Deleuze and Heidegger on Truth And Science

Michael James Bennett 1
  • 1 University of King’s College,, Halifax, Canada


Deleuze and Guattari’s manner of distinguishing science from philosophy in their last collaboration What is Philosophy? (1991) seems to imply a hierarchy, according to which philosophy is more adequate to the reality of virtual events than science is. This suggests, in turn, that philosophy has a better claim than science to truth. This paper clarifies Deleuze‘s views about truth throughout his career. Deleuze equivocates over the term, using it in an “originary” and a “derived” sense, probably under the influence of Henri Bergson, who does similarly. Moreover, William James and pragmatism were to Bergson what the early analytic philosophers Frege and Russell are to Deleuze: excessively scientistic foils whose confusions about truth arise as a result of failing to distinguish science from philosophy. By situating Deleuze’s conception of truth in relation to the early Heidegger’s, which it to some extent resembles, the paper concludes by suggesting that, surprisingly, neither kind of truth Deleuze licenses applies to science, while both apply to philosophy. Science is indifferent to truth in the way that some of Deleuze‘s readers have incorrectly wanted to say that he thinks philosophy is.

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