Forensic Architecture

A pharmakon is at the same time a poison and a remedy, simultaneously the cure and the illness, and its causes. Choosing only one of its meanings leaves the concept incomplete; the pharmakon thrives in the state of non-agreement. The pharmakon first appeared in Plato’s account of writing as both poison and remedy for the forgetfulness of the soul. Later it is Jacques Derrida who gives a contemporary account of Plato’s pharmacology of writing as pharmakon. For Derrida the pharmakon is a dissident concept of philosophy that refuses to be translated as either poison or remedy; rather it necessarily carries both properties.

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