One of the twentieth-century's most exciting and challenging intellectuals, Gilles Deleuze's writings covered literature, art, psychoanalysis, philosophy, genetics, film and social theory. This book not only introduces Deleuze's ideas, it also demonstrates the ways in which his work can provide new readings of literary texts. This guide goes on to cover his work in various fields, his theory of literature and his overarching project of a new concept of becoming.
Introduction: The problem of vitalism : active/passive -- Brain, system, model : the affective turn -- Vitalism and theoria -- Inorganic art -- Inorganic vitalism -- The vital order after theory -- On becoming -- Living systems, extended minds, gaia -- Conclusion.
An accessible introduction to the contemporary thought of Deleuze. It makes concepts clear, showing their political and theoretical complexity, elaborating their social and artistic relevance. Australian author (previously at Monash University) now living in Edinburgh.
Cinema, thought and time -- Deleuze's cinema books -- Technology -- Essences -- Space and time -- Bergson, time, and life -- The movement-image -- The history of time and space and the history of cinema -- The movement-image and semiotics -- Styles of sign -- The whole of movement -- Image and life -- Becoming-inhuman, becoming imperceptible -- The deduction of the movement-image -- Art and time -- Destruction of the sensory motor apparatus and the spiritual automaton -- Time (...) and money -- Art and history -- Monument -- Framing, territorialization, and the plane of composition -- Politics and the origin of meaning -- Transcending life and the genesis of sense -- Beyond symbolic and imaginary -- Shit and money -- Exchange, gift, and theft -- The fiction of mind -- Collective investment and group fantasy -- The time of man -- The intense germinal influx. (shrink)
Giorgio Agamben emerged in the twenty-first century as one of the most important theorists in the continental tradition. Until recently, 'continental' philosophy has been tied either to the German tradition of phenomenology or to French post-structuralist concerns with the conditions of language and textuality. Agamben draws upon and departs from both these lines of thought by directing his entire corpus to the problem of life political life, human life, animal life and the life of art. Influenced by the work of (...) Martin Heidegger, Walter Benjamin and the broader tradition of critical Marxism, Agamben's work poses the profound question for our time just how exceptional are human beings. This beautifully written book provides a systematic, engaging overview of Agamben's writings on theology, aesthetics, political theory and sovereignty. Covering the full range of Agamben's work to date Claire Colebrook and Jason Maxwell explain Agamben's theology and philosophy by referring the concepts to some of today's most urgent political and ethical problems. They focus on the audacious way in which Agamben re-conceptualizes life itself. Assessing the significance of the concepts key to his work such as bio-politics, sovereignty, the ‘state of exception’ and ‘bare life’, they demonstrate his wide-ranging influence across the humanities. They also explore the critical reactions to Agamben's thinking and his reception in philosophical and theoretical circles. This book will be essential reading for students in anthropology, politics, philosophy and related disciplines and anyone interested in finding out more about one of the influential thinkers writing today. (shrink)
Contrasting the work of Genevieve Lloyd, Elizabeth Grosz, and Moira Gatens with the poststrueturalist philosophy of Judith Butler, this paper identifies a distinctive “Australian” feminism. It argues that while Butler remains trapped by the matter/representation binary, the Spinozist turn in Lloyd and Gatens, and Grosz's work on Bergson and Deleuze, are attempts to think corporeality.
: Contrasting the work of Genevieve Lloyd, Elizabeth Grosz, and Moira Gatens with the poststructuralist philosophy of Judith Butler, this paper identifies a distinctive "Australian" feminism. It argues that while Butler remains trapped by the matter/representation binary, the Spinozist turn in Lloyd and Gatens, and Grosz's work on Bergson and Deleuze, are attempts to think corporeality.
Both in his earliest debates with thinkers such as Foucault and Levinas, and in later critiques of political immediacy, Derrida invoked the inescapable burden of a necessary but impossible universalism. By raising the stakes so high it would seem that deconstruction generates hyperbolic conceptions of ethics and justice, but also precludes any form of day to day political positivity. In this essay I pursue the seemingly less ‘ethical’ conception of play in Derrida's work to argue for a multiple universalism.
