The Disparate : Deleuze’s Ethics of the Univocity of Being


Leonard LAWLOR, professeur invité, mai 2022 :

The Disparate : Deleuze’s Ethics of the Univocity of Being

The three lectures concern Deleuze’s three books from the end of the 1960s : Spinoza et le problème de l’expression ; Différence et répétition ; and Logique du sens. As the course title indicates, the theme of the course is what Deleuze, in Différence et répétition, calls “le dispars.” According to Deleuze, the world was created not by a rational God, using a self-identical principle. Instead, the world was created by the disparate, which is an irrational ratio between traditional metaphysical oppositions like thought and extension. The irrational ratio resembles Pi, which cannot be represented by a fraction, although 22/7 is frequently used to approximate Pi. Like Pi producing decimals to infinity, the disparate has the power to produce beings endlessly. The disparate then is a principle of “puissance,” which means that overall Deleuze’s philosophy is a philosophy of power. The disparate replaces Spinoza’s omnipotent God. If there is something like a sufficient reason in Deleuze it is a sufficient ir-reason. As in Spinoza, being in Deleuze is said in one and the same sense of all the different beings. Hence the course’s subtitle : “Deleuze’s Ethics of the Univocity of Being.” Because of the disparate, Deleuze’s ethics is one of power. Having the same sense, each individual being can go to the limit of its power. Nevertheless, Deleuze’s ethics of power is based on an “impuissance.” Even more, the ethics of the univocity of being is characterized not just by power based on powerlessness, but also by the affirmation of the lowest degree of power, of beatitude coming about on the basis of us understanding ourselves sub species aeternitas, and of peace based on what Deleuze in Logique du sens calls “the universal communication of events.” Yes, peace, even though Deleuze (with Guattari) is the philosopher of “la machine de guerre.”

Jeudi 19 mai | Salle Pasteur | 15h00-16h30

The Roaring Sea, The Lightning Strike, and the White Wall

Mercredi 25 mai | Salle Pasteur | 15h00-16h30

Beatitude in Deleuze

Mercredi 1er juin | Salle Pasteur | 15h00-16h30

Deleuze’s Ethics of the Univocity of Being

Une séance autour de Bergson est prévue également, en partenariat avec le séminaire Conjugaisons de Bergson, et présentée par Frédéric Worms :

Mardi 17 mai | Salle des Actes | 13h30-15h00
How to reach the Absolute : Bergson’s Anti-Kantianism

Séminaire organisé par Caterina Zanfi.


Leonard Lawlor is Head of the Philosophy Department and Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Philosophy at Penn State University. He the author of eight books, most of which concern 20th century French philosophy. The most recent is From Violence to Speaking out (Edinburgh 2016). He is currently working on a book called The Disparate : Deleuze’s Ethics of the Univocity of Being, which will be published by Columbia University Press. In 2021, Indiana University Press published his English translation of Renaud Barbaras’s Introduction à la phénoménologie de la vie. Lawlor has also completed the English translation of Bergson’s 1904-1905 course on the evolution of the problem of freedom, which will be published by Bloomsbury Academic in 2023.

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Bibliography for “The Disparate : Deleuze’s Ethics of the Univocity of Being” :

  • 1966) Le Bergsonisme (Paris : PUF).
  • (1968) Différence et répétition (Paris : PUF).
  • (1968) Spinoza et le problème de l’expression (Paris : Minuit).
  • (1969) Logique du sens (Paris : Minuit).
  • (1964 [1970, 1976]) Proust et les signes (Paris : PUF).
  • (1981 [1970]) Spinoza : Philosophie pratique (Paris : PUF).

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