2017-01Thematic Section
The Human Difference: Beyond Nomotropism


The main theme of this essay is  f i n i t e  l i f e, which is the bedrock of modern biopolitics. In the series of lectures devoted to the ‘birth of biopolitics,’ Michel Foucault defines it as a new system of ‘governing the living’ based on the natural cycle of birth and death, and the law of genesis kai phtora, ‘becoming and perishing.’ Foucault’s answer to modern biopolitics is to accept its basic premise – that life is finite, and, consequently, reduced to the natural law of birth and death – and then slightly correct the naive liberal trust in the ‘naturalness’ of human existence by appropriating and internalizing the true essence of the biopolitical paradigm: the disciplining practices. This essay contests Foucault’s minimalist Neostoic program of the ‘care of the self’ by demonstrating that we can still hope for  a n o t h e r  f i n i t u d e  that refrains from any renaturalization of human existence.


human difference, biopolitics, philosophical anthropology, psychoanalysis

How to cite:

Bielik-Robson, Agata. “The Human Difference: Beyond Nomotropism.” Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture 1, no. 1 (2017): 18–28. https://doi.org/10.26319/EIDOS-001-HUMAN-DIFFERENCE.


Agata Bielik-Robson
Theology & Religious Studies, University of Nottingham
University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD, United Kingdon;
Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences
72 Nowy Świat Street, 00-330 Warsaw, Poland


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