On the notion of the political in postmarxist theory.

Seminars

04.12.2014
Speculative materialism in queer-feminist perspective
Emerging life and syntheses of matter and time

14.06.2013
Aesthetic existence and the ontologisation of poverty
Whatever life

20.04.2013
The practise of doing nothing 

Unemployed positivity

04.11.2012
Miguel Abensour as reader of Spinoza
Spinoza, Marx, Moses Hess

05.10.2012
Agamben and Nancy as readers of Spinoza
Leaving Immanence?

06.06.2012
Feminist readings of Spinoza
Becoming woman?

03.05.2012
Deleuze on Spinoza's theory of affects 

From the ontological to the affective

04.04.2012
Spinoza with Deleuze
The underground current of the philosophy of immanence

07.03.2012
Macherey's Spinoza
Ontology of multiplicity or materialist dialectic?

08.02.2012
Althusser's concept of immanent causality 
- Seminar
Marx with Spinoza

08.12.2011
Exhausting politics 

Being out of class (Deleuze)

01.11.2011
What is an inoperativity that consists in contemplating one's own potentiality to act?
The messianic class

29.06.2011
Sharing the inappropriable
The retreating class

26.05.2011
The political capacity of the proletariat
The subtractive class II

07.04.2011
The political capacity of the proletariat
The subtractive class

03.03.2011
Disrupting the logic of division
The supplementary class

04.02.2011
The antinomies of proletarian politics
The paradoxical class

02.12.2010
Nancy and Lacoue-Labarthe on political difference
Retreating the political

08.11.2010
Lars T. Lih as Reader of Lenin
What Is to be Done? and Bolshevism

03.10.2010
The concept of capitalism in "Anti-Oedipus"
Capitalism deterritorialized

30.06.2010
Deleuze, Guattari, Lacan
An impossible encounter I

28.05.2010
An impossible encounter: Deleuze, Guattari and Lacan
Preparatory Meeting

27.05.2010
Micropolitics in "A thousand plateaus"
Molecular Politics I

07.04.2010
On affectivity and potentiality
Spinoza with Deleuze

04.03.2010
Nietzsche with Deleuze
The negative in the positive

04.02.2010
The notion of becoming in Deleuze and Guattari
Becoming

04.11.2009
On Esposito's concept of bio/politics
Biopotentiality

08.10.2009
Reading Althusser

07.10.2009
Rancière's farewell to Althusserian Marxism
La leçon d'Althusser

06.10.2009
Debating Althusser's philosophy of the encounter
What is aleatory materialism?

03.09.2009
Negri on materialism
Kairos, Alma Venus, Multitudo

02.09.2009
Tronti and Cacciari's concept of the political
The autonomy of the political

17.06.2009
"From Capital-Labor to Capital-Life" by M. Lazzarato
Invention

20.05.2009
Reading Simondon
Individuation

09.04.2009
Nancy on the singularity of death
Excess

11.03.2009
Agamben and Deleuze on pure immanence
Immanence

11.03.2009
Encountering Althusser
Preparatory meeting

11.03.2009
Workshop: becoming-major, becoming-minor
Preparatory meeting

07.02.2009
Foucault with Deleuze
The force of the outside II

06.02.2009
Superimposing diagrams: discipline and governmentality
The force of the outside

06.02.2009
Encountering Althusser
Preparatory Meeting

05.12.2008
Reading Jacques Rancière's "Dis-agreement"
Marx's Metapolitics

04.11.2008
Reading Balibar's "The Vacillation of Ideology in Marxism"
The non-totalizable complexity of the historical process

05.10.2008
Reading Jacques Derrida's "Specters of Marx"
Deconstructing Value Theory

11.09.2008
Reading Moishe Postone's "Time, Labor and Social Domination"
Value and Capitalist Capacities

01.07.2008
Debating "The mirror of production" by Jean Baudrillard
Marx with Bataille

06.06.2008
The coming communities of commons

05.06.2008
Feminist comments on the relation between politics and labor
The arcane of reproduction

09.05.2008
Rancière on the inactuality of communism and the intelligence of the unqualified

07.05.2008
Virno on Marx's "Fragments on machines"
Notes on the general intellect

04.04.2008
Virno on the concept of bio-politics in Postoperaism
What is living and what is dead in Marx's philosophy? II

03.04.2008
Jason Read on abstract and living labor
What is living and what is dead in Marx's philosophy?

07.03.2008
Reading Negri's "Twenty Theses on Marx"
The autonomy of living labor

08.02.2008
Class composition in Italian autonomist Marxism
The emergence of the socialised worker II

07.02.2008
Class composition in Italian autonomist Marxism
The emergence of the socialised worker

07.12.2007
On Badiou's concept of truth procedure
Assigning a measure to the excessive power of the state

09.11.2007
Reading Jacques Ranciere's "Ten theses on politics"
The supplementary part that disconnects the people from itself

