13-15 Dec 2017
Ray Brassier, Alessandro Russo, Mladen Dolar, Anne Sauvagnargues, Gregg Flaxman, Robyn Adler, Agon Hamza, John Cleary, Tom Ford, Cat Moir, Joe Hughes, Allan James Thomas, Sigi Jottkandt, Jessica Whyte, Knox Peden, Campbell Jones, Nick Heron, Janice Richardson, Jon Rubin, Alison Ross, Laura Lotti, Robert Boncardo, Daniel Ross, Jon Roffe, Mark G. E. Kelly, Emma Black, Russell Grigg, Alex Ling, Bryan Cooke, Adam Nash, Justin Clemens, A. J. Bartlett, Ali Alizadeh, & Cindy Zeiher
Technē is as old as human being. Like language and waste-disposal, it is inseparable from the story of anthropogenesis. If the human being is both, as Aristotle avers, a zōon politikon and a anthrōpon logos echōn, we find ourselves confronted by the question of the nature of the relationship between these distinct constants of the history of humanity: between politics and, on the one hand, purposefully directed arts (technē as poiēsis and entelecheia) and technology/prostheses on the other. Yet does there exist, as Plato asks, a properly political art? Is politics traduced or abandoned the moment it is conceived on the model of technē, as if politics had an end outside itself? The question is further complicated if we take into account another ancient distinction: the distinction between truth and knowledge so vital to philosophy and education alike. Can there be such a thing as a ‘political truth’ and, if so, what might that be? What is truth in science? Is art capable of truth? In reposing such ancient questions, we also find ourselves caught up in the modern reflections on technology, knowledge, and truth from Martin Heidegger and Hannah Arendt through Gilbert Simondon to Friedrich Kittler and beyond.
These perennial questions, despite the ‘end of history’, continue in their urgency. At a time when the relationship between knowledge and technology seems to exhaust our contemporary frame of reference and when falsehoods and lies are mediated at every turn, we want to pursue the consequences for being, thought and action by focussing upon the possible/impossible knot of technology, knowledge, and truth. We are interested in such questions as:
— What are the current links between technics and politics, technics and art, technics and science, technics and philosophy? How should we go about thinking them?
— How does technics affect the bonds between truth and knowledge? Do these distinctions retain any sense today?
— What are the consequences for identity under the conditions of new media?
— What are the consequences for thought and action in a situation dominated by technics?
— Is there a place for a thought of the universal in the current conjuncture?
This conference will examine these questions from a range of disciplines including philosophy, psychoanalysis, politics, media studies, history, education, and science.
Hosted by the MSCP.