Foucault News

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

Sánchez-Pinilla, M.D., González, D.J.D.
Punitive rationalities. An epistemology for the objectification and historicity of punishment policies [Racionalidades punitivas. Una epistemología para la objetivación y la historicidad de las políticas del castigo]
(2021) Enrahonar, 67, pp. 131-157.

DOI: 10.5565/rev/enrahonar.1358
Open access

Michel Foucault’s idea of rationality does not refer to a universal criterion of reason as pure and neutral knowledge, but rather is understood in the plural, as «rationalities». His perspective functions as a regime of truth that not only produces new concepts and a historical organisation of observation, but also areas of regulation and political and technical intervention. Applied to the punitive economy, and by extension to the economy of power, punitive rationalities have enabled an unusual critical analysis of punishment systems to flourish. This analysis is produced through different concepts, apparently usual, that reach an unusual radicality in the objectification of the networks of power/knowledge that spread beyond both the field of penal policy and that of rigid materialist explanations. And ultimately it has allowed a macro-social punitive order and macro-forms of domination to be constructed out of the diversity of micropower. © 2021 Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona and Universitat de Girona. All rights reserved.

Author Keywords
Foucault; Norm and law; Objects of knowledge; Punishment of the body; Punitive rationality; Strategy

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