PI! 12 (2001), 43-49.

Review of Gilbert Simondon's L'individu
et sa genese physico-biologique (1966) *
GILLES DELEUZE
The principle of individuation is highly thought of, respected, yet it seems
that modern philosophy has avoided taking up the problem until now. The
accomplishments of physics, of biology and psychology, have led us to
relativize the principle, to attenuate it, but not to reinterpret it. This is
where the force of Gilbert Simondon's thought comes into play. He sets
fonh a profoundly original theory of individuation, which entails an
entire philosophy. Simondon begins with two critical comments: I.
Traditionally, the principle of individuation relates to an already made,
fully constituted, individual. The only question regards what constitutes
the individuality of such a being, that is to say what characterizes an
already individuated being. Since the individual is 'placed' after
individuation, the principle of individuation is 'placed' before the
individuating operation, and consequently, above individuation itself; 2.
From this point on, individuation is 'placed' everywhere; it is considered
to be co-extensive with being, at least with concrete being (and even with
divine being). This error is correlative to the preceding one. In truth, the
individual can only be contemporaneous to his individuation, and
individuation, contemporaneous to its principle: the principle must be
truly genetic, not simply a principle of ret1ection. The individual is not
only the result but the element [milieu] of individuation. Precisely from
this perspective, individuation ceases to be co-extensive with being. It
must represent a moment that is neither the first being nor the whole of
being. It must be determinable, or localisable, in relation to being, within
, This review article appeared originally in Revue Philosophique de la France et de
l'Erranger 156 (1966), 115-18. We thank the Presses Universiraires de France for
their kind permission to publish it here in translation. [© P.D.F., this translation ©
Ivan Ramirez]
44 Pli 12 (2001)
a movement that will take it from the pre-individual to the individual.
The preliminary condition of individuation, according to Simondon, is
the existence of a metastable system. Philosophy succumbed to the
preceding aporias because it failed to recognize the existence of these
systems. A metastable system, essentially, entails the existence of a
disjJaration ' of at least two orders of magnitude, of two disparate scales
of reality, between which there is, as of yet, no interactive
communication. Therefore, it implies a fundamental difference, like a
state of asymmetry. [f it is nevertheless a system, it is only insofar as
difference exists ill it as potential energy, as a difference of potewial
distributed within certain limits. It seems to us that Simol1lloll' s
perspective can be reconciled with a theory of intensive quantities, since
each intensive quantity is a difference in itself. An intensive quantity
comprises a difference in itself, contains factors of the type E-E', to
infinity, and is first established between disparate levels, heterogeneous
orders that will only enter into communication later, in extension. Like
any metastable system, it is a structure (not yet a synthes is) of the
heterogeneous.
The importance of Simondon's thesis is now apparent. He rigorously
distinguishes singularity and individuality by discovering the preliminary
condition of individuation. For the metastable, defined as pre-individllal
being, is perfectly provisioned with singularities that correspond to the
existence and distribution of potentials. (Could we not make the same
claim in the theory of differential equations, in which the existance and
distribution of "singularities" differ in kind from the' individual' form of
the integral curves in their neighborhood'7) Singular without being
individual, such is the state of pre-individual being. It is difference,
disparity, disjJaratioll. Amongst the most beautiful passages of the book
are those where Simondon shows how the first moment of being,
disparity, as singular moment, is effectively presupposed by all other
states, whether they be of unification, of integration, of tension, of
opposition, of resolution, etc. Simondon insists, particularly against
, Trans. note: In translating this text I have opted to folIow the example of the
translator of 'The Genesis of the Individual,' and have left the term un translated. The
word will appear in italics throughout the text. The italics are mine. Simondon's term
(ksignates the process of emergence, or the tension (signification) "that emerges when
a I'meess of individuation reveals the dimension through which two disparate realities
'''I'.dll<'r become a system" or "that by which the incompatibility within the
" l ~
11111"'01 o!wd SYSlclll becomes an organizing dimension in its resolution". G. Simondon,
r"
,
'111<' ("'IIl";i, "I' the Individual', in J. Crary and S. Kwinter, eds, IncOIporatiolls (New
'.: ...~ f ' . : .. ·
I \ '" k ;","', 1'1'1.'). 1'1'. 310-11.
