stipulates that concepts or ideas are not generated but innate,
and the Hegelian way, which stipulates that concepts are indeed gen-
erated, yet from within, from the most immediate and abstract to the
most mediated and concretehave been explicitly rejected?
For what is Deleuzes own image of thought, what is the intuition
that traverses it, and that makes him anti-Cartesian and anti-Hegelian?
It is characterized by a twofold trait. First, thought is external to what
it thinks: its ideas, its concepts are not generated from within, but from
without, as a result of an encounter, a shock, which comes from the
sensible. Thought is irreducibly of the sensible, generated by and directed
towards it. It is set into motion, generated by something that provokes
itnot as a result of some natural inclination and good will, then, not
in the excitement of a taste for thinking, but under the impulse of a
shock.
6
Thought happens as a result of an encounter with the outside.
It is a responsea creative responseto something that has taken
hold of us. What does this mean? It means that we do not think nat-
urally, that we are not naturally disposed towards thought and truth,
that our faculty of thought does not of itself accord with our faculty
of intuition; it means that our ideas are not innate, and so are pre-
cisely not ours (all so-called good and original ideas are precisely
not our own), that the conditions of thought are not within thought
itself, that thought is not its own ground, and so certainly not that of
the intelligibility of the real.
7
This is the extent to which Deleuze is
an empiricist. At the same time, thought is said to be entirely imma-
nent to what it thinks, immanent to the real that provokes it, and not,
as is often the case, the other way around: it is not the real that is
immanent to thought. Immanence to . . . is always the index of tran-
scendence. The dicultyand, I believe, the singularityof Deleuzes
thought lies in having to uphold this double axiom that constitute its
image: exteriority and immanence. Exteriority is what preserves thought
from what Deleuze calls the image or the model of recognition, and the
form of doxa (founded in the double presupposition of good sense
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and common sense, of Eudoxus and orthodoxy): to assume that thought
identies and recognizes its object, and so is in a state of natural
anity with the world, is to assume the exact opposite of what it
means to think for Deleuze. This image of recognition, or this con-
ception of thought as a disposition shared by all, produced by the con-
cordance of all the faculties, and naturally disposed towards its object
(truth), is the most stubborn of all, and one that Deleuze associates
with virtually the whole of philosophy. Such is the reason why, in
Dierence and Repetition, he did not hesitate to speak of the Image of
thought as constituting the subjective presupposition of philosophy as
a whole.
8
Such also is the reason why, in that text, Deleuze called
for a thought without image. Thinking without image means under-
standing thought as having nothing to do with representation. But this,
as I have already suggested, and still need to show in detail, does not
mean that nonrepresentational thought is a thought without a plane.
We need to distinguish between two senses of image, one of which
refers to the dominant image of thought in philosophy, which Deleuze
describes as doxic, or representational. The second refers to the thought
without image, or to the plane of immanence. Ultimately, I would
suggest that Deleuzes move beyond Dierence and Repetition was a direct
eect of the need to go further in the direction of a thought without
image, further in the direction of immanence. At the same time, how-
ever, I would also want to suggest that immanence itself, by virtue of
not being a concept, proves to be a singularly elusive and highly prob-
lematic theme.
Because immanence is not just of the order of the concept, thought
cannot be grounded in the concept, but (only) ungrounded in the
image (without image) of thought. Any attempt to ground thought,
and to establish thought as its own ground, will amount to a rein-
scription of transcendence, to making immanence immanent to thought.
What the recognition of the dierence between image and thought,
between plane and concept, requires is the relentless and always renewed
creation of concepts that testify to the horizon of immanence of thought.
Immanence is the plane or the horizon of thoughtand so its ulti-
mate goalthat eaces itself in the face of other concepts, which all
converge to establish it, since from the start it has exceeded the order
of the conceptual. Such is the reason why, perhaps, immanence does
not gure as prominently as other concepts in Deleuzes thought, why,
despite the fact that we as readers feel it plays an absolutely crucial
role, it is never as thoroughly examined, as systematically probed, as
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other concepts. Such is the reason why that thought comes to be asso-
ciated with that quasi or non-concept only retrospectively, at a meta-
level as it were, when it is nally possible to ask, with a certain distance,
as Deleuze does in What is Philosophy?: What exactly has been insist-
ing all along? What exactly has been trying to nd its way through
this series of texts and this creation of concepts? Could it have been
this desire to bend philosophy backwards, as it were, in the direction
of its absolute presupposition and, in so doing, to establish it as pure
immanence? Perhaps, Deleuze and Guattari write, this is the supreme
act of philosophy: not so much to think THE plane of immanence as
to show that it is there, unthought in every plane, and to think it in
this way as the outside and inside of thought, as the not-external out-
side and the non-internal insidethat which cannot be thought and
yet must be thought.
