Vrais Amis: Reconsidering the Philosophical Relationship Between Foucault and Deleuze
AbstractIn the current literature addressing the Foucault/Deleuze relationship, there is a clear tendency to either replicate and expand Foucault’s over-simplified rejection of Deleuzian desire as already caught in a discursive trap or play of power; or to replicate Deleuze and Guattari’s over-simplified reading of Foucault’s dispositif, in which power and resistance are deemed opposed and thus understood via a structure of negativity. In either case, each thinker is accused of referring to an asocial or essentialist multiplicity, typically in the form of a real transcendence (positive Body), which is deemed ‘inconsistent’ with their post-structuralist yearnings. This article argues that there is in fact a real and enduring consistency between the two thinkers, which is to be found in the mutual use of an ontology of ‘pure’ or ‘disjunctive’ immanence – as derived from and developed through Nietzsche’s method of genealogy – as a way to construe power/subjectification, with pleasure/desire taken as the affective inside of this power. That said, the somewhat semantic difference between desire and pleasure being proposed does lead to a slight, though tangible, divergence in politico-ethical and practical possibilities. This article concludes that it is this divergence that should from the real basis of debate.
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