Affirmations of the False and Bifurcations of the True: Deleuze’s Dialetheic and Stoic Fatalism

Shores C. M.

in: Deleuze and Guattari's Philosophy of Freedom: Freedom’s Refrains, Dorothea Olkowski,Eftichis Pirovolakis, Editor, Routledge, London/New York , London, pp.178-223, 2019

  • Publication Type: Book Chapter / Chapter Research Book
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Publisher: Routledge, London/New York 
  • City: London
  • Page Numbers: pp.178-223
  • Editors: Dorothea Olkowski,Eftichis Pirovolakis, Editor


In Deleuze’s treatments of Nietzsche’s amor fati and of Stoic fatalism, we find a temporal structure that couples logically incompatible elements, namely, chance and destiny in the first case and will and fate in the second. In Deleuze’s accounts, it is by means of a particular sort of affirmational activity that allows our immediate, present temporality – during which chance and willful action reign – to intersect with an eternal sort of temporality that houses our fate and destiny and that thus lies outside our immediate grasp. To understand this combination of incompatible temporalities in Deleuze’s philosophy, we will employ paraconsistent reasoning, which allows us to affirm both the truth and falsity of some proposition, or, construed another way, it allows us to dually affirm both a proposition and its paraconsistent negation. We thereby will consider these temporal structures as involving “dialetheias” (true contradictions). Under this view, we will also explore a dialetheic interpretation of Deleuze’s notions of the powers of the false, from his writings on Nietzsche, and of prohairesis (“volition”) and Aiôn and Chronos, from his writings on the Stoics.

It is important to emphasize in a Deleuzian context that paraconsistent negation in such contradictory formulations bears a critically different logical property from classical negation, namely, it does not cancel or “destroy” what it negates. This is because negation is distinct from denial in paraconsistent reasoning: we do not both affirm and deny the same proposition; rather, we affirm both its truth and falsity. Thus by means of this paraconsistent mode of reasoning, we can implement a logical structure that is suitable to the sorts of affirmative synthetic disjunctions involved in Deleuze’s logically complex temporal structures. This in the end enables us to understand how for Deleuze we may affirm our fate while also influencing the directions that the present develops toward.