Diabolical Diagramming: Deleuze, Dupuy, and Catastrophe

Creative Commons License

Shores C. M.

Philosophies, vol.7, no.4, 2022 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 7 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/philosophies7040074
  • Journal Name: Philosophies
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI)
  • Keywords: climate change, catastrophe, philosophy of time, Jean-Pierre Dupuy, Gilles Deleuze
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Jean-Pierre Dupuy argues that our failure to prevent the looming climate catastrophe results from a faulty metaphysics of time: because we believe the present can proceed down one of the many branches that extend into the future, some of which bypass the catastrophe, we do not think it is absolutely urgent to take drastic action now. His solution to this problem of demotivation is “enlightened doomsaying” in “projected time”, which means that we affirm the coming catastrophe as something real in the future rather than being a mere possibility; thus, we regard it seriously enough that we are motivated to take the needed actions to prevent it. One potential obstacle to this proposal is that it requires the forming of consensus and coordination with the powerful players who benefit from our current path and whose apparently near-total grip on this catastrophic future may itself discourage action. We then consider an alternative model based on Gilles Deleuze’s philosophy of the present–future relation. Although it has the branching structure that Dupuy is wary of, it may not suffer from the same problem of demotivation on account of the way it conceives the complex structure of the present event. For this reason, the Deleuzian model may be more suited to motivating action in a world where the future must be fought for rather than unanimously agreed upon.

© 2022 by the author. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.