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About the Beginning of the Hermeneutics of the Self
Lectures at Dartmouth College, 1980
Michel Foucault
University of Chicago Press, 2015
In 1980, Michel Foucault began a vast project of research on the relationship between subjectivity and truth, an examination of conscience, confession, and truth-telling that would become a crucial feature of his life-long work on the relationship between knowledge, power, and the self. The lectures published here offer one of the clearest pathways into this project, contrasting Greco-Roman techniques of the self with those of early Christian monastic culture in order to uncover, in the latter, the historical origin of many of the features that still characterize the modern subject. They are accompanied by a public discussion and debate as well as by an interview with Michael Bess, all of which took place at the University of California, Berkeley, where Foucault delivered an earlier and slightly different version of these lectures.

Foucault analyzes the practices of self-examination and confession in Greco-Roman antiquity and in the first centuries of Christianity in order to highlight a radical transformation from the ancient Delphic principle of “know thyself” to the monastic precept of “confess all of your thoughts to your spiritual guide.” His aim in doing so is to retrace the genealogy of the modern subject, which is inextricably tied to the emergence of the “hermeneutics of the self”—the necessity to explore one’s own thoughts and feelings and to confess them to a spiritual director—in early Christianity. According to Foucault, since some features of this Christian hermeneutics of the subject still determine our contemporary “gnoseologic” self, then the genealogy of the modern subject is both an ethical and a political enterprise, aiming to show that the “self” is nothing but the historical correlate of a series of technologies built into our history. Thus, from Foucault’s perspective, our main problem today is not to discover what “the self” is, but to try to analyze and change these technologies in order to change its form. 
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After Foucault
Jonathan Arac
Rutgers University Press, 1988

The essays in this collection assess the impact of Michel Foucault’s work on the conditions of disciplinary knowledge in humanistic studies and speculate on the directions we might take from his work.  They cover a wide range of fundamental concerns: from philosophy of knowledge in both theoretical and applied forms to philology, history, psychoanalysis, feminism, and politics.  The result is a lively debate and further probing beyond disciplinary boundaries.  After Foucault will interest political theorists, feminists, and scholars of history, philosophy, and literature.  

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The Age of the World Target
Self-Referentiality in War, Theory, and Comparative Work
Rey Chow
Duke University Press, 2006
Martin Heidegger once wrote that the world had, in the age of modern science, become a world picture. For Rey Chow, the world has, in the age of atomic bombs, become a world target, to be attacked once it is identified, or so global geopolitics, dominated by the United States since the end of the Second World War, seems repeatedly to confirm. How to articulate the problematics of knowledge production with this aggressive targeting of the world? Chow attempts such an articulation by probing the significance of the chronological proximity of area studies, poststructuralist theory, and comparative literature—fields of inquiry that have each exerted considerable influence but whose mutual implicatedness as postwar U.S. academic phenomena has seldom been theorized. Central to Chow’s discussions is a critique of the predicament of self-referentiality—the compulsive move to interiorize that, in her view, constitutes the collective frenzy of our age—in different contemporary epistemic registers, including the self-consciously avant-garde as well as the militaristic and culturally supremacist. Urging her readers to think beyond the inward-turning focus on EuroAmerica that tends to characterize even the most radical gestures of Western self-deconstruction, Chow envisions much broader intellectual premises for future transcultural work, with reading practices aimed at restoring words and things to their constitutive exteriority.
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Archaeologies of Vision
Foucault and Nietzsche on Seeing and Saying
Gary Shapiro
University of Chicago Press, 2003
While many acknowledge that Friedrich Nietzsche and Michel Foucault have redefined our notions of time and history, few recognize the crucial role that "the infinite relation" between seeing and saying (as Foucault put it) plays in their work. Gary Shapiro reveals, for the first time, the full extent of Nietzsche and Foucault's concern with the visual.

Shapiro explores the whole range of Foucault's writings on visual art, including the theory of visual resistance, the concept of the phantasm or simulacrum, and his interrogation of the relation of painting, language, and power in artists from Bosch to Warhol. Shapiro also shows through an excavation of little-known writings that the visual is a major theme in Nietzsche's thought. In addition to explaining the significance of Nietzsche's analysis of Raphael, Dürer, and Claude Lorrain, he examines the philosopher's understanding of the visual dimension of Greek theater and Wagnerian opera and offers a powerful new reading of Thus Spoke Zarathustra.

Archaeologies of Vision will be a landmark work for all scholars of visual culture as well as for those engaged with continental philosophy.
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Archives of Infamy
Foucault on State Power in the Lives of Ordinary Citizens
Nancy Luxon
University of Minnesota Press, 2019

Expanding the insights of Arlette Farge and Michel Foucault’s Disorderly Families into policing, public order, (in)justice, and daily life


What might it mean for ordinary people to intervene in the circulation of power between police and the streets, sovereigns and their subjects? How did the police come to understand themselves as responsible for the circulation of people as much as things—and to separate law and justice from the maintenance of a newly emergent civil order? These are among the many questions addressed in the interpretive essays in Archives of Infamy.

Crisscrossing the Atlantic to bring together unpublished radio broadcasts, book reviews, and essays by historians, geographers, and political theorists, Archives of Infamy provides historical and archival contexts to the recent translation of Disorderly Families by Arlette Farge and Michel Foucault. This volume includes new translations of key texts, including a radio address Foucault gave in 1983 that explains the writing process for Disorderly Families; two essays by Foucault not readily available in English; and a previously untranslated essay by Farge that describes how historians have appropriated Foucault.

Archives of Infamy pushes past old debates between philosophers and historians to offer a new perspective on the crystallization of ideas—of the family, gender relations, and political power—into social relationships and the regimes of power they engender. 

