Download and read online On the Mode of Existence of Technical Objects in PDF and EPUB Few thinkers have been as influential upon current discussions and theoretical practices in the age of media archaeology, philosophy of technology, and digital humanities as the French thinker Gilbert Simondon. Simondon's prolific intellectual curiosity led his philosophical and scientific reflections to traverse a variety of areas of research, including philosophy, psychology, the beginnings of cybernetics, and the foundations of religion. For Simondon, the human/machine distinction is perhaps not a simple dichotomy. There is much we can learn from our technical objects, and while it has been said that humans have an alienating rapport with technical objects, Simondon takes up the task of a true thinker who sees the potential for humanity to uncover life-affirming modes of technical objects whereby we can discover potentiality for novel, healthful, and dis-alienating rapports with them. For Simondon, by way of studying its genesis, one must grant to the technical object the same ontological status as that of the aesthetic object or even a living being. His work thus opens up exciting new entry points into studying the human's rapport with its continually changing technical reality. This first complete English-language translation of Gilbert Simondon's groundbreaking and influential work finally presents to Anglophone readers one of the pinnacle works of France's most unique thinkers of technics.
Download and read online Gilbert Simondon Being and Technology in PDF and EPUB The first sustained exploration of Simondon's work to be published in English. This collection of essays, including one by Simondon himself, outlines the central tenets of Simondon's thought, the implication of his thought for numerous disciplines and his relationship to other thinkers such as Heidegger, Deleuze and Canguilhem.Complete with a contextualising introduction and a glossary of technical terms, it offers an entry point to this important thinker and will appeal to people working in philosophy, philosophy of science, media studies, social theory and political philosophy.Gilbert Simondon's work has recently come to prominence in America and around the Anglophone world, having been of great importance in France for many years.
Download and read online The Different Modes of Existence in PDF and EPUB What relation is there between the existence of a work of art and that of a living being? Between the existence of an atom and that of a value like solidarity? These questions become our own each time a reality--whether it is a piece of music, someone we love, or a fictional character--is established and begins to take on an importance in our lives. Like William James or Gilles Deleuze, Souriau methodically defends the thesis of an existential pluralism. There are indeed different manners of existing and even different degrees or intensities of existence: from pure phenomena to objectivized things, by way of the virtual and the "super-existent," to which works of art and the intellect, and even the very fact of morality, bear witness. Existence is polyphonic, and, as a result, the world is considerably enriched and enlarged. Beyond all that exists in the ordinary sense of the term, it is necessary to allow for all sorts of virtual and ephemeral states, transitional realms, and barely begun realities, still in the making, all of which constitute so many "inter-worlds."
Download and read online Facing Gaia in PDF and EPUB The emergence of modern sciences in the seventeenth century profoundly renewed our understanding of nature. For the last three centuries new ideas of nature have been continually developed by theology, politics, economics, and science, especially the sciences of the material world. The situation is even more unstable today, now that we have entered an ecological mutation of unprecedented scale. Some call it the Anthropocene, but it is best described as a new climatic regime. And a new regime it certainly is, since the many unexpected connections between human activity and the natural world oblige every one of us to reopen the earlier notions of nature and redistribute what had been packed inside. So the question now arises: what will replace the old ways of looking at nature? This book explores a potential candidate proposed by James Lovelock when he chose the name 'Gaia' for the fragile, complex system through which living phenomena modify the Earth. The fact that he was immediately misunderstood proves simply that his readers have tried to fit this new notion into an older frame, transforming Gaia into a single organism, a kind of giant thermostat, some sort of New Age goddess, or even divine Providence. In this series of lectures on 'natural religion,' Bruno Latour argues that the complex and ambiguous figure of Gaia offers, on the contrary, an ideal way to disentangle the ethical, political, theological, and scientific aspects of the now obsolete notion of nature. He lays the groundwork for a future collaboration among scientists, theologians, activists, and artists as they, and we, begin to adjust to the new climatic regime.
Download and read online The Philosophy of Simondon in PDF and EPUB The last two decades have seen a massive increase in the scholarly interest in technology, and have provoked new lines of thought in philosophy, sociology and cultural studies. Gilbert Simondon (1924 - 1989) was one of Frances's most influential philosophers in this field, and an important influence on the work of Gilles Deleuze and Bernard Stiegler. His work is only now being translated into English. Chabot's introduction to Simondon's work was published in French in 2002 and is now available in English for the first time. It is the most accessible guide to Simondon's important but often opaque work. Chabot provides an excellent introduction to Simondon, positioning him as a philosopher of technology, and he describes his theory of individuation including his crystalline ontology. He goes on to offer a bridge between these two concerns, exploring how they are related.
