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  1. Bernard Stiegler: Friendship and Fellowship

    Bernard Stiegler: Friendship and Fellowship

    On Bernard Stiegler - Philosopher of Friendship


    When I first met Bernard Stiegler, he was starting his program in Plaine Commune, a suburb of Paris that mixes misery of all kinds with young and creative vitality.

    Abstract

    "What I love, and those whom I love, you, that is to say us in so far as we are capable of forming a we, all this I love, and I love them, and I love you infinitely" (Bernard Steigler April 1952- August 2020).
    When Bernard Stiegler writes "I love you" in the quote above, he openly provokes us to question or experience the meaning or contact of these words. He also invites us to question the relationship between a thinker’s life and their thought. For Stiegler, they were inextricable. His life was one that focused on friendship but not friendships at a purely social level but ones that produced philosophy, politics, and existential truths.
    Bringing together scholars who knew Stiegler, including Shaj Mohan, Achille Mbembe, Divya Dwivedi, Peter Szendy, and Emily Apter, this volume provides an original - and personal - insight into his life and philosophy. Each piece gives a sense of the wide range of Stiegler’s work and how it affected the praxis of the philosopher in different parts of the world.

    Citation
    Montévil, Maël. 2024. “Bernard Stiegler: Friendship and Fellowship.” In On Bernard Stiegler - Philosopher of Friendship, edited by Jean-Luc Nancy. Bloomsbury. https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/on-bernard-stiegler-9781350329034/
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  2. Indian Philosophy, Indian Revolution: On Caste and Politics

    Indian Philosophy, Indian Revolution: On Caste and Politics


    In their brave and challenging book, grounded in political science and the Continental philosophical tradition, Divya Dwivedi and Shaj Mohan engage with the resurgence of upper-caste supremacism in India and its justification via the legacy of ‘the Aryan doctrine’ and Hindu nationalism.

    Abstract

    In their brave and challenging book, grounded in political science and the Continental philosophical tradition, Divya Dwivedi and Shaj Mohan engage with the resurgence of upper-caste supremacism in India and its justification via the legacy of “the Aryan doctrine” and Hindu nationalism. Their essays were written from 2016 to 2023, when India’s democratic institutions were subverted and caste-based oppression overflowed into public space―killing and menacing the lower castes of all religions, minorities, women, students and the media.
    This book chronicles the ascending oppression of democracy in India, a veritable biography of authoritarianism. Dwivedi and Mohan reject simplistic accounts of India’s politics as the opposition between “Hindu majoritarian nationalism” and “the religious minorities”, or between “Hindu fundamentalism” and “religious pluralism”. They propose instead a genuinely transformative account of Indian politics, grounded in political philosophy and in the lower- caste majority position
    What does revolution mean where the constitutional promise of equality is betrayed daily by the millennia- old inequality of caste? What does politics mean where religion serves as the justification for descent- based enslavement and indignity? Revolution has only one sense in India, the annihilation of caste; and “citizen” has only one sense, the people of the state shedding caste and racism.

  3. Mathematical modeling in the study of organisms and their parts

    Mathematical modeling in the study of organisms and their parts

    Systems Biology 2nd edition


    How do mathematical models convey meaning? What is required to build a model? An introduction for biologists and philosophers.

    Abstract

    Mathematical modeling is a very powerful tool to understand natural phenomena. Such a tool carries its own assumptions and should always be used critically. In this chapter we highlight the key ingredients and steps of modeling and focus on their biological interpretation. In particular, we discuss the role of theoretical principles in writing models. We also highlight the meaning and interpretation of equations. The main aim of this chapter is to facilitate the interaction between biologists and mathematical modelers. We focus on the case of cell proliferation and motility in the context of multicellular organisms.

    Keywords: Equations, Mathematical modeling, Parameters, Proliferation, Theory

    Citation
    Montévil, Maël. 2024. “Mathematical Modeling in the Study of Organisms and Their Parts.” In Systems Biology 2nd Edition, edited by Mariano Bizzarri. Methods in Molecular Biology. https://link.springer.com/book/9781071635766
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  4. Plaine Commune, contributive learning territory

    Plaine Commune, contributive learning territory

    Memories for the Future: Thinking with Bernard Stiegler


    The contributive economy is a strategy to disrupt technological disruption by developing knowledge in all its forms. This program has led to several concrete working groups in Plaine Commune.

    Abstract

    The program Plaine Commune, contributive learning territory, started in late 2016. It emerged from the theoretical work of Bernard Stiegler and the Ars Industrialis group. The contributive economy is a strategy to disrupt technological disruption by developing knowledge in all its forms. This program has led to several concrete working groups in Plaine Commune, while others are still developing. Mainly, work is taking place on the economy, digital urbanism, and young children’s development in the context of the overuse of digital media. Here, we focus on the group on digital media and young children’s development and how academics and inhabitant works integrate.

    Citation
    Montévil, Maël. 2024. “Plaine Commune, Contributive Learning Territory.” In Memories for the Future: Thinking with Bernard Stiegler, edited by Bart Buseyne, Georgios Tsagdis, and Paul Willemarck. Bloomsbury. https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/bernard-stiegler-9781350410459/
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  5. Modeling organogenesis from biological first principles

    Modeling organogenesis from biological first principles

    Organization in Biology: Foundational Enquiries into a Scientific Blindspot


    Here we discuss the application and articulation of biological principles for mathematical modeling of morphogenesis in the case of mammary ductal morphogenesis, with an emphasis on the default state.