Contributors: Roger Chartier, Collège de France; Stuart Elden, U of Warwick; Arlette Farge, Centre national de recherche scientifique; Michel Foucault (1926–1984); Jean-Philippe Guinle, Catholic Institute of Paris; Michel Heurteaux; Pierre Nora, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales;  Michael Rey (1953–1993); Thomas Scott-Railton; Elizabeth Wingrove, U of Michigan.

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Ariel and the Police
Frank Lentricchia
University of Wisconsin Press, 1989

In Ariel and the Police, Frank Lentricchia searches through the totalizing desires for power that have built and help to maintain tangible and intangible structures of confinement and purification within, and sometimes as, the house of modernism. And what he finds, in his lyrical effort to redeem the subject for history, is that someone lives there, slyly, sometimes even playfully defiant.

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The Biopolitics of Punishment
Derrida and Foucault
Edited by Rick Elmore and Ege Selin Islekel
Northwestern University Press, 2022
This volume marks a new chapter in the long-standing debate between Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault regarding argumentative methods and their political implications. The essays chart the undertheorized dialogue between the two philosophers on questions of life, death, punishment, and power—an untapped point of departure from which we might continue to read the convergence and divergence of their work. What possibilities for political resistance might this dialogue uncover? And how might they relate to contemporary political crises?
 
With the resurgence of fascism and authoritarianism across the globe, the rise of white supremacist and xenophobic violence, and the continued brutality of state-sanctioned and extrajudicial killings by police, border patrols, and ordinary citizens, there is a pressing need to critically analyze our political present. These essays bring to bear the critical force of Derrida’s and Foucault’s biopolitical thought to practices of mass incarceration, the death penalty, life without parole, immigration and detention, racism and police violence, transphobia, human and animal relations, and the legacies of colonization. At the heart of their biopolitics, the volume shows, lies the desire to deconstruct and resist in the name of a future that is more just and less policed. It is this impulse that makes reading their work together, at this moment, both crucial and worthwhile.
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Biopower
Foucault and Beyond
Edited by Vernon W. Cisney and Nicolae Morar
University of Chicago Press, 2015
Michel Foucault’s notion of “biopower” has been a highly fertile concept in recent theory, influencing thinkers worldwide across a variety of disciplines and concerns. In The History of Sexuality: An Introduction, Foucault famously employed the term to describe “a power bent on generating forces, making them grow, and ordering them, rather than one dedicated to impeding them, making them submit, or destroying them.” With this volume, Vernon W. Cisney and Nicolae Morar bring together leading contemporary scholars to explore the many theoretical possibilities that the concept of biopower has enabled while at the same time pinpointing their most important shared resonances.
           
Situating biopower as a radical alternative to traditional conceptions of power—what Foucault called “sovereign power”—the contributors examine a host of matters centered on life, the body, and the subject as a living citizen. Altogether, they pay testament to the lasting relevance of biopower in some of our most important contemporary debates on issues ranging from health care rights to immigration laws, HIV prevention discourse, genomics medicine, and many other topics. 
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"Discourse and Truth" and "Parresia"
Michel Foucault
University of Chicago Press, 2019
This volume collects a series of lectures given by the renowned French thinker Michel Foucault late in his career. The book is composed of two parts: a talk, Parrēsia, delivered at the University of Grenoble in 1982, and a series of lectures entitled “Discourse and Truth,” given at the University of California, Berkeley in 1983, which appears here for the first time in its full and correct form. Together, they provide an unprecedented account of Foucault’s reading of the Greek concept of parrēsia, often translated as “truth-telling” or “frank speech.” The lectures trace the transformation of this concept across Greek, Roman, and early Christian thought, from its origins in pre-Socratic Greece to its role as a central element of the relationship between teacher and student. In mapping the concept’s history, Foucault’s concern is not to advocate for free speech; rather, his aim is to explore the moral and political position one must occupy in order to take the risk to speak truthfully.

These lectures—carefully edited and including notes and introductory material to fully illuminate Foucault’s insights—are a major addition to Foucault’s English language corpus.
 
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The Elements of Foucault
Gregg Lambert
University of Minnesota Press, 2020

A new conceptual diagram of Foucault’s original vision of the biopolitical order

 

The history around the critical reception of Michel Foucault’s published writings is troubled, according to Gregg Lambert, especially in light of the controversy surrounding his late lectures on biopolitics and neoliberal governmentality. In this book, Lambert’s unique approach distills Foucault’s thought into its most basic components in order to more fully understand its method and its own immanent rules of construction.

The Elements of Foucault presents a critical study of Foucault’s concept of method from the earlier History of Sexuality, Volume 1, to his later lectures. Lambert breaks down Foucault’s post-1975 analysis of the idea of biopower into four elements: the method, the conceptual device (i.e., dispositif), the grid of intelligibility, and the notion of “milieu.” Taken together, these elements compose the diagram of Foucault’s early analysis and the emergence of the neoliberal political economy. Lambert further delves into how Foucault’s works have been used and misused over time, challenging the periodization of Foucault’s later thought in scholarship as well as the major and most influential readings of Foucault by other contemporary philosophers—in particular Gilles Deleuze and Giorgio Agamben. 

The Elements of Foucault is the first generally accessible, yet rigorous and comprehensive, discussion of lectures and major published works of Foucault’s post-1975 theory of biopower and of the major innovation of the concept of dispositif. It is also the first critical work to address the important influence of French philosopher Georges Canghuilhem on Foucault’s thought.

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Feminism and the Final Foucault
Edited by Dianna Taylor and Karen Vintges
University of Illinois Press, 2004
Feminism and the Final Foucault is the first systematic offering of contemporary, international feminist perspectives on the later work of philosopher Michel Foucault.
 
