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Book Title: Spinoza: Practical Philosophy|
The author of the book: Gilles Deleuze
Edition: City Lights Publishers
Date of issue: January 1st 2001
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 7.62 MB
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Reader ratings: 5.5
ISBN 13: 9780872862180
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Spinoza's theoretical philosophy is one of the most radical attempts to construct a pure ontology, with a single infinite substance, and all beings as the modes of being his substance. This book, which presents Spinoza's main ideas in dictionary form, has as its subject the opposition between ethics and morality, and the link between ethical and ontological propositions. His ethics is an ethology, rather than a moral science. Attention has been drawn to Spinoza by deep ecologists such as Arne Naess, the Norwegian philosopher; and this reading of Spinoza by Deleuze lends itself to a radical ecological ethic. As Robert Hurley says in his introduction, "Deleuze opens us to the idea that the elements of the different individuals we compose may be nonhuman within us. One wonders, finally, whether Man might be defined as a territory, a set of boundaries, a limit on existence."
Gilles Deleuze, known for his inquiries into desire, language, politics, and power, finds a kinship between Spinoza and Nietzsche. He writes, "Spinoza did not believe in hope or even in courage; he believed only in joy and in vision . . . he more than any other gave me the feeling of a gust of air from behind each time I read him, of a witch's broom that he makes one mount."
Gilles Deleuze (1925-1995) was a French philosopher whose writings influenced many philosophical disciplines such as literary theory, post-structuralism, and postmodernism. He also taught philosophy at the University of Paris at Vicennes.
Robert Hurley was a translator for many French philosophers including Michael Foucault (History of Sexuality), Gilles Deleuze, and George Bataille (Theory of Religion).
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Read information about the authorDeleuze is a key figure in postmodern French philosophy. Considering himself an empiricist and a vitalist, his body of work, which rests upon concepts such as multiplicity, constructivism, difference and desire, stands at a substantial remove from the main traditions of 20th century Continental thought. His thought locates him as an influential figure in present-day considerations of society, creativity and subjectivity. Notably, within his metaphysics he favored a Spinozian concept of a plane of immanence with everything a mode of one substance, and thus on the same level of existence. He argued, then, that there is no good and evil, but rather only relationships which are beneficial or harmful to the particular individuals. This ethics influences his approach to society and politics, especially as he was so politically active in struggles for rights and freedoms. Later in his career he wrote some of the more infamous texts of the period, in particular, Anti-Oedipus and A Thousand Plateaus. These texts are collaborative works with the radical psychoanalyst Félix Guattari, and they exhibit Deleuze’s social and political commitment.
Gilles Deleuze began his career with a number of idiosyncratic yet rigorous historical studies of figures outside of the Continental tradition in vogue at the time. His first book, Empirisism and Subjectivity, isa study of Hume, interpreted by Deleuze to be a radical subjectivist. Deleuze became known for writing about other philosophers with new insights and different readings, interested as he was in liberating philosophical history from the hegemony of one perspective. He wrote on Spinoza, Nietzche, Kant, Leibniz and others, including literary authors and works, cinema, and art. Deleuze claimed that he did not write “about” art, literature, or cinema, but, rather, undertook philosophical “encounters” that led him to new concepts. As a constructivist, he was adamant that philosophers are creators, and that each reading of philosophy, or each philosophical encounter, ought to inspire new concepts. Additionally, according to Deleuze and his concepts of difference, there is no identity, and in repetition, nothing is ever the same. Rather, there is only difference: copies are something new, everything is constantly changing, and reality is a becoming, not a being.
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