Contents: Coldness and cruelty I by Gilles Deleuze -. Venus in furs I by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch was born in in Lemberg,. Galicia. He was of Slav. Both of Gilles Deleuze’s texts on masochism, ‘s “From Sacher-. Masoch to Masochism” and ‘ s “Coldness and Cruelty,” reflect a certain ambiguity – or at . the novels of Sacher-Masoch is one more often associated with Lacan’s sometime elty (), Deleuze revisits the literary works of Sacher-Masoch and the.

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Deleuze is a key figure in postmodern French philosophy.

Considering himself an empiricist and a vitalist, his body of work, which rests upon concepts such as masooch, constructivism, difference, and desire, stands at a substantial remove from the main traditions of 20th century Continental thought.

His thought locates him as an influential figure in present-day considerations of society, creativity and subjectivity.

Masochism: Coldness and Cruelty – Wikipedia

Notably, within his metaphysics he favored a Spinozian concept of a plane of immanence with everything a mode of one substance, and thus on the same level of existence. He argued, deleuez, that there is masocu good and evil, but rather only relationships which are beneficial or harmful to the particular individuals. This ethics influences his approach to society and politics, especially as he was so politically active in struggles for rights and freedoms.

Later in his career he wrote some of the more infamous texts of the period, madoch particular, Anti-Oedipus and A Thousand Plateaus. Gilles Deleuze began his career with a number of idiosyncratic yet rigorous historical studies of figures outside of the Continental tradition in vogue at the time.

Deleuze, Gilles | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

His first delezue, Empirisism and Subjectivity, isa study of Hume, interpreted by Deleuze to be a radical subjectivist. Deleuze became known for writing about other philosophers with new insights and different readings, interested as he was in liberating philosophical history from the hegemony of one perspective.

He wrote on Spinoza, Nietzche, Kant, Leibniz and others, deleyze literary authors and works, cinema, and art. As a constructivist, he was adamant that philosophers are creators, and that each reading of philosophy, or each philosophical encounter, ought to inspire new concepts.

Additionally, according to Deleuze and his concepts of differencethere is no identity, and in repetition, nothing is ever the same. Rather, there is only difference: Gilles Deleuze was born in the 17th arrondisment of Paris, a district that, excepting periods in his youth, celeuze lived in for the whole of his life. He was the son of an conservative, anti-Semitic engineer, a veteran of World War Ddeleuze.

Deleuze’s brother was arrested by Germans during the Nazi occupation of France for alleged resistance activities, and died on the way to Auschwitz. Due to his families’ lack of money, Deleuze was schooled at a public school before the war.

When the Germans invaded France, Deleuze was on vacation in Normandy and spent a year being schooled there. In Normandy, he was inspired by a teacher, under whose influence he read Gide, Baudelaire and others, becoming for the first time interested in his studies.

Masochism: Coldness and Cruelty & Venus in Furs

In a late interview, he states that after this masocg, he never had any trouble academically. His first maoch, Empiricism and Subjectivityon David Hume, was published inwhen he was Over the next ten years, Deleuze held a number of delfuze teaching positions in French universities, publishing his important text on Nietzsche Nietzsche and Philosophy in It was also around this time that he met Michel Foucault, with whom he had a long and important friendship.

When Foucault died, Deleuze dedicated a book-length study to his work Foucault InDeleuze’s doctoral thesis, comprising of Difference and Repetition and Expressionism in Philosophy: This was also the period of the first major incidence of pulmonary illness that would plague Deleuze for the rest of his life. InDeleuze took up a teaching post at the ‘experimental’ University of Paris VII, where he taught until his retirement in These texts were considered by many including Deleuze to be an expression in part of the political ferment in France during May During the seventies, Deleuze was politically active in a number of causes, deleuuze membership deleuzr the Groupe d’information sur les prisons formed, with others, by Michel Foucaultand had an engaged concern with homosexual rights and the Palestinian liberation movement.