Rather than simply debating the merits or limitations of Foucault's later work, the essays in this collection examine women's historical self-practices, conceive of feminism as a shared ethos, and consider the political significance of this conceptualization in order to elucidate, experiment with, and put into practice the conceptual "tools" that Foucault offers for feminist ethics and politics. The volume illustrates the ways in which Foucault's later thinking on ethics as "care of the self" can reintroduce a number of issues and themes that feminists jettisoned in the wake of postmodernism, including consciousness raising, feminist therapy, the subject woman, identity politics, and feminist agency.
 
Taken as a whole, the diversity of feminist viewpoints presented provide important new insights into "the final Foucault," and thus serve as a productive intervention in current Foucault scholarship.
 
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The Force of Truth
Critique, Genealogy, and Truth-Telling in Michel Foucault
Daniele Lorenzini
University of Chicago Press, 2023
A groundbreaking examination of Michel Foucault's history of truth.

Many blame Michel Foucault for our post-truth and conspiracy-laden society. In this provocative work, Daniele Lorenzini argues that such criticism fundamentally misunderstands the philosopher’s project. Foucault did not question truth itself but what Lorenzini calls “the force of truth,” or how some truth claims are given the power to govern our conduct while others are not. This interest, Lorenzini shows, drove Foucault to articulate a new ethics and politics of truth-telling precisely in order to evade the threat of relativism. The Force of Truth explores this neglected dimension of Foucault’s project by putting his writings on regimes of truth and parrhesia in conversation with early analytic philosophy and by drawing out the “possibilizing” elements of Foucault’s genealogies that remain vital for practicing critique today.
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Foucault
Gilles Deleuze
University of Minnesota Press, 1988

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Foucault and Feminist Philosophy of Disability
Shelley L. Tremain
University of Michigan Press, 2017
Foucault and Feminist Philosophy of Disability is a distinctive contribution to growing discussions about how power operates within the academic field of philosophy. By combining the work of Michel Foucault, the insights of philosophy of disability and feminist philosophy, and data derived from empirical research, Shelley L. Tremain compellingly argues that the conception of disability that currently predominates in the discipline of philosophy, according to which disability is a natural disadvantage or personal misfortune, is inextricably intertwined with the underrepresentation of disabled philosophers in the profession of philosophy. Against the understanding of disability that prevails in subfields of philosophy such as bioethics, cognitive science, ethics, and political philosophy, Tremain elaborates a new conception of disability as a historically specifi c and culturally relative apparatus of power. Although the book zeros in on the demographics of and biases embedded in academic philosophy, it will be invaluable to everyone who is concerned about the social, economic, institutional, and political subordination of disabled people.
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Foucault And Heidegger
Critical Encounters
Alan Milchman
University of Minnesota Press, 2003
An essential consideration of these two closely related and influential figures. Michel Foucault and Martin Heidegger are two of the most important intellectual figures of the twentieth century, and yet there are significant, largely unexplored questions about the relationship between their projects. Foucault and Heidegger stages a crucial critical encounter between these two thinkers; in doing so, it clarifies not only the complexities of the Heidegger-Foucault relationship, but also their relevance to questions about truth and nihilism, acquiescence and resistance, and technology and agency that are central to debates in contemporary thought. These essays examine topics ranging from Heidegger's and Foucault's intellectual forebears to their respective understanding of the Enlightenment, modernity, and technology, to their conceptions of power and the political. Contributors: Hubert L. Dreyfus, Stuart Elden, Béatrice Han, Steven V. Hicks, Ladelle McWhorter, Jana Sawicki, Michael Schwartz, Charles E. Scott, William V. Spanos, Leslie Paul Thiele, Rudi Visker, Edith Wyschogrod. Alan Milchman is lecturer in political science and Alan Rosenberg is associate professor of philosophy, both at Queens College, City University of New York.
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Foucault and His Interlocutors
Edited by Arnold I. Davidson
University of Chicago Press, 1997
Containing the debate between Michel Foucault and Noam Chomsky on epistemology and politics, this book also features the most significant essays by the most important French thinkers who influenced and were influenced by Foucault. Foucault's teachers, colleagues, and collaborators take up his major claims, from his first to final works, and provide us with the authoritative context in which to understand Foucault's writings.

This volume also includes several important works by Foucault previously unpublished in English. The other contributors are Georges Canguilhem, Gilles Deleuze, Jacques Derrida, Pierre Hadot, Michel Serres, and Paul Veyne.

Here for the first time is the French Foucault.

This volume offers lucid and important texts that will appeal to students and professors at every level of study. It is essential reading for all scholars of twentieth-century philosophy and critical theory.
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Foucault and Law
Towards a Sociology of Law As Governance
Alan Hunt and Gary Wickham
Pluto Press, 1994

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Foucault and Political Reason
Liberalism, Neo-Liberalism, and Rationalities of Government
Edited by Andrew Barry, Thomas Osborne, and Nikolas Rose
University of Chicago Press, 1996
Despite the enormous influence of Michel Foucault in gender studies, social theory, and cultural studies, his work has been relatively neglected in the study of politics. Although he never published a book on the state, in the late 1970s Foucault examined the technologies of power used to regulate society and the ingenious recasting of power and agency that he saw as both consequence and condition of their operation.

These twelve essays provide a critical introduction to Foucault's work on politics, exploring its relevance to past and current thinking about liberal and neo-liberal forms of government. Moving away from the great texts of liberal political philosophy, this book looks closely at the technical means with which the ideals of liberal political rationalities have been put into practice in such areas as schools, welfare, and the insurance industry.

This fresh approach to one of the seminal thinkers of the twentieth century is essential reading for anyone interested in social and cultural theory, sociology, and politics.
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Foucault and the Government of Disability
Shelley Tremain, Editor
University of Michigan Press, 2005

Foucault and the Government of Disability is the first book-length investigation of the relevance and importance of the ideas of Michel Foucault to the field of disability studies-and vice versa. Over the last thirty years, politicized conceptions of disability have precipitated significant social change, including the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, the redesign of urban landscapes, the appearance of closed-captioning on televisions, and the growing recognition that disabled people constitute a marginalized and disenfranchised constituency.

