Arthur Bradley, Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Literature and Critical Theory at Lancaster University, has written Originary Technicity as a. Life — Labour — Psyche — Being — The other — Time — Death. Arthur Bradley, Originary Technicity: The Theory of Technology from Marx to Predication as Originary Violence: A Phenomenological Critique of Derrida’s View.

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To put it in Lacan’s own brutally clear words, in response to a question from Octave Mannoni, the human and the machine are both the effect of a radically inhuman, cybernetic other that operates independently of any agency: Let us briefly re-trace the steps of this remarkable argument.

Perhaps understandably, Heidegger’s account of the pre- theoretical relation between human and tool has attracted considerable interest originaryy contemporary philosophy of technics. Let me recite this fascinating little heuristic fiction in full: In the course of 30 years of texts, psychic processes are variously compared to writing, signification and most intriguingly, the machine.

I use my hammer in order to make a table and chair, for example, and I make a table and chair in order to work, or to eat dinner, and so on p. W hat is at play in the m achine?. Literature, Reli- gion and the Imagination ed.

Arthur Bradley, Originary Technicity: The Theory of Technology From Marx to Derrida – PhilPapers

Open Preview See a Problem? It is impor- tant to recall here that at the very beginning of his career, Derrida himself briefly but suggestively situated the impossible project of a sci- ence of writing – a grammatology – within a larger ‘scriptural turn’ at work in both information theory and molecular biology which sought to transform life into a code or program: Germain – – Lexington Books. Nev- ertheless, at the same time, the psychoanalyst is always attempting to short-circuit this feedback loop by insisting upon the primary, organic status of the psyche itself.

After Freud, we are no longer stable, independent and self-reflexive thinking subjects but the site of a complex of unconscious, autonomous, even inhuman drives and, in many ways, this insight ushers in the entire critique of the ego cogito in twentieth-century philosophy. For when you went into your little apologue about the disappearance of men, you forgot one thing, which is that men had to return in order to grasp the relation between the reflec- tion and the thing reflected.

It will already be clear even from my own very brief account that Lacan deeply radicalises the relation between mind and machine. Jordan Peacock marked it as to-read Aug 14, It could not but occur because, as David Wills recently argues, what it describes is ‘the turn into a technology that was always there’ even from the very beginning.

Arthur Bradley, Originary Technicity: The Theory of Technology from Marx to Derrida

ISBN hardback This book is printed on paper suitable for recycling and made from fully managed and sustained forest sources.

In the process of see- ing the manuscript through to publication, I have been greatly helped by Priyanka Gibbons and the editorial team at Palgrave Macmillan together with the insights of my anonymous readers.


It cannot be some uni- versal technjcity essence that now tefhnicity into the machine because Marx makes very clear in Chapter 7 of Capital that the human is nothing outside its dynamic and recursive relation to its inhuman environ- ment: In this account, mem- ory is not just figuratively but quite literally a psychic Wunderblock – an originary writing or prosthesis stratified across a number of levels – that combines the preservation and deferral of traces, the living and the dead in the same machinic movement: That is already enough to raise the question – What is left in the mirror?

Such a re-working of the empirico-transcendental divide lies at the basis of his critique of a residual anthropologism in Freud, Husserl, Heidegger and even Jean- Luc Nancy’s self-proclaimed ‘Deconstruction of Christianity’. Given the fact that industrial capital mobilises techno-scientific forces precisely in order to maximise labour time beyond human capacity – a steam hammer obviously works much more efficiently and produc- tively than a human hand – such a continuing reliance upon exploiting human labour as the only source of value compels it to delimit the very forces it unleashed in the first place.

Just as the material ‘metaphor’ that is the Mystic Writing Pad bradleh in order to retrospec- tively prove bradlfy ‘literal’ immateriality of memory, so the mechanical analogue Olympia becomes a kind of psychic scapegoat for Nathaniel’s own machinism: Both the camera and the eye have the singular ability to capture the real, the imaginary and the symbolic all at once.

Despite the fact that much of the Dialectics belongs to the realm of historical curios- ity today, it is remarkable that Engels’ almost entirely speculative thesis on the origins of man still manages to anticipate many of the theories of modern palaeo-anthropology, particularly Leroi-Gouhran’s argument about the role of tool use in human evolution. And who – if anyone – will turn out to be the thinker – the res cogitans – of that thought?

But what was to run by itself was the psyche and not its imitation or mechanical represen- tation. Bradley University of Cincinnati. If Derrida is right to take Freud to task for his naively anthropocentric account of the machine as an inferior prosthesis to the human, we might wonder whether there is still a kind of anthropocentrism in a reading that sees even the most sophisticated mnemic systems as nothing more than a liberated imitation of existing human capacities: In the next chapter, though, we must turn technkcity another important source for Derrida’s philosophy of technics: Labour 33 In this machinic subsumption of all the labourer’s physical and mental powers, the tool-making animal described in Chapter 7 of the Capital is finally transformed into the machine-operated tool of Chapter Perhaps most importantly, however, what follows is not simply a simple oroginary tory or genealogy of Derrida’s theory of originary technicity but an attempt to offer a critique of that theory.

This leads us to the uncom fort- able conclusion that the early Lacan’s attempt to use the machine to ‘free our notion of consciousness of any mortgage as regards the subject’s apprehension of itself’, as he puts it, is itself mortgaged to a histori- cally finite concept of technology as non-reflexive, and one that was already in the process of becoming at least theoretically obsolete.


In a gesture that would have enormous ramifications into the twentieth century, the human body becomes just one more thermodynamic energy-producing machine amongst others The H um an Motor, p. Science Logic and Mathematics.

Originary Technicity: The Theory of Technology from Marx to Derrida by Arthur Bradley

Derrida’s originary technicity as we will see in Chapter 5 techicity not much less abstract and monolithic than Zeug whereas Stiegler’s only example of what he calls ‘dynamic specificity’ is a form of technics that would scarcely be unfamiliar to Heidegger him- self, namely, the work of art The Fault ofEpimetheus, p. Notes on Derrida’s Inheritance of Marx. In Lacan’s theory, the automatic camera – endlessly tak- ing pictures without ever being aware of what it is doing – becomes the latest exemplum of a theory of the psyche whereby human subjectivity is the effect of the symbolic order: If techno- logical implements are an elementary factor in the labour process, and the labour process is, in turn, allegedly the defining characteristic of human being, then Marx is able to conclude with Benjamin Franklin that human species-existence is defined through technicitu relation to technol- ogy: Such an uncanny machinic dimen- sion – which Freud himself always figures as a certain death13 – at work within the living psyche can be witnessed in the phenomenon of the involuntary repetition of the same: Now, in stark contrast to this view, Lacan seeks to pursue Freud’s radical insight in ‘The Ego and the Id’ that consciousness is little more than a kind of lens, screen or surface onto which the unconscious projects itself: By a rhetorical sleight of hand, the machine metaphor performs the exact opposite of its apparent purpose: Hansen, Heidegger’s alleged blindspot regarding the ontic specificity of technics is the logical corol- lary of a larger idealist agenda within Heideggerian ontology and technicitu modern philosophy of technology as such: Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.

To Helmhotz’s eyes, all forces of nature – whether animal, human or even machinic – are simply forms of a single universal energy Kraft and subject to the immutable laws of conservation and entropy that govern it.

Philipp marked it as to-read May 13, The real object isn’t the object that rechnicity see in the mirror. Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalysis. A Genealogy of the Theological Turn’, Paragraph, 2 9: Again, Freud toys with the possibility of a relation between psychic and technological processes only to reject it. One the one side, the hand is the ‘organ of labour’: