Contents: "Analysis of Claude Bernard's Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine," "Two Unpublished Chapters from She Came to Stay," "Pyrrhus and Cineas," "A Review of The Phenomenology of Perception by Maurice Merleau-Ponty," "Moral Idealism and Political Realism," "Existentialism and Popular Wisdom," "Jean-Paul Sartre," "An Eye for an Eye," "Literature and Metaphysics," "Introduction to an Ethics of Ambiguity," "An Existentialist Looks at Americans," and "What is Existentialism?".
Nietzsche and Foucault have given us the idea of conducting a philosophical genealogy of a practice that varies across history. Foucault's work also implies that we can view some abstraction as a practice. These points jointly imply that we can conduct a genealogy of “abstractive practices.” Indeed, a good deal of Foucault's work can be understood as exactly this sort of investigation. But a genealogy of abstractive practice raises a difficult methodological problem. This is the problem of how to determine (...) which definitions of abstraction to use, from amongst the various theoretical accounts of abstraction that we find in the history of thought, to craft our genealogy of abstractive practices. In other words, what will count as an abstractive practice for the purpose of conducting such a genealogy will depend on what we identify as abstraction. This article seeks to expose this problem to demonstrate the methodological difficulties that must be confronted in order to steer a path between ignoring the historical-epistemological limits to the kinds of abstraction we can employ at any given present, on the one hand, and having our sensitivity to these limits halt our historical-philosophical reflections on abstraction as a historical practice, on the other. (shrink)
The paper treats several ontological questions about certain nineteenth-century and contemporary medical and scientific conceptualizations of hereditary relation. In particular, it considers the account of mid-nineteenth century psychiatric thought given by Foucault in Psychiatric Power: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1973–1974 and Abnormal: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1974–1975 . There, Foucault argues that a fantastical conceptual prop, the ‘metabody,’ as he terms it, was implicitly supposed by that period’s psychiatric medicine as a putative ground for psychiatric pathology. (...) After presenting the heart of Foucault’s thought on the ‘metabody,’ the paper investigates the possibility that a contemporary version of a ‘metabody’ may operate today as a conceptual analog of the nineteenth-century psychiatric theory and practice that Foucault began to expose in the texts examined here. It speculates that we might identify a contemporary genetic version of a ‘metabody’ in a particular current conception of the gene as replicator, an item marked by an ambiguous temporal ontology. (shrink)
In recent works, Luce Irigaray offers arguments for the establishment of sexed rights that rely upon certain presuppositional accounts of the development of relational sexuate identity and difference. The paper advances a series of objections to these accounts, in addition to examining some of Irigaray's proposals concerning women's indefinition, the category of the neuter, and female genealogy. Supplementing Luce Irigaray's argument that mother-daughter genealogy is under-symbolized in present Occidental cultures, it suggests, for reasons consonant with Irigaray's general project, additional corrective (...) representation of paternal genealogy in terms of father-daughter relations. (shrink)
One of the most prominent aspects of the present labour markets is an increase in occupational transitions. Employees experience insecurity to a much larger degree than ever before. Under these circumstances, the questions of blame and responsibility – for job-loss or unemployment –, so far much too readily focused on the individual, have to be re-considered. Transitions will also have to be framed by company based or labour administration interventions.This situation forms the entrance to the scientific evaluation that is central (...) to the SOCOSE project. It aims at the formulation of an integrated European model for outplacement/replacement counselling. Thus, transparency will be added to the process of dismissal from the perspective of the individual employees, and they are assisted in re-entering the labour market at an early stage. This form of guidance will prevent long-term unemployment or might else prevent unemployment completely. (shrink)
The paper examines the relation between Foucault’s account of modern race and racism in the "Society Must Be Defended" lectures and his analysis of the emergence of the modern notion of life and its science in The Order of Things . In "Society Must Be Defended ," Foucault uses the term ‘life’ both with respect to pre-modern and modern political regimes, arguing that in the pre-modern eras there was a particular relation of sovereign power to life and death that differs (...) from the relation to life and death which prevails in the modern era. In The Order of Things , Foucault also discusses the concept of life and the historical emergence of the science of life, biology, in the nineteenth century. For Foucault, modern biological racism is a specifically scientific death sentence. The paper argues that the kind of death at issue in this modern racism must be understood in light of the new evolutionary accounts of life as a transorganismic continuity that emerge in the life sciences. (shrink)
When Carl Friedrich Gethmann announced Poiesis & Praxis in 2001—“A new journal is launched”— this notification came along with high expectations of the addressees with respect to meaning and quality of the content of the newborn journal. The initiative for an “International Journal of Ethics of Science and Technology Assessment” followed the supposed demand for a periodic forum for the rational reflection of the consequences of scientific and technological advance for the individual and social life of the human and its (...) environment—also beyond national perspectives. In the meantime, this broad spectrum was indeed covered with mostly professional articles, which reflected upon the quite different methods of technology assessment and scientific policy advice.Eleven years, nine volumes, and 36 issues later, the world has changed and with it the journal as well: It came up with new topics and challenges of the scientific-technological civilization but also with new perception modes and read. (shrink)
The Vita Heliogabali in the Historia Augusta consists of a political-biographical first section , generally considered to be historically useful, followed by a fantastic catalogue of the emperor's legendary excesses , generally dismissed as pure fiction. While most of these eccentricities are probably inventions of the “rogue scholar,” it is argued that the grand recital of imperial antics, more than just a detachable appendix, serves a demonstrable ideological purpose and is informed by a unifying rationale, which in turn helps explain (...) the “Lampridian” Elagabalus as historiographical construct. Within the sequence of Antonine biographies Elagabalus, ultimus Antinonorum, marks the climax in a progressive tendency towards tyranny and is accordingly styled as transcendental despot; multiple topoi from the literary tradition provide the generic coordinates for this larger-than-life portrait. Food and sex in particular, both typical elements in this context, are inflated in Heliog. into major thematic systems to signal the emperor's tyrant status, to bring out his distinctive attention to aesthetics, and to enhance the Life's literary cohesion. (shrink)