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Becoming Analogical: Simondon's Two Lessons on Animal and Man.

By Chad Vollrath
Cultural Theory

Simondon_two coverIn 2009, Parrhesia: A Journal of Critical Philosophy, published a special issue dedicated to “the occasion of the forthcoming publication of the English translation of Gilbert Simondon’s L’individuation psychique et collective” (De Boever et al. 2). In the years since, anticipation of this and other translations of Simondon’s work has continued to grow, yet none of his primary texts have been published in their complete form in English (although translations of several excerpts circulate on the Internet). The English translations of Muriel Combes’ wonderful Gilbert Simondon and the Philosophy of the Transindividual (2013) and of the second two volumes of Bernard Stiegler’s Technics and Time (2009 and 2010), as well as the publication of Simondon: Being and Technology (2012), a collection assembled by the Parrhesia team, have no doubt greatly contributed to this anticipation. Yet there are also several “macro-academic” trends helping to prepare for a (re)discovery of Simondon which Brian Massumi describes in terms of a general reconsideration of the constructivism that dominated academic discourse in the 1990s:

[Constructivism’s] posture is that things can’t be taken as givens, rather they come to be….What was considered to come into being was less things than new social or cultural takes on them. What is constructed are fundamentally perspectives or paradigms, and the corresponding subject positions. Within the 1990s constructivist model these were understood in terms of signifying structures or coding, typically applying models derived from linguistics and rhetoric. (21)

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