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Schizoanalysis (French: schizanalyse; schizo- from Greek σχίζειν skhizein, meaning "to split") is a concept created by philosopher Gilles Deleuze and psychoanalyst Félix Guattari and first expounded in their book Anti-Oedipus (1972). Its formulation was continued in their follow-up work, A Thousand Plateaus. Schizoanalysis acquires many different definitions during the course of its development in their collaborative work and individually in the work of Guattari.

In Chaosmosis, Guattari explains that "rather than moving in the direction of reductionist modifications which simplify the complex", schizoanalysis "will work towards its complexification, its processual enrichment, towards the consistency of its virtual lines of bifurcation and differentiation, in short towards its ontological heterogeneity".[1]

Evolution of the idea[edit]

Schizoanalysis was developed over a long period of time as a response to the perceived shortcomings in the basic premises of psychoanalytic practice and as the culmination of Guattari's work with institutional psychotherapy at the La Borde clinic. 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. Guattari was interested in a practice that could derive from given systems of enunciation and preexisting subjective structures new "assemblages [agencements] of enunciation" capable of forging new coordinates of analysis and to bring into existence unforeseen propositions and representations.

By the time of "Five Propositions on Psychoanalysis" (1973),[2] Deleuze said "we no longer want to talk about schizoanalysis, because that would amount to protecting a particular type of escape, schizophrenic escape".

Four Functors[edit]

The four functors is a clinical model that replaces the Freudian and Lacanian unconscious with the following schema:

  1. Territories: finite existential subjectifications
  2. Universes of value: virtual incorporeal alterifications
  3. Fluxes: material, energetic and semiotic transformations
  4. Phylums: concrete and abstract evolution of machines

Schizoanalysis can also be represented by four circular components that bud and form rhizomes:[3]

  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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Guattari (1992, 61).
  2. ^ Gilles Deleuze, Desert Islands and Other Texts, 1953–1974, MIT Press, 2004 (pp. 274--280), originally published in "Relazione di Gilles Deleuze" and discussions in Armando Verdiglione, ed., Psicanalisi e Politica; Atti del Convegno di studi tenuto a Milano l'8—9 Maggio 1973. Milan: Feltrinelli, 1973, pp. 7-11, 17-21, 37-40, 44-45, 169-172. Abridged and edited
  3. ^ Deleuze and Guattari (1980, 160-2).


  • Ian Buchanan, 'Schizoanalysis: An Incomplete Project', in B. Dillet, I. Mackenzie & R. Porter eds., The Edinburgh Companion to Poststructuralism, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2013, pp. 163-185.
  • 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. 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.
  • Holland, Eugene. 1999. Deleuze and Guattari's Anti Oedipus: Introduction to Schizoanalysis. Oxford: Routledge.