Bernard Stiegler

Bernard Stiegler is a French philosopher at Goldsmiths, University of London and at the Université de Technologie de Compiègne. In addition, he is Director of the Institut de recherche et d’innovation (IRI), founder in 2005 of the political and cultural group, Ars Industrialis, and founder in 2010 of the philosophy school, Ecole de Philosophie d’Epineuil-le-Fleuriel.

Stiegler has been prolifically publishing books, articles, and interviews since 1994, and in particular in the last several years. His works include several ongoing series of books:

  • La technique et le temps (3 vols.). The Technics and Time series outlines the heart of Stiegler’s philosophical project, and in particular his theses that the role of technics has been repressed throughout the history of philosophy, and that technics, as organised inorganic matter, and as essentially a form of memory, is constitutive of human temporality. The series contains extensive readings of the works of André Leroi-Gourhan, Martin Heidegger, Edmund Husserl, and Immanuel Kant. It also contains his explication of the “cinematic constitution of consciousness,” as well as his thesis that human beings are essentially “adoptive” and “prosthetic” creatures. Stiegler has at times mentioned further volumes of this series, but these have yet to appear. All three extant volumes have been published in English translation by Stanford University Press.
  • De la misère symbolique (2 vols.). This series is concerned in particular with the ways in which cultural, symbolic and informational technologies have become a means of industrialising the formation of desire in the service of production, with destructive consequences for psychic and collective individuation. Stiegler outlines his concepts of “general organology” (a way of thinking the co-individuation of human organs, technical organs, and social organisations) and “genealogy of the sensible” (a way of thinking the historicity of human desire and aesthetics). It contains extensive readings of Sigmund Freudand Gilles Deleuze, as well as of the works of Alain Resnais, Bertrand Bonello, Andy Warhol, and Joseph Beuys.
  • Mécréance et Discrédit (3 vols.). The Disbelief and Discredit series is concerned with the way in which the industrial organisation of production and then consumption has had destructive consequences for the modes of life of human beings, in particular with the way in which the loss of savoir-faire and savoir-vivre (that is, the loss of the knowledge of how to do and how to live), has resulted in what Stiegler calls “generalised proletarianisation.” In this series Stiegler makes clear his view that, in the light of the present state of the global technical system, it is not a matter of overcoming capitalism but rather of transforming its industrial basis to prevent the loss of spirit from which it increasingly suffers. In the second volume Stiegler introduces the concept of the “Antigone complex,” to describe the psychosocial effects of the destruction of authority—that is, the destruction of the superego—on politics and youth. The series contains extensive readings of Paul Valéry, Max Weber,Aristotle, and Herbert Marcuse, as well as analyses of the crisis of May 1968 and the crime of Patricia and Emmanuel Cartier. The first volume was published in English translation by Polity Press in 2011, and the second volume in 2012.
  • Constituer l’Europe (2 vols.). In this series Stiegler is concerned with the effects of the destruction of psychic and collective individuation on Europe. He argues for the necessity of inaugurating a new individuation process at the continental level, itself embedded in an individuation process operating at a global level. At stake, he says, is the creation of a new European “motive” which will enable the reinvention of industrial civilisation.