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This chapter uses theories of autopoeisis as articulated by Niklas Luhmann to raise questions regarding the extent of our access to our environments, particularly the biological environment on which much of Malabou’s philosophy relies. Understood philosophically, poiesis demonstrates that there is no such thing as an objective environment for living systems, or for social systems, de-ontologizing all objects. Autopoiesis is shown to have affinities to Foucault’s “ethopoiesis,” forms of ethical self-making. The argument that there is no access to “life itself” challenges Malabou’s theories of sovereignty, particularly the claim that the biological and the symbolic are preserved in Foucault’s biopolitics.

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