Foucault: Lecture 15, 11 March 1986

Listed in Datasets publication by group The Deleuze Seminars

By Gilles Deleuze

Lecture given by French philosopher Gilles Deleuze at the University of Paris 8, 11 March 1986. This is lecture 15 of a 25-lecture seminar Deleuze taught between October 1985 and May 1986.

Version 1.0 - published on 24 Jan 2018 doi:10.4231/R7JM27VP - cite this Archived on 06 Mar 2018

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The Deleuze Seminars is a collection of audio recordings, transcriptions, and English translations of, and supplemental materials from, the lectures French philosopher Gilles Deleuze gave during his career at the University of Paris 8.

"Foucault" was a 25-lecture seminar given from October 1985 to May 1986. In these lectures, Deleuze offers his interpretation and analysis of French philosopher Michel Foucault's work. Examining the theoretical foundations and major themes of Foucault's philosophy, Deleuze dedicates several lectures to each of what he calls the "three axes" of Foucault's thought. This seminar coincides with the publication of Deleuze's book Foucault (1986).

In the 11 March 1986 lecture, topics of discussion include: forces in humans; the relationship of forces to forms; forces and the infinite; the forces of finitude: life, language, labor (le travail), and where these forces fold (se replient) in humans; the metaphor of the fold and the unfold (le dépli) in Foucault; Foucault's The Birth of the Clinic (Naissance de la clinique) and the medical gaze (regard médical); French naturalist and zoologist Georges Cuvier and the branches of life; the figures of the fold and the unfold and life; Cuvier and the finite plurality (pluralité finie) of zoological body plans (plans d'organisations); labor (le travail) in the seventeenth century; Scottish economist and philosopher Adam Smith and German philosopher Friedrich Engels on the labor force (force de travail); German philosopher and economist Karl Marx and British political economist David Ricardo on labor, capital and the fold; the folding of languages; the German poet, philosopher, and philologist Friedrich Schlegel; grammar; inflections as a pure grammatical formal element; German Romantic philology and the idea of the will of a people; the gathering (rassemblement) of language and the ‘finite-unlimited’; combinatorics and the genetic code; the inter-capture of fragments of codes; and the Übermensch.

This dataset includes: four mp3 recordings of the lecture (total time, 2:39:11), an aggregate version of the audio recordings into a single mp3, and the complete French transcription of the recorded lecture in both pdf (30 pp) and plain text.


Les Séminaires de Deleuze sont une collection d'enregistrements audio, de transcriptions et de traductions en anglais et de documents complémentaires des conférences que le philosophe français Gilles Deleuze a donné lors de sa carrière à l'Université de Paris 8.

«Foucault» était un séminaire de 25 conférences donné d'octobre 1985 à mai 1986. Dans ces conférences, Deleuze offre son interprétation et son analyse de l’œuvre du philosophe français Michel Foucault. En examinant les fondements théoriques et les thèmes majeurs de la philosophie de Foucault, Deleuze consacre plusieurs conférences à chacun de ce qu'il appelle les «trois axes» de la pensée de Foucault. Ce séminaire coïncide avec la publication du livre de Deleuze Foucault (1986).

Dans la conférence du 11 mars 1986, les sujets de discussion comprennent: les forces dans les humains; le rapport des forces aux formes; les forces et l'infini; les forces de la finitude: la vie, le langage, le travail, et où ces forces se replient dans les humains; la métaphore du pli et du dépli chez Foucault; Naissance de la clinique de Foucault et le regard médical; le naturaliste et zoologue français Georges Cuvier et les embranchements de la vie; les figures du pli et du dépli et la vie; Cuvier et la pluralité finie des plans d'organisation; le travail au XVIIe siècle; l'économiste et philosophe écossais Adam Smith et le philosophe allemand Friedrich Engels sur la force de travail; le philosophe et économiste allemand Karl Marx et l'économiste politique britannique David Ricardo sur le travail, le capital et le pli; le pliage des langues; le poète, philosophe et philologue allemand Friedrich Schlegel; grammaire; les flexions comme un élément formel grammatical pur; la philologie romantique allemande et l'idée du vouloir d'un peuple; le rassemblement du langage et le «fini-illimité»; la combinatoire et le code génétique; les inter-captures de fragments de codes; et le Surhomme (Übermensch).

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This research has been generously supported through a grant from the College of Liberal Arts, Purdue University.

The translations of Deleuze’s “Foucault” seminars have been made possible by a Scholarly Editions and Translations grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. This research has also been generously supported through a grant from the College of Liberal Arts, Purdue University.

The description of this dataset is based on the meticulous work of Frédéric Astier, whose Les cours enregistrés de Gilles Deleuze, 1979-1987 has catalogued Deleuze’s seminars for those years.

Special thanks to the family of Gilles Deleuze and the University of Paris 8 for permission to reproduce the material published here.

The Deleuze Seminars

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