Philosophy, Biopolitics, and the Virus - Michael Lewis

Philosophy, Biopolitics, and the Virus

By Michael Lewis

  • Release Date: 2023-09-12
  • Genre: Philosophy


Every aspect of the pandemic was said to be ‘total,’ absolute, and undiscriminating. Its very name implied as much. The virus was everywhere, and a threat to us all. In Philosophy, Biopolitics, and the Virus: The Elision of an Alternative, Michael Lewis identifies three moments within the pandemic that were conceived in such a monolithic way: (1) ‘The Science,’ which had to be unanimous if it was to assume a sovereign role, and to have us ‘follow’ it; (2) ‘non-pharmaceutical interventions,’ which were regarded as the only possible response, without which death and disease would ‘run riot’; and (3) the one sole remedy that could bring about the promised end of the restrictions, to the exclusion of every other conception of medicine, treatment, and care. In each case of seeming universality, dissent immediately identifies you as a friend of the virus. And yet if all of these cases have been revealing their counterproductivity ever since, what are we to make of the elision of alternatives? Is it part of a more general tendency to thrust the questioning of hegemonic notions to the margins of respectable discourse, inhabited solely by the mad, bad, and dangerous to know?