Who is Gilles Deleuze?June 25, 2021
Gilles Deleuze was born in Paris on January 18, 1925. He committed suicide on October 4, 1995 in his native city.
He is one of the pioneers of the Post-Structural Theory, that is, the post-structuralist philosophy, as well as the French philosopher and important names such as Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Jean Baudrillard. Therefore, it is referred to as a competent representative of post-modern thought or philosophy. Both his personal works and his collaborations with Felix Guattari have emerged as competent examples in terms of the theoretical foundations of post-modern thought.
Deleuze was born in Paris and spent most of his life in this city. He enrolled at the Sorbonne University in 1944.
Deleuze taught at various high schools until he took up a teaching position at the Sorbonne in 1957. He married Denise Paul “Fanny” Grandjoun in 1956.
He was appointed to the University of Paris in 1969 and continued to teach there until his retirement in 1987.
Deleuze suffered from heart disease in the last 25 years of his life, and in his last years, when circulation problems were added to this, he could not even do the simplest operations such as writing, and he committed suicide by throwing himself from the window of his apartment in 1995.
He is a French philosopher who not only pioneered many great thinkers of his time with his thoughts, but also successfully demonstrated the necessity of rewriting the history of philosophy with the explanations he brought to the thoughts of important philosophers in the history of philosophy.
Although Deleuze has taken his unique place in the history of philosophy with the arguments he put forward, it is observed that the correctness of joining the history of philosophy from somewhere in the middle is advocated instead of starting with “first principles” in his thoughts. In terms of methodology, this defense has very solid philosophical foundations. Starting the history of philosophy from somewhere in the middle, Deleuze aims to overthrow the “subject-object” relations, which he sees as the biggest obstacle to starting the philosophy of distinction and enabling a philosophical thinking that is not based on a static entity design.
What Deleuze understands from the Philosophy of Distinction is a philosophy of “event” in the true sense, not stuck in the relationship between the signifier and the signified. It is a form of content consisting of an alternation of powers inseparable from forms of expression. In almost all stages of his philosophical adventure, Deleuze tried to establish a brand new possibility of thinking, which he likened to a body without organs, a spaceless and timeless duration, consisting of continuous occurrences but which concepts could not grasp.
It can be said that this radical philosophy program is expressed most clearly in the concept of “rhizome” (rhisome) developed with Guattari. A rhizome is a multiplicity that can be fixed on a subject or an object, yet has no unity or unity. Although it has no fixed order or homogeneity, any point of the rhizome can be, or rather must be, connected with any other point. It may break or break at one point or another, but old connections will sprout again, and new connections will emerge. In this sense, although the rhizome always has a map of its connections, it does not have a structural or origin-bound formation, a logic of creation. Therefore, instead of being a model, rhizome is more of a flight line that paves the way for encounters and transforms philosophy into map knowledge.
According to Deleuze, almost all the philosophers who have attracted his interest in the history of philosophy have one thing in common: they have all escaped from the history of philosophy to a certain extent. Moreover, there is little or no intellectual relationship between them. The Stoics, Hume, Bergson, Nietzsche, Leibniz, and Spinoza most of all, are among the philosophers that attracted Deleuze’s most attention. The similarity between these philosophers has to be created by a special technique that will reveal clearly what is really going on between them. As a matter of fact, when we look at Deleuze’s writings on the history of philosophy, it is understood at first glance that all of them were written with the aim of creating a “philosophical knowledge of the place” rather than making a history of philosophy. In this technique, no single philosopher’s thought is allowed to be taken as a model. In order to realize this, Deleuze approached every specific philosophy from the middle, as he approached the history of philosophy, instead of looking for the first principles behind the philosophical texts.
One of Deleuze’s most important creations of the history of Philosophy is “Kant’s Critical Philosophy”, which he describes as “a book on the enemy” (La Philosophie ciitique de Kant, 1963). Although Kant, at first glance, moves with the idea of bringing the faculties together in harmony to ground the “architectonics” of rationality, the main issue, according to Deleuze, is how Kant makes it possible to separate the faculties from each other. Accordingly, Kant, far from establishing a harmony between the faculties, put the end between imagination and reason, between understanding and inner sense.