Kantian Journal

2023 Vol. 42. №4

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The Imperishable Kant: Deleuze on the Consistency of the Faculties of Reason



The influence of Immanuel Kant’s philosophy on the ideas of Gilles Deleuze was quite substantial. However, analyses of the correlation between the ideas of the two philosophers have not yet received proper research attention, especially in Russian-language literature. To reveal the essence and history of the development of Deleuze’s attitude to Kant, the former’s work, Kant’s Critical Philosophy: The Doctrine of the Faculties (1963), in which the French philosopher aims to find the potential limits of interpretation of Kant’s philosophy. Deleuze appeals to Kant’s study of faculties, in which he finds contradictions and “gaps” that find their solution in the Critique of Judgment. Deleuze refers to the free coherence of the faculties as to “something third”, which gives options for reactualising Kant’s philosophy without striving to overcome it. I also provide a brief history of the issues related to Kant­ian philosophy, appearing in the works of Deleuze — from a course of lectures on the problem of grounds, given by the young Deleuze at the Lyceum Louis the Great in Paris, to his last article published in his lifetime, “Immanence: A Life”, in which Deleuze brings up the question of the transcendental field. Despite the fact that Kant and Deleuze are more often contrasted than considered as possible allies, and despite the cases of criticisms of Kant by Deleuze, I defend the thesis that their philosophical projects are firmly linked. Considering Kant’s presence in Deleuze’s study, I conclude that Kant’s philosophy has shaped some key aspects of the French philosopher’s thinking — in particular, the concept of “transcendental empiricism” — and also has influenced Deleuze’s ideas about difference, becoming, ground and immanence.


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