Interview with Pierre Montebello

1 Jérôme Rosanvallon: I suggest we structure this interview around an overview of the most relevant, usable terms for characterizing the philosophy of Deleuze and Guattari in its metaphysical or ontological aspects. (“Metaphysics” and “ontology,” which Heidegger, Levinas and many other traditions set against each other are, in my view, used interchangeably in the work of Deleuze and Guattari.) We can thereby determine the specificity of their philosophy and its lineage, as well as its fundamental logic. So I’d like to ask you about the following topics:

  1. Whether one can speak of their “philosophy of Nature” or “naturalism”;
  2. The centrality of “immanence” in their work, first of all correlatively to “univocity”;
  3. Finally, its non-Cartesian and/or non-Kantian lineage, and the new relationship to the absolute that they establish.

2 1) The first question I want to ask you places us immediately in the heart of this issue of the Journal of the CIPH. Would you agree with the idea that before Philippe Descola, before Bruno Latour, before the compilation of the scientific data we now have that lead some to speak of the “Anthropocene era,” this whole plane of shared thought in which we seem to bathe today like a new reality – which the recent pandemic illustrated so clearly, but which was anything but obvious forty years ago – that Deleuze and Guattari (more than Deleuze alone) were the first to produce a “metaphysics of nature-culture,” i.e. a philosophy putting forth an idea of Nature that is not located in this divide, that is not opposed to culture, history or society?

3 Pierre Montebello: It seems as though the concept of nature has suddenly become outmoded. There has been a profound reassessment of the concept of nature, a reassessment that permeates Descola’s anthropology and Latour’s sociology. At first glance, this is in contrast to Deleuze and Guattari’s attachment to the concept of nature and the varied and astute ways they use it. But are Deleuze and Guattari’s ideas so different from what is being said today? If we understand nature as the modern naturalism that emerged in the era of Galileo and Descartes – in other words the matter-mind dualism that fosters anthropocentrism, the opposition of subject and object, the separation of minds from nature as a whole – then Deleuze and Guattari most certainly carried out this critique well before this new critical moment. They realized that naturalism is not a good model for developing a concept of nature. This explains their deep interest in the metaphysics of nature, notably Leibniz, Spinoza, Nietzsche, Bergson, Simondon. What is at play in these metaphysics is a redistribution of beings that overcomes dualisms and oppositions, anthropomorphism and anthropocentrism, and the break between nature and culture, body and mind, nature and artifice. One has to conceive of a plane that allows beings to communicate with each other in their very difference. This is what they call the “plane of nature.” We may note that Deleuze and Guattari focus insistently on this plane of nature in A Thousand Plateaus and What Is Philosophy? But we must immediately point out that there’s nothing natural about this plane of nature: it amounts to a powerful philosophical construct. It takes a great deal of inventiveness, madness, and a feeling for transitions and metamorphoses to succeed in mapping out a plane that allows realms typically seen as discontinuous – the anthropomorphic sphere, life, matter – to communicate with each other. In this respect, “The Geology of Morals” in A Thousand Plateaus is a highlight of Deleuze and Guattari’s writings: an extremely inventive text that links differences between strata of nature (physico-chemical, organic, anthropomorphic) to changes in relations and not to irreducible differences in kind. You could even say they set out the essential concepts for this renewal of thinking on nature. It’s true that they don’t refer to the “Anthropocene era” yet, but they give us incomparable tools for considering this relationship of beings between each other. This allows us to see a collective process of creation within the Earth, and to understand that we humans are connected to a set of non-humans with which we consist, without anything opposing us to them in principle: “There is no biosphere or noosphere, but everywhere the same Mechanosphere.” (A Thousand Plateaus, 69)

4 In Métaphysiques cosmomorphes: la fin du monde humain [Cosmomorphic Metaphysics: The End of the Human World] (Dijon: Les Presses du réel, 2016), I tried to present the current state of the concept of the “plane of nature” in contemporary debates. I wanted to contrast the construction of a limitless plane of nature by Deleuze and Guattari with a line of thinking on finitude that constantly produces the same limits to how beings are comprehended, or that desires to foresee reality via formal procedures. In my opinion, Deleuze and Guattari are the pioneers of a fundamentally inclusive, multifaceted, differential, non-anthropomorphic conception of nature. The debates on the status of animals, animal territories, the role of non-humans, the meaning of the Earth, the entanglement of beings, etc., owe them a great deal. Mapping out a plane of nature means conjugating differences within a shared family relation, in a secret kinship, in an ontological melting pot that embraces matter, life and humans, and we owe this to Deleuze and Guattari. With them, nature is not the name of a thing: it is that constant requirement for the composition of beings. We may name that composition of interbeing “world,” “Earth,” “Gaia,” or “Physis,” as Bruno Latour prefers, as long as the inclusive and differential power that is its hallmark is not lost. Nevertheless, I believe that in the history of Western thought, only the concept of Nature makes this inclusive, interdifferential plane manifest.

5 J. Rosanvallon: But doesn’t the term “naturalism” itself have several contradictory meanings and uses? While Descola uses it to refer to the “great Divide” specific to the Western world – “the idea that arose in Europe a few centuries ago that non-humans exist in a separate sphere from humans, where they constitute an unlimited resource” – the term may also be used to designate the reabsorption of culture by nature and interpreted as an attempt at biologizing or naturalizing culture. This is notably the point of view of Jean-Marie Schaeffer in La Fin de l’exception humaine [The End of the Human Exception] (Gallimard, 2007), and more generally a whole current of analytic philosophy starting with Willard Van Orman Quine. Finally, there’s the meaning that the term had for Lucretius according to Deleuze, where it refers to the refusal of myth, of superstition, of any transcendence (“what is opposed to Nature is not Culture, nor the state of reason, nor even the civil state, but only […] superstition” [Expressionism in Philosophy: Spinoza, 270]). So in your view, would it be a misinterpretation to speak of Deleuze and Guattari’s naturalism? Doesn’t this designation also infer a way of affirming the oneness of nature versus all of the nether worlds, the “faithfulness to the Earth” versus all of the illusory transcendences, as the fine monograph that you have just devoted to Nietzsche (Nietzsche: Fidélité à la Terre, CNRS, 2019) reminds us?

