Simondon and the Birds of the Apocalypse

Beringhieri, Sermo to The Birds, 1235; Detail of piece in S. Francesco, Pescia, (p.13, 16).

1 Tradition has long considered man a singularity in nature, a rational animal endowed with the power to dominate and the right to exploit nature to his advantage. [1] Today, man’s place seems no longer to be at the apex of the natural order, but at the epicenter of an unfolding disaster. With melting ice caps, the collapse of the world’s water towers [2] and fire tornadoes, the very idea of man stands exposed in its implicitly gendered and racial specificity, as responsible for scarring our geological age. As the doomsday clock strikes 100 seconds to midnight, [3] the protagonist of change is unmasked as a crook. Demands grow for the white man to recognize his place among fellow humans and the other species. Only, here we encounter a paradox. A new innocence seems required for a harmonious dwelling in nature, yet it is also mankind’s technical and scientific ingenuity that is tasked with seeing our own and other species through this ecological crisis. In what follows we will work through this paradox, by revisiting two contrasting motifs that run through Gilbert Simondon’s writing: Plato’s demiurgic vision of man as the great craftsman, and Saint Francis’ sermon of the birds, an image of man at one with the cosmos and at home in nature, as one among the species.

2 These distinct images of man can both be traced back to what Simondon calls the ethical vision of man. In his Two Lessons on Animal and Man[4] Simondon includes Plato’s Timaeus in his critique of a historical lineage of the ethical vision of man. Recognizing this lineage will leads us to a surprising connection between the ethical image of man and Simondon’s critique of technocracy in his Mode of Existence of Technical Objects.[5] This critique, as it turns out, is not one of technology, but of a mythical relation to technics that goes back to the ethical image of man in Plato’s Timaeus. On the other end of the spectrum, we have Simondon’s favorable mentions of Saint Francis in the Two Lessons and in individuation in Light of form and information.[6] However, we will also read Simondon against the grain, to reveal how his own critique of the ethical image of man does not, in the last instance, exempt the iconic sermon of the birds. To this end we will emphasize the fundamental role that the legend of Saint Francis played in the XIIIth century apocalyptic canon.

3 It will become apparent that both, the Timaeus and the sermon of the birds, partake in mythical systems of thought that are structured around dichotomies. Once we acknowledge that the inclination to hierarchical and dichotomic thinking is inherent in the ethical image of man, we can proceed to also rethink the anthropological cut between man and nature, which ecological thinking seeks to overcome. We will see that Simondon’s critique applies also to today’s apocalyptic visions of the Anthropocene. Indeed, stark visions of “the world before” and “the world after” present us with a moral ultimatum, not unlike that of the XIIIth century, of having to choose between annihilation (rather the end of the world than the end of capitalism, to say it with Jameson) or a new innocence and modesty of mankind, living in harmony with nature and among the species.

4 Without denying the very real urgency of the climate emergency, and without euphemizing the role of capital, we will see that Simondon points to an alternative way of thinking about man’s place in nature and among the species, eschewing the logic of moral dichotomies. The second part of this article will thus seek a possible line of resolution of the apparent paradox opposing innocence and technical ingenuity, based on Simondon’s re-conceptualization of nature and in the audacious conception of human nature that it entails.

Technocracy and the Apocalypse

From the Timaeus to Technocracy

5 To begin with, let us return to Plato’s Timaeus, and to the status this seminal text has in Simondon’s Two Lessons. Conceived in the divine image, Plato places man at the pinnacle of what Simondon calls a monstrous yet genius theory of evolution, where every living creature descends from man, as if by degradation:


The idea of the Timaeus, which is in a sense monstrous and in a sense genius, is the first theory of evolution in the Western word. Only it is a reverse theory of evolution. Man is first among all the other animals and, by simplification, by degradation, implies that through the development of certain aspects of the human body, such as claws replacing fingernails, one can obtain a certain animal adapted for a specific lifestyle. [7]

7 Today, the vision of man as pinnacle of evolution has lost its shine. We can see, however, that the mythical and theological dimension of this vision goes back beyond Darwinist accounts of evolution, to a moral blueprint already contained in the Timaeus. For the Timaeus inaugurates not merely a logic of progressive adaptations. It is also, first and foremost, a myth that determines man’s place in nature within an ethical, but also explicitly political perspective.

