Gilles Deleuze

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Gilles Deleuze (18 January 19254 November 1995) was a French philosopher.


  • A leftist government doesn't exist because being on the left has nothing to do with governments.
    • from L'Abécédaire de Gilles Deleuze: G comme Gauche (“Gilles Deleuze's Alphabet Book: Left-wing Politics”), 1988–1989.
  • There's no need to fear or hope, but only to look for new weapons.
    • from Postscript on the Societies of Control
  • In order for music to free itself, it will have to pass over to the other side — there where territories tremble, where the structures collapse, where the ethoses get mixed up, where a powerful song of the earth is unleashed, the great ritornelles that transmutes all the airs it carries away and makes return.
    • from Essays Critical and Clinical, p. 104.
  • Instead of gambling on the eternal impossibility of the revolution and on the fascist return of a war-machine in general, why not think that a new type of revolution is in the course of becoming possible, and that all kinds of mutating, living machines conduct wars, are combined and trace out a plane of consistence which undermines the plane of organization of the World and the States?
    • from Dialogues with Claire Parnet, p. 147 [emphasis in original].
  • A book is a small cog in a much more complex, external machinery. Writing is a flow among others; it enjoys no special privilege and enters into relationships of current and counter-current, of back-wash with other flows — the flows of shit, sperm, speech, action, eroticism, money, politics, etc. Like Bloom, writing on the sand with one hand and masturbating with the other — two flows in what relationship?
    • from I have Nothing to Admit
  • It is at work everywhere, functioning smoothly at times, at other times in fits and starts. It breathes, it heats, it eats. It shits and fucks. What a mistake to have ever said the id. Everywhere it is machines — real ones, not figurative ones: machines driving other machines, machines being driven by other machines, with all the necessary couplings and connections.
    • from Anti-oedipus: capitalism and schizophrenia, p. 1
  • Nous sommes fatigués de l'arbre. Nous ne devons plus croire aux arbres, aux racines ni aux radicelles. Nous en avons trop souffert. Toute la culture arborescente est fondée sur eux, de la biologie à la linguistique. Au contraire, rien n'est beau, rien n'est amoureux, rien n'est politique, sauf les tiges souterraines et les racines aériennes, l'adventice et le rhizome.
    • We're tired of trees. We should stop believing in trees, roots, and radicles. They've made us suffer too much. All of arborescent culture is founded on them, from biology to linguistics. Nothing is beautiful or loving or political aside from underground stems and aerial root, adventitious growths and rhizomes.
    • from A Thousand Plateaus: capitalism and schizophrenia, p. 15

Nietzsche and Philosophy (1962)

Translated by Hugh Tomlinson
  • One of the principal motifs of Nietzsche’s work is that Kant had not carried out a true critique because he was not able to pose the problem of critique in terms of values.
    • p. 1
  • Evaluations, in essence, are… ways of being, modes of existence of those who judge and evaluate.
    • p. 1
  • This is Nietzsche’s twofold struggle: against those who remove values from criticism, contenting themselves with producing inventories of existing values or with criticizing things in the name of established values (the “philosophical labourers”, Kant and Schopenhauer, BGE 211); but also against those who criticise or respect values by deriving them from simple facts, from so-called “objective facts” (the utilitarians, the “scholars”, BGE Part 6). In both cases philosophy moves in the indifferent element of the valuable in itself or the valuable for all. Nietzsche attacks both the “high” idea of foundation which leaves values indifferent to their origin and the idea of simple causal derivation or smooth beginning which suggests an indifferent origin for values. Nietzsche substitutes the pathos of difference or distance (the differential element) for both the Kantian principle of universality and the principle of resemblance dear to the utilitarians. “It was from the height of this pathos of distance that they first seized the right to create values and to coin names for them; what did utility matter?” (GM I 2 p. 26)
    • p. 2
  • Nietzsche’s break with Schopenhauer rests on precisely this point; it is a matter of knowing whether the will is unitary or multiple.
    • p. 7
  • When Nietzsche praises egoism it is always in an aggressive or polemical way, against the virtues, against the virtue of disinterestedness (Z III “Of the three evil things”). But in fact egoism is a bad interpretation of the will, just as atomism is a bad interpretation of force. In order for there to be egoism it is necessary for there to be an ego.
    • p. 7

Anti-Oedipus Capitalism and Schizophrenia (1977)

  • It is at work everywhere, functioning smoothly at times, at other times in firs and starts . It breathes, it heats, it eats. It shits and fucks. What a mistake to have ever said the id. Everywhere it is machines- real ones, not figurative ones: machines driving other machines, machines being driven by other machines, with all the necessary couplings and connections. An organ-machine is plugged into an energy-source-machine: the one produces a flow that the other interrupts The breast is a machine that produces milk, and the mouth a machine coupled to it.
    • The Desiring Machine
  • Schizophrenia is like love: there is no specifically schizophrenic phenomenon or entity; schizophrenia is the universe of productive and reproductive desiring machines, universal primary production as "the essential reality of man and nature"
    • The Desiring Machine
  • Second, we make no distinction between man and nature: the human essence of nature and the natural essence of man become one within nature in the form of production or industry, just as they do within the life of man as a species. Industry is then no longer considered from the extrinsic point of view of utility, but rather from the point of view of its fundamental identity with nature as production of man and by man.
    • The Desiring Machine

About Deleuze

  • Deleuze is a key figure in postmodern French philosophy. Considering himself an empiricist and a vitalist, his body of work, which rests upon concepts such as multiplicity, constructivism, post-structuralism, difference and desire, stands at a substantial remove from the main traditions of 20th century Continental thought. His thought locates him as an influential figure in present-day considerations of society, creativity and subjectivity. Notably, within his metaphysics he favored a Spinozian concept of a plane of immanence with everything a mode of one substance, and thus on the same level of existence.
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