Excavating Bernard Stiegler's post–Technics and Time writings, this article questions not whether Stiegler's basic approach to the human-technics coupling that is central to his thought is correct, promising, or indeed imperative but whether the terms on which he theorizes it are adequate for engaging with the contemporary operation of technics. My excavation focuses on the concept and operation of desire, which comes to the fore in Stiegler's writings from the mid-2000s onward, as (together with memory) the fundamental characteristic of human becoming. As we explore the concept/operation of desire and the theorization of technics in terms of the libidinal economy that it undergirds (as presented, for example, in the three lectures that are published in this special issue), the fundamental question will be the following: Does the endorsement of desire and libidinal economy provide a viable remedy for what Stiegler has astutely diagnosed as the capture of available brain time? Or is it rather more of a throwback to a moment of cultural history (and of the theorization of culture) that has now been superseded, in large part, because of technical advance?
Mark B. N. Hansen; Bernard Stiegler, Philosopher of Desire?. boundary 2 1 February 2017; 44 (1): 167–190. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/01903659-3725929
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