8 In fact, the Timaeus dialogue is prompted by Socrates’ concern with understanding the perfect state, not as a static ideal, but in its dynamic nature. Socrates wants to understand how the ideal society behaves when it is in crisis. Timaeus, in turn, answers with a mythological account of cosmogonies, whereby a divine craftsman constructs the cosmic soul, steering and regulating chaotic matter through an intelligible paradigm. Human rationality, by this account, is the participation of man’s intellective soul in the eternal intellect. It leads man to recognize and preserve the eternal principles of order underpinning perpetual flux. Plato’s exaltation of intelligence thus becomes the foundation of a moral view of man. The Timaeus teaches us that to “destroy a structure of beauty and goodness, is a mark of evil.” [8] However, it is also in this moral principle that we find the antecedent to the anthropological cut. For, unlike the eternal intellect, man’s intellective soul is embodied and subjected to the mortal soul, which merely animates the material body. Thus embodied, the intellect is impure and morally compromised, as it is chained to necessity and to the fluctuating states of pain, confidence, fear and hope, not least of which to pleasure, “evil’s most potent lure.” [9]

9 We begin to see that the moral foundation of the idea of man as a singularity in nature, and of his destiny as the great craftsman, emulating the great demiurge, rests on a mythical and moral dichotomy opposing divine intelligence to matter. We can now contextualize Simondon’s caution against intemperate technocracy in the Mode of Existence of Technical Objects. For Simondon contemporary society knows only two values for the technical objects it produces, outright rejection of the technical object from the sphere of culture as mere utilities, or the absolute value of the sacred object, treating technology as “a modern philter” or magical solution. [10]

10 Technology, some may argue, today realizes feats once dismissed by Simondon as “purely mythical and imaginary”: [11] algorithms are charged with “dominating man’s peers”; [12] Deep Learning Neural Networks are bringing us ever closer to “thinking machines”; [13] and synthetic biology has all but achieved its first living machines. [14] Was Simondon wrong? Perhaps, if one sees today’s developments as contradicting a judgement about technical possibilities. One could also say that Simondon accurately diagnosed the mythical hopes invested in new technologies and the temptation to hide behind technology. This mythical inclination need not be confined to transhumanist visions of man delivered from the drag of the mortal soul. More mundane examples abound. At the time of writing, the Prime Minister of a Western nation shirked responsibility for a scandal by blaming a “mutant algorithm”. [15]

11 What is certain, is that both idolatry of technology and its blanket moral rejection fall short of adequately discerning the place of Homo faber and Homo digitalis among the other species and in nature. Presented as an ultimatum in the context of the climate crisis, these alternatives instead testify to an enduring system of thought entrenched in dichotomy, affecting contemporary narratives around the climate crisis and humanity’s future on Earth.

The Ethical Vision of Man

12 Let us now look at the ethical vision of man and its only apparent opposition to the technocratic myth of man. In the lecture series that forms Two Lessons on Animal and Man, Simondon presents his students with a historical frieze, beginning with Socrates’ loss of interest in the observation of physical reality. Socrates is given the dubious honor of being “the first who is in a certain sense responsible for [the] traditional dualism” [16] between man and nature. Turning his back on Anaxagoras’ philosophy of nature, so as to look inward, Socrates gives rise to the narrative of man’s singularity on the grounds of his moral conscience. From here the systematization of this anthropological cut takes its course, opposing man and nature – the dichotomy between man and nature remaining intact even when the hierarchy between them is reversed –, from the Timaeus to the Sophist’s dictum that “man is the measure of all things”, from the Christian Apologetics to Montaigne’s debasement of man in comparison to the perfection of animals, and from Descartes’ rationalist dualism, once more elevating man from the lowest to the noblest of creatures, to the mechanical reduction of the soul in behavioral psychology.

