Power


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Elena Pulcini
Iris van der Tuin

indicative quotes


"Spinoza defines power as ‘empowerment’, as vis existendi, which finds its origin and nourishment in desire. The power to exist in proportion to the extent that the subject desires, it is the effort to persevere in his own being. But at the same time, vis existendi is also the ability to recognise the opaqueness of desire, to take the desire away from its blindness, to understand how it happens first of all. Acquiring power as in empowerment may mean enhancing desire for our own happiness, but also understanding what route desire follows and how it happens, putting it to a hermeneutic process to free it from its opaqueness and therefore its boundlessness (...) Empowerment, meant neither as power-domination nor only as ‘autonomy’ in the liberal and modern sense, but as the development of positive energies, like the ‘flourishing’ of the Self, we could say with Martha Nussbaum, takes shape where we manage to critically face the omnipotence of desire." Elena Pulcini


"The shortest summary of my reading of the phenomenon of travelling concepts reads: ‘all knowledge practices are saturated with power.’" Iris van der Tuin