Deleuze and Law

Deleuze and Law

Deleuze and Law

Deleuze and Law

Synopsis

'A wild and savage creation of principle' is how Deleuze defined the practice of law as perpetual experimentation, or as he called it, Universal Jurisprudence. Rather than a guarantee against political, economic, or social odds, this collection of 11 essays offers insights into Gilles Deleuze's philosophy of law, a philosophy which experiments with new forms of politics, economics and society. This book shows that law has never been a conservative force but in fact is the most progressive and experimental force of the Modern Age. It explores the basic features of this universal jurisprudence, the mutual becoming of law and philosophy, for the first time.

Excerpt

Laurent de Sutter and Kyle McGee

During his long conversation with Claire Parnet, filmed by the late Pierre-André Boutang and published after his death, Gilles Deleuze made a strange revelation: ‘If I hadn’t become a philosopher’, he said, ‘I would have studied law’ (Deleuze 1994a: ‘G comme Gauche’). Before intellectual biographer François Dosse summoned it to discuss Deleuze’s academic history and to describe his course of study (Dosse 2007: 141), this declaration provoked hardly a comment in the Francophone world, as though it was not surprising in the least that Deleuze, inventor of the rhizome, philosopher of pure immanence, and sometime revolutionary, had dreamt of studying law, that arboreal science of reactionary transcendence. This utterance sits uneasily with Deleuze’s well-known antipathy towards the representational economy of generality and particularity as well as the logic of profit and loss that forms the heart of modern instrumentalist legality. More, the image of a philosopher hostile towards the very idea of judgment – Deleuze’s ethics, as we know, constitutes a war machine bent on undermining the diabolical apparatus of judgment and the logic of infinite debt – does not dovetail neatly with this expression of interest in law as an alternative to philosophy. We may hear Deleuze’s remark as giving voice to an irretrievable moment in his past, a reflection on and a reference to ‘lost time’, to the adolescence of one who was not yet present, or who was, in a word, yet to ‘strike out on his own’. But the more useful ‘audition’ of this puzzling claim is to give it our full attention and to acknowledge that it does not merely sit uneasily with his mature work, but actively deterritorialises it. It is time now that we problematised all these tensions, contradictions and aberrant lines by making Deleuze’s work as a whole pass through this opening.

That is, in short, the object of this book. Our job is only to provide the window-dressing, this Introduction and the concluding Postscript – a . . .

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