Cosmos and History 3 (17):309-339 (2021)

Mathias Schönher
University of Vienna (PhD)
This article focuses on the distinction between psychosocial types and conceptual personae advanced by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari in What is Philosophy? The conceptual persona is the tool that a philosopher invents in order to create new concepts with which to bring forth new events. Although they present it as one of the three elements of philosophy, its nature and function and, above all, its conjunctions with psychosocial types have been overlooked by scholars. What is Philosophy? contains a list of character traits of which each conceptual persona is composed. The central argument of this article is that this list can well be regarded as a table of categories that enable the exercise and experience of philosophy’s creative thinking. Since the character traits of a conceptual persona match the characteristics of the given psychosocial types, it is necessary to keep inventing new conceptual personae always starting from the historical presuppositions. The philosopher requires the conceptual persona to transfer his or her movements of thought to philosophy’s plane of immanence and thereby transform them in such a manner that philosophy can unfold as a creative power. It emerges as the subject of creative thinking at the same time as the concepts that subject creates, with which it coincides in the moment of creation. With the conceptual persona in What is Philosophy?, Deleuze and Guattari determine the one element of philosophy that makes the transcendental empiricism a method of creation that appears as a precise operation with all its convincing and transparent results.
Keywords conceptual persona  Deleuze and Guattari  Descartes  philosophy  psychosozial types  transcendental empiricism  What is Philosophy?
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