One thing that is inspiring about Bernard Stiegler’s philosophising is his ability to set up a contemporary conceptual framework and vocabulary which allowed him to reference and to be influenced by the philosophers of his intellectual path without following them slavishly.
Stiegler treated philosophical systems as assemblages of « force ideas » (« idées-forces » is a concept of the French philosopher Alfred Fouillée). He would take such a force idea as it occurs in another philosopher (e.g. « desire » in Deleuze) and re-think the idea as a living force.
In this way Stiegler managed to avoid both the false ideal of setting out from zero (the tabula rasa) and the untenable position of discipleship (the tabula imitata). He often referred mockingly to the « little Deleuzians » and the « little Derrideans ». Today we could add the « little Laruelleans » and the « little Zizekians », etc.
The idea behind this practice (tabula curata) is that all these interesting concepts are up for grabs, democratically, by anyone. As force ideas they are in constant circulation, and are not the property of any particular microcosm or movement.
The « little » approach is that of microcosmic possessiveness and exclusion, often based on ignorance of the fact that one’s cherished ideas come from outside and return there, all the while continuing to exist and be transformed outside one’s little bubble.
The more the bubble is closed off, the more its force ideas are de-noetised. They decline from concepts into slogans and catchphrases. Stiegler says that from traumatypes they become stereotypes. I think he is right, as there is something inherently traumatic in a concept.
If your idea force doesn’t traumatise you, if you do not ceaselessly wonder and worry, constantly asking yourself « how can this be? how can I be worthy of it? how can I give it its due?, who can help me? who can I share it with? », then it is a cliché, it is not (or no longer) a concept.