Lecture: Bernard Stiegler in Nanjing University

March 29, 2018

Bernard Stiegler will deliver several seminars in this April in Nanjing University. For more information, please go to: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/LUYteH6Mg6VNdG6YIRQy4w 

With the introduction of civilian radio, then with the advent of television, and now with social networking, the advertising industry has had a significant impact on the collective individuation processes organizing everyday life,. This collective individuation process is materialized through processes of transindividuation. Language is such a process of collective individuation operated through processes of transindividuation.

What Gilbert Simondon called the transindividual is another name for meaning, and it is what results from the co-individuation of psychic individuals who thus form collective individuals, social groups through which social systems metastabilize themselves, the same social system being common to numerous groups – hence, the fact that a language may be spoken differently by different groups. Metastabilization is a process of stabilization at the limit of instability, that is, the formation of a structure that is in movement but which maintains its form as it deforms – like a vortex or a tornado.

Processes of co-individuation are co-ordinated processes of psychic individuation (such as the socratic dialogues), these dialogical relations causing language to evolve – by giving, for example, a new definition to a word, and therefore a new use. This new feature – which is at first local, as for instance when two speakers agree on something, for instance Socrates and Meno – can then be disseminated through time and to other speakers along various vectors, such as through books, Plato’s academy, the trial of Socrates, and so on. This dissemination constitutes the process of transindividuation.

Now, it is possible to influence the transindividuation process in a rational ande systematic way via vectors such as these, which are always constituted on the basis of what we will call tertiary retentions – from writing to analog recordings of cultural industry and algorithms of platform capitalism and social networking : such are the objects of this course.

Seminar 1. Language and transindividuation in the age of platform capitalism. Saussure, Kaplan
Seminar 2. Around neuromarketing. Brain, writing and attention. Carr, Wolf, Ong,
Seminar 3. Biological memory and technical memory. About neurocience and an ‘anthropological rupture’. Canguilhem
Seminar 4. Instincts, drives, automatisms, addiction.  Joseph LeDoux, Malabou, Freud, Vygotsky
Seminar 5. About education
Seminar 6. On automatisms, life, repetition and des-automatization, Sein und Zeit, Difference and repetition
Seminar 7. Hermeneutics, heuristics and paideia in the digital epistémè
Seminar 8. Conclusions

Texts we should read:

1.Ferdinand de Saussure, Cours de linguistique générale
2.Nicholas Carr, The Shallows. Is Internet making us stupid ?
3.Frederic Kaplan, On linguistic capitalism
4.Maryanne Wolf, Proust and the Squid
5.Georges Canguilhem, Le normal et le pathologique
6.Martin Heidegger, Sein und Zeit
7.Gilles Deleuze, Difference and repetition
8.Sigmund Freud, The Es and the Id
9.Plato, Phraedrus
10.Joseph LeDoux, Synaptic Self
11.Lev Vygotsky, Thought and Language

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