Cosmology Between Philosophy and Science: Deleuze, Guattari, and the Rest of Us

May 25, 2023 - May 27, 2023
Laurentian University, School of Arts, Travelodge Hotel

1401 Paris Street
Greater Sudbury P3E 3B6

This event is available both online and in-person


University of Memphis
University of Guelph

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Cosmology raises questions at once scientific and philosophical, mathematical and existential, technological and conceptual. Thereby, creative answers can only be sought through exchange across methodological approaches and disciplinary boundaries. We intend this conference as the site of such an exchange between philosophers and scientists. We take our inspiration for this approach from Deleuze and Guattari, whose work is fundamentally cosmic. This puts them at odds with the contemporary tendency of narrowing philosophical questions to anthropocentric concerns. However, they do not simply return to a pre-critical view of the cosmos. Instead, Deleuze and Guattari theorize a chaotic universe without transcendent orderings or fundamental necessary beings, a productive, immanent chaosmos, and forge concepts to help us find our way therein. On the one hand, this highlights the cosmic aspects of human existence, that we are only one sort of machine entering into assemblages with other machines and experimenting with new connections. On the other hand, it has interesting resonances with contemporary scientific cosmology, where aspects of reality that classical cosmology took to be transcendent (time, space, etc.), are shown to be immanent to and affected by the things of the universe (e.g., the warping of Spacetime by mass as described by General Relativity).

While giving a radically new view of the cosmos, Deleuze and Guattari are not without their important precursors. In philosophy, they find resources in thinkers who moved against the grain of transcendence such as the Stoics, Lucretius, Spinoza, Nietzsche, and Bergson. Nor did they hide their scientific and mathematical influences such as Poincaré, Prigogine, and Mandelbrot. In rejecting transcendence, the affective and expressive dimension of an immanent cosmology are brought to the fore alongside the philosophical and scientific. Deleuze and Guattari find the very idea of a chaosmos in the writings of Joyce and see the cosmic as no less expressed through art such as the work of Klee and Stockhausen. In line with this, we seek papers on the philosophy of cosmology generally and on the current state of the sciences regarding cosmology in addition to scholarship on or applications of the cosmic in Deleuze and Guattari’s work.

To explore these and related topics, the Gilles Deleuze and Cosmology Research Group is hosting a conference entitled Cosmology Between Philosophy and Science: Deleuze, Guattari, and the Rest of Us. The conference will take place May 25—27th in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. Papers will be accepted in either English or French. The conference will be hybrid in format, with both virtual attendance and presentation.

The conference will include a visit to SNOLAB. SNOLAB, located in the nearby VALE’s Creighton Mine, is the deepest underground laboratory in the world focused on particle astrophysics (e. g. direct dark matter search experiments and neutrino experiments).

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