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Gilbert SimondonBeing and Technology$
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Arne De Boever, Shirley S. Y. Murray, and Jon Roffe

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780748677214

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748677214.001.0001

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‘Technical Mentality’ Revisited: Brian Massumi on Gilbert Simondon

‘Technical Mentality’ Revisited: Brian Massumi on Gilbert Simondon

Chapter:
(p.19) Chapter 2 ‘Technical Mentality’ Revisited: Brian Massumi on Gilbert Simondon
Source:
Gilbert Simondon
Author(s):

Arne De Boever

Alex Murray

Jon Roffe

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748677214.003.0002

In this posthumously published paper, Simondon seeks to show that there exists what he calls a “technical mentality”. As proof of the existence of a technical mentality in the cognitive domain, Simondon discusses Cartesianism, comparing the technical functioning of a machine to the technical functioning of reason. A second proof that he discusses is cybernetics. This leads Simondon to the formulation of two postulates of technical mentality: the first is that “the subsets are relatively detachable from the whole of which they are a part”; the second is that “if one wants to understand a being completely, one must study it by considering it in its entelechy, and not in its inactivity or its static state”. In the second half of the article, Simondon discusses the affective categories in which technical mentality is caught up. Artisanal modalities of production are still opposed to industrial ones, and although Simondon recognizes a difference between the two, the article closes with a prophetic anticipation of the age of the world wide web and networking, in which technology will assume values that, at the time of Simondon's writing, were still associated with artisanality.

Keywords:   Simondon, cybernetics, technics, artisanal

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