6 P. Montebello: If it makes any sense to develop a metaphysics of nature after Kant, it is precisely to avoid two major traps: returning to a transcendental constitution of nature, or reducing nature to its physical or biological aspects (naturalization). Schaeffer falls into the second trap: he naturalizes culture. But this is not what the metaphysics of nature is about at all: it must escape from the dilemma of subject vs. object, not dig in deeper. Descola clearly sees that the problem of Western naturalism is that it makes a great “social continuum where humans and non-humans intermingle” impossible. This naturalism is a dualism that combines naturalist monism and culturalist relativism, world and subjects, anthropomorphic minds and uniform bodies. In this dualistic cosmology, the supernatural is an effect of naturalism: it functions with naturalism, it is a component of naturalism. But when Descola invokes the “rebellious spirits” who oppose this Great Divide, he cites Condillac, La Mettrie, and Haeckel. They are monists, in the name of a monism of sensation or a mechanistic monism. For Descola, it’s clear that monism is opposed to dualism, whereas for the metaphysics of nature, monism and dualism share the same roots. Despite his emphasis on the fact that Western culture has put up some opposition to this “dominant doctrine,” not once does Descola cite an example of the non-naturalist metaphysics of nature, even though there were many such metaphysics in the 19th and 20th centuries. It’s as though the domination of Kantianism and phenomenology rendered them invisible even up to the present day. This is probably one of the more interesting aspects of Deleuze’s work: that he let Ravaisson, Nietzsche, Tarde, Bergson, Whitehead, etc. be heard once more. Following in his footsteps, I wanted to point out the deep convergences between these metaphysics of nature in their twofold refusal of naturalism and transcendentalism, and of materialism and idealism.

7 The naturalism that Descola discusses is merely the epistemological counterpart of the concept of nature. It is the scholarly model – he says it himself: it occupies a "directive role in the organization of the sciences" (and therefore probably also in the constitution of the general and dualistic ontological regime that other societies did not adopt). It was inevitable that this naturalism would drift toward scientistic monism: once the idea that matter is universal is accepted, it only takes an additional step for the mind to be absorbed into matter as well, as Maine de Biran noted. The fact remains that this model overlooks whole sections of biology and philosophy, but also of popular culture in its vitalistic, animist, magnetic, zoomorphic, etc. aspects. As Latour says, we have never been modern, we have never conformed to this schema: it has prevailed in the past but it allowed other practices to abound beneath it. Naturalism is thus only a part of the spectrum of Western thinking on nature. In fact, the ontological continuum developed by these metaphysics of nature goes beyond this dualistic cosmology. It is profoundly univocal and transversal. It brings us much closer to animist cosmologies, without however being of the same nature. In this sense, it has also allowed for a dialogue between Western and "cannibal" (Eduardo Viveiros de Castro) metaphysics.

8 This is why I think it’s a misinterpretation to refer to these metaphysics of nature as “naturalism,” especially concerning Deleuze. Nature is not a primitive given [1] in a physical or biological form; it doesn’t involve a monism that reduces all differences to one among them. It’s the intersection of beings, the cross-section of beings, that which we must always consider on the basis of contributions from all of the other sciences without lapsing into any human exceptionality, any absolute positivity, any essence, any ancestral origin, any vestigial Earth. The dualistic model of the Moderns is scientifically but not ontologically operative, because it creates breaks, ruptures, fault lines, and cracks within nature. Science methodically reduces everything to a single plane of reference, but this plane is constantly branching off in all directions (matter/organic, organic/psychic…): it is a plane lacking unity, full of “holes, breaks, and ruptures” (What Is Philosophy?, 124), whereas the metaphysics of nature strives to describe the world from the perspective of all beings, and find what relates them to each other. It absolutely takes differences into account without canceling them: instead, the point is to consider how they “world” (font monde). It was inevitable that the worst enemy of thinking on nature would be naturalism, this way of forcing all differences into one undifferentiated, physical or biological plane. You don’t analyze differences by bringing them down to the same level. On the contrary, you must be able to let them interact with each other without blurring them together. For this reason, we always need to forge a new image of nature – one that is more comprehensive, more integrative, while being more respectful of each difference.

9 J. Rosanvallon: It’s striking to observe the arrival of the concept of nature in the new syllabus of philosophy in terminale[2] just when the concept of culture has disappeared from it. Is this a way of inviting teachers to look into this dualism, or distance themselves from it? You provide a good explanation of Deleuze and Guattari’s use of this concept, a use that is neither dualistic nor reductionist, but how can we explain Latour’s rejection of the concept that began with Politics of Nature (Harvard, 2004)? Why does he consider it synonymous with political sterility?

10 P. Montebello: It is paradoxical. The notion of nature returns to schools just when it is criticized the most. I defended Deleuze’s use of the concept of nature against Latour (in “Nature et attachement à la Terre,” Revue philosophique de Louvain, May 2019) because Latour is really only interested in the concept’s epistemological side (dualism). He doesn’t see its metaphysical sense at all, a sense that illuminates and innervates a whole swath of Western culture. His intent is to counter the dominant discourse of modern naturalism, but he himself draws from the wellspring of a more subterranean discourse that includes the metaphysics of nature (Tarde, Whitehead, Deleuze, etc.). Is abandoning the concept of nature to its naturalist fate the best way of acting upon nature? I don’t think so. I tend to think that any discourse is situated and that we are situated within the immense Western history of the concept of nature. “Nature” contains a power of inclusiveness, of immanence, of interconnection between multiplicities, and of combining differences, that is greater than any other word in our history. This bundle of properties surpasses all naturalism. We know the role that Deleuze assigned to philosophy: to infiltrate the dominant discourses, to recast the meaning of concepts, countering their dominant use. In order to conceive of the common and what is collectively and interculturally translatable, Latour calls for a “postnatural” period, but he seems to forget that this obligation to conceive of the common has, in the West, almost always been filtered through mnemonic resources of inclusion and belonging that are intrinsic to the concept of nature, even in the metaphysics of nature to which Deleuze refers. It seems to me that Latour lacks an incarnation (other than religious), something that anchors him to life and the body, that would force him to consider our existence as an immersion in vaster, more entangled relations. The situation of the living is the invariable starting point for the 19th century philosophies of nature. We no longer start with the cogito, but with the living, and immediately we are propelled toward an infinitely larger plane than the self, toward an infinitely longer history than the self – more varied, more colorful – toward a plane of reciprocal inclusions that must be thought through. This is what Deleuze retains from Whitman:


