Culture on Drugs: Narco-Cultural Studies of High Modernity by Dave Boothroyd

By Dave Boothroyd

By no means has a reconsideration of where of substances in our tradition been extra pressing than it truly is this day. tradition on medicines addresses topics equivalent to the character of recognition, language and the physique, alienation, selfhood, the picture and virtuality and the nature/culture dyad and lifestyle. It then explores how those are expressed within the paintings of key figures resembling Freud, Benjamin, Sartre, Derrida, Foucault and Deleuze, arguing that the guidelines and ideas through which modernity has attained its degree of self-understanding are themselves, in quite a few methods, the goods of encounters with medications and their results. In each one case the reader is directed to the issues at which medications determine within the formulations of ‘high theory’, and it's published how such considering isn't itself a drug-free quarter. as a result, there is not any flooring on which to tell apart ‘culture’ from ‘drug culture’ within the first place.Culture on medicinal drugs deals a singular method and advent to cultural conception for rookies to the topic, at the same time providing an unique thesis about the articulation of contemporary proposal through medications and drug tradition.

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Szasz, 1974: 34) 44 Culture on drugs For Derrida this would constitute a kind of double-blind argument: it is a pharmakon whose effect is distorted by a placebo factor.

Derrida, 1999: 66) Deposition 25 These experimental, narco-analytical readings of bits of cultural theory can, then, by their own logic, no more tell ‘the truth about drugs’ than could any other drugs discourse. They do, however, demonstrate the sense in which abstract thought, emerging as it does from the surfaces of a culture, is, in each case, a specific articulation of culture on drugs. Testing drugs in theory We clearly have a deeply complex, often contradictory and ambivalent relationship with drugs: as individuals, as a society and as a culture.

There is perhaps something monstrous, too, about suggesting that drugs have played a part in modern cultural theorising rather than merely that modern cultural theory might have something to say about 22 Culture on drugs drugs and a role to play in the understanding of how drugs figure in and configure culture. This is, after all, not a proposition that will be justified here on the basis of a grand thesis concerned to prove that there is a symbiotic relationship between drugs and culture, and therefore by a principle of inclusion also between drugs and that bit of culture we call theoretical critique or reflection.

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