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Deleuze's Kantian Ethos

Critique as a Way of Life

Cheri Lynne Carr

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Explores the potential for an original ethics based on Deleuze’s unique interpretation and use of Kantian critique

Among the philosophical traditions that seem most at odds with Gilles Deleuze’s project, two stand out: Kantianism and normative ethics. Both of these traditions represent forms of moralism that Deleuze explicitly rejects. In this book, Cheri Lynne Carr explores the very real potential of Deleuze’s clandestine use of Kantian critique for developing a new ethical practice. This new practice is built on an idea implicit in much of Deleuzian thought: the idea of critique as a way of life.

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Introduction: The Problem of a Deleuzian Ethics: Fascism with the Self

Part I: Deleuze’s Critical Philosophy: Kantian Critique and the Differential Theory of Faculties

1. The Deleuzian Subject

2. The Theory of Faculties

3. Immanent Critique

Part II: Critique as an Ethos: A Handbook for a Way Out

4. Critical Ethos

5. Moral Destiny and Culture

6. Violence

Conclusion: Ethics and the Richness of the Possible

About the Author

Cheri Lynne Carr is Associate Professor of Philosophy at CUNY’s LaGuardia Community College. A graduate of the University of Memphis, Dr. Carr researches primarily in Ethics, Feminism, Philosophy for Children, Existentialism & Post-Structuralism, and Kant and the German Enlightenment. Her current research is focused on the work of Deleuze and Guattari and includes subjects of ethics, critique, sublimity, encounter, and the pedagogical and feminist lines of flight opened by schizoanalysis.


Kant’s ethics might seem far removed from Deleuze’s concerns, but in this remarkable book, Carr shows that Deleuze’s radicalization of Kant’s transcendental method in fact leads to an entirely new concept of normativity, grounded in an ideal of perpetual self-critique and self-creation. Deleuze’s Kantian Ethos is the most original and inventive attempt I have yet read that attempts to elucidate the precise nature of a Deleuzian ethics.

- Daniel W. Smith, Professor of Philosophy, Purdue University

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