Gilles Deleuze, de « l’effet de langage » à l’acte de parole – enjeux d’une pragmatique de l’expression


Gilles Deleuze, from the « effect of language » to the concept of « speech act » – issues of a pragmatics of expression

Is there room for something like a philosophy of language in the work of G. Deleuze? Looking back to his 1969 piece, Logique du sens, what seems to be primarily at stake for him in the analysis of language is the problem of the onto-logical nature of sense, which he describes, referring to the Stoics, as an « incorporeal event » or a « surface effect ». At the time, Deleuze seeks to distance himself, according to a view that still owes much to structural linguistics, from a propositional picture of logic that he locates in the analytical tradition. The relevant issue is not to investigate the grounds of logic, but to understand how meaning can take effect at the shared surface of propositions and things. Eleven years later however, in Mille Plateaux, his views on the efficiency of expression seem to have shifted: departing from a picture of meaning as an incorporeal “language effect”, it evolves to that of an incorporeal act of speech, in reference to pragmatics and to J.L. Austin’s concept of illocutionary force. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the consequences of such a conceptual shift, in order to clarify Deleuze’s relationship to philosophy of language.

Keywords: Deleuze, Austin, Benveniste, performativity, speech acts, pragmatics, linguistic structuralism, expression, meaning, speech act theory

[Full Article PDF]