Gilles Deleuze was a French Philosopher who lived between 1925 and 1995. Deleuze’s main philosophical project concerns the relationship between Identity and Difference.
Until recently Difference was seen as a difference between two Identities. Deleuze attempts to reverse this situation, and to understand Difference-in-Itself. In his Quest for Difference Deleuze is highly inspired by Leibniz.
Identities are constructs of many Differences that were Identies until Someone of Something United them. Our Reality is an Expanding Infinite Serie of Differences.
I found Deleuze on the Internet because I was searching for more information about Leibniz. Deleuze was an admirer of Leibniz and dedicated his last book, The Fold (Le Pli) to him. One of the major projects of Leibniz was the Analysis of Infinite Series of Differences and Differential Equations. It is not strange that Deleuze was a fan of Leibniz. Leibniz created the Concept and Deleuze was the Artist who started to Play with the Concept.
“The true character of the Leibnizian game is the game of inventing principles. It is a game of filling holes, in which emptiness is imagined“.
I started to explore the website about Deleuze and discovered that he also admired Spinoza, the Philosopher of the Emotion and Nietzsche, the Philosopher of the Will.
After reading some of his teachings I decided to buy his books.
This blog is a first impression of Deleuze.
I want to start with a few Citations.
“In creativity lies the secret: to bring into existence and not to judge. If it is so disgusting to judge, it is not because everything is of equal value, but on the contrary because what has value can be made or distinguished only by defying judgment. What expert judgment, in art, could ever bear on the work to come?”
“Philosophers introduce new concepts, they explain them, but they don’t tell us, not completely anyway, the problems to which those concepts are a response. […] The history of philosophy, rather than repeating what a philosopher says, has to say what he must have taken for granted, what he didn’t say but is nonetheless present in what he did say.”
“When someone asks ‘what’s the use of philosophy?’ the reply must be aggressive, since the question tries to be ironic and caustic. Philosophy does not serve the State or the Church, who have other concerns. It serves no established power. The use of philosophy is to sadden. A philosophy which saddens no one, that annoys no one, is not a philosophy. It is useful for harming stupidity, for turning stupidity into something shameful. Its only use is the exposure of all forms of baseness of thought. . . . Philosophy is at its most positive as a critique, as an enterprise of demystification”.
“One must ask, what does a woodworker create? What does a musician create? For me, a philosopher is someone who creates concepts. This implies many things: that the concept is something to be created, that the concept is the product of a creation“.
“If philosophy has a positive and direct relation to things, it is only insofar as philosophy claims to grasp the thing itself, according to what it is, in its difference from everything it is not, in other words, in its internal difference“
“It’s just like theology: everything about it is quite rational if you accept sin, the Immaculate Conception, and the incarnation. Reason is always a region carved out of the irrational-not sheltered from the irrational at all, but traversed by it and only defined by a particular kind of relationship among irrational factors. Underneath all reason lies delirium, and drift.“
“Spinoza is the Christ of philosophers and the greatest philosophers are hardly more than apostles who distance themselves from or draw near to this mystery“.
“The great theories of the Ethics . . . cannot be treated apart from the three practical theses concerning consciousness, values and the sad passions“
“When we stop obeying God, the State, our parents, reason appears and persuades us to continue being docile because it says to us: it is you who are giving the orders. Reason represents our slavery and our subjection as something superior, which makes us reasonable beings“.
“That identity not be first, that it exist as a principle but as a second principle, as a principle become; that it revolve around the Different: such would be the nature of a Copernican revolution which opens up the possibility of difference having its own concept, rather than being maintained under the domination of a concept in general already understood as identical“.
“History progresses not by negation and the negation of negation, but by deciding problems and affirming differences. It is no less bloody and cruel as a result. Only the shadows of history live by negation“.
“This world does not exist in itself; it exists only in the individual notions that express this world“.
“We are points of view on the world. It is not the subject that explains the point of view; it is the point of view that explains the subject“.
The Idea that Identity is Difference can be easily proved by the fact that if Identity is One Every Thing would be the Same. The Identity who is Difference is an always-differentiating process always folding, unfolding, and refolding. Deleuze calls this Identity The Fold (Le Pli).
An Identity is the Sum of many Differences which are or were Identities of their own until someone started to “fight” the Identity. Fighting Identity is the task of the Philosopher. He (or she) has to break the Unity by creating a new Concept.
A philosopher creates a concept and the artists create new qualitative combinations of sensation and feeling. They give Life to the concept because Life is Emotions and Sensations. In the last phase science creates quantitative theories based on fixed points of reference.
They will never find the Unifying Central Point of Reference. This Point moves when the Creative Power opens up new Points of View of the Fold.
The world is a Body of infinite folds and surfaces that twist and weave through compressed time and space (The Chronotope).
Humans are the Observers and the Creators of the Fold.
An Independent Thinking Consciousness is an Illusion. We think that our thoughts are the cause of our Actions but they are the Effects of our own Actions and the Actions of Others.
We are experiencing beings and our experience generates novelty (difference).
Novelty is the seed of an idea.
Good and Evil are the illusions of a moralistic worldview that does nothing but reduce our power to act and encourages the experience of the sad passions.
We are In the World and not Alone in the Universe.
Our engagement with others determinates our power to Act and our ability to experience Joy.
“To live well is to fully express one’s power, to go to the limits of one’s potential“.
About Deleuze and the Limits of Reason
About Deleuze and Morality