Technophany, A Journal for Philosophy and Technology https://technophany.philosophyandtechnology.network/ <p><em>Technophany</em> is founded in view of the need to create a singular and unconventional space for reflections on philosophy and technology, which is diminishing today due to dogmatic academic practices and their reluctance to confront challenges imposed by the industrial world. Technophany aims to facilitate original reflections and provocations on the philosophy and history of technology, and contribute to the reshaping of the contemporary landscape of thought.</p> Radboud University Press en-US Technophany, A Journal for Philosophy and Technology 2773-0875 Looping Nature https://technophany.philosophyandtechnology.network/article/view/14830 <p><span style="left: 128.897px; top: 373.575px; font-size: 15px; font-family: serif; transform: scaleX(1.16921);">The following paper attempts to articulate a distinctly materialist notion of emergence and the formation </span><span style="left: 128.897px; top: 403.575px; font-size: 15px; font-family: serif; transform: scaleX(1.21294);">of patterns by way of re-visiting two texts that have been considered oddities, if not embarrassments, </span><span style="left: 128.897px; top: 433.575px; font-size: 15px; font-family: serif; transform: scaleX(1.18068);">by the subsequent developments of their respective disciplines: Freud’s </span><em><span style="left: 638.282px; top: 433.575px; font-size: 15px; font-family: serif; transform: scaleX(1.0821);">Project for a Scientific Psychology </span></em><span style="left: 128.897px; top: 463.575px; font-size: 15px; font-family: serif; transform: scaleX(1.17671);">and Engels’s </span><em><span style="left: 223.112px; top: 463.575px; font-size: 15px; font-family: serif; transform: scaleX(1.12363);">Dialectic of Nature</span></em><span style="left: 352.367px; top: 463.575px; font-size: 15px; font-family: serif; transform: scaleX(1.21004);">. Both texts are strikingly similar in their speculative engagement with </span><span style="left: 128.897px; top: 493.575px; font-size: 15px; font-family: serif; transform: scaleX(1.23989);">the natural sciences and in their potential to inform a renewed engagement with the question of the </span><span style="left: 128.897px; top: 523.575px; font-size: 15px; font-family: serif; transform: scaleX(1.21567);">relation between technology and life. In the concept of “path-breaking” [</span><em><span style="left: 660.467px; top: 523.575px; font-size: 15px; font-family: serif; transform: scaleX(1.08942);">Bahnung</span></em><span style="left: 719.477px; top: 523.575px; font-size: 15px; font-family: serif; transform: scaleX(1.21033);">] Freud understands </span><span style="left: 128.897px; top: 553.575px; font-size: 15px; font-family: serif; transform: scaleX(1.21116);">perceptions as inscribing themselves in the structure of the very perceiving apparatus through </span><span style="left: 128.897px; top: 583.575px; font-size: 15px; font-family: serif; transform: scaleX(1.17582);">repetition of what one could call a “material trace” (Sybille Krämer). This notion of the “material trace” </span><span style="left: 128.897px; top: 613.575px; font-size: 15px; font-family: serif; transform: scaleX(1.13272);">can be connected to the </span><span style="left: 311.162px; top: 613.575px; font-size: 15px; font-family: serif; transform: scaleX(1.11298);">key thrust of Engels’s “objective dialectics” in that it “concerns a model of </span><span style="left: 128.897px; top: 643.575px; font-size: 15px; font-family: serif; transform: scaleX(1.20891);">structural emergence”</span><span style="left: 292.337px; top: 643.575px; font-size: 15px; font-family: serif; transform: scaleX(1.20112);">(Hartmut Winkler). I want to propose that these texts can potentially enrich our </span><span style="left: 128.897px; top: 673.575px; font-size: 15px; font-family: serif; transform: scaleX(1.17414);">understanding of how mental formations such as memory take shape and how subjectivity is constituted </span><span style="left: 128.897px; top: 703.575px; font-size: 15px; font-family: serif; transform: scaleX(1.22425);">in material processes. That is, once Freud and Engels are read through recent philosophical thinking </span><span style="left: 128.897px; top: 733.575px; font-size: 15px; font-family: serif; transform: scaleX(1.12648);">on technology (Bernard Stiegler, Catherine Malabou) and the concept of recursivity (Yuk Hui). This </span><span style="left: 128.897px; top: 763.575px; font-size: 15px; font-family: serif; transform: scaleX(1.16607);">approach can also supply resources for a Marxist notion of ideology—namely by performing a turn from </span><span style="left: 128.897px; top: 793.575px; font-size: 15px; font-family: serif; transform: scaleX(1.13507);">a critique that is primarily concerned with the question of how we can penetrate false appearances </span><span style="left: 128.897px; top: 823.575px; font-size: 15px; font-family: serif; transform: scaleX(1.19742);">towards a materialist account of how (“false”) appearances, something like “real abstractions” (Alfred </span><span style="left: 128.897px; top: 853.575px; font-size: 15px; font-family: serif; transform: scaleX(1.19221);">Sohn-Rethel), can emerge out of the “flat plane” of matter.