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Affirming Divergence

Deleuze's Reading of Leibniz

Alex Tissandier

Paperback (Forthcoming)

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Argues that understanding Deleuze’s relationship to Leibniz is essential for a full understanding of Deleuze’s philosophy

Throughout Deleuze's work, we find two opposing characterisations of Leibniz. On the one hand, Deleuze presents Leibniz as a conservative theologian committed to justifying the order and harmony of a God-governed world. On the other, Leibniz appears as a revolutionary thinker credited with 'the most insane concept creation we have ever witnessed in philosophy'.

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Part I: Expressionism in Philosophy: Spinoza

1. Leibniz, Spinoza and the anti-Cartesian reaction

2. Leibniz and Expression

Part II: Difference and Repetition and Logic of Sense

3. Deleuze’s critique of representation

4. A Leibnizian world

Part III: The Fold

5. Material folds and the lower level of the Baroque House

6. Spiritual folds and the upper level of the Baroque House

Conclusion: The New Discord


About the Author

Alex Tissandier completed a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Warwick in 2014 and is now an independent scholar.


Leibniz’s influence on Deleuze has long been recognised, but rarely analysed, and Tissandier’s much needed book provides an unparalleled analysis of the development of Deleuze’s relationship to him. Drawing together and reconstructing readings from across Deleuze’s career, Tissandier provides a nuanced, comprehensive account of Deleuze’s increasingly radical reading of Leibniz, from the early, fragmentary readings of Expressionism in Philosophy: Spinoza and Difference and Repetition to the mature thought of the Fold. Affirming Divergence is a deep, rigorous analysis that affirms the centrality of Leibniz for Deleuze’s thought, providing a major contribution to our understanding of Deleuze’s relationship to the history of philosophy, and to our understanding of his philosophy itself.

- Dr. Henry Somers-Hall, University of London

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