Bernard Stiegler
Stanisław Brzozowski


This article relates the ideas of Stanisław Brzozowski (1878–1911) with those of Bernard Stiegler (1952–2020), both of whom problematize the “work” of art understood as a labor practice. Through the conceptual analysis of epigenetics and epiphylogenetics for aesthetic theory, I claim that both thinkers develop practical concepts relevant to contemporary art philosophy. First, I present an overview of Brzozowski’s aesthetics, for whom literature and the arts are linked with ethics, and aesthetic form is tied with moral judgment. Then, I continue with an outline of Stiegler’s, for whom the role of artists is to sculpt a new culture and historical epoch called the Neganthropocene. Finally, the notion of “work” as a type of memory practice is analyzed. The comparison shows that Stiegler develops epigenetics phenomenologically via memory (“tertiary retentions”) and phylogenetics to epiphylogenetics. Both philosophers argue against determinism. This study suggests that their key ideas advance and complement each other.


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