Deleuze, Gilles (1925–95)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-DE007-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved January 21, 2018, from

Article Summary

Although grounded in the history of philosophy, Gilles Deleuze’s work does not begin with first principles but grasps the philosophical terrain ‘in the middle’. This method overthrows subject–object relations in order to initiate a philosophy of difference and chance that is not derived from static being; a philosophy of the event, not of the signifier-signified; a form of content that consists of a complex of forces that are not separable from their form of expression; the assemblage or body without organs, not the organized ego; time, intensity and duration instead of space; in short, a world in constant motion consisting of becomings and encounters with the ‘outside’ that such concepts do not grasp.

This radical philosophical project is rendered most clearly in Deleuze (and his collaborator Guattari’s concept of the ‘rhizome’). The rhizome is a multiplicity without any unity that could fix a subject or object. Any point of the rhizome can and must be connected to any other, though in no fixed order and with no homogeneity. It can break or rupture at any point, yet old connections will start up again or new connections will be made; the rhizome’s connections thus have the character of a map, not a structural or generative formation. The rhizome, then, is no model, but a ‘line of flight’ that opens up the route for encounters and makes philosophy into cartography.

    Citing this article:
    Olkowski, Dorothea E.. Deleuze, Gilles (1925–95), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-DE007-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
    Copyright © 1998-2018 Routledge.

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