Matter in Motion: The educational materialism of Gilles Deleuze



This paper critically examines the materialism that Gilles Deleuze espouses in his oeuvre to the benefit of educational theory. In Difference and Repetition, he presented transcendental empiricism by underwriting Kant with realism (Deleuze, 1994). Later, in Capitalism & Schizophrenia I & II that were co-written with Félix Guattari (1984, 1988) and that they named Anti-Oedipus and A Thousand Plateaus, Deleuze's philosophical approach is realigned into what I term here as transcendental materialism, and latterly as immanent materialism; that I claim effectively eliminate phenomenology as perceptual input. This essay takes this transformation seriously as a way of understanding educational data, research and practices. The proposition that is central to this paper is that transcendental and immanent materialism give us a means of dealing with educational phenomena without the interference of perception or a stable category of experience, by connecting data with theory and circumventing subjectification. It is argued that this proposition has important consequences for educational research, and the construction of educational arguments that will be illustrated in this essay. Deleuze's debt to French Marxism and in particular to the work of Louis Althusser are also recognised through this writing.