By Dave Boothroyd
By no means has a reconsideration of where of substances in our tradition been extra pressing than it really is this day. tradition on medicinal drugs addresses issues comparable to the character of cognizance, 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 reminiscent of Freud, Benjamin, Sartre, Derrida, Foucault and Deleuze, arguing that the tips and ideas during which modernity has attained its degree of self-understanding are themselves, in a variety of methods, the goods of encounters with medicines and their results. In each one case the reader is directed to the issues at which medications determine within the formulations of ‘high theory’, and it really is published how such pondering isn't itself a drug-free region. as a result, there's no floor on which to tell apart ‘culture’ from ‘drug culture’ within the first place.Culture on medicinal drugs bargains a unique method and advent to cultural idea for novices to the topic, at the same time proposing an unique thesis about the articulation of contemporary inspiration via medicinal drugs and drug tradition.
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Extra resources for Culture on Drugs: Narco-Cultural Studies of High Modernity
G. Frazer records how the sacriﬁce of human scapegoats (pharmakoi) was once employed by the Athenians in order to restore cosmic balance and political legitimacy: 40 Culture on drugs The Athenians regularly maintained a number of degraded and useless beings at public expense; when any calamity, such as a plague drought or famine befell the city, they sacriﬁced two of these outcasts as scapegoats. (Frazer, 1971: 758) The use of the pharmakoi as a cultural prosthesis appears to have a direct connection with representation of narcotics in general today, as personal, chemical prostheses.
This is, after all, not a proposition that will be justiﬁed here on the basis of a grand thesis concerned to prove that there is a symbiotic relationship between drugs and culture, and therefore by a principle of inclusion also between drugs and that bit of culture we call theoretical critique or reﬂection. Instead, I present a series of examples; experimental sample texts, aimed at testing only whether such a grand conclusion would be too outrageous. ) Adorno provided perhaps the truest image of intellectual work when he said that it was like tossing bottled messages into the sea of communication: this implies that every ‘message’ is always also an experiment in communication – and this book conforms to this condition.
To theorise about drugs openly and open-endedly, without prejudice and free of the pressure to produce results that either conﬁrm or reject in one form or another the current polarised politics of drugs, involves the attempt ‘to be true to drugs’ as agents of differentiation. It is to aim at a conceptual and critical thinking of them otherwise. This involves, ﬁrst and foremost, acknowledging the undecidability of ‘drugs’ and the investigation of their cultural inscriptions: If you don’t experience some undecidability, then the decision would simply be the application of a programme, the consequence of a premise or of a matrix.
Culture on Drugs: Narco-Cultural Studies of High Modernity by Dave Boothroyd