I keep forgetting that most people who read me in English are not reading the same things as me. I have been living in France for 35 years, and I read books by my favorite thinkers as soon as they come out (Laruelle, Stiegler, Latour, Serres, Badiou). These thinkers only rarely refer to each other, but there exists an implicit dialogue, an interactive sub-text, partly because they are at least aware of each other’s ideas, even if they don’t read each other (although probably they do so more than they let on). Partly because of a shared Zeitgeist. For me this “Zeitgeist” is the surface image of an underlying épistémè, and includes not only philosophy but also science fiction (and no doubt many other domains).

AGENT SWARM aims at contributing to this dialogue. The name means “active multiplicity”: under the constituted networks, the constituting swarm (what Bruno Latour used to call “plasma” and now calls “being-as-other”). The épistémè in formation involves at the philosophical level the articulation of a pluralist, diachronic, apophatic ontology. The figure of the network is only one possible specification of that more general meta-paradigm.

Another name for this épistémè is “immanentising Plato”. The closest I get to explaining it recently is to be found in a conference paper about Neal Stephenson’s ANATHEM (an early draft can be found here). I do not think Stephenson has read Badiou or Latour or Stiegler, but there is a similar conceptual movement.

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