Gilbert Simondon, "On the Mode of Existence of Technical Objects - Part I"

Share: | Delicious | Digg | Facebook | Reddit |

To all who have been patiently waiting for Simondon translations to appear, we at The Accursed Share are pleased to offer the first half of Simondon's doctoral dissertation, "On the Mode of Existence of Technical Objects". (Cheers to Kieran, for being the first to find it hidden in the university library.) For those who aren't aware, Simondon was a huge influence on Deleuze, particularly in the theme of individuation that would repeat throughout Deleuze's career and in the notion of intensive systems that would be central to Deleuze's magnum opus, Difference & Repetition.

From the Introduction:
"The purpose of this study is to attempt to stimulate awareness of the significance of technical objects. Culture has become a system of defense designed to safeguard man from technics. This is the result of the assumption that technical objects contain no human reality. We should like to show that culture fails to take into account that in technical reality there is a human reality, and that, if it is fully to play its role, culture must come to terms with technical entities as part of its body of knowledge and values. Recognition of the modes of existence of technical objects must be the result of philosophic consideration; what philosophy has to achieve in this respect is analogous to what the abolition of slavery achieved in affirming the worth of the individual human being.

The opposition established between the cultural and the technical and between man and machine is wrong and has no foundation. What underlies it is mere ignorance or resentment. It uses a mask of facile humanism to blind us to a reality that is full of human striving and rich in natural forces. This reality is the world of technical objects, the mediators between man and nature."

Simondon, Gilbert, On the Mode of Existence of Technical Objects. London: University of Western Ontario [1958].

9 comment(s):

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this excellent translation (I think it's the very first English translation of Simondon; its appearance definitely pre-dates Simondon's very own publication in French of L'individu et sa genèse physico-biologique and L'individuation psychique et collective!). Quite a find! -- Simondon, Gilbert, trans. Ninian Mellamphy, On the Mode of Existence of Technical Objects. London: University of Western Ontario, 1980. -- Fantastic!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for scanning/sharing/posting this!

Anonymous said...

Wow, thanks Nick!


Anonymous said...

very nice!
we have been translating to portuguese the same book (that`s why i find you!). here some people that might also be interested:

leitura sobre simondon

pensee operative

Giovanni Carrozzini, Gilbert Simondon: per un’assiomatica dei saperi. Dall’“ontologia dell’individuo” alla filosofia della tecnologia.
Manni, 2006

Gilbert Simondon
L'individuation à la lumière des notions de forme et d'information

mistersquid said...

Thank you.

Amit Rai said...

Thank you so much for posting this. Can I ask if there is a part two translated? I am trying to track the version Stiegler uses in his Technics and Time, 1 book, and just want to make sure I can refer to the full version. Thank you again!
I can be reached at

Nick said...

Unfortunately, it was only the first half that was translated in my copy, Amit. If you're not already aware, the blog Fractal Ontology has a number of Simondon translations as well, although they don't have the second half either.

Souvik said...

Many thanks Nick. This is quite a find. Mind if I put up a link on my blog?

Nick said...

Feel free to share it wherever!