In this paper, we discuss the foucaultian and agambenian concepts of biopolitics. This comparison between Foucault and Agamben is divided in three parts. First of all, we show how ontologistic and anti-historical nuances of Agamben’s concept of biopolitics don’t allow to grasp both the socio-economic contradictions and the positive aspects of biopolitics. In this section we reflect also on the theoretical aporia of Agamben’s interpretation of Aristotelian bios. In the second place, we show the agambenian misunderstanding of the relationship between subject and self in the last Foucault. In the end, we compare the foucaultian and agambenian concepts of public health.
The immunity/community plexus has found an extraordinary and tragic bench test in the recent years of the pandemic. The idea that the community can only survive if it activates a problematic dispositive of immunisation touches, in these years more than ever, the question of democracy. The latter struggles between identity as immediacy and representation as transcendence. Roberto Esposito has tried to envisage a mediation between these two principles by means of the idea of ‘institution’, which serves to counter the furious identification of all in one. But does this idea of immanence and horizontality not risk evoking other forms of spontaneous morphogenesis of political-legal orders? Doesn’t the critique of sovereignty end up resolving itself in the vitalistic exaltation of the unbridledness of those powers that underlie it? Does the institution succeed in standing between these two perspectives (Weberian formalism and Foucauldian biopolitics)?
In the preface to the Theological Political Treatise Spinoza presents uncertainty as an intractable problem in political and social life. Scholars have indirectly examined uncertainty’s role in TTP, focusing on fear, hope, and superstition. This article takes a comprehensive view of the multiple parts of uncertainty, ultimately showing uncertainty to be both a problem and a source of social vitality. It argues that Spinoza’s central means of addressing destructive forms of uncertainty is through the advancement of what I call constructive forms of uncertainty. Instead of recognizing only the potential dangers and pitfalls accompanying uncertainty, this paper argues that uncertainty can constructively support political stability and a free state. This interpretation presents a fresh reading of the role of uncertainty in the TTP and points toward Spinoza’s abiding concern with uncertainty throughout his oeuvre.
Arendt assigns to humanity as a political actor the ‘cosmopolitan’ responsibility to defend the right to have rights. A prerequisite for this to be at least possible is that a reform of the state and international organisation is initiated in order to establish a ‘cosmopolitan system of relations’, a system of federal entities based on the council system of government, where the right to have rights can be agreed upon and guaranteed and, at the same time, recognised by citizens and always actively defended locally. In anticipation of this reform, Arendt would be in favour of guaranteeing all residents, including de jure and de facto stateless people, the possibility of participating in political life in the country of arrival, and thus acquiring a political even before legal citizenship.
La legge della fiducia by Tommaso Greco is not just a good book: it is an important book. Its well-deserved success clearly testifies such a relevance. In my comment, however, I propose a reading of trust in terms of a gift, and not of a law. Crucially, taking up the work done by Jacques Derrida on his essay devoted to Marcel Mauss’s analysis of gift, I will attempt to show how trust can be interpreted as a pure – and not only as a ceremonial – gift.
The article reconstructs and discusses Tommaso Greco’s thesis according to which the legal system as a whole functions on foundations that do not depend solely on the threat of the sanction, and raises the question of whether trust is a necessary or, rather, purely ancillary condition of normativity.
In this reply I focus on three issues related to the reading of Rousseau’s Discourse on Inequality : that of the pure state of nature, that of the relationship between self-love and pity, and that of the history of ethical and political corruption. Furthermore, I draw attention to the role that the Social Contract, in continuity with the Discourse, attributes to revolution.
In Tommaso Greco's book, La legge della fiducia, a kind of double game is used to radically read the law: on the one hand, the verticality/horizontality relationship is observed, and on the other hand, the social and normative mechanisms of recognition are read as the result of a circular relationship between the subjects of law and institutions.
Is the Hobbesian state of nature a valid paradigm for international relations between states? Starting from the territory of ICT ((Information and Communication Technologies), this paper explores some issues related to cyberwar and cyberspace and their implications for international relations. My conclusion is that there are good reasons to be sceptical about the very existence of international law, just because this explanatory paradigm should also apply to this area.
Focus. Un'idea di cosmopolitismo nel pensiero di Hannah Arendt (?) - Symposium I. Tommaso Greco, "La legge della fiducia. Alle radici del diritto", Laterza, Roma-Bari 2021 - Symposium II. Francesco Toto, L’origine e la storia. Il Discorso sull’ineguaglianza di Rousseau, ETS Pisa 2020 - Symposium III. Stefan Lorenz Sorgner, We Have Always Been Cyborgs, Digital Data, Gene Technologies, and an Ethics of Transhumanism, Bristol University Press, Bristol 2021 - Varia
The article attempts to set up a dialogue between Tommaso Greco's analysis of the relationship between law and ethics starting from the experience of trust and the perspective provided by phenomenological philosophy. The paper identifies three dimensions, one epistemic-epistemological, one ontological, and one ethical-normative as the philosophical backgrounds of Greco’s discourse. It is thus clarified how the rethinking of the relationship between law and ethics is further based on a revision of the fundamental concepts of reality and subjectivity.
