Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Borg, Kurt, Conducting critique : reconsidering Foucault’s engagement with the question of the subject, Symposia Melitensia (SymMel) 2015, Volume 11

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A common criticism of Michel Foucault’s works is that his writings on power relations over-emphasized the effects that technologies of power have upon the subjection of humans, rendering any attempt of resistance futile and reducing the subject to a mere passive effect of power. This criticism treats Foucault’s consideration of ethics in his later works as a break from his earlier views. In this paper, by reading Foucault’s books alongside his lectures and interviews, two ways will be proposed through which the question of the subject can be productively raised and located throughout Foucault’s works, even within his concerns with power relations. The first way is through the relation between assujettisement and critique, and the second way is through the notions of government and conduct.

One thought on “Conducting critique : reconsidering Foucault’s engagement with the question of the subject (2015)

  1. Janet Abbey says:

    In emphasizing EFFECTS Foucault is following McLuhan. And he is correct in doing so. The EFFECTS of the Medium are invisible on the body/mind while people focus on CONTENT which McLuhan tells us is irrelevant. That would be what Foucault says about “information” that it is not knowledge, and knowledge is not “knowing.” Anyway that is my reading of Foucault on this. Thanks for posting it as I appreciate it.

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