Gilbert Simondon and the Dual Nature of Technical Artifacts

It may seem that the recent interest in analyzing the nature of technical artifacts was not preceded by any earlier efforts, but this is not the case. At least two philosophers can be mentioned as early philosophers of technology who wrote on technical artifacts: Gilbert Simondon and Hendrik van Riessen. Simondon was a French philosopher, whose philosophy of technology is sometimes indicated as neo-aristotelian. He studied at the Ecole Normale Supérieur and the Sorbonne University in Paris. As his main publication on technical artifacts, the book Du Mode d’existence des objets techniques (from now on to be abbreviated as Du Mode) was never translated into English, it remained fairly unknown and is quoted only rarely. If ever it is quoted or discussed it is in the context of Continentally-oriented philosophy of technology. For instance, Andrew Feenberg referred to Simondon’s work while discussing possible confusions between what he called primary and secondary instrumentalization.

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About Giorgio Bertini

Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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