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Events of Difference: The Fold in

between Deleuzes Reading of Leibniz


KEITH ROBINSON
Davenport Universit y

ABSTRACT: Throughout all of Deleuzes work one finds an extended encounter with the Event of Difference. Deleuzes extraordinary work on Leibniz is
no exception. In the later work, and regarding Leibniz, Deleuze remarks,
no philosophy has ever pushed to such an extreme the affirmations of one
and the same world, and of an infinite difference and variety in this world.
This positive identification with Leibniz is not found in the earlier wave of
Deleuzian texts from the sixties where Leibniz is captured hesitating over
the possible and the virtual. Any such hesitation over the possible and the
virtual is disastrous for a philosophy of the event and difference since it
abolishes the reality of the virtual and subordinates it to the identical, replacing pure immanence with a theological model of creation. Is the Leibniz
of Deleuzes early texts compossible with the later? What is the significance
of the event of difference or fold that joins and separates Deleuzes continuing encounter with Leibniz? We will examine what is at stake in these differing
understandings of Leibniz to Deleuzes philosophy of events of difference.

1. I NTRODUCTION
Throughout all of Deleuzes work (individually and co-authored) one finds
an extended encounter with the event of difference. The extraordinary book
on Leibniz, The Fold,1 is no exception. In this work, and regarding Leibniz,
Deleuze remarks, no philosophy has ever pushed to such an extreme the
affirmations of one and the same world, and of an infinite difference
and variety in this world. 2 We are told that Leibniz implemented the second great logic of the event 3 resisting the logic of attribution, developing

2003. Epoch, Volume 8, Issue 1 (Fall 2003). ISSN 1085-1968.

pp. 141164

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the great network of interlocking principles, reconciling the universal


and the individual and transforming the concept into a subject: a hubristic encounter with the play of the world making the world itself a
problem and an event that is predicated in every subject. Indeed, The
Fold appears to effect a transversal communication with Leibnizs concepts, an assemblage of enunciation or intensive identification with his
signature that justifies placing Leibniz within that minor(and secret)
tradition of thinking the event that stretches from the Stoics to Whitehead. In his essay on The Fold Alain Badiou argues that Deleuze primarily
invokes Leibniz as a spokesman for the singular 4 explicating sufficient
reason as the indiscernibility of the event and predicate. Badiou prefers
to speak in this regard of Leibniz-Deleuze remarking on how the voices
in The Fold merge and resonate in a togetherness such that you never
know who is speaking, nor who assures what is said, or declares himself
to be certain of it. 5
However, in the earlier wave of Deleuzian texts from the sixties (Difference and Repetition, Logic of Sense, Spinoza: Expressionism in Philosophy) the
positive identification with Leibniz is undermined by a certain hesitation. Here, even as Deleuze refers to Leibniz as the first important
theoretician of the event,6 Leibniz is captured hesitating over the possible
and the virtual.7 For Deleuze the event of difference is elided by the possiblereal distinction that ultimately underpins the model of orgiastic
representation found in Leibniz. The event of difference is not a form of
realization such that something merely possible has existence added to it.
Rather it is the process of the virtualwhich is already a full realitybecoming actual through differenciation. Thus, any such hesitation over the
possible and the virtual is, as Deleuze says, disastrous for a philosophy of
the event and difference since it abolishes the reality of the virtual and
subordinates it to the identical, replacing pure immanence with a theological model of creation. Leibniz appears to be, at once, crucial to Deleuzes
evolving philosophy of difference and yet a decisive hairs-breadth away from
being its champion. In the earlier texts Leibniz never goes quite far enough
for Deleuze, even as he goes further than any before him, always stopping
short of the Dionysian Idea. In the later texts (both The Fold and the
Vincennes seminar) we are given a Leibniz that never stops in a constantly
renewed effort to liberate the fold to infinity through the continuous creation and connection of concepts. Here we are told that the problem of the
worlds realization is added to that of its actualization such that the world
is a virtuality that is actualized monads or souls, but also a possibility that
must be realized in matter or bodies. 8 In the end, says Deleuze, we all
remain Leibnizian.9 Is the Leibniz of Deleuzes early texts compossible with

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the later? What is at stake in these differing understandings of Leibniz to


Deleuzes philosophy of events of difference?10

2. EVENT
The question of the event runs like a leitmotif through all of Deleuzes work.
Ive tried in all of my books, he says, to discover the nature of events. Its
a philosophical concept, the only one capable of ousting the verb to be and
attributes.11 The question of the event is developed with such tenacity and
richness that it would not be an exaggeration to say that Deleuzes thought
is a constant encounter with philosophy as the event of differenceunderstood as a continuous effort to construct a new ontological and
metaphysical image of thought and a new ethics and politicsa thought
worthy of the events that befall it. This is not an ethico-political doctrine
of acquiescence in the face of accidents that happen but rather the presupposition of a will that extracts or counter-actualizes the pure event of
difference from the present. Deleuze picks up the arrow first fired by the
Stoics, then Spinoza and Nietzsche, and re-launches it in a completely new
direction attempting to think difference in itself independently of the
forms of representation which reduce it to the same.12 For Deleuze the
event of difference is always mediated and represented in the concept determining which difference will be made rather than thinking a difference
that makes itself in the event and outside the concept. The difference that
makes itself is for Deleuze immediate and subrepresentative and functions
as the condition of representation: difference is behind everything, but
behind difference there is nothing.13 What Deleuze is concerned with, above
all, is thinking difference and repetition as and in the event of actuality, of
thinking that which we are ceasing to be as the difference and repetition of
what we are becoming. In his own terms, then, Deleuze is the diadoche, the
one who succeeds to the question of the event. If Deleuze finds resources
in Leibniz to think the event of difference, in the first instance, it will be
necessary to overturn Platonism and collapse the model of representation generated by it.14
For Deleuze Platonic representation is founded as a model of the Same
which enables one to make a difference by distinguishing the thing itself
from its images, the original from the copy. This determines which difference is made and ensures that difference is coherent through
reconciliation in the concept. However, internal to this structure of
Platonism Deleuze locates and locks onto another more secret and more
profound dualism: that between limited and measured things with fixed
qualities, predicates and subjects and a pure unlimited infinite becoming.

