Faux Amis, Vrais Amis? Amis.

  • Jonas Oßwald University of Vienna
Keywords: Deleuze, Foucault, friendship, dialogue, power, desire

Abstract

Recent commentaries on the relation between Deleuze and Foucault often operate with an implicit idea of compatibility or consistency that postulates systematic harmony as the decisive criterion for the affinity between them. Accordingly, the predominant question is whether Deleuze and Foucault are “true” friends philosophically and politically. Although the assessments differ, they share a likewise implicit notion of the friend as familiar that excludes any form of ambivalence in amicable relations and consequently cannot fully account for the dynamics and variability of the relation between Deleuze and Foucault. This article tries to address this problem by suspending the notion of the friend-as-familiar, effectively posing the question of what concept of friendship we would have if the ambivalent relation between Deleuze and Foucault would be the model. For this, the reconstruction begins with the early encounters and follows their relationship until the supposed split in the context of the desire-pleasure-debate. What becomes apparent is the dialogical structure of the philosophical friendship between Deleuze and Foucault that entails convergences as well as divergences, which will eventually be related to their own and fundamentally different concepts of friendship. Deleuze and Foucault, as will be argued, are neither “vrais amis” nor “faux amis” but simply amis that practised a form of philosophical friendship, lasting for more than 15 years.

Author Biography

Jonas Oßwald, University of Vienna

Jonas Oßwald has been a DOC-Fellow of the Austrian Academy of Sciences with a PhD project on the philosophical relation between Gilles Deleuze and Michel Foucault. Coming from Deleuze and Foucault, his research interests also include theories of power, analytics of capitalism, as well as the history of materialism.

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Published
2021-12-12
How to Cite
Oßwald, J. (2021). Faux Amis, Vrais Amis? Amis. Foucault Studies, (31), 201-231. https://doi.org/10.22439/fs.vi31.6467
Section
Articles