Histcon.se Time, Memory and Representation Tid, Minne, Representation

A Multidisciplinary Program on Transformations in Historical Consciousness

Ett mångdisciplinärt forskningsprogram om historiemedvetandets förvandlingar

Fredrika Spindler

Associate Professor, Philosophy, Södertörn University


Fredrika Spindler, b. 1966, assistant professor at Södertörn University. PhD in philosophy in 1996 from Université de Montpellier, dissertation: Philosophie de la puissance et détermination de l’homme chez Spinoza et chez Nietzsche. Has published extensively on Spinoza, Nietzsche and Deleuze. In 2005-07 co-responsible for research project ”The ingraspable art: Hannah Arendt and Friedrich Nietzsche’s Rethinking of Aesthetics and Politics” (Baltic Sea Foundation), and also ”Explorative Architecture”, Chalmers School of Technology (Formas, 2002-2004).

Ongoing research

The contribution is devoted to critically interpreting and developing the understanding of time and space in the thought of Gilles Deleuze. Modern Western thought has conceived time and history mainly along the model of continuity and progress. Chronological, linear thinking appears natural and logic, situating the present as a result of the past, and as an opening toward the future. This intuition also implies a self-identical subject, from whose central perspective the world is determined and understood. In philosophy, several attempts have been made to transcend the idea of linear time and a centred subject. In Spinoza, e.g., the individual is instead conceived as a variable composition, existing in a dynamic duration. In Nietzsche the subject is seen as the focal point of competing forces, operating in a multi-dimensional temporality, motivating a genealogical analysis. Both of these thinkers greatly influenced Gilles Deleuze in his exploration of subjectivity, time, and space. Through concepts such as virtuality, actuality, difference and repetition, he sought to convey new modes of conceptualizing the historical space of understanding, taking inspiration not only from philosophy, but also from aesthetics and cinema. Building on earlier interpretations (de Beistegui, Smith) the project will explore the consequences of this critique for the present attempts to conceive new models of thinking continuity, change, and understanding.


Selected bibliography

Spinoza – multitud, affekt, kraft (Glänta, Göteborg 2010)

– Nietzsche – kropp, kunskap, konst (forthcoming, Glänta, Göteborg 2009),

– Deleuze – subjekt, tänkande, blivande (forthcoming, Glänta, Göteborg 2009),

– The theory of history in Spinoza’s Theologico-Political Treatise, in The Past’s Presence, eds. Hans Ruin & Marcia Sá Cavalcante Schuback (Södertörn Philosophical Studies, 2006)

– Philosophie de la puissance et détermination de l’homme chez Spinoza et chez Nietzsche (Glänta Produktion, Göteborg 2005).

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