What Makes Life Worth Living On Pharmacology

ISBN-10: 0745662714

ISBN-13: 9780745662718

Edition: 2013

List price: $35.95
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Description: In the aftermath of the First World War, the poet Paul Valéry wrote of a ‘crisis of spirit’, brought about by the instrumentalization of knowledge and the destructive subordination of culture to profit. Recent events demonstrate all too clearly that that the stock of mind, or spirit, continues to fall. The economy is toxically organized around the pursuit of short–term gain, supported by an infantilizing, dumbed–down media. Advertising technologies make relentless demands on our attention, reducing us to idiotic beasts, no longer capable of living. Spiralling rates of mental illness show that the fragile life of the mind is at breaking point. Underlying these multiple symptoms is consumer capitalism, which systematically immiserates those whom it purports to liberate. Returning to Marx’s theory, Stiegler argues that consumerism marks a new stage in the history of proletarianization. It is no longer just labour that is exploited, pushed below the limits of subsistence, but the desire that is characteristic of human spirit. The cure to this malaise is to be found in what Stiegler calls a ‘pharmacology of the spirit’. Here, pharmacology has nothing to do with the chemical supplements developed by the pharmaceutical industry. The pharmakon, defined as both cure and poison, refers to the technical objects through which we open ourselves to new futures, and thereby create the spirit that makes us human. By reference to a range of figures, from Socrates, Simondon and Derrida to the child psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, Stiegler shows that technics are both the cause of our suffering and also what makes life worth living.

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Book details

List price: $35.95
Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: Polity Press
Publication date: 5/3/2013
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 200
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.770
Language: English

Acknowledgements
Introduction
Pharmacology of Spirit
Apocalypse Without God
Pathogenesis, Normativity and the 'Infidelity of the Milieu'
Pharmacology of Nuclear Fire, Generalized Automation and Total Proletarianization
Pharmacology of Nihilism
The Thing, Kenosis and the Power to Infinitize
Pharmacology of Capital
Economizing Means Taking Care: The Three Limits of Capitalism
Pharmacology of the Question
The Time of the Question
Disposable Children
Notes and References
Index
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