Books and Monographs

Gregg Lambert Philosophy After Friendship

Philosophy After Friendship: Deleuze's Conceptual Personae

This shorter monograph or glossary takes up the key political figures and/or conceptual personae that have populated post-war Continental Philosophy and presents an original argument concerning the default of the political concept founded on Kant's idea of "perpetual peace."  Previous sections this study that address the concepts of "friend" (philos), "enemy" (Der Feind), and "stranger" or foreigner" (xenos, peregrinus) have already appeared (see selected articles and chapters), but the complete work is published by University of Minnesota Press.

 

Return Statements: The Return of Religion in Contemporary Philosophy

(2016 U.K & North America) Return Statements: The Return of Religion in Contemporary Philosophy, Edition: 1. Edinburgh University Press. "Incitements," edited by Peg Birmingham and Dimitris Vardoulakis.

This original study, compiled from talks and essays written in the first decade of the new millennium, examines two facets of the return to religion in the 21st century: the resurgence of overtly religious themes in contemporary philosophy and the global ‘post-secular’ turn that has been taking place since 9/11. He asks how these two ‘returns to religion’ can be taking place simultaneously, and explores the relationship between them. Lambert reflects on statements of these returns from contemporary philosophers including Alain Badiou, John D. Caputo, Jacques Derrida and Jean-Luc Nancy. He discovers a unique – and foreboding – sense of the term ‘religion’ that belongs exclusively to our contemporary perspective.

Gregg Lambert offers us here a fascinating series of responses—at once philosophically astute, politically and historically well-informed, and often sharply satirical—to the so-called "post-secular turn" in contemporary continental thought and its renewed interest, whether for good or ill, in questions of religion, faith, community, love, and life.--DePaul University, Michael Naas

Neither dismissively condescending nor unthinkingly reverent, Lambert's Return Statements is a stunning exploration of the return of religion in theory, philosophy and contemporary culture. The critical range of this book is remarkable; from Derrida to Zizek, Lambert provides a stylish and intelligent exploration of the various deployments of spirit for our 'post-secular' present.--Penn State University, Claire Colebrook

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(2012, U.S. & North America) In Search of a New Image of Thought: Gilles Deleuze and Philosophical Expressionism, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. 

As early as Difference and Repetition (1968), Deleuze argued ‘a search for a new means of philosophical expression … must be pursued today in relation to the renewal of certain other arts, such as theatre or contemporary cinema.’  This study demonstrates how the search for a new means of philosophical expression becomes a central concern of all the works that follow, including the works conceived and written with psychoanalyst Félix Guattari, and concluding with their last work conceived (if not actually written) together,What is Philosophy? (1991). It provides a brief, yet systematic, overview of this search for a new means of philosophical expression, with special emphasis on the role played by modern literature (or what Deleuze and Guattari will call ‘literary machines’) and by certain modern writers in particular (namely, Proust, Kafka, Kleist, and Melville) in forging a new means of philosophical expression in their own works, including their monumental work of ‘anti-philosophy,’ A Thousand Plateaus.

Gregg Lambert has been something of a star in the expanding scholarship that surrounds the work of Gilles Deleuze, a magnesium flare in the night of interpretation. Lambert’s previous books and essays include The Non-Philosophy of Gilles Deleuze (2003) and The Return of the Baroque in Modern Culture (2005), both of which stood out for their clarity of thought and expression. Here Lambert uses his concise skills to read a continuity in the enigmatic French philosopher’s oeuvre, this continuity being the search for an image of thought. Lambert turns to Deleuze’s work on literature and cinema as a way of describing this continuity, that first appears in his 1964 work Proust et les Signes, marking the moment at which a young philosopher begins to look outward beyond the history of ideas taught in the French education system. Deleuze’s innovation here is to turn to literature for inspiration, rather than to philosophy, although as Lambert points out, he is no more or less radical than his contemporaries in 1960s France. The difference between Deleuze and his fellow poststructuralists lies in the way that he anticipated a new beginning, rather than marking an end of the philosophical tradition. It is not so much that Deleuze is their idiosyncratic cousin as a sibling who presumes the end of philosophy has already taken place.--Darren Jorgensen, Symploke (v. 21, no. 1-2, 2013)

