By Bernard Stiegler
Within the aftermath of the 1st global warfare, the poet Paul Valéry wrote of a "crisis of spirit", led to via the instrumentalization of data and the damaging subordination of tradition to learn. fresh occasions reveal all too truly that the inventory of brain, or spirit, keeps to fall. The economic climate is toxically geared up round the pursuit of momentary achieve, supported through an infantilizing, dumbed-down media. advertisements applied sciences make relentless calls for on our consciousness, lowering us to idiotic beasts, now not able to dwelling. Spiralling charges of psychological affliction express that the delicate lifetime of the brain is at brink. Underlying those a number of indicators is buyer capitalism, which systematically immiserates these whom it purports to free up. Returning to Marxʹs conception, Stiegler argues that consumerism marks a brand new degree within the heritage of proletarianization. it really is now not simply labour that's exploited, driven less than the boundaries of subsistence, however the wish that's attribute of human spirit. The treatment to this malaise is to be present in what Stiegler calls a "pharmacology of the spirit". right here, pharmacology has not anything to do with the chemical vitamins built through the pharmaceutical undefined. The pharmakon, outlined as either healing and poison, refers back to the technical items during which we open ourselves to new futures, and thereby create the spirit that makes us human. through connection with more than a few figures, from Socrates, Simondon and Derrida to the kid psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, Stiegler indicates that technics are either the reason for our ache and in addition what makes lifestyles worthy residing. -- writer description. Read more...
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Extra resources for What makes life worth living : on pharmacology
99. 56 See p. 30 and pp. 52–4. 57 See Stiegler, For a New Critique of Political Economy, pp. 79 ff. 58 See pp. 34–5 and chapter 4. 59 See Jean-Pierre Vernant, Myth and Thought among the Greeks (New York: Zone Books, 2006), ch. 6. 60 It is Gilles Deleuze who reactivates the question of the quasi-cause. Yet Deleuze does not enable us to think the relation of desire and technics, even though Nietzsche opened up this perspective – but this is not how Deleuze will ever have read this – namely, that the pharmaco-logical double of desire and technics, such that the one cannot be found without the other, nor simply with the other, is both apparently very close to, and yet completely lacking (if one can say this), in what Yves Citton finds in his reading of Spinoza and Tarde, ‘Les lois de l'imitation des affects’, Spinoza et les sciences sociales (Paris: Amsterdam, 2008), pp.
11 Returning to the question of Spirit in 1939 was an attempt to interest minds in their own fate and in the fate of Spirit, above all by highlighting that this proceeds from a spiritual economy12 that cannot be considered in isolation from the material economy:13 these two economies, which must be distinguished as that of the useful and the useless,14 but which can never be separated, are products of the same organs. 23 5. 24 In this ‘malaise’ of culture and civilization, technics (prostheticity) plays an essential role because it is eminently pharmacological, particularly as the system of artificial organs it forms in the industrial age.
6. Pharmacology of the imagination In Dialectic of Enlightenment,30 five years after ‘Freedom of the Mind’, Adorno and Horkheimer emphasized how a diversion [détournement] of reason, or a reversal [retournement] of reason, reducing the project of the Aufklärung to rationalization,31 led to the opposite of that reason which the Aufklärer conceived essentially as the emancipation of minds and the conquest of maturity [majorité], that is, as the struggle against minority. Thus rationality becomes rationalization, in the sense given to this word by Max Weber, ‘rationalizing’ society by spreading the reign of calculability, and producing the opposite of maturity understood as the individual and collective formation and education of intelligence and knowledge, that is, understood as Bildung.