ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Rage against the Machine

A tribute to Bernard Stiegler, the French philosopher who saw “provoking action” as the goal of philosophy.

French philosopher Bernard Stiegler, who passed away in August 2020, reimagined humans as constituted by technology, thus providing a philosophical and anthropological account of humans that suffused all his works. Influenced by a galaxy of European thinkers, such as Gilbert Simondon, André Leroi-Gourhan, Jacques Derrida, Martin Heidegger, Edmund Husserl, Immanuel Kant, and Plato, Stiegler’s investigations of the human–technology relationship raised important questions about contemporary technoculture, collective political action, and the Anthropocene.

Like other great philosophers of the last century who sought to reinvent philosophy or correct it of its cardinal errors, Stiegler too propounded a comprehensive system through his work. In proclaiming technics as “unthought,” he rebuilt philosophical vocabulary through his numerous neologisms, concepts, and terms. For Stiegler, technics is at the crux of what it means to be human. This reformulation distinguishes Stiegler from other philosophers of technology like Heidegger for whom there is nothing technological about technology in the limiting ways that it enframes humans and conceals their ontology. Stiegler’s reformulation too was radical but just as absolute. Dasein—human existence—is not to be found outside technology, because human consciousness is always and already co-determined by technics.

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Updated On : 15th Jan, 2021

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