Normativity of Life and Social Normalization

Ondřej Švec



The present paper is based on the analysis of Georges Canguilhem's and Michel Foucault's conception of norms and seeks to define the reciprocal relation between biological and social normativity. Both Canguilhem and Foucault are challenging our usual ideas about the manner in which the norms are exercising their power upon us. Following the interpretation proposed by Pierre Macherey, the paper tries to define the power of norms in terms of their "immanence and productivity". Such a conception prevents us from understanding the norm according to the model of Law, which is imposed on its subjects from outside. The final part of the paper seeks to determine, which kind of individualization or subjectivation this new concept of norms disqualifies and which possibilities does it leave open for autonomous singularity within the normative field.


norms; normativity; individual; Georges Canguilhem; Michel Foucault

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TEORIE VĚDY / THEORY OF SCIENCE – journal for interdisciplinary studies of science is published twice a year by the Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences (Centre for Science, Technology, and Society Studies). ISSN 1210-0250 (Print) ISSN 1804-6347 (Online) MK ČR E 18677 web: /// email: