Human progress cannot be measured by what people produce but by the stages of production. The shift from the development of language in the classical period to religion in the medieval and technical progress after the Renaissance does not tell the whole story. Each of these domains forms an internally consistent system involving people as both agents and subjects of development, and each system tends towards a stifling completeness at its height. Each successive system represents a more primitive need: to communicate, to be at one with the world, to sustain life. As such, each is progressively more universal. But technical progress is not truly systemic, passing by peoples of the underdeveloped world, and requires reflexive thought to bring out this failure, and to integrate technical progress with human progress as a whole.
The Limits of Human Progress: A Critical Study
GILBERT SIMONDON (1924-1989) STUDIED WITH CANGUILHEM, HYPPOLITE, AND MERLEAU-PONTY AT THE ECOLE NORMALE SUPÉRIEURE. BETWEEN 1950 AND 1963 HE TAUGHT PHILOSOPHY, PSYCHOLOGY, SCIENCE, LAW, AND LITERATURE IN TOURS AND POITIERS, MOVING TO THE SORBONNE AND PARIS V, WHERE HE FOUNDED A LABORATORY IN GENERAL AND TECHNICAL PSYCHOLOGY UNTIL 1983, TAKING UP TEACHING POSTS IN SEVERAL OTHER FRENCH UNIVERSITIES DURING THAT PERIOD. ORGANIZER OF THE 1962 ROYAUMONT COLLOQUIUM ON INFORMATION, HE PIONEERED ENGAGEMENT WITH INFORMATICS IN FRANCE. HIS MAJOR WORKS INCLUDE DU MODE D'EXISTENCE DES OBJETS TECHNIQUES (1958) AND L'INDIVIDU ET SA GENÈSE PHYSICO-BIOLOGIQUE (1964).