Issues in reproductive ethics, such as the capacity of parents to ‘choose children’, present challenges to philosophical ideas of freedom, responsibility and harm. This book responds to these challenges by proposing a new framework for thinking about the ethics of reproduction that emphasizes the ways that social norms affect decisions about who is born. The book provides clear and thorough discussions of some of the dominant problems in reproductive ethics - human enhancement and the notion of the normal, reproductive liberty (...) and procreative beneficence, the principle of harm and discrimination against disability - while also proposing new ways of addressing these. The author draws upon the work of Michel Foucault, especially his discussions of biopolitics and norms, and later work on ethics, alongside feminist theorists of embodiment to argue for a new bioethics that is responsive to social norms, human vulnerability and the relational context of freedom and responsibility. This is done through compelling discussions of new technologies and practices, including the debate on liberal eugenics and human enhancement, the deliberate selection of disabilities, PGD and obstetric ultrasound. (shrink)
An invaluable introduction to the breadth and rigor of Esposito's thought, the book will also welcome readers already familiar with Esposito's characteristic skill in overturning and breaking open the language of politics.
The contingent cultural, epistemological and ontological status of biology is highlighted by changes in attitudes towards reproductive politics in the history of feminist movements. Consider, for example, the American, British, and numerous European instances of feminist sympathy for eugenics at the turn of the century. This amounted to a specific formation of the role, in late nineteenth and early twentieth century feminisms, of concepts of biological risk and defence, which were transformed into the justificatory language of rights claims. In this (...) context, one can ask how reproductive politics are to be fitted into the paradoxical relationship between biopolitics and thanatopolitics discussed by Michel Foucault and more recently by Roberto Esposito. In this context, “reproductive life,” can be thought of arising at the intersection of thanapolitics and biopolitics as these relate to women’s bodies. Revisiting Foucault and Esposito in the light of reproductive politics also allows a reconsideration of the paradoxical feminist aims involved in defending individual rights by reference to overall biopolitical interest and futurity. (shrink)
While Agamben acknowledges the Arendtian and Foucaultian thesis of the modernity of biopower, he will claim that sovereignty and biopolitics are equally ancient and essentially intertwined in the originary gesture of all politics; sovereignty is the power to decide the state of exception whereby bare life or zoe is exposed "underneath" political life or bios. Agamben then finds in the concentration camp the modern biopolitical paradigm, in which the state of exception has become the rule and we have all (...) become [potentially] bearers of exposed bare life in that we are all subject to what I will call a "de-politicizing predication": to use the current American jargon, being named an "enemy combatant.". (shrink)
A principal challenge facing the progressive bioethics project is the crafting of a consistent message on biopolitical issues that divide progressives. -/- The regulation of enhancement technologies is one of the issues central to this emerging biopolitics, pitting progressive defenders of enhancement, “technoprogressives,” against progressive critics. This essay [PDF] will argue that technoprogressive biopolitics express the consistent application of the core progressive values of the Enlightenment: the right of individuals to control their own bodies, brains and reproduction according (...) to their own conscience, under democratic states that work for the public good. -/- Insofar as left bioconservatives want to ensure the safety of therapies and their equitable distribution, these concerns can be addressed by thorough and independent regulation and a universal health care system, and a progressive bioethics of enhancement can unite both enthusiasts and skeptics. Insofar as bioconservative concerns are motivated by deeper hostility to the Enlightenment project however, by assertion of pre-modern reverence for human uniqueness for instance, then a common program is unlikely. -/- imageAfter briefly reviewing the political history and contemporary landscape of biopolitical debates about enhancement, the essay outlines three meta-policy contexts that will impact future biopolicy: the pressure to establish a universal, cost-effective health insurance system, the aging of industrial societies, and globalization. Technoprogressive appeals are outlined that can appeal to key constituencies, and build a majority coalition in support of progressive change. Finally, some guiding principles for a technoprogressive approach to biopolicy are offered. (shrink)
This paper develops a genealogical critique of the concepts of biopower and biopolitics in the work of Foucault and Agamben. It shows how Heidegger's reflections on Machenschaft or machination prefigure the concepts of biopower and biopolitics. It develops a critique of Foucault's account of biopolitics as a system of managing the biological life of populations culminating in neo-liberalism, and a critique of Agamben's presentation of biopolitics as the metaphysical foundation of Western political rationality. Foucault's ethical turn (...) within biopolitical governmentality, along with Agamben's messianic gesture towards a utopian community to come, are questioned as political responses to biopower regimes. (shrink)
