International Journal for the Semiotics of Law

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 127–151

Nome law: Deleuze & Guattari on the emergence of law


DOI: 10.1007/s11196-006-9014-0

Cite this article as:
Murray, J. Int J Semiot Law (2006) 19: 127. doi:10.1007/s11196-006-9014-0


This article orientates Deleuze & Guattari’s pragmatic semiotics towards a semiotics of law. This pragmatic semiotics is explored, and directly related to the theory of emergence and complexity that is also a key feature of Deleuze & Guattari’s work. It is suggested that the development of these aspects of Deleuze & Guattari’s thought in relation to law allows the contours of a noological legal theory to be sketched out. Noology is the study of images of thought, their emergence, their genealogy, and their creation. A first exploration of this noological legal theory is then carried out by the conceptualisation of nome law as the first emergence of law as theorised by Deleuze & Guattari in the plateau “1837: Of the Refrain” from “A Thousand Plateaus”. This is a conceptualisation of law’s emergence in a far-from-equilibrium palaeolithic hunter-gatherer pack, and contrasts to accounts of law’s origin in a founding violence or mythical contract. It is the ‘big bang’ of legality, and the opening up of a first image of legality, problematic of social organisation, and anthropomorphic knowledge space.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of LawLiverpool John Moores UniversityLiverpoolEngland