The Ultimate Meaning of Counter-Actualisation: On the Ethics of the Univocity of Being in Deleuze’s Logic of Sense

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As is well known, Deleuze says in Difference and Repetition that ‘the task of contemporary philosophy has been defined: to reverse Platonism’. This task is then continued in Logic of Sense, through its discussion of Stoic logic. Deleuze says there that ‘the Stoics are the first to reverse Platonism’. And, at the same time, in the big Spinoza book, we see Deleuze present Spinoza’s ‘anti-Cartesian reaction’. This anti-Cartesian reaction is equivalent to the reversal of Platonism. We can say then that the task of the reversal of Platonism unifies the three books Deleuze published at the end of the Sixties. The thesis of this essay will consist in arguing that ethics we find in Logic of Sense – which we can call ‘the ethics of the univocity of being’ – completes, in a constructive way, Deleuze’s early project of the reversal of Platonism. The ethics centres on the idea of counter-actualisation. We shall argue that there are four senses of counter-actualisation. Here is a summary of the four senses of counter-actualisation: (1) beatitude against resentment (against presentist modes of measurement); (2) caring for the sense against neglecting the sense (denouncing any one determinate answer); (3) the embodiment of plural hopings and rememberings against the embodiment of one hope and one memory (against the character); and (4) ‘just enough’ against ‘too much’ (against suicide). Yet, as we shall see, there is a fifth meaning of counter-actualisation, the ultimate meaning. The ultimate sense of counter-actualisation is universal freedom. This is where my essay will end.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)112-135
Number of pages24
JournalDeleuze and Guattari Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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