</span></p> Florian Endres Copyright (c) 2024 Technophany, A Journal for Philosophy and Technology 2024-02-29 2024-02-29 10.54195/technophany.14830 Book Review: The Phenomenology of Virtual Technology https://technophany.philosophyandtechnology.network/article/view/18509 Tiffany Petricini Copyright (c) 2023 Technophany, A Journal for Philosophy and Technology 2024-02-26 2024-02-26 1 5 10.54195/technophany.18509 A Conceptual History of Entropies from a Stieglerian Point of View https://technophany.philosophyandtechnology.network/article/view/15390 <p style="line-height: 100%; margin-bottom: 0cm;" align="justify"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman, serif;"><span style="font-size: medium;"><span style="font-weight: normal;"><span style="background: transparent;">In this </span></span><span style="font-weight: normal;"><span style="background: transparent;">article</span></span><span style="font-weight: normal;"><span style="background: transparent;"> I will try to suggest a transdisciplinary framework in order to analyse the contemporary ecological polycrisis which is usually described as the </span></span><span style="font-weight: normal;"><span style="background: transparent;">Entropocene</span></span><span style="font-weight: normal;"><span style="background: transparent;"> era. </span></span><span style="font-weight: normal;"><span style="background: transparent;">According to French philosopher Barnard Stiegler, the Anthropocence can be understoodas an Entropocene, because the current</span></span><span style="color: #000000;"><span style="font-weight: normal;"><span style="background: transparent;"> ecological crisis </span></span></span><span style="color: #000000;"><span style="font-weight: normal;"><span style="background: transparent;">consists in</span></span></span><span style="color: #000000;"><span style="font-weight: normal;"><span style="background: transparent;"> a </span></span></span><span style="color: #000000;"><span style="letter-spacing: normal;"><span style="font-style: normal;"><span style="font-weight: normal;"><span style="background: transparent;">process of massive increase of entropy in all its forms : thermodynamic entropy (that is, dissipation of physical or chemical energy), biological entropy (as the destruction of biodiversity), and psycho-social entropy (as the reduction of knowledge to data and calculations, through digital disruptive technologies). </span></span></span></span></span><span style="color: #000000;"><span style="letter-spacing: normal;"><span style="font-style: normal;"><span style="font-weight: normal;"><span style="background: transparent;">In order to analyze this situation, we need a transversal conception of entropy</span></span></span></span></span><span style="color: #000000;"><span style="letter-spacing: normal;"><span style="font-style: normal;"><span style="font-weight: normal;"><span style="background: transparent;"> : </span></span></span></span></span><span style="color: #000000;"><span style="letter-spacing: normal;"><span style="font-style: normal;"><span style="font-weight: normal;"><span style="background: transparent;">f</span></span></span></span></span><span style="color: #000000;"><span style="letter-spacing: normal;"><span style="font-style: normal;"><span style="font-weight: normal;"><span style="background: transparent;">rom Bergson’s philosophy of life to Stiegler’s philosophy of technics, going through Schrodinger’s physics, Wiener’s cybernetics, Lotka’s biology </span></span></span></span></span><span style="color: #000000;"><span style="letter-spacing: normal;"><span style="font-style: normal;"><span style="font-weight: normal;"><span style="background: transparent;">and </span></span></span></span></span><span style="color: #000000;"><span style="letter-spacing: normal;"><span style="font-style: normal;"><span style="font-weight: normal;"><span style="background: transparent;">Levi-Strauss’s anthropology, </span></span></span></span></span><span style="color: #000000;"><span style="letter-spacing: normal;"><span style="font-style: normal;"><span style="font-weight: normal;"><span style="background: transparent;">I will try to </span></span></span></span></span><span