Abstract. Foucault’s early research on madness (and embryo of the later work on biopolitics) is critically linked with the biophilosophy originated in Germany in the XIX century and in particular with the figure of Kurt Goldstein, a German-Jewish neurologist whose influence on French thought has been crucial but rarely acknowledged. For Goldstein a healthy organism is not defined by normality but by normativity — that is the power to invent continuously new norms and adapt to new environmental conditions and new dangers. It is via Canguilhem that Foucault absorbed Goldstein’s notion of normativity to reverse it and apply it to a new reading of power apparatuses. The biomorphic is the concept reintroduced here against some transcendental definitions of biopower (namely contra Agamben’s ‘naked life’) and in order to recognise materialistically the ab-normal yet always normative forces of life — of a life that never imitates itself.
Ringvorlesung Herbstsemester 2012 Raum: KOL-G-209, Rämistrasse 71 Hauptgebäude Universität Zürich www.freieuni.ch