‘We Have to Become the Quasi-cause of Nothing – ofNihil’: An Interview with Bernard Stiegler

Theory, Culture and Society 35 (2):137-156 (2018)
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Abstract

This interview with the philosopher Bernard Stiegler was conducted in Paris on 28 January 2015, and first appeared in Dutch translation in the journal De uil van Minerva. The conversation begins by discussing the fundamental place occupied by the concept of ‘technics’ in Stiegler’s work, and how the ‘constitutivity’ of technics does and does not relate to Kant and Husserl. Stiegler is then asked about his relationship with Deleuze, and he responds by focusing on the concept of quasi-causality, but also by arguing that there is a certain trajectory in Deleuze’s thought, situating his own philosophy in relation to its various moments. Stiegler is then asked to respond to the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks carried out three weeks prior to the interview. After making a couple of precautionary remarks, Stiegler relates such occurrences to the problem of what he calls ‘spiritual poverty’, to the intensification of ‘negative sublimation’ that can occur when there is a disconnection between the generations, and more generally to the growth of nihilism. All of these phenomena relate to the exploitation of technology by a virulent capitalism that irrationally believes that only the market is rational. After consideration of the complex historical relationship between Islam and modernization, and of both of these to Nietzsche’s ‘death of God’, and after recalling the destructive role played by the West in the rise of fundamentalism and jihadism, Stiegler concludes by reflecting on the fact that, ultimately, ‘intellectuals’ have failed to use technologies in ways that produce alternatives to consumerism.

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References found in this work

Technics and time.Bernard Stiegler - 1998 - Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press.
The logic of sense.G. Deleuze - 2000 - Filosoficky Casopis 48 (5):799-808.
The Function of Reason.A. N. Whitehead - 1930 - Mind 39 (156):488-492.
15. Pharmacology and Critique after Deconstruction.Daniel Ross - 2013 - In Christina Howells & Gerald Moore (eds.), Stiegler and Technics. Edinburgh University Press. pp. 243-258.

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