Deleuze and Phenomenology

Stephan Guenzel


In contrast to other poststructuralist theorists, Gilles Deleuze did not seek for a break-up with phenomenology. Instead, he followed his credo that the task of philosophy is to take elements of existing philosophies and turn them into something different. The same applies for his adoption of phenomenological positions. This paper traces back the various roots of phenomenological thinking in his writing focusing on Jean-Paul Sartre, Martin Heidegger and Maurice Merleau- Ponty. Concerning Sartre, Deleuze – in opposition to Foucault – admits that he learned philosophizing from Sartre by gaining insight into the necessity of concepts to be dramatized in order to become vital. Deleuze’s relation to Heidegger is rather ambiguous since Deleuze is in favor of the idea of ontological difference, but at the same time he criticizes the territorial implications of Heidegger’s history of being. Finally, and most inspiring to Deleuze, was Merleau-Ponty’s concepts of flesh and folding which was carried further by Deleuze to gain a topological aesthetic.

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Metodo. International Studies in Phenomenology and Philosophy
Published by sdvig press, Genève-Lausanne
ISSN  2281-9177

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