Never Too Late? On the Implications of Deleuze's Work on Death for a Deleuzian Moral Philosophy

James Williams

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    2 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Quicksand So you lie on the rushed mattress of torn branches; terrified as you feel the same wet mass suck at your dampening clothes. And you reach out. The human beast claws at your hand, nails scraping down the inner flesh of your forearm, leaving minute traces of living matter, its rigid fingers a premonition of the tar pit skeleton they are to become. Then it's gone. An individual life, with all its singular values and loving relations, connected to yours for a desperate and too brief time, incomparable and never to return, putrefying in the airless swamp. Too Late What could have been done differently? What should be learned? How can we salvage a general moral consolation from the particular disaster, when perhaps even the shared label of “particular” is already a betrayal of the singular events? Is there any consolation to be drawn from the end, from the choking, terrified, doomed struggle of the beast, perhaps some other rebirth, a memorial, a celebration of survival and a remembrance of sacrifice? More wisely, and against the corrosion of guilt and what ifs, of necessary communal self-deception, how can we work together against any repetition? They let it happen again … The moral problem under consideration here is not in any given prescription. “Keep away from the sands.” It is not even in any more abstract law. “Always act to preserve a fellow beast’s life; right up to the very limit of yours.” It knows almost nothing of calculations and recipes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationDeleuze and Ethics
    EditorsNathan Jun, Daniel Smith
    Place of PublicationEdinburgh
    PublisherEdinburgh University Press
    Pages171-187
    Number of pages17
    ISBN (Electronic)9780748646296
    ISBN (Print)9780748641161 , 9780748641178
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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