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Gilles Deleuze. A Blackwell Critical Reader

Gilles Deleuze. A Blackwell Critical Reader

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Published by dan mihalache
Gilles Deleuze
First published Fri May 23, 2008

Gilles Deleuze (January 18, 1925–November 4, 1995) was one of the most influential and prolific French philosophers of the second half of the twentieth century. Deleuze conceived of philosophy as the production of concepts, and he characterized himself as a “pure metaphysician.” In his magnum opus Difference and Repetition, he tries to develop a metaphysics adequate to contemporary mathematics and science—a metaphysics in which the concept of multiplicity replaces that of substance, event replaces essence and virtuality replaces possibility. Deleuze was also well-known for a number of important monographs he published in the history of philosophy (on Hume, Nietzsche, Kant, Bergson, Spinoza, Foucault, and Leibniz), as well as for his writings on the various arts, which include a two- volume study of the cinema, books on Proust and Sacher-Masoch, a monograph on the painter Francis Bacon, and a collection of essays on literature. Deleuze considered these latter works as pure philosophy, and not criticism, since he sought to create the concepts that correspond to the artistic practices of painters, filmmakers, and writers. In 1968, he met Félix Guattari, a political activist and radical psychoanalyst, with whom he wrote several works, among them the two-volume Capitalism and Schizophrenia, comprised of Anti-Oedipus (1972) and A Thousand Plateaus (1980). Their final collaboration was What is Philosophy? (1991).

Deleuze is noteworthy for his rejection of the Heideggerian notion of the “end of metaphysics,” as well as the extent of his non-philosophical references (inter alia, differential calculus, thermodynamics, geology, molecular biology, population genetics, ethology, embryology, anthropology, psychoanalysis, economics, linguistics, and even esoteric thought); his colleague Jean-François Lyotard spoke of him as a “library of Babel.” Although it remains to be seen whether the 20th century will be “Deleuzean,” as his friend Michel Foucault once quipped, Deleuze's work has already enjoyed a considerable influence both inside and outside the contemporary academy; along with a growing influence in philosophy, Deleuze's work is approvingly cited by, and his concepts put to use by, researchers in architecture, urban studies, geography, film studies, musicology, anthropology, gender studies, literary studies and other fields.

One of the barriers to Deleuze's being more well-read among mainstream philosophers is his writing style, which can be highly allusive, as well as peppered with neologisms; to make matters even more complex, these terminological innovations shift from one work to the other. While claims of intentional obscurantism are not warranted, Deleuze did mean for his style to keep readers on their toes, or even to “force” them to rethink their philosophical assumptions. As befits an encyclopedia entry, we will concentrate on the conceptual architecture of his thought, though readers should be aware that, perhaps more than with most philosophers, such a treatment of Deleuze's work removes much of the performative effect of reading the original.
Gilles Deleuze
First published Fri May 23, 2008

Gilles Deleuze (January 18, 1925–November 4, 1995) was one of the most influential and prolific French philosophers of the second half of the twentieth century. Deleuze conceived of philosophy as the production of concepts, and he characterized himself as a “pure metaphysician.” In his magnum opus Difference and Repetition, he tries to develop a metaphysics adequate to contemporary mathematics and science—a metaphysics in which the concept of multiplicity replaces that of substance, event replaces essence and virtuality replaces possibility. Deleuze was also well-known for a number of important monographs he published in the history of philosophy (on Hume, Nietzsche, Kant, Bergson, Spinoza, Foucault, and Leibniz), as well as for his writings on the various arts, which include a two- volume study of the cinema, books on Proust and Sacher-Masoch, a monograph on the painter Francis Bacon, and a collection of essays on literature. Deleuze considered these latter works as pure philosophy, and not criticism, since he sought to create the concepts that correspond to the artistic practices of painters, filmmakers, and writers. In 1968, he met Félix Guattari, a political activist and radical psychoanalyst, with whom he wrote several works, among them the two-volume Capitalism and Schizophrenia, comprised of Anti-Oedipus (1972) and A Thousand Plateaus (1980). Their final collaboration was What is Philosophy? (1991).

Deleuze is noteworthy for his rejection of the Heideggerian notion of the “end of metaphysics,” as well as the extent of his non-philosophical references (inter alia, differential calculus, thermodynamics, geology, molecular biology, population genetics, ethology, embryology, anthropology, psychoanalysis, economics, linguistics, and even esoteric thought); his colleague Jean-François Lyotard spoke of him as a “library of Babel.” Although it remains to be seen whether the 20th century will be “Deleuzean,” as his friend Michel Foucault once quipped, Deleuze's work has already enjoyed a considerable influence both inside and outside the contemporary academy; along with a growing influence in philosophy, Deleuze's work is approvingly cited by, and his concepts put to use by, researchers in architecture, urban studies, geography, film studies, musicology, anthropology, gender studies, literary studies and other fields.

