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.
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)
Despite first appearances it is the early work of Derrida, less concerned with questions of ethics, politics and justice, that is most pertinent for the anthropocene era. Only an attention to what Derrida provisionally referred to as 'text,' has the capacity to take the environmental imagination beyond homely conceptions of the earth as a horizon of sense and human projects, allowing for the anthropocene's imagination of the human scarring of the planet to be both read and misread. This misreading will (...) be most fruitful when the thought experiment of the anthropocene allows us to imagine the human archive from an inhuman point of view. (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.
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)
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)
: 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.
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)
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?
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.
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)
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)
This paper argues that Darwin's theory of evolution offers two modes of understanding the relation between life and human knowledge. On the one hand, Darwin can be included within a general turn to “life,” in which human self-knowledge is part of a general unfolding of increasing awareness and anthropological reflexivity; life creates an organism, man, capable of discerning the logic of organic existence. On the other hand, Darwin offers the possibility of understanding life beyond the self-maintenance of organism and, therefore, (...) beyond the rational of life's putative striving. (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)
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.
In On Touching Derrida locates Jean-Luc Nancy (and, briefly, Gilles Deleuze) within a tradition of haptic ethics and aesthetics that runs from Aristotle to the present. In his early work on Husserl, Derrida had already claimed that phenomenology's commitment to the genesis of sense and the sensible is at one and the same time a commitment to pure and rigorous philosophy at the same time as it threatens to over-turn the primacy of conceptuality and cognition.Whereas Nancy (and those other figures (...) whom Derrida cites, such as Merleau-Ponty) express a faith in a return to the sensibility of flesh, Derrida presents his own work as manifestly more cognisant of the necessary distance between flesh and sense. Another ‘approach’ to the haptic is suggested by Gilles Deleuze, whose work Derrida locates within phenomenological presence, despite Deleuze and Guattari's trenchant rejection of ‘the lived’ and the human organism that inevitably subtends any discussion of the relation between sensibility and sense. Rather than decide for or against this border between flesh and cognition, between post-deconstruction and deconstructive rigour, this essay examines this curious border of touch between philosophy and sensibility, and does so by referring to William Blake's problem of returning the signs of sense to the sensibility of the hand. (shrink)
The 2020 pandemic cannot be divorced from the problem, pace, and spectacle of race, both because of the racial rhetoric regarding the origins of the virus and because of the subsequent racial injustice in the distribution of healthcare. This paper adds the concept of fast violence to Rob Nixon’s “slow violence” to look at the intersection between the climate of the planet and the climate of racial injustice.
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)