Advanced

Monstret & människan : Paré, Deleuze och teratologiska traditioner i fransk filosofi, från renässanshumanism till posthumanism

Eriksson, Jonnie LU (2010) In Ugglan. Minervaserien 16.
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Avhandlingens ämne är monstrets roll i människans försök att definiera sig själv – hur kroppar som kan benämnas ”monstruösa” fungerar som naturfilosofiska figurer i humanismens strävan att avgränsa det mänskliga från det omänskliga. Studien spänner över perioden från renässansen eller den tidigmoderna eran till postmoderniteten men fokuserar den franska miljön och två gestalter som representerar skiftet från den tidiga humanismen till posthumanismen: å ena sidan Ambroise Paré (1509–1590), känd som ”den moderna kirurgins fader”, och å andra sidan Gilles Deleuze (1925-1995), en av efterkrigstidens mest betydande filosofer. Inriktningen i denna studie är därför på ett möte mellan naturvetenskap och... (More)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Avhandlingens ämne är monstrets roll i människans försök att definiera sig själv – hur kroppar som kan benämnas ”monstruösa” fungerar som naturfilosofiska figurer i humanismens strävan att avgränsa det mänskliga från det omänskliga. Studien spänner över perioden från renässansen eller den tidigmoderna eran till postmoderniteten men fokuserar den franska miljön och två gestalter som representerar skiftet från den tidiga humanismen till posthumanismen: å ena sidan Ambroise Paré (1509–1590), känd som ”den moderna kirurgins fader”, och å andra sidan Gilles Deleuze (1925-1995), en av efterkrigstidens mest betydande filosofer. Inriktningen i denna studie är därför på ett möte mellan naturvetenskap och filosofi i ett ämne som tenderar att stötas ut från dem båda: det monstruösa. Här framhävs i stället monstruositet som ett begrepp med vittomfattande och djupa implikationer för förståelsen av vad som accepteras som mänskligt, naturligt och värdigt liv. Den historiska studien visar dels hur denna problematik löper genom idéhistorien, från antiken in i vår samtid, med ständigt förnyad aktualitet (från mytologi och spådomskonst till cybernetik och genteknik, via naturalhistoria och utvecklingslära), dels hur monstret självt på många sätt trängts undan i ett slags utrotningshistoria i etableringen av ”det normala”, som är humanismens kanske mest centrala problem: risken att finna det omänskliga i människan. (Less)
Abstract
This dissertation studies the problem of the inhuman in relation to human nature in philosophy from antiquity to the present, highlighting the interrelationship between science and philosophy in the development of concepts of monstrosity in France from mid-sixteenth century to late twentieth century thought. By means of constraint, it focuses on Ambroise Paré (1509/10–90) and Gilles Deleuze (1925–95) as representatives of early humanism and posthumanism, respectively. The study is divided into four chronologically ordered parts. In part I, four teratological traditions of philosophical import are discerned in antiquity: the naturalist, the humanist, the metaphysical, and the hermeneutical (each associated with a set of key names: in... (More)
This dissertation studies the problem of the inhuman in relation to human nature in philosophy from antiquity to the present, highlighting the interrelationship between science and philosophy in the development of concepts of monstrosity in France from mid-sixteenth century to late twentieth century thought. By means of constraint, it focuses on Ambroise Paré (1509/10–90) and Gilles Deleuze (1925–95) as representatives of early humanism and posthumanism, respectively. The study is divided into four chronologically ordered parts. In part I, four teratological traditions of philosophical import are discerned in antiquity: the naturalist, the humanist, the metaphysical, and the hermeneutical (each associated with a set of key names: in particular, Empedocles, Lucretius; Socrates, Protagoras; Plato, Aristotle; and Pliny, Augustine). Part II follows these traditions into the Renaissance where they intersect in the ‘books of wonder’, among which Paré’s Des monstres et prodiges (1573) is viewed to have had a lasting influence on the development of the science of teratology. Criticizing the positivistic conventions of interpretation of the book in question, notions of order, causality, diversity, and novelty are analyzed for the purpose of excavating from Paré’s work a natural philosophy which hinges on man’s capacity for knowledge; in such a humanist conception, monsters are not so much naturalized as nature becomes monstrous, while man is taken to reflect and encompass all the properties of natural things, thereby incorporating monstrosity in his singular variability. Part III provides an overview of the development of a scientific teratology from Cartesian mechanicism and rationalism, through theories of preformation, epigenesis, and transformation, to the materialist and vitalist debates of the early nineteenth century, when Étienne and Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire create the discipline of teratology, and its aftermath in developmental and evolutionary biology. The general theme is the place of anomalies in the normal scheme of nature (and culture), as man becomes progressively taken as the norm for thought, ultimately rendering the inhuman as such unthought. Finally, part IV looks to Deleuze as an attempt in the late 1900s to construct a posthumanist philosophy of nature where monstrosity is the problem which rather generates thought; it thus chronologically traces formulations of a concept of monstrosity in his body of work, from the 1940s to the 1990s. In Différence et répétition (1968), Deleuze is found to furnish three interconnected theses to define monstrosity, regarding problems of determination, synthesis, and differentiation, where the problematic as such (the nature of difference itself) is conceptualized as the ‘idea’ of monstrosity, not any particular physical shape. After analyzing the concept of the ‘body without organs’ as an issue of identity and materiality, tracing it back to its formulation in Logique du sens (1969), these theses of monstrosity are then applied to a study of Deleuze’s later philosophy, emphasizing Mille plateaux (1980), Logique de la sensation (1981), and Cinéma 1–2 (1983–85), as side-stepping the human norm in order to think its anomaly (the inhuman) as the condition for creativity. This is evidenced in his ideas of technology and the arts as experimental practices of becoming inhuman. The monster is thus regarded as a ‘conceptual persona’ in a Deleuzian philosophy of the virtual Figure—challenging all actual forms—of an inhuman time for the experience of difference in itself. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
supervisor
opponent
  • Fil dr Johansson, Anders, Umeå universitet
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
materiality, difference, the body, teratology, humanist philosophy, monstrosity, anomaly, the inhuman, Ambroise Paré, Gilles Deleuze, natural philosophy, Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, organization, the posthuman, order, affect, multiplicity, becoming
in
Ugglan. Minervaserien
volume
16
pages
719 pages
publisher
Sekel Bokförlag
defense location
Sal 201, Institutionen för kulturvetenskaper, Biskopsgatan 7, Lund
defense date
2010-11-13 10:15
ISSN
1650-7339
ISBN
978-91-85767-66-3
language
Swedish
LU publication?