':'1,
Gilles Deleuze 45
Lewin and Gestaltentheorie, that the idea of disparotion is deeper than
that of opposition; the idea of potential energy, richer than that of a field
of forces: "The determined obstacle cannot be grasped prior to hodologic
space since the perspectives overlap, because there are no dimens ions in
relation to which the single set could be arranged. The .fluetllatio animi
that precedes resolute action is not a hesitation between several objects,
or even between several paths, but the mobile superimposition of
incompatible sets, sets that are alike but nonetheless disparate". 2 A world
2 G. Simondon, L'illdil'idll et sa genese phvsico-biologiqlle (Grenoble: Editions
Jer6me Millon, 1995), p. 209. Trans. Note: Gilbert Simondon argues against a vulgar
notion of adaptatior1, Or1e that has migrated from ar1 uncritical biology to other
disciplines. Simor1dor1 claims that this notion of adaptation lacks the resources to
account ror or1toger1esis: "Adaptation is a correlative to individuation; it is ouly
possible th.rough iudividuation. The entire biology of adaptatior1, upon which an
important pan of the philosophy of the 19th century relies and that reaches us in the
form of pragmatism, implicitly presupposes the already individuated living being as
given. The processes of development are set aside: it is a biology without
ontogenesis". This notion of adaptation defines the problem of the individual in the
terms of an opposition of forces: "that is to say, of conflict between the forces that
emanate from an individual thilt is oriented towards a goal, and the forces that
emanate from the object (from the object for the living subject), that act as a kind of
barrier (obstacle) between the subject and the object". According to Simondon this
serves to present a conception of the individual as being entirely passive in the
process of his own individuation: 'Thus, what is missing in topological and
hodological theory is a representation of the being that considers it susceptible to
operate successive individuations upon itself ... Stated in another way, according to
this doctrine the couple that generates disparutioll is the world-individual relation, and
not an initial duality of the individual'·. Whereas, for Simondon, individuation
proceeds in a more subtle manner, through a resonance of the overlapping disparities
in the subject and object: "Action is not only a topological modification of the
environment. It modifies, in a very delicate and relined manner, the network of
subject and object itself. It is not the abstract topological distribution of objects and
forces that is modified. It is, in a way that is just as total but more intimate and less
radical, the incompatibilities of dispamtioll that are overcome and integrated thanks to
the discovery of a new dimension. The world before action is not only a world in
which there is a barrier between the subject and the goal. Above a11, it is a world that
does not coincide with itself because it cannot be seen from a single point of view.
The obstacle is seldom an object amongst other objects; generally it is only so
symbolically, for the requirements of a clear and objectivizing representation. The
obstacle, as it is rea11y lived, is the plurality of ways of being present in the world.
Hodologic space is already the space of a solution. It is a meaningful space that
integrates diverse points of view in a systematic unity, the result of an amplification.
The determined obstacle cannot be grasped before hodologic space since the
perspectives overlap, because there are no dimensions in relation to which the single
set could be arranged. The jl/1ctllatio allimi that precedes resolute action is not a
46 Ph 12 (2001)
Gilles Deleuze 47
of discrete singularities that overlap, that overlap all the more ill that they
do not yet communicate, in that they are not yet held within an
individuality: such is the first moment of being.
How will individuation proceed from this condition? The argument
will be that it establishes an interactive cOlmnunication between orders of
disparate magnitude or reality; it actualizes potential energy or integrates
singularities; it solves the problem posed by disparates, by organizing Cl
new dimension in which they come to form a single set of a superior
degree (hence the depth in retinal images). The category of the
'problematic' takes on a great importance in Simondon's thought, to the
point that it acquires an objective sense: in effect, it does not so much
designate a provisional state of our knowledge, an indeterminate
subjective concept, but a moment of being, the first pre-individual
moment. In Simondon's dialectic the problematic replaces the negative.