9
So far, three dierent types or levels of presuppositions have emerged.
When speaking of a given thought, there is, rst of all, its beginning (or
its point of departure), that is, its desire to do away with what Deleuze
calls all objective presuppositions, such as Descartes implicit rejection
of the denition of the human as the rational animal. There is, sec-
ond of all, what Deleuze calls the remaining subjective presuppositions,
which always orient the identication of the objective ones, and which
he sees at work in the whole of modern philosophy. This is what he
calls the Image of thought. We could also refer to it as the plane from
which its concepts unfold. I referred to such an image, or plane, as
the origin of thought. There is, nally, a third level of presupposition,
which would characterize philosophy itself, and which Deleuze would
have set out to extract, thus making it absolutely presuppositionless and
realizing its own vocation.
Evidently, Deleuze and Guattari claim in What is Philosophy? that the
Greek, the modern, and the contemporary planes of thought are not
identical. The quest for the absolute, self-foundation of thought I was
alluding to a moment ago may have been the image of thought of
modern philosophy. Yet is it possible to identify a single plane behind
them all, something which each plane would have responded to, albeit
dierently? This is what Deleuze and Guattari call the plane of imma-
nence proper, or the dening and unsurpassable horizon of philoso-
phy. Besides the various planes or images of thought that constitute
the history of philosophy, there is also the plane of immanence that
underlies them all, and that denes philosophy in its essence.
10
The ques-
tion, then, becomes one of knowing how we can account for a history
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of philosophyas the history of the various images of thoughtagainst
the background of the innite reality of what we could call THE image
of thought? Must it be at the cost of (re)introducing something like a
philosophy of history, or an epochality of immanence? Must the ques-
tion of the origin or the becoming of thought be supplemented by
that of its history?
There seems to have been, Deleuze and Guattari suggest in What
is Philosophy?, something like a historical (and geographical) point of
departure for philosophy in Ancient Greece. This was nothing like a
destiny, or indeed a necessity, but an entirely contingent event: some-
thing took place, a number of elements came together and crystallized
into what turned out to be a very signicant event. There is, Deleuze
insists, nothing intrinsically Greek about philosophy (most philoso-
phers in Greece were foreigners and migrs). At the same time, how-
ever, it is undeniable that a new modality of thought, if not thought
itself, emerged in the context of the newly created Greek polis in the
sixth century n.c. Two decisive traits can be highlighted. First, in con-
trast with the highly ordered, vertical, and hierarchical societies of the
Mycenaean kingdom and the civilizations of the Middle East, the Greek
city-state understood itself as a society of friends, that is, as a society
of free and equal beings (Homoioi, similar; Isoi, equals). In other words,
something like a phenomenon of social and political aplanissement, or
attening, occurred: suddenly all men (the denition of man here is
highly selective, as it excluded many types of males and all women)
appeared on the same plane. Second, and following Vernant, we can
identify the following two decisive traits that determined the emer-
gence of philosophy in Greece: the constitution of a domain of thought
external and foreign to religion (the physicists from Ionia); the idea of
a cosmic order that no longer relied, as was the case in traditional
theogonies, on the power of a sovereign god, on its monarchia, its basileia,
but on a law that is immanent to the universe, on something like a
rule of distribution (nomos) that imposes an egalitarian order on all the
constitutive elements of nature, so that no one element can exercise
its domination (kratos) over others. For the rst time, nature was envis-
aged without recourse to the dramatic imagery of the ancient theogo-
nies and cosmogonies, without the great gures of the primordial and
supernatural Powers. With the physicists of Miletus of Ionia (Thales,
Anaximander, Anaximenes), positivity penetrated all spheres of being,
and nothing was seen to exist outside nature. Human beings, the divine,
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the world as such and as a whole constituted a unied and homoge-
neous universe that coexisted all on one plane.
