This article says

All this is most fully worked out in Difference and Repetition(1994). What Deleuze calls the virtual is the there posed as the transcendental condition of all experience... Deleuze thus remains committed to Kant’s transcendental argument. But of course, this involves a lengthy process of re-forming and correcting Kant’s own assertions... The “Transcendental Aesthetic” contains Kant’s “exposition” of space and time, as conditions of receptivity, or sensibility. Space and time are a-categorical and non-conceptual. Space is “an a priori intuition, not a concept” (1996, 79)... The problematic of beauty pertains not just to the creation and reception of works of art, but to sensible experience more generally. Acts of sensible intuition and judgments of beauty alike involve feelings that are receptive and not spontaneous, and for which there can be no adequate concepts. Neither the attribution of time and space to phenomena, nor the attribution of beauty to phenomenal objects, can be justified.. This problematic of aesthetic singularity, or of a sensible intuition to which no cognition is adequate, is what allows Deleuze to overcome the “wrenching duality” at the heart of aesthetics, and to reunite the two senses of aesthetic experience. What the “Transcendental Aesthetic” in the First Critique shares with the “Analytic of the Beautiful” in the Third, is that they both give an account of non-cognitive, or pre-cognitive, sensible experience.

Emphasis added

Works of art are expressions of the virtual, of becoming, and of transformation.

Is Deleuze, then, saying that what he calls the "virtual" is what generates beauty, or just that both cannot be articulated cognitively?

i.e.: does the 'transcendental condition of all experience' include both senses of "aesthetic experience"?

alongside the actual, material “connection” of physical causes to one another,there is also a virtual relation, or a “bond,” linking “effects or incorporeal events” among themselves (6). The virtual is the realm of effects separated from their cause... Considered apart from their physical causes, and independently of any bodily instantiation, they are something like the generative conditions for the very processes that physically give rise to them

Emphasis added. Does that mean that the virtual is outside "affect" -- bodily experience and its intensities?

  • Part of the importance of the concept of the virtual is that it complicates (in a productive way) the issue of determination. So when you say "does it generate" X, as a blanket statement the answer will always be no, given that the virtual is both what is contracted of actual events, and the condition of possible experience. One must conceive of the "affection" (the action of affecting) as actual and "affect" as virtual effect. So the part of "aesthetic experience" that deals with "real experience" still has a foot (it's materialization) in the actual, not the virtual. May 25, 2020 at 13:41

1 Answer 1


Is Deleuze, then, saying that what he calls the "virtual" is what generates beauty

He doesn't really write about 'beauty'.

Does that mean that the virtual is outside "affect"

In Deleuze, the "virtual" is affective. Furthermore, Deleuze sees art works as blocks of affects and percepts.

If one is looking to go in some sense beyond affect, then Deleuze & Guattari's What is Philosophy -- which works woth percepts, affects, and concepts -- could be useful.

You must log in to answer this question.