5 Matching Annotations
- Aug 2019
What Heidegger calls the already there, constitutive of the temporality of Dasein, is this past that I never lived but that is nevertheless my past, without which I never would have had any past of my own. Such a structure of inheritance and transmission, which is the very ground of facticity itself since tradition can always conceal from me the sense of the origin that it alone can transmit to me, presupposes that the phenomenon of life qua Dasein becomes singular in the history of the living to the extent that, for Dasein, the epigenetic layer of life, far from being lost with the living when it dies, conserves and sediments itself, passes itself down in “the order of survival” [survivance] and to posterity as a gift as well as a debt, that is, as a destiny. This is not a “program” in the quasi-determinist biological sense, but a cipher in which the whole of Dasein’s existence is caught; this epigenetic sedimentation, a memorization of what has come to pass, is what is called the past, what we shall name the epiphylogenesis of man, meaning the conservation, accumulation, and sedimentation of successive epigeneses, mutually articulated. Epiphylogenesis is a break with pure life, in that in the latter, epigenesis is precisely what is not conserved (“the programmē cannot receive lessons from experience” [Jacob 1974, 11 ]) even if this is not without effect on the genetic selection in which evolution consists (these questions have at any rate to be put in the perspective of the relation phenotype/genotype as embryology sets it forth, thereby giving a new place to epigenesis)1— but this effect can therefore only transmit itself genetically, precisely; epi-phylo-genesis also in the sense in which, just as the embryo recapitulates each stage of evolution, each branch of the shrub of which it is the most recent bud, epigenesis must be recapitulated to take place. This is the very ideal of mathesis (an analogy to be handled all the more prudently as the concept of embryonic recapitulation is itself a metaphor). Epiphylogenesis bestows its identity upon the human individual: the accents of his speech, the style of his approach, the force of his gesture, the unity of his world. This concept would be that of an archaeology of reflexivity. This is what Heidegger called the historical [l’historial]. We come now to Heidegger after having opened up the questions of the temporality of différance qua the movement of life in general because there is in Heidegger an opposition between the time of technical measurement and concern, which is the loss of time, and authentic time, which is proper to Dasein— wrenched from the technical horizon of concern. Now if it is true that only epigenetic sedimentation can be the already-there, this is only possible when the transmission allowing for the sediments is of an absolutely technical, nonliving essence: made possible by the organized albeit inorganic matter that the trace always is— be it a matter of tool or of writing— let us say one of an organon in general.
Stiegler > Heidegger: the "epiphylogenesis" of the "already there" ||
Thus the difficulty of an interpretation of the meaning of modern technics for Heidegger is on a par with the difficulty of his entire thought. Modern technics is the concern of numerous texts, which do not always appear to move in the same direction. In other words, the meaning of modern technics is ambiguous in Heidegger’s work. It appears simultaneously as the ultimate obstacle to and as the ultimate possibility of thought. Among the works that deem it an obstacle, “The Question of Technics” and “The Age of the World Picture” are often quoted. However, the late essays “Time and Being” and “The End of Philosophy and the Task of Thinking” inscribe the possibility of another thinking within the task of contemplating the belonging-together of being and time in the Gestell. In “The Principle of Identity,” Gestell designates
Stiegler > Heidegger: [Gestell] "appears simultaneously as the ultimate obstacle to and as the ultimate possibility of thought" ||
Simondon characterizes modern technics as the appearance of technical individuals in the form of machines: hitherto, the human was a bearer of tools and was itself a technical individual. Today, machines are the tool bearers, and the human is no longer a technical individual; the human becomes either the machine’s servant or its assembler [assembliste]: the human’s relation to the technical object proves to have profoundly changed. Heidegger characterizes this “mutation” with the notion of Gestell (the systematization of the principle of reason). The semantics of Gestell is not foreign to that of system, and, in Gille’s view, the concept of a technical system grounds a scientific history of techniques.
Stiegler > Simondon / Heidegger: "technical individuals / systems" / "Gestell" ||
If it is true that systematicity informs the entire history of technics, in what respect, then, can modern technics be characterized as Gestell?
Stiegler > Heidegger: "If it is true that systematicity informs the entire history of technics, in what respect, then, can modern technics be characterized as Gestell?" ||
If modern technics nevertheless remains a mode of disclosure, it constitutes what is most properly to be thought. For it is through technics that the destiny of being unfolds, that is, technics is the history of being itself.
Stiegler > Heidegger: "technics is the history of being itself" ||