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The Genesis of Technicity


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This study postulates that technicity is one of the two fundamental phases of the mode of existence of the whole constituted by man and the world. By phase, we mean not a temporal moment replaced by another, but an aspect that results from a splitting in two of being and in opposition to another aspect; this sense of the word phase is inspired by the notion of a phase ratio in physics; one cannot conceive of a phase except in relation to another or to several other phases; in a system of phases there is a relation of equilibrium and of reciprocal tensions; it is the actual system of all phases taken together that is the complete reality, not each phase in itself; a phase is only a phase in relation to others, from which it distinguishes itself in a manner that is totally independent of the notions of genus and species. The existence of a plurality of phases finally defines the reality of a neutral center of equilibrium in relation to which there is a phase shift. This schema is very different from the dialectical schema, because it implies neither necessary succession, nor the intervention of negativity as a motor of progress; furthermore, opposition, within the schema of phases, only exists in the particular case of a two-phased structure.

The adoption of such a schema founded upon the notion of the phase aims to put into play a principle according to which the temporal development of a living reality proceeds through a split on the basis of an initial, active center, then through a regrouping after the furtherance of each separated reality resulting from this split; each separated reality is the symbol of the other, just as each phase is the symbol of the other phase or phases; no phase, as a phase, is balanced with respect to itself, nor does it contain a complete truth or reality: every phase is abstract and partial, untenable; only the system of phases is in equilibrium in its neutral point; its truth and its reality are this neutral point, the procession and conversion in relation to this neutral point.

We suppose that technicity results from a phase shift of a unique, central, and original mode of being in the world: the magical mode; the phase that balances out technicity is the religious mode of being. Aesthetic thought appears at the neutral point, between technics and religion, at the moment of the splitting of the primitive magical unity: it is not a phase, but rather a permanent reminder of the rupture of unity of the magical mode of being, as well as a reminder of the search for its future unity.

Each phase in turn splits into a theoretical mode and a practical mode; there is thus a practical mode of technics and a practical mode of religion, as well as a theoretical mode of technics and a theoretical mode of religion.

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