13 Simondon singles out two consequences of this implicit moral tendency toward dichotomy and hierarchy. It leads to systems of thought favoring abstract dichotomies over the nuance of empirical observation, and it nurtures an Orphic yearning of escaping this world in favor of a higher destiny, with the idea that “man is of another nature and [...] will discover his true destiny in another world”. [17] Dichotomy ultimately grants intrinsic value and dignity to some beings and not to others, favoring the demarcation of ingroups and outgroups: man versus animal, Christian versus non-Christian, intelligent versus mechanical necessity etc. [18] Socrates, Plato, the Stoics and even Montaigne draw moral fault lines between man and animal that will eventually culminate in Descartes’ mechanistic reduction of nature. Far from a tabula rasa, Descartes can thus be argued to have revived the already systematized dualism at play in Plato’s Timaeus. Surveying this frieze of interlocking visions of the ethical man, Simondon finally puts us on our guards against the summersaults of a “historical dialectic” whereby Descartes’ ennobling of the “properly rational human soul” yields to the mechanized “soulless psychology” of twentieth century behavioral psychology. [19]

The Birds of the Apocalypse

14 Is there an escape from this hierarchical vision of man? It appears that the figure of Saint Francis could offer a way out. Simondon in fact praises Saint Francis for effacing the dichotomy between animal and human. For Simondon, Saint Francis extends the concept of personality beyond its belonging to an in-group, to encompass its relation with the cosmos in its entirety. [20] It is almost as if there was a good and a bad way of going about the ethical vision of man. However, I will read Simondon against the grain, and will argue that, according to Simondon’s own logic, we find dichotomy and hierarchy also in the Franciscan worldview. To make this point, I will refer to F. D. Klingender’s 1953 analysis of the foundational role Saint Francis’ sermon of the birds plays in the XIIIth century apocalyptic canon. [21]

15 In his article, “St. Francis and the Birds of the Apocalypse”, Klingender emphasizes the formal analogy between representations of the sermon of the birds and those of the birds of the apocalypse. Apocalyptic imagery, he argues, was nothing less than “the imaginative vehicle of Franciscan thought” in Northern Europe: “For the English illuminators of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries […] Michael, the angel of the Apocalypse, was St. Francis.” [22]

The call to the Birds,Apocalypse, XIVth century; British Museum, MS. Royal 19. B. xv, f.37 (p. 19).

16 While Saint Francis is represented alongside doves and sparrows, the angel of the apocalypse is shown amidst “fierce birds” diving “onto the ruins of a fallen city” or sitting on a “field strewn with mangled corpses,” illustrating the XVIIIth and XIXth:


[…] an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all fouls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men […] [23]

Angel and feasting Birds, Apocalypse, British Museum, MS 22493, f.4 (p. 18).

18 The same blessing gesture represents, here Saint Francis and the sermon of the birds, there the angel of the Apocalypse facing the rapacious birds. The sermon of the birds was thus inextricably linked to apocalyptic visions of XIIIth spiritualist movements, like those of Joachim Fiore (1135-1202). It spoke to a time of political turmoil, wars and social transformation, linked to the emergence of a merchant class. The conflict between “true followers” of Saint Francis and those who sought an alliance with the wealthy in order to establish the Franciscan Order, plays out the antagonism between ingroup versus outgroup which Simondon had found to be characteristic of the ethical vision of man.

19 Today the opposition between the “true followers” and those who seek an alliance with the wealthy resonates with climate activists’ rejection of the “greenwashing” of industry and the attempts to justify the ideology of growth with investment into new technologies. Iconic images of disintegrating arctic ice sheets and ominous fire tornadoes represent the apocalyptic horizon of the “great transformation” [24] wrought by capitalism. The “unclean and hateful” birds of the XXIst century apocalypse are no longer imagined as vultures feasting on the corpses of sinners or sitting in the ruins of capital. They are domestic birds trapped in industry scale poultry farms, acting as sentinels for the coming epidemics. [25] The global covid-19 pandemic, ongoing at the time of writing, is only the latest in a series of zoonotic epidemies to accentuate man’s place among the species, starting with the bird flu or avian influenza (hpai, strain h7n9). Global in scale, the COVID-19 pandemic almost immediately led to a powerful narrative featuring the apocalyptic motif of the world “before” and the world “after” coronavirus, as captured in Arundhati Roy’s article “The pandemic is a portal”:


Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine a world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. [26]

21 Roy’s article captures the apocalyptic image of the global pandemic as a possible end to the capitalist world order, pushing back against the idea that there is no alternative to capitalism. Once more, we are confronted with a binary moral choice, or rather an ultimatum, between the end of the world as we know it or the dawn chorus of a new world. It reflects the hope that if we heed nature’s lesson, this crisis may lead, if not to an age of love, then at least of an age of wisdom in which humankind will know better than to forfeit its place among the species. The question this raises, at his hour of urgency in the face of global pandemics and climate chaos: is it even possible to avoid the dichotomies of the ethical vision of man? Is decisive action not inevitably divisive? If we have no choice but to choose sides, then why was Simondon weary of what he called the ethical vision of man?

