Untimely Deleuze (3): Overflowing The Subject and Being

Woodard criticises Rosi Braidotti for not being able to give up the « language of the subject ». (Rosi is quite capable of defending herself, but I cannot resist referring to her brilliant essay in THE FORCE OF THE VIRTUAL, where she expounds her critique of the sovereign subject). I well remember that  forty years ago the devastating critical term, amongst structuralists (and especially Althusserians), was “the problematic of the subject”. If your ideas could be shown to still belong to the problematic of the subject, they were ipso facto refuted. The refutation could be very quick and sketchy, more a matter of establishing guilt by association, but when combined with the coarse chronology argument (note the use of “still” as a signifier of chronological dépassement) and the microcosmic bibliography argument (in my intellectual microcosm we take seriously our corpus of thinkers, even if we criticise many of them and go beyond, the rest do not exist) it was a redoubtable weapon.

It is interesting to see that Zourabichvili’s chronology is the reverse of Woodard’s. For Woodard, espousing Deleuze 20 years ago had a certain « weight » that it no longer has today. For Zourabichvili, his book DELEUZE, A PHILOSOPHY OF THE EVENT (1994) was published in a period “when it did not go without saying that Deleuze should be regarded as a thinker in his own right, a major thinker of 20th Century philosophy” (from the Preface (2004) to the re-edition of the book cited above). He goes on to analyse the various confusions that led to this underestimation of Deleuze: the naive ontological reading that ignores Deleuze’s pluralist subordination of the notion of Being (EST) to AND (ET), the phenomenological reading that ignores the overflowing not only of the subject but of Being itself by the transcendental field. So for him there is no « fuzziness », only a terminological choice. Deleuze is totally coherent in carrying through his transcendental project:

« his programme: substitution of AND for IS; or, which amounts to the same thing, substitution of becoming for being » (p7).

If you think that the primacy of Being is constitutive of the very notion of ontology, you will declare that there is no « ontology of Deleuze ». If you find no problem with the notion of an « ontology of becoming » where Being has no primacy, you may retain the word « ontology », as Deleuze does, to describe his project. No fuzziness here.

Cet article a été publié dans Uncategorized. Ajoutez ce permalien à vos favoris.

Votre commentaire

Entrez vos coordonnées ci-dessous ou cliquez sur une icône pour vous connecter:

Logo WordPress.com

Vous commentez à l’aide de votre compte WordPress.com. Déconnexion /  Changer )

Photo Google

Vous commentez à l’aide de votre compte Google. Déconnexion /  Changer )

Image Twitter

Vous commentez à l’aide de votre compte Twitter. Déconnexion /  Changer )

Photo Facebook

Vous commentez à l’aide de votre compte Facebook. Déconnexion /  Changer )

Connexion à %s