04.10.2007
Deleuze and Guattari on the concept of minoritarian struggle
Micropolitics

07.09.2007
On class composition and radical negativity
Domestic work and class struggle within the class II

06.09.2007
On class composition and radical negativity
Domestic work and class struggle within the class

02.07.2007
From class to minority
The relationship of Marxism and Post-Structuralism III

01.07.2007
On the concept of the concrete universal
The relationship of Marxism and Post-Structuralism II

30.06.2007
On Marx and Foucault
The relationship of Marxism and Post-Structuralism

30.05.2007
Dictatorship of the proletariat and council movement
The Soviet experience II

29.05.2007
Rosa Luxemburg on the Russian Revolution
The Soviet experience

06.04.2007
Negri on Lenin
Democracy beyond law II

05.04.2007
Lenin's concept of the dictatorship of protetariat
Democracy beyond law

09.03.2007
Benjamin's concept of mysthic and divine violence
To bring about the real state of exception II

08.03.2007
Agamben's reading of Benjamin
To bring about the real state of exception

09.02.2007
Agamben's sovereign theoretical turn in thinking potentiality
Potentiality of impotentiality II

08.02.2007
Agamben's theory of autonomous potentiality
Potentiality of impotentiality

Reading Simondon
Individuation

In this seminar meeting we are going to discuss Alberto Toscano's paper on Simondon together with Simondon's text "The Genesis of the Individual". In "The Disparate" Toscano undertakes a political reading of an author he qualifies to betray a strong anti-political tendency. He does so by taking Simondon's philosophy of technical culture as intervention in the actual debate about politics and ontology. For Toscano, Simondon's theory displaces the alternative between a vitalist ontology of potential multitudes and a subtractive ontology of decisionism that in "Logics of worlds" has polemically been put by Badiou as confrontation of democratic materialism (Negri's alleged compromise with the status quo) versus materialist dialectic (Badiou's own truth of subtractive truth).

Toscano highlights three seminal theoretical effects of Simondon's theory of ontogenesis:

1) the Deleuzian' reference to the concept of disparation by which Deleuze determines virtuality as preindividual, impersonal field containing disparate singularities,

2) the idea of the excess of the subject over the individual as condition of a transindividual politics of invention,

3) the invention of the concept of disparation as non-dialectical idea of conflict and transformation.

Against the hylomorphism of Marxism (labor as form-giving fire of matter) in which invention has been repressed by labor, Toscano detects in Simondon a thinker of a political act conceived as invention, constitution of anormalcy and creative destabilisation of a social field.

His interpretation is characterized by a peculiar turn of arguments. Starting with a strong Deleuzian reading of Simondon as thinker of disparation and of "politics as the invention of a communication between initially incompossible series" by which Toscano forces an a-subjective understanding of individuation as the passage from the preindividual to a multiplicity of haecceities, he suddenly and inconsistently turns to a Badiouian interpretation of Simondon stating "the experience of the subject opens onto politics to the extent that this subject gives rise to a transindividual sociality "by subtracting itself, with the assistance of the machine and technical networks, from the inert normalcy of the interindividual".

In a first step Simondon's conceptualisation of ontogenesis in which being is thought as becoming is read by Toscano against its post-operaist interpretators. Virno's thesis that anthropogenesis and capitalist development converge since the general capacities of human beings (improvisation, invention, attention) have become central productive forces is rejected in favor of Deleuze's idea of a constitutive disparation. Potentialities, here, do not express a latent humanity immanent to the history of being but a cosmic energetic charge immanent to an initial incompatibility making up all being. In "Difference and Repitition" Deleuze has written: "Gilbert Simondon has shown recently that individuation presupposes a prior metastable state – in other words, the existence of a 'disparateness' such as at least two orders of magnitude or two scales of heterogeneous reality between which potentials are distributed" (246). Toscano takes from Simondon the idea of being as relation of the unrelated, as irreducible unequal, reformulating this idea in the political question of how to produce an event-invention which resolves parts of the energetic charge of a social field "crystallizing it into a new configuration".

In a second step, Toscano introduces to this non-subjective thinking of politics as heterogenous assemblage the category of a subject by refering to Simondon's notion of the technician: "The technician as 'pure individual'", Toscano says, "constructs through invention, a break with the communitarian bond, a creative destabilization which doubles and counter-effectuates metastability, thus preparing the 'revolutionary' event". Against this logic of interpretation, Deleuze had already argued in his 1966 review article "On Gilbert Simondon" that Simondon is endangered to reinstitute through the conceptualisation of a movement that goes from the preindividual to the transindividual by way of individuation "the form of a Self, despite having dismissed it in his theory of disparity, or of the individual conceived as dephased and multiphased being" (Pli 12 (2001): 49).

 — Toscano: The Disparate: Ontology and Politics in Simondon, Paper delivered at the Society for European Philosophy, 2007

— Simondon: The Genesis of the Individual, in Crary/ Kwinter (ed.): "Incorporations", Zone Books, 1992, pp. 297-319 (Introduction to "L'individu et sa genèse physico-biologique: L'individuation à la lumière des notions de forme et d'information", P.U.F., Paris, 1964

www.skok.uib.no/Deleuze/11%20%20Simondon%20Genesis%20of%20the%20Individual.pdf



Additionally, something to have a look on, if you like,

firstly, in the library you find Deleuze's concise comment on Simondon's "L'individu et sa genèse physico-biologique" (part of his doctoral thesis, see below), "On Gilbert Simondon", published in "Desert Islands and other Texts, 1953-1974", or online at

http://www.warwick.ac.uk/philosophy/pli_journal/pdfs/Vol_12/12_4_Deleuze.pdf

secondly, here you find a link to Jason Read's comments on Virno as Left-Simondonian, he made in his blog "Unemployed Negativity"

http://unemployednegativity.blogspot.com/2009/04/anthropogenesis-part-three-reification.html

and, thirdly, the English translation of the first part of Simondon's doctoral thesis, "On the Mode of Existence of Technological Objects" (1958)

http://topologicalmedialab.net/xinwei/classes/readings/Simondon/OnTheModeOfExistenceTechnicalObjects/English/Part%201/SimondonGilbert.OnTheModeOfExistence.pdf