Ageing and Dying
15th-16th September 2012
The Leverhulme project in Bioethics and Biopolitics (CIBB) is happy to invite you to its 2nd International and Transdisciplinary Workshop: ‘Ageing and Dying’
This two-day workshop will take place at the Palazzo Papafava, Calle de la Rachetta
Cannaregio 3764, 30121 Venezia Italy.
Human life is mortal life. This ontological claim, in turn, presupposes an epistemological, ethical, and political revolution: if death is not simply outside life, but creates a tension within life itself, then death itself needs fully to be integrated within our lives, private and public, individual and political. There needs to be a politics of birth, death and ageing, as well as an epistemology of life. This is precisely the point at which the stakes of biopolitics emerge. Life itself falls within structures of power and becomes a political object as soon as it becomes a question of preserving it from its other, namely, death. In order to better preserve and protect individual and species’ life, an increase and extension of governmentality is required. It is under these conditions that the ‘politics of life’ tend to become both bio-politics and thanatopolitics. The intrinsic risk is one in which, in order to address those problems, biopowers need to decide and legislate on what can be considered as ‘truly’ alive, and establish a rigid and normative hierarchy, with human life in its actual existence at the top of the scale, and other living beings as inferior forms of life. This situation generates questions of ethics and jurisprudence that deserve to be explored in depth.