The provocative essays in this volume respond to Foucault's call to question what is regarded as natural, inevitable, ethical, and liberating, while they challenge established understandings of Foucault's analyses and offer fresh approaches to his work. The book's roster of distinguished international contributors represents a broad range of disciplines and perspectives, making this a timely and necessary addition to the burgeoning field of disability studies.

 
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Foucault and the Government of Disability
Shelley Tremain, Editor
University of Michigan Press, 2005
Foucault and the Government of Disability considers the continued relevance of Foucault to disability studies, as well as the growing significance of disability studies to understandings of Foucault. A decade ago, this international collection provocatively responded to Foucault’s call to question what is regarded as natural, inevitable, ethical, and liberating. The book’s contributors draw on Foucault to scrutinize a range of widely endorsed practices and ideas surrounding disability, including rehabilitation, community care, impairment, normality and abnormality, inclusion, prevention, accommodation, and special education. In this revised and expanded edition, four new essays extend and elaborate the lines of inquiry by problematizing (to use Foucault’s term) the epistemological, political, and ethical character of the supercrip, the racialized war on autism, the performativity of intellectual disability, and the potent mixture of neoliberalism and biopolitics in the context of physician-assisted suicide.

“[A]n important, prescient, and necessary contribution…a kind of litmus test for the efficacy of Foucault’s concepts in the study of disability, concepts that lead to a refusal of the biological essentialism implied in the disability/impairment binary.”
Foucault Studies

“Tremain has done an exceptional job at organizing and procuring important, rigorously argued, and entertaining essays…. This book should be a mandatory read for anyone interested in contemporary philosophical debates surrounding the experience of disability."
Essays in Philosophy

“A beautiful exploration of how Foucault’s analytics of power and genealogies of discursive knowledges can open up new avenues for thinking critically about phenomena that many of us take to be inevitable and thus new ways of resisting and possibly at times redirecting the forces that shape our lives. Every scholar, every person with an interest in Foucault or in political theory generally, needs to read this book.”
—Ladelle McWhorter, University of Richmond  


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Foucault and the Iranian Revolution
Gender and the Seductions of Islamism
Janet Afary and Kevin B. Anderson
University of Chicago Press, 2005
In 1978, as the protests against the Shah of Iran reached their zenith, philosopher Michel Foucault was working as a special correspondent for Corriere della Sera and le Nouvel Observateur. During his little-known stint as a journalist, Foucault traveled to Iran, met with leaders like Ayatollah Khomeini, and wrote a series of articles on the revolution. Foucault and the Iranian Revolution is the first book-length analysis of these essays on Iran, the majority of which have never before appeared in English. Accompanying the analysis are annotated translations of the Iran writings in their entirety and the at times blistering responses from such contemporaneous critics as Middle East scholar Maxime Rodinson as well as comments on the revolution by feminist philosopher Simone de Beauvoir.

In this important and controversial account, Janet Afary and Kevin B. Anderson illuminate Foucault's support of the Islamist movement. They also show how Foucault's experiences in Iran contributed to a turning point in his thought, influencing his ideas on the Enlightenment, homosexuality, and his search for political spirituality. Foucault and the Iranian Revolution informs current discussion on the divisions that have reemerged among Western intellectuals over the response to radical Islamism after September 11. Foucault's provocative writings are thus essential for understanding the history and the future of the West's relationship with Iran and, more generally, to political Islam. In their examination of these journalistic pieces, Afary and Anderson offer a surprising glimpse into the mind of a celebrated thinker.
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Foucault and the Kamasutra
The Courtesan, the Dandy, and the Birth of Ars Erotica as Theater in India
Sanjay K. Gautam
University of Chicago Press, 2016
The Kamasutra is best known in the West for its scandalous celebration of unbridled sensuality. Yet, there is much, much more to it; embedded in the text is a vision of the city founded on art and aesthetic pleasure. In Foucault and the "Kamasutra", Sanjay K. Gautam lays out the nature and origin of this iconic Indian text and engages in the first serious reading of its relationship with Foucault.

Gautam shows how closely intertwined the history of erotics in Indian culture is with the history of theater-aesthetics grounded in the discourse of love, and Foucault provides the framework for opening up an intellectual horizon of Indian thought. To do this, Gautam looks to the history of three inglorious characters in classical India: the courtesan and her two closest male companions—her patron, the dandy consort; and her teacher and advisor, the dandy guru. Foucault’s distinction between erotic arts and the science of sexuality drives Gautam’s exploration of the courtesan as a symbol of both sexual-erotic and aesthetic pleasure. In the end, by entwining together Foucault’s works on the history of sexuality in the West and the classical Indian texts on eros, Gautam transforms our understanding of both, even as he opens up new ways of investigating erotics, aesthetics, gender relations, and subjectivity.
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Foucault in Iran
Islamic Revolution after the Enlightenment
Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi
University of Minnesota Press, 2016

Were the thirteen essays Michel Foucault wrote in 1978–1979 endorsing the Iranian Revolution an aberration of his earlier work or an inevitable pitfall of his stance on Enlightenment rationality, as critics have long alleged? Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi argues that the critics are wrong. He declares that Foucault recognized that Iranians were at a threshold and were considering if it were possible to think of dignity, justice, and liberty outside the cognitive maps and principles of the European Enlightenment. 

Foucault in Iran centers not only on the significance of the great thinker’s writings on the revolution but also on the profound mark the event left on his later lectures on ethics, spirituality, and fearless speech. Contemporary events since 9/11, the War on Terror, and the Arab Uprisings have made Foucault’s essays on the Iranian Revolution more relevant than ever. Ghamari-Tabrizi illustrates how Foucault saw in the revolution an instance of his antiteleological philosophy: here was an event that did not fit into the normative progressive discourses of history. What attracted him to the Iranian Revolution was precisely its ambiguity.

