By Dave Boothroyd
By no means has a reconsideration of where of gear in our tradition been extra pressing than it really is at the present time. tradition on medicinal drugs addresses topics resembling the character of awareness, language and the physique, alienation, selfhood, the picture and virtuality and the nature/culture dyad and lifestyle. It then explores how those are expressed within the paintings of key figures comparable to Freud, Benjamin, Sartre, Derrida, Foucault and Deleuze, arguing that the information and ideas during which modernity has attained its degree of self-understanding are themselves, in numerous methods, the goods of encounters with medicines and their results. In each one case the reader is directed to the issues at which medicines determine within the formulations of ‘high theory’, and it really is printed how such considering isn't itself a drug-free sector. for this reason, there isn't any floor on which to tell apart ‘culture’ from ‘drug culture’ within the first place.Culture on medicinal drugs deals a singular strategy and advent to cultural idea for rookies to the topic, at the same time featuring an unique thesis about the articulation of contemporary notion through medicines and drug tradition.
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Extra info for Culture on Drugs: Narco-Cultural Studies of High Modernity
As Derrida says: If a speech could be purely present, unveiled naked, offered up in person in its truth, without detours of a signiﬁer foreign to it, if at the limit an undeferred logos were possible, it would not seduce anyone. (Derrida, 1981b: 71 citing Plato’s Phaedrus: 230d–e) It would not be able to ‘seduce’ Socrates out of town. Socrates is seduced out of town not by the prospect of ‘words that force one to wait for them under cover of a solid object’ (Derrida, 1981b: 71), which might be thought to satiate the hunger for ‘knowledge’, but by the prospect of a ﬂuid engagement with Phaedrus, when they partake of the drug together.
When Derrida proposes a further substitution: ‘Writing is not only a drug, it is a game (paidia)’ (1995: 234) he is evoking his earlier discussion of the relationship between the drug and play which serves as a mis-en-scène to Plato’s Pharmacy, and proposing a recreational, pharmaceutical alternative to the metaphysical addiction which ‘goes nowhere’. For any writing or drug-taking to be of value it must enter the game, it must be ‘well-dosed’ and not the arbitrary addition of ‘any old thing’; not the sterile conformity to ‘“methodological Medusa’s blood 39 prudence”, the “norms of objectivity” and the “safeguards of knowledge”’ (Derrida, 1981b: 62).
To some extent, such a cultural retheorisation of drugs and a deeper understanding of the power of drugs is today being forced by technological developments which promise to go ‘beyond drugs’ as we currently know them. Advances in genetic medicine and the prospect of other new types of biological interventions in human life are already producing new ideas about our relationship to both our bodies and our identities and who or what should have jurisdiction over them. For instance, the possible production of ‘ideal’ types of human individuals – be these aesthetically or athletically speciﬁed, engineered for longevity or maintained through body part replacements (Frankenstein’s experiment updated to the age of anti-rejection drugs, transgenics and stem cell technology).