Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol 12, No 1 (2016)

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Stirb und Werde: The Creation of Thinking in Gilles Deleuze’s Philosophy

Torbjørn Eftestøl


What does it mean to think? In the following article I will show Gilles Deleuze’s answer to this question. According to him ’to think is to createthere is no other creationbut to create is first of all to engender 'thinking' in thought’ (Deleuze 1994: 147). To understand what this means, to grasp the radical nature of such an event, we need to see how for Deleuze to engender thinking in thought means a repetition of that genetic process which has brought forth the thinking subject in the first place. In this event that which otherwise subsists beneath normal experience, as life- and consciousness sustaining forces, now become conscious experience. The implication of this is that true thinking means the creation of a new life and consciousness. Via a close-reading of chapter two of Difference and Repetition I show how this leads the thinker into a radical metamorphosis of consciousness, a process of Stirb und Werde (die and become).

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