Foucault News

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

‘Sexuality and power’

Comment contributed by Richard A. Lynch, May 2003.

This phrase is the second in a series that Foucault offers to try to define a neologism that he has just introduced, ‘sur-savoir’ or ‘over-knowledge’. ‘Démultiplié’ literally means ‘geared down’, but also has a figurative sense of ‘geared up’, ‘augmented’, or ‘multiplied’ – which is the sense in which Foucault uses it here. This is a correction to my own translation, pointed out to me by Arnold Davidson.

French Original
‘…de savoir démultiplié…’
Michel Foucault. (1978). ‘Sexualité et pouvoir’. In Dits et Ecrits t.III. Paris: Gallimard, p. 544. (DE #233)

Published English Translation
‘…a geared-down knowledge…’
Michel Foucault. (1999). ‘Sexuality and power’. In J. Carrette (ed) Religion and culture Manchester: Manchester UP. p. 117.

Alternative Translation
‘…a multiplied knowledge…’

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