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Calculating the Human: Universal Calculability in the Age of by Luigi Doria (auth.)

By Luigi Doria (auth.)

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23) with biological or cognitive science calculations. According to him, this trend can be seen in its typical form in a few major fields of scientific research that are intensely focused on trying to explain the overall well-being of the individual in terms of genetically determined brain mechanisms or of homeostatic balances or imbalances. The biogenetic sciences are considered by Brusa and Tarizzo (2009) as a field in which arises the epidemiological dimension that, in its constant morphogenesis and its relationship with the above-mentioned economistic roots, characterizes the scene of the calculation of life.

One of the angles from which the ambiguous power of quality of life can be interpreted is that referring to the spread of governmental rationalities and the way in which these connect the increasingly precise diagnosis of the state of individual well-being and that of the population at large. Under the umbrella of quality of life (and of its measurement at the individual and population level) the construction of the ‘responsible subject’ occurs, which means conceptualizing the individual’s own responsibility and freedom in terms of capacity and duty to set up a diagnostic and evaluative inspection of his or her own life, in its entirety.

The socio-political character of the economy of qualities is thus linked to the open nature of qualification and to the constitutively precarious and contestable nature of products and markets. Qualification is understood as a movement that leads to the continuous Calculation, Quality and Life: A First Look 41 deconstruction and reconstruction of qualified objects. The making of markets is, therefore, exposed to a constant, reflective investigation that recursively reopens and restructures their boundaries43 (Callon, Méadel and Rabeharisoa, 2002; Callon and Muniesa, 2005).

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