Colin Gordon, Lebensfuhrung and veridiction: Weber, Foucault
Daoism is philosophical, political and devotional movement that emerged in early China as a critique of Confucian orthodoxy. At a crucial point in the development of the critique of political economy in the 20th and 21st centuries, a diverse array of thinkers converged upon Daoism as the image of an anti-authoritarian, non-coercive, and counter-governmental alternative to state power. Bringing together experts from sociology, political theory, cultural theory, German literary studies, philosophy, and Jewish studies to examine the composite image of ancient and modern China in contemporary political economy, this event engages with a little known, but geopolitically consequential lynchpin in the work of Max Weber, Walter Benjamin, and their interpreters. Exploring their interconnections and ramifications for the first time, the lectures grapple with how Daoism is integrated within the political economy of modern China, and within our understanding of political economy as a whole.
Colin Gordon is the editor and translator (with Graham Burchell and Peter Miller) of The Foucault Effect: Studies in Governmentality (Chicago UP, 1991) and Michel Foucault: Power/Knowledge (Pantheon, 1980). He has written extensively on political theory and history of political thought, social and cultural theory, Foucault and Weber, governmentality, and neoliberalism, and is a contributor to numerous essay collections and journal issues on Foucault’s writings and lectures.