Is Anti-Oedipus Really a Critique of Psychoanalysis?

Comparative and Continental Philosophy 13 (2):125-141 (2021)
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ABSTRACT“: We cannot say psychoanalysts are very jolly people; see the dead look they have, their stiff necks.” In 1972, the tone Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari used in Anti-Oedipus caused an immediate public reaction: it was regarded as the mark of a fatal critique of psychoanalysis. However, critique, in philosophy, is used in certain technical and precise senses. We will try to demonstrate that, technically, Anti-Oedipus is a delimitation of a Kantian sort, an evaluation of a Nietzschean kind, and, finally, a divergence in terms of Deleuze himself. Thanks to this precision, we will find that the target of Anti-Oedipus is not psychoanalysis in general but what Deleuze and Guattari call, respectively, “the illegitimate use of the synthesis of the unconscious,” a conception of life presupposed by psychoanalysis, and a configuration of desire that explains both psychoanalysis and the system in which it functions.



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