Improper Life: Technology and Biopolitics From Heidegger to Agamben

Univ of Minnesota Press (2011)

Abstract
Has biopolitics actually become thanatopolitics, a field of study obsessed with death? Is there something about the nature of biopolitical thought today that makes it impossibile to deploy affirmatively? If this is true, what can life-minded thinkers put forward as the merits of biopolitical reflection? These questions drive Improper Life.Campbell argues that a "crypto-thanatopolitics" can be teased out of Heidegger's critique of technology and that some of the leading scholars of biopolitics---including Michel Foucault, Giorgio Agamben, and Peter Sloterdijk---have been substansively influenced by Heidegger's thought, particularly his reading of proper and improper writing. In fact, Campbell shows how all of these philosophers have pointed toward a tragic, thanatopolitical destination as somehow an inevitable result of technology. But in Improper Life he articulates a corrective biopolitics that can begin with rereadings of Foucault, Freud, and Gilles Deleuze. Throughout Improper Life, Campbell insists that biopolitics can become more positive and productively asserts an affirmation techne not thought through thanatos but rather through bios
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