Causes are a serious problem in the metaphysics of Gilles Deleuze. Like most European philosophers, he rarely addresses fundamental questions directly; however, there are certain things that can be inferred from his work. First, like Spinoza, he retains a robust distinction between determination and causation. Second, like Hume, he seems to be deeply sceptical about there being objectively-existing causal relations. So, at the very least, we need to be careful about how we attribute the concept to his system. Still, there remains a strange concept burrowing through the background of two or three discussions: quasi-causes. This paper wants to treat this issue by taking literally a comment Deleuze makes (“A living being is not only defined genetically, by the dynamisms which determine its internal milieu, but also ecologically, by the external movements which preside over its distribution within an extensity” ) and considering the possible value of drawing on the science of epigenetics, specifically the famous "epigenetic landscape" that C.H. Waddington develops in his The Strategy of the Genes to account for the genotype-phenotype interaction in development, to elaborate Deleuze's expressionistic ontology. This ontology is derived in large part from Spinoza's rejection of teleology and transitive causation; with Waddington by his side, this paper wonders if the upshot of Deleuze's relationship with the concept of causal relations is that causes cannot account for anything except the most trivial of relationships.


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