On the Soul of Technical Objects: Commentary on Simondon’s ‘Technics and Eschatology’ (1972)

Research output: Journal contributionsJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


This article comments on a paper titled ‘Technique et eschatologie: le devenir des objets techniques’ that Gilbert Simondon presented in 1972. For Simondon, eschatology consists of a basic presupposition, which is the duality between the immortal soul and the corruptible body. The eschatology of technical objects can be seen as the object’s becoming against time. Simondon suggests that in the epoch of artisans, the product through its perfection searches for the ‘immortality of his producer’, while in the industrial epoch standardization becomes the key mover, in the sense that different parts of the object can be replaced. This analysis of Simondon on the relation between technics and eschatology allows a speculation on the soul of technical objects by tracing his earlier works. This conception of the soul, as this article tries to show, allows Simondon to address the alienation of technical objects in juxtaposition to a Marxist critique of alienation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTheory, Culture & Society
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)97-111
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 01.11.2018