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Jean-Pierre Dupuy

Time and Vertigo

A narrative such as Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958) illustrates a structure that has been called "self-engulfing artifact". The abstract form that corresponds to it is the signature of what the late Francisco Varela called an autonomous, complex system. The temporality associated with it is a loop where past and future mutually determine each other. It will be shown that far from being vain formal exercises, those figures represent fundamental features of the human existence.

Jean-Pierre Dupuy is a Professor of Social and Political Philosophy at the Ecole Polytechnique, Paris (emeritus), and at Stanford University, California. He is a member of the French Academy of Technology and the Director of Research of Imitatio Inc., a new foundation devoted to the discussion and dissemination of René Girard’s mimetic theory. His most recent work has dealt with the topic of catastrophes. He is the author and/or editor of 39 books and hundreds of articles.