Organism, normativity, plasticity: Canguilhem, Kant, Malabou

Continental Philosophy Review 44 (4):341-357 (2011)
Abstract
Some of Catherine Malabou’s recent work has developed her conception of plasticity (originally deployed in a reading of Hegelian Aufhebung ) in relation to neuroscience. This development clarifies and advances her attempt to bring contemporary theory into dialogue with the natural sciences, while indirectly indicating her engagement with the French tradition in philosophy of science and philosophy of medicine, especially the work of Georges Canguilhem. I argue that we can see her development of plasticity as an answer to some specific shortcomings in Canguilhem’s conception of organic or biological normativity as advanced in The Normal and the Pathological . Such a view of plasticity shows its potential to provide the basis for a powerful critical engagement with contemporary conceptions of selfhood, self-transformation, subjectivation, and the general theory of norms
Keywords Canguilhem  Malabou  Kant  Hegel  Normativity  Organism  Plastic  Plasticity
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Immanuel Kant (2007). Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals. In Elizabeth Schmidt Radcliffe, Richard McCarty, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Late Modern Philosophy: Essential Readings with Commentary. Blackwell Pub. Ltd..

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Peter Trnka (2003). Subjectivity and Values in Medicine: The Case of Canguilhem. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 28 (4):427 – 446.
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