A Rational Theory of Miracles: on Pharmacology, Transindividuation, an Interview with Bernard Stiegler

Autumn 2012

Bernard Stiegler (BS) was interviewed by Ben Roberts (BR), Jeremy Gilbert (JG) and Mark Hayward (MH)

MH There are two concepts which are at the centre of your work, the concept of technics and the concept of individuation. Could you say something about the role these two concepts play in your work and how your engagement with them has changed over time?

BS Certainly. I’ll try to do that. I’ve worked for nearly thirty years on the concept of memory. The starting point for my work is the question of memory in Plato; more precisely, in what Plato calls ‘anamnesis’, that strange memory recalling a time that has not been lived by my body. This is also a way of posing the fundamental transcendental question, because in the end Plato’s concept of anamnesis is in a certain sense the concept of the origin of the transcendental. At the same time, I was asking this question as it had already been broached by Derrida. I was thus also interrogating the relation between anamnesis and hypomnesis; that is, between artificial memory and writing. In fact in the beginning I wasn’t studying philosophy, but linguistics and poetics.

NF 77 Bernard Stiegler: Technics, Politics, Individuation