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Discord, Monstrosity and Violence: Deleuze’s Differential Ontology and its Consequences for Ethics


Stark, HL, Discord, Monstrosity and Violence: Deleuze's Differential Ontology and its Consequences for Ethics, Angelaki: Journal of The Theoretical Humanities, 20, (4) pp. 211-223. ISSN 0969-725X (2015) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2015 Taylor & Francis

DOI: doi:10.1080/0969725X.2015.1096648


The present time in intellectual history is one in which "violence," along with an associated set of theoretical concepts including war, vulnerability, terror and security, is coming to the fore in our theoretical vocabulary. This paper offers a reading of Deleuze’s work, which is attentive to the place of violence in his metaphysics. It examines what Elizabeth Grosz describes as the "ineliminable" (Time 55) nature of violence – that is, violence at the level of ontology. Although Deleuze is commonly associated with a philosophical position of affirmation, I contend that his ontology of difference and repetition is founded on an originary space of differential relations in which divergence gives rise to novelty. While there is a high degree of playfulness in this differential ontology, I am interested in the aspects of it that privilege something darker. Locating violence, dissonance and monstrosity at the very foundation of Deleuze’s ontology has consequences for a Deleuzian ethics. Although there is undoubtedly significant political value to a worldview in which being is difference, Deleuze’s world is not one in which conventional harmony can exist between differences. This paper examines the discord at the heart of Deleuze’s revision of Leibniz, the monstrous difference that is produced through differential relations, and the violence inherent in thought, before turning to ethical questions.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Philosophy and Religious Studies
Research Group:Philosophy
Research Field:Poststructuralism
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in philosophy and religious studies
UTAS Author:Stark, HL (Associate Professor Hannah Stark)
ID Code:103948
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:3
Deposited By:School of Humanities
Deposited On:2015-10-29
Last Modified:2017-12-14

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