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nicholsRobert Nichols, The World of Freedom. Heidegger, Foucault, and the Politics of Historical Ontology, Stanford University Press, September 2014

Further info

Martin Heidegger and Michel Foucault are two of the most important and influential thinkers of the twentieth century. Each has spawned volumes of secondary literature and sparked fierce, polarizing debates, particularly about the relationship between philosophy and politics. And yet, to date there exists almost no work that presents a systematic and comprehensive engagement of the two in relation to one another. The World of Freedom addresses this lacuna.

Neither apology nor polemic, the book demonstrates that it is not merely interesting but necessary to read Heidegger and Foucault alongside one another if we are to properly understand the shape of twentieth-century Continental thought. Through close, scholarly engagement with primary texts, Robert Nichols develops original and demanding insights into the relationship between fundamental and historical ontology, modes of objectification and subjectification, and an ethopoetic conception of freedom. In the process, his book also reveals the role that Heidegger’s reception in France played in Foucault’s intellectual development—the first major work to do so while taking full advantage of the recent publication of Foucault’s last Collège de France lectures of the 1980s, which mark a return to classical Greek and Roman philosophy, and thus to familiar Heideggerian loci of concern.

jordanMark D. Jordan, Convulsing Bodies. Religion and Resistance in Foucault, Stanford University Press, October 2014

Further info

By using religion to get at the core concepts of Michel Foucault’s thinking, this book offers a strong alternative to the way that the philosopher’s work is read across the humanities. Foucault was famously interested in Christianity as both the rival to ancient ethics and the parent of modern discipline and was always alert to the hypocrisy and the violence in churches. Yet many readers have ignored how central religion is to his thought, particularly with regard to human bodies and how they are shaped. The point is not to turn Foucault into some sort of believer or to extract from him a fixed thesis about religion as such. Rather, it is to see how Foucault engages religious rhetoric page after page—even when religion is not his main topic. When readers follow his allusions, they can see why he finds in religion not only an object of critique, but a perennial provocation to think about how speech works on bodies—and how bodies resist.

Arguing that Foucault conducts experiments in writing to frustrate academic expectations about history and theory, Mark Jordan gives equal weight to the performative and theatrical aspects of Foucault’s writing or lecturing. How does Foucault stage possibilities of self-transformation? How are his books or lectures akin to the rituals and liturgies that he dissects in them? Convulsing Bodies follows its own game of hide-and-seek with the agents of totalizing systems (not least in the academy) and gives us a Foucault who plays with his audiences as he plays for them—or teaches them.

Originally posted on requiem for certainty:

Out in the latest issue of Foucault Studies (in the review essay section)–a symposium on my ‘Genealogy as Critique.’  Honored am I that Amy Allen, Eduardo Mendieta, & Kevin Olson have taken the time to develop responses both careful and critical in orientation.  A hope is that this exchange will help further ongoing conversations about the role and status of critical theory vis-a-vis the contemporary (in Rabinow’s sense of that term).  Some of the topics covered in the symposium (which consists of responses by Allen, Mendieta, and Olson plus my reply): normativity (+ cryptonormativity + normativeness), the status of universality and contingency, the place (or not) of the transcendental in genealogy, the relation between methodology and deployment in philosophy, and how to thinking about the challenge of choosing a problem (object, space, field) for inquiry.

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The cover image was produced by Astra Howard, an Action Researcher/Performer currently living in Sydney Australia. Spanning more than a decade, her work has sought to elicit and document marginalised, or overlooked, experiences and discourses of the city. The specific image I have chosen is part of a series entitled ‘Kings Cross the Whisper.’ This series displays selections from a poem about the Kings Cross area that was written by a local socially marginalised man. The images alludes to forgotten histories and marginalization in an increasingly homogenised and gentrified part of Sydney.

Foucault Studies
Number 18: October 2014
Special Issue on Ethnographies of Neoliberal Governmentalities

Table of Contents

Editorial PDF
Sverre Raffnsøe, Alain Beaulieu, Sam Binkley, Barbara Cruikshank, Knut Ove Eliassen, Marius Gudmand-Høyer, Johanna Oksala, Sven Opitz, Jyoti Puri, Jens Erik Kristensen, Alan Rosenberg, Mathias Adam Munch 1-4

Special Issue on Ethnographies of Neoliberal Governmentalities

Introduction PDF
Michelle Brady 5-10
Ethnographies of Neoliberal Governmentalities: from the neoliberal apparatus to neoliberalism and governmental assemblages PDF
Michelle Brady 11-33
Fixing Non-market Subjects: Governing Land and Population in the Global South PDF
Tania Murray Li 34-48
Neo‐Liberalism, Police, and the Governance of Little Urban Things PDF
Randy K. Lippert 49-65
The Grassroots and the Gift: Moral Authority, American Philanthropy, and Activism in Education PDF
Katharyne Mitchell, Chris Lizotte 66-89
Resisting the lure of the paycheck: Freedom and dependence in financial self-help PDF
Daniel Fridman 90-112

Translations

The politics of health in the eighteenth century PDF
Michel Foucault 113-127
Bio‐history and bio‐politics PDF
Michel Foucault 128-130

Articles

Disciplining the Ethical Couponer: A Foucauldian Analysis of Online Interactions PDF
Stephanie Gonzalez Guittar, Shannon K. Carter 131-153
Michel Foucault and Michael Oakeshott: The Virtuosity of Individuality PDF
Jacob Segal 154-172
Law, Objectives of Government, and Regimes of Truth PDF
Leila Brännström 173-194

Section in collaboration with Foucault Circle

Introduction to section from the 12th Annual Foucault Circle Conference PDF
Devonya N. Havis, Richard A. