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Deleuze, What is Philosophy?

What is philosophy? What’s the relationship between different philosophies? Is it better pursued solo, or in a group? Gilles Deleuze described philosophy as an activity involving the creation of new concepts (becoming 'friends with ideas', as he puts it), which differentiates it from science and art (science is about creating functions that map observed regularities and art is about creating percepts and affects.)

Considered the capstone of his collected work, this reading presents a good opportunity to reflect on how we make the truth our own, even as we jump from one thinker to another.  Also discussed is the desirability of sharing a philosophical language with others, especially in light of the realization that our understanding is always, in a sense, personal and ever changing.

Does the philosopher in us benefit from trying to share a language with someone coming from a significantly different perspective?  What should we expect from others when we ask "what do you mean"? What happens when our interest turns to polishing off ideas as testable propositions in the battlefield of ideas? It often seems as soon as we dislodge our concepts from what holds them together, we are left with only weak opinions.  At what point do we become something more like scientific functionaries?

 

Let's consider  these  questions   as  we  read Deleuze's short introduction, ~15 pages.  PDF below

 

http://www.revalvaatio.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/deleuze-guattari-what-is-philosophy.pdf

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/What-Is-Philosophy-Gilles-Deleuze/dp/0231079893/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

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  • A former member
    A former member

    August 19, 2013

    • Brian

      What a cool dude

      August 19, 2013

  • Isabella

    Here is a short vid, Origin of Art according to Deleuze:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6D5CuXW6bT8

    How can I NOT love this conceptualization? ;)

    June 26, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      The bowerbird is a pretty common example used by writers on evolution (Dawkins, et al) Interesting to see it come up with Deleuze, too.

      June 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    More, and this is actually helpful in situating the reading we had: "Gary Gutting, a renowned expert on French philosophy, has defended the impossible however, writing that some ‘… versions of continental thought regard the essential activity of reason not as the logical regimentation of thought but as the creative exercise of intellectual imagination. This view is characteristic of most important French philosophers since the 1960s, beginning with Foucault, Derrida and Deleuze. They maintain that the standard logic analytic philosophers use can merely explicate what is implicit in the concepts with which we happen to begin; such logic is useless for the essential philosophical task, which they maintain is learning to think beyond these concepts.’ He continues: ‘Continental philosophies of experience try to probe beneath the concepts of everyday experience to discover the meanings that underlie them, to think the conditions for the possibility of our concepts. By contrast, continental philosophies of imagin

    June 25, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I tried reading "What is Philosophy?" on my own at the beginning of the year, and gave up at some point in the second or third chapter. I wrote notes--really pages of quotations out of the text--trying to make some sense of the words, and other than a few glimmers here and there, failed. Given how much I love the core idea (philosphy as the work of the creation of concepts), I gave it a serious try. But the style was just not tractable to me. (And that might be a big part of what's going on here. The philosophical style with which I am comfortable, and in which I was most education, is quite different from that of the French writers, and also different, though less so, from the analytic tradition.) That's why I found it valuable to do some work on the text with the group. I got a little more out of it than I had before, and the text sparked a good conversation with some smart folks. If I thought it was and would be a waste of time, I would do something else. Life is short!

      1 · June 26, 2013

    • Brian

      So far, I only like Deleuze and Levinas. They both waiver in and out of lucidity for me, but they rain down gems at their best. Like a chemical reaction. The intro we read was loud and clear to me, but the first chapter does waiver.

      June 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    To whomever is in charge of these things: let's definitely plan to get together and puzzle through chapter one. For better or worse, I think it will address some of the questions brought up in this conversation.

    June 25, 2013

    • Brian

      "What is a Concept"?

      1 · June 25, 2013

    • Natalia S.

      I second Brian's suggestion and approve the Brians' plan to read more Deleuze! Obviously :)

      1 · June 25, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    To Brian: the quotes came from this article:
    http://3ammagazine.com/3am/the-new-french-philosophy/
    It's a bit tough, but looks like a good overview for the stout of heart.

    June 25, 2013

    • Brian

      oh boy, $57 on amazon

      June 25, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    "France is suffering within its means. 3.26 million unemployed, youth unemployment at 26.5 per cent, consumption declining, no economic growth for five years, a despised political class the majority think is corrupt and a President everyone thinks is merde. Riots in their suburbs, a rubbish rugby team and Germany setting the tone in Europe. How does French philosophy respond? By taking Oscar Wilde’s advice and avoiding arguments on the grounds that they are vulgar and often convincing. ...So what’s on offer is not even better than nothing. ...I fear that I too am going to be accused of philistine tendencies. Alas, it can’t be helped. Some of the new philosophy is intriguing, but much of it seems content to startle, unsettle and parade an ingrained belief that consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative." - Richard Marshall

    1 · June 25, 2013

    • Brian

      haha. Ok, point taken. Yes, you point to the tension at play. I definitely don't think philosophers should (or do), even if French, abandon the quest for truth including the requirement that truth not contradict itself. But I do recognize the best truth seekers possess a creativity that forges their own path as they ask their own questions and make the truth their own. Get a group of philosophers of this kind in the room, and the 'arguments' are always between friends. I personally am in the process of reconciling how i can talk about 'truth as uncovering' (truth immanent to inquiry) while also going toward the idea of truth shared by all

      June 25, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Interesting that I just got robo-recommended this video, given the course of our conversation tonight: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=TbNymweHW4E

    June 22, 2013

  • Eric

    Ah, I was on the wait list and never got around to reading it, so I'm going to have to cancel. Next time!

    June 22, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    My apologies, but I won't be able to make it after all... I do hope I can attend an event in the near future though.

    June 22, 2013

  • Martinez B.

    sorry guys. I am sick :(

    June 22, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    So I see I'm currently on the waiting list. Should I only plan on coming if a few people drop out?

    June 21, 2013

    • Brian

      Hi Kyle, Yeah, unfortunately the waiting list is necessary.=[ We are limited in space and want to be fair to everyone. It is very possible enough people will drop out by 5pm though.

      June 21, 2013

  • Jenny T.

    Damn, what's so bad about becoming like scientific functionaries? Anyways, I'd love to go but I'll be at a hackathon. Have to figure out the being in two places at one time thing....

    1 · June 16, 2013

  • Gary L.

    I am always excited about various group's activities but have trouble because of scheduling conflicts but I will try to make it!

    May 30, 2013

  • Mike B.

    After last night's Plato meet up, I wondered if some of the miscommunication resulted from opposing views of Platonism: a dogmatic stand-alone presentation of beliefs or a dialogic exchange.

    May 30, 2013

    • Brian

      isn't that interesting how we can talk about the same idea but with radically different background intuitions about what is even being talked about?

      May 30, 2013

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