vera bühlmann

Bloomsbury 2019


This book introduces the reader to Serres' unique manner of 'doing philosophy' that can be traced throughout his entire oeuvre: namely as a novel manner of bearing witness.

It explores how Serres takes note of a range of epistemologically unsettling situations, which he understands as arising from the short-circuit of a proprietary notion of capital with a praxis of science that commits itself to a form of reasoning which privileges the most direct path (simple method) in order to expend minimal efforts while pursuing maximal efficiency. In Serres' universal economy, value is considered as a function of rarity, not as a stock of resources. This book demonstrates how Michel Serres has developed an architectonics that is coefficient with nature.

Mathematic and Information in the Philosophy of Michel Serres acquaints the reader with Serres' monist manner of addressing the universality and the power of knowledge – that is at once also the anonymous and empty faculty of incandescent, inventive thought.

The chapters of the book demarcate, problematize and contextualize some of the epistemologically unsettling situations Serres addresses, whilst also examining the particular manner in which he responds to and converses with these situations.


Contents of the Book


Chapter one Introduction

                   The plan of this book

Chapter two       Quantum literacy

       Elementary indecision

    Communication versus production: Bearing witness, and literacy

    Cultivating indecision:The quantum domain’s domesticity

    Ciphers, zeroness, equations: Architectonics of nothing

    Chance-bound objects

       Taking ignorance into account: Quantifying strangeness

    Entropy and negentropy

    The price of information as a measure for an object’s strangeness

    Quantum literacy: Towards a novel theory of the subject

    ‘La Langue est une Puissance’

Chapter three Chronopedia I: Counting time

       Meteora: The wisdom of the weather

    Code: A rosetta stone, a double staircase

    Time modelled as contemporaneity

    Counting time: Equinox and solstice

    The turning points for modelled beginnings and ends

    Of tables and models

    Sense means significance and direction


       A logos genuine to the world – ‘Le Logiciél Intra-Matériel’

    Software, hardware

    Economy of maxima and minima: An anarchic logos

Chapter four      Chronopedia II: Treasuring time

       Homothesis as the locus in quo of the universal’s presence

    1st iteration (acquiring a space of possibility)

    2nd iteration (learning to speak a language in which no one is native)

    3rd iteration (setting the stage for thought to comprehend itself)

    4th iteration (intelligence that is immanent and coextensive with the universe)

    5th iteration (inventing a scale of reproduction)

    6th iteration (the formula, a double-articulating application)

       The amorous nature of intellectual conception

    1st iteration (marking all that is assumed to be constant with a cipher)

    2nd iteration (confluence of multiple geneses)

    3rd iteration (the residence of that which is genuinely migrational)

    4th iteration (universal genitality)

    5th iteration (mathematics is the circuit of cunning reason’s ruses)

    6th iteration (the real as a black spectrum)

Chapter five        Banking universality: The magnitudes of ageing 


    The quickness of a magnanimous universe

    Invariance: Genericness in terms of entropy and negentropy

    Genuine and immanent to the all of time: Le ‘logiciel intra-matériel’

    White metaphysics: How olddoes the world think it is?


    The neutral element: Materialism of identity

    (Pan’s) glossematics: The economy that deals with ‘purport’

    Quanta of contemporaneity: Heat to incandescence, storage to bank   account

    Quantum writing: Substitutes step in to address things themselves

Chapter six         The incandescent Paraclete: Tables of plenty

       Equatoriality generalized

    Coming of age, liking sunset and sunrise

    How to combine precision with finesse or: euphoria contained by      instruments that behave like cornucopia

    The (mathematical) inverse of Pantopia is not a utopia: Law in the     panonymy of the whole world

    The objective mentality and character of instruments

    The vicarious order of knowledge that is authentic to the world

    Pan: The excitable subject of universal knowledge

       Generational con-sequentiality

    Blessed curiosity

    Exodic discourse

Chapter sevenSophistication and anamnesis: Retrograde movement of truth,         remembering an abundant past

                   The currency of knowledge

    The price of truth, and the price of information

    The convertibility of truth

       Classicism: Remembering contemporaneity

    Classical analysis, symbolical analysis

    Interlude: The Tower of Eiffel, archetypical symbol of                      existentialism?

    Building a cipher

    A corpus of intelligent forms

    The technical order of an object that is comfortable

    How to reason the sum total of all archetypes?

    Towards critique with regard to the symbolic alchemy of                  myth-making

    A realist classicism

       Familiarizing ourselves as strangers, native to the universe

    The domain of the quasi: Instructive analysis, character dispositions

    How can reason in general learn from singularities?

    Of genealogical and of tabular orders: Eating ‘next to’ (parasite)

    Heterogeneous scales, logistical uniformality (forms of operation)

    Indexical address: The referential of the centre

    Respecting order by challenging it

    Cunning ruses: The anarchic architectonic way of paying respect

    How to address the third-person singular?

    Augmentation, not authorship

    Anarchic civility, and the meanings of cultures

Chapter eight    Coda: Quantum literacy and architectonic dispositioning

Architecture and philosophy

Cipher Chapter (zero)Instead of a conclusion: The static tripod