What does Cognitariat Mean? Work, Desire and Depression

Main Article Content

Franco Berardi


In order to understand the meaning of the notions of cognitive labour and cognitariat, it is necessary to analyse not only the transformations that have taken place in the work process but also what is happening in the psychic and desiring dimension of post-industrial society. What is at stake in the social definition of cognitive labour is the body, sexuality, perishable physicality and the unconscious. Cognitariat is the social corporeality of cognitive labour. But the social existence of cognitive workers cannot be reduced to intelligence: in their existential concreteness, the cognitarians are also body, in other words nerves that stiffen in the constant strain of attention, eyes that get tired staring at a screen. Collective intelligence neither reduces nor resolves the social existence of the bodies that produce this intelligence, the concrete bodies of the male and female cognitarians.

Article Details

Italian Effects (Peer Reviewed)
Author Biography

Franco Berardi, Rekombinant

Franco Berardi (Bifo) is a philosopher and political activist. Co-founder of Rekombinant <www.rekomdinant.org>, a web environment of informal communication, and media and political activism, he is also the author of numerous books. His most recent work, Il sapiente, il guerriero, il mercante, is currently being translated into English.