The biotech revolution profoundly changes and reconstructs the Foucaultian concept of biopolitics from different dimensions. It declares the coming of the Age of Biocapitalism, which opens a new pattern of modern power allocation of life governance and shows people two prospects simultaneously: utopian hopes and dystopian desperation. Biocapitalism has not only produced ethical degeneration and cultural shock, but more importantly, has opened new areas for political hegemony and economic aggression through the reconstruction of biopolitics, and the enhancement of (...) capital’s comprehensive dominance on nature and the human society. Therefore, it has become an area of serious, scholarly research in the biotech era to explore the implications of contemporary biopolitics, to take precautions against, and reduce the real risks of technocapitalism. This paper investigates the new biopolitics supported by the manipulation of modern biotechnology, especially genetic engineering, and unveils the possible hazards and deep contradictions inherent in this capital-controlled science, within the context of biocapitalism. It also seeks ways to prevent technological alienation and to reconstruct political rationality. It argues that entrepreneurs, scientists, companies and universities of developed countries must realize the limits of capital expansion and the self―regulatory capability of the market, and, then, assume ethical responsibilities as biocapital holders. (shrink)
In Remnants of Auschwitz , Giorgio Agamben argues that the hidden structure of subjectivity is shame. In shame, I am consigned to something that cannot be assumed, such that the very thing that makes me a subject also forces me to witness my own desubjectification. Agamben’s ontological account of shame is problematic insofar as it forecloses collective responsibility and collapses the distinction between shame and humiliation. By recontextualizing three of Agamben’s sources – Primo Levi, Robert Antelme and Maurice Blanchot – (...) I develop an alternative account of shame as the structure of intersubjectivity , and of a collective responsibility that is more fundamental than the subject itself. On this basis, I sketch the preliminary outline of a biopolitics of resistance rooted in the ethics of alterity. The intuition driving this approach is that life is never bare ; even in situations of extreme affliction there remains a relation to alterity which provides a starting point for resistance. (shrink)
JM Coetzee has on several occasions been criticised for his failure to elaborate a political vision of transformation beyond the social and political conditions that he describes in his novels. Focusing on the novel ’Life and Times of Michael K’, I argue that this criticism fails to appreciate the conception of political futurity that is evident in Coetzee’s novels. For there emerges in Michael K a gesture of hope in which turning away from history is the condition of possibility for (...) hope for the future. Central to elaborating this gesture is the question of the status of the subject before the law, for it is on condition of the law’s suspension - or what Giorgio Agamben has identified as a condition of abandonment - that the possibility for future transformation develops. Thus I show that Michael K can profitably be read in conjunction with Agamben’s conception of biopolitics and the condition of abandonment that he argues characterises contemporary political existence. Read within this conceptual framework, Michael K appears as a limit-figure of the human and animal, in which the caesuras that Agamben argues cross the human being in modern politics become evident. Despite this apparent conceptual congruence, though, the particular figuration of hope or political futurity that Coetzee develops differs from Agamben’s in significant ways. For the latter, pushing the condition of abandonment to its extreme limit is the necessary condition for the inauguration of a redemptive ’form-of-life’ in which the human and inhuman elements of the human being can no longer be separated. Coetzee, however, offers a portrayal of hope that rests on the realisation of spaces for living within the ban of the law - spaces in which there is nevertheless ’time enough for everything’. (shrink)
Biopolitics, originally interpreted as the subfield of political science focusing on biological (evolutionary) factors involved in political behavior, has faced conceptual and organizational differences during the forty-year period of its development. It has recently been redefined as the totality of all applications of biology to social and political concepts, problems and practical issues and concerns. In these new terms, biopolitics represents a promising interdisciplinary area of research, whose potential with respect to political philosophy and political science is exemplified (...) by its application to the following issues: (i) Collective violence (war, terrorism, etc.); (ii) Ethnocentrism; (iii) Hierarchies and networks: and (iv) Neurochemical factors of social behavior. The prerequisite for the successof biopolitics is its collaboration with the humanities and social sciences in investigating the multi-level “Homo politicus”. (shrink)
The question of social medicine provides the opportunity to engage in a critical reading of Foucault's theory of biopower. The analyses dedicated by Foucault to `the birth of social medicine' represent one of the few examples of a thorough application of that theory. They allow Foucault to show the heuristic value of the biopolitical hypothesis at the level of the most concrete historical materiality, and not just at that of the general history of the forms of governmentality. These analyses, however, (...) also allow the historiographical and political limits of the biopolitical hypothesis to come to light. From the perspective of the history of sciences as well as from that of the analysis of the modalities of social critique in the first half of the nineteenth century, Foucault appears to provide an interpretation that is too continuist and tends to homogenise the historical phenomena. The disqualification of social medicine relies in part on simplifications that continue to bear great significance today in view of the current transformations in the social question. (shrink)
In this article, the diagram is used to chart the movement from Deleuze's transcendental empiricism and engagement with structuralism in the 1960s to Deleuze and Guattari's ethico-aesthetic constructivism of the 1970s and 1980s. This is shown to culminate in a biopolitical critique and decoding of philosophy, which is part of the unfolding of a transdisciplinary research programme where art is seen to come ontologically ahead of philosophy.