In the boundless literature dedicated to Hannah Arendt’s thought, interpreters and commentators have rarely focussed on cosmopolitanism, even for reasons that appear well founded at first sight. Taraborrelli's book finally fills the gap. It offers a clear, coherent and systematic reconstruction of her political thought sub specie: cosmopolitanism to demonstrate how the thesis - according to which Arendt voluntarily abstained from any cosmopolitan perspective for various reasons - does not have reason to exist. To the theses proposed in the book, the commentator adds a further thesis and namely that H. Arendt's theory of action allows to focus on a look that retrieves a vision of political notions such as “bottom-up” practices through the action of they who recognize themselves as politically equal on a common meeting ground. In this case the political sphere arises directly from acting-together and sharing words and deeds despite the different positions and the resulting variety of perspectives. The most important consequence of the perspective is that its field of application is not established by state borders or legal jurisdictions, but by political action itself, whose scope extends potentially to all citizens of the world.
Although Hannah Arendt considered cosmopolitanism extraneous to her political theory, Angela Taraborrelli proposes her own original reading of a number of motifs that show how the theory of a more "viable" cosmopolitanism than traditional conceptions is present in Arendt's thought. Taraborrelli believes that for the analysis she wants to conduct the “right to have rights” and “plurality” play a relevant role and that statelessness and crime of genocide are the very starting point of Arendt's political thought. She also analyses several other themes, such as: the federal principle, the council system, the International Criminal Court and Code, and cosmopolitan citizenship, highlighting their close conceptual connection and interdependence. Coexisting in this conception of cosmopolitanism is the need for human beings to relate to one another on an equal footing and, at the same time, to preserve their diversity of history, culture traditions.
Stefan Sorgner’s We Have Always Been Cyborgs is a more conservative book than it seems. It advances a bioconservative, ‘cishuman’ approach to transhumanism that might have met the approval of Julian Huxley, who coined ‘transhumanism’ in the 1950s, but would be seen as too limited by the people who revived the movement in the 1990s. In particular, Sorgner stresses the biomedical side over the artificial intelligence side of cyborganization. Indeed, his arguments tend to be dismissive of the latter’s aspirations, which I argue is likely to put him on the wrong side of history, given how science and technology has radically reshaped our sense of both who we are and what is possible. In addition, Sorgner fails to take seriously the emergence of ‘cyborg rights’ movement as a ‘posthumanist’ phenomenon.
Stefan Lorenz Sorgner's ‘We Have Always Been Cyborgs’ is an opinionated and original take on what it means to be a transhumanist. Although I find myself in agreement with a lot of what Sorgner has to say, I nevertheless object to some of the core philosophical underpinnings to his views. In particular, in this article, I will argue that his relativistic, pessimistic, and anti-utopianist stance should be rejected. Instead, transhumanists should embrace objectivism, optimism and utopianism.
In this article I respond to the questions raised in the forum discussing my book La legge della fiducia (Laterza, 2021). I focus in particular on the role of the philosophy of law, as well as on ways to develop further our understanding of the relationship between law and trust.
This paper reflects upon the book “La legge della fiducia” by pointing out three main issues: a) the urgency of bringing back to the fore the ‘horizontal’ dimension of the law, looking at it as a precious form of social engineering; b) the need to overcome the unrealistic model of human personality embedded in the idealtype of homo oeconomicus; c) the usefulness of legal education reforms aimed at emphasizing the interdisciplinary dimension and the cooperative attitude of the law.
The article comments on Tommaso Greco's book on trust, and specifically analyzes law's ambivalent relationship with trust. The article connects the issue of trust to some concrete cases, such as the relationship between the parties in the trial and informed consent in health care. Finally, the article explores a research perspective from Greco's book, concerning the relationship between privilege, oppression, and willingness to trust.
The author attempts to develop five critical research guidelines from Tommaso Greco’s work entitled “The Law of Trust”. The five critical perspectives are dedicated to: the autonomy of the subject; the nature of solidarity; the paradigm of equity; the claim of the subject as the foundation of the legal system; the responsibility in obeying and disobeying a legal system. The premise of these five perspectives, which are both an instrument of analysis and proposals for in-depth study, is recognised in the general merit of Greco’s book of attempting a refounding of law on the basis of the recognition of the protagonism of the human subject.
The figure of the legislator is one of the most controversial elements of Rousseau's entire political system. It is a symptom of difficulties: safeguard the contents of the social pact from possible degeneration and ensure that the general will can be translated into effective criteria for the decisions of citizens, who are called upon to be their own legislators. In this paper, it is hypothesized that the legislator is called upon to carry out a work of transformation of mankind that finds its profound reason in the failure to develop sociability in human beings. For this purpose, an analysis of Rousseau's anthropology is indispensable. Furthermore, it is necessary to dwell on Rousseau's constant criticism of the Enlightenment. The issue reveals some peculiar profiles of Rousseau's thought such as, not least, a latent disillusionment.