Theoretically sophisticated and empirically rich, this interdisciplinary work will spark a lively debate in its insistence that what informed Foucault’s writing was not an effort to understand Islamism but, rather, his conviction that Enlightenment rationality has not closed the gate of unknown possibilities for human societies. 

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Foucault, Politics, and Violence
Johnanna Oksala
Northwestern University Press, 2012
In her book, Oksala shows that the arguments for the ineliminability of violence from the political are often based on excessively broad, ontological conceptions of violence distinct from its concrete and physical meaning and, on the other hand, on a restrictively narrow and empirical understanding of politics as the realm of conventional political institutions.
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Foucault's Askesis
An Introduction to the Philosophical Life
Edward McGushin
Northwestern University Press, 2007
In his renowned courses at the Collège de France from 1982 to 1984, Michel Foucault devoted his lectures to meticulous readings and interpretations of the works of Plato, Epictetus, Seneca, and Marcus Aurelius, among others. In this his aim was not, Edward F. McGushin contends, to develop a new knowledge of the history of philosophy; rather, it was to let himself be transformed by the very activity of thinking. Thus, this work shows us Foucault in the last phase of his life in the act of becoming a philosopher. Here we see how his encounter with ancient philosophy allowed him to experience the practice of philosophy as, to paraphrase Nietzsche, a way of becoming who one is: the work of self-formation that the Greeks called askēsis.

Through a detailed study of Foucault's last courses, McGushin demonstrates that this new way of practicing philosophical askēsis evokes Foucault's ethical resistance to modern relations of power and knowledge. In order to understand Foucault's later project, then, it is necessary to see it within the context of his earlier work. If his earlier projects represented an attempt to bring to light the relations of power and knowledge that narrowed and limited freedom, then this last project represents his effort to take back that freedom by redefining it in terms of care of the self. Foucault always stressed that modern power functions by producing individual subjects. This book shows how his excavation of ancient philosophical practices gave him the tools to counter this function-with a practice of self-formation, an askēsis.
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Foucault's Discipline
The Politics of Subjectivity
John S. Ransom
Duke University Press, 1997
In Foucault’s Discipline, John S. Ransom extracts a distinctive vision of the political world—and oppositional possibilities within it—from the welter of disparate topics and projects Michel Foucault pursued over his lifetime. Uniquely, Ransom presents Foucault as a political theorist in the tradition of Weber and Nietzsche, and specifically examines Foucault’s work in relation to the political tradition of liberalism and the Frankfurt School. By concentrating primarily on Discipline and Punish and the later Foucauldian texts, Ransom provides a fresh interpretation of this controversial philosopher’s perspectives on concepts such as freedom, right, truth, and power.
Foucault’s Discipline demonstrates how Foucault’s valorization of descriptive critique over prescriptive plans of action can be applied to the decisively altered political landscape of the end of this millennium. By reconstructing the philosopher’s arguments concerning the significance of disciplinary institutions, biopower, subjectivity, and forms of resistance in modern society, Ransom shows how Foucault has provided a different way of looking at and responding to contemporary models of government—in short, a new depiction of the political world.
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How to Read Foucault's Discipline and Punish
Stephen Shapiro and Anne Schwan
Pluto Press, 2011

Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punish is one of the best-selling works of critical theory and a key text on many undergraduate courses. However, it is a long, difficult text which makes Anne Schwan and Stephen Shapiro's excellent step-by-step reading guide a welcome addition to the How to Read Theory series.

Undergraduates across a wide range of disciplines are expected to have a solid understanding of Foucault's key terms, which have become commonplace in critical thinking today. While there are many texts that survey Foucault's thought, these are often more general overviews or biographical précis that give little in the way of robust explanation and discussion. In contrast, Schwan and Shapiro take a plain-speaking, yet detailed, approach, specifically designed to give students a thorough understanding of one of the most influential texts in contemporary cultural theory.

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The Illusion of History
Andrew R. Russ
Catholic University of America Press, 2012
Andrew Russ argues in this book that a closer look at their philosophical underpinnings finds that Rousseau, Marx, and Foucault are much less "historical" in their methodology than is widely believed. Instead, they share a more "timeless" view, one indebted to principles ordinarily seen as timeless or transcendent
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Intolerable
Writings from Michel Foucault and the Prisons Information Group (1970–1980)
Michel Foucault
University of Minnesota Press, 2020

A groundbreaking collection of writings by Michel Foucault and the Prisons Information Group documenting their efforts to expose France’s inhumane treatment of prisoners

Founded by Michel Foucault and others in 1970–71, the Prisons Information Group (GIP) circulated information about the inhumane conditions within the French prison system. Intolerable makes available for the first time in English a fully annotated compilation of materials produced by the GIP during its brief but influential existence, including an exclusive new interview with GIP member Hélène Cixous and writings by Gilles Deleuze and Jean Genet. 

These archival documents—public announcements, manifestos, reports, pamphlets, interventions, press conference statements, interviews, and round table discussions—trace the GIP’s establishment in post-1968 political turmoil, the new models of social activism it pioneered, the prison revolts it supported across France, and the retrospective assessments that followed its denouement. At the same time, Intolerable offers a rich, concrete exploration of Foucault’s concept of resistance, providing a new understanding of the arc of his intellectual development and the genesis of his most influential book, Discipline and Punish.

Presenting the account of France’s most vibrant prison resistance movement in its own words and on its own terms, this significant and relevant collection also connects the approach and activities of the GIP to radical prison resistance movements today.