Increasingly the body is a possession that does not belong to us. It is bought and sold, bartered and stolen, marketed wholesale or in parts. The professions - especially reproductive medicine, transplant surgery, and bioethics but also journalism and other cultural specialists - have been pliant partners in this accelerating commodification of live and dead human organisms. Under the guise of healing or research, they have contributed to a new 'ethic of parts' for which the divisible body is severed from (...) the self, torn from the social fabric, and thrust into commercial transactions -- as organs, secretions, reproductive capacities, and tissues -- responding to the dictates of an incipiently global marketplace. Breaking with established approaches which prioritize the body as 'text', the chapters in this book examine not only images of the body-turned-merchandise but actually existing organisms considered at once as material entities, semi-magical tokens, symbolic vectors and founts of lived experience. The topics covered range from the cultural disposal and media treatment of corpses, the biopolitics of cells, sperm banks and eugenics, to the international trafficking of kidneys, the development of 'transplant tourism', to the idioms of corporeal exploitation among prizefighters as a limiting case of fleshly commodity. This insightful and arresting volume combines perspectives from anthropology, law, medicine, and sociology to offer compelling analyses of the concrete ways in which the body is made into a commodity and how its marketization in turn remakes social relations and cultural meanings. (shrink)
On March 18, 2005, the U.S. House of Representative’s Committee on Government Reform issued subpoenas to Florida residents Michael and Terri Schiavo. The subpoenas summoned the Schiavos to “testify” before the committee regarding its investigation into “treatment options provided to incapacitated patients to advance the[ir] quality of life” (U.S. H.R. 1332, 2005). In light of Terri Schiavo’s long and well-known traumas, many observers questioned the sensitivity of the order for testimony. Having suffered severe anoxic brain damage as a result of (...) a cardiac arrest in 1990, Schiavo lived in a persistent vegetative state (PVS) for fifteen years, unconscious and unable, among other things, to speak; although the .. (shrink)
The article addresses the ‘messianic turn’ in contemporary continental philosophy, focusing on the concept of the katechon as the restraining force that delays the advent of the Antichrist in the Second Letter to the Thessalonians. While Carl Schmitt held the passage on the katechon to ground the Christian doctrine of state power, Giorgio Agamben’s reading of Pauline messianism rather posits the ‘removal’ of the katechon as the pathway for messianic redemption. In our argument, the significance of this text goes beyond (...) the persistence of a vestige of the theological in modern politics. On the contrary, the logic of the katechon only comes into its own under modern nihilism as the resolution of the problem of social order in the absence of the eschatological dimension. The article focuses on the lethal paradox of the logic of the katechon, whereby the function of protection and restraint is converted into violence and anomie, and global political order becomes indistinguishable from global civil war. We conclude by outlining the conditions for suspending the katechonic function in a critical engagement with Agamben’s messianic politics. (shrink)
The political modernity witnessed the government change of its practices through a growing insertion of life at the center of public management. This biopolitical turn unleashed a series of new processes and dynamics in society which have as primary goal the regulatory intervention of life. This paper will present a specific unleashment: the profusion of virtual exception spaces in which reigns the policy of silence. Virtual is here understood in its computational sense, as that reality which exists only as world (...) simulation of life through a set of electronic devices (hardware). Faced with the imperative to communicate in a continuous transmission of speech, through the abundant social networks, the contemporary witnesses the transformation of language into noise. Although we think we have more possibilities of expression, in fact we help to build a scenario in which the hallucinating reproduction of the word creates a polyphonic sound that resembles a continuous noise and prevents us from discerning the well-said from the badly-said. Given this, we ask ourselves about the danger that the world, its essential openness and the real would sink into virtual violence that touches us through policies of silence. (shrink)
In this paper I propose a framework to understand the transition in Foucault’s work from the disciplinary model to the governmentality model. Foucault’s work on power emerges within the general context of an expression of capitalist rationality and the nature of freedom and power within it. I argue that, thus understood, Foucault’s transition to the governmentality model can be seen simultaneously as a deepening recognition of what capitalism is and how it works, but also as a recognition of the changing (...) historical nature of the actually existing capitalisms and their specifically situated historical needs. I then argue that the disciplinary model should be understood as a contingent response to the demands of early capitalism, and argue that with the maturation of the capitalist enterprise many of those responses are no longer necessary. New realities require new responses; although this does not necessarily result in the abandonment of the earlier disciplinary model, it does require their reconfiguration according to the changed situation and the new imperatives following from it. (shrink)
