File spoon-archives/foucault.archive/foucault_2000/foucault.0004, message 11

Date: Thu, 13 Apr 2000 11:38:04 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: biopower: Agamben/Foucault.

But I think Aristotle put his finger on it: "Man is a political animal."

------Original Message------
From: robade <>
Sent: April 13, 2000 3:26:09 PM GMT
Subject: Re: biopower: Agamben/Foucault.

this is a minimalist contribution to your thoughts about biopower. The
subject is fascinating, hope that you can keep on telling us more about
Zoe: bare life
Bios: political life
Today, it has become difficult to separe clearly these two lifes.
This difficulty, is it the effect of sovereign power or the effect of new
forces of resistance and creation of the subjects?
Agamben's answer oscillates between these two possibilities.
It's not the case in Foucault, who clearly thinks that biopolitics is new
form of gouvernment that was not  present in the classic world.


-----Message d'origine-----
De : Catherine Mills <>
Date : vendredi 7 avril 2000 05:51
Objet : biopower: Agamben/Foucault.

>I have recently been doing some work on biopower, particularly using
>Giorgio Agamben's book called 'Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare
>In the introduction to this book, Agamben claims that Foucault
>overemphasises the historical distinction between sovereignty and
>biopolitics and goes on to argue that 'the inclusion of bare life
>[Aristotle's zoe] constitutes the original - if concealed - nucleus of
>sovereign power...the production of the biopolitical body is the
>activity of sovereign power' (p6).  I would be interested to know what
>other people who have read this book think of Agamben's critique of
>Foucault and of his own arguments regarding biopower, especially around
>generalisation of the exception in modern politics.
>Thanks,  Catherine

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