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It is the dualism between legitimate copies and false simulacra. As the matter or body of the simulacra, pure becoming eludes the action of the Idea
and contests both the model and copy at once. Limited things lie beneath
the Idea but beneath the things is there still not this mad element which
subsists and occurs on the other side of the order that Ideas impose and
things receive?15
To explore this mad element that subsists in an indeterminate region
on the other side of the Ideas Deleuze turns to the Stoics. In the Stoics
Deleuze finds a radical reversal of the Platonic schema such that bodies
enter into causal relations creating incorporeal entities or effects. Although
bodies and the states of affairs they enter into are real and exist, the incorporeal effects they cause have their own reality but only a minimum of
existence. These incorporeal entities are neither facts nor things but events:
To reverse Platonism is first and foremost to remove essences and to substitute events in their place. 16 Events are characterized by an
unrepresentable pure becoming no longer subject to the action of the Idea.
Neither true or false events become effects of difference. Deleuze removes
Platonic transcendent essences and substitutes the paradoxical power of
immanent events of difference in their place. As Deleuze says, I have its
true spent a lot of time writing about this notion of the event: you see I
dont believe in things17
Pressing the logic of predication beyond the Leibnizian rejection of
substance as inert and fixed, Deleuzian events no longer denote an attribute
or quality of the subject but an incorporeal relation of movement and
change that does not refer to things or a state of affairs and cannot be said
to exist. Events are, rather, self referential and insist or subsist within a
zone of immanence. Events are expressed in-between things and language
creating what Deleuze calls the fourth dimension or incorporeal predicate of the proposition. This is the dimension of sense: neutral, inaccessible
and without form. Events express an encounter of forces and a disclosure
of intensities that compels thought, but this compulsion to think that eludes
recognition does not take the form of the remembrance of ideal essences
or the harmonious recognition of objects but can only be sensed in signs of
becoming. Events then do not have being as such but are signs of process
and becoming: signs of time, of space, of language and bodies in which the
many become one and are increased by one, a differential repetition that
does not follow transcendent lines of pre-formation but immanent lines
of divergence and creation. This is what both Deleuze and Foucault (and
Blanchot) have elsewhere called a Thought of the Outside.18
In Difference and Repetition Deleuze defines this intensive space of the Outside that compels thought and being as a virtuality, a groundless spatium

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without depth that unfolds the difference within itself according to the movement of actualization, a movement that we can describe as the ground rising
to the surface forming a plane. This virtual plane is not an image, resemblance
or projection of the real and neither is it a limitation or negation of the real.
The virtual has the real simplicity of being, the ens realissimum of the scholastics, a full reality in itself and is not to be understood as merely possible or
abstract. In relation to the definition of the virtual, Deleuze is fond of quoting
Proust: [it is] real without being actual, ideal without being abstract.19 As a
purely affirmative or positive movement the virtual produces difference in
itself even if in extensity it tends to be cancelled.20 If in the couple possiblereal Deleuze finds conceptual identity and static predetermination in the
virtual-actual Deleuze uncovers events of pure difference and creation. For the
virtual to become incarnated requires a movement of creative actualization in
which there is no identity, representation, or resemblance between terms only
a dynamic intensive multiplicity that seeks to express the difference in itself.
For Deleuze the event of difference has a complex doubled and invaginated or folded up structure. In this the pure event is to be distinguished
from what happens as a reduction to, or equivalence with, the extensive
space of states of affairs. Rather, the event is inside what happens as the
pure expression of an internal difference; as Deleuze says it signals and
awaits us. 21 On the one hand there is the event that takes place in the
present, embodied within individuals and persons; and on the other hand
there is the future and past of the event, that which has already happened
and is about to happen: impersonal, pre-individual and without generality
or particularity. On the one side the accomplished act and its realization in
a state of affairs and, on the other, a radically impassive incompletion best
expressed as an infinitive: to green, to die, etc. This double structure of the
event as the two moments of sense and nonsense, of difference and repetition is, as we will see, precisely what Deleuze is unable to find in the early
reading of Leibniz. Deleuzes early reading of Leibniz attempts to show the
failure of Leibnizian philosophy to accede to the conditions necessary for
an affirmation of the event of difference. It is precisely in terms of Leibnizs
commitment to a form of representation that prevents him from going all
the way to the event of difference.

3. INFINITE R EPRESENTATION
As we have seen, in a first moment Deleuze has Platonism found and
stake out a domain that will allow the deployment of representation, a site
of transcendental illusion.22 In a second moment, it is Aristotle who deploys representation as finite, limited and organic extending from the

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highest genera to the smallest species. Yet further still, in a third moment,
Deleuze finds a determination of representation that renders it infinite.
Representation now claims the domain beneath both the most infinitely
small species and opens itself to Being beyond the infinitely large. In this
sense, when representation discovers the infinite within itself it no longer
appears as organic representation but as orgiastic representation.23 Orgiastic
representation deploys both a short sighted and a long-sighted eye enabling the concept to represent the Whole in all of its least parts delivering
determination to a ground in relation to which, as Deleuze says, it is a matter of indifference to Leibniz whether one is before a large or a small, or
before a beginning or an end. This is so because each relative determination or extreme coincides with a single, total movement of convergence to
a ground in which it is born and disappears. It is what Deleuze calls the
infinite movement of evanescence,24 a movement in which difference both
vanishes and is produced.
The infinite movement renders determination conceivable and selectable in the same moment that it makes difference appear as orgiastic and
no longer as organic representation. This is possible because finite determination does not so much disappear in the infinite as subsist in a kind of
immanent process of vanishing or disappearing. This restlessness, as
Deleuze puts it, within orgiastic representation accounts for the duality
within infinite representation as a choice between Hegel and Leibniz and
the difference between them is a matter of two ways of going beyond the
organic.25 If the restlessness in both Hegel and Leibniz amounts to an intoxication, in Leibniz one also discovers in the finite idea a restlessness of
the infinitely small made up of giddiness, evanescence and even death.26
Orgiastic representation is then a choice between either the procedures
and movement of contradiction in the infinitely large or what Deleuze calls
a vice-diction of the infinitely small. In contrast to Hegel, Deleuze has
Leibniz begin with cases or properties that include the essential in each
instance without the need for contradiction. Deleuze makes vicediction a
method or technique parallel with that of Hegelian contradiction and they
serve as two sides of the same coin of orgiastic representation. Even if, for
Deleuze, there is greater depth and more orgiastic or Bacchanalian delirium
in Leibniz, ultimately such intoxication is a false appearance, what Deleuze
calls a pre-formed false delirium which poses no threat to the repose
and serenity of the identical.27 Both Leibniz and Hegel are clearly linked
together in their attempts to represent the infinite and, for Deleuze, both
offer a failed effort to think the event of difference since both in the end
feign the attempt to reach the mad or intoxicated element of difference

