Mar 16, 2018
Contemporary Political Theory
Gilbert Simondon has recently attracted the interest of political philosophers and theorists, despite the fact that he is renowned as a philosopher of technics – author of Of the Mode of Existence of Technical Objects – who also elaborated a general theory of complex systems in Individuation in the Light of the Notions of Form and Information. A group of scholars has developed Gilles Deleuze’s early suggestion that Simondon’s social ontology might offer the basis for a re-theorisation of radical democracy. Others, following Herbert Marcuse, have instead focused on Simondon’s analysis of the relationship between technology and society. However, only a joint study of Simondon’s two major works can reveal their implicit political stakes. As I will argue, Simondon’s anti-Aristotelianism and his anti-Heideggerian understanding of the Greek origins of philosophy, allow us to conceive philosophical thought as a ‘tradition of invention’, that is, a pedagogical technē endowed with the political task of maintaining the openness of the social system and allowing normative invention to emerge from within.