yes
id
9f9b9a2e-54c5-4b70-9490-7633fddc6d6b (old id 1692121)
date added to LUP
2010-10-26 15:38:27
date last changed
2018-05-29 11:52:17
@phdthesis{9f9b9a2e-54c5-4b70-9490-7633fddc6d6b,
  abstract     = {This dissertation studies the problem of the inhuman in relation to human nature in philosophy from antiquity to the present, highlighting the interrelationship between science and philosophy in the development of concepts of monstrosity in France from mid-sixteenth century to late twentieth century thought. By means of constraint, it focuses on Ambroise Paré (1509/10–90) and Gilles Deleuze (1925–95) as representatives of early humanism and posthumanism, respectively. The study is divided into four chronologically ordered parts. In part I, four teratological traditions of philosophical import are discerned in antiquity: the naturalist, the humanist, the metaphysical, and the hermeneutical (each associated with a set of key names: in particular, Empedocles, Lucretius; Socrates, Protagoras; Plato, Aristotle; and Pliny, Augustine). Part II follows these traditions into the Renaissance where they intersect in the ‘books of wonder’, among which Paré’s Des monstres et prodiges (1573) is viewed to have had a lasting influence on the development of the science of teratology. Criticizing the positivistic conventions of interpretation of the book in question, notions of order, causality, diversity, and novelty are analyzed for the purpose of excavating from Paré’s work a natural philosophy which hinges on man’s capacity for knowledge; in such a humanist conception, monsters are not so much naturalized as nature becomes monstrous, while man is taken to reflect and encompass all the properties of natural things, thereby incorporating monstrosity in his singular variability. Part III provides an overview of the development of a scientific teratology from Cartesian mechanicism and rationalism, through theories of preformation, epigenesis, and transformation, to the materialist and vitalist debates of the early nineteenth century, when Étienne and Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire create the discipline of teratology, and its aftermath in developmental and evolutionary biology. The general theme is the place of anomalies in the normal scheme of nature (and culture), as man becomes progressively taken as the norm for thought, ultimately rendering the inhuman as such unthought. Finally, part IV looks to Deleuze as an attempt in the late 1900s to construct a posthumanist philosophy of nature where monstrosity is the problem which rather generates thought; it thus chronologically traces formulations of a concept of monstrosity in his body of work, from the 1940s to the 1990s. In Différence et répétition (1968), Deleuze is found to furnish three interconnected theses to define monstrosity, regarding problems of determination, synthesis, and differentiation, where the problematic as such (the nature of difference itself) is conceptualized as the ‘idea’ of monstrosity, not any particular physical shape. After analyzing the concept of the ‘body without organs’ as an issue of identity and materiality, tracing it back to its formulation in Logique du sens (1969), these theses of monstrosity are then applied to a study of Deleuze’s later philosophy, emphasizing Mille plateaux (1980), Logique de la sensation (1981), and Cinéma 1–2 (1983–85), as side-stepping the human norm in order to think its anomaly (the inhuman) as the condition for creativity. This is evidenced in his ideas of technology and the arts as experimental practices of becoming inhuman. The monster is thus regarded as a ‘conceptual persona’ in a Deleuzian philosophy of the virtual Figure—challenging all actual forms—of an inhuman time for the experience of difference in itself.},
  author       = {Eriksson, Jonnie},
  isbn         = {978-91-85767-66-3},
  issn         = {1650-7339},
  keyword      = {materiality,difference,the body,teratology,humanist philosophy,monstrosity,anomaly,the inhuman,Ambroise Paré,Gilles Deleuze,natural philosophy,Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire,organization,the posthuman,order,affect,multiplicity,becoming},
  language     = {swe},
  pages        = {719},
  publisher    = {Sekel Bokförlag},
  school       = {Lund University},
  series       = {Ugglan. Minervaserien},
  title        = {Monstret & människan : Paré, Deleuze och teratologiska traditioner i fransk filosofi, från renässanshumanism till posthumanism},
  volume       = {16},
  year         = {2010},
}