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A New Individuation: Deleuze’s Simondon Connection

Andrew Iliadis


The French philosopher Gilles Deleuze (1925-1995) wrote monographs on the philosophers whose work greatly influenced his own, with one glaring exception: he did not write one on his contemporary Gilbert Simondon (1924-1989). Simondon is cited only a few times in the Deleuzean corpus yet his influence is everywhere, from ideas concerning the virtual to the concept of individuation. The following paper provides a much needed survey of Simondon’s influence on Deleuze in two steps. First, I show how Simondon’s ontology emerged from a rethinking of Aristotle’s theory of substance (hylomorphism). Second, I elaborate on the few passages where Deleuze explicitly appropriates this new ontology, particularly Simondon’s concept of individuation. In this way, I show how Simondon foresaw our new modes of existence and argued for a new philosophy for them well before any of his contemporaries (Deleuze included) in a way that carries great import for philosophies of information and communication.


Simondon; Deleuze; Aristotle; individuation; information; communication

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