The Politics of Spirit in Stiegler’s Techno-Pharmacology

Ross Abbinnett*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
701 Downloads (Pure)


This article begins by examining the concept of the pharmakon that is developed in Derrida’s essay ‘Plato’s Pharmacy’, as it is here that the idea of a medium that is simultaneously poisonous and therapeutic is developed in relation to the discursive effects of writing. The author then goes on to look at Stiegler’s attempt to reconfigure the ‘orthographic economy’ of deconstruction, particularly his account of how the ‘tertiary supports’ of virtual and information technologies have transformed the experience of the real in the regime of global capitalisation. Finally, he argues that the appearance of the pharmakon as a matrix idea in his work, sharpens his account of the aporia of technological society: for the impossibility of human culture being reduced to either the disorientated life industrial populism, or to idealist notions of reflexivity, is what, for Stiegler, offers the chance of a new politics of spirit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-80
Number of pages16
JournalTheory Culture & Society
Issue number4
Early online date4 Jun 2015
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jul 2015


  • information technology
  • network society
  • politics of recognition
  • Stiegler
  • techno spaces
  • time
  • virtuality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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