Download and read online On the Existence of Digital Objects in PDF and EPUB Digital objects, in their simplest form, are data. They are also a new kind of industrial object that pervades every aspect of our life today--as online videos, images, text files, e-mails, blog posts, Facebook events.Yet, despite their ubiquity, the nature of digital objects remains unclear. On the Existence of Digital Objects conducts a philosophical examination of digital objects and their organizing schema by creating a dialogue between Martin Heidegger and Gilbert Simondon, which Yuk Hui contextualizes within the history of computing. How can digital objects be understood according to individualization and individuation? Hui pursues this question through the history of ontology and the study of markup languages and Web ontologies; he investigates the existential structure of digital objects within their systems and milieux. With this relational approach toward digital objects and technical systems, the book addresses alienation, described by Simondon as the consequence of mistakenly viewing technics in opposition to culture. Interdisciplinary in philosophical and technical insights, with close readings of Husserl, Heidegger, and Simondon as well as the history of computing and the Web, Hui's work develops an original, productive way of thinking about the data and metadata that increasingly define our world.
Download and read online Automatic Society in PDF and EPUB In July 2014 the Belgian newspaper Le Soir claimed that France, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Italy, Poland and the United States may lose between 43 and 50 per cent of their jobs within ten to fifteen years. Across the world, integrated automation, one key result of the so-called ‘data economy’, is leading to a drastic reduction in employment in all areas - from the legal profession to truck driving, from medicine to stevedoring. In this first volume of a new series, the leading cultural theorist Bernard Stiegler advocates a radical solution to the crisis posed by automation and consumer capitalism more generally. He calls for a decoupling of the concept of ‘labour’ (meaningful, intellectual participation) from ‘employment’ (dehumanizing, banal work), with the ultimate aim of eradicating ‘employment’ altogether. By doing so, new and alternative economic models will arise, where individuals are no longer simply mined for labour, but also actively produce what they consume. Building substantially on his existing theories and engaging with a wide range of figures - from Deleuze and Foucault to Bill Gates and Alan Greenspan - Automatic Society will appeal to students and scholars across the social sciences and humanities, as well as anyone concerned with the central question of the future of work.
Download and read online Before Tomorrow in PDF and EPUB Is contemporary continental philosophy making a break with Kant? The structures of knowledge, taken for granted since Kant?s Critique of Pure Reason, are now being called into question: the finitude of the subject, the phenomenal given, a priori synthesis. Relinquish the transcendental: such is the imperative of postcritical thinking in the 21st century. Questions that we no longer thought it possible to ask now reemerge with renewed vigor: can Kant really maintain the difference between a priori and innate? Can he deduce, rather than impose, the categories, or justify the necessity of nature? Recent research into brain development aggravates these suspicions, which measure transcendental idealism against the thesis of a biological origin for cognitive processes. In her important new book Catherine Malabou lays out Kant?s response to his posterity. True to its subject, the book evolves as an epigenesis ? the differentiated growth of the embryo ? for, as those who know how to read critical philosophy affirm, this is the very life of the transcendental and contains the promise of its transformation.
Download and read online Plain Text in PDF and EPUB This book challenges the ways we read, write, store, and retrieve information in the digital age. Computers—from electronic books to smart phones—play an active role in our social lives. Our technological choices thus entail theoretical and political commitments. Dennis Tenen takes up today's strange enmeshing of humans, texts, and machines to argue that our most ingrained intuitions about texts are profoundly alienated from the physical contexts of their intellectual production. Drawing on a range of primary sources from both literary theory and software engineering, he makes a case for a more transparent practice of human–computer interaction. Plain Text is thus a rallying call, a frame of mind as much as a file format. It reminds us, ultimately, that our devices also encode specific modes of governance and control that must remain available to interpretation.
Download and read online Unthought in PDF and EPUB N. Katherine Hayles is known for breaking new ground at the intersection of the sciences and the humanities. In Unthought, she once again bridges disciplines by revealing how we think without thinking—how we use cognitive processes that are inaccessible to consciousness yet necessary for it to function. Marshalling fresh insights from neuroscience, cognitive science, cognitive biology, and literature, Hayles expands our understanding of cognition and demonstrates that it involves more than consciousness alone. Cognition, as Hayles defines it, is applicable not only to nonconscious processes in humans but to all forms of life, including unicellular organisms and plants. Startlingly, she also shows that cognition operates in the sophisticated information-processing abilities of technical systems: when humans and cognitive technical systems interact, they form “cognitive assemblages”—as found in urban traffic control, drones, and the trading algorithms of finance capital, for instance—and these assemblages are transforming life on earth. The result is what Hayles calls a “planetary cognitive ecology,” which includes both human and technical actors and which poses urgent questions to humanists and social scientists alike. At a time when scientific and technological advances are bringing far-reaching aspects of cognition into the public eye, Unthought reflects deeply on our contemporary situation and moves us toward a more sustainable and flourishing environment for all beings.
