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'Willing the event': Expressive agency in Deleuze's Logic of Sense
journal contributionposted on 2014-01-01, 00:00 authored by Sean BowdenSean Bowden
A major problem threatens Deleuze’s project in The Logic of Sense. He makes an ontological distinction between events and substances, but he then collapses a crucial distinction between two kinds of events, namely, actions and mere occurrences. Indeed, whereas actions are commonly differentiated from mere occurrences with reference to their causal dependence on the intentions of their agents, Deleuze asserts a strict ontological distinction between the realm of causes (including psychological causes) and the realm of events, and holds that events of all types are incorporeal happenings which are inseparable from expressed sense. For Deleuze, what counts as one’s action thus does not depend on one’s intention, but rather on a process of ‘‘making sense’’ of that action. Nevertheless, Deleuze continues to speak of the need to ‘‘will’’ the event. In order to resolve this apparent contradiction, I will read a conception of ‘‘expressive agency’’ into The Logic of Sense.