The Man Without Others: Deleuze’s Structure-Other

Author: Grant Hamilton, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Published: October 2013

Citation: Hamilton, G. (2013). The Man Without Others: Deleuze’s Structure-Other. IAFOR Journal of Ethics, Religion & Philosophy, 1(1).


One area of literary studies that can never be so casual in its treatment of the Other is that dedicated to postcolonial literature and theory. Indeed, at its very core stands the premise that Europe “consolidated itself as sovereign subject by defining its colonies as "Others", even as it constituted them, for purposes of administration and the expansion of markets, into programmed near-images of that very sovereign self” (Spivak 128). In one way or another, the vast majority of postcolonial theory emerges from this model in order to understand better the effects and affects of the colonial encounter – the colonial endeavor traced through the institutionalization of the Other. But, that is not to imply that the theorization of the Other in postcolonial thought is complete. Indeed, one lacuna in the literature is that which concerns the absence of others. Few have asked the important question, If the Other guarantees the self then what happens in its absence? Is it in fact possible not to conceive of the Other? It is by answering such questions that I hope to add further texture to this important concept. In order to do so I turn to the work of French philosopher Gilles Deleuze.


Gilles Deleuze, the Other, postcolonial literature, postcolonial theory