Chapter

Ageing, Perpetual Perishing and the Event as Pure Novelty: Péguy, Whitehead and Deleuze on Time and History

Edited by Jeffrey A. Bell and Claire Colebrook

in Deleuze and History

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780748636082
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671748 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748636082.003.0008
Ageing, Perpetual Perishing and the Event as Pure Novelty: Péguy, Whitehead and Deleuze on Time and History

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This chapter evaluates the history in relation to life by Charles Péguy, Alfred North Whitehead and Gilles Deleuze. It is noted that the time and history run on ageing. To age in the past is to become tarnished; to age in the future is lose even the possibility of acquiring lustre. Péguy's argument is sophisticated and knowing, for it addresses the purity sought by Deleuze in the return of difference to show that purity itself is a concept that ages and that depends on ageing its surroundings. Whitehead introduces the concept of perpetual perishing and inflects the role of memory to preserve Deleuze's eternal return of pure novelty from Péguy's historical pessimism. Péguy and Whitehead maintain a direction in time and this characterises their views of time. Apparently, there is never a pure ageing, since the present is a form of novelty that can change what it ages from.

Keywords: time; history; ageing; Charles Péguy; Alfred North Whitehead; Gilles Deleuze; perpetual perishing; historical pessimism

Chapter.  8837 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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