Science, technology and modernity: Beck and Derrida on the politics of risk

Cultural Values 4 (1):101-126 (2000)
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The purpose of the article is to evaluate the ethical and political conclusions that Ulrich Beck draws from his account of ‘civilization risks’. I have argued that the categories of ‘life’, ‘the organic’, and the ‘technological’ which are presented in Risk Society, presuppose a certain metaphysics of ‘natural’ human identity; and that it is the inscription of this identity in the politics of risk administration which opens the possibility of an absolutely legitimized regulation of nature, humanity, and society. Thus, in order to evaluate the ‘risk’ entailed in the ethical and political strictures of Beck's ‘world risk society’, I have had recourse to the expositions of time, presence, identity and technology which Derrida has given in Of Grammatology and Specters of Marx. It is through these expositions that I have tried to work through the idea of an ecological politics that would remain sensitive to the events of difference and alterity precipitated by its own ‘cosmopolitan’ interventions.



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Education, risk and ethics.Marianna Papastephanou - 2006 - Ethics and Education 1 (1):47-63.

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References found in this work

Of grammatology.Jacques Derrida - 1997 - Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Edited by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak.
Writing and difference.Jacques Derrida - 1978 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Negative dialectics.Theodor W. Adorno - 1973 - New York: Continuum.
Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity.Ulrich Beck, Mark Ritter & Jennifer Brown - 1993 - Environmental Values 2 (4):367-368.

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