Collapse Volume III, 177–205


Aiôn and Chronos

Deleuze and the Stoic Theory of Time


Gilles Deleuze outlines a supposedly Stoic dual theory of time: on the one hand there is aiôn, comprising an infinite past and future; on the other there is chronos, the extended present. In the scholarly literature on Stoicism, however, either a single theory is reconstructed or the evidence is dismissed as too thin and incoherent. I offer an explanation for this distance between the Deleuzian and scholarly presentations of the Stoic theory of time. I conclude by answering the question to what extent, if any, the Deleuzian theory of aiôn and chronos deserves to be called Stoic…