Volume 33, Issue 1, Spring 2003
Empiricism, Pluralism, and Politics in Deleuze and Stirner
The aim of the paper is to examine the logic of empiricist pluralism in the work of Deleuze and Stirner. I suggest that there is a parallel between Max Stirner’s critique of Hegelian idealism and Feuerbachian humanism, and Gilles Deleuze’s philosophy of difference and empiricist pluralism. I will explore these similarities through a discussion of both thinkers’ approaches to the problem of idealist representation, and the denial of the corporeal difference that is a consequence of this: for Stirner, the representation of the individual in humanist discourse as Man, leads to a fundamental oppression; for Deleuze, the universalising structures of the dialectic implies the subordination of the different to the Same. I will then investigate the political consequences of this—through Stirner’s idea of individual insurrection and egoism, and Deleuze’s notion of “rhizomatic” thought in opposition to State-centered thought—developing from this a political ethics of singularity.