Hesperus is Bosphorus

A group blog by philosophers in and from Turkey

Talk at Bogazici, Andrea Rossi (Koc), “After God: Finitude, Economy, Individualization”

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Please join us for the following talk.


Bogazici University

TB 130 (Anderson Hall)


Friday, April 15



After God: Finitude, Economy, Individualization

This paper delves into the experience of finitude underpinning Western political-economic apparatuses in the aftermath of the death of God. It takes its cue from the observation that modern societies have not merely neglected or sought to conceal our being-towards-death, but they have codified it in an explicit and precise fashion, epistemically as well politically. In order to illustrate this point, the paper first looks at biology’s conceptualization of mortality starting from the turn of the nineteenth century. Whereas natural history typically viewed death as a moment functional to the preservation and reproduction of the ‘great chain of being’ (i.e. natural order), with Cuvier and, later, Darwin, death began to appear as ‘the blind sculptor’ of life (Canguilhem), i.e. as the force defining the constitution, form and evolution of organic life. The argument then moves on to consider how, with Adam Smith, economics came to mediate this understanding of mortality politically, through the notion of scarcity, conceived of as a radical feature of man’s relation to his biological milieu of existence. It will be argued that political economy, in its modern form, appears as an ecology of rarity and a biopolitics of labour-intensities. The paper concludes by showing how this ‘positive’ rationalization of finitude, freed from the prospect of in-finte redemption, has contributed to delineate the understanding of agency and subjectivity in contemporary regimes of power.


Written by markedwardsteen

April 11, 2016 at 3:00 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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