Nature is not a form, but rather the process of establishing relations. It invents a polyphony: it is not a totality but an assembly, a “conclave,” a “plenary session.” Nature is inseparable from processes of companionship and conviviality, which are not preexistent givens but are elaborated between heterogenous living beings in such a way that they create a tissue of shifting relations, in which the melody of one part intervenes as a motif in the melody of another (the bee and the flower). Relations are not internal to a Whole; rather, the Whole is derived from the external relations of a given moment, and varies with them.
(Essays Critical and Clinical, 59) [3]

12 J. Rosanvallon: Whitman is one of the founding figures of environmental thought, and rightly so, alongside his contemporaries and friends Emerson and Thoreau. With A Thousand Plateaus, as you have just reminded us, Deleuze and Guattari also clearly paved the way for the political ecology with which Guattari became involved in the 1980s as one of its founders and theorists, in particular with The Three Ecologies (Athlone Press, 2000). Strangely, however, there is no theoretical mention of political ecology in What Is Philosophy?, not even an allusive one. And yet the book fully surmounts the nature-culture or nature-thought divide and again contains – as did their previous collaborations, notably “Geophilosophy” – a number of analyses foreseeing future political transformations. How do you explain this?

13 P. Montebello: It’s true that there’s no trace of political ecology in either A Thousand Plateaus or What Is Philosophy?. There’s a profound reason for this, I think. For Deleuze and Guattari, the political sphere is inseparable from thought. A change in the political sphere simultaneously leads to a complete transformation of our relationship to the world and the guiding schemas of our way of being in the world. For Deleuze, thought is never detached from action. Thought is immediately practical and political. This is what Deleuze retained from Spinoza: the great theories of the Ethics are inseparable from renewed practices and new ethical propositions. In this sense, thinking means acting. The form of thought that relies upon life “goes beyond the limits that life fixes for it,” and sets itself the task of “inventing new possibilities of life.”

14 Political action is indissociable from the establishment of a new image of nature. Deleuze saw Lucretius as the thinker who knew how to create a new image of nature in order to fight against superstition. If anything, we moderns have reason to combat the collapse of any cosmological thinking: “When I hear modern people complain of being lonely then I know what has happened. They have lost the cosmos,” wrote D.H. Lawrence in Apocalypse [1931] [(London: Penguin, 1995), 78], a work that was dear to Deleuze. The modern shift in the concept of nature toward naturalism is the sign of this cosmological and environmental disaster. Deleuze and Guattari never overlook capitalism’s forces of deterritorialization, the deadly flows, the anthropocentric breaks (“[M]an presents himself as a dominant form of expression that claims to impose itself on all matter […] The shame of being a man – is there any better reason to write?” [Essays Critical and Clinical, 1]), the assumptions of human exceptionality, these curt ways of cutting oneself off from other beings, of not having a world anymore. In Deleuze, Esthétiques – la honte d’être un homme [Deleuze, Aesthetics – The Shame of Being a Man] (Dijon: Les Presses du réel, 2017), I wanted to show that for Deleuze and Guattari, what’s at stake with art is fighting against these destructive forces in the world, that art’s inherent power is to continually invent new possibilities for the world, new ways of worlding, of believing in the world. In this way, they were the first to show us that we have to reweave a cosmos in order to remake ecology, that we have to think cosmomorphically in order to think ecomorphically. We must reinvent an unlimited nature in order to respond to the anthropomorphic world that is limited and solipsistic. In this sense, thinking on nature is directly environmental and political: it completely transforms the relationships between humans and non-humans, it modifies our responsibility toward non-humans (writing in sympathy, speaking in sympathy, not in place of, but with), and propels us into new pragmatics of the Earth, new ways of making the Earth consist. As a result, we can say that there is no political ecology unless a new image of nature is established.

15 J. Rosanvallon: 2) Let’s move on to the concept at the heart of What Is Philosophy?, immanence. According to Deleuze and Guattari, philosophy seeks to reflect on immanence and establish the absoluteness of this concept, which is tied to another concept that Deleuze theorized on his own: univocity. In Métaphysiques cosmomorphes, you emphasize the importance of univocity in understanding A Thousand Plateaus. But aren’t univocity and unity, i.e. oneness and unity in fact, often confused? Isn’t univocity used to assert a community of all entities (or nonentities), and therefore the oneness of the world, of nature, of the plane, etc. without ever defending their unity or unifiability? Didn’t Spinoza already formulate this: a unique, non-unifiable substance, since it can only be represented as an infinity of attributes and modes?

16 P. Montebello: In Deleuze: La passion de la pensée [Deleuze: The Passion of Thought] (Paris: Vrin, 2008) in particular, I did defend the idea that univocity is a key concept for him, for them. It’s a powerful ontological argument: differences are expressed in one sense even if they differ in every sense. It is not a matter of establishing a unity, a Whole, a totality, a principle: it is a matter of saying that the multiple communicates, that differences express one another, that the world is not a chaos but a regime of co-expression, of co-participation. Nature is multidimensional, as Simondon demonstrated: “matter / crystal,” “the living,” “the psychic,” “culture” are different modes of expression, all linked to each other, and therefore they must be interrelated. We must examine these relationships by every possible means, with the help of every possible discipline. Simondon did so himself, in suggesting that nature should be conceived as a stream of individuations that evolves by embedding each dimension within a larger one, by having the individual participate in regimes of individuation that are always more spacious. He made use of biology, thermodynamics, psychology, ethology, etc. There must come a time when we discern the ontological common within these disparate processes, without which this world is inconceivable.

17 Most of Deleuze and Guattari’s readers don’t see the meaning of univocity that their works nevertheless extolled constantly. Those readers prefer to see the authors as theorists of chaos, of a generalized scattering. Or conversely, like Badiou, they confuse unity and univocity. They think that Deleuze reintroduces the Platonic and Plotinian One, whereas he restores the multiple’s cohesive power. Badiou behaves like Leibniz does regarding Spinoza: he acts as though he doesn’t understand the meaning of the One-Multiple. Univocity is neither an integrative One nor a ghostly Multiple, and yet it means that the multiple has a cohesive power, that it is an active reality. Only in univocity does the multiple acquire a real power that is also a power of expression: a crystal is a multiple that invents itself through growth, a living being is a multiple that acquires a new dimension, etc. The plane of nature is the set of these differential multiplicities apprehended in their power of inventiveness. It is therefore, by necessity, a univocal plane. Univocity is indissociable from a theory of multiplicities: the multiplicity of the living, musical multiplicity, the multiplicity of desires, etc., do not give rise to the same univocity or the same composition, but they require equal respect for the consonance of the multiple. The plane of immanence and of univocity then strives to cut through all of the multiplicities:


Setting out a plane of immanence, tracing out a field of immanence, is something all the authors I’ve worked on have done […]. Abstractions explain nothing, they themselves have to be explained: there are no such things as universals, there’s nothing transcendent, no Unity, subject (or object), Reason; there are only processes, sometimes unifying, subjectifying, rationalizing, but just processes all the same. These processes are at work in concrete “multiplicities,” multiplicity is the real element in which things happen.
(Negotiations,145-146) [4]

19 Precisely, the multiple cannot be – as Badiou maintains – numerical, homogenous, and mathematical. Nothing can emerge from such a multiple.

