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Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry

Volume 7, Issue 17, Spring 2012

Mihaela P. Harper
Pages 60-69

Bewilderingly, Forcefully
Drawing the Line Outside

This article examines the difference between two concepts of critical importance to the philosophical frameworks of Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze–pleasure and desire–through the troubling and troubled figure of suicide. My contention is that, in the work of both thinkers, suicide makes legible an affirmative impulsion and a mode or tekhnē (in both senses of the term: practice and art) of encountering an unforeseeable virtuality (the Outside). Of aesthetic and ethical significance, this mode is experimental and dangerous, a frequency of passion, situated between pleasure and desire. Souci de soi (the care of the self) and a line of flight, I suggest, coincide in suicide, “an art that it takes a lifetime to learn.”

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