This interdisciplinary collection of essays demonstrates how the ethical and political problems we are confronted with today have come to focus largely on life. The contributors to this volume define and assess the specific meaning of life itself. It is only by doing so that we can understand why life has become an all-encompassing problem, why all questions, especially ethical and political, have become vital questions. We have reached a moment in history where every distinction and opposition is no longer in relation to life, but within it, and where life is at once a theoretical and practical problem. This book throws light on this nexus of problems at the heart of contemporary debates in bioethics and biopolitics. It helps us understand why and how life is understood, valued, cared for and framed today. Taking a genuinely transdisciplinary approach, these essays demonstrate how life is a multifaceted problem and how diverse the origins, foundations and also consequences of bioethics and biopolitics therefore are.
Acknowledgements / List of Contributors / Introduction / Part I: 'Bioethics' and 'Biopolitics'/ 1. A Brief History of Bioethics, Guillaume Le Blanc / 2. Between (Bio)-Politics and (Bio)-Ethics: What Life?, Luca Paltrinieri / 3. What is Vital?, Frederic Worms / Part Two: Norms and Normality / 4. The Return of Vitalism: Canguilhem, Bergson and the project of a biophilosophy, Charles T. Wolfe and Andy Wong / 5. Life and Objective Norms: Canguilhem in the Context of Contemporary Meta-ethics, Sander Werkhoven / 6. Critical and Political Stakes of a Philosophy of Norms. Part I: Towards a critical philosophy of norms, Julien Pieron / 7. Critical and Political Stakes of a Philosophy of Norms. Part II: Theory of Norms and Social Criticism, Florence Caeymaex / 8. The Racial Politics of Life itself: Goldstein, Uexkull, Canguilhem, and Fanon, Robert Bernasconi / 9. History and the Politics of 'Life',Claudia Stein and Roger Cooter / Part Three: Pathology and Ageing / 10. Life of Pain. Remarks about Negativity and Effort in Georges Canguilhem, Giuseppe Bianco / 11. Human Life and Subjectivity. Learning from Foucault, Piergiorgio Donatelli / 12. Ethics of Care and Face Transplant. After Levinas, Deleuze and Guattari, Marjorie Gracieuse / 13. Ageing and Longevity, Paul-Antoine Miquel / 14. Generational Change as a Vehicle for Radical Conceptual Change: the Case of Periodic Rejuvenation, Steve Fuller / Part Four: Desire and Pleasure / 15. Sexuality and liberalism, Patrick Singy / 16. Desire Within and Beyond Biopolitics, Miguel de Beistegui / 17. The Pragmatics of Desire and Pleasure: Rethinking Somatic Powers with Foucault, Deleuze and Guattari, Marjorie Gracieuse and Nicolae Morar / 18. Revenge of the Tender Pervert: On A Troubling Concept that Refuses to Go Away, Hector Kollias / 19. Jouissance in Lacan's seminar XX: Proglomena to a New Reading of Strange Enjoyement and Being an Angel, Lorenzo Chiesa