Althusser and His Contemporaries: Philosophy's Perpetual War
Duke University Press 2013
domenica 23 giugno 2013
venerdì 21 giugno 2013
« Foucault et les religions »
IRCM – UNIL Lausanne
Avec le soutien de l’Association pour le Centre Michel Foucault.
Proposition de date : 22, 23, 24 octobre 2014
Le texte de présentation de l’appel (en français et en anglais) est en pièce attaché.
Les personnes intéressées à présenter une communication dans le cadre de ce colloque sont invitées à nous adresser un titre, un bref résumé de leur contribution (ca. 300 mots), en précisant leur fonction ainsi que leur affiliation institutionnelle, en anglais ou en français, jusqu’au 15 novembre 2013.
Proposition à envoyer à Jean-François Bert : Jean-Francois.Bert@unil.ch
Comité scientifique incluant le comité d’organisation :
Julien Cavagnis ; Jean-François Bert ; Philippe Artières ; Frédéric Gros ; Christian Grosse ; Nicolas Meylan ; Luca Paltrinieri : Philippe Chevallier.
martedì 18 giugno 2013
La Volonté de savoir de Michel Foucault. Regards critiques 1976-1979
coédition PUC - IMEC, 2013
Textes choisis, présentés et traduits par Philippe Artières, Jean-François Bert, Philippe Chevallier, Frédéric Gros, Florian Nicodème, Luca Paltrinieri, Mathieu Potte-Bonneville, Ariane Revel, Judith Revel, Martin Saar, Michel Senellart, Ferhat Taylan.
Collection Regards critiques.
Collection Regards critiques.
C’est avec La Volonté de savoir (1976) que Michel Foucault entame le projet d’écrire une histoire de la sexualité. Ce premier volume, court, incisif, programmatique, traite d’un sujet hautement polémique dans la société française de l’après-1968 où l’émancipation sexuelle apparaît alors comme l’ultime et décisif combat. Comment, depuis le XIIe siècle, la sexualité est-elle devenue dans nos sociétés occidentales un enjeu de pouvoir, mais aussi un instrument de subjectivation ? C’est par un détour historique que Foucault en arrivera à remettre en cause l’idée de l’hypothèse répressive et son corollaire, celle de la libération du sexe. L’Occident, loin d’avoir censuré la sexualité, l’a inventée de toutes pièces.
La réception de l’ouvrage porte la trace de ce questionnement du philosophe : sexe et politique, identité sexuelle, plaisir et désir, construction du genre, dispositif de sexualité… voici quelques-uns des thèmes qui sont mis en avant dans les très nombreuses lectures, venant aussi bien de théoriciens que de militants qui ont suivi la publication de l’ouvrage. Un livre de Foucault qui, comme les autres, est venu heurter les schémas de pensée qui avaient jusque-là dominé les analyses de la sexualité et les luttes de libération sexuelle.
domenica 16 giugno 2013
Jonathan Beever, Nicolae C. Morar (Eds.) - Bioethics, Science and Public Policy - Purdue University Press, Usa, 2013
Perspectives in Bioethics, Science and Public Policy
Purdue University Press 2013
In this book, nine thought-leaders engage with some of the hottest moral issues in science and ethics. Based on talks originally given at the annual “Purdue Lectures in Ethics, Policy, and Science,” the chapters explore interconnections between the three areas in an engaging and accessible way. Addressing a mixed public audience, the authors go beyond dry theory to explore some of the difficult moral questions that face scientists and policy-makers every day.
The introduction presents a theoretical framework for the book, defining the term “bioethics” as extending well beyond human well-being to wider relations between humans, nonhuman animals, the environment, and biotechnologies. Three sections then explore the complex relationship between moral value, scientific knowledge, and policy making. The first section starts with thoughts on nonhuman animal pain and moves to a discussion of animal understanding. The second section explores climate change and the impact of “green” nanotechnology on environmental concerns. The final section begins with dialog about ethical issues in nanotechnology, moves to an exploration of bio-banks (a technology with broad potential medical and environmental impact), and ends with a survey of the impact of biotechnologies on (synthetic) life itself.
Contents: Part 1: Animals: Moral agency, moral considerability, and consciousness (Daniel Kelly) and From minds to minding (Mark Bernstein); Animal Pain: What is it and why does it matter? (Bernard Rollin). Part 2: Environment: The future of environmental ethics (Holmes Rolston III); Climate change, human rights, and the trillionth ton of carbon (Henry Shue); Ethics, environment, and nanotechnology (Barbara Karn). Part 3: Biotechnologies: Nanotechnologies: Science and society (James Leary); Ethical issues in constructing and using bio-banks (Eric Meslin); Synthetic life: A new industrial revolution (Gregory Kaebnick).
