Jeffrey Bell is Professor of Philosophy at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana. He is the author of Philosophy at the Edge of Chaos: Gilles Deleuze and the Philosophy of Difference (University of Toronto Press, 2006). His current research investigates the implications of Deleuze's thought for the study of culture and history.
Charting the Road of Inquiry: Deleuze's Humean Pragmatics and the Challenge of Badiou
Article first published online: 2 MAR 2010
2006 The University of Memphis
The Southern Journal of Philosophy
Volume 44, Issue 3, pages 399–425, Fall 2006
How to Cite
Bell, J. (2006), Charting the Road of Inquiry: Deleuze's Humean Pragmatics and the Challenge of Badiou. The Southern Journal of Philosophy, 44: 399–425. doi: 10.1111/j.2041-6962.2006.tb00011.x
- Issue published online: 2 MAR 2010
- Article first published online: 2 MAR 2010
- Cited By
This essay responds to Badiou's charge that Deleuze fails to set forth a philosophy that is “beyond Gategorical oppositions.” It is argued that this criticism of Deleuze is founded upon a misreading of the Deleuzean distinction between the virtual and the actual, a reading that carries forward Badiou's misreading of Spinoza and, hence, of Deleuze's Spinozism. With this corrected, we show how the virtual-actual distinction operates within the experimental philosophy, or pragmatics, that Deleuze, and later Deleuze and Guattari, sets forth. It is this pragmatics that is precisely the philosophy of difference that is beyond categorical oppositions. Through a comparison of Deleuzean pragmatics with the work of Hume and Peirce, we are able to respond to Badiou's further criticism that Deleuze's philosophy fails to understand the conditions for creativity in thought and culture. This criticism is itself resolved once one corrects for Badiou's misreading of Deleuze's virtual-actual distinction.