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Epimetheus Bound: Stiegler on Derrida, Life, and the Technological Condition

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Bernard Stiegler’s account of technology as constitutive of the human as such is without precedent. However, Stiegler’s work must also be understood in terms of its explicit appropriations from the thought of Jacques Derrida. An important, yet overlooked, context for framing Stiegler’s relation to Derrida is the question of nonhuman life thought in terms of différance. As I argue, Stiegler’s account does not unfold the most profound implications of Derrida’s understanding of nonhuman life as différance. While Stiegler describes human life as prosthetic and in default of origin, there is no treatment of the way in which nonhuman life is also aporetic and constituted in terms of its relatedness to exteriority. I conclude with a reconsideration of Stiegler’s work from the perspective of Derrida’s richer account of nonhuman life as différance in order to bring to light an anthropocentric aspect of Stiegler’s work.

Affiliations: 1: European College of Liberal Arts

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