Call for papers

7, 1 (2024)

Technique and Writing


Philosophy, from its inception, coincides with its teaching. This teaching notably relies on a precondition: the use of a technique that philosophy extensively employs and perhaps, for this reason, as Plato attests, greatly distrusts: alphabetic writing. Flexible, synthetic, concise: without alphabetic writing, ultimately, logos and language would have scarcely colonized the world.
Philosophy begins when it systematically employs a tool capable of conveying thought, thereby betraying a more original condition of the logos, whose expression, through writing, is fatally diluted and almost dispersed. However, it is through the written form that the logos has become capable of knowing something of its own originality, which precedes and exceeds writing. Therefore, perhaps writing is not merely a tool, a corollary of thought, a vehicle for its manifestation, but rather what makes a radical and essential thought conceivable for thought. Writing is probably the place of a gesture that resembles self-denigration, a farewell to oneself that, nonetheless, cannot help but express itself through writing.
If the epistemic diffusion of writing at the expense of orality determines a more recent modality of the humanization process, fostering archiving and memory, nourishing traces of a world that can never be lost because something written inevitably remains to be accounted for. Thus, the hypothesis guiding this issue of Mechane is that the true ontogenetic process of humanity is incessantly writing not so much to communicate, but rather, to record – as Maurizio Ferraris notes. But to record what? Nothing less than a trace of “having been here.” More simply – following Derrida’s memorable deconstruction works – we can say there is no bios without a biography emerging somewhere, however forgotten. If things present themselves in this manner, before the word, the logos, there is writing, the technically proper switchback that coincides with every biography (from this point of view, clearly, any division between technical writing and creative writing lacks legitimacy). If writing provides support to the (human) necessity to communicate, detaching from the linearity of time thanks to its persistence, then it is possible to think that it is precisely through writing that forms of human communication push beyond communication and become signs, imprints, capable of triggering an evolutionary process whose significance cannot be calculated without considering this ontological aspect of writing: the self-recognition of humans as a species.
Considering these elements, we invite contributions focusing on the technical device of writing, understood as a tool for capturing and translating processes. In particular, the topics to be developed are as follows:

• The relationship between knowing and recording: the role of inscriptions in the construction of technical knowledge and scientific disciplines.
• The implications and impacts of new digitalized recording systems: how data collection and analysis technologies rewrite reality.
• The relationship between identity and writing: the creation of self and other made possible by traces and accounts.
• The writing of politics: the weight of rhetoric in defining problems and solutions in the public arena.

Submissions in Italian, English, French, German, and Spanish are welcome. Interested authors are requested to send a brief abstract (max 500 words) to by June 20, 2024. Authors of accepted proposals must submit the complete text (max. 40,000 characters) by September 15, 2024. Essays will undergo a peer-review process.