Unreal Nature

June 24, 2018

All It Lacks Is a Germ

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:39 am

… Its potency is a vitality that is still untamed, a pure nature …

This is from The Philosophy of Simondon: Between Technology and Individuation by Pascal Chabot translated by Aliza Krefetz and Graeme Kirkpatrick (2003):

… The relation does not connect A and B once they have already been constituted. It is operative from the start. It is interior to their being. The relation is not an accidental feature that emerges after the fact to give the substance a new determination. On the contrary: no substance can exist or acquire determinate properties without relations to other substances and to a specific milieu. To exist is to be connected.

[ … ]

… Chaos has no logical positivity of its own. It is not individuated. But Simondon plays time against logic. Rather than expressing it in negative terms, he describes chaos as the ‘not yet.’ The empty glass is not yet full. The chaotic milieu is not yet individuated: it is ‘pre-individual.’ It is awaiting individuation; the necessary energetic conditions have already been met; all it lacks is a germ to initiate the process. In Aristotelian terms, the pre-individual would be potency without action — a pure passivity.

[line break added] But Simondon rejects this terminology: Aristotle gives primacy to the act and defines potency in terms of that which the act is lacking. This conception of potency is framed in terms of logical absence (i.e. negation). And yet, the pre-individual is positive. It is a generative and creative potency. Its potency is a vitality that is still untamed, a pure nature, a physis, a natura naturans. The pre-individual is nature seized at its source, nature still untouched by determination, formless and limitless, but already full of a vitality that will be shaped by determination.

My most recent previous post from Chabot’s book is here.

-Julie

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