This paper examines Bernard Stiegler's thinking about technics as developed in the first two volumes of his Technics and Time trilogy. It does so against the backdrop of Francis Fukuyama's highly influential thinking about technologically driven historical progress in The End of History and the Last Man (1992). The paper argues that Stiegler's account of an originary supplemental logic structuring the relation of the human to the technical offers an understanding of technological development which is radically different from that of Fukuyama. It shows how Stiegler's philosophy of time and technical prosthetics emerges in what is called a transformative combination of a range of thinkers (most notably Husserl, Heidegger, Derrida, and Virilio). It concludes by arguing that Stiegler's time of technics, together with his thinking of epiphylogenesis, epochal redoubling, and the evolution of technical systems, yields an understanding of historical time which implies very different conceptions of contemporary and future political development than those implied by Fukuyama's idiosyncratic Hegelian/Kojèvian model.
Bernard Stiegler and the Time of Technics
IAN JAMES IS FELLOW AND LECTURER IN FRENCH AT DOWNING COLLEGE, UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE. HE IS THE AUTHOR OF PIERRE KLOSSOWSKI: THE PERSISTENCE OF A NAME (OXFORD: LEGENDA, 2000), THE FRAGMENTARY DEMAND: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE PHILOSOPHY OF JEAN-LUC NANCY (STANFORD: STANFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2006), AND PAUL VIRILIO (LONDON: ROUTLEDGE, 2007)