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by assigning it a reason and both confuse difference in itself with the


inclusion of difference within the identity of the concept in general.
Difference and Repetition and The Logic of Sense consistently link Leibnizs
thought to this thesis of identity as a presupposition of infinite representation and therefore the subordination of difference. Both finite and infinite
representation and the infinite representation of the finite for Deleuze reduce events of difference to the Same and the similar and restore identity.
If the similar has found in Leibniz the condition of convergence capable
of application to the unlimited, in the Same Deleuze finds the unconditioned principle of sufficient reason capable of making it the rule of the
unlimited. Thus, for Deleuze, infinite or orgiastic representation may multiply different points of view and join them up in series but Leibnizian
principles ensure that they nevertheless converge upon the same object
and the same world.28

4. LEIBNIZIAN PRINCIPLES
As Deleuze says, Leibniz loves inventing principles and he brandishes them
like swords.29 But throughout his work he continues to multiply their formulations and vary their relations. Leibnizian principles do not just connect
up with each other as clear and distinct links in a supposed chain of reasoning that extends from an indubitable ground or foundation as in the
Cartesian model. Rather, the principles seem to inhere or are contained
within each other like the sets of Chinese boxes that so fascinated Leibniz.
Reason is an extraordinary kind of labyrinth in Leibniz in which the principles are folded up or implicated within one another and merely require
unraveling, unfolding or explicating to reveal their explanatory power.
One place to begin this unfolding is with the principle of identity. As the
classic formula A is A the principle appears both certain, finite and yet
empty. A thing is what it is and identity consists in the relation between the
thing and what it is in its essence. In the formulation A is A the predicate
does not add to the subject yet it is both necessary and identical with it. It
is necessary because its negation would be a contradiction (A is not A).
Alternatively, Leibniz will say that every analytic proposition is true. Analytic propositions are true not just by virtue of identity or reciprocity but
also by inclusion. Red is a colour is a true analytic proposition by inclusion in that the concept of colour is not identical with the concept of red
but part of the concept of red and as predicate adds nothing to the subject.
These propositions are true by essence, they are the ratio essendi, raison
detre, or reason for being.

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The principle of identity, then, gives us a first approximation to the


question of why there is something rather than nothing (if there were no
identity there would be nothing) and it also gives a model of truth for
analytic propositions where there is either identity or inclusion between
predicate and subject. This inclusion, inherence or being contained of
predicates in the subject is also applicable to other types of proposition.
These are what Leibniz calls contingent propositions or truths of existence rather than essence. A sinning Adam, a Caesar crossing the Rubicon,
these are contingent truths of existence that are no longer finite as in the
principle of identity but are infinite. All true predication has some basis
in the nature of things30 such that everything that happens is contained
in the notion or concept of that thing. Everything that happens to Adam,
Alexander or Caesar is contained in the individual notion of Adam,
Alexander or Caesar. What the principle of sufficient reason adds, then, to
the principle of identity is that what is said of a thing is not just the essence of the thing but everything that happens to it or belongs to it.
Everything predicated of the subject is contained within it virtually or
implicitly and is actualized or explicated when there is sufficient reason for it to do so. Alternatively, Leibniz will say that every true proposition
is analytical. Sufficient reason explicates the relation between a thing and
its concept and includes all the properties of identity as well as expressing all of its predicates as being contained forever within that thing:
everything has a reason. Leibniz will say that in principle it is possible to
deduce the complete concept or notion of a subject from its predicates
even though, as Leibniz says, God alone could recognize them all. 31
Leibniz cautions us to not confuse sufficient reason with the principle of
causality which necessarily refers to something other than the concept
(as a well-founded illusion) while sufficient reason expresses the relation of the thing with its concept. The principle of causality states the
necessary cause but not the sufficient reason which encompasses the
cause. If identity gives us an answer to the question why there is something rather than nothing then sufficient reason answers the question of
why this particular thing here and now and not some other. Everything
that happens including causation has a reason.
For all the predicates that are true of a subject at a particular point in
space and time (Caesar crossing the Rubicon, Adam sinning) there will be
another (infinite) set of predicates that will constitute a sufficient reason
for those predicates. The subject, individual substance or monad includes
or, more precisely, expresses the totality of the world: Every substance is
like a complete world and a mirror of God or of the whole universe.32 Everything has a cause distinct from but included within reason just as one

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might say that the cause and the reason are distinct from but included within
the concept. This, then, is the principle of indiscernibles: everything has a concept! We can say that for Leibniz there is only conceptual difference or that
the concept and the individual are identical. To Leibniz, then, indiscernibility
means this: the concept, notion or monads are individual substances. Every leaf is an individuated substance and has its own concept! Two leaves
that were indiscernible except for number would be an absurdity for Leibniz
since they would be identical and would therefore share the same concept.
If individuals shared the same concept there would not be sufficient reason to explain why they had different locations in space and time.
Alternatively, we can say that every possible world containing indiscernibles
has an indiscernible possible world. God cannot choose between indiscernible worlds (not wishing to violate the principle of sufficient reason)
so that the actual world contains no indiscernibles. Each individuated substance expresses the whole world and each notion or concept is an
expression of the world at all times. In Leibnizs extraordinary phrase the
monad is laden with the past and pregnant with the future.33 (And we are
plunged into the problem of freedom).
What distinguishes individual substances from one another? Leibniz
will tell us that each individual substance expresses the totality of the world
according to the principle of perspectivism or points of view. Each individual
notion expresses the world but only from the point of view that it inhabits
such that
just as the same city viewed from different directions appears entirely different and is, as it were, multiplied perspectively, in just the
same way it happens that, because of the infinite number of simple
substances, there are, as it were, just as many different universes,
which are, nevertheless, only perspectives on a single one, corresponding to the different points of view of each monad. 34

We know that monads are without windows or doors and that what they
express is completely internalno outside or exterior. My point of view
is this interior world that I express most clearly and distinctly against the
imperceptible backdrop of that which is obscure and confused, a little
glimmer amongst the dark clamour of being. We perceive the world but
we pay attention only to the thoughts that are most distinct. 35 Leibnizs
famous example here is, of course, the roaring of the sea (but he also
constantly refers to the examples of dizziness, of fainting, of drifting off
to sleep and even of death). In such examples our world is a composite
made up of a vast blurred and unconscious nature only a small portion
of which is perceived with any clarity. All individual substances express

