In lieu of an actual post (I have things cooking but they’re not yet ready), I’m just going to post one of my favorite passages from Gilles Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition:
“But perhaps the majority of philosophers had subordinated difference to identity or to the Same, to the Similar, to the Opposed or to the Analogous: they had introduced difference into the identity of the concept, they had put difference in the concept itself, thereby reaching a conceptual difference, but not a concept of difference.
We tend to subordinate difference to identity in order to think it (from the point of view of the concept or the subject: for example, specific difference presupposes an identical concept in the form of a genus). We also have a tendency to subordinate it to resemblance (from the point of view of perception), to opposition (from the point of view of predicates), and to analogy (from the point of view of judgment). In other words, we do not think difference in itself. With Aristotle, Philosophy was able to provide itself with an organic representation of difference, with Leibniz and Hegel an orgiastic representation: it has not, for all that, reached difference in itself.
The situation was perhaps no better with regard to repetition: in another manner, this too is thought in terms of the identical, the similar, the equal or the opposed. In this case, we treat it as a difference without concept: two things repeat one another when they are different even while they have exactly the same concept. Henceforth, everything which causes repetition to vary seems to us to cover or hide it at the same time. Here again, we do not reach a concept of repetition. By contrast, might we not form such a concept once we realize that variation is not added to repetition in order to hide it, but is rather its condition or constitutive element the interiority of repetition par excellence? Disguise no less than displacement forms part of repetition, and of difference: a common transport or diaphora. At the limit, might there not be a single power of difference or repetition, but one which operates only in the multiple and determines multiplicities?” Gilles Deleuze. Preface to the English Edition of Difference and Repetition.