Vernon W. Cisney
Difference and the Power of the Negative
The first scholarly comparative analysis of Jacques Derrida and Gilles Deleuze’s philosophies of difference
Jacques Derrida and Gilles Deleuze are best known for their respective attempts to theoretically formulate non-dialectical conceptions of difference. Now, for the first time, Vernon W. Cisney brings you a scholarly analysis of their contrasting concepts of difference. Cisney distinguishes their conceptions of difference by differentiating them on the basis of the criticisms they level against Hegel, as well as their valorisations of Nietzsche, and the ways in which they understand Nietzsche’s thought to surpass that of Hegel. The contrast between the two, Cisney argues, is that while Deleuze formulates an affirmative conception of difference, Derrida’s différance amounts to an irresolvable negativity.
- Situates the philosophy of difference within the broader context of the history of philosophy, going back to its beginnings in Plato and Aristotle
- Focuses on the positions that Derrida and Deleuze occupy with respect to the Hegel-Nietzsche-Heidegger triumvirate
- Provides the first in-depth analysis of the defining distinction between Derrida and Deleuze, out of which most of the other differences (ethical, political, etc.) between the two can be more richly understood
- Offers an original understanding of the history and trajectory of continental philosophy specifically, rooted in an engagement with Husserl’s time-consciousness analysis and in Deleuze’s adoption of Bergson’s thinking
Vernon W. Cisney is Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Gettysburg College. He is the author of Deleuze and Derrida: Difference and the Power of the Negative (Edinburgh University Press, 2018) and Derrida’s Voice and Phenomenon: An Edinburgh Philosophical Guide (Edinburgh University Press, 2014). He is also the co-editor of Between Foucault and Derrida (Edinburgh University Press, 2016); The Way of Nature and the Way of Grace: Philosophical Footholds on Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life (Northwestern University Press, 2016); and Biopower: Foucault and Beyond (University of Chicago Press, 2015).