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Chaos and control : nanotechnology and the politics of emergence.

Edinburgh University Press
Publication Date
  • Design
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Political Science


This article looks at the strong links between Deleuze's molecular ontology and the fields of complexity and emergence, and argues that Deleuze's work implies a ‘philosophy of technology’ that is both open and dynamic. Following Simondon and von Uexküll, Deleuze suggests that technical objects are ontologically unstable, and are produced by processes of individuation and self-organization in complex relations with their environment. For Deleuze design is not imposed from without, but emerges from within matter. The fundamental departure for Deleuze, on the basis of such an ontology, is to conceive of modes of relating to the evolution of technology. In this way Deleuze, along with Guattari, provides the basis for an ethics and a politics of becoming and emergent control that constitutes an alternative to the hubris of contemporary reductionist accounts of new areas such as nanotechnology.

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