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What Makes Life Worth Living

Author : Bernard Stiegler
ISBN : 9780745681948
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 36. 37 MB
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In the aftermath of the First World War, the poet Paul Valéry wrote of a ‘crisis of spirit’, brought about by the instrumentalization of knowledge and the destructive subordination of culture to profit. Recent events demonstrate all too clearly that that the stock of mind, or spirit, continues to fall. The economy is toxically organized around the pursuit of short-term gain, supported by an infantilizing, dumbed-down media. Advertising technologies make relentless demands on our attention, reducing us to idiotic beasts, no longer capable of living. Spiralling rates of mental illness show that the fragile life of the mind is at breaking point. Underlying these multiple symptoms is consumer capitalism, which systematically immiserates those whom it purports to liberate. Returning to Marx’s theory, Stiegler argues that consumerism marks a new stage in the history of proletarianization. It is no longer just labour that is exploited, pushed below the limits of subsistence, but the desire that is characteristic of human spirit. The cure to this malaise is to be found in what Stiegler calls a ‘pharmacology of the spirit’. Here, pharmacology has nothing to do with the chemical supplements developed by the pharmaceutical industry. The pharmakon, defined as both cure and poison, refers to the technical objects through which we open ourselves to new futures, and thereby create the spirit that makes us human. By reference to a range of figures, from Socrates, Simondon and Derrida to the child psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, Stiegler shows that technics are both the cause of our suffering and also what makes life worth living.

What Makes Life Worth Living

Author : Bernard Stiegler
ISBN : 0745662714
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 52. 56 MB
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In the aftermath of the First World War, the poet Paul Valéry wrote of a ‘crisis of spirit’, brought about by the instrumentalization of knowledge and the destructive subordination of culture to profit. Recent events demonstrate all too clearly that that the stock of mind, or spirit, continues to fall. The economy is toxically organized around the pursuit of short-term gain, supported by an infantilizing, dumbed-down media. Advertising technologies make relentless demands on our attention, reducing us to idiotic beasts, no longer capable of living. Spiralling rates of mental illness show that the fragile life of the mind is at breaking point. Underlying these multiple symptoms is consumer capitalism, which systematically immiserates those whom it purports to liberate. Returning to Marx’s theory, Stiegler argues that consumerism marks a new stage in the history of proletarianization. It is no longer just labour that is exploited, pushed below the limits of subsistence, but the desire that is characteristic of human spirit. The cure to this malaise is to be found in what Stiegler calls a ‘pharmacology of the spirit’. Here, pharmacology has nothing to do with the chemical supplements developed by the pharmaceutical industry. The pharmakon, defined as both cure and poison, refers to the technical objects through which we open ourselves to new futures, and thereby create the spirit that makes us human. By reference to a range of figures, from Socrates, Simondon and Derrida to the child psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, Stiegler shows that technics are both the cause of our suffering and also what makes life worth living.

Acting Out

Author : Bernard Stiegler
ISBN : 0804758689
Genre : Medical
File Size : 41. 61 MB
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Acting Out brings together two short books (the autobiographical I>How I Became a Philosopher and To Love, To Love Me, To Love Us) by Bernard Stiegler, the fruit of the discipline he developed in prison and of the passion he brings to his political, philosophical, and technical diagnoses of contemporary life.

A Life Worth Living

Author : Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
ISBN : 0198039271
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 30. 55 MB
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A Life Worth Living brings together the latest thought on Positive Psychology from an international cast of scholars. It includes historical, philosophical, and empirical reviews of what psychologists have found to matter for personal happiness and well-being. The contributions to this volume agree on priciples of optimal development that start from purely material and selfish concerns, but then lead to ever broader circles of responsibility embracing the goals of others and the well-being of the environment; on the importance of spirituality; on the development of strengths specific to the individual. Rather than material success, popularity, or power, the investigations reported in this volume suggest that personally constructed goals, intrinsic motivation, and a sense of autonomy are much more important. The chapters indicate that hardship and suffering do not necessarily make us unhappy, and they suggest therapeutical implications for improving the quality of life. Specific topics covered include the formation of optimal childhood values and habits as well as a new perspective on aging. This volume provides a powerful counterpoint to a mistakenly reductionist psychology. They show that subjective experience can be studied scientifically and measured accurately. They highlight the potentiality for autonomy and freedom that is among the most precious elements of the human condition. MOreover, they make a convincing case for the importance of subjective phenomena, which often affect happiness more than external, material conditions. After long decades during which psychologists seemed to have forgotten that misery is not the only option, the blossoming of Positive Psychology promises a better understanding of what a vigorous, meaningful life may consist of.

The Re Enchantment Of The World

Author : Bernard Stiegler
ISBN : 9781441150561
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 27. 64 MB
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Bernard Stiegler's work on the intimate relations between the human and the technical have made him one of the most important voices to have emerged in French philosophy in the last decade. At the same time both an accessible summation of that work and a continuation of it, The Re-Enchantment of the World advances a critique of consumer capitalism that draws on Freud and Marx to construct an utterly contemporary analysis of our time. The book explores the cognitive, affective, social and economic effects of the 'proletarianization' of the consumer in late capitalism and the resulting destruction of the consumer's savoir-vivre. Reflecting the collective work of his activist organisation, Ars Industrialis, Stiegler here sets forth an alternative path to that of 'industrial populism', one that appeals to the force of the human spirit. The Re-Enchantment of the World also includes the manifesto of Ars Industrialis and an account of the organisation's 2005 summit in Tunis.

