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2023: Online First
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Technophany publishes on an "Online First" basis throughout the year, meaning final revision articles prior to their inclusion into the journal's yearly "General Issue" or guest edited "Special Issue" are attributed a unique DOI number and placed into their appropiate section allowing articles to be cited as soon as they are published.

Published: 2023-11-16

Entropies (Edited by Joel White and Gerald Moore)

  • Entropy, Said the Devil (Entropy & its Discontents: From Heat Death to the Eternal Return)

    Dorion Sagan

    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 Entropocene, the “generalised anthropogenic acceleration 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 not 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.

  • The Unbecoming of Being Thermodynamics and The Metaphysics and Ethics of Entropic Decay

    Drew M. Dalton

    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.

  • Entropy’s Critical Translations Following Serres’s Path through the North-West-Passage

    Lilian Kroth

    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.

General Articles

  • On Natural Technicity Oikos, Articulation, and the Gift

    Georgios Tsagdis, Donovan Stewart

    Deconstruction is from the start a matter of ecology, that is, an approach to the interminable articulation of oikos that resituates the traditional determinations of nature, technique, and place. Accordingly, “natural technicity” emerges as a metonym for deconstruction; a thinking of technics not on the basis of artefacts, but as originary articulation, the process of animating and weaving together the oikos and logos of ecology. We begin at the oikos, emphasising its elemental and decisive character for explicating the “eco” that speaks in both economy and ecology. We then turn to the technical articulation of oikos. We suggest that it is precisely through the question of articulation that we arrive at another thinking of technique, the always distinct historical modes in which an oikos takes place, which remain irreducible to an exclusive mode of nature or culture. This leads to a thinking of generalised technicity, understood as the highly differentiated series of responses and relations to what is given, in what we see as a history of articulation in response to the gift—for ecology, the originary gift of the sun’s thermodynamic plenitude.

  • Transduction of The Laws of Logomachy Metastability, Simondon, and the Heraclitean Lógos

    Joel White

    This article is one in a series that develops the concept of logomachy. Logomachy is a philosophy of semantics or sense that takes into consideration the thermodynamic status of things in the world (their quamity). In particular, this article, looks at Gilbert Simondon’s claim that the laws of thought (Identity, Contradiction and the Excluded Middle) do not hold once certain thermodynamic states such as metastability (in between stability and instability) are taken into account. This article formulates, through a method I term transduction (the mutual development of concepts between domains), novel logical laws that fit more adequately the way things thermodynamically are in the world. To do this, the article turns to the presocratic philosopher Heraclitus to rethink the logos as a conflictual site of meaning where things, and their capacity to make-sense, is conditioned by energetic investment, where difference is the condition of sameness.

General Book reviews

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

  • Quantum Feminicity Modes of Countermanding Time

    Felicitiy Colman

    Quantum feminicity is a term that refers to the intersection of quantum theory, a technological branch of physics, with feminist theory, a social and political movement.

    Engaging the modal logics of this intersection, the article explores this intersection through one aspect of quantum literacy; that of the quantum splitting of the concept of the temporal narrative. The article examines what are the interdisciplinary convergences of feminist and physics’s respective philosophies. Focussing on the quantum modalities that are being practiced in relation to the situated nature of technological platforms engaged, the article proposes that modelling a quantum feminicity can assist in disengaging modes of sexual difference that are used to gender all kinds of bodies through a countermanding the temporal. Experiences of bodies are considered as experimental modes that provide quantum vectors for feminist actions.

  • Coyote figurations, Techne and Feminism

    Roshni Babu

    It is within the framework of situated knowledges in the field of biology and technology studies, in its relation to feminism that the coyote figuration is conceptualized by Donna Haraway. In what respect are they conceived by Donna Haraway to be figures of emancipation? What kind of affinity does it establishes with the figure of cyborg, as figure of posthumanism? Certainly, Donna Haraway hypothesizes the privilege of a ‘partial perspective’ having to play a role in expanding the epistemic horizon of feminist thought. This paper probes into the potential role of coyote figures as metaphors illuminating feminist readings of the relation between philosophy and technology. However, coyote figures have a generic character of transgression, and hence, borders on epistemological reduction of its ontico-ontological phenomenality which Catherine Malabou problematizes. Malabou’s eschewal of flexibility counters this binary by developing the role played by the “fantastic” in the espousal of plasticity of being. Being conceived in this originary mutability eliminates the interior-exterior division of beings. What are the comparable features of coyote figurations and the fantastic? And how does it add to the feminist understanding of philosophy of technology?