When political rationality deployed itself on the terrain of the biological life of the human species with the purpose of making this life healthier, more capable, and more "worthy of being lived," it also postulated that some life could be potentiated only at the price of killing off other life. Foucault therefore introduces the idea of biopolitics together with that of thanatopolitics (1990, 137) .Since Foucault, one of the urgent questions has been how biopolitics turns into a thanatopolitics (...) and under what conditions can this turn be prevented or reversed into an affirmative politics of life. In this article I offer a reading of Benjamin's project that leads from thanatopolitics to an affirmative biopolitics. .. (shrink)
In The Political Animal Stephen Clark investigates the political nature of the human animal. Based on biological science and traditional ethics, he probes into areas of inquiry that are usually ignored by traditional political theory. He suggests that properly informed political philosophy must take the role of women and children more seriously, and must be prepared to face up to the ethnocentric and domineering tendencies of the human animal.
Introduction: The politics of construction -- A genealogical context of modern political thought -- More geometrico -- Nominalism redux -- The state of nature -- Constructing politics -- Conclusion: From erasing nature to producing the multitude.
Bringing these two emergent areas of thought into direct conversation in Before the Law, Cary Wolfe fosters a new discussion about the status of nonhuman animals and the shared plight of humans and animals under biopolitics.
Uberrima Fides is a legal doctrine that governs insurance contracts and expects all parties to the insurance agreement to act in good faith by declaring all material facts relative to a policy. The doctrine originated in England in 1766 with the case Carter v Boehm ruled by Lord Mansfield. Ever since, it has become, with some differences in interpretation, a cornerstone of insurance relationships around the world. The role that trust plays within it, however, is not simple and should not (...) be taken for granted. While it is expected that an idea of trust represents an order of truth, trust in itself is the outcome of a complex negotiation of moral orders. Semiotically, trust operates here not as a Kantian category for the understanding but as a signifier of an order of truth that upholds the possibility for insurance relationships. Trust, as sign, operates as a condition of possibility for the performance of insurance. In this article, a Foucaultian approach is employed to problematise the idea of trust and its role in insurance relationships. The case of mis-selling of insurance policies in the United Kingdom since the 1980s, which has given rise to numerous legal rulings, is used as the empirical site for the problematisation. (shrink)
From the early to mid-1970s, Michel Foucault posited that power consists of a relation rather than a substance and that this relation is comprised of unequal forces engaged in a warlike struggle against each other, resulting invariably in the domination of some forces over others. This understanding of power, which he retrospectively dubbed `Nietzsche's hypothesis' and `the model of war', underpinned his well-known analyses of disciplinary power. Yet, Foucault in his Collège de France course from the academic year 1975-6, (...) `Society Must Be Defended', suddenly began to call into question this understanding and his doubts about it did not abate well into the late 1970s. In this article, we suggest that his militant politics in the early 1970s sustained his adherence to the war model and that his more cautious political attitude later in the decade underpinned his suspicions about this model. Key Words: biopolitics Henri de Boulainvilliers Michel Foucault Thomas Hobbes militancy F. W. Nietzsche politics power race war. (shrink)
This paper explores the impact of the concepts of identity and difference on demented persons (especially on persons with Alzheimer's disease). The diagnosis of dementia is often synonymous with the assertion that demented individuals are no longer capable of making reasonable decisions. But rationality is an important aspect of characterizing a person's identity. Hence, this prevailing image of dementia as a loss of self and a change of identity leads to the situation that demented persons represent difference and otherness. Here, (...) the brain and the mind act as the source for difference. The paper discusses several identity concepts with regard to demented persons and the relationship between identity and difference in dementia. This analysis is accompanied by an examination of the current biopolitics of dementia and ageing as biopolitics constitutes the socio-political-medical understanding of dementia. Challenges and possibilities for dementia care will be explored in the context of this complex relationship between theoretical concepts and political, medical, and health-care practices. (shrink)
