On the Mode of Existence of Technical Objects

On the Mode of Existence of Technical Objects Author Gilbert Simondon
ISBN-10 1937561038
Release 2016-04-01
Pages 310
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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.



Facing Gaia

Facing Gaia Author Bruno Latour
ISBN-10 9780745684376
Release 2017-07-24
Pages 300
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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.



Critical Posthumanism and Planetary Futures

Critical Posthumanism and Planetary Futures Author Debashish Banerji
ISBN-10 9788132236375
Release 2016-10-07
Pages 277
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This volume is a critical exploration of multiple posthuman possibilities in the 21st century and beyond. Due to the global engagement with advanced technology, we are witness to a species-wise blurring of boundaries at the edge of the human. On the one hand, we find ourselves in a digital age in which human identity is being transformed through networked technological intervention, a large part of our consciousness transferred to "smart" external devices. On the other hand, we are assisted---or assailed---by an unprecedented proliferation of quasi-human substitutes and surrogates, forming a spectrum of humanoids with fuzzy borders. Under these conditions, critical posthumanism asks, who will occupy and control our planet: Will the "superhuman" merely serve as another sign under which new regimes of dominance are spread across the earth? Or can we discover or invent technologies of existence to counter such dominance? It is issues such as these which are at the heart of this new volume of explorations of the posthuman. The essays in this volume offer leading-edge thought on the subject, with special emphases on postmodern and postcolonial futures. They engage with questions of subalternity and feminism vis-à-vis posthumanism, dealing with issues of subjugation, dispensability and surrogacy, as well as the possibilities of resistance, ethical politics or subjective transformation from South Asian archives of cultural and spiritual practice. This volume is a valuable addition to the on-going global dialogues on posthumanism, indispensable to those, from across several disciplines, who are interested in postcolonial and planetary futures.



The Different Modes of Existence

The Different Modes of Existence Author Etienne Souriau
ISBN-10 193756150X
Release 2015-12-01
Pages 235
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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."



Machine Art in the Twentieth Century

Machine Art in the Twentieth Century Author Andreas Broeckmann
ISBN-10 9780262035064
Release 2016-12-23
Pages 392
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An investigation of artists' engagement with technical systems, tracing art historical lineages that connect works of different periods.



Sonic Intimacy

Sonic Intimacy Author Dominic Pettman
ISBN-10 9781503601482
Release 2017-03-21
Pages 144
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Sonic Intimacy asks us who—or what—deserves to have a voice, beyond the human. Arguing that our ears are far too narrowly attuned to our own species, the book explores four different types of voices: the cybernetic, the gendered, the creaturely, and the ecological. Through both a conceptual framework and a series of case studies, Dominic Pettman tracks some of the ways in which these voices intersect and interact. He demonstrates how intimacy is forged through the ear, perhaps even more than through any other sense, mode, or medium. The voice, then, is what creates intimacy, both fleeting and lasting, not only between people, but also between animals, machines, and even natural elements: those presumed not to have a voice in the first place. Taken together, the manifold, material, actual voices of the world, whether primarily natural or technological, are a complex cacophony that is desperately trying to tell us something about the rapidly failing health of the planet and its inhabitants. As Pettman cautions, we would do well to listen.



On the Existence of Digital Objects

On the Existence of Digital Objects Author Yuk Hui
ISBN-10 0816698910
Release 2016-02-15
Pages 336
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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.



Unthought

Unthought Author N. Katherine Hayles
ISBN-10 9780226447919
Release 2017-04-05
Pages 272
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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.



Automatic Society

Automatic Society Author Bernard Stiegler
ISBN-10 9781509506347
Release 2017-01-17
Pages 280
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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.



Knowledge of Life

Knowledge of Life Author Georges Canguilhem
ISBN-10 9780823229260
Release 2008
Pages 202
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As the work of thinkers such as Michel Foucault, Franois Jacob, Louis Althusser, and Pierre Bourdieu demonstrates, Georges Canguilhem has exerted tremendous influence on the philosophy of science and French philosophy more generally. In Knowledge of Life, a book that spans twenty years of his essays and lectures, Canguilhem offers a series of epistemological histories that seek to establish and clarify the stakes, ambiguities, and emergence of philosophical and biological concepts that defined the rise of modern biology. How do transformations in biology and modern medicine shape conceptions of life? How do philosophical concepts feed into biological ideas and experimental practices, and how are they themselves transformed? How does knowledge undo the experience of life so as to help man remake what life has made without him, in him or outside of him?Knowledge of Life is Canguilhem's effort to explain how the movements of knowledge and life come to rest upon each other. Published at the dawn of the genetic revolution and still pertinent today, the book tackles the history of cell theory, the conceptual moves toward and away from mechanical understandings of the organism, the persistence of vitalism, and the nature of normality in science and its objects.



