Benjamin Hagen quotes and comments on the beginning lines of Deleuze and Guattari’s WHAT IS PHILOSOPHY? I would like to prolong his comments, but first I will need to re-translate the opening lines:
Peut-être ne peut-on poser la question Qu’est-ce que la philosophie ? que tard, quand vient la vieillesse, et l’heure de parler concrètement.
“Perhaps one can pose the question What is philosophy? only late, when old age, and thetime to speak concretely, comes”.
In French the book begins with “Perhaps”, a remarkable beginning for a book of philosophy, in the element of doubt and conjecture, rather than of dogma and mastery. Such a question is posed by the Idiot, who does not act in the situation according to the habitual sensori-motor schemas, but whose attention is concentrated on a question deeper than the situation, concerning the event hidden within the situation and not its current actualisation. The pronoun is “one”, the “fourth person of the singular”, the pronoun is that associated with the impersonal event. The question takes us out of the confines of chronological time or Chronos into the time of the event, Aion. So the “old age” in question is not a chronologically situated stage of life, but a type of event, an intensive moment when the stereotypes are removed and the abstractions abandonned in favour of speaking concretely (another event, signalled in French by the infinitive).