background preloader

Michel Foucault

Michel Foucault
1. Biographical Sketch Foucault was born in Poitiers, France, on October 15, 1926. His student years seem to have been psychologically tormented but were intellectually brilliant. It can be difficult to think of Foucault as a philosopher. 2. Let us begin, however, with a sketch of the philosophical environment in which Foucault was educated. Although Jean-Paul Sartre, living and working outside the University system, had no personal influence on Foucault, the thought of him, as the French master-thinker preceding Foucault, is always in the background. Three other factors were of much more positive significance for the young Foucault. In a quite different vein, Foucault was enthralled by French avant-garde literature, especially the writings of Georges Bataille and Maurice Blanchot, where he found the experiential concreteness of existential phenomenology without what he came to see as dubious philosophical assumptions about subjectivity. 3. 4. 4.1 Histories of Madness and Medicine

Foucault, Michel: Ethics  The French philosopher and historian Michel Foucault (1926-1984) does not understand ethics as moral philosophy, the metaphysical and epistemological investigation of ethical concepts (metaethics) and the investigation of the criteria for evaluating actions (normative ethics), as Anglo-American philosophers do. Instead, he defines ethics as a relation of self to itself in terms of its moral agency. More specifically, ethics denotes the intentional work of an individual on itself in order to subject itself to a set of moral recommendations for conduct and, as a result of this self-forming activity or “subjectivation,” constitute its own moral being. The classical works of Foucault’s ethics are his historical studies of ancient sexual ethics in The Use of Pleasure and The Care of the Self, in addition to the late interviews “On the Genealogy of Ethics” and “The Ethics for the Concern of Self as a Practice of Freedom.” Table of Contents 1. 2. 3. a. b. c. d.

Michel Foucault, “Friendship as a Way of Life” | caring labor: an archive “Friendship as a Way of Life” Michel Foucault R. de Ceccaty, J. Danet, and J. Q. M.F. Q. M.F. Q. M.F. Q. M.F. One of the concessions one makes to others is not to present homosexuality as anything but a kind of immediate pleasure, of two young men meeting in the street, seducing each other with a look, grabbing each other’s asses and getting each other off in a quarter of an hour. Q. M.F. Q. M.F. Q. M.F. Q. M.F. Q. M.F. I would like to say, finally, that something well considered and voluntary like a magazine ought to make possible a homosexual culture, that is to say, the instruments for polymorphic, varied, and individually modulated relationships. Note 1. Like this: Like Loading... Economic Manuscripts: Preface to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy Karl Marx 1859 A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy Preface Source: K. Marx, A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1977, with some notes by R. I examine the system of bourgeois economy in the following order: capital, landed property, wage-labour; the State, foreign trade, world market. The economic conditions of existence of the three great classes into which modern bourgeois society is divided are analysed under the first three headings; the interconnection of the other three headings is self-evident. A general introduction, which I had drafted, is omitted, since on further consideration it seems to me confusing to anticipate results which still have to be substantiated, and the reader who really wishes to follow me will have to decide to advance from the particular to the general. Although I studied jurisprudence, I pursued it as a subject subordinated to philosophy and history. Karl Marx London, January 1859 A. Next: I.

DR. STEVE BEST, PHD The “Culture Turn” in Marxist Theory The “culture turn” is a dynamic process that since the nineteenth century has unfolded in the worlds of theory, art, and politics. The reference to a “culture turn” captures a widespread movement – played out differently in various disciplines, nations, and traditions – that emphasizes the importance of art and culture for education, moral growth, and social criticism and change. By the 1980s, this development led to an explosion in forms of “cultural studies,” “identity politics,” and “multiculturalism” in response to changes in the structure of capitalism and relationships among economic, cultural, and political institutions. While the term “culture” is notoriously vague and complex, one might define it as the social process whereby people communicate meanings, make sense of their world, construct their identities, and define their beliefs and values. There are two broad ways to approach the study of culture.