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Joyce/Foucault
Sexual Confessions
Wolfgang Streit
University of Michigan Press, 2004
Sheds new light on James Joyce's use of sexual motifs as cultural raw material for Ulysses and other works

Joyce/Foucault: Sexual Confessions examines instances of sexual confession in works of James Joyce, with a special emphasis on Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Ulysses. Using Michel Foucault's historical analysis of Western sexuality as its theoretical underpinning, the book foregrounds the role of the Jesuit order in the spread of a confessional force, and finds this influence inscribed into Joyce's major texts. Wolfgang Streit goes on to argue that the tension between the texts' erotic passages and Joyce's criticism of even his own sexual writing energizes Joyce's narratives-and enables Joyce to develop the radical skepticism of power revealed in his work.

Wolfgang Streit is Lecturer, Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich.


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Kenneth Burke and Contemporary European Thought
Rhetoric in Transition
Bernard L. Brock
University of Alabama Press, 1995
Insights into the problem of our relation to language

Kenneth Burke and Contemporary European Thought: A Rhetoric in Transition reflects the present transitional nature of rhetoric and society. Its purpose is to relate the rhetorical theory of Burke to the theories of four major European philosophers—Jürgen Habermas, Ernesto Grassi, Foucault, and Jacques Derrida—as they discuss the nature of language and its central role in society.
 
This book describes a rhetorical world in transition but not a world in chaos. It points to the centrality of symbolism in theories of language and rhetoric and illustrates Burke’s influence as a pivotal things and theorist in the communication arts and sciences, suggesting that the observations regarding shifting paradigms and perspectives made by other scholars are indeed emergent in the realm of rhetoric. It also regards the powerful impact of language and symbolic action in both the critique and construction of human knowledge and augurs a central role for rhetoric in the intellectual and social transformations of this and the next century.
 
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Madness, Language, Literature
Michel Foucault
University of Chicago Press, 2023
Newly published lectures by Foucault on madness, literature, and structuralism.
 
Perceiving an enigmatic relationship between madness, language, and literature, French philosopher Michel Foucault developed ideas during the 1960s that are less explicit in his later, more well-known writings. Collected here, these previously unpublished texts reveal a Foucault who undertakes an analysis of language and experience detached from their historical constraints. Three issues predominate: the experience of madness across societies; madness and language in Artaud, Roussel, and Baroque theater; and structuralist literary criticism. Not only do these texts pursue concepts unique to this period such as the “extra-linguistic,” but they also reveal a far more complex relationship between structuralism and Foucault than has typically been acknowledged.
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Michel Foucault
Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics
Hubert L. Dreyfus and Paul Rabinow
University of Chicago Press, 1983
This book, which Foucault himself has judged accurate, is the first to provide a sustained, coherent analysis of Foucault's work as a whole.

To demonstrate the sense in which Foucault's work is beyond structuralism and hermeneutics, the authors unfold a careful, analytical exposition of his oeuvre. They argue that during the of Foucault's work became a sustained and largely successful effort to develop a new method—"interpretative analytics"—capable fo explaining both the logic of structuralism's claim to be an objective science and the apparent validity of the hermeneutical counterclaim that the human sciences can proceed only by understanding the deepest meaning of the subject and his tradition.

"There are many new secondary sources [on Foucault]. None surpass the book by Hubert Dreyfus and Paul Rabinow. . . . The American paperback edition contains Foucault's 'On the Genealogy of Ethics,' a lucid interview that is now our best source for seeing how he construed the whole project of the history of sexuality."—David Hoy, London Review of Books
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Opacity and the Closet
Queer Tactics in Foucault, Barthes, and Warhol
Nicholas de Villiers
University of Minnesota Press, 2012

Opacity and the Closet interrogates the viability of the metaphor of “the closet” when applied to three important queer figures in postwar American and French culture: the philosopher Michel Foucault, the literary critic Roland Barthes, and the pop artist Andy Warhol. Nicholas de Villiers proposes a new approach to these cultural icons that accounts for the queerness of their works and public personas.

Rather than reading their self-presentations as “closeted,” de Villiers suggests that they invent and deploy productive strategies of “opacity” that resist the closet and the confessional discourse associated with it. Deconstructing binaries linked with the closet that have continued to influence both gay and straight receptions of these intellectual and pop celebrities, de Villiers illuminates the philosophical implications of this displacement for queer theory and introduces new ways to think about the space they make for queerness.

Using the works of Foucault, Barthes, and Warhol to engage each other while exploring their shared historical context, de Villiers also shows their queer appropriations of the interview, the autobiography, the diary, and the documentary—forms typically linked to truth telling and authenticity.

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Postmodern Spiritual Practices
The Construction of the Subject and the Reception of Plato in Lacan, Derrida, and Foucault
Paul Allen Miller
The Ohio State University Press, 2007
Postmodern Spiritual Practices: The Construction of the Subject and the Reception of Plato in Lacan, Derrida, and Foucault, by Paul Allen Miller, argues that a key element of postmodern French intellectual life has been the reception of Plato. This fact has gone underappreciated in the Anglophone world due to a fundamental division in culture. Until very recently, the concerns of academic philosophy and philology have had little in common. On the one hand, this is due to analytic philosophy’s self-confinement to questions of epistemology, speech act theory, and philosophy of science. As such, it has had little to say about the relation between antique and contemporary modes of thought.
On the other hand, blindness to the merits of postmodern thought is also due to Anglo-American philology’s own parochial instincts. Ensconced within a nineteenth-century model of Alterumswissenschaft, only a minority of classicists have made forays into philosophical, psychoanalytic, and other speculative modes of inquiry. The result has been that postmodern French thought has largely been the province of scholars of modern languages. 
A situation thus emerges in which most classicists do not know theory, and so cannot appreciate the scope of these thinkers’ contribution to our understanding of the genealogy of Western thought, while most theorists do not know the Platonic texts and their contexts that ground them. This book bridges this gap, offering detailed and theoretically informed readings of French postmodernism’s chief thinkers’ debts to Plato and the ancient world. 
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The Powers of Sensibility
Aesthetic Politics through Adorno, Foucault, and Rancière
Michael Feola
Northwestern University Press, 2018
The Powers of Sensibility: Aesthetic Politics through Adorno, Foucault, and Rancière explores the role aesthetic resources can play in an emancipatory politics.  Michael Feola engages both critical theory and unruly political movements to challenge familiar anxieties about the intersection of politics and aesthetics. He shows how perception, sensibility, and feeling may contribute vital resources for conceptualizing citizenship, agency, and those spectacles that increasingly define global protest culture.
 
