Reading WHAT IS PHILOSOPHY? (10): structural demarcation and a-structural exchanges

I have been keeping as much as possible to WHAT IS PHILOSOPHY? as distinct from Deleuze and Guattari’s other books written either together or separately, in order to see what distinguishes it from those other books, and also to determine what, if any, useful advice can be drawn from it.

A preliminary obstacle lies in what we may call the structuralism of the book’s general set up. Like it or not, in this book Deleuze and Guattari propose a metaphysics of the concept and a set of demarcations between art and science and philosophy. Not unlike François Laruelle, they propose a structural principle governing the thought-structure of philosophy, i.e. the creation of concepts that are auto-positing and self-referential.

Happily, from my perspective, they partially undo these two structural principles in the conclusion, but as developed in the bulk of the book they are inadequate.

Unlike Laruelle’s non-philosophy, they both explicate this philosophical auto-sufficiency in a favourable light and deploy the conceptual resources developed in the book to show that these incommensurable structures are not hermetically sealed of from each other, but that they are permeable and allow a-structural exchanges between differing creative practices.


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