Thus, individuation is the organization of a solution, of a 'resolution' for
an objectively problematic system. This resolution should be conceived ill
two complementary ways. On the one hand as internal resonance, "the
most primitive mode of communication between realities of different
orders" (and we believe that Simondon succeeded in making of 'internal
resonance' an extre mely rich philosophical concept, susceptible to all
sorts of applications, even and above all in psychology, in the domain of
affect). On the other hand as info1711atioll which, in its turn, establishes a
communication between two disparate levels, the one defined by a form
already contained in the receiver, the other by the signal carried from the
outside (here one comes across Simondon's worries concerning
cybernetics, and an entire theory of 'signification' in its relations to the
individual). In any case, individuation truly appears as the advent of a
new moment of Being, the moment of phased being, being coupled to
itself: "It is individuation that creates the phases, for the phases are only
the development of being on either side of itself ... Pre-individual being
is phase-less being, whereas being after individuation is phased being.
Such a conception identifies, or at the very least connects, individuation
hesitation between several objects, or even between several paths, but the mobile
superimposition of incompatible groups, groups that are alike but nonetheless
disparate. Prior to action. the subject is firmly lodged between many worlds, between
many orders. Action is the discovery of the meaning of this dispamrion, of that by
wh.ich the particularities of each set are integrated in a richer, larger, set, one
possessing a new dimension". G. Sirnondon, L'individll et sa genese plzysico­
biologiqlle (Grenoble: Editions Jerome Millon, 1995), pp. 207-09. Simondon also
comments that he considers Lewin's theory to be a synthesis of the German theory of
form and American pragmatism.
and the becoming of being". 3
Until now we have only indicated the most general principles of the
book. In detail, the analysis is organized around two centers. First, a study
of the different domains of individuation; notably, the differences
between physical individuation and vital individuation are the subject of a
profound exposition. The regime of internal resonance appears to be
different in both cases; the physical individual is content to receive
information once, ;md reiterates an initial singularity, whereas the living
being successively receives many supplies of information and adds up
many singularities. Above all, physical individuation is made and
prolonged at the limit of the body, crystal being an example, whereas a
living being grows from both the inside and the outside, the entire
contents of its inner space are in 'topological' contact with the contents of
exterior space (on this point, Simondon writes an admirable chapter,
'Topology and Ontogenesis'). It is surprising that Simondon did not take
advantage of the works of the Child school in biology, on the gradients
and the systems of resolution in the development of the egg. These works
suggest the idea of an individuation by means of intensity, of an intensive
field of individuation, which would surely confirm Simondon's theses.
1 G. Simondon, L'indil'iclu er sa gellese physico-biologique (Grenoble: Editions
JerOl11e Millon, 1995), p. 232. I am including a broader section of Sil11ondon's text in
order to further contextualize Deleuze's citation: "... Individuation is the aell'enr of (t
momellr oJ being, not the first. It is not the first, bnt il carries with it a certain
persistence of the pre-illdividual phase ... Individuation intervenes in being as the
correlative birth of the distinct phases, starting from what is unformed; it is
omnipresent pure potential. The individual, the resulr and also the elemellr [milieu] of
illdividuarioll, I11nst not be considered as one: it is only so according to a very
superficial hie er nunc, only in relation to other beings. In effect, the individual is
multiple insofar as polyphased, not because it conceals in itself a plurality of
secondary individuals which are more localized and temporary, but because it is a
provisional solution, a phase of becoming that will lead to new operations. The unity
of the individual is the middle and central phase of being from which all the other
phases, in a unidimensional bipolarity, are born and eliminated. Being after
individuation is not only individuated being; il is the being that comprises
individnation, the result of individuation and movement over other operations thanks
to a persistence of the primitive pre-individnal state. After individnation being has a
past, and the pre-individnal becomes a phase. The pre-individnal is, above all, phase:
it only becomes the first phase thanks to the individnation that nnfolds being, that puts
it out of step with itself. Since the phases are only the development of being and of
themselves, on either side, individuation creates the phases ... Pre-individual being is
being without phases, whereas being after individnation is phased being. Tllis
conception identifies, or at the very least, relates individnation and becoming with
being",
48 PI; 12 (2001)
Doubtless this is because he does 1I0t restrict himself to the biological
detennination of individuation, but determines increasingly complex
levels of individuation; thus there is a properly psychical individuation
that arises precisely when the vital functions are not sufficient to resolve
the problems posed to the living, and when a new charge of pre­
individual reality is mobilized within a new problematic, within a new
process of solution (cL a very interesting theory of affect). In its turn, the
psychic opens upon a "trails individual collective".