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the same obscure and confused world but not the same clear and distinct
portion of it, not the same perspective on it. This generates Leibnizs
important principle of continuity or the idea that nature never makes
leaps.36 Thus there are as many universes as there are clear and distinct
points of view or perspectives on them but the community together make
up one continuous world, a world that exists uniquely as the expressed of
all individual substances. (And Leibniz never had any problem with the
supposed contradiction between continuity and indiscernibles). The infinity of monadic worlds together comprise the great City of God for
Leibniz, God being the only instance of a necessary Supreme Monad
and capable of an absolute and infinite clarity.
That all monads express the same world but in an obscure and confused way opens onto the strange logical principle of incompossibility. If we
return to the principle of identity this permits us to develop a criterion
of contradiction enabling us to demonstrate that A is not A or that a
squared circle is impossible. However, on the level of sufficient reason,
Adam not sinning or Caesar not crossing the Rubicon are clearly both
possible and non-contradictory and yet incompatible with the truths of
existence that are forever a part of the complete concept of Adam and
Caesar. How can Leibniz maintain both that Caesar crossing the Rubicon
is forever contained in his individual notion and that Caesar not crossing the Rubicon is possible? Of course, Adam non-sinner is possible in
itself but incompossible with the world that exists. Adam non-sinner is a possibility that exists in another world but is not compossible with the world
that God has chosen. A recurrent theme in the correspondence with
Arnauld is that God did not create Adam a sinner, but only created the
world in which Adam sinned. In order to exist it is not enough that something be merely possible it must be compossible with the world already
chosen by God. For Leibniz, in the understanding of God there are infinite possibles that all tend towards existence. Essence in Leibniz means
precisely this tendency to exist, a possibility seeking out existence and
all possibles want to pass into existence. Each possible on its own could
pass into existence but not all the possibles form compatible combinations. We might say that some possibles are incompatible from the point
of view of existence or that some possibles are not compossible with others. God will compare and then choose only that set of possibles that offer
the greatest quantity of perfection and are the most compossible. What
prevents all the possibles from co-existing, then, for Leibniz is the hypothesis that God calculates and chooses from the infinity of possible
worlds and, in a divine game of chess, selects the best combination, the
one richest in essence and the one that exhibits the greatest complexity

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possible from minimum effort (i.e., the most complex derived from the
most simple).
We have seen individual notions like Adam or Caesar include the entirety
of the world in their concept and this inclusion is necessarily the form in
which what each expresses is compossible with what all the other monads
express. Leibnizs strange city is composed of individual monads that are
closed and blind, without doors or windows. There is no direct communication between them and yet they express harmony, a principle of pre-established
harmony. Each monad is then a kind of spiritual automaton forever expressing
a harmonious compossibility established by God. Deleuzes entire reading of
Leibniz will turn on exchanging, and later folding, this transcendent theological principle that guarantees disjunction in its exclusive or limitative
sense,37 and which regulates the entire Leibnizian system, with an immanent principle (difference, fold) that affirms disjunctive synthesis in its
inclusive, non-restrictive sense. Deleuze will argue that Leibnizian principles
form a world through something like a series of circles of convergence that may
well become infinite but do not acquire the power to affirm either divergence or
decentering excluding the event of difference in itself.

5. DELEUZE -LEIBNIZ: C ONVERGENCE

AND

EXCLUSION

One of the distinctive features of Deleuzes early reading of Leibniz is the


deployment of a virtual or transcendental field of nomadic singularities
anterior to the actualized world of predicates and consistent with the neutrality and genesis of sense/non-sense as an event. For Deleuze this field
is presupposed by Leibnizs principles even if Leibniz can only recognize
it ultimately in the form of good sense and already constituted individuals and persons. This field of singularity-events are pre-individual
and are, therefore, not to be thought of as fixed attributes of a subject but
as mobile, infinitive verbs expressing an action or a passion, an affecting
or becoming affected. In the first stage of the genesis of sense a singularity is actualized by being extended over a line of ordinary or regular points
up to the vicinity of another singularity and a world is born when the
series converge. Another world begins when the resulting series diverge.
To be actualized, as we have seen, is also to be expressed and in each
world the individual monads express all the singularities of this world to
infinit y, w ith each monad enveloping a cer tain number of finite
singularities in a clear manner. To sin indicates a singularity-event in
the vicinity of which Adam is constituted but to be a sinner is an analytic predicate of an actualized subject. The expressed world exists, then,
in individuals but it also subsists as an event or a verb. Thus singularities

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are the genetic elements that constitute individuals and the world. Each
individual substance or monad expresses this world in all times as a convergence and actualization of these singularities. Leibnizs deity, for
Deleuze, forms a world on the condition that the series which depend on
each singularity converge defining compossibility. Compossibility is, then,
defined by Deleuze-Leibniz as a continuity, convergence and conjunction of singularities and incompossibility a discontinuity, divergence or
disjunc tion of series in the neighborhood of other const itutive
singularities. For Caesar to not cross the Rubicon is a singularity or
event that is not impossible in itself. It is incompossible with the world in
which Caesar actually crossed the Rubicon. For Deleuze Leibniz makes
use of this rule of incompossibility to exclude events from one another,
making a negative use of divergence and disjunction. If this is justified
by invoking a God who calculates and chooses it is only to the extent that
events are grasped as already actualized. This is not justified if we consider pure events and the ideal game that animates them.
For Deleuze there is, then, another level (differentiation) that Leibniz was
unable to fully grasp hindered as he was by theological exigencies.38 This
stage of pure events is essentially problematic and problematizing.39 The
problem-event refers to a virtual field of objective indetermination or ideality abstracted from and never entirely captured in any specific determination
of its conditions. In distinguishing between the event as a particular determination of the problem (Adam sinning) and the problem-event as a set of
objectively indeterminate singularities (to be the first man, to live in a garden of paradise, to have a wife created from ones own rib, etc) Deleuze opens
up the virtual or problematic space in which one may define Adam positively according to a few singularities which can be combined and
complement each other in different ways and in different worlds. Thus there
is what Deleuze calls a vague, indeterminate, floating, or nomad Adam that
functions as the ambiguous sign of singularities, appearing as a variable =
x in all worlds. There is now a something = x common to all worlds enabling the affirmation of divergence and disjunction, a bringing together or
synthesis of all the incompossibles as a compatible, resonating series. As
Deleuze says: incompossibility is now a means of communication40 such
that nothing prevents us from affirming that incompossibles belong to the
same world and that incompossible worlds belong to the same universe.
Deleuzes favourite example here is Borgess The Garden of Forking Paths, in
which the Chinese philosopher Tsui Pen chooses all the alternative paths
simultaneously: Fang let us say has a secret. A stranger knocks at the door.
Naturally there are various outcomes. Fang can kill the intruder, the intruder
can kill Fang, both can be saved, both can die, and so on. In Tsui Pens work,

