In Biodeconstruction,Francesco Vitale demonstrates the key role that the question of life plays in Jacques Derrida’s work. In the seminar La vie la mort (1975), Derrida engages closely with the life sciences, especially biology and evolution theory. Connecting this line of thought to his analysis of cybernetics in Of Grammatology, Vitale shows how Derrida develops a notion of biological life as itself a sort of text that is necessarily open onto further articulations and grafts. This sets the stage for the deconstruction of the traditional opposition between life and death, conceiving of death as an internal condition of the constitution of the living rather than being the opposite of life. It also provides the basis for the deconstruction of the rigidly deterministic concept of the genetic program, an insight that anticipates recent achievements of biological research in epigenetics and sexual reproduction. Finally, Vitaleargues that this framework can enrich our understanding of Derrida’s late work devoted to political issues, connecting his use of the autoimmunitarian lexicon to the theory of cellular suicide in biology.

Biodeconstruction. Jacques Derrida and the Life Sciences

Francesco Vitale
2018-01-01

Abstract

In Biodeconstruction,Francesco Vitale demonstrates the key role that the question of life plays in Jacques Derrida’s work. In the seminar La vie la mort (1975), Derrida engages closely with the life sciences, especially biology and evolution theory. Connecting this line of thought to his analysis of cybernetics in Of Grammatology, Vitale shows how Derrida develops a notion of biological life as itself a sort of text that is necessarily open onto further articulations and grafts. This sets the stage for the deconstruction of the traditional opposition between life and death, conceiving of death as an internal condition of the constitution of the living rather than being the opposite of life. It also provides the basis for the deconstruction of the rigidly deterministic concept of the genetic program, an insight that anticipates recent achievements of biological research in epigenetics and sexual reproduction. Finally, Vitaleargues that this framework can enrich our understanding of Derrida’s late work devoted to political issues, connecting his use of the autoimmunitarian lexicon to the theory of cellular suicide in biology.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/4712343
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