What is the problem of epiphylogenesis? We can define and understand the term, but what does it do and what does it demand of us? Indeed, one way of thinking about epiphylogenesis is through Bernard Stiegler’s claim that some forms of technology generate or enable long circuits of desire, and that this needs to be recalled in a time of short-circuits. Epiphylogenesis requires both that we pose problems differently, and that ‘we’ are, or should be, a problem to ourselves. Let me unpack this by beginning with what presents itself as a major problem: climate change, and the end of the world. What are we going to do? How can we change course? How do we save the world? The posing of the question in this way is only possible if there is a distinct ‘we’ who must then deliberate a course of action in relation to the world. Epiphylogenesis shifts the question towards the very possibility of this ‘we.’ How do formations of what comes to think of itself as ‘the human’ come into being, and what worlds and capacities do such formations make possible? For Stiegler the problem of climate change is ultimately the problem of who ‘we’ are, along with a constitutive tendency towards the failure to confront this question.
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