Technics and Time, Volume 1: The Fault of Epimetheus by Bernard Stiegler

By Bernard Stiegler

What's a technical item? at first of Western philosophy, Aristotle contrasted beings shaped by way of nature, which had inside themselves a starting of flow and relaxation, and man-made gadgets, which didn't have the resource in their personal creation inside themselves. This ebook, the 1st of 3 volumes, revises the Aristotelian argument and develops an cutting edge evaluate wherein the technical item could be obvious as having a vital, special temporality and dynamics of its own.

The Aristotelian idea persevered, in a single shape or one other, till Marx, who conceived of the potential of an evolution of technics. Lodged among mechanics and biology, a technical entity grew to become a posh of heterogeneous forces. In a parallel improvement, whereas industrialization used to be within the technique of overthrowing the modern order of data in addition to modern social association, know-how was once buying a brand new position in philosophical wondering. Philosophy used to be for the 1st time confronted with a global during which technical enlargement used to be so common that technology was once changing into an increasing number of topic to the sphere of instrumentality, with its ends decided through the imperatives of monetary fight or struggle, and with its epistemic prestige altering for this reason. the ability that emerged from this new relation used to be unleashed through the international wars.

Working his method during the historical past of the Aristotelian review of technics, the writer engages the guidelines of a variety of thinkers—Rousseau, Husserl, and Heidegger, the paleo-ontologist Leroi-Gourhan, the anthropologists Vernant and Detienne, the sociologists Weber and Habermas, and the structures analysts Maturana and Varela.

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Gille 1978, 78) Nevertheless, if, as we believe, the technical system has entered into an age of perpetual transformations and structural instability, one can surmise that the problem should be set out in other terms: those of the necessary reexamination of the originary relation between the human and the technical, qua a phenomenon of temporality. Technical Universality Should one speak of technological reason? The presence of a technological universality would then have to be proven, which Gille not only fails to do but does not even begin to do.

The stakes are high. The incorporation of the history of techniques into general history is particularly difficult. There is first of all the problem, intrinsic to the object "technics" [la technique], of not falling into a specialized, parceled history oftechniques: technics is the object of a history of techniques, beyond techniques. At present, history knows only techniques, because technics is essentially specialization. Technics is not a fact but a result. The history of techniques, then, needs this result to become organized into a history of technics.

This is the transformation analyzed in "The Age of the World Picture" (Heidegger 1977) from the vantage of the history of being. With contemporary technics, in which "scientific and technical progress are . . increasingly linked," in which "economic and scientific progress can no longer function separately" (Gille 1978, 73-74), there is a reversal of meaning in the general scheme: no longer is innovation what results from invention; it is a global process aiming to incite invention, it programs the rise of invention.

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