Journal Article


Simondon contra new materialism: Political anthropology reloaded

Abstract

This paper responds to an invitation to historians of political thought to enter the debate on new materialism. It combines Simondon’s philosophy of individuation with some aspects of post-humanist and new materialist thought, without abandoning a more classically ‘historical’ characterization of materialism. Two keywords drawn from Barad and Simondon respectively – ‘ontoepistemology’ and ‘axiontology’ – represent the red thread of a narrative that connects the early modern invention of civil science (emblematically represented here by the ‘conceptual couple’ Descartes-Hobbes) to Wiener’s cybernetic theory of society. The political stakes common to these forms of mechanical materialism were attacked ontologically, epistemologically and politically by Simondon. His approach, I will argue, opens the path for a genuine materialist critique of the political anthropology implicit in modern political thought, and shifts political thinking from politics conceived as a problem to be solved to politics as an arena of strategic experimentation.

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Authors

Bardin, Andrea

Oxford Brookes departments

Department of Social Sciences

Dates

Year of publication: 2021
Date of RADAR deposit: 2021-05-28


Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License


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