The second center of Simolldon' s analysis is now readily apparent. In
a way, it is a maller of a moral view of the world. Because the
fundamental idea is that the pre-individual is, and must remain, associated
to the individual, as the "source of future metastable states". Aestheticism
is generally condemned as the act by which the individual cuts itself off
from the pre-individual reality in which it is immersed, becomes affixed
to a singularity, refuses to communicate, and, in a certain way, provokes a
loss in information. "There is ethics to the measure that there is
information, that is to say signification that overcomes a disparition in the
elements of beings, making it so that what is interior is also
G. Simolldon, L'illdividu et sa gellese plzysico-biologique (Grenoble: Editions
Jer6me Millon, 1995), p. 245. Simondon is concerned with conceiving individmtion
as an operation, as an operalion of conUllunication. For him the individual is not to be
the only model of being, but only one of its phases. The ethical moment in
Simondon's thinking is the one which demands that being only be thought in
con-elation with becoming, the individual in conelation with individuation, the one
through which the ontogenetic process prolongs itself. Therefore, for Simondon, the
ethical event, the act. is not characterized by the mere revelation of the trace of
becoming. It is characterized by the affirmation of ontogenesis, by the prolongation of
its process. Perpetual ontogenesis is the model of the ethical act. Taking this into
account I felt it would be useful to extend Deleuze' s citation: "Ethics is the demand
that there be a signifying correlation of norms and values. To grasp the ethical in its
unity is to demand that it be accompanied by ontogenesis. Ethics is the sense of
individuation, the sense of the synergy of successive individuations. It is the sense of
the transductivity of becoming, lhe sense which states that in every act there always
remains enough movement to go further, and the schema which will allow it to
integrate itself to other schemas. It is the sense for which the interiority of an act has a
sense in the exterior. To postulate that interior sense is also an exterior one, that there
are no lost islands in becoming, no regions that are eternally closed upon themselves,
no absolute alltarky of the moment, is to affirm that every gestme has meaning and is
symbolic in relalion to the whole of life and to the totality of lives. There is ethics to
the measme that there is information, that is to say signification that overcomes a
disparation in the elements of beings, making it so that what is interior is also exterior
... The value of an act does not depend on its capacity to be universalized, according
to the norm that it implies, but upon the effective reality of its integration in a reserve
Gilles Deleuze 49
Thus ethics participates in a type of movement that goes from the pre­
individual to the transindividual by way of individuation. (The reader is
left to wonder if, in his ethics, Simondon does not re-institute the form of
a Self, despite having dismissed it in his theory of disparity, or of the
individual conceived as dephased and multiphased being.)
Few books, in any case, make it so insistently felt how much a
philosopher can take his inspiration from what is contemporary in science
and nevenheless rejoin [he great classical problems by transforming
them, by renewing them. The new concepts established by Gilbert
Simondon seem to be extremely important; their richness and originality
shock and influence the reader. What Simondon elaborates is an entire
ontology, one in which Being is never One: as pre-individual, it is a
metastable more-than-one, superimposed and simultaneous to itself; as
individuated, it is again multiple because it is 'multiphasic', it is a "phase
of becoming that will lead to new operations".
Translated by Ivan Ramirez.
of actions that is its becoming".

