According to Manuel DeLanda the problem Deleuze confronts throughout his philosophy is one of avoiding essentialism; he tries to conceive our world without recourse to transcendent essences. There are a variety of ways of restating this, one of which is to see it as a question of how mammals can do mathematics. This chapter presents a simplified sketch of DeLanda’s reconstruction of Deleuze’s antiessentialist ontology in Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy, which can then be applied to a variation on the antiessentialist problem. By putting the problem of antiessentialism in an evolutionary and scientific light, the neomaterialist Deleuze found in DeLanda can provide the concepts needed to understand precisely this point where the ape touches the cosmos—the brain.
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