David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy and Social Criticism 31 (3):369-380 (2005)
For Hannah Arendt, spontaneous, initiatory human action and interaction are suppressed by the normalizing pressures of society once life - that is, sheer life - becomes the primary concern of politics, as it does, she finds, in the modern age. Arendts concept of the social is indebted to Martin Heideggers analysis of everyday Dasein in Being and Time , and contemporary political philosophers inspired by Heidegger, such as Jean-Luc Nancy, Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, and Giorgio Agamben, tend to reproduce her account of the withdrawal of the political in modernity. In this article, I complicate Arendts theory by turning to Michel Foucaults parallel but diverging understanding of the nature of power in modern society to show, surprisingly, that Foucaults narrative of the emergence of modern power pictures a society that is more, not less, politicized. Key Words: Hannah Arendt bio-power Michel Foucault Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe modernity Jean-Luc Nancy pastoral power the social rulership.
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