Phenomenological Reviews

Series | Book | Chapter


Politicising the epokhé

Bernard Stiegler and the politics of epochal suspension

Ben Turner

pp. 341-354


For Husserl, the phenomenological epoché is primarily methodological, allowing access to the structures of transcendental consciousness by way of suspending worldly influence. This chapter will demonstrate how this methodological principle is rethought as political in the work of Bernard Stiegler. For Stiegler the epokhé is both the suspension of existing social systems, and a moment of critical redoubling, where the source of disruption is integrated into a new "epoch". In particular it will be shown how Stiegler develops this double understanding of the epokhé through his reading of retentionality as found in the lectures On the Consciousness of Internal Time to develop an understanding of the epochal framing of temporality by technics. By drawing connections between this version of retentionality and the pharmacological character of technics, as simultaneously poisonous and curative, the political stakes of the epokhé lie in the need to fight the poisonous aspects of epochal suspension.

Publication details

Published in:

Apostolescu Iulian (2020) The subject(s) of phenomenology: rereading Husserl. Dordrecht, Springer.

Pages: 341-354

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-29357-4_19

Full citation:

Turner Ben (2020) „Politicising the epokhé: Bernard Stiegler and the politics of epochal suspension“, In: I. Apostolescu (ed.), The subject(s) of phenomenology, Dordrecht, Springer, 341–354.