Change’s Order: On Deleuze’s Notion of Time

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In this paper I focus on the second chapter of Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition in order to point out the distinctive traits of his theory of time and in particular to clarify Deleuze’s claim that change is the form of time. I argue first, that Deleuze’s theory of time is related to the transcendental tradition in which the discussion of time is inseparable from the understanding of subjectivity. Second, that his notion of time is distinct with regard to this tradition because Deleuze’s analysis of passive subjectivity reveals that time, though not objective and detached from subjectivity, is not attributable to it; it is rather subjectivity (or the different layers of subjectivity) that is generated through the syntheses of time. In order to show this I discuss Deleuze’s three syntheses of time focusing on the character of the time that is fundamental in each synthesis (present, past, future). Finally, I offer a clarification of Deleuze’s notion of change as the form of time through a discussion of McTaggart’s argument for the unreality of time and the understanding of change that it presupposes.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBoston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages16
StatePublished - 2016

Publication series

NameBoston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science
ISSN (Print)0068-0346
ISSN (Electronic)2214-7942

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Springer International Publishing Switzerland.


  • Change
  • Deleuze
  • Ideality
  • McTaggart
  • Repetition
  • Subjectivity
  • Time
  • Transcendental philosophy


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