About the Editor(s):
Jonathan Beever co-founded the Purdue Lectures in Ethics, Policy, and Science at Purdue University. Beever receives his doctorate from Purdue in December 2012. His primary research in philosophy focuses on applied ethics, science, and bioethics, but also he works in continental philosophy, political and moral philosophy, and semiotics. Beever has published on several interrelated topics concerning semiotics, environmental value, biotechnological risk, and bioethics.
Morar is a 2011-2012 Faculty Fellow in the Department of Philosophy and in the Environmental Studies Program at the University of Oregon. He recently received his doctoral degree from Purdue University with a thesis analyzing the ways in which current biotechnologies are altering traditional conceptions of human nature. He is also coediting a book with V. Cisney on New Directions in Biopower: Ethics and Politics in the Twenty-First Century.
giovedì 13 giugno 2013
Suzanne Verderber - The Medieval Fold. Power, Repression, and the Emergence of the Individual @ Palgrave Macmillan, Uk, 20 May 2013
Striking cultural developments took place in the twelfth century which led to what historians have termed 'the emergence of the individual.' The Medieval Fold demonstrates how cultural developments typically associated with this twelfth-century renaissance—autobiography, lyric, courtly love, romance—can be traced to the Church's cultivation of individualism. However, subjects did not submit to pastoral power passively, they constructed fantasies and behaviors, redeploying or 'folding' it to create new forms of life and culture. Incorporating the work of Nietzsche, Foucault, Lacan, and Deleuze, Suzanne Verderber presents a model of the subject in which the opposition between interior self and external world is dislodged.
1. The Gregorian Reform, Pastoral Power, and Subjection
2. The Courtly Fold: The Subjectivation of Pastoral Power and the Invention of Modern Eroticism
3. Chrétien de Troyes' Diagram of Power: Perceval
Suzanne Verderber is Associate Professor of Humanities and Media Studies at Pratt Institute, USA. She received her PhD in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory from the University of Pennsylvania, USA. She has authored articles on Hieronymus Bosch, Marie de France, and Michel de Montaigne, and has translated two books, Jean-Michel Rabaté's The Ethics of the Lie and Charles Enderlin's The Lost Years: Radical Islam, Intifada, and Wars in the Middle East, 2001–2006.
The work of twentieth-century French philosopher Michel Foucault has increasingly influenced the study of politics. This influence has mainly been via concepts he developed in particular historical studies that have been taken up as analytical tools; “governmentality” and ”biopower” are the most prominent of these. More broadly, Foucault developed a radical new conception of social power as forming strategies embodying intentions of their own, above those of individuals engaged in them; individuals for Foucault are as much products of as participants in games of power.
The question of Foucault’s overall political stance remains hotly contested. Scholars disagree both on the level of consistency of his position over his career, and the particular position he could be said to have taken at any particular time. This dispute is common both to scholars critical of Foucault and to those who are sympathetic to his thought.
What can be generally agreed about Foucault is that he had a radically new approach to political questions, and that novel accounts of power and subjectivity were at its heart. Critics dispute not so much the novelty of his views as their coherence. Some critics see Foucault as effectively belonging to the political right because of his rejection of traditional left-liberal conceptions of freedom and justice. Some of his defenders, by contrast, argue for compatibility between Foucault and liberalism. Other defenders see him either as a left-wing revolutionary thinker, or as going beyond traditional political categories.
To summarize Foucault’s thought from an objective point of view, his political works would all seem to have two things in common: (1) an historical perspective, studying social phenomena in historical contexts, focusing on the way they have changed throughout history; (2) a discursive methodology, with the study of texts, particularly academic texts, being the raw material for his inquiries. As such the general political import of Foucault’s thought across its various turns is to understand how the historical formation of discourses have shaped the political thinking and political institutions we have today.
Foucault’s thought was overtly political during one phase of his career, coinciding exactly with the decade of the 1970s, and corresponding to a methodology he designated “genealogy”. It is during this period that, alongside the study of discourses, he analysed power as such in its historical permutations. Most of this article is devoted to this period of Foucault’s work. Prior to this, during the 1960s, the political content of his thought was relatively muted, and the political implications of that thought are contested. So, this article is divided into thematic sections arranged in order of the chronology of their appearance in Foucault’s thought.
