In his book Deleuze: The Clamor of Being, Alain Badiou makes a rather striking claim that both he and Deleuze never had much patience with the idea of the end of philosophy as metaphysics—both were, he says, “actively indifferent” to the “omnipresent theme of ‘the end of philosophy’” (Deleuze: The Clamor of Being, p. 5). Badiou’s assertion is striking because Deleuze himself repeatedly suggests that his work is aimed at overturning what is often understood to be the core of traditional metaphysics: for instance, insofar as it reverses or brings about the destruction of Platonism (Difference and Repetition, p. 66). Furthermore, Deleuze is ordinarily read as being in profound agreement with contemporaries and compatriots such as Michel Foucault, Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, Jean-Luc Nancy, Jacques Derrida, and François Lyotard precisely insofar as the concepts created by him are seen, like theirs, to undermine the hegemonic rule of Western metaphysics.
Yet, Deleuze occasionally asserts something that immediately sets him apart from so-called postmodern thinkers. Consider the following statement: “I feel like a pure metaphysician” («Je me sens pur métaphysicien», from a letter reproduced in Arnaud Villani, La Guêpe et l'orchidée, p. 130). What are we to make of this and similar claims? What do they mean in light of the effort made during the last several centuries to overcome, overturn, destroy, or deconstruct metaphysics? If we consider Deleuze’s work more closely, might we find him engaging in the kind of thinking that is commonly referred to as metaphysical? And if Deleuze is indeed a metaphysician, does this undercut the many insightful contributions of the twentieth century philosophers who dedicate their thought to bringing down Western metaphysical tradition? Or does it suggest that there is a sense of metaphysics that should nevertheless be preserved?
These and similar questions will be addressed in this volume, the goal of which is to critically engage an aspect of Deleuze’s thought that, for the most part, has been neglected. It also seeks to explore the consequences of such an engagement. Other dimensions of Deleuze’s work have received a great deal attention in the scholarly literature, but can they be adequately elucidated if Deleuze’s relationship with metaphysics is not clarified?
Accordingly, this volume will not only address a question that so far has not been systematically raised, but will also put into perspective the larger body of scholarship on one of the key philosophers of our times.
Deadline to submit an abstract (200-400 words): April 15, 2011
Full paper submission deadline: October 15th 2011 with publication planned in an academic editing house for 2012
Length of papers: 7,000 to 12,000 words or 45,000 to 75,000 characters with spaces
Dr Edward Kazarian, Rowan University, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Julia Sushytska, University of Redlands, Email: email@example.com
Dr Alain Beaulieu, Laurentian University, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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