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all the possible solutions occur, each one being the point of departure for
other bifurcations.41 Rather than an exclusion of predicates from a thing by
virtue of the identity of its concept, Deleuze finds in Borgess reply to Leibniz
the conditions for an affirmation of disjunctive synthesis, an affirmation
capable of carrying out the synthesis itself by drifting from one term to
another and following the distance between terms.42
The inherence of predicates in the expressive monad does indeed presuppose the compossibility of the expressed world but both presuppose
the arrangement of pure singularities that are linked together in series according to rules of convergence and divergence. Although Leibniz may have
been able to go quite far into the stage of the genesis of the event and sense,
the stage of actualization of individuated worlds and persons, he was only
able to hint at the difference in itself that governs the relations between
singularities in themselves produced and distributed in a prior stage within
a pre-individual and problematic virtual field.
In Difference and Repetition Deleuze finds this whole field of pre-individual and virtual problems is tentatively approachedyet never fully
incorporated by Leibnizs understanding of perceptual ideasespecially
when inflected by the calculus. Leibnizian Ideas are described as virtual
multiplicities composed of differential relations and singularities apprehended at transitional moments of consciousness when one is close to
sleep, in a stupor, intoxicated or approaching death. Indeed in the New
Essays on Understanding Leibniz spends much of the preface redescribing
his system from the perspective of such Ideas or insensible perceptions.
Such perceptions no longer relate to a recognizable object in space and
time but to the tiny, unconscious perceptions that compose it. For example, the roaring noise of the sea becomes noticeable when the minute
or barely perceived waves or drops of water combine confusedly creating
a conscious perception. Leibniz remarks that the noise of the sea here is
clear but confused because the component little perceptions are themselves not clear but obscure, like insufficiently distinct parts of an
aggregate. Leibnizs famous passages here suggest that clear ideas are in
themselves confused and confused insofar as they are clear. Is there a
difference in kind here between the clear and the confused? In the end,
for Deleuzes earlier reading of Leibniz the distinction between the clear
and the confused is a difference of degree and can be easily accommodated within the Cartesian logic. For Deleuze, however close Leibniz comes
to the differential Idea, however close he comes to encountering Dionysus
at the seashore or the water mill, he continually reinstates the Cartesian
principle of representation understood as the proportionality of the clear
and the distinct. According to such a principle an idea is all the more

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distinct the clearer it is. If an idea is confused it is simply not clear enough
in its parts It is this clarity and distinctness that reconstitutes the pure
light of reason. As Deleuze says, it is with this pure light of reason illuminating the structure of ideas that the entire image of thought was
compromised as a result. 43
Deleuzes pursues another reading of Leibnizs logic of Ideas pushing
them to the point of difference in itself, radicalizing the sense in which the
clear idea is in itself confused and the distinct in itself obscurea difference in kind and not just in degree. Our perception of the noise of the sea
is clear-confused comprehending the whole confusedly and expressing
clearly only certain elements and relations depending on the threshold of
consciousness and the state of our bodies. The Idea is on the contrary
distinct but obscure in that the drops of water remain distinct as genetic
elements with all the relations they enter and compose but obscure insofar
as they are not distinguished or actualized as a conscious perception. Conscious perception, then, becomes the effect of a differential relation that
determines a field of singularities and, as Deleuze says, these singularities
condense forming a threshold of differentiation on the basis of which little
perceptions are actualized, but actualized in an apperception that is clear
and confused. Unconscious or molecular perception is related to conscious or molar perception not as a part to a whole but as a relation between
the virtual-actual. For Deleuze, ultimately, Leibnizian Ideas demonstrate a
disastrous hesitation or oscillation in that they are a realization in the
element of the possible or rather conceived as a possible, a realized possible.44 For Deleuze the idea of possibility is always, in one or another, taken
from the idea of reality so that the possible is merely the concept of something that might exist but does not yet exist. Thus between the concept of
the possible and the real there is no difference only identity. By contrast, the
virtual is a full reality in itself which is not realized but actualized through
different/ciation. The clear and distinct are separated into two diverging
and differentiated systems, languages or series of events (marked by the
differential t/c) that could never unite into a natural light. Such a divergent
series are strictly incompossible for Deleuzes early Leibniz and constitute an exclusion of the event of difference since it is only by maximizing
convergence or continuity within a single and same series for each point
of view that the criterion of the best of all possible worlds is obtained.
Leibnizian multiple, clear and distinct perspectives do not establish
Deleuzian perspectivism either since for every point of view there must
correspond an autonomy of divergent series. For Leibniz, on the contrary,
differing points of view converge on the same world: the best of all possible worlds. However, for Deleuze the best of all worlds is not the one

Events of Difference: Deleuzes Reading of Leibniz

155

that reproduces the eternal, but the one in which new creations are produced, the one endowed with a capacity for innovation or creativity.45 In
other words, for Deleuze the best of all actual worlds is the one with the
greatest virtuality.46 This whole thesis then constitutes what we have been
calling Deleuzes early reading of Leibniz and can be finalized and summarized in the following passage from Difference and Repetition:
This hesitation between the possible and the virtual explains why no
one has gone further than Leibniz in the exploration of sufficient
reason, and why, nevertheless, no one has better maintained the illusion of a subordination of that sufficient reason to the identical.
No one has come closer to a movement of vicediction in the Idea,
but no one has better maintained the supposed right of representation, albeit at the price of rendering it infinite. No one has been
better able to immerse thought in the element of difference and prov ide it w ith a differential unconscious, surround it with little
glimmerings and singularities all in order to save and reconstitute
the homogeneity of a natural light a la Descartes. 47

