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The epistemology of biopolitics (Biopolitics)
Start date: 01 Oct 2008, End date: 31 Mar 2010 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The epistemology of biopolitics: rediscovering Georges Canguilhem This research project will cast new light on the works of the philosopher of life and medical sciences, Georges Canguilhem. In the second half of the Twentieth Century a new and pressing issue emerged in international intellectual discourse: the ability of scientific rationality to intervene in the evolution of the human species. In the mid 1970’s, Michel Foucault defined this issue as “biopolitics”. Building upon the research of his mentor Canguilhem he described the simultaneous emergence of biological paradigms with the power of man over his own species. In Europe and the United States, the last decade has witnessed the hegemony of Foucault’s political focus in the research and intellectual debate concerning this issue. Meanwhile the fundamental epistemological focus of Georges Canguilhem has been unfortunately neglected. This project aims to rediscover and develop this focus in order to recast the debate about “biopolitics”. The project would be undertaken in collaboration with the “Centre Georges Canguilhem” located at the University of Paris VII. Research would be conducted upon at the CAPHES (Centre d’Archives de Philosophie d’Histoire et d’Édition des Sciences), where new unedited material contained in the “Fonds Canguilhem” has recently made available. The ultimate goal of the project is to build a new and fertile European research network within an international field, as well as to develop the professional career of the author.
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