11
What was common
to both the social-political order and the cosmic order was the prin-
ciple of equality (ison), the idea of an order ruled by equality (isono-
mia). The two aspects are of course linked, Deleuze stresses, insofar as
only friends can set out a plane of immanence (tendre un plan dimma-
nence) as a ground from which idols have been cleared. Philosophy
replaces a plane of transcendence with one of immanence, and the
gure of the Philosopher challenges that of the Priest or the Wise:
Whenever there is transcendence, vertical Being, imperial State in the
sky or on earth, there is religion; and there is philosophy whenever
there is immanence, even if it functions as an arena for the agon and
rivalry.
12
From a historical perspective, and inasmuch as it amounts
to an event that crystallized in Ancient Greece, immanence is best
described as a milieu. As such, it is precisely not a historical deter-
mination, but a geographical one: it designates a set of geographical
contingencies, a place and a source, and not a destiny.
Immanence turns out to be what distinguishes philosophy from
mythology, religion, and various forms and practices of wisdom. It is
the cornerstone of philosophy. At the same time we should note that
for a number of reasons, which will turn out to be very complex
indeed, philosophy always falls short of total immanence. It is always
somewhat tainted with transcendence, especially (but not exclusively)
with Judeo-Christian theology. Time and again, instead of being imma-
nent (or univocal), ontology becomes onto-theology (and analogical).
As an event and a task, philosophy does not quite coincide with its
history. Yet, to use Alliezs words, the history of philosophy is the
hypertext where the armation of immanence and the illusion of tran-
scendence ceaselessly oppose one anotherand, I would argue, where
philosophy ceaselessly compromises with transcendence. Speaking of
the dierence between the Greeks and the Moderns, and with direct
reference to Hlderlins famous letter to Bhlendorf dated 4 December
1801, Deleuze and Guattari write:
[T]he Greeks kept the plane of immanence that they constructed in
enthusiasm and drunkenness, but they had to search for the concepts
with which to ll it so as to avoid falling back into the gures of the
East. As for us, we possess conceptsafter so many centuries of Western
thought we think we possess thembut we hardly know where to put
them because we lack a genuine plane, misled as we are by Christian
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transcendence. In short, in its past form the concept is that which is not
yet. We today possess concepts, but the Greeks did not yet possess them;
they possessed the plane that we no longer possess.
13
And so, today, we must strive to regain the plane of immanence, which
we have lost. In the light of such a task, however, we must learn to
use our concepts dierently and to reinvent them so as to free them
from their onto-theological heritage.
II
In our eort to regain immanence, we would do well to follow in the
footsteps of Spinoza. Why? Because it is with Spinoza that the goal
of philosophy is completely realized for the rst time in modern times.
In Spinozism, we have a concept of immanence that coincides com-
pletely (and not just partially) with that of God, or Being. Allow me
to introduce the signicance of Spinozas thought for Deleuze by turn-
ing once again to What is Philosophy? and to what ultimately serves as
a justication for the characterization of Spinoza as the prince of
philosophers or as the thinker who has achieved immanence, thus
bringing philosophy into its own, reconciling it, as it were, with its
own presupposition. With him, in a way, there is no longer a dierence
between the plane of immanence and the concepts of thought, between
the horizon of thought and thought itself: thought has become truly
immanent and innite. Up until Spinoza, Deleuze claims, immanence
was always at work in philosophy, but always as a theme that could
never quite be fullled. Why? No doubt because it was the most dan-
gerous theme: when God begins to be envisaged as an immanent cause,
there is no longer any possibility of distinguishing clearly between it
and its creatures, between the cause and the eect. In the whole his-
tory of heresies, the accusation of immanentism was the most damn-
ing, the confusion of God and the creature the most serious fault. The
consequence was that immanence, although given from the start as a
horizon and a demand, could not reach its proper status nor manage
to nd a place within the concepts of philosophy. Until Spinoza.
