Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Listik Y. (2021) A Biopolitical Account of Social Pathology: Viewing Pathology as a Political-Ontological Issue. In: Harris N. (eds) Pathology Diagnosis and Social Research. Political Philosophy and Public Purpose. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Open access

This chapter will argue that the study of social pathologies is not solely a sociological concern. It is crucial to offer an assessment of the ontological implications of this distinctive approach. In arguing for this shift to a more pronounced ontological analysis, the chapter will employ a biopolitical framework. Considering that the social pathologies manifest within capitalism are entwined within its ontological conditions and assumptions, it is apparent that what one frames as “the pathological” cannot be described as merely contingent or isolated from broader discourses. It is thus not merely theoretically inadequate, but politically problematic to frame capitalist rationality as a pathological intrusion on to what would otherwise be a “healthy” subject.

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