Environmental Philosophy

Volume 21, Issue 1, Spring 2024

Julie Van der Wielen
Pages 61-89

Cybernetic or Machinic Ecology? Guattari’s Parting Ways with Bateson

In this article, I examine the relation between Bateson and Guattari’s ecological thoughts: two thinkers whose ecological ideas at first sight have a lot in common. In order to show the difference between the thoughts of both thinkers, I will take my clue from Guattari’s remark that he parts ways with Bateson on the role of context. Explaining the role of context in both authors will allow me to show how Guattari’s thought implies both an endorsement and a critique of cybernetics, and, specifically, promoting a machinic rather than cybernetic ecology. I will conclude by indicating what is at stake in this distinction.