upon which an important pan of the philosophy of the 19th century relies and that reaches us in the form of pragmatism. that the idea of disparotion is deeper than that of opposition. between which there is. For the metastable. Simondon. it is a structure (not yet a synthes is) of the heterogeneous.' and have left the term un translated. as a difference of potewial distributed within certain limits. The entire biology of adaptatior1. the idea of potential energy. note: In translating this text I have opted to folIow the example of the translator of 'The Genesis of the Individual. contains factors of the type E-E'.. eds. Amongst the most beautiful passages of the book are those where Simondon shows how the first moment of being. individuation proceeds in a more subtle manner. in a very delicate and relined manner. for the requirements of a clear and objectivizing representation. because there are no dimens ions in relation to which the single set could be arranged. Simondon's term (ksignates the process of emergence. Trans. It seems to us that Simol1lloll' s perspective can be reconciled with a theory of intensive quantities. 209. like a state of asymmetry. but the mobile superimposition of incompatible sets. It is a meaningful space that integrates diverse points of view in a systematic unity. and is first established between disparate levels. The processes of development are set aside: it is a biology without ontogenesis". Stated in another way. implicitly presupposes the already individuated living being as given. The importance of Simondon's thesis is now apparent. According to Simondon this serves to present a conception of the individual as being entirely passive in the process of his own individuation: 'Thus. The jl/1ctllatio allimi that precedes resolute action is not a . entails the existence of a disjJaration ' of at least two orders of magnitude. heterogeneous orders that will only enter into communication later. An intensive quantity comprises a difference in itself. A metastable system. it is ouly possible th. particularly against . 1'1'. as singular moment. It is not the abstract topological distribution of objects and forces that is modified. and the forces that emanate from the object (from the object for the living subject). disparity. essentially. '111<' ("'IIl". Above a11. Trans. it implies a fundamental difference. the result of an amplification. "I' the Individual'. Kwinter. such is the state of pre-individual being. 1995). Hodologic space is already the space of a solution. 1'1'1. in which the existance and distribution of "singularities" differ in kind from the' individual' form of the integral curves in their neighborhood'7) Singular without being individual. p. Lewin and Gestaltentheorie. (Could we not make the same claim in the theory of differential equations. the network of subject and object itself. to infinity. is the plurality of ways of being present in the world. 2 A world 2 r" I '. is the existence of a metastable system. The preliminary condition of individuation. of tension."'. or even between several paths. the incompatibilities of dispamtioll that are overcome and integrated thanks to the discovery of a new dimension. what is missing in topological and hodological theory is a representation of the being that considers it susceptible to operate successive individuations upon itself . Crary and S. It modifies. · ':'1 ~f'. L'illdil'idll et sa genese phvsico-biologiqlle (Grenoble: Editions Jer6me Millon. it is only insofar as difference exists ill it as potential energy. It is difference. is perfectly provisioned with singularities that correspond to the existence and distribution of potentials. of two disparate scales of reality. disparity. Or1e that has migrated from ar1 uncritical biology to other disciplines. The . disjJaratioll. 310-11. or the tension (signification) "that emerges when a I'meess of individuation reveals the dimension through which two disparate realities '''I'.: "l~ G.:. The world before action is not only a world in which there is a barrier between the subject and the goal. that act as a kind of barrier (obstacle) between the subject and the object". of conflict between the forces that emanate from an individual thilt is oriented towards a goal.'). This notion of adaptation defines the problem of the individual in the terms of an opposition of forces: "that is to say. Whereas. Therefore.rough iudividuation. etc. and not an initial duality of the individual'·. Note: Gilbert Simondon argues against a vulgar notion of adaptatior1. The obstacle is seldom an object amongst other objects. is effectively presupposed by all other states. as it is rea11y lived. G. IncOIporatiolls (New \ '" k . of opposition. of resolution. as of yet. it is a world that does not coincide with itself because it cannot be seen from a single point of view.fluetllatio animi that precedes resolute action is not a hesitation between several objects. sets that are alike but nonetheless disparate". no interactive communication.44 Pli 12 (2001) Gilles Deleuze 45 a movement that will take it from the pre-individual to the individual. The word will appear in italics throughout the text. according to Simondon. Simor1dor1 claims that this notion of adaptation lacks the resources to account ror or1toger1esis: "Adaptation is a correlative to individuation. [f it is nevertheless a system.. defined as pre-individllal being. because there are no dimensions in relation to which the single set could be arranged. for Simondon. Philosophy succumbed to the preceding aporias because it failed to recognize the existence of these systems. Simondon. .dll<'r become a system" or "that by which the incompatibility within the 11111"'01 o!wd SYSlclll becomes an organizing dimension in its resolution". in a way that is just as total but more intimate and less radical. The obstacle. through a resonance of the overlapping disparities in the subject and object: "Action is not only a topological modification of the environment. of integration. in J. whether they be of unification. He rigorously distinguishes singularity and individuality by discovering the preliminary condition of individuation. generally it is only so symbolically. The italics are mine. The determined obstacle cannot be grasped before hodologic space since the perspectives overlap. in extension. It is.i. since each intensive quantity is a difference in itself. according to this doctrine the couple that generates disparutioll is the world-individual relation. .". richer than that of a field of forces: "The determined obstacle cannot be grasped prior to hodologic space since the perspectives overlap. Simondon insists. Like any metastable system.

