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

By Ed Cohen

Biological immunity as we all know it doesn't exist until eventually the past due 19th century. Nor does the basis that organisms protect themselves on the mobile or molecular degrees. for almost thousand years “immunity,” a felony notion invented in old Rome, serves virtually completely political and juridical ends. “Self-defense” additionally originates in a juridico-political context; it emerges within the mid-seventeenth century, through the English Civil battle, whilst Thomas Hobbes defines it because the first “natural right.” within the Eighties and Eighteen 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 in regards to the human physique that biomedicine contains whilst it recruits immunity to defend the susceptible dwelling organism.

Inspired by way of Michel Foucault’s writings approximately biopolitics and biopower, Cohen strains the migration of immunity from politics and legislations into the domain names of drugs and technological know-how. providing a family tree of the idea that, he illuminates a posh of pondering sleek our bodies that percolates via ecu political, criminal, philosophical, monetary, governmental, clinical, and scientific discourses from the mid-seventeenth century in the course of the 20th. He indicates that by means of the past due 19th century, “the physique” actually incarnates sleek notions of personhood. during this full of life cultural rumination, Cohen argues that by means of embracing the belief of immunity-as-defense so solely, biomedicine naturalizes the person because the privileged concentration for settling on and treating affliction, thereby devaluing or obscuring methods to therapeutic located inside of groups or collectives.

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