States Of Shock

Author : Bernard Stiegler
ISBN : 9780745681375
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 75. 98 MB
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In 1944 Horkheimer and Adorno warned that industrial society turns reason into rationalization, and Polanyi warned of the dangers of the self-regulating market, but today, argues Stiegler, this regression of reason has led to societies dominated by unreason, stupidity and madness. However, philosophy in the second half of the twentieth century abandoned the critique of political economy, and poststructuralism left its heirs helpless and disarmed in face of the reign of stupidity and an economic crisis of global proportions. New theories and concepts are required today to think through these issues. The thinkers of poststructuralism Lyotard, Deleuze, Derrida must be re-read, as must the sources of their thought, Hegel and Marx. But we must also take account of Naomi Klein's critique of Milton Friedman and the Chicago School and her account of the 'shock doctrine'. In fact, argues Stiegler, a permanent 'state of shock' has prevailed since the beginning of the industrial revolution, intensified by the creative destruction brought about by the consumerist model. The result has been a capitalism that destroys desire and reason and in which every institution is undermined, above all those institutions that are the products par excellence of the Enlightenment the education system and universities. Through a powerful critique of thinkers from Marx to Derrida, Stiegler develops new conceptual weapons to fight this destruction. He argues that schools and universities must themselves be transformed: new educational institutions must be developed both to take account of the dangers of digitization and the internet and to enable us to take advantage of the new opportunities they make available.

Captive Audience

Author : Susan P. Crawford
ISBN : 9780300167375
Genre : Law
File Size : 55. 27 MB
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Ten years ago, the United States stood at the forefront of the Internet revolution. With some of the fastest speeds and lowest prices in the world for high-speed Internet access, the nation was poised to be the global leader in the new knowledge-based economy. Today that global competitive advantage has all but vanished because of a series of government decisions and resulting monopolies that have allowed dozens of countries, including Japan and South Korea, to pass us in both speed and price of broadband. This steady slide backward not only deprives consumers of vital services needed in a competitive employment and business market—it also threatens the economic future of the nation. This important book by leading telecommunications policy expert Susan Crawford explores why Americans are now paying much more but getting much less when it comes to high-speed Internet access. Using the 2011 merger between Comcast and NBC Universal as a lens, Crawford examines how we have created the biggest monopoly since the breakup of Standard Oil a century ago. In the clearest terms, this book explores how telecommunications monopolies have affected the daily lives of consumers and America's global economic standing.

Pursuing The Good Life

Author : Christopher Peterson
ISBN : 9780199916351
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 82. 48 MB
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Reveals small but significant actions people can take to lead happier lives, offering reflections on such topics as family, relationships, work, school, sports, emotions, and experiences.

Automatic Society

Author : Bernard Stiegler
ISBN : 9781509506323
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 35. 59 MB
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In July 2014 the Belgian newspaper Le Soir claimed that France, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Italy, Poland and the United States may lose between 43 and 50 per cent of their jobs within ten to fifteen years. Across the world, integrated automation, one key result of the so-called ‘data economy’, is leading to a drastic reduction in employment in all areas - from the legal profession to truck driving, from medicine to stevedoring. In this first volume of a new series, the leading cultural theorist Bernard Stiegler advocates a radical solution to the crisis posed by automation and consumer capitalism more generally. He calls for a decoupling of the concept of ‘labour’ (meaningful, intellectual participation) from ‘employment’ (dehumanizing, banal work), with the ultimate aim of eradicating ‘employment’ altogether. By doing so, new and alternative economic models will arise, where individuals are no longer simply mined for labour, but also actively produce what they consume. Building substantially on his existing theories and engaging with a wide range of figures - from Deleuze and Foucault to Bill Gates and Alan Greenspan - Automatic Society will appeal to students and scholars across the social sciences and humanities, as well as anyone concerned with the central question of the future of work.

For A New Critique Of Political Economy

Author : Bernard Stiegler
ISBN : 9780745648033
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 26. 30 MB
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The catastrophic economic, social and political crisis of our time calls for a new and original critique of political economy – a rethinking of Marx′s project in the very different conditions of twenty–first century capitalism. Stiegler argues that today the proletarian must be reconceptualized as the economic agent whose knowledge and memory are confiscated by machines. This new sense of the term proletarian′ is best understood by reference to Plato′s critique of exteriorized memory. By bringing together Plato and Marx, Stiegler can show how a generalized proletarianization now encompasses not only the muscular system, as Marx saw it, but also the nervous system of the so–called creative workers in the information industries. The proletarians of the former are deprived of their practical know–how, whereas the latter are shorn of their theoretical practice, and both suffer from a confiscation of the very possibility of a genuine art of living. But the mechanisms at work in this new and accentuated form of proletarianization are the very mechanisms that may spur a reversal of the process. Such a reversal would imply a crucial distinction between one′s life work, originating in otium (leisure devoted to the techniques of the self), and the job, consisting in a negotium (the negotiation and calculation, increasingly restricted to short–term expectations), leading to the necessity of a new conception of economic value. This short text offers an excellent introduction to Stiegler′s work while at the same time representing a political call to arms in the face of a deepening economic and social crisis.

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