Journal Article

From life to matter: Simondon’s political epistemology


Simondon’s philosophy of individuation attacks the opposition between liberty and necessity, a key institution of the supposed ontological ‘difference’ between the human being and nature in most of modern political thought. Distinguishing between ontological and epistemological determinism, I will show the political significance of Simondon’s refusal to either reduce human beings to natural determinism or save their alleged metaphysical nature. Simondon inherits part of his critical programme and a good deal of the tools he uses to construct it from Georges Canguilhem. My reading starts from an enigma concerning quantum mechanics the former jotted down on paper while involved in the Second World War antifascist struggle. I will suggest that Simondon’s philosophy exposes the two equally anthropomorphic understandings of nature shared by fascism and technocracy. This will allow me to explain the ideological function voluntarism and human engineering can jointly perform by reinforcing and exploiting the apparent opposition between liberty and necessity, on the basis of their complementary teleological justification for political action.

Attached files


Bardin, Andrea

Oxford Brookes departments

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences\Department of Social Sciences


Year of publication: 2019
Date of RADAR deposit: 2019-01-14

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

Related resources

This RADAR resource is the Accepted Manuscript of From life to matter: Simondon’s political epistemology


  • Owner: Joseph Ripp
  • Collection: Outputs
  • Version: 1 (show all)
  • Status: Live
  • Views (since Sept 2022): 220