This event explores the concept of information in the work of the post-war French philosopher Gilbert Simondon (1924-1989). Today, Simondon is best remembered for his holistic account of technological objects and their perceptual-cognitive role in the evolution of human beings and social systems. However, his project also aimed at providing a unified foundation for the human sciences – one that would be compatible with, but not reducible to, the natural sciences. To achieve this, he developed an ontological perspective foregrounding notions of information and individuation adapted from the then-emerging fields of cybernetics and information theory, as well as psychology, biology, and quantum physics, while also building on more traditional philosophical approaches such as phenomenology. The symposium will examine these intellectual sources and contexts, and discuss the wider legacy of Simondon’s concept of information for contemporary thinking across the humanities.
The event is sponsored by the Faculty of Arts & Humanities, the Department of French, and the Centre for Digital Culture at King’s College London.
For more information or if you would like to attend, please contact: giovanni.menegalle@kcl.ac.uk  



10:00-10:30 – WELCOME

10:30-12:30 – SESSION 1 (Chair: Mercedes Bunz, KCL, Digital Humanities)

Andrea Bardin, Oxford Brookes, Social Sciences, ‘Simondon on Macy: Cybernetics, Metastability and the ‘Quality’ of Information’

Pablo Rodriguez, Buenos Aires, Social Sciences /CONICET, ‘Information Theory and Living Individuation: Simondon’s Take on Molecular Biology’

Mark Coté, KCL, Digital Humanities, ‘Seeing Possible States? Does Simondon’s Critique of Information Theory Apply to Reinforcement Learning?’

12:30-13:30 – LUNCH  

13:30-15:30 – SESSION 2 (Chair: Patrick ffrench, KCL, French)

Cecile Malaspina, CNRS Lab SPHERE / Paris 7, ‘Pure Information’

Ashley Woodward, Dundee, Philosophy, ‘Information and Signification’

Giovanni Menegalle, KCL, French, ‘Information or Sense? Simondon in the Shadow of French Philosophy’

Gus Hewlett, Kingston, CRMEP, ‘Physical Information in L’Individuation: If not Singularity, then What?’

15:30-16:00 – BREAK

16:00-18:00 – SESSION 3 (Chair: Cecile Malaspina, CNRS Lab SPHERE / Paris 7)

Simon Mills, De Montfort, Media, ‘Information, Mediation, Causality’

Madeleine Chalmers, Oxford, French, ‘Chance Encounter: When Simondon’s Information Meets the Surrealist Object’

Ludovic Duhem, ESAD, Philosophy, ‘After Language: Image as Information in the New Reticulation of the World’



Date and time

Mon, 13 May 2019
10:00 – 18:00 BST


King’s College London
River Room
Strand Campus


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