Download and read online Gilbert Simondon and the Philosophy of the Transindividual in PDF and EPUB Gilbert Simondon (1924--1989), one of the most influential contemporary French philosophers, published only three works: L'individu et sa genèse physico-biologique (The individual and its physico-biological genesis, 1964) and L'individuation psychique et collective (Psychic and collective individuation, 1989), both drawn from his doctoral thesis, and Du mode d'existence des objets techniques (On the mode of existence of technical objects, 1958). It is this last work that brought Simondon into the public eye; as a consequence, he has been considered a "thinker of technics" and cited often in pedagogical reports on teaching technology. Yet Simondon was a philosopher whose ambitions lay in an in-depth renewal of ontology as a process of individuation--that is, how individuals come into being, persist, and transform. In this accessible yet rigorous introduction to Simondon's work, Muriel Combes helps to bridge the gap between Simondon's account of technics and his philosophy of individuation. Some thinkers have found inspiration in Simondon's philosophy of individuation, notably Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. Combes's account, first published in French in 1999, is one of the only studies of Simondon to appear in English. Combes breaks new ground, exploring an ethics and politics adequate to Simondon's hypothesis of preindividual being, considering through the lens of transindividual philosophy what form a nonservile relation to technology might take today. Her book is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand Simondon's work.
Download and read online Archaeology of Algorithmic Artefacts in PDF and EPUB As historical processes increasingly become steeped in technology, it becomes more necessary for a discipline to emerge that is capable of comprehending these materialities to better understand the fields they inundate such as science, art, and warfare. This effort is further compromised by the inherent complexity and complete arbitrariness of technical languages--especially when they are algorithmic--along with the rapid pace in which they become obsolete, unintelligible, or simply forgotten. The Turing Machine plays a central role in the Archaeology of Algorithmic Artefacts, wherein the gradual developments of the individual components encompassed by this complex technology are placed within the context of engineering sciences and the history of inventions. This genealogy also traces the origin of the computer in mathematics, meta-mathematics, combinatorics, cryptology, philosophy, and physics. The investigations reveal that the history of apparatuses that process signs is in no way limited to the second half of the twentieth century; rather, it is possible they existed at all times and in all cultures.
Download and read online Two Lessons on Animal and Man in PDF and EPUB Gilbert Simondon (1924-1989) was a French philosopher of technology best known for his theory of individuation through transduction in a metastable environment. Simondon's work has been championed by thinkers such as Gille Deleuze and continues to attract new interest within a variety of academic fields.
Download and read online Gilbert Simondon s Psychic and Collective Individuation A Critical Introduction and Guide in PDF and EPUB One of the most innovative and brilliant philosophers of his generation, but largely neglected until he was brought to public attention by Gilles Deleuze, Gilbert Simondon presents a challenge to nearly every category and method of traditional philosophy. Psychic and Collective Individuation is undoubtedly Simondon's most important work and its influence, clearly felt in Stiegler and DeLanda, has continued to grow. David Scott provides the first full introduction to this work, which will inspire as well as instruct philosophers working in Continental thought, philosophy of science, social theory and political philosophy.
Download and read online Interdisciplinarity in PDF and EPUB The idea that research should become more interdisciplinary has become commonplace. According to influential commentators, the unprecedented complexity of problems such as climate change or the social implications of biomedicine demand interdisciplinary efforts integrating both the social and natural sciences. In this context, the question of whether a given knowledge practice is too disciplinary, or interdisciplinary, or not disciplinary enough has become an issue for governments, research policy makers and funding agencies. Interdisciplinarity, in short, has emerged as a key political preoccupation; yet the term tends to obscure as much as illuminate the diverse practices gathered under its rubric. This volume offers a new approach to theorising interdisciplinarity, showing how the boundaries between the social and natural sciences are being reconfigured. It examines the current preoccupation with interdisciplinarity, notably the ascendance of a particular discourse in which it is associated with a transformation in the relations between science, technology and society. Contributors address attempts to promote collaboration between, on the one hand, the natural sciences and engineering and, on the other, the social sciences, arts and humanities. From ethnography in the IT industry to science and technology studies, environmental science to medical humanities, cybernetics to art-science, the collection interrogates how interdisciplinarity has come to be seen as a solution not only to enhancing relations between science and society, but the pursuit of accountability and the need to foster innovation. Interdisciplinarity is essential reading for scholars, students and policy makers across the social sciences, arts and humanities, including anthropology, geography, sociology, science and technology studies and cultural studies, as well as all those engaged in interdisciplinary research. It will have particular relevance for those concerned with the knowledge economy, science policy, environmental politics, applied anthropology, ELSI research, medical humanities, and art-science.