Foucault News

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

Leask, I.
Was there a theological turn in phenomenology?
(2018) Philosophy Today, 62 (1), pp. 149-162.

DOI: 10.5840/philtoday201837205

This article examines the possibility that phenomenology was “always already” a theological enterprise, by outlining some of the foundational criticisms levelled by Michel Foucault and Louis Althusser. For both thinkers, the phenomenological stress on “lived experience” grants an undue primacy to the realm of “interiority”; as a result, subjectivity is left, not just reified, but also deified. By contrast, both Foucault and Althusser will argue for understanding the subject as constituted rather than constitutive; philosophy’s task, accordingly, is to delineate the broader structures (economic, ideological, discursive, linguistic, etc.) that create “lived experience,” rather than to hypostatize the subject as the privileged bearer of logos. As well as outlining the contours of this critique, however, the article indicates some of the shortcomings entailed in a total disavowal of “lived experience.” © 2018. Philosophy Today, Volume 62, Issue 1 (Winter 2018).

Author Keywords
” anti-humanism; “theological turn; Althusser; Foucault; Phenomenology; Spinoza

2 thoughts on “Was there a theological turn in phenomenology? (2018)

  1. jsuter123 says:

    None of the hot links work nor the cut/paste option.   

    1. Clare O'Farrell says:

      All seems to be working at this end. The full link is

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