The essay draws together a number of disparate elements from Deleuze and Deleuze and Guattari’s various engagements with Spinoza. Specifically, the essay connects the notion of expressionism, which Deleuze develops in the early work Expressionism in Philosophy: Spinoza, to the notion of living a philosophical life from Spinoza: Practical Philosophy, to the ideas of friendship and conceptual personae in Deleuze and Guattari’s What is Philosophy? To think philosophically, which following Spinoza Deleuze treats as a matter of thinking immanently and essentially, (...) is to live a philosophical life, that is, to re-express the contingencies of an empirical life in and as the essence of a life. Such is the existential and ethical task Spinoza presents us. The essay argues that a Spinozan existential ethics is realisable only in relation to – only in friendship with – the image of a philosopher as conceptual persona. Further, the essay argues that Spinoza is an exemplary philosopher in this regard because expressionism, which he alone in the history of philosophy conceptualises in fully univocal fashion, presents an image of a philosopher as a friend to one and to all. The ethical implication of thinking immanently and living essentially in the image of Spinoza as a photographic lens is to constitute a community of friends – distant and non-communicative as that community may be. Or, to put the point in Dickensian terms that Deleuze appeals to in ‘Immanence: A Life’, the Ethics is of ethico-existential import in expressing the image of Spinoza as our mutual philosophical friend. (shrink)
This collection examines an aspect of Gilles Deleuze’s thought that has largely been neglected; whether or not Deleuze was a metaphysician. Answering this question may reveal the problematic nature of so-called postmodernism and the critique it leveled at the first philosophy, and it may help readers to better understand philosophy’s fate.
The paper reconsiders the events of May 1968 in light of the various attempts to explain and theorize the politics of the student revolution in France. Drawing on contemporary accounts of May '68 as well as historical reflections on the revolution, the paper constructs a historically and politically "horizontal" theory; the structure of the barricades is used as a model for such a political theory. In the Foucauldian and Deleuzian sense of an active form of theory, a "horizontal" approach effectively (...) politicizes theory and enables it to continue the seemingly failed efforts of the student protestors. (shrink)
The paper focuses on Michel Foucault's early monograph, Maladie Mentale et Psychologie (1954/62); specifically the focus is on the issue of anxiety, which Foucault treats as central to pathological signification. Through a close reading of the text of Maladie Mentale and a comparison of the work to interpretive trends in French psychoanalytic theory in the 1950s and 1960s, the paper argues that anxiety as a discursive phenomenon overruns psychological discourse as well as Foucault's own theoretical engagement of such discourse. In (...) conclusion, the paper finds that the voice of unreason Foucault detects in psychological discourse is the anxiety of theory confined within the limits of individual psychology. (shrink)