Did Deleuze and Guatarri ever write about the actual extant illness or madness "schizophrenia", in their philosophical study Capitalism and Schizophrenia? I can't help but feel that a sensitive philosopher would not use the term without any at least esoteric resonance with its actual normative meaning.

  • This sames way off topic. I cannot find a question about philosophy in here.
    – WillO
    Commented Jan 1, 2015 at 15:26
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    i'm sorry dude but schizoanalysis is a philosophical term, and i am asking how it relates to the illness. how is that not about philosophy mate? i find your willfulness quite SHOCKING!
    – user6917
    Commented Jan 1, 2015 at 15:29
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    This is definitely a philosophical qusetion Commented Jan 1, 2015 at 16:28
  • Thats a question that has occured to me, so I'm glad you've asked it; Foucault, in one of his essays, talks about schizophrenia as the eternal deferment of signification; ie losing contact with reality. Commented Jan 3, 2015 at 19:48

1 Answer 1


This is a criticism that I hear occasionally. Note that in Guattari's case his background involved extensive and radical clinical work with schizophrenic patients. And it might help to keep in mind that the term in their work is linked closely to a very careful historical study of the relationship of psychoanalysis and capitalism to schizophrenia (including a very close reading of the Judge Schreber case among others.)

I am not sure it really indicates insensitivity that this analysis is profoundly amplified with poetic sources like Artaud (who was also a sufferer). Rather it seems to me at least in part a wish to let the sources (the victims!) speak more fully. It might be worth mentioning that in the parts of their work that deal with schizophrenia, they closely and directly investigate the writings and utterances of patients; it seems perhaps a bit strained to my mind to accuse them of avoiding a sensitive encounter with the suffering wrought by schizophrenia.

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