20 For example, when Bergson invokes duration, it’s not an abstract proposition at all: it’s a univocal operation. The first effect of univocity is to allow the heterogeneous multiple to be conveyed (matter, life and mind). As a result, everything starts to communicate: mind and body, nature and culture, time and space. All of the dualities vanish and are nothing more than different rhythms of duration. Nature populates itself, we begin to place ourselves back within it: we are no longer like schoolchildren in disgrace, made to stand “in a corner of the world” as Bergson says.

21 J. Rosanvallon: Concerning your own work, why do you privilege the concept of world to designate that junction of univocity, and therefore of community or oneness of multiplicities? And what’s the overall idea behind the “cosmomorphic thinking” that you defend?

22 P. Montebello: The second effect of univocity is to force ourselves to think cosmomorphically by performing a powerful decentering. In Time and Free Will: An Essay on the Immediate Data of Consciousness, Bergson starts from the ego, the mind, and discovers from book to book that it’s not that the world is anthropomorphic: it’s that the mind is cosmomorphic. Human beings have the same form as the cosmos. They’re a moment of a process that has the same creative content everywhere: time. Ultimately, Bergson conceives of “the living unity” that permeates the cosmos and brings all of the rhythms of duration closer together. What I call “cosmomorphic thinking” is any thinking that apprehends this mutual expression of differences, which renounces undifferentiated monism as well as the transcendent One, and materialism as well as idealism, in order to place itself within a univocal plane that is necessarily cosmological, where humans can only manifest themselves as consonant with other processes and no longer as total exceptions. In my view, thinking cosmomorphically means constructing an unlimited plane of nature, which lets differences communicate with each other instead of inserting breaks, rigidities, segmentarities, oppositions. This is what Bergson did with duration, this is what Nietzsche did with the will to power, with that masterly transversal of nature that concerns physics, biology, anthropology, cultures… He gives meaning back to the Earth as an immanent power of creation that cuts across all fields. We grasp the importance of these themes today: how can we claim to save the Earth if we can’t see how we’re connected to all of these strata, if we continue to think by way of anthropomorphic regimes of meaning where we only see the self in things, by way of schemas of exceptionality where we consider mankind as separated from everything, by way of naturalist models that effectively postulate a radical opposition between nature and culture, between matter and mind.

23 J. Rosanvallon: In Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy (London/New York: Continuum, 2002), Manuel DeLanda, a well-known commentator of Deleuze, coined the concept of “flat ontology,” which seems to interrelate the requirement for univocity with that of immanence. Since then, the term has grown in popularity: Tristan Garcia lays claim to it, in particular as a source for his seminal ontological essay Form and Object: A Treatise on Things, trans. Mark Allan Ohm and Jon Cogburn (Edinburgh: Edinburgh Univ. Press, 2014). Doesn’t it seem to you that a flat ontology of this type – that uses the concept of thing as an operator of univocity, as Bergson ultimately did with the concept of image (in Matter and Memory) or of duration (as you rightly reminded us) – establishes a kind of plane of immanence? And if it doesn’t, what is it lacking? I have the feeling that the disparity between this kind of flat ontology and Deleuze and Guattari’s metaphysics is the same as the one that exists between two aspects of immanence: a merely “static” immanence mapping out the shared plane of things or objects considered as given and, by way of contrast, an immanence that we could describe as “dynamic” that intends to account for the genesis of things, of all things, with no given that remains, i.e. nothing left remaining outside of the plane.

24 P. Montebello: Flat ontology may look like a univocal project when it attempts to define the minimum of being that is shared by all things, without superiorities or hierarchies, contrary to the superlative being of classical metaphysics. This minimum that excludes nothing and submits to nothing would be the “something,” the fact of saying that each thing is something. It’s as though one first wanted to let all possible beings be. Then metaphysics would consider the relations between all of these possible beings while sacrificing a little of their solitude in order for them to acquire actual power. In what respect can we speak of univocity here? In the fact of distributing the “something” equally to a dream, a desire, a quantum of force, a plant, a cell, a breeze…? In the fact of seeking a weak model of being (something, object) that each thing can receive without excluding the others? But can we really liken Deleuze and Guattari’s univocity to flat ontology, to Latour’s irreductionism (no entity is reducible to another) or to Badiou’s multiple? I don’t think so.

25 For in the univocity defended by Deleuze and Guattari, other problems arise. First of all, it’s true that univocity frees the multiple from any hierarchy and any domination, but the multiple cannot be described by making it indeterminate. The difference between beings is a crucial point – there is no way that it can be reduced or made invisible: the living, crystal, space-time, image, desire, color, sound… Deleuze and Guattari pay extremely close attention to these differences, to the ways of grasping them in their being-multiple, in their modality of consistency. These are regimes of multiplicities for them: processualities that give rise to irreducible, singular differences. These differences are apprehended through various approaches toward the real (sciences, arts, philosophies). The univocal operation does not consist in canceling these differences: on the contrary, it consists in elevating them, singularizing them. As a result, it gives them an irreducible dimension: “[Being] is ‘equal’ for all [things], but they themselves are not equal.” (DR, 36). And among contemporary thinkers, including Latour and Badiou, it is hard to see in what respect things are fundamentally unequal. It is impossible to see what explains their inequality, their inherent being.