The whole of the Ethics is constructed on one primordial proposi-
tion, which can be characterized as theoretical or speculative and which
stipulates the following: there is one absolutely innite substance only,
that is, one substance that possesses all attributes, and what we call
the creatures are precisely not creatures, but the modes or the ways
of being of that substance. And if they are the ways of being of the
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substance that possesses all attributes, then they must exist or be con-
tained in the attributes of the substance. The immediate consequence,
to which we shall return, is the leveling (or the ironing out) and the
atteningthe aplanissement and aplatissementof a vertical and hierar-
chical structure, of a sequence of concepts: there is no hierarchy, no
sequence between the attributes, or between thought and extension,
but a single xed plane on which everything takes place. This is what
Deleuze calls the plane of immanence. This is a plane that is at work,
from the start and always, as the presupposition and aim of philoso-
phy, as its horizon, as it were. At the same time, however, it must
always be instituted, drawn, or established. It is always there, but never
as a given, always as something to be constructed, to be made. Concepts
are the tools with which this construction, this machine, is assembled.
Deleuzes concern with immanence emerges explicitly within the
context of his thse complmentaire of 1968 that, as a thesis in the his-
tory of philosophy, is concerned to inscribe Spinoza within a histori-
cal perspective.
14
Yet already, the choice of Spinoza is highly signicant,
especially when considered alongside the other, more systematic the-
sis (Dierence and Repetition). In other words, there is a broader context
and a more systematic problematic that frames the historical work in
question. This is the problematic concerned with identifying the real
and immanent conditions of experience, a goal that requires the inven-
tion of philosophy as transcendental empiricism and the defense of
ontology as univocity. Spinoza is understood as a decisive stage along
the path of univocity. As such, he is not just a gure in the history
of philosophy. In the thse complmentaire, the theme of immanence is
introduced through the classical problem of causality and through the
concept of the immanent cause.
15
This is a type of causality that ulti-
mately has the advantage of reconciling the Aristotelian and Scholastic
ecient causality, still at work in Descartes, with the Neo-Platonist
emanative cause, which it extends and transforms. How?
16
In chapter 11 of Spinoza and the Problem of Expression, Deleuze comes
very close to providing a synthetic account of immanence in the his-
tory of philosophy leading up to Spinoza. Let it be said from the start
that, according to Deleuze, the concept of expression is precisely the
one that enables Spinoza to achieve the standpoint of absolute imma-
nence in philosophy. Expression is introduced as an alternative to the
concepts of participation (to which it is also related), imitation, cre-
ation, and emanation. Expression, therefore, is seen as a key moment
in the realization of philosophy as immanent ontology. The question
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that Deleuze raises at the outset of the chapter is the following: What
are the logical links between immanence and expression? And what is
the historical link between the two concepts? In order to answer these
questions, we rst need to establish the link between immanence and
emanation. This takes us back to the Platonic problem of participa-
tion, understood in the following ways: to participate is to take part,
but it is also to imitate, and also to receive a demon. As a result, par-
ticipation is interpreted at times materially, at times imitatively, and
at still other times demonically. But in each case, the principle of
participation is located in the participating party. Participation is some-
thing that merely happens to the participated; it is something of the
order of a violence to which the participated is subjected. If partici-
pation is a matter of taking part (literally, as it were), then the par-
ticipated can only suer from such an intrusion, division, or separation.
If participation involves imitation, then there is the need for an artist,
who takes the Idea as his model. The role of the intermediary, whether
artist or demon, is to force the sensible to reproduce the intelligible, but
also to force the Idea to be participated in by something contrary to its
own nature.
Now what Neo-Platonism does is to reverse the problem by seek-
ing to identify a principle that makes this participation possible, but this
time from the point of view of the participated. The Neo-Platonists
no longer begin with the characters of the participating (multiple, sen-
sible, etc.) in order to ask about the type of violence under which par-
ticipation becomes possible. Rather, they try to discover the internal
principle and movement that ground the participation in the partici-
pated itself. In reality, it is not the participated that passes over into
the participating. The participated remains within itself. It is partici-
pated insofar as it produces, and it produces insofar as it gives. But it
needs to go outside itself in order to produce or give. It is this demand
that Plotinus project stands for, by arguing for the need to start with
the highest reality, to subordinate imitation to genesis or production,
to substitute the idea of the gift for that of violence. The participated
does not divide; it is not imitated from without, nor is it constrained
by intermediaries that impose a certain violence on its nature. The
participation is not material, nor imitative, nor demonic: it is emana-
tive. Emanation means both cause and gift: causality by donation, but
also productive donation. The true activity is that of the participated,
and the participating is only an eect. The emanative cause is the
Cause that gives, the Good that gives, the Virtue that gives.
