Gilles Deleuze – Quotes

Gilles-DeleuzeGilles Deleuze  (18 January 1925 – 4 November 1995) was a French postmodern philosopher who wrote on philosophy, literature, film, and art.

Main Works:

  • Capitalism and Schizophrenia, two Volumes:
  • Anti-Oedipus (1972) and A Thousand Plateaus (1980), with Félix Guattari.
  • Difference and Repetition (1968)


The history of philosophy has always been the agent of power in philosophy, and even in thought. It has played the repressors role: how can you think without having read Plato, Descartes, Kant and Heidegger, and so-and-so’s book about them? 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.  (Dialogues, 1977. trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Barbera Habberjam 1987: Althone Press, London. P.13)

For me philosophy is an art of creation, much like music or painting. Philosophy creates concepts, which are neither generalities nor truths. They are more along the lines of the Singular, the Important, the New. Concepts are inseparable from affects, i.e. from the powerful effects they exert on our life, and percepts, i.e. the new ways of seeing or perceiving they provoke in us.” (Difference and Repetition, p. 238)

I have always felt that I am an empiricist . . . [My empiricism] is derived from the two characteristics by which Whitehead defined empiricism: the abstract does not explain, but must itself be explained; and the aim is not to rediscover the eternal or the universal, but to find the conditions under which something new is produced (creativeness). (Dialogues, Preface.  vii; cf. N 88; WP 7)

All societies are rational and irrational at the same time. They are perforce rational in their mechanisms, their cogs and wheels, their connecting systems, and even by the place they assign to the irrational. Yet all this presuposes codes or axioms which are not the products of chance, but which are not intrinsically rational either. Deleuze, Gilles. “Capitalism: A Very Special Delirium” in Chaosophy. Ed.. Autonomedia/Semiotexte. Ed. Sylvere Lothringer. 1995.

A “disinterested” love for the oppressive machine: Nietzsche said some beautiful things about this permanent triumph of slaves, on how the embittered, the depressed and the weak, impose their mode of life upon us all. Deleuze, Gilles. “Capitalism: A Very Special Delirium” in Chaosophy. Ed.. Autonomedia/Semiotexte. Ed. Sylvere Lothringer. 1995.

The problem of education is not an ideological problem, but a problem of the organization of power: it is the specificity of educational power that makes it appear to be an ideology, but it’s pure illusion. Power in the primary schools, that means something, it affects all children. Second example: Christianity. The church is perfectly pleased to be treated as an ideology. This can be argued; it feeds ecumenism. But Christianity has never been an ideology.
Deleuze, Gilles. “Capitalism: A Very Special Delirium” in Chaosophy. Ed.. Autonomedia/Semiotexte. Ed. Sylvere Lothringer. 1995.

The socio-technological study of the mechanisms of control, grasped at their inception, would have to be categorical and to describe what is already in the process of substitution for the disciplinary sites of enclosure, whose crisis is everywhere proclaimed. It may be that older methods, borrowed from the former societies of sovereignty, will return to the fore, but with the necessary modifications.
Deleuze, Gilles. “Postscript on the Societies of Control.” in: October. Vol. 59, Winter 1992, pp. 3-7 MIT Press. 1992.

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