This research is focused on the thought of the French philosopher Gilbert Simondon (1924-1989). Generally, we try to shed light on the consequences that his philosophy of individuation presents for the Western metaphysical tradition. We explore the possibility opened by Simondon to articulate an ontogenetic monism with an ontological pluralism, that is, the idea that it is possible to appreciate a continuity between the different dimensions of the real -physical, biological, psycho-collective-without denying their intrinsic plurality. We argue that Simondon’s change of perspective from the already constituted individuals towards the process of individuation is what ensures such a possibility. In the first part, we study the relation between inert matter and living beings through the encounter between Simondon’s philosophy of individuation and Ilya Prigogine’s non-equilibrium thermodynamics. Simondon’s conception, in which biological individuation appears as a slowing down of physical individuation, is shown as a suitable way to overcome the ontological division between matter and life. However, his focus on crystallization as the paradigmatic example of physical individuation, and his attempt to universalize the notion of metastability, reveal certain limitations to carry out this project which can be overcome through the concept of self-organization of matter that we find in non-equilibrium thermodynamics. In the second part, we offer an interpretation of the main points of Simondon’s metaphysics. Firstly, we follow Deleuze's reading in which Simondon's philosophy appears as a transformation of Kant's concept of the transcendental. Then, we defend an interpretation according to which Simondon’s thought is a form of process-relational realism. Finally, we confront Simondonian philosophy with the speculative turn of contemporary philosophy, especially with Quentin Meillassoux’s speculative materialism and Graham Harman’s object-oriented philosophy.
|Date of Award||28 Nov 2014|
|Supervisor||Jesus Hernandez Reynes (Director) & Pierre Montebello (Director)|
- Relational ontology