By C. Blencowe
An unique, complete interpretation of Michel Foucault's research of biopolitics – situating biopolitics within the context of embodied histories of subjectivity, affective investments and buildings of expertise. Going past lamentation on the horrors of biopolitical domination, the publication develops a positive-critique of biopolitical event.
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Additional resources for Biopolitical Experience: Foucault, Power and Positive Critique
Like technological reproducibility in Walter Benjamin’s analysis of modern experience, knowledge of sexual reproduction, evolution, inheritance and degeneracy transform the durational structure of present experience, introducing contingency, creativity and dimensionality into the present moment. Unlike technological reproducibility, however, biological processes constitute an immanent domain of duration, a domain of self-transcendence, of the transcendental – a transorganic embodiment. Life is able to function as a kind of immanent domain of transcendence, producing meaningfulness, value and depth within the present (see also Simmel, 1971).
His explanation of the emergence of life (with labour and language) shifts from a discourse concerning epistemic structures to a considerably more historico-materialist account of the development and demands of technologies of knowing and power. Nonetheless, key insights concerning the character and capacities of biological life within the relationships and discourse of biopolitics are developed and explained by Foucault in his earlier works on the genealogy of modern biology, modern medicine and the human sciences.
Addressing three different human sciences at the same time, the archaeology is concerned with those ‘network[s] of analogies’ and ‘rules of formation’ of knowledge that are common to all three, relating these also to the philosophies of the time (1970:xi). In contrast to the usual approach of historians of science, Foucault claims to operate at the level of the ‘positive unconscious of knowledge’. ). , italics added). The collapse of representation and the insertion of history Foucault insists upon the radical novelty of biology in the nineteenth century.