La revolución social y las universidades by Salvador Allende

By Salvador Allende

Revista de l. a. Facultad de Filosofía y Letras. Número II. Serie 31. Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, México. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. 1968

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By Salvador Allende

Revista de l. a. Facultad de Filosofía y Letras. Número II. Serie 31. Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, México. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. 1968

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To resolve the problem of knowledge, working against the Kantian hylomorphism that separates a priori forms from the sensibility of matter given a posteriori, Simondon situates himself before the rupture between the object to be known and the subject of knowledge. Indeed, in his view, knowledge is not grounded on the side of the subject any more than it is on the side of the object. As he writes in L'individuation psychique et col­ lective: "If knowledge rediscovers the lines that allow for interpreting the world according to stable laws, it is not because there exist in the subject a priori forms of sensibility, whose coherence with brute facts coming from the world would be inexplicable; it is because being as subject and being as object arise from the same primitive reality, and the thought that now appears to institute an inexplicable relation between object and subject in fact prolongs this initial individuation; the conditions o f possibility of knowl­ edge are in fact the causes o f existence of the individuated being" (IPC, 127; IL, 264).

As he pushes his inquiry into the limits of reason as far as possible, Simondon shows signs of complete confidence in the power of thought. And yet, we could not possibly be farther from the Hegelian postulate wherein only the rational is effective within being. If it began with such a postulate, analogi­ cal knowledge would not be able to grasp the "real" operations in which structures are constituted, but would stop at the apprehension of relations that are only conceptual. If we apprehend the movement of being on the basis of the identity of the rational and the real, we grasp a movement that is "only" that of spirit.

Consistency and Constitution Simondon's examination of the individuation of physical beings leads him to draw on references from the experimental sciences; yet it quickly becomes apparent that his step in this direction, toward the experimen­ tal sciences, is motivated by the fact that the knowledge they provide is knowledge of relation and thus "can only provide philosophical analysis with a being consisting in relations" (IG, 82; IL, 84). There are two ways of understanding the fact that the individual consists in relations: on the one hand, a physical individual is nothing other than the relation or relations (a single individuating operation or reiterated individuations) that have given birth to it by making it a bridge between disparate orders of being; on the other hand, in keeping with the second meaning of the verb to consist, we gather that relation gives consistency to being, and any physical indi­ vidual acquires its consistency, that is, its reality, from its relational activity.

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