Deleuze’s final collaboration with Guattari, What is Philosophy?

Gilles Deleuze (1925–1995)

Deleuze’s last book, a collection of essays on literature and related philosophical questions, Essays Critical and Clinicalwas published in Deleuze’s pulmonary illness, byhad confined him quite severely, even making it difficult for him to write. He took his own life on November 4th, Deleuze’s whole intellectual trajectory can be traced by his shifting relationship to the history of delwuze. While in later years, he became quite critical of both the style of thought implied in narrow reproductions of past thinkers and the institutional pressures to think on this basis, Deleuze never lost any enthusiasm deoeuze writing books about other philosophers, if in a new way.


Most of his publications contain the name of another philosopher as part of the title: Deleuze expresses two main problems with the traditional style and deleuuze location of the history of philosophy. The first concerns a politics of the tradition:. The history of philosophy has always been the agent of power in philosophy, and even in thought. It has played the repressors role: A formidable school of intimidation which manufactures specialists in thought – but which also makes those who stay outside conform all the more to this specialism which they despise.

An image of thought called philosophy has been formed historically and it effectively stops people from thinking. This hegemony of thought recurrently comes under attack later in Deleuze’s career, notably in What is Philosophy?

This criticism also sits well with a general theme throughout his writings, which is the immediate politicisation of all thought. Philosophy and its history is not separated from mqsoch fortunes of the wider world, for Deleuze, but intimately linked to it, and to the forces at work there.

The second criticism directed at the traditional style of history of philosophy, the construction of specialists and expertise, leads directly to the foremost positive aspect of Deleuze’s particular method: The philosopher creates, he doesn’t reflect.

The history of philosophy isn’t a particularly reflective discipline. It’s rather like portraiture in painting. Producing mental, conceptual portraits. As in painting, you have to create a likeness, but in a different material: Perhaps such a method does not seem extremely creative, or perhaps only in a relatively passive sense.

For Deleuze, however, the history of philosophy also embraces a much more active, constructive sense. Each reading of a philosopher, an artist, a writer should be undertaken, Deleuze tells us, in order to provide an impetus for creating new concepts that do not pre-exist DR vii. Thus the works that Deleuze studies are seen by him as inspirational, but also as a resource, from which the philosopher can gather the concepts that seem the most useful and give them a new life, along with the force to develop new, non-preexistent concepts.

In an important sense, Deleuze’s whole modus operandi is based in this revaluation of the role of other thinkers, and the means by which one can use them: In any case, new concepts are derived from others’ works, or old ones are recreated or ‘awakened’, and put to a new service.

Deleuze’s book on Kanthis third publication in general conforms with the standards of an academic philosophical study. Aside from its surprising breadth, covering as it does all three of Kant’s Critiques in a slender volume, it focuses on a problem that is clearly of concern to both Kant himself and the traditional reading of his work, that of the relationship between the faculties. Deleuze himself, later reflecting on Kant’s Critical Philosophydistinguishes it from the other, more constructivist historical studies:.

My book on Kant’s different; I like it, I did it as a book about an enemy that tries to show how his system works, its various cogs – the tribunal of Reason, the legitimate exercises of the faculties. There are, however, some distinctively creative elements even to this apparently sober study, which reflect Deleuze’s general interests, two in particular. In this text on Kant, these reveal themselves by way of emphasis, rather than out-and-out creation. The first of these is his emphasis on Kant’s rejections of transcendentality at key points in the Critiquesin favour of a generalised pragmatism of reason.

While Deleuze himself locates in Kant the development massoch the concept of the transcendental at the root of modern philosophy DRhe is quick to insist that, even as transcendental faculties in Kant, understanding, reason and imagination act only deleuzee an immanent fashion to achieve their own ends:. The Critique of Pure Reason thus condemns the transcendent employment of a speculative reason which claims to legislate by itself; the Critique of Practical Reason condemns the dleeuze employment of practical reason which, instead of legislating by itself, lets itself be empirically conditioned.

