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Gilles Deleuze

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'''Gilles Deleuze''' ((January 18, 1925 - November 4, 1995), [[French ]] [[philosopher]] of the late 20th century.
From the early 1960s until his [[death]], Deleuze wrote many influential works on [[philosophy]], [[literature]], [[film]], and fine art.
His most popular books were the two volumes of [[Gilles Deleuze|Capitalism and Schizophrenia: Anti-Oedipus]] (1972) and [[Gilles Deleuze|A Thousand Plateaus]] (1980), both co-written with [[Félix Guattari]]
== In the work of Slavoj Žižek ==
Žižek’s most famous engagement with Deleuze takes [[place ]] in ''[[Organs without Bodies: On Deleuze and Consequences]]''. Žižek seeks to parse there both the [[theoretical ]] and [[practical ]] components of Deleuze’s philosophy from a [[Lacanian ]] perspective. Žižek values Deleuze as a critic of [[psychoanalysis]], a [[figure ]] supplying theoretical underpinnings for [[materialist ]] and anti-[[capitalist ]] activism, and an all-around staple of [[leftist ]] academic [[thought]]. In ''[[Organs without Bodies]]'', Žižek challenges some fundamental assumptions [[about ]] Deleuze’s [[materialism]], namely the tensions within his oeuvre regarding the [[nature ]] of becoming. Žižek insists that there are two Deleuzes. The more accepted Deleuze champions the multitudinous nature of becoming in ''[[Anti-Oedipus]]''. However, the second Deleuze is much more aligned with [[Jacques Lacan|Lacanian]] and [[Hegelian]] thought. The title of Žižek’s book is meant to expose those aspects of Deleuze’s thought that situate him, ostensibly, on the ideologically suspect side of contemporary digital [[capitalism]]. Žižek claims that in his [[intellectual ]] privileging of flows of pure becoming Deleuze prefers the [[reality ]] of the [[virtual ]] to the reality of the [[material]]: potential trumps actual in this [[system]]. Reality for Deleuze, Žižek contends, is actualized through an “infinite potential field of virtualities” (''OWB'': 4). This is not unlike Lacan’s [[notion ]] of [[the sinthome]], defined as “traces of [[affective ]] intensities” (''OWB'': 5). For Žižek, [[affect]] is the key [[concept ]] that aligns Deleuze with [[Lacan]]. In drawing an [[ontological ]] [[distinction ]] between [[being ]] and becoming, Deleuze ascribes a transcendental quality to the [[process ]] of becoming. Becoming, then, is closely aligned with [[repetition]] ([[another ]] concept deeply significant to Lacan’s system of thought), for only in the repetition of becoming can the new emerge. In addition, by being [[Hegelian|anti-Hegelian]], Deleuze essentially repeats [[Hegel ]] by supplying an antithesis that results in a [[dialectical ]] production of something new. To Žižek this mode of repetition indicates Deleuze’s similarity to Hegel, in that both stress becoming through repetition. By becoming-[[other ]] to Hegel, Deleuze ironically supports and augments his philosophy.
Deleuze’s approach to the [[body ]] centres on [[becoming-machine]]. We are [[desiring-machines]] whose affects result from the interaction of [[external ]] (supplementary) and [[internal ]] parts. The interplay of the material and its “virtual shadow”, and the multiple singularities that erupt across this immanent plane, constitute Deleuze’s notion of “[[transcendental empiricism]]” (''OWB'': 19). The machinic explains why Deleuze reveres the medium of film. In this art [[form]], for Deleuze, “gazes, [[images]], movements, and ultimately [[time ]] itself” are liberated from their place in discrete [[subjects]]. Instead, they flow through a literal [[machine]]: the camera (''OWB'': 20).
