Continental Philosophy Review

, Volume 42, Issue 4, pp 555–572 | Cite as

Hegel and Deleuze on the metaphysical interpretation of the calculus

Article

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to explore the uses made of the calculus by Gilles Deleuze and G. W. F. Hegel. I show how both Deleuze and Hegel see the calculus as providing a way of thinking outside of finite representation. For Hegel, this involves attempting to show that the foundations of the calculus cannot be thought by the finite understanding, and necessitate a move to the standpoint of infinite reason. I analyse Hegel’s justification for this introduction of dialectical reason by looking at his responses to Berkeley’s criticisms of the calculus. For Deleuze, instead, I show that the differential must be understood as escaping from both finite and infinite representation. By highlighting the sub-representational character of the differential in his system, I show how the differential is a key moment in Deleuze’s formulation of a transcendental empiricism. I conclude by dealing with some of the common misunderstandings that occur when Deleuze is read as endorsing a modern mathematical interpretation of the calculus.

Keywords

Hegel Deleuze Calculus Mathematics Representation 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Manchester Metropolitan UniversityManchesterUK

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