How are we to understand the political roles that habit has played in the exercise of different forms of power? In this lecture, Prof Bennett develops two lines of argument in relation to the question. The first considers how conceptions of habit as a form of repetition following the course of a pathway have informed the ways in which various kinds of authority (religious, philosophical, scientific) have sought to direct the conduct of selected populations. How this pathway is constructed – Prof Bennett's second argument – depends on how habit is placed in relation to other aspects of personhood: the senses, will, reflex, instinct, the nervous system, brain and consciousness.
Professor Tony Bennett is Research Professor in Social and Cultural Theory in the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University and an Honorary Professor in the Humanities Research Centre at the ANU. He is the author/ editor of over 30 books.