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Inventive Life: Approaches to the New Vitalism

Sage Publications (2006)

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  1. Geosocial Formations and the Anthropocene.Nigel Clark & Kathryn Yusoff - 2017 - Theory, Culture and Society 34 (2-3):3-23.
    For at least two centuries most social thought has taken the earth to be the stable platform upon which dynamic social processes play out. Both climate change and the Anthropocene thesis – with their enfolding of dramatic geologic change into the space-time of social life – are now provoking social thinkers into closer engagement with earth science. After revisiting the decisive influence of the late 18th-century notion of geological formations on the idea of social formations, this introductory article turns to (...)
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  • Cybersecurity, Bureaucratic Vitalism and European Emergency.Stephanie Simon & Marieke de Goede - 2015 - Theory, Culture and Society 32 (2):79-106.
    Securing the internet has arguably become paradigmatic for modern security practice, not only because modern life is considered to be impossible or valueless if disconnected, but also because emergent cyber-relations and their complex interconnections are refashioning traditional security logics. This paper analyses European modes of governing geared toward securing vital, emergent cyber-systems in the face of the interconnected emergency. It develops the concept of ‘bureaucratic vitalism’ to get at the tension between the hierarchical organization and reductive knowledge frames of security (...)
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  • Editorial.Michael A. Peters - 2008 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 40 (2):247–248.
    Editor's Comment: One of the functions of the journal is to develop an awareness of its own history. These papers are online-only papers that discuss the first ten years of the journal going back to 1969. Every so often the journal publishes synoptic articles that take a broad approach to the beginning of the Society and the journal to treat major themes and topics. As one can clearly see EPAT published many of the luminaries that helped to shape the discipline.
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  • Strong Will in a Messy World. Ethics and the Government of Technoscience.Luigi Pellizzoni - 2012 - NanoEthics 6 (3):257-272.
    Two features characterize new and emerging technosciences. The first one is the production of peculiar ontologies. The human agent is confronted with a biophysical world the contingent, indeterminate character of which does not hamper but expands the scope of purposeful action. Uncertainty is increasingly regarded as a resource for an expanding will rather than a drawback for a disoriented agent. The second feature is that ethics is increasingly considered as the core regulatory means of this messy, ever-changing world. The ambivalences (...)
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  • The Exclusion of the Crowd: The Destiny of a Sociological Figure of the Irrational.Christian Borch - 2006 - European Journal of Social Theory 9 (1):83-102.
    In the late 19th century, a comprehensive semantics of crowds emerged in European social theory, dominated in particular by Gustave Le Bon and Gabriel Tarde. This article extracts two essential, but widely neglected, sociological arguments from this semantics. First, the idea that irrationality is intrinsic to society and, second, the claim that individuality is plastic rather than constitutive. By following the destiny of this semantics in its American reception, the article demonstrates how American scholars soon transformed the conception of crowds. (...)
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  • Animation and Automation – The Liveliness and Labours of Bodies and Machines.Lucy Suchman & Jackie Stacey - 2012 - Body and Society 18 (1):1-46.
    Written as the introduction to a special issue of Body & Society on the topic of animation and automation, this article considers the interrelation of those two terms through readings of relevant work in film studies and science and technology studies, inflected through recent scholarship on the body. Drawing upon historical and contemporary examples, we trace how movement is taken as a sign of life, while living bodies are translated through the mechanisms of artifice. Whereas film studies has drawn upon (...)
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  • Ageing, Experience, Biopolitics: Life’s Unfolding.Brett Neilson - 2012 - Body and Society 18 (3-4):44-71.
    In the wake of Foucault, the debate on biopolitics has focused on the tensions of bíos and zoé, community and immunity, generation and thanatopolitics. What remains obscure in these accounts is the experiential aspect of life – its unfolding and entanglement with the ageing process. This is true both of approaches that emphasize the ethical implications of the life sciences and those that explore the biopolitical workings of wider social processes. In the contemporary capitalist formation, life’s unfolding is caught up (...)
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  • Antibiotic Resistance and the Biology of History.Hannah Landecker - 2016 - Body and Society 22 (4):19-52.