style="color: #000000;"><span style="letter-spacing: normal;"><span style="font-style: normal;"><span style="font-weight: normal;"><span style="background: transparent;">build a conceptual history of entropies and</span></span></span></span></span><span style="color: #000000;"><span style="letter-spacing: normal;"><span style="font-style: normal;"><span style="font-weight: normal;"><span style="background: transparent;"> to explore </span></span></span></span></span><span style="color: #000000;"><span style="letter-spacing: normal;"><span style="font-style: normal;"><span style="font-weight: normal;"><span style="background: transparent;">its </span></span></span></span></span><span style="color: #000000;"><span style="letter-spacing: normal;"><span style="font-style: normal;"><span style="font-weight: normal;"><span style="background: transparent;">economic and political consequences, </span></span></span></span></span><span style="color: #000000;"><span style="letter-spacing: normal;"><span style="font-style: normal;"><span style="font-weight: normal;"><span style="background: transparent;">in order to open new paths</span></span></span></span></span><span style="color: #000000;"><span style="letter-spacing: normal;"><span style="font-style: normal;"><span style="font-weight: normal;"><span style="background: transparent;"> beyond the Entropocene era.In this article I will try to suggest a transdisciplinary conception of entropy in order to analyse the contemporary ecological polycrisis which is usually described as the Anthropocene era. According to French philosopher Bernard Stiegler, the Anthropocence can be understood as an Entropocene, becausethe current ecological crisis consists of a process of massive increases of entropy in all its forms: thermodynamic entropy (that is, dissipation of physical or chemical energy), biological entropy (as the destruction of biodiversity), and psycho-social entropy (as the reduction of knowledge to data and calculations, through digital disruptive technologies). In order to analyse this situation, we need a transversal conception of entropy: from Bergson’s philosophy of life to Stiegler’s philosophy of technics, through Schrodinger’s physics, Wiener’s cybernetics, Lotka’s biology and Levi-Strauss’s anthropology, I will try to build a conceptual history of entropies from a Stieglerian point of view and to explore its economic and political consequences in Stiegler’s thought, in order to open new paths beyond the Entropocene era.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> Anne Alombert Copyright (c) 2024 Technophany, A Journal for Philosophy and Technology 2024-02-29 2024-02-29 1 15 10.54195/technophany.15390 Diversity and Biocultural Invention https://technophany.philosophyandtechnology.network/article/view/14503 <p><span style="left: 128.897px; top: 373.575px; font-size: 15px; font-family: serif; transform: scaleX(1.18748);">In non-modern biocultures, contextual human technicity has played a key role in shaping the behaviors </span><span style="left: 128.897px; top: 403.575px; font-size: 15px; font-family: serif; transform: scaleX(1.16216);">and the morphology of non-human species, which in return has simultaneously modulated human </span><span style="left: 128.897px; top: 433.575px; font-size: 15px; font-family: serif; transform: scaleX(1.16847);">morphology and behavior: </span><span style="left: 319.322px; top: 433.575px; font-size: 15px; font-family: serif; transform: scaleX(1.08788);">behavior affords behavior</span><span style="left: 487.667px; top: 433.575px; font-size: 15px; font-family: serif; transform: scaleX(1.17897);">. Studies intersecting anthropology and ecology have </span><span style="left: 128.897px; top: 463.575px; font-size: 15px; font-family: serif; transform: scaleX(1.13178);">framed this process as a biological feedback in which species co-evolve through the constitution of </span><span style="left: 128.897px; top: 493.575px; font-size: 15px; font-family: serif; transform: scaleX(1.21044);">biocultural diversification, thus producing negative entropy through technical activities. </span></p> Eduardo Makoszay Mayén Copyright (c) 2023 Technophany, A Journal for Philosophy and Technology 2024-02-26 2024-02-26 1 22 10.54195/technophany.14503 The Thermodynamics of Life as a Speculative Model for Planetary Technology https://technophany.philosophyandtechnology.network/article/view/16090 <p>Originating from nineteenth century physics, the concept of entropy—a measure of disorder, randomness, and/or the dissipation of useful energy—underlay a cosmology where order and complexity were seen as highly improbable phenomena in a universe tending toward chaos and disorganisation. Nearly a century later, theoretical