Ryan Johnson – Deleuze: A Stoic, Edinburgh University Press, February 2022
Deleuze, A Stoic shows Deleuze’s engagement with Stoicism produced many of his most singular and powerful ideas, reveals a lasting influence on Gilles Deleuze by mapping his provocative reading of ancient Stoicism, unearths new possibilities for bridging contemporary philosophy and classics by engaging a vital yet recently rising area of scholarship: continental philosophy’s relationship to ancient philosophy, and introduces the untranslated Stoic scholarship published by pre- and post-Deleuzian French philosophers of antiquity to the English-reading world. Deleuze dramatises the story of ancient philosophy as a rivalry of four types of thinkers: the subverting pre-Socratics, the ascending Plato, the interiorising Aristotle and the perverting Stoics. Deleuze assigns the Stoics a privileged place because they introduced a new orientation for thinking and living that turns the whole story of philosophy inside out.
Review: “Johnson has produced a profound and erudite study of the stoic roots of Deleuze’s philosophy. This work is of vital importance for those interested in Deleuze, the continuing relevance of the stoic tradition, and, more fundamentally, the ethics of materialism.” – Dr. Henry Somers-Hall, Royal Holloway, University of London
Ryan Johnson – The Deleuze-Lucretius Encounter, Edinburgh University Press, February 2018
The Deleuze-Lucretius Encounter explores how Deleuze’s thought was shaped by Lucretian atomism – a formative but often-ignored influence from ancient philosophy. More than any other 20th-century philosopher, Deleuze considers himself an apprentice to the history of philosophy. But scholarship has ignored one of the more formative influences on Deleuze: Lucretian atomism. Deleuze’s encounter with Lucretius sparked a way of thinking that resonates throughout all his writings: from immanent ontology to affirmative ethics, from dynamic materialism to the generation of thought itself. Filling a significant gap in Deleuze Studies, Ryan J. Johnson tells the story of the Deleuze-Lucretius encounter that begins and ends with a powerful claim: Lucretian atomism produced Deleuzianism.
Review:” Readers will be surprised and charmed at the parallels Ryan Johnson finds between Deleuze and Lucretius. The lines he draws from Ancient atomist ideas about relations, movements, and speeds, through to Deleuzian materialism are exciting and convincing. The book is packed with interesting ideas and twists and is exacting in its scholarship. On top of that, it is beautifully written.” – Jay Lampert, Duquesne University