Volume 144, June/July 2021
Modern Moral Problems
Deleuze & Guattari’s Friendly Concepts
Philosophers are friends and creators of concepts. This was certainly the view of the French philosophers Gilles Deleuze (1925-1995) and Felix Guattari (1930-1992). As they say in their book What Is Philosophy? (1991), “Philosophy is the discipline that involves creating concepts” (p.5). Certainly, no other discipline could have created concepts such as ‘tabula rasa’, ‘language games’ or ‘qualia’, but surely other disciplines have their own concepts? Well, according to Deleuze and Guattari, they do in the sense that they have concepts within a frame of reference – they invent concepts to label things already in existence – but they don’t create the thoughts behind them, as philosophy does.