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Daniel de la Torre

Daniel de la Torre has studied Philosophy in the School of Philosophy and Literature of the National Autonomous University of Mexico and the Academic Unit of Philosophy at the Autonomous University of Zacatecas, mainly focusing on the branches of social philosophy and social ontology. Currently getting a master’s degree with an investigation on the contemporary readings of Lukács concept of reification, he is interested in reinvigorating the understanding of this author, whose ideas are merely traced and often dismissed without taking into account the specificity of the problems it responds to, nor their validity for the present, as is evident in the antinomies of bourgeois thought that are constantly reiterated by those voices that claim for themselves the label of critical theory in contemporary academic philosophy.

He has worked as an assistant in research projects on political performance that dealt with social psychology, hermeneutical injustice and the perils of chauvinism. In 2022 he published a grim collection of hillbilly stories about his hometown under the nom de plume Candelario Celorio, presenting Derby de Verano y Otras Historias in a series of different libraries across the country. He also worked in consulting and propaganda services as a ghostwriter in an attempt to measure the abyss that separates theory from practice, leaving with the sore experience of social dissonance that comes from being subservient to bureaucrats immersed in decision-making with no clue about what a .zip file is.

Daniel has regularly attended different creative writing workshops, being currently interested in elaborating a historical novel to adapt the Faustian myth to the period of industrialization and unionism in rural Mexico in the 20th century. Some literary readings he enjoys include Ronald Sukenick’s Cows, Wylie Sypher’s Literature and Technology, Ezra Pound’s Cantos, DFW’s Infinite Jest, Klaus Mann’s Mephisto, Czeslaw Milosz’s Issa Valley, and Mikhail Bulgakov’s Master and Margarita.

He plays bass and thinks the transmission from vibrations to electric signals back and forth is a good example to illustrate Simondon’s concept of transduction.

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This research will deal with clarifying the concept of deanthropomorphization in order to account for those social entities that emerge from collective intentionality to later acquire autonomy with respect to the intentional states of the particular subjects that have engendered them. It will try to shed light on those entities that are reified in the course of socialization processes and are objectified in the form of algorithmic governability within post-industrial societies, which continue to belong to the ontological stratum of the social even after abstracting those contingent aspects that accompany their particular instantiations.

Conceived as the contemplative abstraction of those determinations that are indissolubly tied with the human reactions to their environment, deanthropomorphization is the process that allows for the stabilization of the knowledge of causal relations, norms, and values that have been involved in a particular context of labor for its subsequent application in different situations that employ the valued outcomes of the abstracted causalities and norms. It is by this abstraction that nomological explanation becomes available for its use in science, the administration of behaviors and forms of life, or the automation of processes oriented towards the continuous realization of a posited end, stabilizing an abstract model which is to be replicated in different environments. The ontological status of deanthropomorphized entities is a distinctively social one, which emerges on the grounds of organic life as well as inorganic matter, each of which has its own legalities that take effect within the broader complex of emerging processes that determine the forms shaping the existing. Social entities come into existence through the practice that follows the postulation of teleology by the acceptance of a value, which sets the goals to accomplish by the employment of known causal relations as well as the coordination of different individuals within a labor process. The concepts and appropriate norms of conduct for the implementation of the causal chains required by a teleological postulation during the course of a work process become residues that can be used later in different work processes, which constitute the common heritage of socialized individuals. In turn, the realization of a value can be achieved in more than one way, opening the choice between alternatives that will derive their own residual results.

After dealing with the nature of deanthropomorphized social entities, the text will investigate those forms of mediation by means of which these objectivations materialize in socio-technical frameworks or are transduced in the format of algorithmic governance, acquiring a status that is independent of the intentional states of the individuals who have gestated them. The contingency of those social objects that have consolidated their existence will be shown by considering the role of decision-making among feasible alternatives for the realization of a state of affairs accepted as valuable. In the same way, it will search for a criterion that allows the identifying of those forms of relation that truncate the level of self-actualization that has become feasible with the current degree of social development, as well as the challenges for the intervention of these deficient forms of relationship.

While focused on recent readings of the late György Lukács’ Ontology of Social Being, this paper will also briefly discuss his early critique of the content/form relation in regards to the notion of form of objectivity (Gegenstandlichkeitsform) proposed by the Heidelberg neo-Kantianism. There, the discrepancies between the partial systems that rationalize specific domains and the qualitatively determined material content they are applied to make its apparition as social crisis, revealing the contradictions among the systems that shape forms of life. Although the scope of this first conceptualization is greatly restricted in the Ontology of Social Being, where reification is separated from alienation, and the attempt to overcome reification as such is categorically rejected, it is still possible to recover the critical potential of the concept of reification to account for of those cases in which the rationalization of a normative order fails to take into account the content on which it is applied, as well as the prescriptions of other partial systems applied to the same content, in which case it becomes alienating.

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