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Franziska Aigner

Research project: Kant and technics: Kantian thought on technics from the 3 Critiques to the Opus Postumum

Abstract

This research project aims to critically intervene in recent 20th Century European philosophical thought on technics. Starting from a critical analysis of Heidegger, Simondon and Stiegler's respective positions, my project aims to problematize the role that each in their own way assigned to Immanuel Kant, who wrote at the very brink of the Industrial Revolution. Against Heidegger, Simondon and Stiegler, I propose to critically engage with Gerhard Lehman's proposal that we are to read Kant technically. Following a close reading of Kant's critical and late writings, my project thus aims to synthesize a concept of technics out of the Kantian text. I would like to show that Kant did not only ‘know' something about technics, but that his knowledge was, further, neither Aristotelian nor in line with the Cartesian metaphysics of mastery. As such it both severely troubles Heidegger's concept of enframing (Gestell), while also proving problematic for both Simondon and Stiegler, for whom genuine insight into technics is said to be conditioned by the material manifestation of industrially produced technical objects. Writing at the very brink of the Industrial Revolution means that Kant ‘knew' something about technics for which the material conditions were not yet in place. My project thus centers around the following two question: What is the meaning of technics for Kant and what role did technics play in his thought? And what does it mean if Kant ceases to play the role ascribed to him by Heidegger, Simondon and Stiegler?

Biography

I am a PhD candidate in Modern European Philosophy at the CRMEP, Kingston University. Apart from my academic work, I work as an artist and performer within the visual and performing arts as well as a performer for Anne imhof, Mette Ingvartsen, Alexandra Bachzetsis et. al.

Areas of research interest

  • Modern European Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Technics
  • Feminist Philosophy

Qualifications

  • P.A.R.T.S. (Performing Arts Training and Research Studios)/Brussels, Diploma in Choreography and Dance
  • MA in Philosophy and Contemporary Critical Theory, CRMEP Kingston University

Funding or awards received

  • Kingston University PhD scholarship 2016-2019
  • CRMEP prize for Philosophy and Contemporary Critical Theory 2015
  • full scholarship recipient from the Austrian Ministry of Culture 2004-2012
  • collaborated and performed in Faust by Anne Imhof at the German Pavillion, LA Biennale die Venezia - Golden Lion for Best National Pavillion 2017

Publications

New Formations 92, Autumn 2017: Of technical ensembles, book review on the English translation of Gilbert Simondon's On the Mode of Existence of Technical Objects, University of Minnesota Press 2017

contribution to the catalogue of Faust, Anne Imhof. Edited by Susanne Pfeffer with contributions by Franziska Aigner, Eliza Douglas, Anne Imhof, Susanne Pfeffer, Juliane Rebentisch, Kerstin Stakemeier, and photographies by Nadine Fraczkowski. Koenig Books 2017

Radical Philosophy 200, Nov/Dec 2016: Unsocial Media, book review of Yuk Hui's On the Mode of Existence of Digital Objects, University of Minnesota Press 2016

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