Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Systems of LifeBiopolitics, Economics, and Literature on the Cusp of Modernity$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Richard A. Barney and Warren Montag

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780823281725

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823281725.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 20 February 2020

Systems of Life, or Bioeconomic Politics

Systems of Life, or Bioeconomic Politics

(p.1) Introduction: Systems of Life, or Bioeconomic Politics
Systems of Life

Richard A. Barney

Warren Montag

Fordham University Press

This collection of essays takes its cue from the ascendancy of system in dicated by Adam Smith’s work in order to articulate a framework in which to grasp the complex relations among biological knowledge, economics, and politics in Europe and its colonies from the mid–eighteenth century to the mid–nineteenth. In these terms, this volume aims to draw on recent scholarly accounts of the significance of system in Renaissance and Enlightenment contexts in order to reevaluate the importance of the systematic to biopolitical theory, which has paid particular attention to the importance of this historical period, especially in the case of analysts such as Michel Foucault, Giorgio Agamben, and Roberto Esposito. Considered as a whole, the essays in this volume can therefore be taken as an argument that the concept of “system” can help specify all the more concretely the ways that the “bio” was articulated in relation to the “political” in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century biopolitics, with “economy” serving as a useful mediating term between them by offering a way to articulate their “order” as a matter of exchange, valuation, or management. Given Smith’s remark about the “beauty” of systems, moreover, it is no accident that several of the essays in this volume examine the relevance of aesthetic production—whether poetry, fiction, comedy, or visual art—to the deployment of economic values in relation to both biological and political spheres.

Keywords:   Giorgio Agamben, biopolitics, Roberto Esposito, Michel Foucault, Adam Smith, systems

Fordham Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .