Biopolitical theory and the problem of ontology
LE3 .A278 2014
Bachelor of Arts
With the explosion of biopolitical analysis in political theory, this paper revisits the core theoretical texts that are widely cited as the origin of the academic movement. The thesis begins with the concept of the problem of ontology that has been developed in recent decades and argues that while the key influences of this academic movement (Michel Foucault and Giorgio Agamben) may appear to have similar positions on the topic, they are rather radically divergent. While both authors focus on the impossibility of ontological concepts, Foucault denies a logic, mechanism, or metaontology between this position and the necessity of ontological conceptions, while Agamben explicitly articulates such a logic. Both authors share another similarity however, insofar as each is concerned with the question of methodology which goes beyond the simple identification of a problematic contemporary phenomenon such as biopolitics. The implication of these findings is that a return to these texts is useful for drawing our attention to our own methodological and ontological conceptions in regards to the (undoubtedly different) situation we find ourselves in today.
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