The Hippocratic Oath, the Hippocratic tradition, and Hippocratic ethics are widely invoked in the popular medical culture as conveying a direction to medical practice and the medical profession. This study critically addresses these invocations of Hippocratic guideposts, noting that reliance on the Hippocratic ethos and the Oath requires establishingwhat the Oath meant to its author, its original community of reception, and generally for ancient medicine what relationships contemporary invocations of the Oath and the tradition have to the original meaning of (...) the Oath and its original reception what continuity exists and under what circumstances over the last two-and-a-half millenniums of medical-moral reflections what continuity there is in the meaning of professionalism from the time of Hippocrates to the 21st century, and what social factors in particular have transformed the medical profession in particular countries. This article argues that the resources for a better understanding of medical professionalism lie not in the Hippocratic Oath, tradition, or ethos in and of themselves. Rather, it must be found in a philosophy of medicine that explores the values internal to medicine, thus providing a medical-moral philosophy so as to be able to resist the deformation of medical professionalism by bioethics, biopolitics, and governmental regulation. The Oath, as well as Stephen H. Miles' recent monograph, The Hippocratic Oath and the Ethics of Medicine, are employed as heuristics, so as to throw into better light the extent to which the Hippocratic Oath, tradition, and ethics can provide guidance and direction, as well as to show the necessity of taking seriously the need for a substantive philosophy of medicine. (shrink)
The animal in Nietzsche's philosophy -- Culture and civilization -- Politics and promise -- Culture and economy -- Giving and forgiving -- Animality, creativity, and historicity -- Animality, language, and truth -- Biopolitics and the question of animal life.
The shift in Foucault’s work from genealogy to ethics finds consensus among Foucault scholars. However, the motivations behind this transition remain either misunderstood or understudied in large part. Foucault’s recently published or soon-to-be translated 1977/—9 lectures (published as Security, Territory, Population and as The Birth of Biopolitics) offer new elements for understanding this dense and uncharted period along Foucault’s itinerary. In this article, the author argues that Foucault’s interpretation of the liberal tradition, which is at the core of the (...) 1977—9 lectures, must be examined in combination with Foucault’s other major interests in the late 1970s, namely the Iranian Revolution and Kant. The discovery of spirituality (Iran), the valorization of an autonomous subject (Kant) and the call for a tolerant environment towards minority practices (liberalism) pave the way for the later Foucault’s ethics, which are grounded in spiritual exercises and means of liberating the subject. (shrink)
This article assesses the significance of a “politics of life”, also termed biopolitics, for any theological analysis of death. By charting the manner in which modern theological approaches to death are closely related to political attempts to secure life (especially in the work of Hobbes), the piece hopes to offer a theological history of the present from which a theology of death might be re-envisioned.
Prelude -- What moves as a body returns as a movement of thought -- Introduction: Events of relation : concepts in the making -- Incipient action : the dance of the not-yet -- The elasticity of the almost -- A mover's guide to standing still -- Taking the next step -- Dancing the technogenetic body -- Perceptions in folding -- Grace taking form : Marey's movement machines -- Animation's dance -- From biopolitics to the biogram, or, how Leni Riefenstahl (...) moves through fascism -- Of force fields and rhythm contours -- Relationscapes : how contemporary Aboriginal art moves beyond the map -- Constituting facts : Dorothy Napangardi dances the dreaming -- Cornering a beginning -- Conclusion: Propositions for thought in motion. (shrink)
This paper addresses the nature and value of Giorgio Agamben’s negative thought, which revolves around the theme of nothingness. I begin by observing the validity of negative thinking, and thus oppose those affirmative philosophies that reject Agamben’s thought simply on the basis of its negativity. Indeed, the importance of negative thought is set forth by Agamben’s attention to the specific biopolitical logic that governs the present. If we are to understand the present, then we must begin by understanding the nothingness (...) inherent in the logic of biopolitics. At the same time, I argue, it is important to distinguish two kinds of negative thought. The first, ultimately limited manner of negative thought follows a strictly Heideggerian path of contemplation. While Agamben shows a certain affinity with this style of thinking, I call for increased focus on a different manner of negative thought, one that turns on the power to think nothingness. I develop this second manner of negative thought by advancing the concepts of love and exile, which provide the means by which the potentiality of nothingness may inhabited in novel ways. (shrink)
: In the past five years, China has experienced increased efforts to regulate activities in biomedical research and practice. Background is provided on some of the key developments in Chinese bioethics especially in relation to genetics, stem cells, cloning, and reproductive medicine. This background sets the stage for a document entitled "Ethical Guidelines for Human Embryo Stem Cell Research," proposed by the Bioethics Committee of the Southern China National Human Gene Research Center, Shanghai, which is reprinted in this volume of (...) the Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal. (shrink)
Nuclear warfare threat has been one of the main driver for cultural, political, economical and social changes in the late twentieth century, biological warfare threat is about to take it over. However, while nuclear warfare was a concrete possibility, biological warfare is just an elusive risk. This paper will explore some reasons for this apparent inconsistency by discussing biowarfare from a symbolic point of view, looking for its inner meanings and philosophical implications.
