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Philosophy Today


published on November 8, 2019

Taila Picchi

The Dream of General Intellect
Simondon between Workerism and Post-Fordism

Within the workerist tradition the concept of general intellect theorised by Marx in the “Fragment on Machines” has framed a socio-political interpretation of Simondon capable of questioning the ongoing process of valorisation and subjectivation of living labour under capitalism. According to Virno (2003), Leonardi (2010) and Pasquinelli (2015), Simondon’s philosophy can provide the theoretical foundation for thinking new forms of political agency and cooperation. Their accounts rely on the concepts of transindividuality, individuation, and mecanology, in order to explore Post-Fordist concepts such as multitude, cognitive capitalism, and algorithmic governmentality. Through my reading of Simondon’s philosophy of technics, I will assess these interpretations and situate the issue of general intellect at the intersection of his notions of “technicity” and “information.” Hence, I aim to integrate workerist and post-workerist interpretations through the concepts of living information incorporated into machinery, and invention-power implied in the concept of technicity. This will eventually lead to the replacement of the Marxist opposition between living and dead labour by a conception of the machine as neither living nor dead.

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