In Search of a New Image of Thought is an important and exciting study. As Gregg Lambert points out, the notion of the ‘image of thought’ is of crucial importance in Deleuze’s conception of philosophy; Lambert’s approach to the concept via literary examples is ingenious, and as he builds his argument, the viability of that approach becomes increasingly persuasive. Lambert’s readings of Deleuze’s works are penetrating. —Ronald Bogue, University of Georgia

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(2008 U.S. & North America) On the (New) Baroque, vol. 12 in "Critical Studies in the Humanities," The Davies Group, 226 pgs w/appendices & index

A new revised & expanded North-American paperback edition of The Return of the Baroque in Modern Culture [Continuum Books, 2004] with 2008 forward, coda, and appendix, “On the Baroque Detective” from The Non-Philosophy of Gilles Deleuze [2002]).

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(2006 U.K. & 2008 U.S.[pb]) Who’s Afraid of Deleuze and Guattari?  London and New York: Continuum International Publishing Group. 180 pgs. Korean edition translated by Choi, Seokjin (Seoul: Jaeum & Moeum, 2013).

Deleuze and Guattari's landmark philosophical project, Capitalism and Schizophrenia, has been hailed as a 'highly original and sensational' major philosophical work. The collaboration of two of the most remarkable and influential minds of the twentieth century, it is a project that still sets the terms of contemporary philosophical debate. It provides a radical and compelling analysis of social and cultural phenomena, offering fresh alternatives for thinking about history, society, capitalism and culture.  In Who's Afraid of Deleuze and Guattari?, Gregg Lambert revisits this seminal work and re-evaluates Deleuze and Guattari's legacy in philosophy, literary criticism and cultural studies since the early 1980s. Lambert offers the first detailed analysis of the reception of the Capitalism and Schizophrenia project by such key figures as Jameson, Zizek, Badiou, Hardt, Negri and Agamben. He argues that the project has suffered from being underappreciated and too hastily dismissed on the one hand and, on the other, too quickly assimilated to the objectives of other desires such as multiculturalism or American identity politics. In the light of the limitations of this reception-history, Lambert offers a fresh evaluation of the project and its influences that promise to challenge the ways in which Deleuze and Guattari's controversial and remarkable project has been received. Divided into four key sections, Aesthetics, Psychoanalysis, Politics and Power, Who's Afraid of Deleuze and Guattari? offers a fresh, witty and intelligent analysis of this major philosophical project. 

‘Gregg Lambert has written a quite excellent book on Deleuze and Guattari. It provides a series of fascinating and highly instructive insights into their critical engagement with Marxism and psychoanalysis and shows the continuing relevance of their critique.  Along the way Lambert offers valuable insights into Deleuze's relation to figures such as Heidegger and Whitehead and indicates the importance of Deleuze's early essay on instincts and institutions for a full appreciation of his remarkable intellectual trajectory.  The sprightliness of the book is testimony to the fact that Deleuze is the most original and innovative philosopher of our times, a thinker who sought to be equal to philosophical events. One can only applaud Lambert's effort to be equal to Deleuze's event.' --Keith Ansell-Pearson, Professor of Philsophy, University of Warwick

'Polemical, erudite and incisive, Gregg Lambert's latest book provides a major re-evaluation of the significance of Deleuze and Guattari's work for literature, psychoanalysis and politics. Lambert engages Jameson, Zizek, Hardt and Negri with an intimate understanding of Deleuze and Guattari's concepts. This is a fine piece of work.'--Phillip Goodchild, Nottingham University, UK.

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(2004 U.K. & 2005 U.S.) The Return of the Baroque in Modern CultureLondon and New York: Continuum International Publishing Group. 192 pgs.

