Re-thinking Thought: Foucault, Deleuze, and the Possibility of Thinking
AbstractThis paper examines how Foucault and Deleuze understand each other’s work, arguing that they are united in their common endeavour to make it possible to think again. Focusing on Foucault’s ‘Theatrum Philosophicum’ and Deleuze’s Foucault, it shows how each of Foucault and Deleuze considers the other as someone who opens anew the possibility of thinking. The first section examines Deleuze’s interpretation of Foucault’s work. It demonstrates that, despite sounding as if he is elucidating his own philosophy, Deleuze is correct in saying that Foucault re-thinks thought by positing the disjunction between the articulable and the visible, among other things. Turning to Foucault’s review of Deleuze’s works, the second section explains why Foucault deems Deleuze’s notion of thought as a disjunctive affirmation. By underscoring the disjunctive role ‘and’ plays in the disjunctive affirmation of ‘the event and the phantasm’ and/or of thought itself and its object, Foucault considers Deleuze as someone who re-thinks thought not by conceptualising it but by thinking difference. The paper concludes that, while each endeavours to consider thought in a new light, both Foucault and Deleuze believe that the other makes it possible to think again.
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