In this article, we argue that contemporary biomedicine is shaped by two, seemingly incommensurable, organizational logics, the ‘regime of truth’ and the ‘regime of hope’. We articulate their features by drawing on debates sparked by the recent clinical trial of a new approach to the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease. We also argue that the ‘self’ is configured in the very same process whereby these two organizational logics interlock and become mutually dependent, so that the ‘self’ might be said to be the effect of a ‘parasitic’ relationship between the regimes of ‘truth’ and ‘hope’. We then bring these two arguments to bear on the contrasting views of the relationship between embodiment and political subjectivity articulated by Michel Foucault and Giorgio Agamben, on the one hand, and Paul Rabinow and Nikolas Rose, on the other hand.
“The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, History of the Human Sciences, 18 (3), 2005, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2005 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the History of the Human Sciences page: http://hhs.sagepub.com/ on SAGE Journals Online: http://online.sagepub.com/