Paragraph 34 (3):358-370 (2011)

Gilles Deleuze famously expressed distaste for the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein and his followers. The two thinkers are here seen as irreconcilable. The critique of false problems and the refutation of scepticism found in Wittgenstein have no resonance in Deleuze, who was a systematic metaphysical philosopher in the tradition of pre-Kantian rationalism. Pragmatic-sceptical self-limitation of thought's capabilities on the grounds of existing practice flies in the face of aesthetic experience. Moreover Deleuze explicitly upholds modern literature as a locus of philosophical innovation. The comparison between Deleuze and Wittgenstein is pursued in an examination of the questions of ‘rule following’, literary practice and semiotics. Deleuze was hostile to ‘pragmatism’, whereas Wittgenstein and his followers could often be described as pragmatists.
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DOI 10.3366/para.2011.0030
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