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Experience and Empiricism: Hegel, Hume, and the Early Deleuze
by Russell Ford
Northwestern University Press, 2023
Paper: 978-0-8101-4560-3 | Cloth: 978-0-8101-4561-0 | eISBN: 978-0-8101-4562-7
Library of Congress Classification B1489.D43F67 2023
Dewey Decimal Classification 146.44

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ABOUT THIS BOOK

A clarifying examination of Gilles Deleuze’s first book shows how he would later transform the problem of immanence into the problem of difference
 
Despite the wide reception Gilles Deleuze has received across the humanities, research on his early work has remained scant. Experience and Empiricism remedies that gap with a detailed study of Deleuze’s first book, Empiricism and Subjectivity, which is devoted to the philosophical project of David Hume. Russell Ford argues that this work is poorly understood when read simply as a stand-alone study on Hume. Its significance only becomes apparent within the context of a larger problematic that dominated, and continues to inform, modern European philosophy: the conceptual constitution of a purely immanent account of existence. While the importance of this debate is recognized in contemporary scholarship, its genealogy—including Deleuze’s place within it—has been underappreciated. This book shows how Deleuze directly engages in an ongoing debate between his teachers Jean Wahl and Jean Hyppolite over experience and empiricism, an intervention that restages the famous encounter between rationalism and empiricism that yielded Kant’s critical philosophy. What, Deleuze effectively asks, might have happened had Hume been the one roused from his empirical dogmatic slumber by the rationalist challenge of Kant?

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