Nature and Human Nature

Nature and its Relation to Technics

22 To approach the question of man’s place in nature from a Simondonian perspective, I propose we distinguish at least four nuances in his conceptualization of nature: in a structural sense, nature is thought as a regime of elements; in a functional sense, Simondon thinks of “raw nature” or “nature brute” as what lends itself to individuation; in a more fundamental metaphysical sense nature is thought as the unlimited, the formless or infinite ápeiron; this finally leads Simondon to a surprising nuance in our understanding of the nature of things according to their essence, from which we must deduce a startling understanding of human nature. His richly faceted conceptualization of nature is not based on dichotomies between the natural and the artificial, or between the human and other species. However, it does imply an ethics that abhors the mythical motivation of technocracy, if anything, as a misunderstanding of technical essence or of the “nature” of technicity.

Raw Nature

23 Simondon belongs to the great lineage of philosophers of nature. It may surprise, then, that he rarely uses the word nature as referring to the natural world. When he does, he tends to narrow it down to a specific and localized concept, distinguishing for instance “a certain regime of natural elements surrounding the technical being”. [27] However, also the technical object is characterized by a “a certain regime of elements,” allowing it to mediate, in this sense, between the “natural world and the human world” [28] as between two regimes of elements, like the geographical and the social. It is thus, in one sense, as referring to a regime of elements that Simondon uses the word nature when he says that the technical object is “the true mediation between nature and man”. [29]

24 However, following several accounts of what he calls “raw matter”, [30] Simondon at one point also speaks of a “raw nature” or “nature brute” [31] (which Taylor Adkins translates as “bare nature”), in order to shift our understanding of nature from what is to what can be. The emphasis is no longer on the structure of a regime of elements, but on a functional understanding of nature: it is what nature is capable of that qualifies it as nature. To understand this tilt from specificity to possibility we need to look at what Simondon says about raw matter. He speaks, for instance, of the clay that will take the form of the brick mold: “as raw matter, it is what the shovel raises to the surface at the edge of the marsh with roots of rush and gravel grains.” There is in “raw matter” the “aptitude” to become plastic, to be transformed into a malleable material suitable for brick-making. [32] Also a tree trunk can, in light of its “raw and natural matter”, lend itself better to some rather than other uses in carpentry. [33] The idea of “raw nature” is thus close to the specificity and singularity that characterizes “raw matter”, but it also has an emphasis that already links it to the more general idea of the preindividual, as preceding a phase shift in being and wherein processes of individuation may arise if necessary conditions are met.

25 Simondon uses the expression “nature brute” only once in individuation in Light of Notions of form and information, but this expression (here quoted from Taylor Adkins as “bare nature”), intervenes at a critical point to qualify man’s place among his peers: “The collective is what results from a secondary individuation relative to vital individuation, since it takes […] up what the first individuation had left unused of bare nature in the living being”. [34] The individual or a multitude of individuals can thus be considered according their aptitude to act as ground for an ulterior, collective individuation. This second individuation of the collectivity corresponds to what Simondon calls a transindividual relation, provided it is considered, in light of this dynamical conception of raw nature, as joining up the inventive aptitude inherent in these individuals (rather than compiling fixed identities, needs or beliefs). [35]

26 We have to remember how the idea of “raw nature” builds up from a dynamical understanding of raw matter. Raw or bare nature is whatever lends itself to individuation in its specificity and singularity: it is what endows a reality with the specific “aptitude” to participate in ulterior processes of individuation. It is not what is, but the power to become. Put in Spinozist terms one could say that “raw nature” emphasizes the generative capacity of natura naturans, yet without dismissing the specificity that lies in the form of natura naturata. The raw nature of physical and chemical individuation may thus lend itself to biological individuation, just as what is left undetermined in biological individuation may act as ground for psycho-social individuation and so forth. The human is here considered, not under the aspect of what it is, but of what it can be.