for the phases are only the development of being on either side of itself . one possessing a new dimension". Simondon also comments that he considers Lewin's theory to be a synthesis of the German theory of form and American pragmatism.. crystal being an example. I11nst not be considered as one: it is only so according to a very superficial hie er nunc. These works suggest the idea of an individuation by means of intensity. Thus. are born and eliminated. but the mobile superimposition of incompatible groups. the first pre-individual moment. After individnation being has a past. which would surely confirm Simondon's theses. and an entire theory of 'signification' in its relations to the individual). the subject is firmly lodged between many worlds. It is surprising that Simondon did not take advantage of the works of the Child school in biology. the individual is multiple insofar as polyphased. to the point that it acquires an objective sense: in effect. set. Tllis conception identifies. 'Topology and Ontogenesis'). Simondon. . but because it is a provisional solution. whereas being after individnation is phased being. individuation is the organization of a solution. On the other hand as info1711atioll which. in its turn. 3 Until now we have only indicated the most general principles of the book. 1995). starting from what is unformed. G. of that by wh. How will individuation proceed from this condition? The argument will be that it establishes an interactive cOlmnunication between orders of disparate magnitude or reality. in the domain of affect). whereas a living being grows from both the inside and the outside. relates individnation and becoming with being". above all. phase: it only becomes the first phase thanks to the individnation that nnfolds being. Being after individuation is not only individuated being. a phase of becoming that will lead to new operations. 1 G. but a moment of being. 207-09. the physical individual is content to receive information once. larger. individuation truly appears as the advent of a new moment of Being. Prior to action. it does not so much designate a provisional state of our knowledge. susceptible to all sorts of applications.. individuation creates the phases . I am including a broader section of Sil11ondon's text in order to further contextualize Deleuze's citation: ". L'indil'iclu er sa gellese physico-biologique (Grenoble: Editions JerOl11e Millon. and the becoming of being". 232. not the first. by organizing Cl new dimension in which they come to form a single set of a superior degree (hence the depth in retinal images). In any case. the differences between physical individuation and vital individuation are the subject of a profound exposition. or at the very least connects. that overlap all the more ill that they do not yet communicate. the entire contents of its inner space are in 'topological' contact with the contents of exterior space (on this point. even and above all in psychology. being coupled to itself: "It is individuation that creates the phases. It is not the first. Action is the discovery of the meaning of this dispamrion. The pre-individnal is.md reiterates an initial singularity. a study of the different domains of individuation. whereas the living being successively receives many supplies of information and adds up many singularities. Individuation is the aell'enr of (t momellr oJ being. the result of individuation and movement over other operations thanks to a persistence of the primitive pre-individnal state.46 Ph 12 (2001) Gilles Deleuze 47 of discrete singularities that overlap. Pre-individual being is phase-less being. of an intensive field of individuation. 1995). it solves the problem posed by disparates. In detail. not because it conceals in itself a plurality of secondary individuals which are more localized and temporary. Simondon writes an admirable chapter. On the one hand as internal resonance.. L'individll et sa genese plzysico­ biologiqlle (Grenoble: Editions Jerome Millon. Above all. groups that are alike but nonetheless disparate. il is the being that comprises individnation. bnt il carries with it a certain persistence of the pre-illdividual phase . or even between several paths. in a unidimensional bipolarity. Sirnondon... the other by the signal carried from the outside (here one comes across Simondon's worries concerning cybernetics. First. the one defined by a form already contained in the receiver. it actualizes potential energy or integrates singularities. The individual. and the pre-individnal becomes a phase. Such a conception identifies. This resolution should be conceived ill two complementary ways. on either side. only in relation to other beings. Individuation intervenes in being as the correlative birth of the distinct phases. an indeterminate subjective concept. notably. on the gradients and the systems of resolution in the development of the egg. of a 'resolution' for an objectively problematic system. "the most primitive mode of communication between realities of different orders" (and we believe that Simondon succeeded in making of 'internal resonance' an extre mely rich philosophical concept. In Simondon's dialectic the problematic replaces the negative. physical individuation is made and prolonged at the limit of the body.ich the particularities of each set are integrated in a richer. Pre-individual being is being without phases. The regime of internal resonance appears to be different in both cases. that puts it out of step with itself. the moment of phased being. between many orders. in that they are not yet held within an individuality: such is the first moment of being. individuation hesitation between several objects. the resulr and also the elemellr [milieu] of illdividuarioll. the analysis is organized around two centers. The category of the 'problematic' takes on a great importance in Simondon's thought. . whereas being after individuation is phased being. establishes a communication between two disparate levels. The unity of the individual is the middle and central phase of being from which all the other phases... or at the very least. pp. it is omnipresent pure potential. Since the phases are only the development of being and of themselves. p. In effect..

