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  • Emanuele Costa

A Spinozist body, without organs

Aggiornamento: 11 nov 2021

Gilles Deleuze is perhaps equally famous for his capacity to think beyond borders and boundaries and for the utter unreadability of some of his texts. One notion, in particular, that of the body without organs, has puzzled philosophers for decades. I am currently working on an attempt to approach this notion from an Early modernist perspective. The aim of this attempt is not, to be sure, that of "solving" the mystery of the body without organs, but - more modestly - to provide tools to rethink its import thanks to the affiliation between Deleuze and Baruch Spinoza.

My hunch is that the body without organs cannot be thought without some correlate in the formal world of ideas/signification. In particular, I seek to examine Deleuze’s fascination with the idea of “spiritual automata” as a counterpoint to the more famous notion of the BWO. My suggestion is that both are grounded in a deep reflection, on Deleuze’s part, on the problems and issues generated by Spinoza’s notion of parallel attributes. Ultimately, I argue, the development of the two notions is motivated by identical metaphysical worries regarding the tenability of transformation, persistence, and affective interrelations between individuals.

Stay tuned for the results of my reckless interaction with Deleuze and Deleuzianism!

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