27 To return to the technical object, we can now say that Simondon speaks of the technical object as “the true mediation between nature and man” by referring to nature not only in terms of a regime of elements, but also in terms of its specific and singular functional aptitudes for individuation. In other words, we can think of the technical object as a manmade relay or transformer of nature’s specific aptitude to individuate itself: the technical object allows us to join up the “raw nature” inherent in both human and non-human individuals.

The Ápeiron

28 This, finally, leads us to the most fundamental use Simondon makes of the term nature, without which this functional understanding of a “raw nature” remains inadequate. With Anaximander’s concepts of the ápeiron, the unlimited or the indeterminate, there does seem to be a subtly different emphasis. If the preindividual points in the direction of individuation, one could say that the ápeiron points to a primordial indivision and indeterminacy.

29 Without consideration of the ápeiron as the infinite and the indeterminate, it is impossible to understand the caveat in Simondon’s conception of the nature of things and of human nature in particular. When he speaks of human nature, Simondon specifies that this word “nature” may designate “the remainder of what is original, prior even to the humanity that constitutes man,” thereby designating as essential what remains tributary to the indeterminate and the infinite within us. [36] Human nature could thus be said to be indeterminate in essence (rather than subject to contingent secondary qualities). In other words, we must deduce from this conception of nature that what is universal in human nature is not a distinguishing quality or characteristic shared necessarily by all humans, but rather the primordial indivision of being to which all individuals, human or otherwise, remain tributary. By thus linking human nature to a conception of nature as the ápeiron, Simondon allows for a profound rebalancing of classical ontological conceptions of essence.

30 What does this mean for the relation between nature and the technical object? In light of the fundamental role of the ápeiron for collective individuation, and for his understanding of society as based on a transindividual relation, we can now also understand Simondon’s optimistic vision of the technical object. We can now think of the technical object, “the true mediation between nature and man”, [37] as a man-made access to the ápeiron within us and within other beings:


[T]here is something of human nature in the technical being, in the sense that this word “nature” could be used to designate the remainder of what is original, prior even to the humanity that constitutes man; man invents by putting to work his own natural material [support], this ápeiron which remains attached to each individual being. [38]

32 The technical object, then, is an inventive mediation with the nature as a number of regimes of being, but it is a mediation that also mobilizes the aptitude of “raw matter” to lend itself to ulterior individuations. The evolution of the universe no less than the geological evolution of our planet and its biosphere, can similarly be understood as a spontaneous mise-en-œuvre of the ápeiron, as a sprawling of individuations according to the dynamical rhythm of raw nature, and with a cadence each time specific to the raw matter at play. The difference with the evolution of technical objects is perhaps that it engages not evolution’s slow time of spontaneous differentiation and selection, but that of invention.

33 It is thus by an extraordinary reversal of the common understanding of nature and, as a consequence, of human nature, that Simondon leads us to understand our place among the other species. This place is essentially tributary to the primordial indivision of the ápeiron. We can now begin to rethink man’s place in nature among the other species according to a paradigm that eschews systematic dichotomies. A paradigm that does not imply from the outset a politics of opposing ingroups and outgroups, but the possibility of a society that is based on what remains open in us and capable of invention.

34 Having said this, Simondon does not conceive of us as orphans of the ápeiron, indifferently cut from the same cosmic fabric. By reviving the medieval dispute concerning the principle of individuation, Simondon’s philosophy of nature also asks how something becomes a “this”, such that the individual can never be reduced to its common nature. Human nature may harbor the infinite and the indeterminate, but there is, in addition to this essence, the individual’s existence as a unique and singular individual here and now. Simondon thereby restores the dignity to the individual that he felt was lost in both Leibniz and Spinoza’s philosophies. To think about human nature and about the relation between the human and other species through the lens of individuation must give us a sense of the absolute uniqueness of our terrestrial world and of the individuals of our own and of other species, alongside whom we collectively reinvent our place in nature.