In this essay I explore three concepts: sex, the city, and the Anthropocene. I argue that the condition for the possibility of the city is the assemblage of sexual drives for the sake of relative stability, but that those same drives also exceed the city's self-preservative function. Further, I argue that the very conditions that further the city and that enable philosophical and scientific concepts to be formed rely upon a geological politics that enables new ways of thinking about what (...) counts as the political as such. (shrink)
Have we reached what Alexander Galloway dismissively refers to as ‘peak Deleuze’? In this essay, I argue that the arrival at end times – with the sense of mass extinction and philosophy's exhaustion – is indeed a moment of ‘peak Deleuze’, but that this gesture of exhaustion is already implicit in A Thousand Plateaus. Recognising the limits and seduction of a text is never as easy as it seems; every attempt to break up with Deleuze and Guattari, though necessary, is (...) fraught with a whole series of difficulties that were already visible in A Thousand Plateaus's own relation to its outside. (shrink)
Materialism is at once the most general of concepts, capable of gesturing to anything that seems either foundational or physicalist, and yet is also one of the most rhetorical of gestures: operating as a way of reducing, criticising or ‘‘exorcising’’ forms of idealism and ideology. Derrida's early, supposedly ‘‘textualist’’ works appear to endorse a materiality of the letter (including syntax, grammar, trace and writing) while the later works focus on matter as split between that which is posited and that which (...) will always appear as a receding ground. It is more important than ever that materialism not be accepted too readily as a way of overcoming a supposedly linguistic or textualist Derrida in order that Derrida might be smuggled into the contemporary heaven of naturalism and physicalism. On the contrary, it is the dispersed, inhuman and inorganic materiality beyond bodies, physis and substance that offers itself for genuinely deconstructive thinking. (shrink)
Irigaray demonstrates that metaphysics depends upon the specific negation and exclusion of the female body. Readings of Irigaray's Speculum of the Other Woman tend to highlight the status of this excluded materiality: is there an essential female body which precedes negation or is the feminine only an effect of exclusion? I approach Irigaray's work by way of another question: is it possible to move beyond a feminist critique of metaphysics and towards a feminist philosophy?
This essay explores three deconstructive concepts – archive, anthropocene, and auto-affection – across two registers. The first is the register of what counts as readability in general, beyond reading in its narrow and actualized sense.. The second register applies to Derrida today, and what it means to read the corpus of a philosopher and how that corpus is governed by proper names. I want to suggest that the way we approach proper names in philosophy and theory is part of a (...) broader problem of our relation to what it is to read, and how readability intertwines with the human. (shrink)
This essay explores the problem of trust and truth in states of emergency. Drawing on Giorgio Agamben’s theory of biopolitics and his objections to political managerialism I argue that the real problem exposed by the pandemic was not a lack of trust in authority but an unscientific and uncritical attachment to expertise.
This collection shows how Deleuze's ideas have influenced current thinking in legal philosophy. In particular, it explores the relations between law and life, addressing topics that are contested and controversial -- war, the right to life, genetic science, and security.
Using Deleuze and Guattari's concept of stratigraphy, it is possible to open the question of the limits and range of the Anthropocene. Geological stratification has enabled a view of time and the earth that has opened new horizons, but this mode of stratification is one among others. Other stratifications are possible, not only those that would be compossible with the story of the Anthropocene, but also incompossible stratifications, at odds with the history of man.