[Przekład] Tekst niniejszy jest wprowadzeniem do książki Eda Cohena A Body Worth Defending: Immunity, Biopolitics and the Apotheosis of the Modern Body. Autor bada, w jaki sposób immunologia wpływa na postrzeganie tak ciała ludzkiego, jak i bytów politycznych, ukazując współczesne konceptualizacje tych zjawisk jako wzajemnie od siebie zależne. Zastosowane ujęcie historyczne pozwala na prześledzenie historii metafory odporności w polityce i medycynie.
Introduction: contemporary conditions and diagrammatic trajectory -- From joy to the gap: the accessing of the infinite by the finite (Spinoza, Nietzsche, Bergson) -- The care of the self versus the ethics of desire: two diagrams of the production of subjectivity (and of the subject's relation to truth) (Foucault versus Lacan) -- The aesthetic paradigm: from the folding of the finite-infinite relation to schizoanalytic metamodelisation (to biopolitics) (Guattari) -- The strange temporality of the subject: life in-between the infinite and (...) the finite (Deleuze contra Badiou) -- Desiring-machines, chaoids, probeheads: towards a speculative production of subjectivity (Deleuze and Guattari) -- Conclusion: composite diagram and relations of adjacency. (shrink)
This paper seeks to further Foucault’s work by coming to understand the specific set of conditions that govern contemporary thought and action, the “historical a priori” of our age, and from this it seeks to assess the prospects for projects of collective self-formation. It focuses on two recent innovations in molecular science: genetic counseling and performance enhancement therapies. The paper argues, on the one hand, that these sorts of practices are indicative of a fundamentally new mode of governance, neoliberalism,and, on (...) the other, that these same techniques can be means for engendering alliances of self-formation that can resist the intolerable elements of contemporary biopolitics. The key to seeing this is shown to be understanding these new technologies as ascetic exercises (“spiritual disciplines”) and thus as falling under the rubric of spiritual development that has historically defined these arts. (shrink)
The following text is an introduction to Ed Cohen’s book A Body Worth Defending: Immunity, Biopolitics and the Apotheosis of the Modern Body. Author investigates the way in which immunology influences the perception of both the human body, and political entities, demonstrating that contemporary conceptualizations of these phenomena exist in a double bind. The historical framework Cohen applies allows for tracing the history of the metaphor of immunity in politics and medicine.
Foucault on Politics, Society and War interrogates Foucault's controversial genealogy of modern biopolitics. By insisting on 'life' as the key referent of power in the modern age, Foucault argues that politics grounds society in war, specifically race war, in ways that come to threaten the very human existence it is pledged to promote. These essays situate Foucault's arguments, clarify the correlation of sovereign- and bio-power and examine the relation of bios, nomos and race in relation to modern war.
