Lessons in Biopolitics and Agency: Agamben on Addiction

The New Bioethics 21 (2):128-141 (2015)
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Abstract

The concepts of ‘biopolitics’ and ‘naked life’ have become increasingly relevant in the debate on substance dependency due to the growing prominence of neuroscience in defining the nature of addiction1 and its threat to agency. However, these concepts are not necessarily well understood, and therefore may lead to oversight rather than insight. In this article we review the literature on Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben, whose founding works on both concepts shed a different light on addiction. We argue that the current debate is missing a key insight from Agamben's work: the idea of agency past the subject, of agency past identity. We will illustrate how this can be an important form of agency against the stigmatization of users, making use of empirical data from our ongoing work on addiction and agency

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References found in this work

A Liberal Account of Addiction.Bennett Foddy & Julian Savulescu - 2010 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 17 (1):1-22.
Bioethics as biopolitics.Jeffrey P. Bishop & Fabrice Jotterand - 2006 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 31 (3):205 – 212.
The Importance of the Self for Autonomous Behavior.Dorothee Horstkötter & Anke Snoek - 2013 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 4 (4):62-63.

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