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Philosophy Today

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published on January 9, 2020

Hedwig Fraunhofer

Bíos/Zōē

While the philosopher Rosi Braidotti sees her own, new materialist work as opposed to the analysis of biopolitics from Heidegger to Agamben, the present contribution establishes a dialogue between these two lineages. Starting with Aristo­tle’s distinction between zōē and bíos politikos (natural and political life), it puts the analyses of biopolitics in immunitarian modernity in conversation with NM concep­tualizations of affirmative difference and relationality. Replacing the negative logic of identity/alterity, life/death, dualism or dialectics and desire-as-lack of the Western philosophical and psychoanalytic traditions with human and more-than-human post-individualistic subjectivity as part of a rhizomatic web, NM proposes a groundbreaking shift to post-anthropocentrism. The biopolitical fear of viral contamination cedes to viral contamination as the generative vanishing of borderlines between self and other. In this vital geocentrism marking a new kind of politics, the sym-poetic life force of zōē generates complex allegiances between heterogeneous entities in a shared world.

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