Elliot Lewis Humanities and Social Science
Specters Old and New: a Critical Study of Bernard Stiegler's Social Theory
In recent years, there has been a proliferation of speculation concerning the significance of new digital technologies on social relations, culture, and political economy. French philosopher and social theorist Bernard Stiegler is one of the more prominent of such New Media theorists, who aims at a philosophical transformation in our understanding of the technological mediation of social processes of individuation, production, and consumption. For my research, I am carrying out a critical study of Stieglers work, as it concentrates several pressing contemporary problematics within critical social theory into an exemplary object of study. My research focuses on three questions: what are the stakes of a socio-political theory built from a phenomenological understanding of subjectivity, and how does this method relate to historical projects of social transformation built around analysis of the dynamism of antagonistic social structuration, particularly Marxist ones? What is the strategic possibility of the struggle for economic transformation forwarded by Stieglers contributory economics? What implications does the techno-governmental intervention into the production/consumption nexus that Stiegler emphasizes have for politics, and particularly for democracy?