http www ctheory net articles aspx id=479 1000…


The Rhetorics of Life and Multitude in Michel Foucault and Paolo Virno

Stuart J. Murray

———quoting from it————————————————————

“Go get slaughtered and we promise you a long and pleasant life.”[1]

With no small sense of irony, Foucault here apostrophizes the terrifying voice of the Sovereign State. apostrophization makes some kind of perverse sense discourse, as political life, social life, and ethical life. What, then, is life? A “objective” and “subjective” definitions
More precisely, in a rhetorical vein I fear the fundamentalist collapse of speaking and being matrimony. The word becomes Truth, alongside Italian theorist Paolo Virno’s recent work, A Grammar of the Multitude. I demonstrate how Virno expands upon Foucault (5), adding more trenchantly “grammar”

Virno opens the possibility for a “post-political politics,”

1. Biopolitical Life in Foucault: From “Taking Life” to “Making Live”

2. Ethical Life in Foucault: The Self’s Relation to Itself

This is certainly a rather grim depiction of life, biopoliticized, mechanized, reduced to bare biological processes, to technique. But it is not Foucault’s final word on “life.” I turn now to Foucault’s late work on ethics or “ethical life” from circa 1979 until his death in 1984. I contend that these late texts a regulatory third self that would transcend space and time, we will be forced to admit that we are at an utter loss to say which “self” is really “mine” and within my power; the “two selves” never fully coincide. posits
Alcibiades, Socrates cares not just for Alcibiades, but for Alcibiades’ care of himself, Foucault’s own iteration, and our very uptake of the word. The genealogy is staggering,

———end of quoting from it————————————————————


2 thoughts on “http www ctheory net articles aspx id=479 1000…

  1. I’m going to comment on this later. Thanks to Francis for finding the CTheory website. I’m going to have fun (in a very real sense, although mediated by my sensory affordances, or rather by their limitations, or rather by my apperceptive monads, enough! already) disagreeing, disagreably, with these people.

    • No I’m not. I have deleted the essay (because it is copyright and because it was very annoying)

      I have left bits of pretension dangling, like a splinter under the skin of a finger. Is it working in deeper, or being squeezed out, like a spot. Foucault knows.

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