26 The other component of univocity is the communication between these differences. Each time, the question of the compossibility of differences sets the wheels of univocity – this equalizing machinery – in motion. So for Duns Scotus, there’s a tension between the finite and the infinite. In the 13th and 14th centuries, a new mathematical entity emerged: the actual infinite. This infinite is no longer limitlessness: it is that which has no relationship to the limit because at this moment it contains within itself every perfection (the infinite in magnitude, the intensive infinite). As a result, the relationship between the infinite and the finite becomes a major problem: what is the finite in the infinite? Duns Scotus introduced the mathematical infinite into theology. But he didn’t want a negative theology, a total break between God and His creatures. This is why he needed a theory of univocity: he wanted to establish a link between the finite and the infinite. So for him, being is that which is achieved by abstraction, that which is drawn from all differences, that which is common to them. Being is no less being in the finite than in the infinite. Univocity is to be understood as “primacy of community” when being is expressed directly (genres, species, individuals) and “primacy of virtuality” when it is expressed indirectly about the one, the true, the good, or about the necessary and the possible, the finite or the infinite, the created or the uncreated… We see what happened: for Duns Scotus, being is a tremendous means for equalizing without denying otherness, for relating without excluding, for enabling communication between that which is disproportionate without reducing it to the same. Spinoza and Nietzsche share this view. Spinoza gives a power back to the modes of nature by embedding them within infinite substance with a new goal: avoiding dualism and separation, negation and exception. For Nietzsche, the question is: given the differences apprehended by physiologists, by neo-Lamarckian and evolutionist biologies, cultures, materialisms, etc., how can one conceive of them all in their interrelations without sacrificing the greatest part of what’s demonstrated by the very experience of being corporeal and alive? How can one recreate nature where there’s no longer an opposition between the living and the pre-organic, between the mind and the body, between the will and the inert, between the human and the Earth, between thought and life? The will to power invents its plane of immanence and of univocity, with the Earth as the sole plane of communication between differences.

27 Deleuze and Guattari draw lessons from this earlier thinking. They are intrigued by the power of a line of thought that never functions in a vacuum, abstractly, but makes an effort to map out the plane of interpenetration between real differences. In their work, thought doesn’t foresee the real: it responds to problems that crop up in the confrontation with the real. In the wake of Badiou, most realist ontologies are formalist schemas that claim to deduce the real instead of undergoing its impact. In speculative realism, there’s an obvious tendency toward logic, toward formal abstraction that is indifferent to the real. In this sense, for me, speculative realism is the sign of a finitude that never ends. It strives to bind the world within a realm of intelligibility without having to put itself to the test of the world. It only takes a moment to compare the formidable presence in Deleuze and Guattari’s writings of experiences of the real in all its forms – literature, the arts, biology, physics, anthropology, psychoanalysis, economics, etc. – with the threadbare nature of what is presented as “object” or “thing” in speculative realism (even in the perspective of a minimalist, liberal ontology like that of Garcia). So indeed, when you distance yourself from the ordeals of reality, you’re left with a static immanence and a monotonous univocity, comprising objects without any precise determination, isolated from the processes that generate them, reduced to vague skeletons, mummies assuming the appearance of things, or fossilized language. The whole world begins to look like a logical appendage where no difference is made between living and non-living beings anymore; like the miscellany of an antique dealer; like a monotonous theory of sets, an iteration of the same; like a minimalist plane of univocity where the discordant voice of beings, the “clamor of being,” is no longer heard, but which starts to resemble an abstract schema.

28 J Rosanvallon: In your book Deleuze: la passion de la pensée, you extensively analyze the main characteristic of immanence, of the plane of immanence: the identity of thought and being (which should be called “the principle of Parmenides” and which would constitute the third aspect of immanence, one that is not “static” or “dynamic” but “gnoseological”). In particular, you emphasize reversibility as an operator for conceiving of this identity, as the “double reversion of being in thought and thought in being”). What does that mean? There’s also the question of the illusions of transcendence, which do not just consist in the illusion of an outside of Nature (or rather of nature-culture or Nature-Thought). More subtly and insidiously, as you well demonstrate, they consist in the illusion of a transcendence of being over thought (realism and all of its materialist, empirical, etc. variants) and the illusion of a transcendence of thought over being (idealism and all of its ontological, transcendental or even absolute variants). How does reversibility as an operator distinguish itself from such illusions or avoid reestablishing them?

29 P. Montebello: You’re right to put Deleuzian immanence at its real level: the relationship between being and thought. It’s a question that far exceeds the mere refusal to give oneself a point of transcendence, absolute and separate. Deleuze and Guattari make it the great question of philosophy. We need to place ourselves in the context of their time in order to really understand what was at stake. From the start, the specific problem was the following: how can consciousness reconnect with the world? This was Sartre’s problem, as it was Heidegger’s and Merleau-Ponty’s as well. They all invented a fold, an intertwining, a chiasmus, a reversibililty. All of them wanted to move beyond intentionality by establishing a relationship with the world. They all reenacted the Parmenidean scene of the relationship between being and thought, but in a modern form. It’s quite clear that this was the horizon of a whole era: Deleuze says so in Logic of Sense regarding Sartre, he says so again in The Movement-Image regarding Bergson and Husserl – to such an extent that he makes cinema a way of reconciling the movement of the world and the movement of consciousness – and he emphasizes this once more in his Foucault, citing Merleau-Ponty and Heidegger. He ultimately poses the question directly in The Fold and What Is Philosophy? It’s as though it had become obvious to him that the relationship of consciousness to the world, which had taken center stage in philosophy, was a fundamental question that had remained unresolved. Deleuze mentioned the solutions that wished to extend intentionality to the world. But he wasn’t convinced. He realized that the relationship of consciousness to the world could be lost in two ways: either because consciousness annexes the world, or because the world annexes consciousness. Naturalism and psychologism are the two threats to philosophy, and moreover the two pitfalls of phenomenology. Husserl said it repeatedly and Deleuze made a point of emphasizing it as well. In the context of the bifurcation of nature, it’s hard to avoid bringing everything back to a dimensionless naturalism, but it’s equally hard to avoid bringing everything back to a psychologism lacking external depth (or to a transcendental constitution that absorbs the world). And in any case, what interests Deleuze and Guattari is not consciousness –too personal, too subjective – but thought.

