Chapter

Becoming Who We Are

Jeffrey A. Bell

in Deleuze's Hume

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780748634392
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652464 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748634392.003.0002
Becoming Who We Are

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This chapter demonstrates that Gilles Deleuze's work on Henri Bergson is not a departure for Deleuze but is rather part of his continuing effort to develop a transcendental empiricism. It first addresses some frequent criticisms of David Hume's theory of belief. It describes Hume's arguments concerning personal identity, and then moves on to the problem of the subject as Deleuze finds it at work in Hume's project. Bergson, Deleuze claims, argues that ‘the virtual must have a consistency, an objective consistency that enables it to differentiate itself’ — that is, to create determinate, novel differences. In addition, Deleuze's use of the term ‘pragmatics’ is explained. Deleuze's move to Bergson after his work on Hume was not a departure at all, for Hume's concern, in both his philosophical and historical writings, was to problematize the actual and thereby allow the creativity and inventiveness of the human species to shine forth.

Keywords: Gilles Deleuze; Henri Bergson; transcendental empiricism; David Hume; personal identity; pragmatics; belief

Chapter.  12413 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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