Towards a vitalist holism: Deleuze's Theory of Assemblage

Jae Eon Yu


In this paper, we propose and evaluate an epistemology of systems thinking in relation to the vitalism of social systems and to develop systems approach for understanding the vitalist holism by construing the emergence and reproduction of social and organizational systems of the ‘civilizing process’ as non-linear and rhizomic events. We present and appreciate Deleuze’s theory of an assemblage in order to explore social and organizational complexities as researchers rethink the value of ‘systems thinking’ through the unfolding process of problematization in terms of virtualities and actualities. It allows participants to be ‘critical thinkers’ on the given situations. To be critical thinkers, what is important for the process of action learning and research is not so on what is true of ‘scientific knowledge’ being appreciated, but it is on our thought and learning to what the ‘practical and discursive knowledge’ produces in particular, contingent contexts. In this sense, we reappreciate the value of Deleuze theory of assemblage theory towards understanding of the ‘vitalism’ of social systems, which are evolved from the continuity and transformation of the relationships between life and (non) living bodies.


Vitalist holism; rhizomatic systems thinking; Deleuze's Theory of Assemblage

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