Deleuze and the Political Ontology of ‘The Friend’ (philos)

Gregg Lambert

in Deleuze and Politics

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print May 2008 | ISBN: 9780748632879
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652549 | DOI:
Deleuze and the Political Ontology of ‘The Friend’ (philos)

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This chapter approaches the question of the nature of Deleuze's political philosophy from an ontological perspective, foregrounding the question of friendship, and argues that the question of what constitutes a friend is ontologically prior to the question of what constitutes the political. It shows how the interrogation of friendship and its many possible betrayals, and indeed its inherent internal contradictions, must alter how we conceive of political relations. Deleuze asks us to consider whether friendship, and therefore by extension politics, can contain, without logical contradiction, its apparent opposite – malevolence. The chapter then connects this question to the issue of class struggle and shows that friendship can contain and indeed be built around notions of struggle and contestation. In this way, it is shown that we have really only scratched the surface of Deleuze's political philosophy and that it is much more complexly conceived than has hitherto been recognised.

Keywords: Gilles Deleuze; political philosophy; friendship; political relations; struggle contestation; class struggle

Chapter.  8684 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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