Epistemology and Political Philosophy in Gilbert Simondon

Abstract

Simondon adopts some concepts of social psychology as ‘in group’ and ‘out group’, namely from Kurt Lewin and Gordon Allport, that allow him to describe the fundamental processes shaping the domain of collective individuation, and to challenge Bergson’s distinction between a ‘closed’ community and an ‘open’ society. Reconstructing Simondon’s sources is necessary to understand how he tries to provide an analysis of the social system without presupposing a given anthropology, but rather exploring different perspectives on the human/nature threshold through the concept of transindividual. In his study of the social system Simondon progressively gives conceptual shape to the processes he calls transindividual thanks to the ontogenetic analysis of the phenomena of belief, work and language. In all these domains, a ‘basic community’ emerges just over the threshold of the biological group, where the structural ambivalence of all collective processes as simultaneously closed and open becomes clear. That is why Simondon does not present the concept of the transindividual as a solution to the epistemological problem of psychic and collective individuation, but rather as the ‘field’ in which a whole series of social, biological and technical dimensions can be made converge towards a science of anthropogenic processes

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