  • Ontopolitics of Equality and Xenoaesthetics of Abstraction

    Gonzalo Vaillo

    This article explores the relationship between metaphysics, politics and aesthetics in its role of technē within the context of equality. It presents two interconnected arguments. Firstly, it emphasises that equality is situated within the framework of ontopolitics, understood as the convergence of metaphysics and politics. This fusion is grounded in a shared systematic structure within the object’s internal dynamics. Secondly, the article underlines the importance of the mode of human cognition and object presentation in implementing equality. It proposes the xenoaesthetics of abstraction as a regime of action for perception to effectively establish the ontopolitical framework of equality. By challenging prevailing notions of transcendence, the article advocates for a non-hierarchical interior of the object that embraces the mutual constitution of object and subject. It recognises the thing’s capacity to reveal itself to us and be realised through us, emphasising the mobilisation of subjectivities as additional manifestations of the object. This perspective offers a complementary pathway to contemporary critical and activist discourses, promoting the advancement of equality through an ontopolitical focus on objects.

  • Emilie du Châtelet—On Knowledge and Matter A Precursor to Posthuman Feminism’s Approach to Science Making

    Dr. Tal Bar

    This paper suggests a reading of the early 18th-century philosopher Emilie du Châtelet’s position on the questions of knowledge and matter as a surprising early precursor to technoscience/ posthuman feminism’s stand on scientific methodology and embodiment. In her 1740 book Institution de Physics (Foundations of Physics), du Châtelet, in an enlightenment fashion, turns to empiricism in an attempt to explain how we acquire scientific knowledge with an aim to account for the physical world and specifically for bodily agency. It is empiricism that leads her to criticise both the Cartesians as well as the Newtonians disembodied account of force. Du Châtelet’s main quarrel with Newton’s theory of bodies arises from its insufficiency to account for matter as vital. It is here that she turns to Leibniz’s metaphysics in a move that, in effect, redefines the premise of reason. Having an insight into her intellectual world at the dawn of enlightenment highlights the tendencies of our scientific paradigm to account for bodies as nonlogical and affirms the technoscience/ posthuman feminist transformative project.

  • Karen Barad and the Unresolved Challenge of Collectivity A Case for New Materialisms

    Thomas Telios

    In this paper, I start by pointing out that despite their differences, Slavoj Žižek and Karen Barad share an understanding of the notions of relationality, processuality, and immanence as central tenets of materialist philosophy. As I argue, however, it is collectivity that acts in both Žižek’s and Barad’s works as a safety valve that lends immanence, processuality, and relationality their materialist quality. To support this argument, I demonstrate that certain forms of collectivity underlie the passage from Werner Heisenberg’s uncertainty to Niels Bohr’s indeterminacy in Barad’s interpretation of Bohr’s ‘philosophy-physics’. I call those forms of collectivity "collectivity as ontological necessity" and "collectivity as methodological necessity" respectively. However, I claim that there is a further form of collectivity, which I call ‘collectivity as inclusive and holistic overdetermination’, that Barad overlooks and that conditions the indeterminability of indeterminacy. As I argue, the latter also has implications for political agency. I conclude by briefly sketching out how these forms of collectivity can determine the production of subjectivity and, as a consequence, shape the subject’s collective action.

  • Going Sibylline On Fortune and Technique

    Jordi Vivaldi

    Throughout the sixth chapter of the Aeneid, Virgil conjugates the zigzagging temper of the Cumaean Sibyl as the probabilistic ambivalence of the cosmos itself rather than as its playful or inaccurate duplication. By wrapping “true things with uncertainty”, the Sibyl’s chants cultivate more sensibilities regarding the “paths of fortune” branching the cosmos, thus engaging with the given in multi-linear and inconclusive terms. This essay suggests that, by conceiving such a cosmic fortuity as a public form of subjectivity to be tempered in a sonic key (persona (L.)), the Sibyl’s oracular set-up might be enlivening more ways of engaging with Donna Haraway’s philosophical challenge: the quest for notions of objectivity and subjectivity that constitute one another without abandoning their own purpose. I would like to contend that such a sibylline engagement is an invitation to deploy more feminist lines of flight when it comes to technique’s intertwining with nature. It might offer us instruments to think of the technical and natural as always already enfleshed, yet not so much in keeping with the Promethean claim for “making the given” as in pursuit of enlivening unfamiliar forms of coexistence with the given’s probabilistic ambivalence—a conceptualisation making room for thinking of the technical in terms of syntonization, the calibration of attunement processes involving both gymnastic training and cosmetic fashioning.

