Abstract: Self-tracking technologies are devices that allow users to collect and monitor various types of biometric data in the hope of achieving healthier habits and a better management of chronic conditions. As such, they are expected to play a key role in the new model of personalized healthcare that is being championed as a solution to the public healthcare crisis, and are attracting a surge of scholarly interest. But while proponents view self-tracking as a means of empowering citizens to take more responsibility for their health, critics anticipate that it will become a duty, and that the growing emphasis on personal responsibility is a threat to solidarity. This talk seeks to move beyond this debate, insofar as it fails to grasp the new types of subjectivities, socialities and understandings of the good life that are taking shape in self-tracking practices. Drawing on empirical philosophy and STS, and based on some preliminary research, I argue that in a number of self-tracking practices, people “enact” the values of autonomy, solidarity and authenticity in ways that diverge from these anticipated promises and fears. Furthermore, I suggest that these practices have a normative potential that should be articulated and fostered.
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