Foucault News

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

Kaveh Dastooreh, The Aesthetics of Life: More than Ethics and Morality. Studies in Philosophy and Education (2021).

This paper explores the general characteristics of the aesthetics of life. Our approach will be in thinking about the aesthetics of life as a domain independent from the realms of ethics and morality. This thesis discusses some of the theoretical debates around those concepts. The notion of ‘pleasure’ in those practices will be discussed as the one that gives shape to ‘the art of life’. Pleasure also makes it possible for a person to perform these practices for a long period of time; what we call the ‘life-long character of the aestheticization of life’.

However, this effort endeavors to demonstrate another central theme of this style of life; the individual/social character of those practices is the one that exemplifies ‘the art of life’. Thinking simultaneously about ‘oneself’ and the ‘other’ is the main concept that helps us the most to appreciate these practices. These debates are elaborated further in some case studies that have been researched between 2016 and 2019. These are real examples of peoples’ lived experiences who, in different ways, try to give meaning to their lives by turning their existence into a work of art.

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