publication (article): rhythmic nootechnics

I have just had an article published (Online First) in Educational Philosophy and Theory, which will form part of a soon to be published Special Issue on ‘Bernard Stiegler as Philosopher of Education’. The paper is entitled ‘Rhythmic Nootechnics: Stiegler, Whitehead, and Noetic Life’.

In Taking Care of Youth and the Generations, Bernard Stiegler develops an account of the pedagogical responsibilities which follow from rhythmic intergenerational flows, involving the creation of milieus which care for and pay attention to the future, toward the creation of nootechnical milieus. Such milieus are defined by their objects of attention: political life, spiritual life, and political life; taken together: noetic life. Such is the claim Alfred North Whitehead makes when arguing that the sole object of education is life and the creation of an art of life which is itself a rhythmic adventure.

The purpose of this paper is three-fold. First, to clarify the importance of Stiegler’s reading of Aristotle’s notion of the noetic soul in our thinking about the role, purpose, and function of educational institutions in relation to intellective, spiritual, and political life. In this paper, I will fuse this discussion with a Whiteheadian approach to rhythm, developing what I call a ‘rhythmic nootechnics’ in the service of ‘nootechnical evolution’ as, I argue, Whitehead’s approach to rhythm allows to clarify and enrich Stiegler’s reading of Aristotle. Second, and as indicated, to explore the relationship between Whitehead and Stiegler, insofar as the former has become an increasing reference point for the latter, but this relationship remains unexplored in the literature. Third, to apply this concept of ‘rhythmic nootechnics’ to think about what transformations at the level of pedagogy and politics are necessary to reinvent the university from this Stieglerian and Whiteheadian perspective.

The full reference is as-follows (until full publication of the Special Issue):

Heaney, Conor, 'Rhythmic nootechnics: Stiegler, Whitehead, and noetic life’, Educational Philosophy and Theory, 2019, DOI: 10.1080/00131857.2019.1625768

You can download the paper from the journal's website (as well as access the other articles in this issue) here. Or by clicking here, where the first 50 downloads are free. If anyone wishes to see the paper and has issues with these links, please get in touch.

culture and technics: the politics of simondon's du mode

On 13th-15th September 2018 (and the months preceding), I had the privilege of co-organising a conference with Dr Iain MacKenzie and Arshita Nandan entitled Culture and Technics: The Politics of Simondon’s Du Mode, under the auspices of the Centre for Critical Thought and the Department of Politics & International Relations, for which we received funding from the University of Kent Faculty Research Fund and received invaluable support from professional services staff in the organisational process.

The conference emerged following the recent (and long awaited) translation of Gilbert Simondon’s Du mode d’existence des objets techniques [1958] (On the Mode of Existence of Technical Objects) which, among other things (and to put it lightly) made foundational and innovative contributions to the philosophy of technology, to the questions on the relationship between culture and technology, to process philosophy, philosophical anthropology, and ontology. This text would become crucial, for example, in the work of Gilles Deleuze and his approach to “individuation” (a Simondonian term), and is of course foundational in the work of Bernard Stiegler, whose “organological” approach is grounded (at least in part) by Simondon’s philosophy of technics.

We were delighted to welcome, among others, Cecile Malaspina, Yuk Hui, and Simon Mills (as keynotes), Bernard Stiegler (virtually - as an e-keynote), Anne Sauvagnargues, Daniela Voss, Ashley Woodward, and many others across all stages of research for a truly exciting and enriching set of discussions.

Incase any one might be interested, we have begun to upload the roundtables, keynotes, and panel sessions to the Centre for Critical Thought’s YouTube channel, all of which are being progressively organised into this playlist. Subscribe to the channel to stay tuned. I here embed the second roundtable session, a discussion between Anne Sauvagnargues and Yuk Hui, chaired by myself.