“Time to Kill, and Time to Heal”: The Human Being in a COVID-19 Pandemic

Publication type Article
Status Published
Affiliation: Institute of Philosophy RAS
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Journal nameChelovek
EditionVolume 31 Issue №6

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a situation that, as a special kind of “device”, made it possible to more clearly characterize the emerging boundaries of the human essence in human beings. The article offers an interpretation of William Shakespeare's line “The time is out of joint…” with the use of the semantics of the repetition “time... and time...” from the biblical Book of Ecclesiastes. The article shows the return in a pandemic situation of the value attitudes of the socio-centric model of healing, characteristic of the ethos of war, which presupposes the justification of human secrifices on the altar of the common good. The consequences of the crisis of scientific expertise, the replacement of conceptual thinking with clip think, are discussed. The concept of biopower, understood in the additional relation of a person's power over life in the style of M. Foucault and the power of life over a person in the style of the idea of the holiday of G.-G. Gadamer. This complementarity is understood as the articulation of two types of tenses, which, based on the biblical tradition, are designated as the time to heal and the time to kill. Power over life (directed change, control and construction) is paid for by submission to it. In this regard, the concept of biototalitarianism is clarified.

Keywordsbiopower, biotalitarianism, festival time, labor time, “death of expertise”, COVID-19 pandemic, patient-centered model, socio-centered model, triage, W. Shakespeare
Publication date23.12.2020
Number of characters40510
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