In this seminar we shall discuss excerpts from Spinoza’s
, focusing on his conception of power, which already involves a shift from what Foucault calls “sovereign power” to “biopolitics”—i.e., from a form of power that threatens its subjects to one that protects them and which, therefore, is not dependent on obedience but rather feeds on desire and love. But, unlike Foucault, Spinoza’s work indicates that biopolitics concerns the greatest good not of the biological body but of the body and mind insofar as they can be conceived under a species of eternity. We shall conclude by discussing what Spinoza’s conception of the body may entail for grasping the workings of biopolitics.
We shall focus on the following parts from Spinoza’s
: preface and chapters IV, XIV-XVI, and XX.
Further recommended reading:
, Part V.
Foucault, anything on biopolitics, e.g.,
Society Must Be Defended
, chapter 11, the lecture of 17 March 1976 (New York: Picador, 2003, 239-264)
To participate, please RSVP with Siarhei Biareishyk -