Stiegler’s Technics and Time

Bernard Stiegler
Technics and Time, 1: The Fault of Epimetheus
Area: Rhetorical and Critical Theory
Notes from class:

•    Arranging human and machinic
•    Not humanization of nature, but naturalization of the human
•    Humans are more natural through technology
o    Control societies
•    Biopower is operating system of capitalism
o    Spontaneity is not problem for system
•    Beller: not just watching
o    “selling” product
•    Something is provided for all so none will escape
o    Adorno and Horkheimer
•    Nealon: Because everyone must provide something, no one will escape
•    All subjectivity is up for grabs: everyone must be someone
•    Demographic DNA
o    Broad version of the social
o    Giant picture from Heidegger
•    Useful finality
•    Virno: virtuosity—no end product
o    Goodness is not enough
•    Steigler’s response to no future
o    Cybernetics
•    Before with technology: death
o    Now, technology leads to life
•    Blanchot: wiped out
•    What one does with life
o    The impact to cause life
o    Change
•    Leroi-Gourhan/Steigler: Posthuman as a concept
o    Machinic heterogenetic: Guatarri
o    Bodies without organs
•    Desires for the fake
o    John Lovelock: guya theory
•    Benjamin: inorganic
•    Love of articifiality
•    Paradise of the artificial
o    Hatred of natural
•    Episteme v. techne
•    What’s the who, what’s the what
o    Actors of history
•    Anthropology: feet, hands, face
•    Technogenesis: mobility, change
•    Promethesis/Meno: no origin, no future
•    Contra Heidegger: Only a god can save us no
o    Techne or time
o    No going back
•    Q: What takes the place of philosophy now? A: Cybernetics
Critical moments in the text
2: “Lodged between [mechanics and biology], technical beings are nothing but a hybrid, enjoying no more ontological status than they did in ancient philosophy.”
6: “[Dasien]’s death is what it cannot know, and to this extent, death gives to ‘mine-ness’ its excess.  Death is not an event within existence because it is the very possibility of existence, a possibility that is at the same time essentially and interminably deferred.  This originary deferral is also what gives Dasein its difference to another.”
23: “Today, machines are the tool bearers, and the human is no longer a technical individual; the human becomes either the machine’s servant or its assembler.”
50: “The problem arising here is that the evolution of this essentially technical being that the human is exceeds the biological, although this dimension is an essential part of the technical phenomenon itself, something like its enigma.  The evolution of the ‘prosthesis,’ not itself living, by which the human is nonetheless defined as a living being, constitutes the reality of the human’s evolution, as if, with it, the history of life were to continue by means other than life: this is the paradox of a living being characterized in its forms of life by the nonliving—or by the traces that its life leaves in the nonliving.”
66: “To know the essence of the machine, and thereby understanding the sense of technics in general, is also to know the place of the human in technical ensembles.”
70: external memory
95: “If technics can be given its own finality, this means that its thinking in terms of ends and means is no longer sufficiently radical.”
114: “Denaturalization will be self-exteriorization, the becoming self-dependent, self-alienation, the alienation of the originary, the authentic, in the factical, the technical, the artificial death constitutive of the mediacy of a social and differentiated world of objects, and hence of subjects, for, from this points on, it is only though its objects, (the objects it has) that the self can define and thus is no longer itself.”
131: “Love is an interested and particular passion, which risks bringing ‘destruction to the human race,’ making possible the opposite of that for which if seems to exist: ‘a terrible passion that braves danger, surmounts all obstacles, and in its transports seems calculated to bring destruction on the human race which it is really destined to preserve.”
Think: Derrida Gift of Death; Edelman: No Future
148: “With the advent of exteriorization, the body of the living individual is no longer only a body: it can only function with its tools.”
177: “The individual develops three memories: genetic memory; memory of the central nervous system (epigenetic); and techno-logical memory (language and technics are here amalgamated in the process of exteriorization)
202: “Promethia is the anticipation of the future, that is, of danger, foresight, prudence, and an essential disquiet: somebody who is promethes is someone who is worried in advance.”
207: “’In its factial being, any Dasein is as it walready was, and it is ‘what’ is already was.  It is its past, whether explicitly or not.”
(Re-read: Disengagement of the What→memory)


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