that there are no lost islands in becoming. the individual in conelation with individuation. Perpetual ontogenesis is the model of the ethical act. Ethics is the sense of individuation. according to the norm that it implies. Therefore. Simondon does not re-institute the form of a Self. and must remain. within a new process of solution (cL a very interesting theory of affect). provokes a loss in information. The new concepts established by Gilbert Simondon seem to be extremely important. 245. and when a new charge of pre­ individual reality is mobilized within a new problematic. "There is ethics to the measure that there is information. L'illdividu et sa gellese plzysico-biologique (Grenoble: Editions Jer6me Millon. . or of the individual conceived as dephased and multiphased being. It is the sense of the transductivity of becoming. no absolute alltarky of the moment. and. but upon the effective reality of its integration in a reserve Thus ethics participates in a type of movement that goes from the pre­ individual to the transindividual by way of individuation. despite having dismissed it in his theory of disparity. and the schema which will allow it to integrate itself to other schemas. the act. no regions that are eternally closed upon themselves. the psychic opens upon a "trails individual collective". in his ethics. it is again multiple because it is 'multiphasic'. superimposed and simultaneous to itself. There is ethics to the measme that there is information. the ethical event. In its turn.) Few books. as individuated. is not characterized by the mere revelation of the trace of becoming. it is a metastable more-than-one. but determines increasingly complex levels of individuation. for Simondon. making it so that what is interior is also exterior . in a certain way.. as the "source of future metastable states". (The reader is left to wonder if. It is characterized by the affirmation of ontogenesis. of actions that is its becoming". The second center of Simolldon' s analysis is now readily apparent. making it so that what is interior is also exterior". by the prolongation of its process. their richness and originality shock and influence the reader. 12 (2001) Gilles Deleuze 49 Doubtless this is because he does 1I0t restrict himself to the biological detennination of individuation. refuses to communicate. associated to the individual. but only one of its phases. becomes affixed to a singularity. it is a maller of a moral view of the world. To grasp the ethical in its unity is to demand that it be accompanied by ontogenesis. The value of an act does not depend on its capacity to be universalized. one in which Being is never One: as pre-individual. in any case.. For him the individual is not to be the only model of being. Simondon is concerned with conceiving individmtion as an operation. the one through which the ontogenetic process prolongs itself. Because the fundamental idea is that the pre-individual is. by renewing them. It is the sense for which the interiority of an act has a sense in the exterior. thus there is a properly psychical individuation that arises precisely when the vital functions are not sufficient to resolve the problems posed to the living. is to affirm that every gestme has meaning and is symbolic in relalion to the whole of life and to the totality of lives. the sense of the synergy of successive individuations. make it so insistently felt how much a philosopher can take his inspiration from what is contemporary in science and nevenheless rejoin [he great classical problems by transforming them. as an operalion of conUllunication. The ethical moment in Simondon's thinking is the one which demands that being only be thought in con-elation with becoming. What Simondon elaborates is an entire ontology. Translated by Ivan Ramirez. Simolldon. Aestheticism is generally condemned as the act by which the individual cuts itself off from the pre-individual reality in which it is immersed. p. that is to say signification that overcomes a disparition in the elements of beings. To postulate that interior sense is also an exterior one. Taking this into account I felt it would be useful to extend Deleuze' s citation: "Ethics is the demand that there be a signifying correlation of norms and values. that is to say signification that overcomes a disparation in the elements of beings. it is a "phase of becoming that will lead to new operations".48 PI. lhe sense which states that in every act there always remains enough movement to go further. In a way.~ ~ G. 1995).

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