I don’t have any ready topic for my thesis and I hope our seminar will help me to develop it. Anyway I’m thinking to conduct my research in the field of applied ethics, particularly I would like to focus on ethical aspects of mass media, such as journalism, broadcasting, and the most interesting for me – advertising, public relations and new social media. Now I’m on stage of finding philosophically adequate way to study this problematics.
Doing a research in the field of applied ethics implies, on the one hand, looking at the issue from the perspective of general moral standards and values. In the case of ethics of mass media these means questioning about freedom, responsibility, truth and honesty, privacy etc. On the other hand, it requires an attempt of studying these general moral standards as an ethical basis of particular institutions and structures in society.
I see as an important goal of my project an attempt to look at ethics of mass media through social, political, economic and aesthetic perspectives and to find what are universal values in communication as a field of human activity and to analyze their outcomes in specific situations.
My interest is inspired by Clifford Christians’s research in the field of communication ethics, as well as on Manuel Castells and Niklas Luhmann philosophy of communication, and partly by post-structuralist philosophical tradition.
My master’s thesis will focus on the post-structuralist concept of biopolitics and, more specifically, on biopolitical production. Biopolitics implies a system where certain kinds of human beings with certain kinds subjectivities and bodies are being produced through a complex apparatuses i.e. politics is targeted to have an impact on life itself. These include macro level institutions, such as, state-related institutions e.g. army, hospital, school as well as micro level institutions, for instance, family, different social organizations and everyday practices. This is not to say that behind these familiar everyday institutions there would be a kind of secret society pulling strings like master of the puppets; on the contrary, we are only defining a quite new form of power in human history and the consequences of that power.
This biopolitical form of power is closely intertwined with the rise of capitalism and, as Foucault for example claims, capitalism would not have been possible without a new kind of grip on people; what was needed was docile and healthy human beings to work in the factories, to fight the nationalistic/imperialistic wars and to reproduce those forms of subjectivity possible to be subjugated by capitalism and power. Within this development there were new needs for scientific knowledge of human beings through which power had again new ways to affect on people. Here the crucial concept is “normal/normality” which is an operative tool in order to put people in specific and useful categories from the perspective of capitalism and the most powerful forms of power.
The main issue in my thesis will be the role of production. Therefore, I will start with Marx’ problematization of the relationship between mode of production and ideology. This will be only a historical background though and not a substantial analysis of Marx himself. Then I’ll present the link between Marx and post-structuralism, namely Louis Althusser and his theoretic work which had a great influence on the thinking of Foucault and Deleuze and Quattari.
Then the main part of the thesis will be an analysis of the Foucaultian development of the concept and how other people, such as Deleuze and Quattari, contributed on the themes problematized by biopolitics.
In the end I will focus on the philosophical and political implications of the biopolitics and then, perhaps, utilize more recent writers, e.g. Michael Hardt & Antonio Negri, Paolo Virno, Mario Tronti etc..
Theory of Just War in the Post-Heroic Age
- Introduction. War as a matter of philosophy.
1.1. Philosophy of war as a branch of practical philosophy.
1.2. Historic-philosophic premises of philosophy of war.
2. What is war? The problem of definition of war.
2.1. Traditional (descriptive) definitions.
2.2. Normative definitions
3. Just war theories and modern wars.
3.1. Justice and law: critical observations.
3.2. Ethos and ethics of conventional war.
3.3. Existentia militaria: extraethical justifications of self-defense and self-sacrifice.
4. Ethical dimensions of modern wars.
4.1. Humanitarian interventions.
4.2. Informational warfare.
4.3. Network warfare.
4.4. War on terror