frameworks were developed for understanding the production of entropy as an enabling feature of self-organized complexity in the natural world. These ideas would contribute to establishing connections between the origins, development, and evolution of life and the principles of a thermodynamic universe. For some, they also supplied the conceptual foundations for theorizing about a universal natural tendency driving the development of increasingly complex and ordered systems which amplify processes of entropy production and energy dissipation and dispersal. In this paper I chart a path through the aforementioned ideas and present their relevance in framing a relationship between our technological civilization and the Earth system. I then speculate about the prospect of a technosphere whose constitution and activity are aligned with thermodynamic principles of dissipation and entropy-production, drawing on theoretical biology and recent developments in bioengineering to envision a paradigm where technology becomes living matter itself.</p> Cristian Hernandez-Blick Copyright (c) 2023 Technophany, A Journal for Philosophy and Technology 2024-01-06 2024-01-06 1 31 10.54195/technophany.16090 Entropy and Negativity https://technophany.philosophyandtechnology.network/article/view/15370 <p>Entropy, often defined negatively as disorder or randomness within a system, is vital for organisation while also posing a threat to cyclical reproduction. Entropy is not equivalent to disorganisation, but rather a source of creativity at the local level, even if the tendency towards entropy persists globally. In this article, we build upon Bernard Stiegler’s understanding of entropy, and argue that the interplay of entropy and anti-entropy can be comprehended through Hegel’s notion of negativity, and draw upon the organisational approach to biological systems, which introduces anti-entropy as akin to organisation. Thus, we address Stiegler’s lopsided criticisms of dialectical accounts and argue that the interplay between entropy and anti-entropy is inherently dialectical. We also employ the concept of habit to understand the dialectic of entropy and anti-entropy in the life of organisms, and the delicate balance between stability and plasticity that must be upheld for the thriving of both organisms and their environments.</p> Rasmus Sandnes Haukedal Nikolaos Mylonas Copyright (c) 2023 Technophany, A Journal for Philosophy and Technology 2024-01-09 2024-01-09 1 25 10.54195/technophany.15370 On Entropy and Responsibility in the Thought of Ivan Illich https://technophany.philosophyandtechnology.network/article/view/14876 <p>This paper aims to explore the concept of entropy in Ivan Illich’s overall thinking and deliver a dialog with other authors. Our goals are twofold. First, we aim at pointing out how Illich's early work is relevant for critically thinking about entropy in its relationship to forms of social organization and technology usage. Secondly, we point to how Illich’s later works consider a planetary responsibility. By gathering matter, energy and information, technology is an ambiguous force of both hominization and alienation, world-building and world destruction. For an early Illich, liberation from such new heteronomy was possible. The late Illich, however, adverts against the dangers of a collective responsibility. The attempt to “save life” is a necrophiliac manipulation, dependent on a planetary extension of promethean power. Instead, humankind must nurture the return of Epimetheus: a powerless relationship with the future that places hope as the constitutive force of social fabric.</p> Tiago Mesquita Carvalho Copyright (c) 2023 Technophany, A Journal for Philosophy and Technology 2024-01-09 2024-01-09 1 26 10.54195/technophany.14876 Entropy, Said the Devil https://technophany.philosophyandtechnology.network/article/view/14438 <p>Appearing to channel the Devil himself, writer Dorion Sagan reports on a deep Earth conference where the former, with technical and philosophical rigor, expands upon Bernard Stiegler’s notion of the <em>Entropocene</em>, the “generalised anthropogenic <em>acceleration</em> in the rate of terrestrial entropization” from which “[m]any of the world’s current politico-ecological crises derive” (White and Moore, 2022). The apparently possessed writer, whose stenography of the deep Earth demon appears to be for self-aggrandizement as part of a suspected Mephistophelean pact, argues that Stiegler’s Entropocene is in fact a specific form of thermodynamic planetary dysfunction. Unlike some other global concerns analyzed by philosophers—e.g., Immanuel Kant’s inquiries into the possibilities of world peace, and speculations, following Fontenelle, on the existence of life on other