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Because everything emanates from this principle, because it gives
everything, it is itself not participated: as Proclus claimed, there is par-
ticipation only through a principle that is itself unparticipatable, yet a
principle that gives to participate. In Plotinus words: the One is higher
than its gifts as well as its products and is participatable on the basis
of what it gives.
What do the immanent cause and the emanative cause have in
common? The fact that, in order to produce, they do not need to
externalize or step outside themselves. Spinoza himself makes the con-
nection between the two causes in the Short Treatise.
17
They dier, how-
ever, with respect to the way in which they produce. The emanative
cause remains within itself, but the eect that it produces does not.
The emanative cause produces on the basis of what it gives, but it is
beyond what it gives. In the end, then, the eect leaves the cause, exists
only by leaving the cause, and determines its existence only by return-
ing to the cause from which it came. There is a residual transcen-
dence there. A cause is said to be immanent, on the other hand, when
the eect is itself immanated (imman ) in the cause, and not when
it emanates from it. What denes the immanent cause, then, is the
fact that its eect remains within it, no doubt as in something else,
but within it nonetheless. As a result, the dierence in essence between
the cause and the eect will never be interpreted as degradation or a
fall. From the point of view of immanence, the distinction of essence
does not exclude, but implies an equality of being: it is the same being
that remains within itself in the cause and in which the eect remains
as something else.
When Plotinus says that the One has nothing in common with
the things that come after it (Enneads, V, 5, 4), it is to emphasize the
fact that the emanative cause is higher than, not the eect alone, but
also that which it grants the eect with. And this is precisely the rea-
son why the One, and not Being, is identied as the primary cause:
since it grants all beings with their being, it is necessarily beyond being,
or in Spinozistic terms, beyond the substance. And so, emanation in
its pure state is inseparable from a system of the One-higher-than-
being; the rst hypothesis of the Parmenides dominates the whole of
Neo-Platonism. In addition, and as a necessary corollary, it is also
inseparable from a negative theology or from a method of analogy that
recognizes the eminence of the principle or the cause. In the end,
emanation is the principle of a hierarchical universe; the dierence
between beings in general is conceived within it as a hierarchical
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dierence; each term is, as it were, the image of the higher term that
precedes it and is dened according to the degree of remoteness that
separates it from the rst cause or the rst principle.
A further fundamental dierence between the two causes begins to
emerge. While immanence implies a pure, positive ontology, or a the-
ory of Being for which the One is not even an attribute or a univer-
sal of Being (or the Substance) but only one of its many characters,
emanation is a theology, or an onto-theology, for which the One is
necessarily beyond Being. Its ontology is, as a result, negative and ana-
logical. Pure immanence, on the other hand, requires the principle of
an ontological equality, or the positing of a Being-equal: not only is
Being equal in itself but also it is equally present in all beings. Similarly,
the cause is equally close everywhere: there is no remoteness of the
cause. Beings are not dened according to their rank within a hier-
archy; they are not more or less close to the One. Rather, each is
directly dependent on God, each participates in the equality of Being,
receiving all that they can receive within the limits of their essence.
In its pure state, immanence requires a univocal Being, and one that
constitutes a Nature that consists in positive forms (which Spinoza calls
attributes), forms that are common to the producer and the produced,
to the cause and the eect. In immanence, there is indeed a superi-
ority of the cause over the eect (Spinoza retains the distinction between
essences), but this superiority does not imply any eminence, that is,
does not imply the positing of a principle beyond the forms that are
themselves present in the eect. The cause is superior to the eect,
but not to that which it grants the eect with. In truth, it does not
grant the eect with anything. The process of participation must be
understood entirely positively, and not on the basis of an eminent gift.
Immanence is opposed to any eminence of the cause, any negative
theology, any method of analogy, and any hierarchical conception of
the world.
18
Analogy, it is well known, was introduced to avoid the risk of anthro-
pocentrism in natural theology and, more importantly, the confusion
between the nite and the innite. Aquinas (who, it is true, developed
this argument in relation to Aristotelian metaphysics primarily) states
that the qualities we attribute to God do not imply a community of
form between the divine substance and its creatures, but only an anal-
ogy, that is, a relation of either proportion or proportionality. According
to the former, God possesses eminently a perfection that exists only deriv-
atively or formally in the creatures (Goodness, for example), whereas,
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according to the analogy of proportionality, God possesses formally a
perfection that remains extrinsic in the creatures (the divine goodness
is to God as human goodness is to man). Spinoza reverses the prob-
lem by claiming that it is analogy, and equivocity, not univocity, that
is guilty of anthropocentrism. Every time we proceed analogically, he
claims, we borrow certain features from the creatures and attribute
them to God either equivocally (formally) or eminently. In his view,
attributes are forms that are common to God, whose essence they con-
stitute, and to the modes or creatures, in which they are implicated.