6. THE F OLD: DIVERGENCE

AND

INCLUSION

Although some facets of this thesis are retained in Deleuzes later reading
of Leibniz many aspects appear distant if not absent. The earlier readings
emphasis on the right of representation gives way to the sense in which
Leibniz frees the fold by taking it to infinity.48 In the earlier reading Leibniz
is reproached over his feigned attempts at reaching the Dionysian. Reason merely acts the drunkard and sings a Dionysian tune. This estimate
now yields to the assessment that Leibnizs Baroque principles push the
rationalist tradition to the very point of madness. The suspicion of identity appears now displaced, painted over in a much larger canvas of ideas.
Or, rather, Leibnizian principles can now be seen as governed by a dynamic continuum with two poles. At one pole, the principles are constantly
folded into each other such that there is only one identical world or everything is the same and, at the other pole, a continuous unfolding and
partitioning so that the world is distinguished by a proliferation of differences of degree and manner. Deleuzes two readings are distinguished by
such subtle inflections and changes of emphases that the difference between the readings is perhaps evanescent, vanishing or nothing more than
an imperceptible event of difference, a tiny, unrepresentable fold.
Perhaps we can say that in the earlier reading of Leibniz Deleuze concentrated on the principles that emphasize the tendency to identity,
similarity and exclusion in Leibnizs system. In the later reading Deleuze

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focuses much more on the systems tendency to differ and unfold itself
across zones and boundaries, constantly attempting to connect everything
by multiplying principles from within itself. Indeed this is Leibnizs Baroque condition for Deleuze: the effort to keep on folding and unfolding
principles to infinity in a world on the verge of losing its foundational
principles. The reading of Leibniz in The Fold, then, becomes much more
inclusive linking Leibniz to an outside and a Baroque that is at once political, musical, aesthetic, scientific and philosophical. Deleuzes return to the
monograph form with Leibniz suggests a need to paint the whole picture
of Leibniz, a portrait of his philosophy in which Leibniz traverses the rich
historical and intellectual context of early modernity but also, in some
sense, escapes from it and speaks to we late-modern ones. Deleuze made
a virtue in his previous monographs of taking the work as a whole, of
entering into the lair of a thinker and reconstructing their invisible worlds
(umwelt) or milieu as a kind of ethology of their thought. Deleuze will describe Leibnizs world in the later texts much more emphatically in terms
of events, affects and multiplicities: capacities for affecting and being affected. The only thing that counts is the capacity of Leibnizs concepts to
affect and be affected, to compose and recompose relations culminating
in pure events of difference. Each Leibnizian concept becomes an event, a
stimulus of affect that makes up Leibnizs world: little glimmerings in the
dark depths of a vast nature. For Deleuze if you pick and choose you wont
understand these capacities, affects or associated milieus that make up the
work because you see that some element that seems less convincing than
others is an absolutely essential step in his exploration, his alchemy, and
that he would not have reached this new revelation you find so astonishing
if he had not followed the path on which you had not initially seen the need
for this or that detour. 49 Leibnizs thought is especially sensitive in this
regard since his core concepts are both close to modern ethology and, as
we have seen, connect up with each other in complex reciprocally dependent patterns that form a network, structure or system. In The Fold Leibnizs
concepts are constructed now as a rhizome or open system and its precisely their power as a system that brings out what is good or bad, what is
or isnt new, what is or isnt alive in a group of concepts.50 Thus, the issue in
Leibniz commentary of where to begin is largely an irrelevance for Deleuze,
as it is for Leibniz, because any real effort to understand must be governed
by this commitment to unfold the whole system and in unfolding the whole
system one can sort out what is or is not still alive and what is still of use in
constructing the event of our actuality. Effectively, in such constructivism,
one always already begins in the middle and within such a complex, heterogeneous system one can never tell ahead of time what affects it might

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157

be capable of in any given relationthus one is committed to a lasting


prudence, a prolonged experimentation with a body of thought. If, in the
earlier texts, Deleuze does not recognize this commitment to Leibniz in
The Fold the hesitations voiced in the earlier texts are subordinated to
this logic of the whole. Accepting and following the work as a whole means
making oneself worthy of the events of difference that pervade the work,
remaining attentive to the signs of creative becoming that keep the work
alive. Perhaps a remark in Leibniz (that Deleuze often uses) regarding the
need for Deleuzes renewed engagement with Leibniz is apposite here: I
thought Id reached port, but found myself thrown back onto the open sea.51
In The Fold one witnesses this sense of creative becoming, of concepts
being kept alive, in the opening of Leibnizs system to a principle that conditions it throughout. The Fold is not a first or universal principle and nor
is it a transcendental in any pre-Kantian or Kantian sense although, as
we will see, in some ways it resembles them. The Fold differentiates and is
differenciatedit is everywhere and yet singular so that no two things are
folded the same way or in the same manner. Deleuze now describes
Leibnizs conceptual system as an inclusive multiplicity conditioned by
the Fold, actively expressing events of difference. The Fold takes us on a
journey into this strange Baroque conceptual labyrinth, a continuous labyrinth that is simultaneously ethological, architectural and musical; equally
scientific, political and aesthetic in which the monad is opened to a multiplicity of divergent milieu, all inclusive within its world or inter-expressive,
as Deleuze says, and in which order is generated by immanent processes
of self organization rather than transcendent, all-regulating harmony. Everything folds but not in the same way and the same thing will not always
fold in the same way. We can see this perhaps most clearly in The Fold in its
descriptions of monadic activity and physical being and the parallels and
folds between them. Thus we find ourselves in a labyrinth now constructed
according to principles that are secreted from within itself, moving along
two infinities or floors. To take us through this labyrinth we are immediately confronted with the need for a cryptographer, a Leibniz-Deleuze who
can account for nature and decipher the soul, who can peer into the crannies of matter and read into the folds of the soul.52
The pleats of matter and the folds of the soul are like two floors of the
world labyrinth or the baroque house: they are distinct but inseparable and
both act as if each influenced the other53 They are now an inclusive disjunction that folds an upper floorclosed, private and sealed, covered with a
stretched canvas and diversified by tiny folds as if it were a living dermis54
with a lower floor, pierced with windows and open to the outside. The folds
on the upper level secrete a knowledge which is triggered or solicited by the

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complex folds of matter on the lower level. On the upper level a spiritualizing
tendency, borne of weightlessness, giving rise to the movement of ascension and elevation and, on the lower, the descent to a gravitas or physical
mass. The two levels are in constant tension and communication even if
Deleuze will describe their relation as a non-relation.55 The two forms are
heterogeneous and anisomorphic and yet mutually presuppose or even harmonize one another but in a completely new way. They are linked together
in a bond, togetherness or belonginga vinculumthat opens an intermediate space of overlap, the two floors passing through one another such that
we can no longer tell where one ends and the other begins.56 For DeleuzeLeibniz the event of difference is double or folded twice such that it is
actualized in the upper level and realized in the lower, folded in the souls that
actualize it according to the regime of laws that pertain to them and realized
in bodies. As Deleuze says, a Leibnizian transcendental philosophy, which
bears on the event rather than the phenomenon, replaces Kantian conditioning by means of the double operation of transcendental actualization
and realization.57

