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The Government of LifeFoucault, Biopolitics, and Neoliberalism$
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Vanessa Lemm and Miguel Vatter

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823255962

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823255962.001.0001

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Power over Life, Politics of Death: Forms of Resistance to Biopower in Foucault

Power over Life, Politics of Death: Forms of Resistance to Biopower in Foucault

(p.98) Five Power over Life, Politics of Death: Forms of Resistance to Biopower in Foucault
The Government of Life

Francesco Paolo Adorno

Fordham University Press

The chapter by Adorno discusses the implications of the parallel formation of economics and biology in the eighteenth century that account for the continuous transference of medical metaphors to the economy and of economical considerations into medical well-being that is characteristic of the neoliberal normative order. Adorno takes up Foucault’s formula according to which biopower is a power which has “the right to make live” in opposition to the sovereign right to “put to death.” Adorno advances the paradoxical hypothesis that, if thanatopolitics is the product of the power to “make live,” then perhaps an affirmative biopolitics ought to be found on the side of a practice of “learning how to die” which, since Socrates through Montaigne to Heidegger, has characterized the philosophical form of life.

Keywords:   Medicine, Economics, Health, Thanatopolitics, Philosophy

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