The science of events Deleuze and psychoanalysis

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Description: This project began with my suspicions that there were serious problems with the conventional view of Deleuze's relationship to psychoanalysis, at least among his English speaking readers. I argue that while it is reasonable to view Deleuze as a consistent critic of psychoanalysis, the nature of that critical position was, at least until the middle of the 1970s, essentially analogous to his similarly critical position towards philosophy. Deleuze's affirmation of philosophy was always directed towards a "philosophy of the future," which would have completed the critical task of "overturning Platonism" and dispensed with the "image of thought" that has governed the major line of the Western philosophical tradition since Plato, tying it to a series of figures of the Same. Accordingly, while he always affirmed philosophy, Deleuze's affirmation only came on the condition that it should prove to be a mode of thought capable of affirming difference as such. I contend that a careful reading of Deleuze's approach to psychoanalysis in the period between the beginning of the 1960s and the middle of the 1970s will reveal a similarly conditional affirmation, and on very similar grounds. In order to demonstrate the viability of such a reading, the dissertation traces the following path. First, it shows that the conventional view is based more on a refusal to read the relationship between Deleuze and psychoanalysis in any depth. Second, it attempts to develop a systematic overview of the critical position Deleuze and his collaborators came to in the 1970s. Thirdly, it shows that many of the same criticisms can be found in works dating back to the very early 1960s, except that they are there accompanied by a vision of a reformed psychoanalysis that would have both therapeutic and revolutionary value. Finally, the significance of this difference to Deleuze's philosophy as a whole is explored in a consideration of the place of psychoanalysis in Deleuze's major works of the late 1960s, in the course of an explanation of the value of the conditions he attaches to his claim, in The Logic of Sense , that psychoanalysis could be "the science of events."
Language: English
Format: Degree Work