30 Why does Deleuze need the process of weaving that has such a long history in Western literature (with his frequent references to the Platonic paradigm of weaving)? It’s because the ways of linking being and thought are very inconsistent and they often fail. The primacy of being or thought is put forward in such a way that philosophy is condemned to a battle of giants with no possible way out, losing everything that gave it strength along the way. The fold played a fundamental role in escaping from that impossible choice. Making the assertion that philosophy unilaterally begins with a primacy of being or a primacy of thought means losing either thought or being. There will always be the suspicion of submission, of a pure reference, a fixed pole, with the role played by either thought or being. In order to respond to the aporia of these two dead ends – a philosophy of the realist-being or one of the consciousness-subject – Deleuze, with Guattari, wrote that unprecedented chapter on immanence, the key text of his philosophy. It concerns the very meaning of philosophical activity. It was an extremely hard time for him, for it was the moment – as he neared the end of his life – when he was obliged to say what philosophy is. In a letter to Jean-Clet Martin, he complains of the difficulty of the task, saying that he writes “less like an inspired bird than like a mule beating himself” (Letters, 95). [5]

31 What Deleuze will discover through this intense work is this: philosophy begins only when there is exchange, refulgence, lightning, “reversibility” between thought and being. Fold. You can’t cross out being (intuition), nor do without the constructive force of thought. You must keep these two powers together, weave them together, unite them. This explains the rather complicated appearance of the chapter on immanence. The weaving consists in folding thought onto being (the role of intuition) and being onto thought (which can only be conceived). This is why Deleuze emphasizes the fundamental role of intuition from Leibniz to Bergson. Any intuition is by necessity a preconceptual intuition of being, an image and not a concept, an image where all of the movements of thought are enveloped ad infinitum, to such a point that reading an author means taking the infinite movements of thought that are given in a vision and unfolding them into concepts. Every major philosophy begins with an ordeal, a vision: it has a pathetic dimension, a way of being touched by things, without which its concepts are empty, formal, and abstract. Deleuze demonstrates a fierce and instinctive rejection of axiomatism, formalism, and abstractions. They put themselves to the test of the real so rarely. But in tandem with that intuition, Deleuze next emphasizes the role of the constructive force of thought, the construction of a way of being, the Kantian quid juris of what can only be conceived but not known. With that, the objectivisms, positivisms, and naive realisms are pushed out of the picture: they can weigh thought down and lead it into an absurd submission to a predetermined real (but how and by what?) Philosophical thought has the immense task of constructing an image of the thinkable, an image of nature that’s never given. Spinoza’s substance does not exist in nature, nor does the will to power, nor does duration. These notions express what is, but in order to express that, they must construct its image with patience and stubbornness.

32 This is why Deleuze and Guattari assert that the plane of immanence has two facets folded onto each other: being and thought, Nature and Thought, Physis and Nous. Philosophy is involved only when a passage between the two is opened. Otherwise one conforms to a real or conceptual Absolute. To avoid that reinjection of transcendence, being must impose its conditions upon thought, while thought imposes its conditions upon being. And that only happens in philosophy: that defines philosophy. The planes of immanence that it establishes are always vast looms with “gigantic shuttles,” where the relationship between thought and being is at stake. There is no real or spiritual absolute anymore. The only absolute is the plane of immanence itself that weaves being and thought together. The plane is bereft of subjects and objects. Freeing ourselves from illusions that are objectifying and subjectifying, naturalist and formalist, by putting ourselves to the test of being in all its forms through the vitality of thought as it is constructed, is an immense but liberating task. If immanence is the most central operation of philosophy, it is because it accomplishes this weaving.

33 This is why the book on Leibniz is so important. Deleuze explores the method of weaving: he shows that it is required in order to reflect on our era and its issues; he tells us why it concerns any metaphysics of nature. Two things characterize Leibniz. First, he carries the fold to infinity through the infinitesimal method, which will extend into the law of continuity or the principle of indiscernibles. There is something like an extensive and intensive unity of the baroque. The world is creased ad infinitum: it stretches out and expands; it is enveloped and unearthed. Then the fold passes ad infinitum between bodies and souls, inside and outside, bottom and top, matters and manners, texturology and logology (Texturologie and Logologie are works by Jean Dubuffet) by establishing a regime of separation (two floors) and of generalized communication, distance and connection between opposites. Here, the opposites communicate while being separate. For the Greeks, “the intertwining goes no further than textures”: they sought a “commensurability” between things. This is why the Greek fold does not achieve a form of expression. It does not rise toward that relationship between soul and matter: the tapestry of the world does not invaginate itself into the soul. Ultimately, Leibniz’s fundamental contribution could be summarized as follows: the world is not in the subject without the subject being for the world. Or to put it another way, the soul is not for the world without the world being in the soul. This real fold of the soul and the world is what gives rise to perspectivism and mannerism.

34 Deleuze draws lessons from this when reading his contemporaries. He pits Leibniz against Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty. He criticizes Heidegger for failing to grasp the relation of expression between thought and being by wanting Dasein to always already be on the outside as being-in-the-world. Heidegger does not appreciate that the monadic closure of the soul is the condition of its being for the world: he does not see that the world must be woven into the soul and the soul into the world. Ultimately, Heidegger maps Dasein onto being, onto the enunciation of being as though he were unable to safeguard the constructivism of thought, or even the method of folding when he has to bring the outside inside and the inside outside. The same is true of Merleau-Ponty. With his chiasmus and his intertwining, with his carnal reversibility, he disseminates intentionality throughout the visible. He does not break the subjective circle: he expands it. Neither of them apprehend the weaving, the folding of one condition onto another. The fold of weaving is not Merleau-Ponty’s interlacing or chiasmus, nor is it Heidegger’s folding of Being and beings. All of that could bring to mind the objection that Jacobi made to Fichte. In his well-known letter of March 21 1799, Jacobi complains that Fichte does not know how to weave: he claims to weave “the I” with the real world through the “back-and-forth movement of the thread,” but he only retains ghostly images, for “the fingers hovering between the I of the thread and the not-I of the stitches” let nothing from the real world pass. “What would a mere weaving of weaving amount to?,” asks Jacobi. How can we escape from pure speculative immanence? How can we weave thought with the world and not without it?

35 The philosophical meaning of the fold is revealed: the choice is not between a metaphysical realism that asserts the positive reality of being or an idealism that asserts the ideality of the soul, but in the folding of one onto the other. That is immanence: the radical refusal of a pole of transcendence of any kind. Philosophy derives its innermost singularity from it: managing to get to a point where thought is interwoven with being without losing either one. But this is very hard to do and the task is never finished, as though philosophy were hanging by a thread, the thread of the fold. If it’s left undone, the objective and subjective illusions return.

36 J. Rosanvallon: 3) Finally, let’s consider the genealogy of this Deleuzo-Guattarian metaphysics of immanence or Nature-thought. In 2003, with L’Autre métaphysique [The Other Metaphysics] (republished by Les presses du réel in 2015), you began to map out the plane of a “non-Kantian metaphysics of nature” that took in Nietzsche, Ravaisson, and Bergson. This plane differed from both the post-Kantian and phenomenological lineages, as well as from the analytical tradition of course, which is ultimately nothing but another metaphysical lineage… How would you summarize the issues and the overall logic accompanying this lineage? Is it trying to make considerations of the absolute not only possible again but even necessary? Does it result in a new status for knowledge?

