FILO-4133 Biopolitica: Poder Vida Sujeto

The purpose of this seminar is to serve as a space for studying and discussing some of the most influential perspectives in the actual debate regarding ‘Biopower’. As it is well known, it is Michel Foucault who introduces this term into the contemporary political discussions to describe that form of power, characteristic of modern societies (one which Foucault also calls "Governmentality"), which submits and normalizes the bodies, individuating them, tying them to a fixed identity, while at the same time regulating populations, ordering them towards their preservation and productivity, it is a power which, then, problematizes the possibility for subjects to take care of themselves, assuming themselves creatively in singular forms of life. Hannah Arendt had already moved in a similar direction, although from a different horizon, with her analyses regarding totalitarianism and her critical postulates about Modernity. For this author, then, when politics in Modernity assumes as its main goal the defense and promotion of life, human plurality is attempted to be reduced to predictable population, to mere biological existence which can be controlled and administered. Following these reflections, and in dialogue with the philosophical tradition, other coeval thinkers like Derrida, Agamben and Esposito have also thought about these complex relations between power, life and subjectivity, aiming to question, from their diverse interpretive paths, the opposition between what is "human" and what is "animal", prevalent in the Western conception of the political realm. The seminar proposes itself, then, to discuss some of the above mentioned reflections, as well as some of the main problems which in them could arise.




Quintana Porras Laura