Foucault: Lecture 4, 12 November 1985

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, 12 November 1985. This is lecture 4 of a 25-lecture seminar Deleuze taught between October 1985 and May 1986.

Version 1.0 - published on 26 Feb 2018 doi:10.4231/R7348HKT - cite this Archived on 26 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 12 November 1985 lecture, topics of discussion include: the definition of a statement in Foucault's philosophy; power as strictly immanent to knowledge; the focal points (les foyers) of power and of resistance in relation to sexuality in the nineteenth century; Foucault's essay "Lives of Infamous Men" (La vie des hommes infâmes); statement, visibility and the corpus; visibilities as complexes of action and reaction; the French artist Robert Delaunay; Foucault's The Birth of the Clinic (Naissance de la clinique); regimes of visibility and power; captured statements and visibilities; Richard von Krafft-Ebing and his Psychopathia Sexualis; the American linguist William Labov, heterogeneous systems and passages in the sentence; statement and multiplicities; linguistics, enunciation (énonciation) and subject positions; free indirect discourse; the French linguist and semiotician Émile Benveniste; Blanchot, the dismissal of linguistic personology (personnologie linguistique), and the one (on) and the I (je); and the statement defined as an intrinsic variable. Deleuze also spends significant time in the middle of the lecture discussing light (la lumière). Among the topics in this particular discussion are: that light is not a physical environment nor is it Newtonian, but rather it is first, an indivisible condition, an a priori; German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's sense of light; that light falls on the corpus, and captures it; light in the seventeenth century and the work of Spanish artist Diego Velázquez; visibilities and the painting as lines of light; that the "we see" (on voit) is a state of light, not of things; the luminists (les luministes) of literature; and statements and light in the work of American author William Faulkner.

This dataset includes: four mp3 recordings of the lecture (total time, 2:11:57), an aggregate version of the audio recordings into a single mp3, the complete French transcription of the recorded lecture in both pdf (25 pp) and plain text, and an image file (JPEG).


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 12 novembre 1985, les sujets de discussion comprennent: la définition d'une énoncé dans la philosophie de Foucault; le pouvoir comme strictement immanent au savoir; les foyers du pouvoir et de la résistance concernant la sexualité au XIXe siècle; l'essai de Foucault La vie des hommes infâmes; énoncé, visibilité et le corpus; visibilités comme complexes d'action et de réaction; l'artiste français Robert Delaunay; Naissance de la clinique de Foucault; les régimes de visibilité et le pouvoir; énoncés et visibilités capturées; Richard von Krafft-Ebing et sa Psychopathia sexualis; le linguiste américain William Labov, des systèmes hétérogènes et passages dans la phrase; énoncé et multiplicités; linguistique, énonciation et les positions des sujets; le discours indirect libre; le linguiste et sémioticien français Émile Benveniste; Blanchot, le destitution de la personnologie linguistique, et le on et le je; et l'énoncé se définit comme variable intrinsèque. Deleuze passe aussi beaucoup de temps au milieu de la conférence sur la lumière. Parmi les sujets abordés dans cette discussion particulière, il y a: que la lumière n'est pas un milieu physique ni Newtonienne, mais qu'elle est première, une condition indivisible, un a priori; le sens de la lumière de l'écrivain allemand Johann Wolfgang von Goethe; cette lumière tombe sur le corpus et le capture; la lumière au XVIIe siècle et l'œuvre de l'artiste espagnol Diego Velázquez; les visibilités et la peinture comme des lignes de lumière; que le on voit est un état de lumière, pas des choses; les luministes de la littérature; et les énoncés et la lumière dans l'œuvre de l'auteur américain William Faulkner.

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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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