37 P. Montebello: In L’Autre métaphysique, my work consisted in delving back into some of the forgotten metaphysics of the 19th century, which actually resulted in a major turning point in the metaphysics of nature after Kant. I perceived the outlines of a fundamental shift that took place then, a radical overhaul of the status of knowledge, a new distribution of beings, a new composition of the image of nature. In my view, it signals the beginnings, in the wake of Kant, of a cosmomorphic line of thought where an attempt was made to allow differences to interact with each other within a shared schema of thought, without human exceptionality, without anthropomorphism (even if some remnants of anthropomorphic thought subsist within them). Of course, Deleuze and Guattari, who quoted and made use of these metaphysics, were their direct heirs. They followed their instincts. The main characteristic of these metaphysics is their abandonment of the theme of the relativity of knowledge, this way of saying in the wake of Kant that we know nothing in itself, that everything is relative to our intellectual faculties. Symptomatically, all of these metaphysics turned away from that. A new experience appeared, the experience of life. And this changes everything, for being alive puts us into the situation of participating in the world, being included in it, immersed in it. As a result, knowledge can no longer be detached: it extends the movement of life, it already has a vital meaning, and beyond that, it always bears witness to a form of participation in the world. This vitalism of knowledge comes to light in the work of Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, Bergson and James, Canguilhem and Hans Jonas, Simondon and Deleuze/Guattari… We participate in the world: our intellectual activity equals vital participation in the world. Any knowledge equals vital implication in the world and is not external to it: “Any work of art points a way through for life, finds a way through the cracks. Everything I’ve written is vitalistic […].” (Negotiations, 143) So no, there is no knowledge of the absolute, if “the absolute” is taken to mean a fixed being that is observed from on high, externally, as with a camera, for the world is given variably, in such a way that it is always placed under tension. There is instead a kind of new, plural perspectivism of multiple worlds, with just as many vital connections and ways of worlding (faire monde).

38 But this perspectivism itself demands the establishment of a plane of immanence, a cross-section of nature that provides the law of perspectives, the absolute horizon from which they emerge. This is what all of these authors do. Bergson establishes a plane of duration that lets the rhythms of duration intercommunicate; Nietzsche establishes a plane of power that lets the wills to power intercommunicate; Tarde establishes a psychomorphic plane that lets the monadic realities intercommunicate; Ruyer establishes a domain of survey that traverses atoms, cells, living beings… We see that the absolute is not what it was in classical metaphysics anymore. It doesn’t loom over the real. It doesn’t transcend the real. It’s what one may think on the basis of all of the experiences of participating in the world, from the simplest to the most complex. We rediscover this absolute horizon in the work of Deleuze and Guattari when they speak of immanence. This is the sense in which they’re non-Kantian philosophers: there’s a varied experience of the world, a profusion of approaches toward the world. Any knowledge is already participation, relation in the world and not relation to the world, to such a degree that it’s impossible to say that we’re cut off from the world. Stengers and Prigogine say this quite well:


The fact that our knowledge cannot be conceived without referencing the relation that we maintain with the world is not, in itself, synonymous with a limit, with renunciation. It could be the source of new requirements for coherence and relevance, the opening of new lines of questioning that give a positive sense to the multiplicity of relations that situate us within the world.
(Entre le temps et l’éternité [Between Time and Eternity], Paris: Fayard, 1988, 40-41)

40 The absolute is this opening, this constructivism: it amounts to positioning oneself simultaneously in relations that are immersed in the world and in the understanding of meaning that passes through the multiplicities of relations. We see how different this is from a positive absolute that’s already given. This also concerns mathematics, which is also situated. This is the meaning behind Ruyer’s nice formulation about it. How is it that it is adapted to the world? How is it that “arithmetic ‘knows’ physics”? It is simply because arithmetic is in the world. It is not that the world is mathematical, but that mathematics is in the world (by way of those who live in and conceive of the world).

41 This is why I don’t subscribe at all to the idea that we have to return to Descartes or Plato in order to move beyond Kant. Badiou and Meillassoux present mathematics as the only way to place ourselves within the absolute, to escape correlation, to speak of a world in itself. But non-Kantian metaphysics shows us quite the opposite: mathematization is the height of correlation, a limitless correlation, a way of annexing the world to a formalism from which all of the heterogeneous multiplicities have been banished. It’s a hyper-human, hyper-intellectualized world. Believing that we only escape correlation by turning to a positive absolute is precisely what the metaphysics of nature taught us not to do. What’s worse, what is called post-finitude seems to me to be the acme of finitude, the total extension of human formalism, the world seen only through a lens of logic and axioms. But for the metaphysics of nature, including Deleuze and Guattari’s metaphysics, the absolute is a line, a plane, a construction, on the basis of a plethora of experiences. You can only escape correlation by mapping out an unlimited plane of nature that, at every moment, imposes a shift away from the human perspective by taking into account the other modes of being, the other approaches toward being (the sciences), the other ways of being, the other experiences of being. It’s something altogether different from annexing the world to a realm of a priori intelligibility (Badiou), to a mathematical truth (Meillassoux). It’s the only way to reach a “world before man yet produced by man” (What Is Philosophy?, 187).

42 J. Rosanvallon: As a matter of fact, what specific figure of the absolute do we encounter in What Is Philosophy? What issues does the idea of an “absolute horizon” or an “absolute deterritorialization of thought” involve? How do they differ from some sort of “absolute truth”?

43 P. Montebello: What Is Philosophy? is an immense effort to escape the two dangers of contemporary philosophy: the traditional superlative absolute – the absolute of Kantian consciousness and their contemporary derivatives (Hegel’s absolute spirit, mathematicism, logicism, realist ontologies, naturalisms…) – as well as any exclusionary absolute. They turned the absolute into a weaving, a fold, a fabric, and not a primordial real, a foundation, a ground. Their absolute is fragile, precarious: it is a requirement more than a thing.

