Reblog> CFP: Epigenesis and Philosophy: A Workshop on the work of Catherine Malabou

This looks interesting:

CFP: Epigenesis and Philosophy: A Workshop on the work of Catherine Malabou

Philosophy and Epigenesis

A Workshop on the work of Catherine Malabou

March 15-16, UWE, Bristol.

Keynote Speaker: Prof. Catherine Malabou (CRMEP, Kingston), ‘Epigenesis of the Text’

In her 2014 book,¬†Avant demain: √ÉňÜpigen√®se et rationalit√©¬†(Before Tomorrow: Epigenesis and Rationality) Catherine Malabou explores contemporary philosophical attempts to move beyond the Kantian transcendental via an epigenetic account of the emergence of rationality. In particular, Malabou makes this analysis not only with the intellectual tools of recent European philosophy, but also with the tools of contemporary neuroscience. This project, along with much of Malabou’s other recent work, cuts through the trend to relinquish the Kantian transcendental by reframing the very terms of this debate with reference to recent natural science. In this way, Malabou points the way towards a new future in which continental philosophy boldly embraces recent developments in the natural sciences and rejects the anti-scientific bias which has infected many dominant strands of continental philosophy.

This event aims to further explore Malabou’s recent work both constructively and critically by bringing together scholars in both the humanities and the natural sciences to discuss the questions opened up by Malabou. We invite submissions for 20-minute presentations that fit broadly with the themes of Malabou’s recent work, and in particular, the themes of epigenesis and rationality.


Relevant topics include, but are by no means limited to:

  • The work of Catherine Malabou (and in particular, the project outlined in¬†Avant demain)
  • Philosophical considerations of plasticity, life, and the brain
  • Deep History and the brain
  • Materialist and naturalist accounts of life
  • Epigenetics and contemporary European philosophy
  • Philosophical anthropology and natural science
  • Naturalist accounts of reason
  • The place of the organic in Kantian philosophy
  • Epigenesis in German idealism
  • Critical encounters between neuroscience and psychoanalysis
  • The role of plasticity in contemporary thought
  • The relationship between contemporary philosophy and the natural sciences

We especially encourage submissions from underrepresented groups in the humanities.

Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words to by February 4th, 2016.

Hosted by the Natural World and Technology Theme of the UWE, Bristol Social Science Research Group, and the Working Group on Contemporary Materialism.

malabou event CFP

Stiegler on Malabou, plasticity and the brain, via @DJRoss70

Dan Ross, Author of Violent Democracy and Director of the phenomenal film The Ister and translator of several of Bernard Stiegler’s books, has been tweeting some snippets from Stiegler’s recent book √Čtats de choc and from his 2013 lectures at Goldsmiths. I have concatenated the split quote and reproduced it here, as an aide de memoire as much as anything…

First, from √Čtats de choc:

“Catherine Malabou makes plasticity Hegel’s major concept. But¬†plasticity is possible only by passing through its solidifying and fixing exteriorization.¬†Plasticity is possible only by passing through the fixing that is writing, without which there can be no reading.¬†By passing through writing, which is a specific moment of technics-become-grammatization process.¬†Hegelian, or post-Hegelian, plasticity is CONSTITUTED (and destituted) by its ‘inorganic moment’, as Hegel says.”¬†Bernard Stiegler, √Čtats de choc, pp. 189‚Äď90, note 2.

This was split across six tweets, here: 1 2 3 4 5 6.

Second, Dan’s pr√©cis of a key point from Stiegler’s Goldsmiths lectures:

Bernard Stiegler at Goldsmiths 2013, disagreeing with Catherine Malabou’s “no justification for separating mind and brain”¬Ě.¬†Malabou’s discourse completely ignores the fact that knowledge is not simply cognitive.¬†Knowledge presupposes social circuits of transindividuation through which a form of knowledge is constituted.¬†Malabou’s discourse is regressive in relation to what Freud taught us, that libido is irreducible to the drives.¬†What Catherine Malabou ignores is that the brain harbors drive-based automatisms or compulsions.¬†These automatisms or compulsions can become object investments of desires and idealizations.¬†But they can do so only because the non-organic recoding of the cerebral organ meant¬†that the instincts were replaced with the drives, thereby becoming (thanks to this recoding) educable.

Split across eight tweets, here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8.

Malabou talks – Critique of Foucault & Deconstruction of Biopolitics

A little while ago Stuart Elden re-blogged a post from the Foucault News blog that contained a video recording of Catherine Malabou’s European Graduate School talk entitled ‘The Deconstruction of Biopolitics‘, which is well worth watching (embedded below). That post links to an earlier post that includes another video recording of Malabou, offering a ‘critique of Foucault‘ (also embedded below).

I recommend watching both videos for a critical engagement with Foucault’s later work. I also find it interesting to think about this line of argument in relation to Stiegler’s engagement with Foucault’s work, particularly in Taking Care.

Catherine Malabou, philosopher and author, talking about Foucault’s deconstruction of biopolitics. In this lecture Catherine Malabou discusses Hobbe’s Leviathan model of sovereignty, biopolitics as disciplinary power, the relationship between biology and politics, Agamben’s critique of Foucault and the function of symbolism in psychoanalysis in relationship to Michel Foucault, Giorgio Agamben, Jacques Derrida, Thomas Hobbes, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Aristotle, Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan focusing on non-sovereign power, biopower, the individual body, will, the notion of organism, the structure of kingship, power relations, intentionality, resistance, self-subjugation, transgression and sexuality.

In this lecture Catherine Malabou discusses the unity of the symbolic and biological, a new theory of power outside the model of language, the genealogy of relations of force, the somatic in place of the symbolic, functionality as the materiality of bodies and a new notion of life in relationship to Michel Foucault, Giorgio Agamben, Jacques Derrida, Sigmund Freud, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Friedrich Nietzsche and Immanuel Levinas focusing on sexuality, the vocabulary of war, sensation, corporeality, the living body, bare life, Homo sacer, animality, poetry, sovereignty and the absolute value of life.