planets—the analysis of Earth’s planetary condition, is <em>not</em> unique: it is an example of thermodynamic dysfunction in general, which has important and investigable precursors: forest ecosystems exposed to heat and radiation from nuclear runoff, nonliving complex systems (e.g., Bénard cells, Taylor vortices, “multiplying” typhoons, and long-lived autocatalytic Belousov-Zhabotinski chemical reactions) that exhibit physiological malaise, and ultimately “death,” when the temperature, pressure, or electron potential gradients upon which their organization depends become too steep or insufficient. Among the many interwoven themes discussed in one of the Devil’s “outer dens” are senescence, the checkered history and thermodynamic reality of entropy as a measure of the spread of energy, Nietzschean eternal recurrence, life on other planets, and the mythical heat death of the universe.</p> Dorion Sagan Copyright (c) 2023 Technophany, A Journal for Philosophy and Technology 2023-11-16 2023-11-16 1 27 10.54195/technophany.14438 The Unbecoming of Being https://technophany.philosophyandtechnology.network/article/view/14045 <p><span style="font-family: Calibri,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 12pt; color: #000000;">Like the Copernican revolution which initiated the Modern project, there has been a thermodynamic revolution in the empirical sciences in the last two centuries. The aim of this paper is to show how we might draw from this revolution to make new and startling metaphysical and ethical claims concerning the nature and value of reality. To this end, this paper employs Aristotle’s account of the relation of the various philosophies and sciences to one another to show how we might assert a new theory of being, moral value, and practical action from the primacy of entropic decay asserted in the contemporary mathematical sciences. This paper proceeds to show how, from what the contemporary sciences have concluded concerning the primacy of entropic decay within reality, unbecoming might be forwarded as a new account of the essence of existence: i.e., the first cause and motivating principle of reality’s formal, material, efficient, and final nature. The paper concludes by arguing that a new and surprising account of universal ethical value and normative duty can be deduced from such a metaphysics of decay.</span></p> Drew M. Dalton Copyright (c) 2023 Technophany, A Journal for Philosophy and Technology 2023-11-16 2023-11-16 1 24 10.54195/technophany.14045 Entropy’s Critical Translations https://technophany.philosophyandtechnology.network/article/view/14313 <p>It is, according to Serres, the ‘greatest discovery of history that entropy and information are connected’ – a line of thought he takes throughout epistemological questions, aesthetics, cultural analysis, and a theory of matter. By following Serres’s work, one finds negentropy, entropy, chaos, local orders, the ‘soft’, and the ‘hard’ almost everywhere in his writings. The intellectual context and sources that Serres draws on are an important support to understand the way in which the coupling of informational and thermodynamic entropy takes place, and how it becomes a key operator of entropic differentiation. This text draws a combinatorial map of how Serres connects understandings of entropy across a range of areas of knowledge. In this specific context, Serres’s path of translation harnesses the so-called ‘hard’ and the ‘soft’ forms of entropy in looking at literature and arts, yet also to discuss social phenomena and the formations of societies. By drawing attention to the negative spaces in Serres’s connective path of translating entropies, and in the course of reading his work in context with other philosophies of entropy, this section aims to explore Serres’s translations in the way it both connects and leaves gaps. Approaching Serres’s criticality in this way brings one to the critical, difficult, icy landscapes of the North-West-Passage and the role it plays in his work. The North-West-Passage epitomises a ‘method’ to conceive the difficult path between the natural sciences and the humanities – exactly the kind of path that ‘entropy’ often meanders on. In fact, entropy itself plays an important role in regard the icy landscape’s ecology, e.g. to the degree to which the passage is melted or frozen, and thus, to the possibility of the passage as such. By bringing these multi-layered aspects of entropy as a material, aesthetic, and critical factor together, this contribution places Serres’s take on entropy as an eco-critical path in the face of the melting of icy landscapes.</p> Lilian Kroth Copyright (c) 2023 Technophany, A Journal for Philosophy and Technology 2023-11-16 2023-11-16 1 19 10.54195/technophany.14313