The Event of the New: Thinking Emergent Creativity with in Deleuze and Whitehead

Hannah Richter

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Abstract

Gilles Deleuze’s concept of the event is one of the central, and most vividly discussed, contributions of his philosophy. The event ruptures flows of thought, knowledge and social relations and renders available a creative potentiality from which the world can be remade differently. But conceptualised by Deleuze as ungrounded and non-causal in any established sense, the precise workings of Deleuze’s creative event also constitute a theoretical puzzle. This paper firstly suggests that the existing scholarship on Deleuze’s event mostly resolves this puzzle by retracing evental creativity to an external source. Distinguishing between an ontological, a genealogical-discursive and a new materialist-affective reading, it is suggested that all three ultimately deflect evental creativity to a primary cause, obscuring not only the theoretical purchase of the event but also its radically non-causal nature. Secondly, this paper draws on the philosophy of Whitehead to develop an alternative reading of Deleuze’s event as a moment of immanent emergence. Here, evental creativity cannot be retraced to a specific source because it always emerges from the relational interaction of a material singularity with the nexus of previously established matter-thought relations in sense that enfold the former. Evental creativity is here defined not by its source but by its effects relative to the relational nexus of previously produced sense.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-153
Number of pages32
JournalParrhesia: a journal of critical philosophy
Volume37
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2023

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