Symposium 24 (2):53-77 (2020)

Abstract
Why does Bernard Stiegler speak of “this culture, which I have named, after Epictetus, my melete?” In the first part of this article, I elucidate Stiegler’s claims about both Stoic exercises of reading and writing and their significance for the interpretive questions he has adapted from Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida. In particular, I address the relations among care for oneself and others, the use of material technologies, and resistance to subjection or “freedom.” In the second part, I consider the merits and limitations of Stiegler’s comments about reading and writing in Stoicism, with particular attention to Epictetus. We will see that Stiegler’s interpretive frame-work casts considerable light on ancient texts and contexts, on the condition that it be combined with close reading of ancient texts and engagement with specialist scholarship. Finally, in the conclusion, I will suggest that the history of technology in Epictetus’s time contributes to a debate about Stiegler’s theories.Bernard Stiegler signale à plusieurs reprises l’importance des exercices stoïciens de lecture et d’écriture. Dans la première partie de cet article, j’essaye de clarifier ces assertions et d’expliquer leur lien aux oeuvres de Michel Foucault et de Jacques Derrida. Il s’agit en particulier des rapports entre le souci de soi et d’autrui, l’usage des techniques et des matériaux et la résistante à la soumission ou à la « liberté ». Dans la deuxième partie, je considère les mérites ainsi que les limites des remarques de Stiegler sur la lecture et l’écriture au sein du stoïcisme, en portant une attention particulière à Épictète. Le point du vue stieglerien donnera de nouvelles significations à quelques passages des oeuvres d’Épictète, à condition qu’il soit conjugué à une lecture attentive d’études spécialisées et de textes anciens. Je conclurai, dans la troisième partie, en proposant que l’histoire des techniques à l’époque d’Épictète pourrait alimenter un débat à l’égard des théories de Stiegler.
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  Continental Philosophy
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DOI 10.5840/symposium202024212
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