Foucault News

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

Keck, C.S. Radical educations in subjectivity: the convergence of psychotherapy, mysticism and Foucault’s ‘politics of ourselves’
(2019) Ethics and Education, 14 (1), pp. 102-115.

DOI: 10.1080/17449642.2018.1554789

Abstract
Foucault’s invitation to the subject is to become free of themselves by learning to think differently. Such a project has as its goal the mastery of the self, and can be understood as a Foucaultian ‘politics of ourselves’. Foucault’s ethical turn is an invitation for subjectivity to undertake its own radical education. Whilst this invitation has characteristics unique to Foucault’s philosophical discipline, I argue that it sheds light upon a diversity of practices of subjectivity from the psychotherapeutic and mystic traditions. By seeing these currently available technologies of self in the Foucaultian lens we are given the opportunity to appreciate their work on subjectivity as necessarily political and social, a radical education not limited to the realm of individualistic aspiration and narcissistic temptations. The paper concludes by drawing attention to some implications for education, and for a teacher education that embraces the ‘radical reflexivity’ of some psycho-spiritual practices.

Author Keywords
Foucault; politics of ourselves; psychotherapeutic and mystic practices; radical education; subjectivity; teacher education

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