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Desert Islands and Other Texts (1953-1974) by Gilles Deleuze

By Gilles Deleuze

“One day, probably, this century might be Deleuzian,” Michel Foucault as soon as wrote. This booklet anthologizes forty texts and interviews written over twenty years by way of well known French thinker Gilles Deleuze, who died in 1995. The early texts, from 1953-1966 (on Rousseau, Kafka, Jarry, etc.), belong to literary feedback and announce Deleuze’s final e-book, Critique and health center (1993). yet philosophy essentially predominates within the remainder of the ebook, with sharp value determinations of the thinkers he continually felt indebted to: Spinoza, Bergson. extra unbelievable is his acknowledgement of Jean-Paul Sartre as his grasp. “The new topics, a undeniable new variety, a brand new competitive and polemical method of elevating questions,” he wrote, “come from Sartre.” however the determine of Nietzsche continues to be by means of a long way the main seminal, and the presence all through of his acquaintances and shut collaborators, Felix Guattari and Michel Foucault. The e-book stops presently after the ebook of Anti-Oedipus, and offers one of those family tree of Deleuze’s suggestion in addition to his try to go away philosophy and fix it to the outside—but, he cautions, as a thinker.

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Example text

Because philosophy precisely begins with difference, and because difference of nature is that duration of which matter is only the lowest degree. Difference is the genuine beginning; it is in this respect that Bergson most diverges from Schelling, at least in appearance. By beginning with something else, on the other hand, some immobile and stable Being, indifference becomes posited as first principle, less is mistaken for more, and a simple view of intensities becomes inevitable. However, when Bergson makes inversion the basis for intensity, he seems to escape this view only to come back to negativity, to opposition.

Without prejudging the nature of difference as internal difference, we already know that internal difference exists, given that there exist differences of nature between things of the same genus. Therefore, either philosophy proposes for itself this means (differences of nature) and this end (to arrive at internal difference), or else it will have merely a negative or generic relation to things and will end up a part of criticism and mere generalities—in any case, it will run the risk of ending up in a merely external state of reflection.

In short, it is the degrees of generality that unite and reunite the two meanings of difference. Bergson can leave many readers with a certain impression of vagueness and incoherence: vagueness, because we learn in the end that difference is the unforeseeable, indetermination itself; and incoherence, because he seems to recycle for his own purposes the same notions he just finished criticizing. "89 This impression of incoherence, however, I believe is unjustified. It is true that Bergson does come back to degrees, but not to differences of degree.

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