Feola provides insightful engagements with the works of Adorno, Foucault, and Rancière as well as a survey of contemporary debates on aesthetics and politics. He uses this aesthetic framework to develop a more robust account of political agency, demonstrating that politics is not reducible to the exchange of views or the building of institutions, but rather incorporates public modes of feeling, seeing, and hearing (or not-seeing and not-hearing). These sensory modes must themselves be transformed in the work of emancipatory politics.
 
The book explores the core question: what does the aesthetic offer that is missing from the official languages of politics, citizenship, and power? Of interest to readers in the fields of critical theory, political theory, continental philosophy, and aesthetics, The Powers of Sensibility roots itself within the classical tradition of critical theory and yet uses these resources to speak to a variety of contemporary political movements.
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Race and the Education of Desire
Foucault's History of Sexuality and the Colonial Order of Things
Ann Laura Stoler
Duke University Press, 1995
Michel Foucault’s History of Sexuality has been one of the most influential books of the last two decades. It has had an enormous impact on cultural studies and work across many disciplines on gender, sexuality, and the body. Bringing a new set of questions to this key work, Ann Laura Stoler examines volume one of History of Sexuality in an unexplored light. She asks why there has been such a muted engagement with this work among students of colonialism for whom issues of sexuality and power are so essential. Why is the colonial context absent from Foucault’s history of a European sexual discourse that for him defined the bourgeois self? In Race and the Education of Desire, Stoler challenges Foucault’s tunnel vision of the West and his marginalization of empire. She also argues that this first volume of History of Sexuality contains a suggestive if not studied treatment of race.
Drawing on Foucault’s little-known 1976 College de France lectures, Stoler addresses his treatment of the relationship between biopower, bourgeois sexuality, and what he identified as “racisms of the state.” In this critical and historically grounded analysis based on cultural theory and her own extensive research in Dutch and French colonial archives, Stoler suggests how Foucault’s insights have in the past constrained—and in the future may help shape—the ways we trace the genealogies of race.
Race and the Education of Desire will revise current notions of the connections between European and colonial historiography and between the European bourgeois order and the colonial treatment of sexuality. Arguing that a history of European nineteenth-century sexuality must also be a history of race, it will change the way we think about Foucault.
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Rebirth of the Clinic
Places and Agents in Contemporary Health Care
Cindy Patton
University of Minnesota Press, 2010
From physical location to payment processes to expectations of both patients and caregivers, nearly everything surrounding the contemporary medical clinic's central activity has changed since Michel Foucualt's Birth of the Clinic. Indebted to that work, but recognizing the gap between what the modern clinic hoped to be and what it has become, Rebirth of the Clinic explores medical practices that shed light on the fraught relationship between medical systems, practitioners, and patients.

Combining theory, history, and ethnography, the contributors to this volume ground today's clinic in a larger scheme of power relations, identifying the cultural, political, and economic pressures that frame clinical relationships, including the instrumentalist definition of health, actuarial-based medical practices, and patient self-help movements, which simultaneously hem in and create the conditions under which agents creatively change ideas of illness and treatment.

From threatened community health centers in poor African American locales to innovative nursing practices among the marginally housed citizens of Canada's poorest urban neighborhood, this volume addresses not just the who, what, where, and how of place-specific clinical practices, but also sets these local experiences against a theoretical backdrop that links them to the power of modern medicine in shaping fundamental life experiences.
 
Contributors: Christine Ceci, U of Alberta; Lisa Diedrich, Stony Brook U; Suzanne Fraser, Monash U; John Liesch, Simon Fraser U; Jenna Loyd, CUNY; Annemarie Mol, U of Amsterdam; Mary Ellen Purkis, U of Victoria.
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Sartre, Foucault, and Historical Reason, Volume One
Toward an Existentialist Theory of History
Thomas R. Flynn
University of Chicago Press, 1997
Sartre and Foucault were two of the most prominent and at times mutually antagonistic philosophical figures of the twentieth century. And nowhere are the antithetical natures of their existentialist and poststructuralist philosophies more apparent than in their disparate approaches to historical understanding.

A history, thought Foucault, should be a kind of map, a comparative charting of structural transformations and displacements. But for Sartre, authentic historical understanding demanded a much more personal and committed narrative, a kind of interpretive diary of moral choices and risks compelled by critical necessity and an exacting reality. Sartre's history, a rational history of individual lives and their intrinsic social worlds, was in essence immersed in biography.

In Volume One of this authoritative two-volume work, Thomas R. Flynn conducts a pivotal and comprehensive reconstruction of Sartrean historical theory, and provocatively anticipates the Foucauldian counterpoint to come in Volume Two.


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Sartre, Foucault, and Historical Reason, Volume Two
A Poststructuralist Mapping of History
Thomas R. Flynn
University of Chicago Press, 2005
Sartre and Foucault were two of the most prominent and at times mutually antagonistic philosophical figures of the twentieth century. And nowhere are the antithetical natures of their existentialist and poststructuralist philosophies more apparent than in their disparate approaches to historical understanding. In Volume One of this authoritative two-volume study, Thomas R. Flynn conducted a pivotal and comprehensive reconstruction of Sartrean historical theory. This long-awaited second volume offers a comprehensive and critical reading of the Foucauldian counterpoint.

