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Problems and Concepts. Deleuze and ressentiment.

Lecturer: Jon Rubin

Originally Taught: Evening Sem 2 2016

Deleuze is famous for stating that philosophy is the creation of concepts but also that all philosophy begins with a scream. But concepts are not, "in one’s head because concepts are also ways of living"; concepts tear across Deleuze's two obsessions: Thought and Life. Concepts are inseparable from their problem. But what exactly is the relationship between problem and concept? Thought and Life are both impersonal and inhuman; "problem - will certain paternal chromosomes be incorporated into new nuclei, or will they be dispersed into the protoplasm? question - will they arrive soon enough?" Does Deleuze's concept of the concept change between its formulation as the Idea in Difference and Repetition to its final statement as the concept in What is Philosophy?

In order to help answer these questions, I will be looking at one specific concept, ressentiment. From 1962-1972,ressentiment plays a curious and important role in Deleuze's published work and then, apparently, vanishes. I will be following the creative evolution of Deleuze's concept of ressentiment and its problem(s) that it belongs to.Ressentiment plays a crucial role in Deleuze’s fashioning of an immanent ethics and then a politics of desire. How does the difference between these two problems in Nietzsche and Philosophy and Anti-Oedipus respectively change Deleuze's concept of ressentiment? How does Deleuze’s Nietzscheanism fit or fight with his Spinozism? What was the scream that drove Deleuze's need for a concept of ressentiment and does Deleuze’s abandonment of the term imply an abandonment of the problem? Did Deleuze discover that he was working on a false problem?


Evening Sem 2 2016