For the past two decades, the issue of the body and essentialism has dominated feminist theory. In general, it is assumed that the body has been devalued and repressed by the Western metaphysical tradition. In this article, I make two claims to the contrary. First, as poststructuralist theory has tirelessly demonstrated, Western thought has continually tried to ground thought in some foundational substance, such as the body. Second, the most provocative, fruitful and radical aspects of recent feminism and poststructuralism concern (...) the event of incorporeality. What makes incorporeality such an urgent issue is its tie with anti-foundationalism. If there is not a direct or proper passage between what is and what is thought, then thinking can be considered as a force or event in its own right. By disrupting the traditional philosophical series that ties thought to some grounding body, thinkers as diverse as Deleuze, Derrida, Irigaray and Foucault have opened the possibility of a theory of the incorporeal. (shrink)
Feminist and post-colonial theorists have embraced Deleuze and Guattari’s terminology of becoming-woman and nomadism, and have done so despite criticisms that these terms appropriate the struggles of real women and stateless persons. The force of the real has become especially acute in the twenty-first century in the wake of neoliberal mobilisations of feminism as yet one more marketing tool. Rather than repeat the criticism that identity politics deflects attention from real political struggles, we can see terms such as ‘becoming-woman’ as (...) creating a different conceptual terrain that refuses the opposition between real politics and the fabulations of identity. The problem with identity politics is not that it divides the polity but rather that it freezes such divisions and identifications at the level of humanist recognition. (shrink)
This book offers a clear introductory overview of the concept of gender. It places gender in its historical contexts and traces its development from the Enlightenment to the present, before moving on to the evolution of the concept of gender from within the various stances of feminist criticism, and recent developments in queer theory and post-feminism. Close analysis of key literary texts, including Frankenstein , Paradise Lost and A Midsummer Night's Dream , shows how specific styles of literature enable reflection (...) on gender. (shrink)
Just as becoming-woman is a divided concept, looking back to a seemingly redemptive figure of the feminine beyond rigid being, but also forward to a positive annihilation of fixed genders, so modernism was also a doubled movement. But modernism was a pulverisation of ‘the’ subject for the sake of a plural and multiplying point of view, and like ‘becoming-woman’, should be read as a defiant and affirmative refusal.
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:IntroductionAnthropocene Feminisms: Rethinking the UnthinkableClaire Colebrook and Jami WeinsteinIn her recent lecture on the Anthropocene (to which she adds the Capitalocene and the Chthulucene), Donna Haraway expresses some alarm that after two major insights into what counts as thinkable, it was “anthropos” that became the term for the post-Holocene (Haraway 2014). Haraway declares, with emphasis, that it is “literally unthinkable” to work with the individual unit of “man” if (...) one is to do good intellectual work. For Haraway, the two knowledge events that ought to have precluded the use of the figure of the “anthropos” are: first, the acceptance that any seeming individual is the outcome of a series of complex relations and must be studied as such (so there would be no epoch with anything, let alone “man,” as its first cause), and, second, intellectual inquiry has acknowledged a general becoming-with, such that in order to be anything at all, “one” must be in a dynamic relation. Haraway’s work is exemplary of post-liberal feminist resistance to the figure of man—as subject, agent, and center of knowing. Terms like “Woman” or “the feminine” do not extend the field occupied by man; they instead create a different intensity. So when Haraway questions the “anthropos” of the Anthropocene she neither asks that women, too, be included in those who have scarred the planet, nor does she claim that “Woman” would occupy some innocent outside. Instead, she proposes that one think of the “anthropos” as untimely, as out of sync with an intellectual milieu that theorizes the death of the subject and the eclipse of the human, and has even begun to renounce the notion of life in itself. It is odd that in the face of this destruction of any possibility of thinking by [End Page 167] way of individualism, the epic gesture of the present deploys the figure of the “anthropos,” as it should be unthinkable today to return to the figure of man.When Haraway invokes what is literally unthinkable, and then gestures to the Anthropocene, she suggests that perhaps the figure of the Anthropocene is a form of unthinking, and that it is precisely when complexities, timescales, predictions, manageability, and any form of sustainability ought to disturb and trouble our logics that we cease to think and ask for a single cause for an entire epoch. If this is so, and the “anthropos” of the Anthropocene is a reaction formation, then