    Abstract

    Unlike inert objects, organisms and their cells have the ability to initiate activity by themselves, and thus change their properties or states even in the absence of an external cause. This crucial difference led us to search for principles suitable for the study organisms. We propose that cells follow the default state of proliferation with variation and motility, a principle of biological inertia. This means that in the presence of sufficient nutrients, cells will express their default state. We also propose a principle of variation that addresses two central features of organisms, variation and historicity. To address interdependence between parts, we use a third principle, the principle of organization: more specifically, the notion of the closure of constraints. Within this theoretical framework, constraints are specific theoretical entities defined by their relative stability with respect to the processes they constrain. Constraints are mutually dependent in an organized system and act on the default state.
    Here we discuss the application and articulation of these principles for mathematical modeling of morphogenesis in a specific case, that of mammary ductal morphogenesis, with an emphasis on the default state. Our model has both a biological component, the cells, and a physical component, the matrix that contains collagen fibers. Cells are agents that move and proliferate unless constrained; they exert mechanical forces that i) act on collagen fibers and ii) on other cells. As fibers are organized, they constrain the cells’ ability to move and to proliferate. This model exhibits a circularity that can be interpreted in terms of the closure of constraints. Implementing our mathematical model shows that constraints to the default state are sufficient to explain the formation of mammary epithelial structures. Finally, the success of this modeling effort suggests a step-wise approach whereby additional constraints imposed by the tissue and the organism can be examined in silico and rigorously tested by in vitro and in vivo experiments, in accordance with the organicist perspective we embrace.

    Citation
    Montévil, Maël, and Ana Soto. 2023. “Modeling Organogenesis from Biological First Principles.” In Organization in Biology: Foundational Enquiries into a Scientific Blindspot, edited by Matteo Mossio. Springer Nature. https://link.springer.com/book/9783031389672
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  6. Remarques sur les corps

    Remarques sur les corps

    Jean-Luc Nancy : Anastasis de la pensée


    Dans ce texte, je propose trois ouvertures à partir des réflexions de Jean-Luc Nancy concernant le corps, notamment dans Corpus et L’Intrus.

    Abstract

    Dans ce texte, je propose trois ouvertures à partir des réflexions de Jean-Luc Nancy concernant le corps, notamment dans Corpus et L’Intrus.

    Citation
    Montévil, Maël. 2023. “Remarques Sur Les Corps.” In Jean-Luc Nancy : Anastasis de La Pensée, edited by Divya Dwivedi, Jérôme Lèbre, Maël Montévil, and François Warin. Hermann. https://www.editions-hermann.fr/livre/jean-luc-nancy-anastasis-de-la-pensee-divya-dwivedi
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  7. Open Historicity of Life. Theory, epistemology, practice

    • M Chollat-Namy
      M Chollat-Namy
      ,
      M Montévil
      M Montévil
      &
      A Robert
      A Robert
      .
    • en
    • Salle Dussane, ENS

    In the last decade, the notion that new possibilities appear over time in biological phenomena has received renewed and growing attention. Kauffman approaches it as the adjacent possible, Sarti and Citti as heterogenesis, and Longo and Montévil as symmetry change and specific objects. Accordingly, there is a growing understanding that this notion is a significant shift and challenge in the way to do science. However, there has yet to be a systematic effort to bring together the different perspectives on this question in biology and in other fields confronted with it. In this conference, we intend to create bridges between the different perspectives that have been developed, mostly independently, on the question of changing possibility spaces in biology.

  8. Historicity and theory


    This Diverse Format Session will discuss some biological principles and notions that, we submit, should be integrated into the theoretical concepts of biology. Overall, these notions delineate an organism-centered biological science, by shifting the focus to the wholes rather than their parts. In particular, the session will examine how the adoption of these principles and notions fundamentally challenges the received view on biological explanation. The first notion is purposiveness. There is recent literature suggesting that biological organization can be interpreted as self-determining, and thereby intrinsically purposive (Mossio & Bich, 2017). Accepting the intrinsic purposiveness notion implies accepting a circular determination between the parts and the whole and thus a challenge to a mechanistic explanation of biological organization. The second notion is variation. In some recent studies (Montévil et al., 2016), biological variation is understood in terms of the emergence of changes that cannot be prestated. As such, biological variation challenges the very possibility of generalized formal models in biology. The third notion (Soto et al, 2016), is the biological default state according to which cells constantly grow, change shape, proliferate, and move. Because of this default state, the explanation of biological phenomena involving motility and proliferation is reversed, to the extent that what is to be accounted for is their absence (quiescence). The fourth notion is agency, which designates the capacity of organisms to behave in interaction with the environment and other organisms in a purposeful, normative, and functional way. Among other things, the conception of organisms as agents radically modifies evolutionary explanations (Jäger, 2023), insofar as agents are not only the result of selective processes, but they also actively shape selective processes. The session will consist of four short presentations (15 minutes each, maximum), followed by a discussion of 30 minutes at least, in which we will explore the capacity of these concepts to advance biological explanation, as well as their (deep) conceptual connections.

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