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Schizoanalysis was first introduced in 1972 by the philosopher Gilles Deleuze and the psychoanalyst Felix Guattari in their book Anti-Oedipus. Its formulation was continued in their follow-up work, A Thousand Plateaus. The concept takes many different definitions over the course of its development in their collaborative work and individually in the work of Guattari. The most precise definition however is given in Felix Guattari's untranslated work Cartographies Schizoanalytiques as "the analysis of the incidence of Dispositions [agencements] of enunciation upon semiotic and subjective productions, in a given problematic context". Put in other terms, it is the practice of meta-modelization of endo- and exo-referentialities, and the modelization of the transformation of such referencialities.

Schizoanalysis was developed over a long period of time as a response to the perceived shortcomings in the basic premises of analytic practice. Guattari was directly confronted with such problems in the work of Sigmund Freud -- namely, the use of the Oedipus Complex as a starting point for the analysis, and the authoritarian role of the psychoanalyst in relationship to the patient. What immediately interested Guattari was a practice that could derive from given systems of enunciation and preexisting subjective structures new Dispositions [agencements] of enunciation capable of forging new coordinates of analysis and to bring into existence unforseen propositions and representations.

Schizoanalysis may be seen as a broader, more complex --in the sense that it starts from the basis that signifying structure does not transcend the libido-- alternative to the semiophysics espoused by mathematician René Thom in Esquisses d'une sémiophysique.


Schizoanalysis can be represented by four circular components that bud and form rhizomes:

  1. The generative component: the study of concrete mixed semiotics; their mixtures and variations. Making a tracing of the mixed semiotics.
  2. The transformational component: the study of pure semiotics; their transformations-translations and the creation of new semiotics. Making the transformational map of the regimes, with their possibilities for translation and creation, for budding along the lines of the tracings.
  3. The diagrammatic component: the study of abstract machines, from the standpoint of semiotically unformed matters in relation to physically unformed matters. Making the diagram of the abstract machines that are in play in each case, either as potentialities or as effective emergences.
  4. The machinic component: the study of the assemblages that effectuate abstract machines, simultaneously semiotizing matters of expression and physicalizing matters of content. Outlining the program of the assemblages that distribute everything and bring a circulation of movement with alternatives, jumps, and mutations.

Further reading Edit

Gilles Deleuze & Félix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus - Capitalism and Schizophrenia (1980 TP) trans. Brian Massumi (1987: University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis)

Félix Guattari, Cartographies Schizoanalytiques (1989: Editions Galilee, Paris)

Eugene Holland, Deleuze and Guattari's Anti Oedipus: Introduction to Schizoanalysis (1999: Routledge, Oxford).

See also Edit



  • Abou-Rihan, Fadi. 2008. Deleuze and Guattari: A Psychoanalytic Itinerary. London: Continuum.
  • Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari. 1972. Anti-Œdipus. Trans. Robert Hurley, Mark Seem and Helen R. Lane. London and New York: Continuum, 2004. Vol. 1 of Capitalism and Schizophrenia. 2 vols. 1972-1980. Trans. of L'Anti-Oedipe. Paris: Les Editions de Minuit. ISBN 0-8264-7695-3.
  • ---. 1980. A Thousand Plateaus. Trans. Brian Massumi. London and New York: Continuum, 2004. Vol. 2 of Capitalism and Schizophrenia. 2 vols. 1972-1980. Trans. of Mille Plateaux. Paris: Les Editions de Minuit. ISBN 0-8264-7694-5.
  • Guattari, Félix. 1984. Molecular Revolution: Psychiatry and Politics. Trans. Rosemary Sheed. Harmondsworth: Penguin. ISBN 0-14-055160-3.
  • ---. 1989. Cartographies Schizoanalytiques. Paris: Editions Galilee.
  • ---. 1992. Chaosmosis: An Ethico-Aesthetic Paradigm. Trans. Paul Bains and Julian Pefanis. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana UP, 1995. Trans. of Chaosmose. Paris: Editions Galilee. ISBN 0-909952-25-6.
  • ---. 1995. Chaosophy. Ed. Sylvère Lotringer. Semiotext(e) Foreign Agents Ser. New York: Semiotext(e). ISBN 1-57027-019-8.
  • ---. 1996. Soft Subversions. Ed. Sylvère Lotringer. Trans. David L. Sweet and Chet Wiener. Semiotext(e) Foreign Agents Ser. New York: Semiotext(e). ISBN 1-57027-030-9.
  • Holland, Eugene. 1999. Deleuze and Guattari's Anti Oedipus: Introduction to Schizoanalysis. Oxford: Routledge.
  • Massumi, Brian. 1992. A User's Guide to Capitalism and Schizophrenia: Deviations from Deleuze and Guattari. Swerve editions. Cambridge, USA and London: MIT. ISBN 0-262-63143-1.

External links Edit

  • The Psychoanalytic Field by Fadi Abou-Rihan on re-figuring schizoanalysis as not simply a critique of but also a contribution to psychoanalytic theory and practice.

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