Critical Theory and Affirmative Biopolitics: Nietzsche and the Domination of Life in Adorno and Horkheimer: Nietzsche and the domination of nature in Adorno/Horkheimer

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Abstract

The central problem of enlightenment is that it rests on the domination of nature achieved through the separation of human life from other forms of life by means of instrumental rationality and representational thinking. Instead, the true practice of enlightenment calls for an affirmative biopolitics: a politics of life that contributes to the pluralization of inherently singular forms of life. This article argues that such politics requires, first, a cultural memory which recovers the continuity between human life and nature and, second, a form of thought that gives back to language the ability to be like nature. The article closes with a discussion of ‘Culture and need in Nietzsche’ highlighting the difference between Nietzsche’s affirmative biopolitics and critical theory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-95
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Political Power
Volume3
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010

Keywords

  • Affirmative biopolitics
  • Critical theory
  • Culture
  • Enlightenment
  • Nature

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