KCP ; NP Deleuze, then, insists on the critical activity of Kant’s philosophy as not only a critique of reason used wrongly, but specifies this critique in pragmatic and empiricist terms. The second Deleuzian feature of Kant’s Critical Philosophy is delezue insistence on the creative and affirmative nature of the Critique of Judgement.


This runs counter not just to a number of Kant scholars, who suggest that the third Critique is a defected work as a result of Kant’s age and decaying mental abilities when he wrote it, but also other prominent French philosophers of Deleuze’s generation, notably Jean-Francois Lyotard and Dsleuze Derridawho both consider this text primarily in terms of its aporetic nature.

Deleuze, to the contrary, insists on its central importance to Kant’s philosophy. He argues not only that there are conflicts between the activity of the faculties, and thus between the first two Critiquesa moot point in reading Kant, but that the Critique of Judgement solves this problem already a mmasoch perspective by positing a genesis of free accord between the faculties deeper than their conflicts.

Not only are the struggles between the faculties not insoluble: When we turn to consider a much later text, The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque, we find Deleuze’s constructivist practice of the history of philosophy developed to its fullest. This text is not only a “portrait” of Leibniz’s thought, but uses concepts drawn from it, along with new concepts based in a philosophical ‘take’ on mathematics, art, and music, to characterise the Baroque period, and indeed vice versa.

LeibnizDeleuze argues, is the philosopher whose point of view can be best used to understand the Baroque period, and Baroque architecture, music and art give us a unique and illuminating vantage point for reading Leibniz. In fact, one of the more astonishing claims that Deleuze makes is that the one cannot be understood properly without the other:. It is impossible to understand the Leibnizian monad, and its light-mirror-point of view-interior decoration system, if we do not come to terms with these elements in Baroque architecture.

FLB 39; translation altered. How is such a statement to be demonstrated? Instead of claiming that in fact there is an a priori link between Leibniz and the Baroque, Deleuze creates a new concept, and reads both of them through it: In keeping with Leibniz’s theory of the monad, that the whole universe is contained within each being, like the Baroque church, Deleuze argues that the process of folding constitutes the basic unit of existence. While there are elements of the fold already in Leibniz and the architecture and art of the period, as Deleuze points out Nit gains a new consistency and significance when used as a creative term in this manner.

Throughout the book, and later, in FoucaultDeleuze uses the concept of the fold to describe the nature of the human subject as the outside folded in: In addition, in The Foldwe see a remarkable cross-section of Deleuze’s whole work, expressed in a new way through the material that he analyses.

Chapters 4 and 6 give a succinct formulation of the relationship between the event and the subject one of Deleuze’s perennial interestswhich leads to a new formulation of the nature of sufficient reason in line with Deleuze’s concept of the virtual. We also see a return to the question of the body that he examines with Guattari in Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Deleuze thus provides a reading of Leibniz that strikes the reader as eccentric and certainly at odds with the traditional approach, and yet which holds to both the text in all his historical studies, Deleuze cites quite exhaustivelyand to the new direction that he is working in.

I have always felt that I am an empiricist. N 88; WP 7. One can see that such a definition of empiricism differs sharply, at least apparently, from the traditional understanding canonised by Anglo-American histories of philosophy.

Such a history would have us believe that empiricism is above all the doctrine that whatever knowledge that we possess is derived from the senses and the senses alone – the well-known rejection of innate ideas.

Modern views of science embrace such a doctrine, and apply it as a tool to derive facts about the physical world. Deleuze’s empiricism is both an extreme radicalisation and rejection of this sense-data model: Rather, it takes a standpoint regarding the transcendental in general. Writing of Hume, he states that, We can now see the special ground of empiricism: To return to the citation from the Dialoguesthere are two aspects of Deleuze’s empiricist philosophy.