Georges Canguilhem et la question de la « subjectivité » vitale


Georges Canguilhem and the Issue of Vital “Subjectivity”
This paper outlines a hypothesis regarding the close connection between two problems in Georges Canguilhem’s work. The first problem is that of Canguilhem’s insistence to include considerations about natural selection in his work and of the role that this notion could play therein. The second problem consists in Canguilhem’s tendency to often use the term “life” as the subject of his sentences, even though this tendency may seem to at least partially contradict some of the central theses advanced in his philosophy. This paper attempts to show that these two problems should not be viewed as being isolated from one another, that there is a strong connection between the two and that a certain interpretation of the first one allows us to make sense of the second. To put it otherwise, the aim of this paper is to show that a particular interpretation of the role of natural selection in Canguilhem’s work could help explain why “life” plays the role of a preferred grammatical subject in his writings.

Keywords: Canguilhem, subject, life, natural selection, normal, pathological, normativity

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