This article develops the affirmative biopolitics that Roberto Esposito intimates in his trilogy – Communitas, Immunitas and Bı´os. The key to this affirmative biopolitics lies in the relationship between the munus, a form of gift that is the root of communitas and immunitas, and the gift discourse that developed throughout the 20th century. The article expands upon Esposito’s interpretation of four theoretical sources that are crucial to his biopolitical perspective: Mauss and the gift-exchange tradition; Hobbes’s social contract theory, which Esposito (...) presents as the anti-gift that founded modernity’s thanatopolitical ‘immunization paradigm’; Bataille’s dangerous concept of sacrifice, which gestures toward an affirmative biopolitical community; and, finally, Jean-Luc Nancy’s essay, L’Intrus, which reflects on the near-decade Nancy lived as the recipient of the gift of a transplanted heart. This discussion of Mauss, Hobbes and Bataille is used to further develop Esposito’s interpretation of L’Intrus in a manner that supports his conception of an affirmative biopolitics ‘of, not over, life’. (shrink)
Spontaneous abortion is rarely addressed in moral evaluations of abortion. Indeed, 'abortion' is virtually always taken to mean only induced abortion. After a brief review of medical aspects of spontaneous abortion, I attempt to articulate the moral implications of spontaneous abortion for the two poles of the abortion debate, the strong pro-abortion and the strong anti-abortion positions. I claim that spontaneous abortion has no moral relevance for strict pro-abortion positions but that the high incidence of spontaneous abortion is not (as (...) some claim) eo ipso any sort of justification for voluntarily induced abortion. Secondly, I show that if the strict anti-abortionist position is to be taken seriously in its insistence that prenatal life has a right to be protected by virtue of its being conceived, then it seems necessary to take measures to prevent spontaneous abortion and its presumptive causes, and this as a matter of moral obligation. (shrink)
In the course of discussing Kleisthenes' reforms, the author of theAthenaion Politeiamakes the following statement:And he made those who were currently living in each of the demes demesmen of one another, so that they would not examine the new citizens by calling out their patronymic, rather they would announce them by demes; and from this practice, the Athenians call themselves after their demes.
There are religious and philosophical versions of the thesis that AIDS is a punishment for homosexual behaviour. It is argued here that the religious version is seriously incomplete. Because of this incompleteness and because of the indeterminacies that ordinarily attend religious argumentation, it is concluded that the claim may be set aside as unconvincing. Homosexual behaviour is then judged for its morality against utilitarian, deontological, and natural law theories of ethics. It is argued that such behaviour involves no impediment to (...) important moral goals and is not therefore immoral. Where natural law might be used to condemn homosexual behaviour, it is argued that the theory itself is not well established. Consequently there is a prima facie reason for rejecting the philosophical version of the punishment thesis. This conclusion is further supported by noting the lack of proportion between the purported immorality of homosexuality and a punishment as devastating as AIDS. (shrink)
Although the two volumes of _Logic, Language, and Meaning _can be used independently of one another, together they provide a comprehensive overview of modern logic as it is used as a tool in the analysis of natural language. Both volumes provide exercises and their solutions.