Bernard Stiegler’s practice of philosophy is one of re-thinking (or noesis) as caring and taking care. Its starting point, or terminus post quem, is an assemblage of philosophers’ (Nietzsche, Heidegger, Deleuze, Derrida, Simondon) texts and concepts. This was what Stiegler called his « noetic humus », the dead and decaying conceptual soil. His terminus ad quem is conceptual creation, in favour of new practices of individual and collective life.

It seems to me that Zizek’s noetic re-thinking is almost, but not quite, the completely inverse movement. His terminus post quem and his terminus ad quem are both Hegel+Lacan, and the creation of concepts is the path, not the goal.

This is not to dismiss Zizek’s thought, or to say that Stiegler’s is « better » (or worse). It is their inverted overlap that inspired me to take them together, as a « temporal pincer » (or Lacanian cross-cap) in the sense of the film TENET:

This pincer movement is already practiced by Zizek, sometimes implicitly sometimes more or less explicitly, in his combined use of Deleuze (often unavowed) and of Lacan. This is what he theorised as the « Lacan/Deleuze pact »:

This Lacan/Deleuze pact is one of Zizek’s own temporal pincers or cross-caps. Creative thinkers are full of these reciprocally inverted duos. They are theorised for example by Deleuze as « encounters » or « crossings » and by Laruelle as « collisions ».

The question then, to use Zizek’s terminology, is whether one also attains to the noetic equivalent of a Klein Bottle, the subjective cut as terminus ad quem. This subjective cut corresponds to Deleuze’s concept of « speaking in one’s own name », which is also, at the same time, « becoming-imperceptible ».


Stiegler it seems to me attains this subjective cut far more consistently, or at least more explicitly, than Zizek, but I may be placing too much accent on the lexical surface of their writings. For more on this aspect of Stiegler’s noetic practice, see my previous post:

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