What Makes Life Worth Living: On Pharmacology

What Makes Life Worth Living: On Pharmacology

Bernard Stiegler

within the aftermath of the 1st international warfare, the poet Paul Valéry wrote of a ‘crisis of spirit’, caused via the instrumentalization of data and the damaging subordination of tradition to benefit. contemporary occasions exhibit all too essentially that that the inventory of brain, or spirit, maintains to fall. The economic system is toxically geared up round the pursuit of momentary achieve, supported by way of an infantilizing, dumbed-down media. ads applied sciences make relentless calls for on our recognition, decreasing us to idiotic beasts, now not able to dwelling. Spiralling charges of psychological ailment exhibit that the delicate lifetime of the brain is at breaking point.

Underlying those a number of signs is customer capitalism, which systematically immiserates these whom it purports to free up. Returning to Marx’s idea, Stiegler argues that consumerism marks a brand new level within the heritage of proletarianization. it really is not simply labour that's exploited, driven lower than the boundaries of subsistence, however the hope that's attribute of human spirit.

The treatment to this malaise is to be present in what Stiegler calls a ‘pharmacology of the spirit’. right here, pharmacology has not anything to do with the chemical supplementations built via the pharmaceutical undefined. The pharmakon, outlined as either remedy and poison, refers back to the technical items in which we open ourselves to new futures, and thereby create the spirit that makes us human. by way of connection with quite a number figures, from Socrates, Simondon and Derrida to the kid psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, Stiegler exhibits that technics are either the reason for our ache and in addition what makes lifestyles worthy living.


"Stiegler's identify is daring, yet make no mistake: this ebook particularly is ready what makes lifestyles worthy residing. we will be able to forget this measurement – disastrously – or we will act to maintain it. A survival handbook for the twenty-first century, this can be additionally modern philosophy as a decision to arms."
Martin Crowley, collage of Cambridge

"This paintings, an outstanding primer at the newest part of Stiegler’s venture and a very good creation to his writing, makes an attempt to show a taking into consideration the pharmakon from its resonance as poison to that of a medication to the pan-toxicity he unearths within the robo-interiorities of the current and their hyperlink to eco-catastrophic results. What this publication additionally screens is that Stiegler has lengthy been the best severe reader of Derrida's legacy this present day – and this at a time whilst whatever like legit 'deconstruction' gasps for relevance.’"
Tom Cohen, nation college of latest York at Albany

About the Author

Bernard Stiegler is Director of Cultural improvement on the Centre Pompidou in Paris. His many books in English comprise Technics and Time, For a brand new Critique of Political financial system, The Decadence of commercial Democracies and Uncontrollable Societies of Disaffected participants.

Show sample text content

Download sample