Vrais Amis: Reconsidering the Philosophical Relationship Between Foucault and Deleuze

  • Christian Gilliam
Keywords: Foucault, Deleuze, desire, pleasure, micropolitics, resistance


In 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.

Author Biography

Christian Gilliam
Christian Gilliam, PhDResearcher Development OfficerDepartment of PhilosophyUniversity of SurreyGreat Britainvrlnbsch@memphis.edu 


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