What Can Economists Learn from Deleuze?

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Abstract

Listening, seeing and reading Gilles Deleuze has had an influence on my thinking more than most of the economic writings I have consulted over the past quarter century. This discovery and furtherance of knowledge enriched my reflection and also allowed me to go beyond the philosopher as a philosopher opening the way to new horizons. It makes the researcher aware that the most important thing is not the philosopher man but the man philosopher, i.e. the one who writes something that touches the human being in what he has of deepest and concerns him in his life every day. New generations of economists should meditate on this by going beyond the chapel quarrels coming from the Schumpeterian dichotomy ‘science vs. ideology’. To quote one of Deleuze’s main ideas, no thinking against anything has been important over a long period; what counts are thoughts ‘for’ something new that affect people’s lives, and which are produced with rigor. This opens the way to a thought for life and not against life, which is in line with the progress of research in methodology, where it is a question of giving more importance to social ontology and not focusing solely on epistemology in the narrowest sense.

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