  • Irigaray’s Two and Plato’s Indefinite Dyad The Space of Thinking

    Danielle A. Layne

    The following hopes to bring Plato’s unwritten doctrines into proximity with Irigaray’s concept of the Two as found in works like To Be Two or I love to you. By focusing on the the indefinite Dyad, Plato's reported co-archai with the One, it will be evidenced that Platonism begins and ends with a One which is not One (a kind of Two). Further, in this Dyad's failure to be One, it ultimately comes to possess its own productive and destructive power or, to use Irigaray's words, to love toward the Other in such a way as to produce or give birth to other others, real difference. Finally, Irigaray’s conception of the Two has dramatic social implications for her as a feminist, grounding a transformation of the political order of things. Due to this political import, the final section shifts to questioning whether Plato’s reported protological principles, the One and the indefinite Dyad, could perform a similar work.

  • Edge{s} of the “Anthropocene” Standard and Non-standard Post-humanisms

    Nandita Biswas Mellamphy

    This article examines three distinct onto-political modes: the human-centric onto-politics of ‘centring the human’, post-human onto-politics of ‘de-centring the human’, and a third mode that rejects and argues against these options in favour of jettisoning the human/non-human dyad altogether. Instead of placing humans ‘in or on the loop’ with other species, a third model would place humans ‘out of the loop’ of command. I argue that contrary to claims, the post-human declaration of ‘de-centring the human’ cannot be considered ‘post-anthropocentric’ (implying the abolition of anthropocentrism), though it can be considered ‘anti-anthropocentric’. Only the onto-politics of abolition would truly be post-anthropocentric, because only it would eliminate the human/non-human conceptual dualism upon which the onto-politics of centring and de-centring is based.

  • Feminism and Finitude

    Alessandra Mularoni

    This essay examines the ideological parallels between the transhuman pursuit for immortality and xenofeminism’s call for biological manipulation. Paying particular attention to the patriarchal legacy of technoscience, I identify eugenic principles embedded in the discursive emphasis on anti-naturalism, freedom, and alienation. My intention is to recuperate xenofeminism’s more radical manoeuvres by resituating its aims through a historical materialist approach. Specifically, I suggest a reinterpretation of nature as inherently technological. In so doing, I argue for an alliance between xenofeminism and ecofeminist political economy to engage a discursive redirection toward degrowth and dealienation. I then build on Rosi Braidotti’s (2013) posthuman theory of death to suggest an uncomfortable biopolitical expansion: a biopolitics for the Anthropocene should not only seek an equal right to live, but also an equal predisposition to death. My countervailing materialism centres a politics of finitude through an analysis of the vital-fatal entanglement in the body’s reproductive capacities.

  • The Physiology of Money Containment and Circulation in the Alternative Economy

    Coco Kanters

    This article presents an ethnography of alternative currencies that foregrounds the notion of “circulation”. Building upon a long legacy wherein money is equated with a primary life force—being either water or blood—that is contained within a body, “circulation” became a dominant metaphor for the use of money from the mid-seventeenth century onwards. Imagining money as a liquid that flows and circulates means that remedying economic inequalities and injustice is often reduced to a matter of redistribution. Instead, money is itself an institutional project engineered to distribute resources and authority based on a philosophy of growth and accumulation. Alternative currency initiatives aim to re-design, rather than re-distribute, money. Importantly, they believe the technological fix of a circular software system effectively does away with the inequalities of the capitalist mode of production. What happens when on-going practices towards systemic change converge on money and the economic “body” of a local community is imagined as software?

  • Machine-Thought and the Political Order

    Sophie Lesueur ; Brynn McNab, Jeremy R. Smith, Luka Stojanovic

    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. 

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