Returning to Judgment

Bernard Stiegler and Continental Political Theory

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents

Introduction: Totalization and Judgment in Continental Political Theory

1. The Default of Origin

2. The Pharmakon

3. Individuation and General Organology

4. Libidinal Economy and Proletarianization

5. Stiegler’s Theory of Political Judgment

6. Judgments on the Impossible: Otium, Antigone, Amateurs

7. Neganthropology and the Problem of Judgment

8. The Polis as Judgment on the Origins of the Political

Conclusion: A Pharmacology of the Political

Explores the importance of political judgment in the work of Bernard Stiegler, and argues his approach to judgment marks an important break with continental political thought.


Returning to Judgment provides the first extensive treatment of political judgment in the work of Bernard Stiegler and the first account of his significance for contemporary continental political thought. Ben Turner argues that Stiegler breaks with his predecessors in continental philosophy by advocating for, rather than retreating from, the task of proposing totalizing judgments on political problems that extend beyond the local and the particular. He shows that the reconciliation of judgment with continental political thought's commitment to anti-totalization structures the entirety of Stiegler's philosophy and demonstrates that this theory of the political decision highlights the difficulties that contemporary political ontology faces when addressing global and large-scale political problems. The book provides an overview of Stiegler's philosophy useful for those unfamiliar with his thought, shows how he draws on key influences including Deleuze, Derrida, Freud, and Simondon to develop his conception of judgment, and considers the challenges and consequences of his embrace of totalizing political decisions.

Ben Turner is Senior Lecturer in Political Theory in the School of Politics and International Relations at the University of Kent in England.


"Ben Turner provides a faithful, inspiring and provocative account of Stiegler's magisterial corpus and its profound significance for twenty-first-century politics. Turner's book is essential reading for anyone already interested in Stiegler's philosophy, and a great pathway into the work of this important thinker." — Claire Colebrook, author of Understanding Deleuze