Gilbert Simondon and the Philosophy of the Transindividual

Gilbert Simondon and the Philosophy of the Transindividual Author Muriel Combes
ISBN-10 0262018187
Release 2013
Pages 119
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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.



Telemorphosis

Telemorphosis Author Jean Baudrillard
ISBN-10 1937561003
Release 2011
Pages 53
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The art of living today has shifted to a continuous state of the experimental. In one of his last texts, Telemorphosis, renowned thinker and anti-philosopher Jean Baudrillard takes on the task of thinking and reflecting on the coming digital media architectures of the social. While “the social” may have never existed, according to Baudrillard, his analysis at the beginning of the twenty-first century of the coming social media–networked cultures cannot be ignored. One need not look far in order to find oneself snared within some sort of screenification of a techno-social community. “What the most radical critical critique, the most subversive delirious imagination, what no Situationist drift could have done . . . television has done.” Collective reality has entered a realm of telemorphosis.



Before Tomorrow

Before Tomorrow Author Catherine Malabou
ISBN-10 9780745691541
Release 2016-09-06
Pages 224
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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.



Two Lessons on Animal and Man

Two Lessons on Animal and Man Author Gilbert Simondon
ISBN-10 1937561011
Release 2011
Pages 88
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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.



Infoglut

Infoglut Author Mark Andrejevic
ISBN-10 9781135119522
Release 2013-06-26
Pages 216
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Today, more mediated information is available to more people than at any other time in human history. New and revitalized sense-making strategies multiply in response to the challenges of "cutting through the clutter" of competing narratives and taming the avalanche of information. Data miners, "sentiment analysts," and decision markets offer to help bodies of data "speak for themselves"—making sense of their own patterns so we don’t have to. Neuromarketers and body language experts promise to peer behind people’s words to see what their brains are really thinking and feeling. New forms of information processing promise to displace the need for expertise and even comprehension—at least for those with access to the data. Infoglut explores the connections between these wide-ranging sense-making strategies for an era of information overload and "big data," and the new forms of control they enable. Andrejevic critiques the popular embrace of deconstructive debunkery, calling into question the post-truth, post-narrative, and post-comprehension politics it underwrites, and tracing a way beyond them.



Without Criteria

Without Criteria Author Steven Shaviro
ISBN-10 9780262261159
Release 2012-08-24
Pages 190
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In Without Criteria, Steven Shaviro proposes and explores a philosophical fantasy: imagine a world in which Alfred North Whitehead takes the place of Martin Heidegger. What if Whitehead, instead of Heidegger, had set the agenda for postmodern thought? Heidegger asks, "Why is there something, rather than nothing?" Whitehead asks, "How is it that there is always something new?" In a world where everything from popular music to DNA is being sampled and recombined, argues Shaviro, Whitehead's question is the truly urgent one. Without Criteria is Shaviro's experiment in rethinking postmodern theory, especially the theory of aesthetics, from a point of view that hearkens back to Whitehead rather than Heidegger. In working through the ideas of Whitehead and Deleuze, Shaviro also appeals to Kant, arguing that certain aspects of Kant's thought pave the way for the philosophical "constructivism" embraced by both Whitehead and Deleuze. Kant, Whitehead, and Deleuze are not commonly grouped together, but the juxtaposition of them in Without Criteria helps to shed light on a variety of issues that are of concern to contemporary art and media practices.



Incorporeal

Incorporeal Author Elizabeth Grosz
ISBN-10 9780231543675
Release 2017-03-14
Pages 320
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Philosophy has inherited a powerful impulse to embrace either dualism or a reductive monism, either a radical separation of mind and body or the reduction of mind to body. From its origins in the writings of the Stoics, the first thoroughgoing materialists, there is an acknowledgment that no forms of materialism can be completely self-inclusive—space, time, the void, and sense are the incorporeal conditions of all that is corporeal or material. In The Incorporeal, Elizabeth Grosz argues that the ideal is inherent in the material and the material in the ideal, and, by tracing its development over time, she makes the case that this same idea reasserts itself in different intellectual contexts. Grosz shows that not only are idealism and materialism inextricably linked but that this "belonging together" of the entirety of ideality and the entirety of materiality is not mediated or created by human consciousness. Instead, it is an ontological condition for the development of human consciousness. She draws from Spinoza's material and ideal concept of substance, Nietzsche's amor fati, Deleuze and Guattari's plane of immanence, Simondon's preindividual, and Raymond Ruyer’s self-survey or autoaffection to show that the world itself preexists the evolution of the human, and that its material and incorporeal forces are the conditions for all forms of life, including the human. A masterwork by an eminent theoretician breaking new ground, The Incorporeal offers profound new insight into the mind-body problem.