Taking as reference the lecture entitled Rules for the Human Park pronounced by Peter Sloterdijk we expose, at first moment, a diagnosis of the current era in which it configures a crisis of humanism (Christian, Marxist and Existentialist) that sustain conceptions of man beyond true essence of the human being. In a second moment, refers to Heidegger's critique of humanism that have lost their ability to truly educate the man, and misrepresenting the true nature of his essence as it exists (...) simply played around the world. The paper concludes with issues that we believe are fundamental to the for discussion on biopolitics today, such as: how to position ourselves against the man redesigned front to know that genetic manipulation will be done whether you like it or not? Does the question about the care and training of the human being will no more make so relevant in the realm of mere theories of domestication and education? (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: List of illustrations * Notes On Contributors * Introduction: B.Biebuyck, G.Buelens, O.de Graef, D.Hoens, S.Jttkandt * Who or What Decides: For Derrida: A Catastrophic Theory of Decision--J.Hillis Miller * Catastrophic Narratives and Why the Catastrophe to Catastrophe Might Have Already Happened--E.Vogt * Breath of Relief: Sloterdijk and the Politics of the Intimate--S.van Tuinen * Man is a swarm animal--J.Clemens * Notes on the Bird War: Biopolitics of the Visible (in the Era of Climate Change)--T.Cohen * (...) Dialectical Catastrophe: Hegels Allegory of Physiognomy and the Ethics of Survival--P.Moll * Catastrophe, Citationality and the Limits of Responsibility in Disgrace--G.Buelens * Unpredictable Inevitability and the Boundaries of Psychic Life; D.Nobus * Who is Nietzsche?--A.Badiou * Is Pleasure a Rotten Idea?--A.Schuster * Nationalist Ext(im)asy: Maurice Barrs and the Roots of Fascist Enjoyment--G.Chaitin * Topography of the Border: Derrida Rewriting Transcendental Aesthetics--J.Hodge * Index List of illustrations * Notes On Contributors * Introduction: B.Biebuyck, G.Buelens, O.de Graef, D.Hoens, S.Jttkandt * Who or What Decides: For Derrida: A Catastrophic Theory of Decision--J.Hillis Miller * Catastrophic Narratives and Why the Catastrophe to Catastrophe Might Have Already Happened--E.Vogt * Breath of Relief: Sloterdijk and the Politics of the Intimate--S.van Tuinen * Man is a swarm animal--J.Clemens * Notes on the Bird War: Biopolitics of the Visible (in the Era of Climate Change)--T.Cohen * Dialectical Catastrophe: Hegels Allegory of Physiognomy and the Ethics of Survival--P.Moll * Catastrophe, Citationality and the Limits of Responsibility in Disgrace--G.Buelens * Unpredictable Inevitability and the Boundaries of Psychic Life; D.Nobus * Who is Nietzsche?--A.Badiou * Is Pleasure a Rotten Idea?--A.Schuster * Nationalist Ext(im)asy: Maurice Barrs and the Roots of Fascist Enjoyment--G.Chaitin * Topography of the Border: Derrida Rewriting Transcendental Aesthetics--J.Hodge * Index. (shrink)
Parking and power : law in the everyday -- Construction of a political text : the built environment as a public good -- Citizenship and community : authority of the local -- Semiotics of the terrain : the aesthetics of justice -- Embodiment of jurisdiction : the biopolitics of parking space -- Consumption and the built environment : parking and social need -- Law personified : images of parking enforcement -- Emblematic folk legality : the crafting of law through (...) parking appeals -- Legality beyond the scope of policy : a constitutive approach to parking. (shrink)
This article examines the post-9/11 policing of points of entry and transfer at US airports and the ways these points become “forbidden places” to those deemed undesirable, in order to expose the ambiguity of forbiddenness with respect to place. It uses Michel Foucault’s theory of biopolitics to argue that the War on Terror has created a class of expendable non-persons whose legal identities (citizenships) are not acknowledged and Giorgio Agamben’s analysis of “the camp” as a metaphor for the spaces (...) in airports that are neither entirely inside nor outside a national jurisdiction. This discussion takes place, in part, through the case study of suspected terrorist Maher Arar, arguing that his case shows the displacement of our sense of prohibition, away from spaces and onto persons. (shrink)
Introduction: education, philosophy and politics -- Writing the self: Wittgenstein, confession and pedagogy -- Nietzsche, nihilism and the critique of modernity: post-Nietzschean philosophy of education -- Heidegger, education and modernity -- Truth-telling as an educational practice of the self: Foucault and the ethics of subjectivity -- Neoliberal governmentality: Foucault on the birth of biopolitics -- Lyotard, nihilism and education -- Gilles Deleuze's 'societies of control': from disciplinary pedagogy to perpetual training -- Geophilosophy, education and the pedagogy of the concept (...) - Humanism, Derrida and the new humanities -- Politics and deconstruction: Derrida, neoliberalism and democracy -- Neopragmatism, ethnocentrism and the politics of the ethnos: Rorty's 'postmodernist bourgeois liberalism' -- Achieving America: postmodernism and Rorty's critique of the cultural left -- Deranging the investigations: Cavell on the philosophy of the child -- White philosophy in/of America. (shrink)
