Metaphysics and Powerlessness

Leonard Lawlor

in The Implications of Immanence

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print December 2006 | ISBN: 9780823226535
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235742 | DOI:

Series: Perspectives in Continental Philosophy

Metaphysics and Powerlessness

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Philosophy of Religion


Show Summary Details


This chapter lays out the structure of “life-ism.” The chapter is organized into four steps. First, it argues that, despite differences, Heidegger's conception of Nietzsche's idea that life is will to power, and Foucault's conception of the modern regime of power as bio-power, are similar if not identical conceptions. Both will to power and bio-power are bound up with the Cartesian conception of subjectivity. Second, following the well-known distinction between lived-experience (le vécu) and the living being (le vivant), it examines the ambiguity in which phenomenological lived-experience consists. The third step involves following an opening in Heidegger's thought, in particular, in his 1929 address “What Is Metaphysics?” This address turns death into a process within life; death becomes Verendlichung (“finitization”). The conclusion, the fourth step, turns to the fact that “life-ism” follows the line of the inability to preserve and enhance life. Thus, it resists the regime of bio-will to power and tries to twist free of metaphysics once and for all.

Keywords: life-ism; bio-power; Foucault; Heidegger; lived-experience; living being

Chapter.  9181 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Fordham University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.