Traces of identity in deleuzes differential ontology

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Philosophy Department

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Research Article

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International Journal of Philosophical Studies

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Deleuzes differential ontology is a sustained attempt to think and affirm difference as opposed to the unity of identity he insists philosophical thought has tended to privilege. However, by distinguishing between three senses of identity, termed identity of the identical, same, and common, I show that, while Deleuzes differential ontology offers a powerful critique of identity in the senses of the identical and same, at numerous points in his analysis, such as the virtual-actual movement, the transcendental conditions defining different forms of thinking, and the relationship between the forms of thinking, it appears Deleuzes affirmation of difference depends on identity in the sense of the common. Rather than using these instances to offer a critique of Deleuzes differential ontology, I follow his exhortation to read a philosopher creatively and suggest that distinguishing between three senses of identity reveals the complexity of the difference-identity relationship and acts as a stimulus to rethinking this relationship. © 2014 Taylor & Francis.

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