Volume 2, Issue 3, September 2015
Gert-Jan van der Heiden
Technology and Formation
Stiegler on Event and Self-Care
This essay critically examines how Bernard Stiegler addresses the question of present-day technological developments and how they affect our understanding of education and self-formation. The first section is devoted to an account of the basics of Stiegler’s understanding of the relationship between technology and humanity as well as of his characterization of the specific problems that characterize technology today. The main part of the essay analyzes how the questions of self-care, self-formation and education are addressed in relation to these specific problems. Stiegler addresses these problems in terms of the Derridean vocabulary of the pharmakon, and accounts for the present-day technological inventions in terms of pharmacological events. It is shown that Stiegler’s account of education is difficult to combine with his attention to the pharmakon as well as to the event. In the concluding section, it is suggested that the question of self-formation in relation to pharmacological events should be reinterpreted in terms of the concept of experience.