A Body Worth Defending: Immunity, Biopolitics, and the by Ed Cohen

By Ed Cohen

Biological immunity as we all know it doesn't exist till the overdue 19th century. Nor does the idea that organisms safeguard themselves on the mobile or molecular degrees. for almost thousand years “immunity,” a criminal idea invented in historic Rome, serves nearly completely political and juridical ends. “Self-defense” additionally originates in a juridico-political context; it emerges within the mid-seventeenth century, in the course of the English Civil warfare, while Thomas Hobbes defines it because the first “natural right.” within the Eighties and Nineties, biomedicine fuses those political precepts into one, making a new important functionality, “immunity-as-defense.” In A physique worthy Defending, Ed Cohen unearths the unacknowledged political, monetary, and philosophical assumptions concerning the human physique that biomedicine comprises whilst it recruits immunity to protect the weak dwelling organism.

Inspired through Michel Foucault’s writings approximately biopolitics and biopower, Cohen strains the migration of immunity from politics and legislation into the domain names of drugs and technology. supplying a family tree of the concept that, he illuminates a fancy of wondering sleek our bodies that percolates via eu political, criminal, philosophical, financial, governmental, medical, and clinical discourses from the mid-seventeenth century in the course of the 20th. He indicates that through the past due 19th century, “the physique” actually incarnates glossy notions of personhood. during this vigorous cultural rumination, Cohen argues that by means of embracing the assumption of immunity-as-defense so solely, biomedicine naturalizes the person because the privileged concentration for picking out and treating ailment, thereby devaluing or obscuring ways to therapeutic located inside groups or collectives.

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