chapter  3
17 Pages

Bio-inscriptionality

The Eternal Return and Reproduction in Derrida’s Life/Death Seminar
WithKir Kuiken

This chapter examines a seminar on life/death by Derrida whose text has only recently been fully translated into English, which is contemporaneous with some of central work in this area by Foucault. It takes seriously the place of Derrida in reimagining the possibilities of biotheory, and the life/death seminar is read as a touchstone in this regard. For his part, Derrida is not simply interested in undoing the metaphysical oppositions in a scientist like Jacob’s desire to ascertain the “logic of life.” As this chapter shows, Derrida pays close attention to how inscription and transcription in biology maintains a tropological presence in philosophical theorization. The point is not just to construct a map of these readings in Derrida’s work, but to introduce a concept of “vicariance” into the mantras of biopolitics themselves.