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"THE EMERGENCE OF A BIOSOCIETY. Toward an ""anthropology of the contemporary""" (BIOSOCIETY2008)
Start date: 01 Jun 2009, End date: 31 May 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"This research project aims at providing a detailed description of the powerful hegemony of leading intellectual enterprises like neuroscience and molecular biology and their current impact on society. Its major objective is an analysis of the fundamental shift, over the last thirty years, from culture to biology, from language to the brain, from ethics to genes, in the explanation of what makes us specifically human. The present age is one in which the intimate boundary between biology and history is being renegotiated: although human beings are certainly not more biological beings than they were thirty years ago, they tend to identify themselves, explain themselves, see their image, more and more through the lens of neurobiological, genetic and molecular terms. At the dawn of the 21st Century, the discourse of biology has become the basic vocabulary through which describe the human condition, rapidly absorbing any potentially alternative language, both at the level of the individual and that of society. Clearly, this shift has a direct impact on how Modernity is conceptualised in terms of what one may call 'Biosociety'. In the vein of Michel Foucault’s “history of the present” (Foucault 1986), Paul Rabinow’s “anthropology of the contemporary” (Rabinow 2003, 2007), and Nikolas Rose’s “cartography of the present” (Rose 2007), the project will address this phenomenon mainly according three lines of enquiry: I) a genealogical reconstruction in terms of intellectual history of the main factors that have contributed to the return of a biology-centered paradigm at the turn of the century II) a sociological analysis of the emergence of new forms of subjectivities and identities that are currently built in a biological, and molecular, style of thought III) a theoretical study of the current process of biologization and naturalization of human identity and its impact upon the European culture, and its philosophical, anthropological and Humanistic legacy"
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