Stefano Piroddi: "Threshold: Biopolitics and Modernity Reconsidered"

On January 29, Savle Tsereteli Institute of Philosophy organized a scientific colloquium, where Stefano Piroddi talked about the concept of threshold in the context of biopolitics and modernity. 

The independent, yet connected concepts of biopolitics and modernity have given rise to multiple understandings and theories of theoretical and practical philosophy. This colloquium was focused on stressing the importance of modernity as just one of many possible temporal frameworks in which to locate biopolitics. Piroddi started his investigation with Michel Foucault, after which he considered extensively the works of Giorgio Agamben and Franz Kafka as two modes of locating biopolitics. During the analysis, the speaker put forward the concept of threshold as fruitful for deactivating a rigid and stiff conceptualisation of both biopolitics and modernity. He highlighted the different temporal understandings that Foucault and Agamben produce regarding biopolitics. Piroddi also considered Franz Kafka’s parable ‘Before the Law’, as having the potential to stress the ambiguous ontology behind both concepts. Ultimately, the final thesis was that biopolitics and modernity are both characterized by fluidity, and that the concept of threshold is both used by Foucault, Agamben and Kafka to settle and anchor the two together. The implications for research are extensive as this brings to the fore a misunderstanding when it comes to both spatiality and temporality with regard to the philosophy of power and the philosophy of life.

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