Chapter 3 examines some of the implications any rethinking of theory in the twenty-first century will have for an idea on which the humanities is based: that of the human subject itself. In order to explore the possibilities for a new model of human subjectivity, it takes as its focus the work of a philosopher described as “our most compelling and ambitious theorist” of posthumanism, Bernard Stiegler. Of particular interest is Stiegler’s claim that, with the Web and digital reproducibility, we are now living in an era in which subjects are created with a different form of the awareness of time. However, in line with Stiegler’s own insistence that a new critique of political economy needs to be developed that is capable of responding to an epistemic environment very different to that known by Marx and Engels, chapter 3 refuses to contrast print and the Web in terms of an offline/online dialectic. Instead, it pays special attention to the medium Stiegler himself employs most frequently to analyze the relation between subjectivity, technology and time: the linearly written and organized, print-on-paper codex text, with all its associated concepts, values and habitual practices (e.g. the individualized proprietorial author, long-form argument, originality, copyright).
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