To Come Into Being: Hegel, Deleuze, and the Theater of Movement


  • Daniel Sacilotto CalArts


hegel, deleuze, representation, process ontology, naturalism, science of logic, difference and repetition


This paper explores two attempts to conceive of a genetic model of cognition and ontology of becoming through divergent accounts of the relation between conceptual and non-conceptual difference: Hegel’s conceptual realist account of becoming as the movement of radical negativity, and Deleuze’s structural realist account of Ideas as the individuation of intensive difference. I show how both attempts organize their respective accounts in relation to the perceived limitations of representation, understood either as an impure kind of cognition, or as a dogmatic model of thought as recognition. In both cases, representation is pathologized as preventing philosophy from grasping the creative dimension of thought, and its place within a dynamic reality.

Nevertheless, I argue that just like the conceptual realist strategy surreptitiously relies on an unintelligible criterion of non-conceptual difference to set the dialectical movement of conceptual contradiction in motion, so the structural realist attempt to subtract becoming from the concept surreptitiously relies on the conceptual hypostasis by philosophy in order to assign an ontological valence to specific mathematical paradigms. By showing their disavowed dependence on what they presumably overcome, I finally indicate the necessity to elucidate the inextricability between the conceptual, structural, and the ontological dimensions of the “universe of discourse,” within which the semantic and epistemological scope of philosophy become integral to a revisionary account of representational cognition.


Adorno, Theodor W. Negative Dialectics, translated by E.B. Ashton, London and New York, Routledge, 1973.

Brown, Nathan. Rationalist Empiricism: A Theory of Speculative Critique, New York, Fordham University Press, 2021.

Deleuze, Gilles. Difference and Repetition, translated by Paul Patton, New York, Columbia University Press, 1995.

Hegel, G.W.F. The Science of Logic, translated by George di Giovanni, New York, Cambridge University Press, 2010.

Hegel, G.W.F. The Encyclopaedia Logic, translated by T. F. Geraets, W. A. Suchting, H. S. Harris, Cambridge, Hackett Publishing Company, 1991.

Houlgate, Stephen, The Opening of Hegel’s Logic, USA, Purdue University Press, 2006.

Guattari, Felix, & Deleuze, Gilles. A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, translated by Brian Masumi, Continuum, Great Britain, 1988.

Maluschke, Günther, “Kritik und absolute Methode in Hegels Dialektik”, in Hegel-Studien Beiheft 13, Bonn, Bouvier Verlag, 1984.

Puntel, Lorenz B. Structure and Being: A Theoretical Framework for a Systematic Philosophy, translated by Alan White, USA, The Pennsylvania State University, 2008.

Rosen, Michael. Hegel’s Dialectic and its Criticism, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1982.

Sommers-Hall, Henry, Hegel, Deleuze, and the Critique of Representation: Dialectics of Negation and Difference, New York, State University of New York Press, 2009.

Theunissen, Michael. Sein und Schein: Die kritische Funktion der Hegelschen Logik, Frankfurt, Suhrkamp Verlag, 1980.



30-12-2021 — Updated on 14-01-2022


How to Cite

Sacilotto, D. (2022). To Come Into Being: Hegel, Deleuze, and the Theater of Movement. Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, 17(3), 250–282. Retrieved from (Original work published December 30, 2021)