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The Notion of 'Singularity' in the Work of Gilles Deleuze

Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article


In Deleuze, singularity replaces generality in the economy of
thought. A Deleuzian singularity is an event, but the notion
comprises the effectuation of the event into form. The triptych
émission–distribution–répartition itself distributes the dimensions of
the passage from form-giving event to topological morphology. The
Deleuzian concept of intensity allows thinking both pre-individuality
and the rhizomatic connection of singularities on the metaphysical
surface of structure. Reflections upon the philosophy of differential
calculus allow for a coherent scaffolding reaching from pre-individual
intensity to specific individuality, in the passage from transcendental
genesis to empirical morphogenesis. But if singularity as event is
intensive, singularity as determinant of morphology – and hence, of
structural metastability – is not. Although the differential scaffolding
covers both intensive difference and extensive equality, and so the two
sides of the notion of singularity, the concept of intensity remains slightly
displaced, rendering conceptually difficult not only the perception of
intensity, but also the contemplation of individual duration, if viewed in
the terms of genetic ‘indi-drama-different/ciation’. The essay concludes
that it is art that may let us consciously contemplate our pre-individual
Original languageEnglish
Article numberDOI: 10.3366/dls.2017.0253
JournalDeleuze Studies
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)95-120
Number of pages24
StatePublished - 30 Jan 2017

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