Immanence, Transcendence and the Creation of Rights

Paul Patton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Deleuze’s critical comments about human rights and his praise of jurisprudence pose several problems for the further elaboration of a Deleuzian approach to law and politics. He criticises conceptions of human rights that imply new forms of transcendence, thereby raising the question: what would a non-transcendent, immanent conception of rights be like? At the same time, he advocates a practice of jurisprudence understood as the creation of new rights, thereby raising the question: what would it mean to create new rights? In this chapter, I will outline answers to these questions, drawing on the work of Deleuze and Guattari but also others who have defended a conception of rights as immanent to existing regimes of power, affect and belief. These answers raise a further question: supposing that we can understand rights as entirely immanent to the social fields in which they operate, can a Deleuzian political philosophy sustain a concept of ‘becoming-right’ that, like ‘becoming-democratic’, would help to counter-actualise some forms of resistance to the present in societies governed by law?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDeleuze and Law
EditorsLaurent de Sutter, Kyle McGee
Place of PublicationEdinburgh
PublisherEdinburgh University Press
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9780748664542
ISBN (Print)9780748644131, 9780748644148
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Publication series

NameDeleuze connections
PublisherEdinburgh University Press


  • Deleuze, Gilles, 1925-1995
  • Law
  • Philosophy
  • Human rights
  • Jurisprudence
  • Transcendence
  • Immanence


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