Table of Contents
• Foucault’s Early Marxism
• References and Further Reading
martedì 11 giugno 2013
American psychiatry is morally challenged
The fundamental problem with American psychiatry is American psychiatrists. It seems every few months there’s fresh news about some well-known academic psychiatrist paid boatloads to endorse a new treatment that doesn’t work—or worse—causes harm. Among the 394 US physicians in 2010 who received over $100,000 from the pharmaceutical industry, 116 were psychiatrists, well out of proportion of the percentage of psychiatrists in medical practice. The American Psychiatric Association is also heavily supported by the drug industry. Its annual meetings, once efforts to educate members, are now basically week-long infomercials for Big Pharma. This influence has seeped into clinical trials as well, where study design is carefully manipulated by industry representatives to favor their new product. In turn, companies analyze their data out of view of academics, sequestering data unfavorable to their product, and ghostwriting journal articles for academics.
In similar fashion, fancy devices have been introduced with claims of wondrous benefits, none of which have materialized. Light-emitting boxes, for example, were supposed to be the next great psychiatric advent to prevent winter depressions, but the evidence for this claim is still weak. Similarly, vagal nerve stimulation (an implanted electronic pacer in the chest with electrodes attached to a nerve in the neck) was supposed to relieve treatment-resistant depressions. Yet it offers no demonstrated benefit and costs the poor soul subjected to it about $20,000 out of pocket. Transcranial magnetic stimulation, a ring-shaped magnet that delivers a magnetic pulse to the head, was going to replace electroconvulsive therapy. At best it has a placebo effect. And yet, these treatments continue because of their support by psychiatrists, many of whom have a vested interest in the success of the products. Integrity, it seems, is the only thing in short supply for psychiatry these days.
Just like the new antidepressant and antipsychotic drugs that have been introduced in the past three decades, the idea behind these new treatments was simply to make money. In 2006, US sales alone for these new gadgets topped 289 billion, and continue to rise. Between 1998 and 2006, the industry spent 855 million dollars on lobbying—a total which exceeds that of all other lobbies—to keep that momentum rolling.
You can’t fault the desire to make money; it’s the American way. But when treatments are equated to widgets, profits will always trump concerns of efficacy and safety. Can you think of an industry in which that has not been the case? Sadly, this was not always the situation with psychiatry. The early psychiatric drugs were developed by industry and psychopharmacologists working in concert, striving toward the production of effective and reasonably safe agents. And they succeeded. The older and less expensive antidepressants and antipsychotics are still just as good as or better than the new agents. In fact, the cost to patients drops from 18% to 6% of their medical dollar when they switch from patented to generic medications.
The new psychiatric drugs and novel treatments are frauds. The evidence that they work is weak and is often distorted to the point of fabrication. Studies show that the new antidepressants (e.g., Prozac, Paxil, and Citalopram) achieve remissions at only slightly better rates than a placebo. The widely prescribed anticonvulsant valproic acid (Depakote) outpaces lithium in prescriptions as a mood stabilizer, and yet it’s not as effective. That’s because the guidelines for psychiatric drug treatments are written by academics paid out of the pocket of Big Pharma. These guidelines are required reading in residency training and dictate the diagnostic and treatment decision-making of most psychiatrists, but really they’re just cookbooks, following the bottom line not the data. The most recent version of the DSM, for example, was drafted by academics, many of whom continue to receive substantial financial support from the industry. This clear conflict of interest in part accounts for why the thresholds for illnesses in the manual continue to get lower and lower: if more people are “ill,” it justifies the prescription of more psychotropic medication. Thus perpetuating the whole corrupt cycle.
Over the past half-dozen years, academic psychiatry has started to wean itself from the pharmaceutical milk-cow. Drug “reps” are restricted at most medical centers now, and direct payments to departmental activities are increasingly limited. These are good first steps, but financial support to departments still occurs. Multisite clinical trials are still industry affairs. The well-known psychiatrists and experts crafting treatment guidelines and new versions of the DSM are still industry supported. Despite the financial pain that might ensue, the only solution is to end the relationship. No academic responsible for the training and mentoring of medical students and young physicians should accept any industry money. They already receive adequate financial support from their institutions. If the industry wants its products tested, unrestricted grants can be given to the institution, which can then monitor the use of the funds for a small overhead fee as is done in the case of other funding sources. No more industry-designed and analyzed research. No more hidden unfavorable data. No more industry-supported lectures. No more direct industry support of any kind. This way, even if we make mistakes, our medicine will at least have integrity.
Michael A. Taylor, MD, is the author of Hippocrates Cried: The Decline of American Psychiatry. He works as an adjunct clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Michigan Medical School. He was founding editor of the peer-reviewed journal, Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology, and also worked as professor, chairman, and director at the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Chicago Medical School. He established and directed the psychiatry residency-training program at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.