All posts filed under: individuation

Simondon in English: “Two Lessons on Animal and Man”

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animal / desire / ecology / individuation / mythology / psychology / Simondon

It is my great delight to help announce the publication of one of the first book-length English translations available of the writings of French philosopher of technology Gilbert Simondon (1924-1989), published by Univocal. The volume is available under the title Two Lessons on Animal and Man and was translated by Drew Burk. The work is composed of a series of lectures intended for undergraduates interested in the humanities, especially philosophy, sociology and psychology. As the translator […]


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activity / alterity / birth / break / darkness / event / evolution / individuation / matter / network / neurosis / sexuality / speech / transformation / world

      The world is hollow. In-itself anything is precisely nothing.  A thing exists positively only in the precise sense that it exhibits certain forces, that it forms connections or disjunctions with other things, or assemblages of things, in such and such a way.  Moreover, is it not necessary that at some point in the process of any machine, there is something that may and must become reduced to a generic and redundant unit?  […]

A Short List of Gilbert Simondon’s Vocabulary

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affectivity / allagmatic / becoming / Disparation / emotivity / ensemble / form / hylemorphism / individualization / individuation / information / metastability / milieu / model / modularity / ontogenesis / potential / preindividual / signal / signification / Simondon / subject / system / Transduction / transindividual

1. Affectivity -This term designates a relation between an individualized being and the pre-individual milieu; it is thus heterogeneous to individualized reality. This is why Simondon claims that affectivity, more than perception, indicates a spirituality that is greater than the individualized being (the Sublime) because perception is merely the functions of the structures interior to this being (L’Individuation psychique et collective, p. 108–hereafter cited as IPC). Simondon writes that affectivity is the ground of emotion, […]

Energy and Culture: Notes on “Postmodern” Science

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art / communication / complexity / culture / energy / form / history / individuation / information / knowledge / legitimacy / narrative / noise / non-linearity / ontology / Science / Mathematics / Technology / self-organization / transcendence

Science, Information and Time There are no whole truths: all truths are half-truths. It is trying to treat them as whole truths that plays the devil. Alfred North Whitehead It is necessary to go beyond all the pieces of spoken information; to extract from them a pure speech-act, creative story-telling which is as it were the obverse side of the dominant myths, of current words and their supporters. It is also necessary to go beyond […]

Simondon and the Machine: Technology, Individuation, Reality

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biology / crystal / cybernetics / form / individuation / knowledge / machine / physics / psychology / Science / Mathematics / Technology / Simondon / structure / technology / tension

Fractal Effervescence (2006), David April   Simondon and the Theory of Individuation There is something eternal in a technical scheme… and it is that which is always present, and can be conserved in a thing. Gilbert Simondon Gilbert Simondon’s reformulation of information theory on the basis of a new philosophy of technology has, in comparison to earlier attempts, at least the following major advantages to its credit: – His thought introduces us to an entirely […]

Translation: Jean-Hugues Barthélémy on Simondon, Bergson and Teilhard de Chardin

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Bachelard / Barthélémy / becoming / bergson / communication / complexity / French Translation / individuation / ontogenesis / ontology / philosophy of science / physiology / Simondon / singularities / Teildhard de Chardin / transindividual / Untranslated Theory

The following is the first half of chapter 1 from Jean-Hugues Barthélémy’s book Penser l’individuation: Simondon et la philosophie de la nature. Paris: L’Harmattan, 2005. p. 37-48. Original translation by Taylor Adkins on 10/22/07. Chapter 1 The concept of object and the concept of subject, in the same virtue of their origin, are limits that philosophical thought must overcome. –Gilbert Simondon 1. Ontology and ontogenesis: from Bergson to Simondon The philosophically fundamental watchword of all […]

Translation: Simondon, Completion of Section I, Chapter 1, The Individual and Its Physico-Biological Genesis

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abstract machine / assemblage / autopoeisis / becoming / being / change / communication / complexity / differentiation / Disparation / formalization / French Translation / individuation / information / materiality / metastability / model / modularity / morphogenesis / morphology / ontogenesis / ontology / philosophy of science / production / self-actualization / Simondon / singularities / structure / system / technology / Untranslated Theory

In the first place, singularities-events correspond to heterogeneous series which are organized into a system which is neither stable nor unstable, but rather ‘metastable,’ endowed with a potential energy wherein the differences between series are distributed. (Potential energy is the energy of the pure event, whereas forms of actualization correspond to the realization of the event). In the second place, singularities posses a process of auto-unification, always mobile and displaced to the extent that a […]

Paper Proposal: Information, Disparation, Transformation: Simondon, Ruyer, Deleuze and the Affective Pre-Individual Field of Singularities

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Deleuze / Difference and Repetition / Disparation / individuation / information / philosophy of science / potentiality / pre-individual milieu / Ruyer / Simondon / singularities / Transduction

Paper Proposal : Philosophy of Science Information, Disparation and Affectivity: the Pre-Individual Field of Singularities in Simondon, Ruyer and Deleuze On the importance of disparate series and their internal resonance in the constitution of systems, see Gilbert Simondon, L’individu et sa genese physico-biologique, Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1964, p. 20. (However, Simondon maintains as a condition the requirement of resemblance between series, or the smallness of the differences in play: pp. 254-7). [Gilles Deleuze. […]

Machines, Morphogenesis and Complexity

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abstract machine / atomism / autopoeisis / chaos / code / complexity / Deleuze / differentiation / digital space / evolution / form / individuation / modularity / molecularity / morphogenesis / network / self-organization / Serres / speed

Cellular automata The harmony of the world is made manifest in Form and Number, and the heart and soul and all the poetry of Natural Philosophy are embodied in the concept of mathematical beauty. D’arcy Thompson All organisms are modular: life always consists of sub-organisms which are involved together in a biological network. The interrelations between organ and organism form a series of feedback loops, forming a cascading and complex surface. Each organ parasites off […]

Translation: Simondon and the Physico-Biological Genesis of the Individual

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abstraction / French Translation / individuation / metastability / morphology / ontogenesis / ontology / Simondon

Simondon, Gilbert. L’individu et sa genèse physico-biologique. Paris : Presses Universitaires de France, 1964. Original Translation by Taylor Adkins. Chapter One: Form and Matter Section I—Foundations of the Hylemorphic Model: Technology of the Capture of Form 1. The Conditions of Individuation: pp. 27-39. The notions of form and matter can help solve the problem of individuation only if they are first compared to its position. So if by the contrast it was discovered that the […]


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difference / flux / God / image / imaginary / individuation / insanity / logic / metaphysics / symmetry / void

Wild Magic of the Unbeliever (Dave Makin) How much of our lives are caught up, inextricably, with the imaginary? A dangerous question only because it is silly, and stupid; why? Because it’s answer is both simple and impossible. For we know: none of it is imaginary, it is all real; and we also know: nothing is real, all of it is imaginary. A dangerous idea, a poisonous idea: there is contradiction at the origin. An […]

A Sketch of Gilbert Simondon

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becoming / being / biology / equilibrium / flux / individuation / metastability / ontogenesis / ontology / Simondon / singularities

Simondon, Gilbert. “The Genesis of the Individual.” Trans. Mark Cohen and Sanford Kwinter. Incorporations. Ed. Jonathan Crary. New York: Zone, 1992. 296-319. At the same time that a quantity of potential energy (the necessary condition for a higher order of magnitude) is actualized, a portion of matter is organized and distributed (the necessary condition for a lower order of magnitude) into structured individuals of a middle order of magnitude, developing by a mediate process of […]