The notion of biopolitical sovereignty and the theory of the state of exception are perspectives derived from Carl Schmitt’s thought and Michel Foucault’s writings that have been popularized by critical political theorists like Giorgio Agamben and Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri of late. This article argues that these perspectives are not sufficient analytical points of departure for a critique of the contemporary politics of terror, violence and war marked by a growing global exploitation of bodies, tightened management of life, and (...) endless and unpredictable abusive force. To better capture the singularity of our present condition of violence, war and terror, a supplementation of Schmitt’s and Foucault’s approaches by way of Hannah Arendt’s language of political action and agonistic engagement is useful. By bringing Arendt’s language of political agony to bear on contemporary biopolitical debates and discourses, we wish to revisit common practices of war and terror as matters of ‘agonal sovereignty’. ‘Agonal sovereignty’ allows us to peer into the ‘abyss of total violence’ that manifests itself after sovereign decisionism and biopolitical modalities of power have taken over the everyday conduct of political affairs. (shrink)
The article takes Giorgio Agamben’s declaration of his optimism with regard to the possibilities of global political transformation as a point of departure for the inquiry into the affirmative aspects of Agamben’s political thought, frequently overshadowed by his more famous critical claims. We reconstitute three principles grounding Agamben’s optimism that pertain respectively to the total crisis of the contemporary biopolitical apparatuses, the possibility of a radically different form-of-life on the basis of their residue and the minimalist character of this transformation (...) that consists entirely in the subtraction of existence from these apparatuses. While the first two principles are unproblematic in the wider context of Agamben’s work, the third principle introduces the problematic of will that remains highly ambiguous in his philosophy. In the remainder of the article we address this ambiguity in an analysis of Agamben’s reading of Melville’s ‘Bartleby the Scrivener’ and conclude that Agamben’s optimism ultimately consists in the affirmation of absolute contingency, beyond both will and necessity. (shrink)
This article arises from the thoughts of Hannah Arendt, and more especially from her idea that the essence of education is the renewal of the world. That idea forms the backdrop to a consideration of the current interest in education as the construction of one's own life. I argue that the will to construct one's own life is not a natural, biological given, but a product of a 'biopolitical machine'. In the first part of the article I challenge the contemporary (...) discourse of self-empowerment and expose the way that the will to construct one's own life, in its current manifestation, is an effect and an instrument of a (strategic) configuration that includes the construction of one's own life as a matter of public concern. Ironically, the foregrounding of 'public concern' in this way undermines a more meaningful realisation of the public realm. I see this, however, not primarily as a problem, but as an invitation to think again. In the second part I argue that what the 'biopolitical machine' has shown is precisely that thinking of childhood in terms of a becoming and a 'not yet' does not capture the essence of human being. Instead it should be conceived as a singular, historical experience emerging within a particular historical context. What this reveals is an opening onto a possibility of acting and thinking differently. I conclude with an alternative idea of education, one that is inspired by Arendt. However, this is not intended as a utopian turn, but rather as a means of exposing a dimension of education that has remained silenced or even largely excluded: a dimension that is an invitation to think and to put our thoughts at stake, which is something altogether different from utopia. (shrink)
This essay is an exploration of the relationship between Agamben’s 1995 text, Homo Sacer, and Derrida’s 1992 “Force of Law” essay. Agamben attempts to show that the camp, as the topological space of the state of exception, has become the biopolitical paradigm for modernity. He draws this conclusion on the basis of a distinction, which he finds in an essay by Walter Benjamin, between categories of life, with the “pro-tagonist” of the work being what he calls homo sacer, orbare life—life (...) that is stripped of its humanity and value. Five years earlier, in 1990, Derrida had given a lecture at UCLA (later published in its entirety as “The Force of Law”) in which he had analyzed the very same essay by Benjamin and had highlighted the distinction between “base life” and “just life.” The implications of his analysis show a discomforting prox-imity between Benjaminian messianism and the Nazi “final solution,” a conclusion that Agamben dismisses entirely. Inthis paper, however, I demonstrate that the structures of the two works are quite similar in many important ways. I argue that, though the broad scope of Agamben’s work is original in many respects, and I would not wish to reduce Agamben’s work to Derridean repetitions, he nevertheless utilizes much more of Derrida’s analysis, specifically with respect to the categori-zation of life, than he would like the reader to believe. (shrink)