Defense Date


Graduation Date

Spring 5-6-2016


One-year Embargo

Submission Type


Degree Name





McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

Committee Chair

Daniel Selcer

Committee Member

Fred Evans

Committee Member

Andrew Mitchell


Deleuze, Event, Ground, Heidegger, Lautman, Ontology


This dissertation examines the concept of event, as found in the ontologies developed by Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) and Gilles Deleuze (1925-1995). The texts I focus on are Heidegger's Sein und Zeit (1927), "Vom Wesen des Grundes" (1928), "Vom Wesen der Wahrheit" (lecture 1930, print 1943), Beiträge zur Philosopie (vom Ereignis) (written 1936-38, but not published until 1989), and Deleuze's Différence et répétition (1968). My focus is on the way each philosopher advances an account of the event in relation to a set of key fundamental themes. For Heidegger, these are truth, difference, ground, and time-space. For Deleuze I also discuss ground and time, but focus especially on difference. Deleuze's account of difference entails a distinction between a “virtual� register of dialectical Ideas and an “actual� register of systems of simulacra, and clarifying his concept of event in relation to these plays a dominant role in my analysis. Deleuze's account of dialectical Ideas is profoundly influenced by that of the early twentieth century mathematician and philosopher, Albert Lautman (1908-1944). Lautman, in turn, developed his account through an engagement with Heidegger's early work. In Chapter V, I reconstruct the Heideggerian line of influence on Deleuze via Lautman. Beginning in the mid-1930s Heidegger understands being to be evental in nature, while difference constitutes an essential dimension of the event, though the latter point is often neglected in the scholarship. Truth, ground, and time-space articulate the structure and dynamics of being as event. For Deleuze, being is difference, but difference differentiates by way of events. Ground, time, systems of simulacra, and dialectical Ideas articulate the structure of being's evental differentiation and the genesis of worlds of beings possessing quasi-stable identities modulated by their complex relations.