Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Bruno, Maimon, Simondon

Giordano Bruno Library > Reference > Early Modern History: At the center of Bruno's philosophy lies his new picture of an infinite, homogeneous, atomistically articulated cosmos, full of infinite life. From this idea derives his concept of God as Monad, or the ineffable One whose seal or shadow is the infinite world; his refusal of the Christian incarnation on the basis that the whole universe, filled with the divine spirit, is an incarnation of God; his search for that God through a logical hunt that follows the traces of divine order observable within the natural universe; his idea of magic as filling the gap that opens up between the infinite whole and the finite mind of the philosopher, entrapped in time and space; his search for new mathematical and mnemonic arts capable of comprehending the infinite, universal whole.
Considered a precursor of major philosophers such as Baruch Spinoza or Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling, Bruno was appreciated in the nineteenth century above all for his contribution to the scientific revolution and in the twentieth for his Hermetic magic and interest in the occult. The agenda for the new century appears oriented toward a more balanced and complete view of him as a thinker who amalgamated apparently conflicting doctrines of knowledge in a complex but rich oeuvre that Bruno himself referred to as "the Nolan philosophy."
Salomon Maimon Wikipedia: He seizes upon the fundamental incompatibility of a consciousness which can apprehend, and yet is separated from, the thing-in-itself. That which is object of thought cannot be outside consciousness; just as in mathematics - 1 is an unreal quantity, so things-in-themselves are ex hypothesi outside consciousness, i.e. are unthinkable. The Kantian. paradox he explains as the result of an attempt to explain the origin of the given in consciousness. The form of things is admittedly subjective; the mind endeavours to explain the material of the given in the same terms, an attempt which is not only impossible but involves a denial of the elementary laws of thought. Knowledge of the given is, therefore, essentially incomplete. Complete or perfect knowledge is confined to the domain of pure thought, to logic and mathematics.
Thus the problem of the thing-in-itself is dismissed from the inquiry, and philosophy is limited to the sphere of pure thought. The Kantian categories are, indeed... demonstrable and true, but their application to the given is meaningless and unthinkable. By this critical scepticism Maimon takes up a position intermediate between Kant and Hume. Hume's attitude to the empirical is entirely supported by Maimon. The causal concept, as given by experience, expresses not a necessary objective order of things, but an ordered scheme of perception; it is subjective and cannot be postulated as a concrete law apart from consciousness. The main argument of the Transcendentalphilosophie not only drew from Kant, who saw it in MS. and remarked that Maimon alone of his all critics had mastered the true meaning of his philosophy, but also directed the path of most subsequent criticism.
Gilbert Simondon (19241989) studied at the Ecole Normale Supérieure and Sorbonne University. His major works are Du mode d'existence des objets techniques and L'individuation psychique et collective, which was also his thesis. In the latter work, Simondon developed a theory of individual and collective individuation, in which the individual subject is considered as an effect of individuation, rather than a cause. Thus the individual atom is replaced by the neverending ontological process of individuation.
Simondon also conceived of "pre-individual fields" as the funds making individuation itself possible. Individuation is an always incomplete process, always leaving a "pre-individual" left-over, itself making possible future individuations. Furthermore, individuation always creates both an individual and a collective subject, which individuate themselves together. Wikipedia

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