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Deleuze's Kantian EthosCritique as a Way of Life$
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Cheri Lynne Carr

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474407717

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474407717.001.0001

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Critical Ethos

Critical Ethos

(p.101) 4 Critical Ethos
Deleuze's Kantian Ethos

Cheri Lynne Carr

Edinburgh University Press

Fascism is inseparable from the oppression of others because it is an expression of the desire for repression of one’s own multiple, imbricated, and fluid selves. An ethical life that chooses freedom must therefore nurture those connections that will reinforce habits that foster qualities such as thinking, creativity, and questioning – especially self-questioning that leads to deindividuation. The theory of the subject Deleuze develops in his early work on habit and critique of the faculties is thus the ground of a set of ethical practices that cultivate moral judgment through habits of self-criticism. Because these habits of self-criticism must be lived, practiced, and re-evaluated, Deleuze’s critique is best understood in terms of the Greek notion of an ethos, a way of living the ideas implicit in one’s ontology as ideals. This ethos defined by critique necessitates a permanent creation of our selves as the form of responsibility the analysis of our selves as historical artifacts takes. Thus the critique would not be merely descriptive; it would be practical and it would take its goal to be resisting the forms of experience that constrain thinking – thereby freeing life itself to new potential.

Keywords:   Ethical life, Critique, Ethos, Freedom, Deindividuation, Habituation

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