Born - Died : 1925 - 1995
Giles Deleuze was a French philosopher and art critic. His book, A Thousand Plateaus (1980), written with Félix Guattari, has been an influence on conceptual gardens and landscape urbanism.
The leading principle of his metaphysics is that our primary knowledge is of difference, rather than of identity. This is the contrary of Plato's idea, in the Theory of Forms, that our primary knowledge is of identity. Plato would say that we have to know the Form of a cat and of a dog before we can recognize them. Deleuze would say that our primary knowledge is of the difference between a cat and a dog. Deleuze also held that there is no one substance: the universe is also folding and unfolding as new differences arise. This is the contrary of Spinoza's monist idea that the universe is only one thing (God or Nature). Similarly, Deleuze believed there is no single body of truth to be 'discovered' by science and philosophy. So there can be no single truth in a text and no single set of values. Artists and designers found this a creative and liberating philosophy. Quotations from Deleuze:
'There is no work of art that does not indicate an opening for life, a path between the cracks'
'Art is not communicative, art is not reflexive. Art, science, philosophy are neither contemplative, neither reflexive, nor communicative. They are creative, that's all.'
'If you're trapped in the dream of the Other, you're fucked.'
'A concept is a brick. It can be used to build a courthouse of reason. Or it can be thrown through the window.'
'Writing has nothing to do with meaning. It has to do with landsurveying and cartography, including the mapping of countries yet to come.'
'Bring something incomprehensible into the world!'
'The self is only a threshold, a door, a becoming between two multiplicities'