Sara Beardsworth
Southern Illinois University - Carbondale
This paper is concerned with giving critical attention to technology and treats technology as a site for interrogating the problem of the social bond in Western cultures. While Sloterdijk and Haraway represent, respectively, Marxist and feminist approaches to this question, it is argued here that the debate needs to pay further attention to the relationship between technology and subjectivity, and that there are two problems of authority which are at stake in thinking through their relationship. These two problems of authority persist, when thinking about technology and subjectivity, due to our inability to think through the fundamental nature of the loss of the other. Turning to psychoanalysis through the work of Freud and Kristeva, we show that the psychoanalytic confrontation with the question of separation has revealed that the loss of an immemorial past is necessary for the possibility of both self-relation and connections with others. More precisely, the loss of a “beginning” in exposure to absolute, immemorial otherness, in which a form of authority is operative, is a condition for adequate social bonding. That is to say, the psychoanalytic attention given to authority has led to the discovery that the very possibility of the social bond is the possibility of loss.
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  Continental Philosophy  History of Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 0093-4240
DOI 10.5840/gfpj20032423
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