The reproduction of life death : Derrida's La vie la mort /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:McCance, Dawne, 1944- author.
Edition:First edition.
Imprint:New York : Fordham University Press, 2019.
Description:xii, 191 pages ; 23 cm
Subject:Derrida, Jacques. -- Vie la mort.
Format: Print Book
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Notes:Includes bibliographical references (pages 177-185) and index.
Summary:Based on archival translations of Derrida's as-yet untapped (1975-76) La vie la mort seminar, McCance's Derrida and life death offers an unprecedented study of Derrida's engagement both with the logic of reproduction held by 1970s molecular biology and genetics and with reproductivity as theorized and performed by Freud in Beyond the Pleasure Principle.
Other form:Electronic version: McCance, Dawne, 1944- Reproduction of life death. First edition. New York : Fordham University Press, 2019 9780823283934
Review by Choice Review

A renowned Derrida scholar, McCance (Univ. of Manitoba) offers a detailed and wide-ranging analysis of Derrida's La vie la mort, a seminar in which Derrida provided an extensive presentation of his understanding and treatment of the interplay between the life sciences and philosophy. As it was with Derrida, the focus for McCance is identifying, revealing, and overturning oppositions and dualities--among them life and death, human and animal, and internal and supplemental. Offering an in-depth examination of such oppositions in the history of life sciences, McCance engages closely with the work and influence of François Jacob, Sigmund Freud, Claude Bernard, and even Alexander Graham Bell in order to demonstrate relationships that underlay and reinforced conceptualizations about life, such as vitalism/materialism, production/reproduction, and knowledge/power. The last of these in particular, McCance argues, was central to the eugenics movement of the previous century and remains central to bioethical concerns relating to human interactions with nonhuman animals today. Along the way, McCance spells out how Derrida saw these issues, e.g., biological and biographical, also relating to pedagogical ones, with knowledge being treated as reproduction of information, practices, and goals, all the while highlighting their social/ethical import. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, researchers, faculty. --David B. Boersema, emeritus, Pacific University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Choice Review