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The Implications of ImmanenceToward a New Concept of Life$
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Leonard Lawlor

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780823226535

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823226535.001.0001

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Metaphysics and Powerlessness

Metaphysics and Powerlessness

An Introduction to the Concept of Life-ism

(p.122) 10 Metaphysics and Powerlessness
The Implications of Immanence

Leonard Lawlor

Fordham University Press

This chapter lays out the structure of “life-ism.” The chapter is organized into four steps. First, it argues that, despite differences, Heidegger's conception of Nietzsche's idea that life is will to power, and Foucault's conception of the modern regime of power as bio-power, are similar if not identical conceptions. Both will to power and bio-power are bound up with the Cartesian conception of subjectivity. Second, following the well-known distinction between lived-experience (le vécu) and the living being (le vivant), it examines the ambiguity in which phenomenological lived-experience consists. The third step involves following an opening in Heidegger's thought, in particular, in his 1929 address “What Is Metaphysics?” This address turns death into a process within life; death becomes Verendlichung (“finitization”). The conclusion, the fourth step, turns to the fact that “life-ism” follows the line of the inability to preserve and enhance life. Thus, it resists the regime of bio-will to power and tries to twist free of metaphysics once and for all.

Keywords:   life-ism, bio-power, Foucault, Heidegger, lived-experience, living being

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