The [[political ]] turn taken by Deleuze allegedly resulted from him being “[[Félix Guattari|guattarized]]” (ibid.). Evidence backing the [[claim ]] that [[Guattari ]] politicized Deleuze can be found by comparing and contrasting his early and late works. Žižek suggests that Deleuze turned to Guattari in an attempt to escape the deadlock resulting from his previous attempts to reconcile [[materialism]] and [[idealism]]. ''[[Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia|Anti-Oedipus]]'' (which Žižek calls Deleuze’s worst book) and ''[[The Logic of Sense]]'' encapsulate the two Deleuzes. Deleuze’s idealism involves acknowledging that [[bodily ]] realities can be produced from virtual flows. Deleuze’s notion of the quasi-cause is helpful, in that it supplies an alternative to reductionism. Quasi-cause is the non-[[symbolic]], non-[[linguistic ]] and non-sensical [[event]] that disrupts the smooth flow and functioning of a fi eld. It is not unlike the jarring [[moment ]] of the [[Real, the (Lacan)|Lacanian Real]]. Deleuze offers an [[Organ ]] ''sans'' Body in the form of [[the Gaze]] in ''[[The Time-Image]]''. Again, Deleuze’s [[affirmation ]] of an [[energy]], an affect and an organ that is [[autonomous ]] from bodies yet territorializes [[them ]] resembles Lacan’s own [[theory ]] of the [[Gaze]]. Subjects erroneously assume that they possess it, but it resides in an elusive point [[outside ]] the [[subject]]. In both Deleuzian and Lacanian thought the gaze disrupts subjects, but is in them more than themselves.
Deleuze ultimately politicizes his philosophy by focusing on an immanent [[excess ]] that is essential to [[revolutionary enthusiasm]] thought through the Lacanian lens of [[desire]]. [[Dialectical materialism]], in this Deleuzian system, can fruitfully benefit from [[understanding ]] the autonomous flows of [[sense ]] as ecstatic [[jouissance]]. This [[model ]] can provide the tools to [[help ]] [[the multitude]] organize. Tracing Deleuze back through [[Baruch Spinoza|Spinoza]], Žižek shows another connection to psychoanalysis: [[Partial object|partial objects]]. [[Partial ]] [[objects ]] quasi-cause desire; they mobilize it. Autonomous affects can fulfil this [[role]], as can [[concrete ]] [[Fetish|fetish objects]]. Understanding Deleuzian becoming through [[Spinoza]], and eventually [[Immanuel Kant|Kant]] and [[Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel|Hegel]], is a process that Žižek colourfully refers to as “taking Deleuze from behind” (''OWB'': 45). Žižek philosophically “buggers” Deleuze, who himself used the term to describe how he would derive new [[meaning ]] from twisting a philosopher’s [[concepts]]. Deleuze desires to produce monstrous off spring through buggery. In enacting the same [[practice ]] himself, Žižek hopes to produce a monstrous off spring of himself and Deleuze that is “deeply Lacanian” (''OWB'': 48). Žižek wonders if Hegel, as a [[dialectician]], is the only philosopher who is immune to being buggered like this, because his thought-system has the practice built into it. Returning to Lacan, Žižek connects Deleuze’s concept of flat [[ontology]] to the systemic function of the Lacanian [[Real]]. Both hearken to a concept of [[constitutive excess]]. The [[true ]] [[difference ]] between Deleuze and Hegel involves divergent notions of [[flux]] and [[gap]].
