The Parallax of Individuation: Simondon and Schelling

“The Parallax of Individuation: Simondon and Schelling”, Angelaki 21.4, Nature, Speculation and the Return to Schelling, ed. Tyler Tritten and Daniel Whistler, 2016, 77-89.

This article explores the concept of individuation in the early Schelling and Simondon by bringing them into dialogue, thereby highlighting affinities and differences in their philosophical projects in light of their epistemological and historical backgrounds. Individuation stands out as a major component of both Schelling’s Naturphilosophie and Simondon’s theory of genesis. But its role within both authors’ thinking is quite different: while for Schelling individuation constitutes a major problem that the philosophy of nature ventures to solve, namely the constitution of finite products from the absolute productivity of nature, individuation as a process is the fulcrum of Simondon’s philosophy as a whole, both a driving force and a name for being as such. These divergent approaches are related by a common quest for an immanent genesis of being and the necessity of the third, elaborated in close dialogue with the scientific discoveries of their respective times and the re-appropriation of metaphysics. This article approaches Schelling’s and Simondon’s theories of individuation respectively from the concept of force and the concept of information, and suggests how these two seemingly parallel enquiries can be read as complementing each other in parallax, in order to contribute to the contemporary understanding of nature and individuation.

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