Volume 21, Issue 2/3, 2017
Special Issue on the Anthropocene
Bernard Stiegler, Daniel Ross
What Is Called Caring?
Beyond the Anthropocene
This article addresses the question under what conditions it is still possible to think in today’s era of the Anthropocene, in which the human has become the key factor in the evolution of the biosphere, considering the fact, structurally neglected by philosophy, that thinking is thoroughly conditioned by a technical milieu of retentional dispositives. The Anthropocene results from modern technology’s domination of the earth through industrialization that is currently unfolding as a process of generalized, digital automation, which tends to eliminate reflection and to block any genuine questioning of its own development, producing a state of generalized entropy at all levels—ecological, psychic, social, economic, and, in particular, the noetic or thinking. The radical undermining of the very possibility of thinking and questioning, thought by Martin Heidegger in terms of Enframing, should be understood as a pharmacological situation that calls for a therapeutic reversal of the toxicity of current digital technologies into a remedial instrument for realizing a negentropic turn beyond the Anthropocene and toward the Neganthropocene. This requires that thinking starts to understand itself as caring, i.e., as a taking care of itself by taking care of the technical pharmaka that thoroughly constitute and condition it and that can render human life as noetic life both deeply unlivable and profoundly worthwhile.