By Bernard Stiegler
Within the aftermath of the 1st global conflict, the poet Paul Valéry wrote of a ‘crisis of spirit’, caused by means of the instrumentalization of information and the harmful subordination of tradition to benefit. fresh occasions display all too truly that that the inventory of brain, or spirit, keeps to fall. The financial system is toxically prepared round the pursuit of momentary achieve, supported via an infantilizing, dumbed-down media. ads applied sciences make relentless calls for on our recognition, decreasing us to idiotic beasts, now not able to residing. Spiralling charges of psychological disorder convey that the delicate lifetime of the brain is at breaking point.
Underlying those a number of indicators is buyer capitalism, which systematically immiserates these whom it purports to free up. Returning to Marx’s conception, Stiegler argues that consumerism marks a brand new level within the historical past of proletarianization. it truly is now not simply labour that's exploited, driven lower than the bounds of subsistence, however the hope that's attribute of human spirit.
The healing to this malaise is to be present in what Stiegler calls a ‘pharmacology of the spirit’. the following, pharmacology has not anything to do with the chemical supplementations constructed via the pharmaceutical undefined. The pharmakon, outlined as either medication and poison, refers back to the technical items wherein we open ourselves to new futures, and thereby create the spirit that makes us human. by means of connection with various figures, from Socrates, Simondon and Derrida to the kid psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, Stiegler exhibits that technics are either the reason for our pain and likewise what makes existence worthy living.
"Stiegler's name is daring, yet make no mistake: this publication quite is set what makes lifestyles worthy dwelling. we will forget this size – disastrously – or we will act to maintain it. A survival handbook for the twenty-first century, this is often additionally modern philosophy as a decision to arms."
Martin Crowley, collage of Cambridge
"This paintings, an exceptional primer at the newest section of Stiegler’s undertaking and a very good advent to his writing, makes an attempt to show a considering the pharmakon from its resonance as poison to that of a remedy to the pan-toxicity he reveals within the robo-interiorities of the current and their hyperlink to eco-catastrophic results. What this booklet additionally screens is that Stiegler has lengthy been the most efficient severe reader of Derrida's legacy this present day – and this at a time whilst something like professional 'deconstruction' gasps for relevance.’"
Tom Cohen, kingdom college of recent York at Albany
About the Author
Bernard Stiegler is Director of Cultural improvement on the Centre Pompidou in Paris. His many books in English comprise Technics and Time, For a brand new Critique of Political economic climate, The Decadence of business Democracies and Uncontrollable Societies of Disaffected contributors.