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Felix Guattari

Felix Guattari (1930 - 1992) was a French pioneer of Anti-psychiatry, as well as the founder of both Schizoanalysis and the science of Ecosophy.

Table of contents
1 Biography
2 Works
3 Other books
4 External link


Not very well known to the general public, Pierre Felix Guattari was in the 1960's to become a central figure defining the events of May '68 and its aftermath. Born on March 30, 1930 in Villeneuve-les-Sablons, Guattari first made his way into the history of Psychiatry, Philosophy, and French Militancy with the meeting of Fernand Oury, a craftsman engaged in the future movement of institutional Pedagogy. Encouraged by the brother of Fernand, Jean Oury, psychiatrist, the young Guattari became impassioned from 1950 towards the practice of psychiatry. Through the broad minded approach to the psychiatric practice in France in the 1950's (through the influence of Jacques Lacan, Guattari was led to explore a vast array of universes of thought: philosophy, ethnology, linguistics, architecture, etc., in order to better define the orientation, delimitation and psychiatric efficacity of the practice. With Jean Oury, of which he had become since 1955 the principal collaborator, he continued this research with the private clinic of La Borde at Court-Cheverny, which he helped to found. A place for training innumerable students, philosophical, psychological, ethnologists, and social workers, La Borde remained for Felix Guattari his principal anchoring, staying there until his death in 1992.

Guattari took part in the movement of the psychological G.T., which gathered many psychiatrists at the beginning of the Sixties and created the Association of Institutional Psychotherapy in November 1965. It was also at the same time that Felix Guattari founded, along with other militants, the F.G.E.R.I. (Federation of Groups for Institutional Study & Research) and its review Research, working on philosophy, mathematics, psychoanalysis, education, architecture, ethnology, etc. The F.G.E.R.I. came to represent aspects of the multiple political and cultural engagements of Felix Guattari: the Group for Young Hispanics, the Franco-Chinese Friendships (in the times of the popular communes), the opposition activities with the wars in Algeria and Vietnam, the participation in the M.N.E.F., with the U.N.E.F., the policy of the offices of psychological academic aid (B.A.P.U.), the organisation of the University Working Groups (G.T.U.), but also the reorganizations of the training courses with the Centers of Training to the Methods of Education Activities (C.E.M.E.A.) for psychiatric male nurses, as well as the formation of Friendly Male Nurses (Amicales d'infirmiers)(in 1958), the studies on architecture and the projects of construction of a day hospital of for "students and young workers".

Very influenced by the work of Lacan, he however took some distances with respect to the theoretical elaboration of certain concepts and practices. He was one of the actors in the events of May 1968, starting from the Movement of March 22. It was at this time that Guattari met Gilles Deleuze at the University of Vincennes and began to lay the ground-work for the soon to be infamous Anti-Oedipus. Throughout his career it may be said that his writings were at all times correspondent in one fashion or another with sociopolitical and cultural engagements. In 1967, he appears as one of the founders of OSARLA (Organization of solidarity and Aid to the Latin-American Revolution). It was with the head office of the F.G.E.R.I. that he meet, in 1968, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Jean-Jacques Lebel, Julian Beck... In 1970, he creates C.E.R.F.I. (Center for the Study and Research of Institutional Formation) which takes the direction of the Recherches review.

In his last book, Chaosmose (1992), of which the topic already partially is developed in What is Philosophy? (1991, with G Deleuze), Felix Guattari takes again his essential topic: the question of subjectivity. "How to produce it, collect it, enrich it, reinvent it permanently in order to make it compatible with mutant Universes of value?" This idea return like a leitmotiv, from Psychanalyse and transversality (a regrouping of articles from 1957 to 1972) up to Années d'hiver 1980-1986 and to Cartographies Schizoanalytique (1989). He insists on the function of "A-signification" account, which plays the role of support for a subjectivity in act, starting from four parameters: "significative and semiotic flows, Phylum of Machanic Propositions, Existential Territories and Incorporeal Universes of Reference."


Books written in collaboration with Gilles Deleuze:

(these are the English translations; dates are from French editions.)

Other books

External link