One of the barriers to Deleuze's being more well-read among mainstream philosophers is his writing style, which can be highly allusive, as well as peppered with neologisms; to make matters even more complex, these terminological innovations shift from one work to the other. While claims of intentional obscurantism are not warranted, Deleuze did mean for his style to keep readers on their toes, or even to “force” them to rethink their philosophical assumptions. As befits an encyclopedia entry, we will concentrate on the conceptual architecture of his thought, though readers should be aware that, perhaps more than with most philosophers, such a treatment of Deleuze's work removes much of the performative effect of reading the original.

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Paul Patton brings together and introduces an outstanding collection of
appraisals by French- and English-speaking, scholars of Gilles Deleuze
(1925-1995), one of the most important post-war French philosophers. A
number of these pieces address Deleuze's original interpretations of key figure
,
in the history of philosophy, including Spinoza, Kant, Hegel and Bergsoli
Others discuss his work on mathematics, and the relevance of his conceptual
creativity for art criticism, and feminist, literary and cultural studies. Sever.
of the contributions here have not been previously published.
The contributors are: Jean-Clet Martin, Daniel Smith. Jean-Michel,
Salanskis, Constantin V. Boundas, Jean-Luc Nancy. Catherine Malabou,
Pierre Macherey, Moira Gatens, Francois Zourabichvili, Brian Massumi,
,
Eugene Holland, Ronald Bogue, and Timothy S. Murphy.
Paul Patton
The editor is Senior
Lecturer
in Philosophy at the University of Sydney,
where he specializes in continental European philosophy and political theory.
;
While a student at the university of Paris VIII, he attended seminars bYGilles Deleuze. between 1976 and 1979. His publications include
Deleuze
and Po4lical Theory (1996);
the English-language translation of Delet:Ws
Difference and Repetition (1994
):
and
Nietzsc he,
Feminism and Politica
Theory (1993),
of which he is the editor.
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BLACKWELL CRITICAL READERS
Blackwell's
Critical Readers
series presents a collection of linked per-spectives on continental philosophers, social and cultural theorists.
Edited and introduced by acknowledged experts and written by repre-
sentatives of different schools and positions, the series embodies
debate, dissent and a committed heterodoxy. From Foucault to Der-
rida, from Heidegger to Nietzsche,
Blackwell Critical Readers
address
figures whose work requires elucidation by a variety of perspectives.
Volumes in the series include both primary and secondary biblio-
graphies.David Wood:
Derrida: A Critical Reader
Hubert Dreyfus and Harrison Hall:
Heidegger: A Critical Reader
Gregory Elliot:
Althusser: A Critical Reader
Douglas Kellner:
Baudrillard: A Critical
Reader
Peter Sedgwick:
Nietzsche: A Critical Reader
Lewis R. Gordon, T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting and Renee
T.
White:
Fanon: A Critical Reader
Paul Patton:
Deleuze: A Critical Reader
Fred Boning and Scott Wilson:
Bataille: A Critical Reader
Deleuze:A Critical Reader
Edited by
Paul Patton
ni
BLACKWELL
Ma
Publishers
 
Copyright CO Blackwell Publishers Ltd 1996First published 1996
Reprinted 1997
Blackwell Publishers Ltd108 Cowley Road
Oxford OX4 1JF, UK
Blackwell Publishers Inc350 Main StreetMalden, Massachusetts 02148, USA
All rights reserved. Except for the quotation of short passages for the purposes
of criticism and review, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored
in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic,
mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission
of the publisher.
Except in the United States of America, this book is sold subject to the conditionthat it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out, orotherwise circulated without the publisher's prior consent in any form of bindingor cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition
including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.
British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data
A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data
Deleuze: a critical reader/edited by Paul Patton
p. cm. — (Blackwell critical readers)
Includes bibliographical references and index.ISBN 1-55786-564-7 (hardcover: alk. paper)
ISBN 1-55786-565-5 (pbk: alk. paper)
1. Deleuze, Giles. I. Series.
B2430.D454D395 1996 96-5380
194—dc20
IP
Typeset in 10 on I 2pt Plantin
by Pure Tech India Ltd., Pondicherry, IndiaPrinted and bound in Great Britainby Hartnolls Ltd, Bodmin, Cornwall
Phis book is printed on acid-free paper
In Memory of Gilles Deleuze
1925-1995

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