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Deleuze Seminar IV: What is Philosophy?

Lecturer: Jon Roffe

Originally Taught: Evening School Semester 1 2013

The fourth session of the Deleuze seminar will consider what Isabelle Stengers has called Deleuze and Guattari's enigmatic last message: What is Philosophy?, published in 1991 just before Guattari's death. While the book was a best-seller in France – Alain Badiou recalls seeing people reading it on the Metro – and despite the fact that the answer to the question is provided in clear terms at the start of the book (philosophy is the creation of concepts), there is a great deal of obscure richness in this work that deserves close scrutiny.

These six lectures will deal with the nature of philosophy, its enemies and combatants, and its companion modes of thinking, art and science, in the context of the situation of thinking, both in its contemporary guise and its invariant features.

Course Schedule

First lecture: the nature of thought and its contemporary situation
Second lecture: philosophy as the creation of concepts
Third lecture: the plane of immanence and conceptual personae
Fourth lecture: between logic, science and philosophy
Fifth lecture: from phenomenology to art
Sixth lecture: the geopolitical situation of thought

Preparatory reading: "Introduction: The Question Then ...", What is Philosophy?, 1-14.

Level of Difficulty: Introductory – Intermediary. As with the previous sessions of the seminar, no specific knowledge is presupposed; however, What is Philosophy? is, like all of Deleuze's works, rarely as straightforward as it seems.