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Gilles Deleuze on Political Theory - Dictionary of Arguments

Gaus I 48
Political theory/Deleuze/Guattari/Bennett: The event of the political provides a glimpse into this real, thus revealing the fantasmic character of the image of society as a harmonious whole (Stavrakakis, 1999)(1). >Political theory/Lacan.
The Lacanian notion of the political functions in a similar way to what Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari (1987)(2) call, using a more physicalist vocabulary, the cosmic. The cosmic is that dimension of an entity, an act, or a claim that is energetic and not organized into an object of knowledge or thing with which it is possible to identify. The cosmic consists in unruly and unpredictable ‘forces, densities, intensities’ that ‘are not thinkable in themselves’ (1987(2): 342–3). The cosmic is the virtual world that subsists in the actual and whose presence is signalled by the surprising eruption of an event that no one foresaw or could have foreseen. The cosmic is this ‘political’ dimension of existence.


1. Stavrakakis, Yannis (1999) Lacan and the Political. New York: Routledge.
2. Deleuze, Gilles and Guattari, Felix (1987) A Thousand Plateaus, trans. Brian Massumi. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.


Jane Bennett, 2004. „Postmodern Approaches to Political Theory“. In: Gaus, Gerald F. & Kukathas, Chandran 2004. Handbook of Political Theory. SAGE Publications.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Deleuze I
Gilles Deleuze
Felix Guattari
Qu’est-ce que la philosophie, Paris 1991
German Edition:
Was ist Philosophie? Frankfurt/M. 2000

Hum I
G. Deleuze
David Hume , Frankfurt 1997

Gaus I
Gerald F. Gaus
Chandran Kukathas
Handbook of Political Theory London 2004


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