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More French Postmodern Philosophers

Who were Gilles Deleuze and Pierre-Félix Guattari?

Gilles Deleuze (1925–1995) and Pierre-Félix Guattari (1930–1992) were collaborators best known for Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (1972), A Thousand Plateaus (1980), and What Is Philosophy? (1991). Their last book, Chaosmose (1992), summed up their previous questioning about subjectivity: “How to produce it, collect it, enrich it, reinvent it permanently in order to make it compatible with ‘mutant Universes of value?’“

Engaged with both the history of philosophy and contemporary culture, as well as political activism, they thought that the task of the theorist was to invent connections, since there was no preformed relation between theories and reality. Thus, certain structures were better understood as having “rhizomes” that traveled horizontally and popped up in surprising ways, rather than “roots,” which could be uncovered straight down. Rhizomes were something like social trends that are decentralized, such as individuals creating their own news outlets through blogging, rather than people all relying on the same few sources for information. Progressive trends could be identified as “micropolitics,” “schizoanalysis,” and “becoming-woman.”



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