The same forms are armed of God and his creatures, despite the
fact that God and his creatures dier both essentially and existentially.
In other words, creatures dier from God in both essence and exis-
tence, and yet, at the same time, formally, God possesses something in
common with the creatures, namely, the attributes. The modes impli-
cate or envelop the attributes, whereas God is explicated in them.
Attributes are univocal forms of being, forms that do not change in
nature when changing subjects. This means: their sense does not
change, whether we predicate them of innite being or nite beings,
of the substance or the modes, of God or the creatures. To that extent,
Spinoza is the inheritor and follower of Scotus. Yet univocity in Scotus
was compromised by the desire to avoid pantheism. The theological,
and this means creationist, perspective forced him to conceive of uni-
vocal Being as an indierent, neutral concept, indierent to the nite
and the innite, the singular and the universal, the perfect and the
imperfect, the created and the uncreated. In Spinoza, on the other
hand, univocal Being is perfectly determined in its concept, as that
which is said in one and the same sense of the substance that is in
itself, and the modes that are in something else. With Spinoza, uni-
vocity becomes an object of pure armation. It is the same thing that,
formaliter, constitutes the essence of the substance and contains the
essences of the modes. What the idea of the immanent cause does,
then, is to extend that of univocity, liberating it from the indierence
and the neutrality in which it was held in the theory of divine cre-
ation. It is with the Spinozistic conception of immanence that uni-
vocity nds its genuinely philosophical formulation: God is said to be
the cause of all things in the same sense (eo senso) in which it is said
to be its own cause.
19
There lies the major dierence from Descartes,
for whom God is causa sui, but in a sense other than the sense in
which it is the ecient cause of the things it creates. As a result, being
cannot be said in the same sense of everything that is, of the divine
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substance and the created substances, of the substances and the modes,
etc. It is only by analogy with the ecient cause that God can be
said to be causa sui. By contrast, Spinozas causa sui cannot be said in
a sense other than the ecient cause. On the contrary: it is the ecient
cause that is said in the same sense as the causa sui. God produces or
creates exactly as it is or exists. Spinozas remarkable achievement is
to have developed an ontology that is opposed to all negative theolo-
gies and ontologies as well as to all methods that proceed through
equivocity, eminence, and analogy. But he does not remain satised
with denouncing the introduction of the negative in Being. He also
criticizes all the false conceptions of armation (Aquinas, Descartes)
in which the negative survives.
20
Closer to us, and after Spinoza, it is
of course Hegel who is targeted here, especially what we could call
his false immanence, this immanence that is only simulated by turn-
ing the negative into the engine and the soul of the positive, that is,
of the production of the real. In Hegel, there is no longer a trace of
equivocity, analogy, or eminence, except for that of the negativethe
most tenacious of all, and the most delicate to extirpate.
Having contrasted immanence and emanation to that extent, how
can we justify their association from a historical perspective? And what
does this association have to do with expression envisaged as the
decisive concept in the constitution of immanence? This association
can be justied by turning to Plotinus rst emanation, or hypostasis.
This is the hypostasis that concerns the Intellect, or Being, which
emanates from the One. Now it is not the case that there is a mutual
immanence between Being and the intellect only, for the intellect con-
tains all intellects and all intelligibles in the same way that Being con-
tains all beings and all kinds of being.
21
And it is the case that yet
another hypostasis emerges from the intellect. However, the intellect
can operate as an emanative cause only to the extent that it reaches
its point of perfection, a point that it is able to reach only as an imma-
nent cause. Being and the intellect are still the One, but the One that
is and that knows, the One of the second hypothesis of Parmenides, that
is, the One in which the multiple is present and that is itself present
in the multiple. Plotinus shows that Being is one with number at the
level of its unity, and that beings are one with number at the level of
development. And the word he uses to characterize this developed
state is that of explication (Enneads VI, 6, 9). The Greek term is
exelittein, to explicate, to develop. Damascius goes further in that direc-
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tion and shows the multiple to be gathered, concentrated, comprised,
and comprehended in the One, and the One explicated in the many.
