Latour’s modes of existence are the equivalent of Stiegler’s processes of transindividuation. These are preferable to AIME’ssystem of modes of existence, that are just given – which is an idealist approach, as no genesis is proposed. A second difference, after AIME’s lack of onto-genesis, is that for Stiegler the processes of transindividuation arise from “collective dreaming”. This collective dreaming is included in a contradictory way in Latour’s system as what he calls the mode of “metamorphosis”, but which he also makes into a sort of meta-mode with his principle of “being-as-other”. Transindividuation, as collective dreaming, is inscribed materially in what Stiegler calls “tertiary retentions”.
The dream, transe, corporal expression, and the body generally, are given insufficient space in Latour’s system. This is not to condemn Latour’s whole project, but to say there is something too rigid and static about it. In AIME the synchronic aspect far outweighs the diachronic aspect. For Stiegler, there are an open and historically variable multiplicity of processes of transindividuation, which makes his project much more pluralist than AIME. Latour’s pluralism of modes is also open and modifiable, but in this case it remains only a vague promissory note. Instead of Latour’s synchronic ontology of modes of existence Stiegler proposes a diachronic dreamology of processes of transindividuation.
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