we might see the skirmishes and turf wars that surround the golden spike1 as diversions. If we spend our time disputing just when it was that man started to change the planet, then we allow a contested point in time to pass itself off as thinking, all the while allowing the intensive multiplicity of what has come to be known as the Anthropocene to remain unthought. By asking when the Anthropocene began, we revive a modified version of the time of man; once again, man is placed as the agent of history, albeit unwittingly, and he can look back upon and assess the past of his own making. Haraway is not alone in suggesting that such conceptions of a single line of time, and a conception of first cause, are highly gendered and racialized. The figure of “man” who creates his own history and recognizes himself as having come into being through a time that is readable is bound up with hegemonic conceptions of modernity, and has long been the target of feminist, poststructuralist, and postcolonial critique (e.g., Foucault 1970; Amin 1989; Grosz 2004). If it is literally unthinkable to do good work from the premises of a methodological individualism, then asking who or what caused the Anthropocene, or when it began, would amount to a form of un-thinking or not-thinking. At the same time, perhaps the Anthropocene is literally unthinkable in a sense that marks a more positive and profound absurdity. Let us accept, following Haraway, that all “good work” both acknowledges the impossibility of accounting for the complexity of life by way of bounded, individual singularity, and dispenses with the exceptional man of reason as its foundation. If we do, what the Anthropocene... (shrink)
One of the most important aspects of Gilles Deleuzes philosophy is his criticism of the traditional concept of praxis. In Aristotelian philosophy praxis is properly oriented towards some end, and in the case of human action the ends of praxis are oriented towards the agents good life. Human goods are, for both Aristotle and contemporary neo-Aristotelians, determined by the potentials of human life such as rationality, communality, and speech. Deleuzes account of action, by contrast, liberates movement from an external end. (...) In his books on cinema Deleuze argues that we need to think of events in terms of their power, and not as movements within an already determined image of life. In order to think events as such we need to confront the power of the virtual. This is achieved by a philosophy of life in which becoming is not a means towards the realisation of some end. Rather, becomings are best seen as counter-actualisations: ways in which the already-constituted actual world always bears a power to become other than it already is. If we consider dance in this new context, then dance is neither expressive of an already existing life, nor a pure act that is self-sufficient and self-constituting. Rather, dance is a confrontation with life as a plane of open and divergent becomings. (shrink)
Deleuze’s sense of the history of philosophy in Difference and Repetition is manifestly agonistic and counter-dialectic. Against a history of philosophy that has only considered difference as a relation between or among competing terms, Deleuze affirms a philosophy of immanence where the task of philosophy is to think difference in itself. This ‘overcoming’ of Hegel (and Plato) nevertheless intensifies rather than vanquishes Hegel’s own demand for immanence: philosophy is not one event among others, but the necessary means through which life (...) appears to, and recognizes, itself. Life is the absolute appearing to itself. For Deleuze philosophy is also, ultimately, the means through which life takes on a higher power of expression. A world that has overcome representation is a world made expressive. (shrink)
Despite the fact that time, evolution, becoming and genealogy are central concepts in Deleuze's work, there has been no sustained study of his philosophy in relation to the question of history. This book aims to open up Deleuze's relevance to those working in history, the history of ideas, science studies, evolutionary psychology, history of philosophy and interdisciplinary projects inflected by historical problems.The essays in this volume cover all aspects of Deleuze's philosophy and its relation to history, ranging from the application (...) of Deleuze's philosophy to historical method, Deleuze's own use of the history of philosophy, his interpretations of other historical thinkers and the complex theories of time and evolution in his work.Contributors include: Paul Patton, Manuel DeLanda, John Protevi, Ian Buchanan, Tim Flanagan, James Williams, Eve Bischoff, Jay Lampert. (shrink)
Jacques Derrida: Key Concepts presents a broad overview and engagement with the full range of Derrida's work - from the early phenomenological thinking to his preoccupations with key themes, such as technology, psychoanalysis, friendship, Marxism, racism and sexism, to his ethico-political writings and his deconstruction of democracy. Presenting both an examination of the key concepts central to his thinking and a broader study of how that thinking shifted over a lifetime, the book offers the reader a clear, systematic and fresh (...) examination of the astounding breadth of Derrida's philosophy. (shrink)