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Volume 25, Issue 2, Fall 2021

Rethinking Phenomenology with Edith Stein

Kyle Novak
Pages 75-97

We Still Do Not Know What a Body Can Do
The Replacement of Ontology with Ethology in Deleuze’s Spinoza

Throughout much of his career, Deleuze repeats a problem he attributes to Spinoza: “we do not even know what a body can do.” The problem is closely associated with Deleuze’s parallelist reading of Spinoza and what he calls ethology. In this article, I argue that Deleuze takes ethology to be a new model for philosophy which he intends to replace ontology. I ground my claim in Deleuze’s sugges-tion that Spinoza offers philosophers the means of “thinking with AND” rather than “thinking for IS.” The argument is developed through Deleuze’s monographs and collaborations on Spinoza and alongside his meta-philosophical critique of the Image of Thought.