Informational Ontology: The Meaning of Gilbert Simondon’s Concept of Individuation

  • Andrew Iliadis (Purdue University)


The French philosopher Gilbert Simondon (1924-1989) was the first true philosopher of information, yet he remains relatively unknown outside of his native France. This situation is curious, given the warm reception his work has received from a small group of internationally renowned thinkers. Simondon’s lifelong project was to expound the appearance of what I call an “informational ontology,” a subject that deserves to be addresses at length. This article limits itself by focusing on three aspects of Simondon’s philosophy of information. First, it situates Simondon within the French intellectual scene in post-World War II Europe to get sense of his cultural milieu. Second, it positions Simondon’s work in the context of the American cybernetic tradition from which it emerged. Finally, it offers an exegesis of Simondon’s informational ontology, a radically new materialism that stands to change contemporary debates surrounding issues related to information, communication, and technology.

Note: Download statistics restarted from zero effective January 1, 2024. Please follow this link to see cumulative download statistics from our previous publishing platform: CPO Download Statistics 2012 - 2023

Keywords: Simondon, Deleuze, Shannon, Wiener, information, communication, technology, technics, semantics, data, individuation, cybernetics

How to Cite:

Iliadis, A., (2013) “Informational Ontology: The Meaning of Gilbert Simondon’s Concept of Individuation”, communication +1 2(1). doi:

Download PDF
View PDF



Published on
08 Sep 2013
Peer Reviewed