Countermemory Thursday, May 29, 2008
The animal mechanical: Nietzsche
The following is a very famous passage from The Anti-Christ. Let's look at it yet one more time, for it bears upon our understanding of both technology and animality massively. It especially constitutes an association, a particular orientation of motifs, that will be explicitly dealt with by two of the most important theorizers of technology in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries: Heidegger and Derrida. With the latter, one should read it alongside the entirety of The Animal That Therefore I Am (to be released in full in a few days). And though he does not seem to be as related to the two when it comes to being a theorizer of technology, one has to--in a completely different, but perhaps infinitely more interesting way--try and include Foucault in this group. One has to precisely because his work is largely an expansion of the domain in which this orientation of Nietzsche's is set up.
In Foucault this occurs not only in the development of his problematics of micro- and bio-power, but also and perhaps even more pressingly in his notion of a discursive formation (which appears very removed from power in general). To return to the passage itself: let us pay attention to two (or three or four) words in the following especially: machine (machina and its translation: mechanistically, machinal) and calculate (and miscalculate: all the cognates of rechnen) ... Posted by Mike Johnduff 0 comments What is written about: Animality, Derrida, Foucault, Heidegger, Nietzsche, Technology