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Volume 13, Issue 2, Fall/Automne 2009

Alistair Welchman
Pages 25-54

Deleuze’s Post-Critical Metaphysics

Badiou claims Deleuze’s thinking is pre-critical metaphysics that can-not be understood in relation to Kant. I argue that Deleuze is indeed a metaphysical thinker, but precisely because he is a kind of Kantian. Badiou is right that Deleuze rejects the overwhelmingly epistemic problems of critical thought in its canonical sense, but he is wrong to claim that Deleuze completely rejects Kant. Instead, Deleuze is interested in developing a metaphysics that prolongs Kant’s conception of a productive synthesis irreducible to empirical causation. Where Badiou’s criticism might hold, however, is in the risk that Deleuze’s strategy runs of contaminating his new metaphysics with a new kind of transcendental idealism. This reading has recently been developed by Ray Brassier and I explore and evaluate it, concluding that in Difference and Repetition this accusation may be correct, but that by the time of Anti-Oedipus, Deleuze (now with Guattari) has the intellectual re-sources to resist it.