Anthropotechnics and the two forms of domination

30 Jun

If there is a close relationship between Sloterdijk’s thought and Heidegger and some parallel with the thought of Hans Georg Gadamer, the link between German thought and names such as Ernst Cassieer, Max Scheler, Arnold Gehler and Hellmuth Plessner leads us both to a philosophical anthropology and to the returns to an almost forgotten perspective of the “sciences of the spirit”.

Of these authors, some very close to the Nazi projects, he takes advantage of the idea of ​​man as a deficient being, who does not have natural means (claws, teeth or horns, for example) to defend himself and must seek in artificial means, but does not differentiate them from “spiritual” means

It is not by chance that his work draws parallels with Nietzsche’s “Dead God”, the criticism of Heidegger’s humanism, but his work seeks an original anthropogenesis, and his anthropotechnics are inserted in it, especially what is written in “You have to change your life. ” where he differentiates two forms of artificial production of human behavior that have flourished since antiquity in the so-called “high cultures”, undergoing a profound transformation in modernity, the first is the production of some men by other men, which he calls techniques of “leaving -se operate”, while the second is the production of men from themselves, which would then be the “autos” – the techniques of Operation” (Sloterdijk, 2009).

On these two types of anthropotechnics, he proposes to rethink, on a basis of philosophical anthropology, the Foucauldian concepts of “biopolitics” and “aesthetics of existence”, with similar ideas in these two poles, the domestication of the other, hence his idea of ​​the human park, and self-colonization, which his disciple Byung-Chul Han will call self-exploitation.

Sloterdijk’s basic difference is the idea of ​​”Improvement of the world” (Weltverbesserung) based on the improvement of populations that dominates Western theory since Plato is exchanged for a “improvement of the self” (Selbsverbesserung) and does so with the “technologies of the self”, and for this men do it as a “society of exercises”.

For Byung-Chul Han, these exercises are controlled by technologies of the “self” that each time refer to psychological exercises, and so he calls it “psychopolitics”, since they believe that it is self-realization that transforms their lives, although they practice a “self-exploitation”.

Both Foucault, Sloterdijk and Byung Chul Han, and this is at the origin of Nietzsche’s thought, that the emergence of ascetic practices provoked an anthropogenesis that divided humans into two categories: the virtuous and the non-virtuous, while in the exercise society, there is an unskilled asceticism.

É Chul Han draws attention to the categories of active life and contemplative life, based on the thoughts of Hannah Arendt and Saint Gregory of Nazianzo (or Nazianzen), Sloterdijk is stuck in his criticism of Scheler, who sees only the person as “ something” besides his acts, and in this he sees a “spirit”.

SLOTERDIJK, P. (2018) Tens de mudar sua vida. Lisboa: Relógio d´Água.



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