Deleuze, Ethics, Ethology, and Art

Anthony Uhlmann

in Deleuze and Ethics

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780748641178
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671731 | DOI:
Deleuze, Ethics, Ethology, and Art

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In What is Philosophy? Deleuze and Guattari muse on that time of life when a philosopher feels compelled to reflect upon the question of the nature of her or his practice. The desire for such reflection, they argue, comes with age. It involves self-reflection, something that concerns one's disposition, and one's place in the world. As such it is properly an ethical process. The idea of reflection, however, is also fundamental to both thought itself and to artistic practice, or the practice of creation. In considering the nature of philosophy, then, Deleuze and Guattari turn, through logical necessity, to the nature of thought and the thought of nature: that is, they also consider science, and art. This chapter argues that this interrelation is at the heart of their understanding of natural being, and links up with the minor traditions of thinking that they trace and extend in their own work. Yet the connection between art and how we should live also occurs in the dominant tradition of thought: rather than ethics, however, this tradition links artistic practice to morals, and the ‘moral’ (or the lesson, or specified meaning). There are a number of distinctions, then, which involve not so much binary oppositions as differences of perspective, and these are crucial to an understanding of the interrelations Deleuze and Deleuze and Guattari develop between art, ethics, and ethology. These distinctions assert an ethics over a morality; thought over (human) consciousness; creation over mimesis.

Keywords: Deleuze; Gauttari; morals; ethology; morality; thought; human consciousness; creation; mimesis

Chapter.  7448 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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