Deleuze's Political Vision (Modernity and Political Thought)

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9781442253155: Deleuze's Political Vision (Modernity and Political Thought)

French philosopher Gilles Deleuze and the psychiatrist-activist Félix Guattari’s 1980 book A Thousand Plateaus is widely recognized as a masterpiece of twentieth-century Continental philosophy. Until now, however, few scholars have dared to explain the book’s political importance. Deleuze’s Political Vision reconstructs Deleuze’s conception of pluralism, human nature, the social contract, liberalism, democracy, socialism, feminism, and comparative political theory. Unlike scholars who read Deleuze as a Marxist, author Nicholas Tampio argues that Deleuze was a cutting-edge liberal, concerned about protecting difference from what John Stuart Mill called the tyranny of the majority. The book brings Deleuze into conversation with other contemporary political theorists such as Hannah Arendt, William E. Connolly, Jürgen Habermas, Bruno Latour, Charles Mills, Martha Nussbaum, Carole Pateman, Abdolkarim Soroush, Leo Strauss, and Charles Taylor. Deleuze’s Political Vision translates Deleuze’s ideas into popular vernaculars to realize his political vision and reveal his work as essential to modern discussions of political theory and philosophy.

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About the Author:

Nicholas Tampio is associate professor in the Department of Political Science at Fordham University.


[T]his book sets up an interesting and counterintuitive remapping of the Enlightenment, one that entices the reader to pursue further its language and concerns.... Deleuze’s Political Vision is the eighteenth volume in the ‘Modernity and Political Thought’ series by Rowman & Littlefield. This series features important contemporary theorists thinking with and writing about a significant predecessor in order to engage current issues and concerns. One aspect of this series has remained constant: a commitment to engaging past authors as a way to imagine and inhabit more livable futures. Deleuze’s Political Vision continues this commitment to a future more alive and active with a diverse range of experience. (Perspectives on Politics)

Tampio tackles Deleuze and Guattari’s A Thousand Plateaus, mining it for its political and ethical possibilities. Using imagination as his theoretical impetus, Tampio tells us how our tree-like vision of politics ought to be replaced by the diversified Deleuzian garden of flowers. (Always Already Podcast, a critical theory podcast)

This is a remarkable book. It enacts the Deleuzian philosophy it describes, and it inspires us to think anew about ethics, identity, regional pluralism and the politics of becoming. Highly recommended for those visiting Deleuze and Guattari for the first time and for those who seek to refresh and enliven their previous engagements. (William E. Connolly, Johns Hopkins University, author of The Fragility of Things: Self Organizing Processes, Neoliberal Fantasies, and Democratic Activism)

Deleuze and John Stuart Mill, Rawls, Islamic political thought? In this tour de force, Nicholas Tampio brings Deleuze into engagement with key concepts and thinkers in the liberal democratic tradition and beyond. The result is an exhilarating and inspirational book that will reinvigorate political theory as well as Deleuze studies. (Paul Patton, Scientia Professor of Philosophy at the University of New South Wales)

For all the theoretical inventiveness of his work, Deleuze understood philosophy as an eminently practical affair, a matter of refining vision and preparing new affects and percepts beyond the constraints of capitalist and imperialist subjugation. In this excellent guide to using Deleuzian concepts to construct political alternatives, Nicholas Tampio extends and continues Deleuze and Guattari's efforts in A Thousand Plateaus to both reveal the true complexity of politics and to make that complexity subject to experimentation. (Joshua Ramey, Grinnell College, author of The Hermetic Deleuze: Philosophy and Spiritual Ordeal)

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