A history, theorized Foucault, should be a kind of map, a comprehensive charting of structural transformations and displacements over time. Contrary to other Foucault scholars, Flynn proposes an "axial" rather than a developmental reading of Foucault's work. This allows aspects of Foucault's famous triad of knowledge, power, and the subject to emerge in each of his major works. Flynn maps existentialist categories across Foucault's "quadrilateral," the model that Foucault proposes as defining modernist conceptions of knowledge. At stake is the degree to which Sartre's thought is fully captured by this mapping, whether he was, as Foucault claimed, "a man of the nineteenth century trying to think in the twentieth."
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The Sciences in Enlightened Europe
Edited by William Clark, Jan Golinski, and Simon Schaffer
University of Chicago Press, 1999
Radically reorienting our understanding of the Enlightenment, this book explores the complex relations between "enlightened" values and the making of scientific knowledge. Here monsters and automata, barometers and botanical gardens, polite academies and boisterous clubs are all given their due place in the landscape of enlightened Europe.

The contributors examine the production of new disciplines through work with instruments and techniques; consider how institutions of public taste and conversation helped provide a common frame for the study of human and nonhuman natures; and explore the regional operations of scientific culture at the geographical fringes of Europe.

Implicated in the rise of both fascism and liberal secularism, the moral and political values that shaped the Enlightenment remain controversial today. Through careful scrutiny of how these values influenced and were influenced by the concrete practices of its sciences, this book gives us an entirely new sense of the Enlightenment.
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Speaking the Truth about Oneself
Lectures at Victoria University, Toronto, 1982
Michel Foucault
University of Chicago Press, 2021
Now in paperback, this collection of Foucault’s lectures traces the historical formation and contemporary significance of the hermeneutics of the self.

Just before the summer of 1982, French philosopher Michel Foucault gave a series of lectures at Victoria University in Toronto. In these lectures, which were part of his project of writing a genealogy of the modern subject, he is concerned with the care and cultivation of the self, a theme that becomes central to the second, third, and fourth volumes of his History of Sexuality. Foucault had always been interested in the question of how constellations of knowledge and power produce and shape subjects, and in the last phase of his life, he became especially interested not only in how subjects are formed by these forces but in how they ethically constitute themselves.

In this lecture series and accompanying seminar, Foucault focuses on antiquity, starting with classical Greece, the early Roman empire, and concluding with Christian monasticism in the fourth and fifth centuries AD. Foucault traces the development of a new kind of verbal practice—“speaking the truth about oneself”—in which the subject increasingly comes to be defined by its inner thoughts and desires. He deemed this new form of “hermeneutical” subjectivity important not just for historical reasons, but also due to its enduring significance in modern society.
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Technologies of the Self
A Seminar with Michel Foucault
Luther H. Martin
University of Massachusetts Press, 1988
Shortly before his death in 1984, Michel Foucault spoke of an idea for a new book on "technologies of the self." He described it as "composed of different papers about the self...,about the role of reading and writing in constituting the self... and so on." The book Foucault envisioned was based on a faculty seminar on "Technologies of the Self," originally presented at the University of Vermont in the fall of 1982. This volume is a partial record of that seminar.

In many ways, Foucault's project on the self was the logical conclusion to his historical inquiry over twenty-five years into insanity, deviancy, criminality, and sexuality. Because Foucault died before he completed the revisions of his seminar presentations, this volume includes a careful transcription instead...as a prolegomenon to that unfinished task.

Foucault was a French philosopher, historian of ideas, social theorist, philologist and literary critic.

This volume was edited by Luther H. Martin, Huck Gutman, and Patrick H. Hutton.
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"What Is Critique?" and "The Culture of the Self"
Michel Foucault
University of Chicago Press, 2024
Newly published lectures by Foucault on critique, Enlightenment, and the care of the self.
 
On May 27, 1978, Michel Foucault gave a lecture to the French Society of Philosophy where he redefined his entire philosophical project in light of Immanuel Kant’s 1784 text “What Is Enlightenment?” Foucault strikingly characterizes critique as the political and moral attitude consisting in the “art of not being governed like this,” one that performs the function of destabilizing power relations and creating the space for a new formation of the self within the “politics of truth.”

This volume presents the first critical edition of this crucial lecture alongside a previously unpublished lecture about the culture of the self and three public debates with Foucault at the University of California, Berkeley, in April 1983. There, for the first time, Foucault establishes a direct connection between his reflections on the Enlightenment and his analyses of Greco-Roman antiquity. However, far from suggesting a return to the ancient culture of the self, Foucault invites his audience to build a “new ethics” that bypasses the traditional references to religion, law, and science.
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Wrong-Doing, Truth-Telling
The Function of Avowal in Justice
Michel Foucault
University of Chicago Press, 2014

Three years before his death, Michel Foucault delivered a series of lectures at the Catholic University of Louvain that until recently remained almost unknown. These lectures—which focus on the role of avowal, or confession, in the determination of truth and justice—provide the missing link between Foucault’s early work on madness, delinquency, and sexuality and his later explorations of subjectivity in Greek and Roman antiquity.

Ranging broadly from Homer to the twentieth century, Foucault traces the early use of truth-telling in ancient Greece and follows it through to practices of self-examination in monastic times. By the nineteenth century, the avowal of wrongdoing was no longer sufficient to satisfy the call for justice; there remained the question of who the “criminal” was and what formative factors contributed to his wrong-doing. The call for psychiatric expertise marked the birth of the discipline of psychiatry in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as well as its widespread recognition as the foundation of criminology and modern criminal justice.
 
Published here for the first time, the 1981 lectures have been superbly translated by Stephen W. Sawyer and expertly edited and extensively annotated by Fabienne Brion and Bernard E. Harcourt. They are accompanied by two contemporaneous interviews with Foucault in which he elaborates on a number of the key themes. An essential companion to Discipline and Punish, Wrong-Doing, Truth-Telling will take its place as one of the most significant works of Foucault to appear in decades, and will be necessary reading for all those interested in his thought.
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