№ 2, 2020
Abstract. The article attempts to explain the origins of modern biopolitics. Its purpose is to show that biopolitics as a technology for governing the state and society is the phenomenon as ancient as the Western tradition of the political thought itself. Focusing primarily on the “Politics” of Aristotle and Plato’s dialogues “Politeia” and “The Laws”, A.Yarkeev demonstrates that many of the political and philosophical categories of the ancient Greek thought of the classical period are essentially biopolitical in nature, and the very method of developing political arguments about how to govern polis, largely anticipates modern biopolitical theory and practice. In their political treatises, Plato and Aristotle do not just thoroughly consider all the central topics of biopolitics (sexual relations, marriage, childcare, health care, education, upbringing, security, etc.). For them these topics are crucial for discussing politics and the art of governance.
The analysis of the classical texts of Aristotle and Plato on political art conducted by Yarkeev allows us to conclude that the origins of modern biopolitics lie in the ancient Greek concept of a human being as a “political animal”. This view simultaneously lays the foundation for both politics and bio- politics, the constellation of which (their structural combination, semantic exchange and interaction) defines Western technology of power.
Main Page ~ Authors ~ Yarkeev Alexey