7. THE EVENT

OF THE

ACTUAL

If it is the Fold (or what Deleuze calls, following Heidegger, the Zweifalt)
that moves between the two levels here, distributing its forces according to
variable configurations, it is in the centre of The Fold, in the chapter entitled What is an Event? that we can understand the function of the
synthesis or non relation between the levels that constitutes a DeleuzoLeibnizian transcendental philosophy of the event of difference. In an
interesting but perhaps surprising move Deleuze invokes Whitehead as a
means to creatively re-open key Leibnizian concepts to the differences of
a new harmony, a world of captures instead of closures,58 in which it is
no longer classical reason that is breaking down (as it was for Leibniz)
under the force of divergences, incompossibilities, discords and dissonances,59 but human reason itself. As we have seen from Deleuzes early
reading, monads exclude universes that are incompossible with their world
and they express the same world without any contact, subject to a condition of closure. Bifurcations and divergences of series are irreducible
borders such that each expressive unit or monad includes the compossible
world that moves into existence. But Whiteheadian prehensive units, as
Deleuze calls them, to the contrary, are naturally open, open and always
already connected to another prehension either forming a world with them
or excluding them (what Whitehead calls negative prehensions). Thus
bifurcations, divergences and incompossibilities belong to the same world

Events of Difference: Deleuzes Reading of Leibniz

159

and can no longer be excluded from within by expressive units (monads).


The logic of exclusive disjunction is rejected in favour of an inclusiveness
and folding of differences and an affirmation of the distance that separates incompatibilities. For Deleuze, in a same chaotic world divergent
series are endlessly tracing bifurcating paths.60 Rather than the earlier dichotomy of either transcendent organization or chaos or the event of
difference, which arguably still leaves difference captured within the terms
of an exclusive disjunction, Deleuze now presents the genesis of events of
difference as emerging dynamically, inclusively and processually from a
chaosmos: a chaos that includes, envelops and folds into its own forms of
order and structures of organization. As Deleuze says even God now becomes Process, a process that at once affirms incompossibilities and passes
through them.61 rather than the Leibnizian God who compares worlds and
chooses the most compossible.62 The event of our difference, then, of our
actuality, expresses one borderless world within which Sextus will rape
and not rape Lucretia, where Caesar crosses and does not cross the Rubicon,
where Fang kills, is killed, and neither kills nor is killed. Monads can no
longer contain the world as if in a closed circle but now are kept half open
(Deleuze says as if held half open by a pair of pliers), straddling a neoBaroque that releases bifurcating trajectories that constantly move away
from any centre. Monadology is overtaken by a nomadology: a strange
kind of asundering or wandering. Musically, monadic souls spontaneously sang of themselves in concert with a choir of monads without either
knowing or hearing that they were in perfect accord or harmony. Yet harmony is now in crisis; melody is submitted to a force of variation such that
any realization or resolution of accord is deferred indefinitely. The master fugue has collapsed and the notes, abandoning their score, have become
self-actualizing entering into infinitely varied patterns of movement, finding atonal discords of their own. Following Boulez, music becomes a
polyphony of polyphonies.63
Deleuzes extended engagements with Leibniz reflect the subtle transformations and movements of the event of difference in Deleuzes thought.
We move from the hesitation or undecidability over Leibnizs inclusive/
exclusive conception of identity/difference in the early reading to the fully
inclusive folding of Deleuzo-Leibnizian events of difference in the later
reading. For Deleuze keeping the work (and Lebinizs thought) amongst
us, then, involves the creation of new concepts like the Fold and also the
folding of new concepts. It involves constructing the events of difference
that keep the work alive. Above all, this constructivism is a response to new
problems and new conditions and amounts to a genealogy of our condition, almost a contribution to a history of the present in Michel Foucaults

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sense. Deleuze keeps Leibniz alive in his own thought by constructing from
Leibnizian concepts counter-actualizations to problems of contemporary significance in order to assemble the event of difference of today,
the event of our actuality. In what we might call the Leibniz effect The
Fold doubles the sense and force of Leibnizs thought in holding together,
in the most complex and difficult way, concepts from science, philosophy
and aesthetics by showing the current and continuing relation of Leibniz
and the Baroque to our actualitya Leibniz to come. Deleuze mimes or
performs the event of our actuality, of what we are in the process of becoming and in this performance the extraordinary concept of the Fold
becomes an arrow shot by one thinker and picked up by another.
In Deleuzes later reading, then, between Leibniz and the Baroque, in
the and that joins and separates, the concept of the Fold emerged. The
Fold in between Leibniz and the Baroque is our singularity, a
differentiator, a differential.64 If the Baroque does not exist (or lacks a
concept) it insists or subsists as a line which would move exactly according to the fold. Deleuze makes Leibniz the philosopher of the Baroque,
capable of providing its concept and, in this, The Fold expresses Leibnizs
thought as a living force, a virtual potential that may only be activated in
another world, but a world quite compossible with what ours is becoming.
By demonstrating how the problem-event of The Baroquewhich continues both internally conditioning who we are and externally as an active
process shaping our worldmight be counter-effectuated by extracting
its operative concept, Deleuze gives expression to this new event of our
actuality, the difference that we are in the process of becoming that has the
potential to both liberate and enslave.
Ultimately, it is in an effort to address the question of how we are to
inhabit this world that Deleuzes later reading of Leibniz itself becomes an
event, an intervention in the becoming of this world. In other words, the
conditions of the problem have changed: we have a new Baroque and a
neo-Leibnizianism.65 The Event of Difference or the problem of the world
that pertains to our actuality can no longer be considered from the point
of view of a closed world or one (all be it infinite) ordered universe but
must now be articulated as a problem of the compossibility of differences within multiple worlds, unfolding territories or milieu subject to a
condition of capture. The Baroque line is in us but opens out onto what
we are becoming prompting the adjustment, revisioning or folding of
Leibniz in Deleuzes thought. As Deleuze says we all remain Leibnizian
because what always matters is folding, unfolding, refolding.66

