[SydPhil] Thomas Ebke @MQ Tue 2 April 1-2pm

Jean-Philippe Deranty jp.deranty at mq.edu.au
Sat Mar 30 11:29:35 AEDT 2019

Dr Thomas Ebke (University of Potsdam) will present a paper: "Notes towards a metaphysics of difference. From Hyppolite to Deleuze"

Macquarie University, 2 April, 1pm, Seminar Room 5.212

ABSTRACT: In his critical review of Jean Hyppolite's study Logic and Existence (1953), Gilles Deleuze already seems to break through to and to define in a nutshell the systematic problem around which is entire philosophy of difference revolves. Aside from its merit of dismantling the reduction of Hegelian speculative dialectics to philosophical anthropology, Hyppolite's work, according to Deleuze, conjures up a conception of difference that precedes and subverts Hegel's focus on mediation and contradiction. It is in fact at this early stage of his career that Deleuze explicitly introduces the formula of an "ontology of difference", which he reconstructs as the very upshot of Hyppolite's reading of Hegel. Following Hyppolite, the concept, in realizing itself, does so only in a twisted, inflected way to the extent that, while being constitutes itself as the being of the concept, the concept reflects itself only i the immediacy of being, by remaining implicated in immediate being as the immanent difference from itself, that is the concept. However, the ambivalence within Deleuze's assessment of Hyppolite's Hegelian configuration becomes clearly noticeable. In Deleuze's perspective, Hyppolite's text falls apart into two divergent projects: Whereas in the first part Hyppolite elaborates a philosophy of expression qua language in which expressivity is irreducible to contradiction, the second half of the book, in the eyes of Deleuze, turns out to be unfaithful to this approach. It is in this context that Deleuze attributes to Hyppolite the crucial flaw of speculative dialectics, namely the choice to "[carry] difference up to the absolute" (Deleuze), to ultimately sublate difference into contradiction.

In my paper, I wish to argue against this picture of Hyppolite's conception as a dualistically torn idealism. As it were, my strategy will be to explore the fecundity of the tension stigmatized by Deleuze. Rather than pushing difference all the way back down from contradiction to thereby obtain "différence pure" (Deleuze) as a generative principle which in itself is prior to empirical diversity, it may be promising to return to Hyppolite's view of difference as an expressivity below the concept, but above empirical diversity. For that matter, I wish to describe Hyppolite as the "vanishing" (or even the vanished) mediator of a metaphysics of difference whose blueprint his particular Hegelianism incorporates. It shall be the objective of my talk to spell out the systematic structure of a metaphysics of difference which Hyppolite seems to have bequeathed to contemporary thought only between the lines of his Hegelianism.

Prof. Jean-Philippe Deranty
Department of Philosophy
Faculty of Arts
Level 2, The Australian Hearing Hub
16 University Avenue

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