Many of Žižek’s other works mention Deleuze, and most contain similar [[analyses ]] to those found in ''[[Organs Without Bodies: On Deleuze and Consequences|Organs]]''. In ''[[The Metastases of Enjoyment: Six Essays on Woman and Causality|The Metastases of Enjoyment]]'', Žižek unites Hegel, Deleuze and Lacan under the notion of [[the event]] and [[the logic of the signifier]]. He argues there that Deleuze’s notion of [[the Sense-Event]] attempts to [[suture]] the gap between [[words ]] and things, thereby challenging [[Platonic]] notions of [[space ]] by reconciling [[Ideas]] with their material copies. He also further engages with Deleuze’s responses to psychoanalysis. In ''[[Living in the End Times]]'', Žižek accuses Deleuze of misreading [[castration]] by failing accurately to conceptualize the role of [[the unconscious]]. Here, he outlines Deleuze and Guattari’s parsing of the disparity between production and reproduction, a [[binary]] that defines their stake in [[dialectical materialism]]. Deleuze’s dialectical materialism also emerges in ''[[The Metastases of Enjoyment: Six Essays on Woman and Causality|Metastases]]'', where he mentions a problem that is allegedly both Deleuzian and Lacanian: the passage from bodily depth to surface event. Here, Sense and Gaze also align as autonomous forces that resist being pinpointed or assigned a [[cause]]. The passage from the [[penis ]] to [[Phallus|the phallus]] is also ascribed to Deleuzian (through Lacanian) thought in ''Metastases'', as the [[phallus ]] is described, by Žižek, as a [[master-signifier]] and figure of non-sense that [[structures ]] an entire symbolic field; one that regulates and distributes sense. In this formulation we see another Lacanian–Deleuzian reconciliation. For Deleuze, penis versus phallus encapsulates the difference between form and [[content ]] (the organization and coordination of sensible, [[erogenous zones]]). Here, Žižek also attests that Deleuze conflates bodily depth with [[transcendental]] depth, a crucial [[slippage]].
In ''Metastases'', Žižek also points out that Deleuze’s [[analysis ]] of [[masochism]] rightly argued that [[sadism]] and [[masochism]] are asymmetrical. In ''[[The Ticklish Subject: The Absent Centre of Political Ontology|The Ticklish Subject]]'', Žižek praises Deleuze’s account of masochism for off ering an insightful formulation of [[Kantianism|Kantian]] [[moral ]] law. In ''Ticklish'', he attributes to Deleuze a “[[perverse]] [[rejection ]] of [[hysteria]]” by way of the latter’s alleged call for [[polymorphous perversity]], and the rejection of [[the symbolic ]] [[master]]-signifier, in ''[[Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia|Anti-Oedipus]]'' (TS: 250). De- and re-territorialization ''vis-à-vis'' [[capitalism]] are also associated with Deleuze. More accounts of a politicized Deleuze are also to be found in ''[[In Defense of Lost Causes]]'', including distinctions between war machine and [[state apparatus]], a notion of “nomadic resistance” that implicates [[Antonio Negri]] (LC: 339), the [[economy ]] as a [[quasi-cause]], revolutionary becoming and the notion of the [[post-human]].
In ''[[Less Than Nothing]]'', in addition to rehashing arguments found in earlier works (the phallus [[structuring ]] the sensible field, Deleuze as Hegelian), Žižek develops his analysis of Deleuzian quasi-cause with respect to capitalism. Žižek argues that Deleuze “regresses” to the [[logic ]] of [[representation]], evidenced by his admission of [[money ]] as subject. This is another example of [[capital ]] as pseudo-cause, and the virtual as a site of production. Money, like the phallus, becomes a non-sense signifier that structures a field. Žižek has discussed Deleuze on the website [[]]. In the entry “[[Deleuze’s Platonism]]”, he challenges the notion that Deleuze is anti-Hegelian. Citing the interplay between the virtual and the actual as the zone of production for the new, he attests that this process is akin to the [[Dialectic|Hegelian dialectic]]. Deleuze opposes representation, yet understands ideas as materially real, creating a tension. In “[[Deleuze and The Lacanian Real]]”, Žižek asserts that Deleuze has landed in a trap through the notion of the virtual element [[present ]] only in its effects, for [[negation]] and the [[absence ]] of meaning (a [[signifier]] without a [[signified]]) is itself inscribed into a system of meaning. In sum, this last [[sentence ]] appears to encapsulate Žižek’s fundamental critique of Deleuze: in attempting to do away with a dualistic system of meaning, Deleuze’s thought falls back into its binaries.
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