The Return of the Baroque in Modern Culture explores the re-invention of the early European Baroque within the philosophical, cultural, and literary thought of postmodernism in Europe, the United States, the Caribbean, and Latin America. Gregg Lambert argues that the “return of the Baroque” expresses a principle often hidden behind the cultural logic of postmodernism in its various national and cultural incarnations, a principal often in variance with Anglo-American modernism. Writers and theorists examined include Walter Benjamin, Paul de Man, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Octavio Paz, and Cuban novelists Alejo Carpentier and Severo Sarduy. A highly original and compelling reinterpretation of modernity, The Return of the Baroque in Modern Culture answers Raymond Williams’ charge to create alternative national and international accounts of aesthetic and cultural history in order to challenge the centrality of Anglo-American modernism.

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(2002 U.K. & 2003 U.S.) The Non-Philosophy of Gilles Deleuze, London and New York: Continuum International Publishing Group. 182 pgs.

The Non-Philosophy of Gilles Deleuze takes up Deleuze's most powerful argument on the task of contemporary philosophy in the West. Deleuze argues that it is only through a creative engagement with the forms of non-philosophy--notably modern art, literature and cinema--that philosophy can hope to attain the conceptual resources to restore the broken links of perception, language and emotion. In short, this is the only future for philosophy if it is to repair its fragile relationship to immanence to the world as it is.A sequence of dazzling essays analyze Deleuze's investigations into the modern arts. Particular attention is paid to Deleuze's exploration of Liebniz in relation to modern painting and of Borges to an understanding of the relationship between philosophy, literature and language. By illustrating Deleuze's own approach to the arts, and to modern literature in particular, the book demonstrates the critical significance of Deleuze's call for a future philosophy defined as an "art of inventing concepts."

"…It is the most detailed and extensive investigation of the non-philosophy of Deleuze to have been published in English to date…Lambert largely forgoes a didactic approach, opting instead for a more embodied account of the relation between philosophy and 'non-philosophy' that draws on a variety of different media—architecture, painting, literature, film and theater—to illustrate the indebtedness of Deleuze's philosophical oeuvre to such non-philosophical modes of creative and artistic practice…Lambert sets out some of the implications of the aforementioned crises: the problem of judgment in an age that has witnessed the overturning of rationalist principles regarding the ordering of the world…one of the remarkable achievements of The Non-Philosophy of Gilles Deleuze is the way in which, contra many other commentaries on Deleuze, it remains faithful to the pragmatism of Deleuze's work in a way that actually develops and deepens this dimension of the latter's thinking, never losing sight of the initial point of departure: the crisis of the Baroque and  what it can teach us about the crisis of our contemporary age…Nevertheless, Non-Philosophy of Gilles Deleuze contributes substantially to the current debates around the political and ethical  status of his work (brought so profoundly into relief by Badiou) and, hopefully, it will inspire others to start taking his work along new lines and trajectories without losing sight of the impasses and shortcomings that continue to affect the reception of Deleuze's work in the English speaking  world." —Marcel Swiboda, Year's Work in Critical and Cultural Theory, Vol. 12 

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(2001 U.S. & North America) Report to the Academy (re: The New Conflict of Faculties), vol. 7 in “The Critical Studies in the Humanities,” The Davies Group, 209 pgs.

Report to the Academy addresses the signs of the perceived crisis of the first-world university as the result of its take-over by a new model of administrative rationality. Rather than seeing this as an entirely new development, Professor Lambert reveals the striking similarities between the present day conflict over the idea of the university as a social and cultural institution, and the conflict over reason first outlined by the 18th century philosopher Immanuel Kant. Taking up the original argument of Kant’s The Conflict of the Faculties, as well as more recent arguments by philosophers and cultural critics such as Jacques Derrida, Jean-Francois Lyotard, Jurgen Habermas, Fredric Jameson, and Bill Readings, Report to the Academy offers a lively and compelling interpretation of the most critical issues underlying the contemporary debates over the fate of higher education. Lambert concludes his "report" by framing these issues in terms of two guiding questions, which he addresses to faculty and administrators alike: "What should count as "critical" social and cultural knowledge?" and "Who should have the authority to decide?" These questions, Lambert argues, return us to the very heart of the university’s mission for the larger society, and should become the occasion of "a new conflict of the faculties."

