Machine-Thought and the Political Order

Author(s)

  • Sophie Lesueur
  • Brynn McNab Concordia University
  • Jeremy R. Smith Western University
  • Luka Stojanovic Trent University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.54195/technophany.13802

Keywords:

Community, City, political philosophy, Political Machine, cybernetics, democracy

Abstract

The most widespread statement of political philosophy is presented here in the simplified and trivialised form of “man is X; he must become Y. ” Man must do so at the same time for himself, for his own survival, but also for the good of all, of the Community, of the City: the plurality must absolutely,  in any way whatsoever, give way to unity, subject to [sous peine] and under threat of chaos.  The essential question found confronting political doctrines, moreover since the prominence of the idea of democracy is the following: how to bring about the existence of a united society across a heterogeneous social body? The response from philosophy articulates itself around three principle schemas: the theoretical construction of a unified community under the order of similar laws to those of nature (Platonic schema); the search for the best regime, which will have as its ultimate end the moderation and perpetual regulation of conflicts, by an optimal combination of freedom and stability (Aristotelian schema); and the theorisation of the “end of politics” by the locating of a “social wrong” inscribed in a structure doomed to collapse by the practical negation of its ideological foundations (Marxian schema and derivatives). The mode of thought which imposes itself here is decisional. Beyond the third schema which constitutes in some way a meta-political critique, and necessitates that it alone has a particular analysis, in the two preceding, man constitutes a kind of material – raw or primary, depending –  that philosophy will work on, and sculpt to give it a form that harmonises fully with the Whole that it prescribes. In political philosophy, we always turn more or less around the “Let’s make man” of Hobbes, that is, around the technical transformation of a material given. Or to say it otherwise: the creation of an oeuvre from crude and imperfect elements, an oeuvre thought like a masterpiece – that is to say, one that contains within it an idea of perfection and permanence – but doomed here to serial reproduction. 

Author Biographies

  • Sophie Lesueur

    Sophie Lesueur is a doctor in Philosophy, from the l'Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Lyon. Thesis under the direction of François Laruelle, defended in 2008, entitled Non-philosophy of the political subject, a genealogy of power.

  • Brynn McNab, Concordia University

    Brynn Catherine McNab is a writer, curator, and programmer. She is a PhD student at Concordia University in the departments of mathematics and philosophy.

  • Jeremy R. Smith, Western University

    Jeremy R Smith is a PhD candidate at the Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism at Western University. He is a co-founder and co-editor of Oraxiom: A Journal of Non-Philosophy

  • Luka Stojanovic, Trent University

    Luka Stojanovic holds an Honours BA with Specialization in Philosophy (2018) and an MPhil in Film and Screen Studies (2019). He is currently completing an MA in Canadian Studies and Indigenous Studies at Trent University where his research focuses on the intersection of critical disability studies, queer theory, and arts-based research. He will be starting a Ph.D. in Canadian Studies at Trent University in Fall 2023 where his research will consider community-based approaches to support crip, mad, queer art in Peterborough/Nogojiwanong.

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Published

2023-06-09

Issue

Section

Technē and Feminism: Articles (edited by Katarina Kolozova and Vera Bühlmann)

How to Cite

“Machine-Thought and the Political Order”. 2023. Technophany, A Journal for Philosophy and Technology 2 (1): 1-22. https://doi.org/10.54195/technophany.13802.

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