Transcendental imagination in a thousand points
Horkheimer and Adorno viewed the cultural industries of their times (cinema, television) as a technological externalization of what Kant names "schematism," the operation by which imagination unifies perceptual sensibility and conceptual understanding in the temporal flux of consciousness. For them, such an industrialization of imagination was the new barbarity. This chapter argues that the conditions of possibility of such technological exteriorization are the conditions of constitution of all consciousness, namely the existence, beyond the primary and secondary retentions analysed by Husserl (i.e. conservation and remembering), of "tertiary" retentions, that is, of a technical, prosthetic memory. Unwinding the thread of tertiary retentions, the argument flows back from cinema to Husserl's analysis of the consciousness of time, to the invention of the phonograph, and ultimately to a thorough discussion with Kant regarding the three syntheses of apperception viewed as a true "cinema of consciousness." In other words, if there is an "industrial schematism," it is because schemes, as functions of tertiary retentions, are originally industrializable.This text was originally delivered as "L'imagination transcendantale en mille points," lecture at the high school Henri IV, Paris, 2002. The original translation by George Collins has been revised by the editors.
Stiegler, B. (2018)., Transcendental imagination in a thousand points, in S. Loeve, X. Guchet & B. Bensaude-Vincent (eds.), French philosophy of technology, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 299-314.
This document is unfortunately not available for download at the moment.