Deleuze Studies Conference

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Simon Duffy

The question of Deleuze's Neo-Leibnizianism

This paper will provide an account of the role of mathematics in the reconstruction of Leibniz's metaphysics that Deleuze undertakes in The Fold. Deleuze provides a systematic account of the structure of Leibniz's metaphysics in terms of its mathematical foundations. However, in doing so, Deleuze draws upon not only the mathematics developed by Leibniz and developments in mathematics made by a number of Leibniz's contemporaries, but also upon a number of subsequent developments in mathematics. Deleuze then retrospectively maps these developments back onto the structure of Leibniz's metaphysics in order to offer a solution to overcome and extend the limits that Deleuze identifies in it. Deleuze brings this elaborate conjunction of material together in order to set up a mathematical idealization of the system that he considers to be implicit in Leibniz's work. The result is a thoroughly mathematical explication of the structure of Leibniz's metaphysics. This paper provides an exposition of the very mathematical underpinnings of this Deleuzian account of the structure of Leibniz's metaphysics.

About the keynote speaker

Simon Duffy is an ARC Research Fellow in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Sydney, Australia. His research focuses on Deleuze's engagement with the thinkers of the early modern period, specifically Spinoza and Leibniz, and with the implications of certain developments in the history of mathematics to Deleuze's project of constructing a philosophy of difference. He is the author of The logic of expression: quality, quantity and intensity in Spinoza, Hegel and Deleuze (Ashgate, 2006), and is editor of Virtual Mathematics: the logic of difference (Clinamen, 2006).