Such is the origin of a pair of notions that will become increasingly
important in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance: complicare-explicare,
and that, Deleuze argues, anticipates the concept of expression. Boethius
applies the terms comprehendere, complecteri to eternal Being.
22
The pair
of susbtantives, complicatio-explicatio, or of adverbs, complicative-explicative,
takes on a great importance among the commentators of Boethius,
notably in the school of Chartres in the twelfth century. It is with
Nicholas of Cusa and Bruno, however, that these concepts acquire
their rigorous philosophical status.
23
All things are present in God, who
complicates them. God is present to all things, which explicate and
implicate him. So, what is crucial is that the successive and subordi-
nated emanations of Neoplatonism now give way to the co-presence
of two correlated movements. Things remain in God as they explicate
or implicate him, just as much as God remains within himself to com-
plicate things. The presence of things to God is called inherence,
and that of God to things implication. The equality of being has
now been substituted for the hierarchy of hypostases; for it is the same
being in which things are present and which is itself present within
them. Immanence is dened as the conguration of complication and
explication, of inherence and implication. Things are inherent in God,
who complicates them, in the same way that God remains implicated
by the things that explicate him. God is this complicating principle
that explicates itself through things: God is universal complication,
insofar as everything is within it; and it is universal explication, inso-
far as it is in everything (Of Learned Ignorance, II, chapter 3). To return
to our initial problem, that of participation, and its connection with
the problem of expression in Spinoza, we can now say that partici-
pation nds its principle not in some emanation of which the One
would be the sourcewith varying degrees of closenessbut in the
immediate and adequate expression of an absolute Being that com-
prises all beings and explicates itself through their individual essence.
The concept of expression brings all these aspects together: complica-
tion, explication, inherence, and implication. These aspects are also
the characters of immanence; immanence turns out to be expressive,
and expression turns out to be immanent, in what has become a sys-
tem of logical (and no longer simply historical) relations.
This, then, is how Deleuze is able to isolate expression as the category
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that establishes the principle of immanence for philosophy. In doing
so, he follows Koyrs thesis, for whom the category of expression is
the one that best captures what is distinct about the philosophy of the
Renaissance, as establishing the priority of the immanent cause over
emanation.
24
That being said, what is conquered de jure is constantly
threatened by the demand that the transcendence of the divine being
be secured and guaranteed. Such is the reason why, in the Renaissance
and modern times, philosophy is constantly charged with immanence
and pantheism, and why philosophers themselves are so eager to avoid
this accusation. And, for the most part, the way in which the tran-
scendence of a creator God is saved is through an analogical con-
ception of Being, or at least through an eminent conception of God
that limits the consequences of Being as equal. In actual fact, the prin-
ciple of equality of Being is itself interpreted analogically: it is the
same God, the same innite being, that is armed and explicated in
the world as immanent cause, and that remains inexpressible and tran-
scendent as the object of a negative theology that negates everything
that was armed of its immanence. There, immanence appears as a
limit-theory that is contained and attenuated through the perspective
of emanation and creation. For Deleuze, so long as immanence is not
accompanied by a full conception of univocity, or by a complete
armation of univocal Being, it cannot be fullled. The themes of
creation and emanation cannot do without a minimum of transcen-
dence, which stops expressionism from going all the way to the
immanence it implies. Immanence is precisely this philosophical ver-
tigo that is inseparable from the concept of expression. With the con-
cept of expression, philosophy is once and for all free of emanation
and resemblance: the things produced are modes of the divine, that is
to say, they implicate the same attributes as those that constitute the
nature of this divine being. They are not imitations, and the ideas are
not models or paradigms. With Spinoza, immanence is established as
a principle, and the plane of univocity is de facto secured for philoso-
phy. With Spinoza, philosophy is nally at home, nally completed.
