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A Thousand Plateaus and Philosophy

Edited by Henry Somers-Hall, Jeffrey A. Bell, James Williams

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A collaborative close reading of A Thousand Plateaus by some of the world’s leading Deleuze and Guattari scholars

This volume brings together a team of international specialists on Deleuze and Guattari to provide in-depth critical studies of each plateau of their major work, A Thousand Plateaus. It combines an overview of the text with deep scholarship and brings a renewed focus on the philosophical significance of their project.

A Thousand Plateaus represents a whole new way of doing philosophy. This collection supports the critical reception of Deleuze and Guattari’s text as one of the most important and influential works of modern theory.

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Notes on Contributors

A Thousand Plateaus and Philosophy: Introduction

1. "A book? What book?" or Deleuze and Guattari on The Rhizome
Miguel de Beistegui

2. One or Several Wolves: The Wolf-Man’s Pass-Words
Brent Adkins

3. Who the Earth Thinks It Is
Ronald Bogue

4. Postulates of Linguistics
Jeffrey A. Bell

5. 587 BC – AD 70: On Several Regimes of Signs
Audrey Wasser

6. November 28, 1947: How Do You Make Yourself A Body Without Organs?
John Protevi

7. Year Zero: Faciality
Nathan Widder

8. ‘What Happened Next?’: Hjelmslev’s Net, Arachne’s Web and the Figure of the Line
Helen Palmer

9. Micropolitics and Segmentarity
Eugene W. Holland

10. Memories of a Deleuzian: To Think is Always to Follow the Witches Flight
Simon O’Sullivan

11. Of the Refrain (The Ritornello)
Emma Ingala

12. 1227 A.D.: Treatise on Nomadology – The War Machine
Paul Patton

13. 7000 B.C.: Apparatus of Capture
Daniel W. Smith

14. The Smooth and the Striated
Henry Somers-Hall

15. Concrete Rules and Abstract Machines: Form and Function in A Thousand Plateaus
Ray Brassier


About the Author

Henry Somers-Hall is a Reader in philosophy at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is the author of Hegel, Deleuze, and the Critique of Representation (2012) and Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition (2013), and co-editor of the Cambridge Companion to Deleuze (2012). He is interested in the interrelations of German idealism, phenomenology, and the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze.

Jeffrey A. Bell is Professor of Philosophy at Southeastern Louisiana University. He is the author of numerous books and articles on Deleuze and Deleuze and Guattari, including Deleuze and Guattari's What is Philosophy?: A Critical Introduction and Guide (Edinburgh University Press, 2016), Deleuze’s Hume (Edinburgh University Press, 2008), Philosophy at the Edge of Chaos (University of Toronto Press, 2006) and The Problem of Difference: Phenomenology and Poststructuralism (University of Toronto Press, 1998). Bell is co-editor with Paul Livingston and Andrew Cutrofello of Beyond the Analytic–Continental Divide: Pluralist Philosophy in the Twenty-First Century (Routledge, 2015) and with Claire Colebrook of Deleuze and History (Edinburgh University Press, 2009).

James Williams is Honorary Professor of Philosophy and member of the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalization at Deakin University. He has published widely on contemporary French philosophy and is currently working on a critique of the idea of extended mind from the point of view of process philosophy.


Three of Deleuze and Guattari’s foremost interpreters have assembled a fine and diverse collection of essays from prominent contemporary voices.  This volume is at once comprehensive and provocative, exploring the many dimensions of one of the twentieth-century’s most vital philosophical texts.  For those not familiar with A Thousand Plateaus this collection is a great place to start; for those who’ve been reading Deleuze and Guattari for years, this will provide new directions for future reading

- Claire Colebrook, Penn State University

This is a much needed book. Arguably their most important book, A Thousand Plateaus remains to be fully understood. Somers-Hall, Bell, and Williams – important Deleuze and Guattari scholars in their own right – have brought together the best interpreters of Deleuze and Guattari. These interpreters systematically present A Thousand Plateaus plateau by plateau. The reader can examine a single plateau and then consult the corresponding chapter in A Thousand Plateaus and Philosophy. A Thousand Plateaus and Philosophy is not only a major contribution to our understanding of Deleuze and Guattari but also to thought itself.

- Leonard Lawlor, Penn State University

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