The Art of Laying Bricks

“A concept is a brick. It can be used to build a courthouse of reason. Or it can be thrown through the window.”

– Gilles Deleuze, A Thousand Plateaus

Deleuze was a French philosopher whose work came to influence literary theory and postmodernism.

A Thousand Plateaus was co-authored with psychoanalyst Félix Guattari.

There are two points to be extrapolated out of the given quote.

The first point is that we have a choice with what to do with a concept: utilize it in building an argument or simply discard it.

The second point touches on the question of style. In choosing to build with a brick or “throw through the window,” our handling of a concept either lends it effectiveness or makes it merely destructive.

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