„An interesting, reciprocal relationship holds between social and biological discourses. The sciences are not free of nonscientific dis-positives. Accordingly, a paradigm shift occurred within medical immunology at the end of the Cold War. In America, Polly Matzinger discarded the immunological model of preceding decades. According to her model, the immune system does not distinguish between “self” and “non-self,” i.e., domestic and foreign, but between “friendly” and “dangerous.” […] The object of immune defense is no longer foreignness or Otherness as such. Only foreign intruders that act destructively in inner, domestic space are combated. So long as what is foreign does not attract unwelcome attention, immune defenses ignore it. It follows that the biological immune system is more hospitable than previously assumed. That is, it does not harbor xenophobia. As such, it proves more intelligent than human societies. Xenophobia is a pathologically escalated immunoreaction that proves damaging to one’s own development […].”

 

detail from the book The Burnout Society by Byung-Chul Han 

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Judit Lilla Molnár

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16.05.2020 - Pathologically escalated immunoreaction

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