44 If we want to understand how this requirement for an absolute came to be, and why it is so fragile, we must look back at the birth of philosophy as laid out in “Geophilosophy.” Its appearance was pure contingency. For Deleuze and Guattari, the birth of philosophy did not depend on external historical conditions, or on internal spiritual conditions. There were conditions that were caught up in ahistorical processes, which touched more on the relationship to the Earth than to history and which formed an environment, an ambient world, an atmosphere, and not a historical origin. Deleuze and Guattari revisit the idea that philosophy arose through an “absolute deterritorialization,” through the creation of a plane of immanence, One-All or New Land. What absolute deterritorialization means is that in this context, the Earth is that which can only be conceived, that it becomes a pure requirement of thinking. But without the relative deterritorialization of the city, this deterritorialization of the Earth would have been impossible. The birth of philosophy in Greece was the reunion of these two conditions: the relative deterritorialization of the socius (the city as an environment for association, friendship, and opinion) and the absolute deterritorialization of thought (“the plane of immanence that absorbs the earth”). There was no need for philosophy: it arrived by way of that conjunction that didn’t arise elsewhere. As a result of this contingency, the concept acquired a dimension of its own in philosophy, without referentiality: a new territory without a transcendent image. With philosophy, the absolute deterritorialization of thought reterritorializes itself on the concept, which is something completely different from reterritorializing itself on God or on figures of wisdom. You can always construct a pre-philosophical plane of immanence, but when does it become philosophical? Deleuze and Guattari have been criticized for contrasting mainly Asian extraconceptual figures (“Chinese hexagrams, Hindu mandalas, Jewish sephiroth, Islamic ‘imaginals,’ and Christian icons”) with mainly Western concepts. Is this still colonial thinking? Conversely, one could object that this critique overlooks the role of the deterritorialization of thought. The difference between figures and concepts is not a positive vs. negative opposition, but is instead a different way of thinking, with or without reference. What is a figure of thought for Deleuze and Guattari? First of all, it’s a geometrical projection, the projection of one plane onto another, of transcendence onto a lower plane. Transcendence projects its shadow. It’s maintained as a reference that overdetermines everything. You can say what you want, but there’s a difference between a line of thought that assembles ideas without the use of transcendence and another that resorts to it. You can like transcendence more and say that it has just as much conceptual power, but that’s not the problem: it’s not the same way of thinking. For Deleuze and Guattari, philosophy is the creation of an Earth without transcendence, without a point of fixation, without an exclusive truth.

45 Today, the rivals of philosophy are not the sophists, the publicists, or the communicators anymore. They are new figures of exclusive truths and of exclusion (according to the fine analysis that Jan Assmann has made of them in his books on monotheism). We see this today when the anthropological, post-colonial, environmental, etc. discourses that are so important for our era veer into authoritarian truths and discourses against philosophy (seen as too white, too Western, too conceptual). In Politics of Nature, Latour put much effort into a form of political ecology that strays into the religion of nature, into naturalist religion, as if his discourse repeated the counter-religion of Moses, as if nature were now the new indisputable truth table dictating all political choices. These are new figures of truth alongside the older ones: religions, wisdoms. I think that Deleuze and Guattari felt strongly that philosophy is very contingent and may disappear, and that there’s a permanent struggle against the influence of figures of truth, which is as powerful today as it was in the past. There’s something nostalgic about their approach: we moderns, they say, have lost our relationship to the plane of immanence, this relationship to a One-All, to Being-thought and Nature-thought. We have concepts and reflection but no immanence anymore. There are people thinking everywhere, but no trace of immanence, of nature anymore. Our present is here, as is our resistance to the present. Greece invented the plane of immanence to counter the figures from the East, but struggles to populate it with concepts, or it treats concepts like something external to be contemplated, whereas we “leave Nature in a profound alchemical mystery that we constantly profane.” (What Is Philosophy?, 102)

46 J. Rosanvallon: In that work, Deleuze and Guattari assert that philosophy (i.e. ultimately the plane of immanence) gives consistency to chaos (as do science and art by means of their respective planes that are therefore – through the operation of reversibility or weaving that you have just brought up – forms of thought as well as ways of being or modes of production of the real). But does this mean that chaos (or pure variation, or infinitely infinite speed, etc.) would also be a form of absolute, a non-philosophical absolute outside, neither artistic nor scientific? Wouldn’t thought thus reintroduce a kind of dative of immanence (the immanence of the planes of chaos) and therefore a transcendence?

47 P. Montebello: Philosophy is this requirement for the absolute where what is absolute is the renunciation of any thingly (chosique) or spiritual absolute, any dogma, or any ideocracy. It’s a fragile requirement that’s so necessary at a time when we’re under threat from the malign deterritorializing forces of capitalism and when new figures of truth ceaselessly impose their exclusive absolute. This is also why I don’t think that any reality plays the role of an absolute for Deleuze and Guattari, even chaos. Chaos is indeed this real plane that we seek to conceive, but it’s never given as such: it is indeterminacy, infinite speed, inconsistency. The whole object of science and philosophy is to capture this chaos within different frameworks, by means of limits, suspensions, decelerations, stoppages or processes of taking on consistency. By making chaos an untimely infinity, a virtual, Deleuze and Guattari do not make a thingly reality out of it, an absolute outside, but the converse of the work of the sciences and of philosophy – which is always involved in them without really being explained by them – the borderline of all experience, the transcendent that is only apprehended and created within immanence itself, an immense line of flight, infinite movement. There is indeed a realism in Deleuze and Guattari’s work, but it is not a naive realism. The real is never given in itself, nor is nature: they must be constructed in order to be given. Because they are infinitely insistent without being consistent, one can only obtain constantly variable images of them in the course of time. The only requirement is not reintroducing false points of fixation, false idols, useless illusions, in order to arrive at the image of nature that is as free as possible of any illusions, any impositions of power, any dogmas.


  • [1]
    Le donné primitif: an expression coined by the philosopher Edouard Le Roy to describe the pure product of intuition. See Christian Dupont, Phenomenology in French Philosophy: Early Encounters (Springer, 2014) [translator’s note]
  • [2]
    Terminale is the final year in French secondary schools, equivalent to senior year in US high schools or the upper sixth form in British and other Commonwealth schools [translator’s note].
  • [3]
    Deleuze, Essays Critical and Clinical, trans. Daniel W. Smith and Michael A. Greco (London: Verso, 1998).
  • [4]
    Deleuze, Negotiations, trans. Martin Joughin (New York: Columbia UP, 1995).
  • [5]
    Deleuze, Letters and Other Texts, ed. David Lapoujade, trans. Ames Hodges (South Pasadena CA: Semiotext(e), 2020).