Transcendental Philosophy in Scotus, Kant, and Deleuze: One Voice Expressing Difference

This entry is part 12 of 33 in the series Vol 2-2017

Abstract: This paper traces a common thread in John Duns Scotus, Immanuel Kant, and Gilles Deleuze: the search for a truly transcendental philosophy. Scotus was the father of transcendental philosophy, Kant transformed the discipline into transcendental idealism, and Deleuze further transformed it into transcendental empiricism. Kant saw previous transcendental philosophy (which he called transcendental realism) as being transcendent, as it purported to give access to things in themselves. In place of this, Kant put forth transcendental idealism, in which we only have access to appearances. Deleuze saw Kant’s transcendental idealism as transcendent, as it dealt with the transcendental on the level of conception, which Deleuze saw as empirical. In place of this, Deleuze put forth transcendental empiricism, in which the transcendental pertains only to the realm of immanence, out of which the empirical arises. All three thinkers share a common tradition, transcendental philosophy. Further, they shared a common goal, that of making the transcendental immanent, even though they expressed this goal differently.

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