Events of Difference: Deleuzes Reading of Leibniz

161

N OTES
1. G. Deleuze, The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque (hereafter TF), trans. T. Conley
(Athlone Press, 1993).
2. TF, p. 58.
3. Ibid., p. 53.
4. A. Badiou, Gilles Deleuze: The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque, in Gilles Deleuze
and the Theatre of Philosophy, ed. C. Boundas and D. Olkowski (Routledge,
1994), p.55.
5. Ibid., p. 64.
6. G. Deleuze, Logic of Sense (hereafter LS), trans. M. Lester and C. Boundas (Columbia University Press, 1990), p.171.
7. G. Deleuze, Difference and Repetition, (hereafter DR), trans P. Patton (Athlone
Press, 1993), p. 213.
8. TF, p. 104.
9. Ibid., p. 137.
10. Deleuzes early reading of Leibniz is dispersed throughout a number of texts
including Logic of Sense and Difference and Repetition, but perhaps the earliest references are found in Expressionism in Philosophy: Spinoza. In the
later reading I include the lecture series that Deleuze gave at Vincennes in
the early and mid eighties, references scattered throughout the Cinema volumes, the book on Foucault and, of course, The Fold and the interviews that
followed the publication of that book. Of the secondary literature on Leibniz
there are perhaps 3 or 4 very fine readings including Bertrand Russells now
canonical The Philosophy of Leibniz (Routledge, 1992).This text, along with
Couturats Le Logique de Leibniz, (George Olms, 1901) was decisive in establishing a number of important claims that Deleuze will contest. Firstly, the
idea that Leibnizs metaphysics derive from his logic. Heidegger in his Metaphysical Foundations of Logic (Indiana University Press, 1984) will claim that
the reverse is the case: that Leibnizs logic derives from his metaphysics and is
rooted within a certain conception of Being. There is of course something
wonderfully Leibnizian about the symmetry of these claims! For Deleuze
Leibnizs logic and his metaphysics are almost indiscernible, overlap or
perhaps we should say fold through one another and choosing one as the
ground from which the other is deduced doesnt get us very far. For example, the notion of the inclusion of the predicate in the subject appears to be
a logical claim and yet, following Leibnizs own examples, is clearly dependent upon a metaphysics of the event, what Deleuze would call an event of
difference or what Heidegger would call an event (ereignis) of Being. For both
Deleuze and Heidegger thought is not a stable or constant attribute of a subject but a pred icate in movement, an event of process, passage a nd
transformation. For Russell and Couturat the predicate in Leibniz is to be
understood on the (logical) model of attribution (properties). Thus for them

162

11.
12.
13.
14.

15.
16.
17.
18.
19.

20.
21.
22.
23.
24.
25.
26.
27.
28.

29.
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Keith Robinson

Leibniz reduces relations to properties of things and so creates all kinds of


difficulties for himself. Leibniz exhibits a simple case of inconsistency, then,
for Russell, when he relies on examples of relation to support his case for
internal properties. For Deleuze Leibniz does nothing but talk about relations because he thinks the predicate as event. In a sense this amounts to a
kind of deconstruction since the logic of examples pulls against the stated
claims of the text.
G. Deleuze, Negotiations: 19721990, (hereafter N), trans M. Joughin (Columbia University Press, 1995), p.141.
DR, p. xix.
Ibid., p. 57.
If there is a failure to think this event of pure becoming as real in Platonism it is
in Aristotle that Deleuze finds the greatest refusal to think difference outside
representation. For Deleuze the Aristotelian model of limited and finite organic representation makes difference a reflexive concept, a resemblance found
between the large and the small. In Leibniz, this same model, although rendered
infinite, is still retained in the element of representation.
LS, p. 2.
Ibid., p. 53.
N, p. 160.
See my Thought of the Outside: The Foucault/Deleuze Conjunction, Philosophy Today 43:1 (Spring 1999).
DR, p. 208. The importance of this phrase is reflected in its almost ubiquitous
appearance throughout Deleuzes oeuvre. One can find variants of this phrase
in Difference and Repetition as well as Proust, Bergsonism, the Cinema books
and Foucault amongst others.
DR, p. 266
LS, p. 149
DR, p. 266
Ibid., p. 42
Ibid.
Ibid., p. 45.
Ibid.
Ibid., p. 50
Although this thesis of infinite representation, as a whole, is not present in
The Fold, a version is present as an appendix in the book on Michel Foucault
that immediately preceded The Fold. Thus one line of difference between
Deleuzes early and later readings of Leibniz can, paradoxically, be located
here as a fold.
TF, p. 44.
G. W. Leibniz, Discourse on Metaphysics and Other essays, (hereafter DM), trans.
D Garber and R Ariew (Hackett Publishing Company, 1991), pp. 78.

Events of Difference: Deleuzes Reading of Leibniz


31
32
33
34
35
36.
37.
38.
39.
40.
41.
42.
43.
44.
45.
46.
47.
48.
49.
50.
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62.

163

Ibid.
Ibid., p. 9.
Ibid., p.71
Ibid., p.76.
Ibid., p.26.
Ibid., p.56. See also New Essays on Human Understanding. Trans. and ed. P.
Remnant and J. Bennett (Cambridge University Press, 1996).
LS, p. 176.
Ibid., p. 172.
Ibid., p. 54.
Ibid., p. 174.
Ibid., p. 114.
Ibid., p. 174.
DR, p. 253.
Ibid., p. 213.
TF, p. 79.
We could say here that if Leibniz replaces The Good with The Best then
Deleuze replaces both with The Most Creative.
DR, p. 213.
N, p. 159.
Ibid., p. 85.
Ibid., p. 32.
Ibid., p. 151.
TF, p. 1.
DM, p. 81.
TF, p. 4.
Ibid., p. 44.
Ibid., p. 114.
Ibid., p. 120.
Ibid., p. 81.
Ibid.
Ibid.
Ibid.
Whether Whiteheads God is actually that different from the Leibnizian deity is
an issue of real contention. In Science and the Modern World Whiteheads God
is clearly Leibnizian, antecedently selecting values and placing limitations upon
the realm of eternal objects. Deleuzes claim that the Whiteheadian God is a
Process.. that affirms incompossibilities and passes through them although
consistent in some respects with the conceptuality of Process and Reality would
tend to make the roles, purposes and functions of such a radical conception of
God practically redundant. If God passes through incompossibles what does

164

63.
64.
65.
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Keith Robinson

this amount to? For a detailed analysis of these issues see Tim Clarks fine paper
A Whiteheadian Chaosmos? Process Studies 28:34.
TF, p. 82.
N, p. 156.
TF, p. 136.
Ibid.