A Body Worth Defending: Immunity, Biopolitics, and the - download pdf or read online

By Ed Cohen

Biological immunity as we all know it doesn't exist till the past due 19th century. Nor does the idea that organisms safeguard themselves on the mobile or molecular degrees. for almost thousand years “immunity,” a felony idea invented in old Rome, serves nearly solely political and juridical ends. “Self-defense” additionally originates in a juridico-political context; it emerges within the mid-seventeenth century, in the course of the English Civil warfare, while Thomas Hobbes defines it because the first “natural right.” within the Eighteen Eighties and Eighteen Nineties, biomedicine fuses those political precepts into one, making a new very important functionality, “immunity-as-defense.” In A physique worthy Defending, Ed Cohen finds the unacknowledged political, fiscal, and philosophical assumptions concerning the human physique that biomedicine comprises whilst it recruits immunity to shield the weak residing organism.

Inspired through Michel Foucault’s writings approximately biopolitics and biopower, Cohen lines the migration of immunity from politics and legislation into the domain names of drugs and technology. supplying a family tree of the concept that, he illuminates a posh of wondering glossy our bodies that percolates via eu political, felony, philosophical, monetary, governmental, clinical, and scientific discourses from the mid-seventeenth century throughout the 20th. He exhibits that by means of the overdue 19th century, “the physique” actually incarnates sleek notions of personhood. during this full of life cultural rumination, Cohen argues that by way of embracing the belief of immunity-as-defense so solely, biomedicine naturalizes the person because the privileged concentration for picking and treating sickness, thereby devaluing or obscuring ways to therapeutic positioned inside of groups or collectives.

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A Body Worth Defending: Immunity, Biopolitics, and the Apotheosis of the Modern Body by Ed Cohen


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