    Beginning in the 1940s, mass production of antibiotics involved the industrial-scale growth of microorganisms to harvest their metabolic products. Unfortunately, the use of antibiotics selects for resistance at answering scale. The turn to the study of antibiotic resistance in microbiology and medicine is examined, focusing on the realization that individual therapies targeted at single pathogens in individual bodies are environmental events affecting bacterial evolution far beyond bodies. In turning to biological manifestations of antibiotic use, sciences fathom material outcomes of their (...)
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  • The Problem of Energy.John Urry - 2014 - Theory, Culture and Society 31 (5):3-20.
    Energy forms and their extensive scale are remarkably significant for the ways that societies are organized. This article shows the importance of how societies are ‘energized’ and especially the global growth of ‘fossil fuel societies’. Much social thought remains oblivious to the energy revolution realized over the past two to three centuries which set the ‘West’ onto a distinct trajectory. Energy is troubling for social thought because different energy systems with their ‘lock-ins’ are not subject to simple human intervention and (...)
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  • Foucault’s and Arendt’s ‘Insider View’ of Biopolitics: A Critique of Agamben.Claire Blencowe - 2010 - History of the Human Sciences 23 (5):113-130.
    This article revisits Arendt’s and Foucault’s converging accounts of modern (bio)politics and the entry of biological life into politics. Agamben’s influential account of these ideas is rejected as a misrepresentation both because it de-historicizes biological/organic life and because it occludes the positivity of that life and thus the discursive appeal and performative force of biopolitics. Through attention to the genealogy of Arendt’s and Foucault’s own ideas we will see that the major point of convergence in their thinking is their insistence (...)
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  • Introduction.Sebastian Olma & Kostas Koukouzelis - 2007 - Theory, Culture and Society 24 (6):1-17.
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  • Affect, Relationality and the `Problem of Personality'.Lisa Blackman - 2008 - Theory, Culture and Society 25 (1):23-47.
  • Vitalism as Pathos.Thomas Osborne - 2016 - Biosemiotics 9 (2):185-205.
    This paper addresses the remarkable longevity of the idea of vitalism in the biological sciences and beyond. If there is to be a renewed vitalism today, however, we need to ask – on what kind of original conception of life should it be based? This paper argues that recent invocations of a generalized, processual variety of vitalism in the social sciences and humanities above all, however exciting in their scope, miss much of the basic originality – and interest – of (...)
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  • Capitalism and Metaphysics.Scott Lash - 2007 - Theory, Culture and Society 24 (5):1-26.
    Contemporary capitalism is becoming increasingly metaphysical. The article contrasts a ‘physical’ capitalism – of the national and manufacturing age – with a ‘metaphysical capitalism’ of the global information society. It describes physical capitalism in terms of extensity, equivalence, equilibrium and the phenomenal, which stands in contrast to metaphysical capitalism’s intensity, inequivalence, disequilibrium and the noumenal. Most centrally: if use-value or the gift in pre-capitalist society is grounded in concrete inequivalence, and exchange-value in physical capitalism presumes abstract equivalence, then value in (...)
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  • Thinking in/Through Movements; Working with/in Affect Within the Context of Norwegian Early Years Education and Practice.Nina Rossholt - 2018 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 50 (1):28-38.
    This paper draws on data undertaken with very young children within the context of Norwegian kindergartens. Specifically, the paper focuses on non-human and human movements. Mine included, that are undertaken in time and space. Following I argue that as the researcher I am always already entangled in inquiry and that there is no beginning. As a consequence, I cannot offer an account concerning movements that are predicated on humanist notions of linearity. Moreover, by immersing myself in process ontology, my efforts (...)
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  • ‘Media Events’ Reconsidered: From Ritual Theory to Simulation and Performativity.William Pawlett - 2018 - Journal for Cultural Research 22 (1):1-15.
    This paper re-examines the long-established notion of ‘media events’ by contrasting and critically appraising three distinct approaches to the question of media events. These are: ritual theory associated with Daniel Dayan and Elihu Katz, secondly, Jean Baudrillard’s approach rooted in his notions of simulation and ‘non-events’ and, finally, the more recent performative approaches to media and mediation. I take Sarah Kember and Joanna Zylinska’s reading of media events presented in Life After New Media as exemplary of the performative approach. An (...)
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