Difference and Givenness

Paper Text – $39.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-2454-7

Cloth Text – $89.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-2452-3

E-book – $39.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-6596-0
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Publication Date
April 2008
Page Count
352 pages
Trim Size
6 x 9

Difference and Givenness

Deleuze's Transcendental Empiricism and the Ontology of Immanence
Levi R Bryant

From one end of his philosophical work to the other, Gilles Deleuze consistently described his position as a transcendental empiricism. But just what is transcendental about Deleuze's transcendental empiricism? And how does his position fit with the traditional empiricism articulated by Hume? In Difference and Givenness, Levi Bryant addresses these long-neglected questions so critical to an understanding of Deleuze's thinking. Through a close examination of Deleuze's independent work--focusing especially on Difference and Repetition--as well as his engagement with thinkers such as Kant, Maimon, Bergson, and Simondon, Bryant sets out to unearth Deleuze's transcendental empiricism and to show how it differs from transcendental idealism, absolute idealism, and traditional empiricism. 

What emerges from these efforts is a metaphysics that strives to articulate the conditions for real existence, capable of accounting for the individual itself without falling into conceptual or essentialist abstraction. In Bryant's analysis, Deleuze's metaphysics articulates an account of being as process or creative individuation based on difference, as well as a challenging critique--and explanation--of essentialist substance ontologies. A clear and powerful discussion of how Deleuze's project relates to two of the most influential strains in the history of philosophy, this book will prove essential to anyone seeking to understand Deleuze's thought and its specific contribution to metaphysics and epistemology. 

About the Author

Levi R. Bryant is a professor at Collin College in Frisco, Texas. His work focuses on the contemporary theory, Freudian-Lacanian psychoanalysis, and the history of philosophy.


"It is high time that we had a book like this: not only does Bryant read Deleuze as a philosopher; his is a reading done by a philosopher. . . . Bryant proposes an original interpretation of Deleuze's philosophical work, concentrating on Deleuze's magnum opus, Difference and Repetition, and using the theme of 'transcendental empiricism' as his guiding thread. . . . The result is a persuasive and nuanced interpretation of the ontology that lies at the core of Deleuze's philosophical work."

—Daniel W. Smith, Purdue University