Sense, Category, Questions: Reading Deleuze with Ryle

Kügler, Peter
November 2011
Deleuze Studies;2011, Vol. 5 Issue 3, p324
Academic Journal
Gilles Deleuze's notion of sense, as developed in Difference and Repetition and The Logic of Sense, is meant to be a fourth dimension of the proposition besides denotation, manifestation and signification. While Deleuze explains signification in inferentialist terms, he ascribes to sense some very unusual properties, making it hard to understand what sense is. The aim of this paper is to improve this situation by confronting Deleuzian sense with a more or less contemporary, but otherwise rather distant philosophical conception: Gilbert Ryle's theory of categories and category mistakes. The leading idea is that to understand the sense of a proposition regarding X is to know the category of the concept X, which requires that one knows which questions may appropriately be asked with regard to X. Thus, sense, category and questions are intimately related to each other. Finally, it seems to be consistent with Deleuze's views to assume that abstract signification is contextually generated by concrete sense.


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