Doctor of Philosophy
Mary Beth Mader
This dissertation argues that a sustained treatment of Gilles Deleuze's relationship to Immanuel Kant is eesential to a refined understanding of Deleuze's thought in his seminal work Difference and Repetition (1968). Five years before writing Difference and Repetition Deleuze published Kant's Critical Philosophy (1963), a short but comprehensive survey of Kant's work that introduced within the general traidic structure of Kant's critiques a more finely-grained structure oriented around the concept of faculties or capacities of thought. Kant's Critical Philosophy sees Deleuze using Kant's recurrent descriptions of the relationships between the faculties of thought as an organizing principle to reveal the unity of Kant's practice of critique as it developed toward realizing its own standard of immanence. Deleuze's charge that Kant ultimately betrays this standard due to his unwillingness to question the claims of morality itself is the catalyst for Deleuze's thinking in Difference and Repetition. There, Deleuze produces a differential theory of faculties through a revision and recuperation of Kant's doctrine of faculties, but without explicitly linking it to a new critical practice. This dissertation brings to light the new critical practice implicit in Deleuze's though by comparing the doctrine of faculties from Kant's Critical Philosophy with the differential theory of faculties from Difference and Repetition. What it shows is that in Difference and Repetition Deleuze carries out his own "critique of reason", an immanent critique that is not satisifed to remain at the level of the a priori conditions of experience but seeks to account for experience's genesis. Deleuze's critique contests the claims of morality at the heart of Kant's conservatism by developing a non-psychologistic theory of faculties as relations of power, by exposing the non-rational basis of rationality through a genetic analysis of "common sense", and by forcing thought to internalize how powerless it is to attain absolute moral insight. The methodological correlations drawn between Kant's Critical Philosophy and Difference and Repetition allow the dissertation to conlcude by raising important questions about the extent to which Deleuze's critique breaks with its Kantian antecedent, particularly as regards its practical commitments.
Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.
Carr, Cheri Lynne, "Deleuze's Critical Philosophy: The Differential Theory of the Faculties" (2012). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 575.