Guattari and Stiegler on the therapeutic object: Objet re- petit-ive a-b-c

Educational Philosophy and Theory (forthcoming)
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Here, I wish to pursue an analysis of the potential link between the thinkers Félix Guattari and Bernard Stiegler as I see in both thinkers a profound rumination of the question of therapeutic care and curation at the institutional level. My concern is with the institutional object and its deadly repetitions. By and through agitating the coefficient of transversality, my argument is that this might problematize the dyadic and sometimes dysfunctional transindividual relationships between doctor and patient, teacher and pupil. My concern is with the passage from the machinic objet petit ‘a’ in Lacan to Winnicott’s transitional object (objet petit ‘b’), and then beyond their functions to the institutional object itself which Guattari idiosyncratically calls the objet petit ‘c’. The rationale behind this move is to consider how the mediating third object needs to be recast in light of the poisonous and addictive nature of transitional objects such as smartphone technology. My point is that we must rethink the pharmacological possibility of the incorporation of the transitional object at the institutional level, which is to say, to understand the relationship between institutional objects such as the therapeutic club and the transitional object (digital technologies) in order to appreciate critically the toxic effects of the latter. Yet we also must understand the pharmacological or therapeutic aspects of the transitional object in itself, which is to say to understand its precise curative usage at the institutional level.



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Joff Bradley
Teikyo University

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Stiegler as philosopher of education.Joff P. N. Bradley & David Kennedy - 2020 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 52 (4):332-336.
On the curation of negentropic forms of knowledge.Joff P. N. Bradley - 2022 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 54 (5):465-476.
Questions concerning attention and Stiegler’s therapeutics.Noel Fitzpatrick - 2020 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 52 (4):348-360.

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