Submission note: "A thesis submitted in total fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy [to the] School of Education, Faculty of Education, La Trobe University, Bundoora"
This thesis was a recipient of the Nancy Millis Award for theses of exceptional merit.
This thesis considers Deleuze’s quest to think beyond the habituated subject, by dilating thought, the thinker and the milieu in which both arise, to construct an orientation I call becoming ?-thinker. This is an extension of Deleuze’s ?-being, which is a third term outside of the binary of being and not-being that is generative rather than oppositional. In developing this orientation, I turn to Bergson’s theory of duration and method of intuition, to inform my reading of Deleuze’s immanentist ontology, and allow each facet of my argument to encounter artists, writers and performance artists that I describe as immanent, to elucidate and develop my ideas. Becoming ?-thinker is constructed through four themes, which make up each of the four chapters, namely: the problem of thinking, thinking in duration, thinking multiplicities and finally thinking immanence. Each of these themes is designed to pull thinking apart, and is then applied to recent developments in post qualitative research, with particular reference to the ontological turn that deconstructs the primacy of the cogito, and to research practices that experiment with non-representational epistemologies. I also examine the Bergsonian influence on Deleuze’s critique of the traditional image of thought, by demonstrating how Bergson’s conception of difference allows Deleuze to construct a plane of immanence that accounts for difference without falling into the trap of representation. In doing so, I argue that returning to Bergson’s underused method of intuition adds a precision to Deleuzo-Guattarian research practices, by developing methods of thinking within environments of constant flux, where the subject is constructed in situ through immanent encounters. Finally, I examine the recent Bergson-Deleuzean scholarship that destabilises the theory practice binary to consider how the mode of becoming ?-thinker contributes to addressing the challenges of how one might live in these difficult and complex times.
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