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What Is Philosophy? by Gilles Deleuze
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What Is Philosophy? (1991)

by Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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you want to create concepts and then address them appropriately. that's what philosophy is for. and everything else worth doing. ( )
  dagseoul | Mar 30, 2013 |
Whoever would have thought that the first book to appear twice on my LibraryThing (signifying that I have read it twice since July of 2006) would be What is Philosophy, which I despised quite hard the first time round? That's what happens when you join a critical theory reading group and Jamie Paris is picking the books, ha ha. However, some of us hotheads have formed an East Vancouver Maoist Splinter Faction, and I would like to do something a bit new with this review: record some of my impressions from our discussion. So I will be writing this review in installments, is what I'm sayin'.


Last Tuesday is already a fading memory, but let's see, a group consisting of me, Derek Woods, Cass Picken, Reilly Yeo, Lauren Schachter, Stephen Russo, and a lovely man I know only as "Frenchie" went over issues including: maybe a "non-communicative" philosophy isn't that gross if it's only that it has to make sense in terms of its own concepts and then go out into the world--like, if you build a tower tall enough, you can launch your Daedalus wings and fly with the other friends of knowledge. And the difference between that Friend and the Sage, the striver and the didact. And how maybe we can understand his "transcendent materialism" in light of the "plane of immanence"--like, transcendent materialism is what happens when different planes of the real begin to talk to each other. And we can all walk around with our philosophy around us in a cloud or root spuzzum, ready to be Friends, for the Σοφία in me to salute the Σοφία in you.


That's, anyway, as understood, digested, forgotten, prettied up, and summarized by me. Stay tuned for more!

Week 2: I had to work, but I hear they just talked about where Deleuze fits into the history of philosophy. Borrring!

Week 3: So what does it mean to rhizomatize exactly? Does it mean, to start with cloud towers as suggested above, and turn them sideways, pile them atop one another and watch them grow thick with ivy? Does it mean to banish all the philosopher's heads that are dreaming us, grow them over with mulch? Move from geophilosophy as Hegelian geography--here is chaotic India, there is thunder-wracked Nietzscheland--to geophilosophy in the sense of geology--like, forget the conceptual personae and just try to go deeper, see what things really are, or can really,usefully, functionally be. Analytic philosophy as envisioned by a Frenchman. ( )
  MeditationesMartini | Oct 2, 2009 |
Speak English.

And the best part is I felt kinda bad about that flip (albeit double-headed) dismissal, but I'd hardly gotten further into the book than it took to initially THINK "speak English" when there it was - assertion: philosophy has nothing to do with communication. It is not open to debate or negotiation because it is a struggle against chaos with concepts as weapons, which is different from opinion because opinion is negotiable and philosophy must be taken on its own terms as structure to allow the creation of, like Concepts of Mass De-Inchoatification that don't fall apart in the talking and the push and pull and the relativism. Which is fine if all he's saying is "come with me on a philosophical journey," and then we can step out of the usefull assumptions du sage and discuss what we've learned, but no - there's no space where philosophy isn't privileged in this way, no point where we can sit and be Socrates and talk. We're always Socrates turned from conversationalist to martinet by Plato, reaffirmed loyalty-oath style by Deleuze (no room for dissent!). The outside space is science and art, not debate, managing chaos - making it chaoid - rather than fighting it.

And I see what he's saying, that debate=mere cliches and we need to engage with art/science/philosophy to understand anything at all, but then shit dog, it's all the end of civil society and the future of baccalaureat-bred aristocracy of the spirit.

But that's not why the two, no no. That's a troubling and ugly but also compelling and novel wad of ideas, even if it sounds like he's trying to shut out all challengers and then dress it up and put lipstick on that pig. The two is because the above is all from the intro and conclusion, and I won't guarantee that I haven't got it totally wrong, and the rest of this book, man, sometimes I think I undertsand and prolly don't, sometimes I know I don't, and often when I know it I strongly suspect there's nothing there.

Not that we'll ever know, because being understood is the opposite of the point. Why, it might lead to someone forming that most banal and hollow of things, an opinion. Howl into the void, you fuck, with only li'l Guattari for company. Or speak English, because when you do you come up with cool word-concepts like "nationalitarianism" and "chaoid." ( )
  MeditationesMartini | Sep 19, 2007 |
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» Add other authors (27 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gilles Deleuzeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Guattari, Felixmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Petříček, MiroslavTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Turhan IlgazTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0231079893, Paperback)

Called by many France's foremost philosopher, Gilles Deleuze is one of the leading thinkers in the Western World. His acclaimed works and celebrated collaborations with Félix Guattari have established him as a seminal figure in the fields of literary criticism and philosophy. The long-awaited publication of What is Philosophy? in English marks the culmination of Deleuze's career.

Deleuze and Guattari differentiate between philosophy, science, and the arts, seeing as means of confronting chaos, and challenge the common view that philosophy is an extension of logic. The authors also discuss the similarities and distinctions between creative and philosophical writing. Fresh anecdotes from the history of philosophy illuminate the book, along with engaging discussions of composers, painters, writers, and architects.

A milestone in Deleuze's collaboration with Guattari, What is Philosophy? brings a new perspective to Deleuze's studies of cinema, painting, and music, while setting a brilliant capstone upon his work.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:02:55 -0400)

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