"Report to the Academy is a major reflection on the state of the university today, especially on the vexed question of the role of the humanities in the new transnational and corporation-dominated university now coming into being. Anyone teaching humanities today will be aware of the changes that are taking place with unprecedented rapidity, but it is not all that easy to reflect with objectivity on just what those changes are or to explain them. Lambert's book does a superb job of accomplishing that, through careful readings of work by Kant, Lyotard, Derrida, Jameson, Habermas, Luhman, and Readings. Of special importance is his recognition of one important factor not made salient in earlier work. The university library used to be the major repository and data-base for the accumulated learning of our culture. You have to have proper credentials to have access to that data-base. Now the Internet is replacing the library as a kind of universal data-base, and one major function of the university is fading. You don't need to be in the university to have access to more and more material, for example the illuminated manuscript books of William Blake, once available only to a few specialists. Among many other astute insights, Lambert's book recognizes what a major change this is in the social role of the university.--J. Hillis Miller, UCI Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature, University of California, Irvine.


 “Professor Lambert’s Report to the Academy is at once the work of a ‘public intellectual’ concerned about the institutional and intellectual future of the humanities, and the work of a fine literary scholar commenting upon recent discussions of these issues by Lyotard, Derrida, Readings and others. On both counts it is an outstanding contribution to an important debate” -- Paul Patton, University of Sydney

"In the wake of the culture wars, the academic job crisis, the drive for corporate sponsorship, and the increasingly prominent place of college sports, the contemporary American university, perhaps our most vital public institution seems to have lost its bearings. Gregg Lambert’s Report to the Academy takes a timely step back from all the brouhaha to conduct an analysis of the philosophical grounds of the university, from Kant to Derrida, Lyotard, and Readings. Gregg Lambert’s Report to the Academy is an important statement advocating the "postcritical" university, one that productively questions both current disciplinary and administrative logic.-- Jeffrey J. Williams, University of Missouri at Columbia, editor of the minnesota review.

 In Progress and Forthcoming in 2017-2018

Conceptual Personae IV--Who are Deleuze and Guattari's Conceptual Personae? 

This study is intended as a follow-up and conclusion of the previous studies of the "image of thought" in Deleuze and Guattari's philosophy:  In Search of a New Image of Thought; Gilles Deleuze's Philosophical Expressionism (Minnesota, 2012), and Philosophy After Friendship: Deleuze's Conceptual Personae (Minnesota 2016).  It commences  with a discussion of how modern philosophy "communicates" through the invention of distinct "conceptual personae," beginning with the archetypal figure of Nietzsche's Zarathustra, and concludes with a long meditation on the concept of the "Other Person" in Sartre, Deleuze, Levinas, and Simondon. 

To Have Done with the State of Exception: Three Essays on Sovereignty

This volume collects three essays on the subject of sovereignty, specifically in response to the writings of Agamben, Foucault, as well as Deleuze and Guattari's earlier concept of the war-machine and their prognosis of a  future war "against an unknown and unspecified enemy," and; finally, Derrida's early writings on the nuclear state of exception. It attempts to underline the character of "decision" that belongs to current discussions of the sovereign (as "he who decides the state of exception" [Schmitt]) as being composed of a hybrid and often contradictory representation of state power. 

Foucault's Geometry

A critical and pedagogical study of Foucault's concept of method from the earlier History of Sexuality, volume 1, to the last lectures on biopolitics and neoliberal governmentally. Treating the distinction between Foucault's concepts and those of Canguilhem and Althusser, the book is divided into three sections:  Method (i.e., Axiomatics), Dispositif (i.e., Diagram), Apparatus (i.e., Machine).