Allow me, in conclusion, to return to my opening hypothesis regard-
ing immanence as the source or plane of Deleuzian thought. Of Deleuze,
we could say what he himself says of Spinoza, his kindred spirit and
guide: He completed [il a achev ] philosophy, because he fullled its
pre-philosophical presupposition (QP, 50/WP, 48). Deleuzian thought
can be seen as an eort to realize immanence after Spinoza. If there
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is no such thing as the end of philosophy, there may be something
like its completion, so long as we understand by that the appropria-
tion of its own internal conditions, of the dierence that makes it pos-
sible, and to which its concepts testify. This, perhaps, is the paradox
of immanence: it is given from the start, and yet it always remains to
be made. This means: it is never given as such, but only as that which
must be established in thought. Immanence is what befalls thought,
what befalls it de jure. But its task is also always to make immanence,
to turn this de jure into a de facto, in a gesture forever renewed. The
plane of philosophy may have been drawn in Greece once and for
all. In that respect, it may be taken as a given. Yet it is given in such
a way that it must be reinstituted time and again, for everyone and
at every level, in what amounts to the endless and inniteyet entirely
joyfultask of thought. Naturally, we would need to show how Deleuze
realizes immanence for himself and whether he succeeds in his task.
We would need to reveal his Spinozism not just through his inter-
pretation of Spinoza, as we did (and only partly), but through a close
examination of his most signicant texts, from Dierence and Repetition
(1968) to Logic of Sense (1969), Anti-Oedipus (1972) and A Thousand Plateaus
(1980). But this is a task that cannot be carried out here.
NOTES
1. The pages that follow are part of a larger project devoted to the thought of Gilles
Deleuze, an initial version of which was presented as a series of lectures at the
Collegium Phaenomenologicum, Citt di Castello, Italy, in the summer of 2003.
I would like to thank its director, Len Lawlor, for his generous invitation.
2. Quest-ce que la philosophie? (Paris: Minuit, 1991), 106. Henceforth cited as QP, fol-
lowed by page number.
3. Dirence et rptition (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1968). Henceforth cited
as DR
4. QP, 39.
5. QP, 3940.
6. DR, 173.
7. The project of the self-foundation of thought, and the foundation of the real in
thought, characterizes the most ambitious project of modern thought, from Descartes
to Hegel. It is true that in Descartes the idea of the innite, which the cogito dis-
covers within itself, complicates the project. It is only with Hegel, really, that the
reconciliation of the nite and the innite, of ground and what is grounded, of
the plane and the concept is realized fully.
8. DR, 172/132.
9. QP, 59.
10. Such a history, Deleuze insists, is not assembled chronologically, even less teleo-
logically, but precisely according to planes or strata, in other words, stratigraphi-
cally. This image is itself misleading, however, insofar as it gives the impression
of a vertical distribution, when the strata are actually laid horizontally, on a single
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plane. The entire diculty of course is one of knowing how these two planes or
types of planes relate.
11. Jean-Pierre Vernant, Les origines de la pense grecque (Paris: Quadrige/PUF, 1995), 101.
12. QP, 46.
13. QP, 97. See also, E. Alliez, La Signature du monde: ou quest-ce que la philosophie de
Deleuze et Guattari (Paris: Cerf, 1993), 14.
14. Deleuze, Spinoza et le problme de lexpression (Paris: Minuit, 1968). Henceforth cited
as SPE, followed by page number.
15. See Spinoza, Ethics, in Complete Works, edited by Michael M. Morgan and trans-
lated by Samuel Shirley (Indianapolis: Hackett, 2003), I, prop. XVIII.
16. See ibid., I, prop. XXV.
17. Spinoza, Short Treatise on Man, God and His Well-Being, in Complete Works, I, chap. 3, 2.
18. On Spinozas critique of eminence, see Ethics, I, prop. XV, scolie, and prop. XVII,
cor. II, scolie.
19. SPE, 58. See also Ethics, prop. XXXIII, scolie II.
20. SPE, 150.
21. See Plotinus, Enneads, trans. A. H. Armstrong, Loeb Classical Library (Cambridge,
MA: Harvard University Press, 1984), V, 1, 7, 30.
22. Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy, bk. 5, prose 6, in The Theological Tractates; The
Consolation of Philosophy, trans. H. F. Steward, E. K. Rand, and S. J. Tester, Loeb
Classical Library (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1973).
23. Deleuzes main source of inspiration on Cusa is Maurice de Gandillac, La Philosophie
de Nicolas de Cues (Paris: Aubier, 1942).
24. See A. Koyr, Mystiques, spirituels, alchimistes du XVI
me
sicle allemand (Paris: Armand
Colin, 1947).
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