  • [1]
    Previous versions of this article have been presented as a keynote of the international conference “Rethinking Humanities and its Entanglements” (August 5-7, 2020) organized by Subro Saha at the Institute of English Studies and Research (Amity University of Kolkata); and at the international seminar “Simondon Indisciplinar”, at the invitation of Thiago Novaes and the Latin American Network of Simondonian Studies, where it was entitled “Rethinking the relation between raw material, raw nature, and technicity in apocalyptic times” (October 7, 2021).
  • [2]
    W. W. Immerzeel, A. F. Lutz, M. Andrade et al., « Importance and vulnerability of the world’s water towers », in Nature, 577 (2020), p. 364-369.
  • [3]
    Cf. (accessed 11.09.2020).
  • [4]
    G. Simondon, Two Lessons on Animal and Man, trans. Drew Burk (Minnesota, Univocal, 2011).
  • [5]
    G. Simondon, On the Mode of Existence of Technical Objects, trans. Cecile Malaspina, John Rogove (Minnesota, Univocal & University of Minnesota Press, 2017).
  • [6]
    G. Simondon, Individuation in Light of Notions of Form and Information, trans. Taylor (Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press, 2020).
  • [7]
    G. Simondon, Two Lessons on Animal and Man, 40.
  • [8]
    Plato, Timaeus and Critias, 41b, trans. R. Wagerfield (New York, Oxford University Press, 2008).
  • [9]
    Ibid., 30, 67-69d.
  • [10]
    G. Simondon, On the Mode of Existence of Technical Objects, 16.
  • [11]
    Ibid., 16.
  • [12]
    A. Rouvroy, “The philosophy of law meets the philosophy of technology,” in M. Hildebrandtand, A. Rouvroy (ed.), Human Agency and Autonomic Computing (New York: Routledge, 2011).
  • [13]
    See for instance business software based on digital neural networks advertised by IBM as “intelligence on demand” (accessed 22.09.2020).
  • [14]
    “In 2000, two landmark papers started a revolution in our ability to design entirely new functions inside cells. The authors took two electronic circuits — an oscillator and a switch — and built the equivalent from living matter (M. B. Elowitz and S. Leibler Nature, 403, 335–338 (2000); T. S. Gardner et al., Nature, 403, 339–342 (2000). Life became a machine.” H. Sauro, “Synthetic biology: Enter the living machine,” Nature, 543, 178 (2017). (accessed 08.11.2023).
  • [15]
    H. Stewart, “Boris Johnson blames Mutant algorithm for exams fiasco”, Guardian, 26.08.2020. This scandal gives an example of political abdication of responsibility in response to a high school exams fiasco in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister blamed the fiasco on a “mutant algorithm”, tasked with generating results based on predictive factors, due to cancelled exams during coronavirus lock-down, rather than taking responsibility for the fraught design of the algorithm and its indiscriminate use. (accessed 22.09.2020).
  • [16]
    G. Simondon, Two Lessons on Animal and Man, 42.
  • [17]
    Ibid., 42.
  • [18]
    Ibid., 62.
  • [19]
    Ibid., 12, 20, 56.
  • [20]
    G. Simondon, Individuation in Light of Notions of Form and Information, 329.
  • [21]
    20. G. Simondon, Individuation in Light of Notions of Form and Information, 329.
  • [22]
    Ibid., 19.
  • [23]
    Ibid., 17.
  • [24]
    K. Polanyi, The Great Transformation (New York, Farrar & Rinehart, 1944).
  • [25]
    F. Keck, “Avian Reservoirs: Virus Hunters and Birdwatchers”, in Chinese Sentinel Posts (Durham: Duke University Press, 2020).
  • [26]
    A. Roy, “The pandemic is a portal”, Financial Times, 03.04.2020 (accessed 30.09.2020).
  • [27]
    G. Simondon, On the Mode of Existence of Technical Objects, 70.
  • [28]
    Ibid., 234.
  • [29]
    Ibid., 260.
  • [30]
    G. Simondon, Individuation in Light of Notions of Form and Information, 350.
  • [31]
    Ibid., 23.
  • [32]
    Ibid., 25. Although they are commonly used as synonyms, for the purpose of my argument, I prefer to stay close to Simondon’s use of the word aptitude rather than Atkin’s translation as capacity, to emphasise here disposition and promptness over the amount or volume something can contain or hold.
  • [33]
    G. Simondon, Individuation in Light of Form and Information, 37: “[T]his [tree] trunk is more suitable than another depending on the situation due to its particular features, which are already features of form, specifically a form worthy of the carpenter”s technique, even though this form is presented by raw and natural matter”.
  • [34]
    Ibid., 350.
  • [35]
    G. Simondon, On the Mode of Existence of Technical Objects, 258.
  • [36]
    Ibid, 253.
  • [37]
    Ibid., 260.
  • [38]
    Ibid., 253.