Image and Thought in Adorno, Blanchot and Deleuze

McAuliffe, Sam. 2017. Image and Thought in Adorno, Blanchot and Deleuze. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

The essay brings together the work of Adorno, Blanchot and Deleuze insofar as their thinking gives rise to a reconfigured conception of the image. It seeks to determine the latter as it is developed across each of these philosophical oeuvres: the various functions the image comes to be assigned, the differing contexts to which it is tied and the respective models of thought it thereby generates. It does this in order to understand the sense in which, for each of these thinkers, a relation to the image in some way comes to be considered constitutive of thinking itself. This thesis receives its most explicit expression in the work of Deleuze, for whom the “image of thought” is that which must necessarily accompany philosophy in its creation of concepts, precisely as the latter’s condition. The essay considers the specific forms in which such an image is delineated within Deleuze’s own philosophy. From here it turns to Blanchot and the idiomatic definition of the image developed across both his theoretical and fictional writing as a movement of “turning away,” a movement which implies a certain understanding of the relation between sight and speech. Finally, the essay addresses Adorno’s conception of the history of thought as a determinate negation of the image, what it means for thought at a certain historical juncture to fall entirely under the imperative of the Bilderverboten, and thus to think on the basis of an “absence of images.”

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):

Additional Information:

Awaiting author's signature for access to full text. Printed thesis available for reference only in Goldsmiths College Library.


Image, Philosophy, Condition, Language, Imaginary, Representation, Thought, Art, Aesthetics, Death

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Visual Cultures


31 August 2017

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

19 Sep 2017 09:50

Last Modified:

01 May 2018 15:46


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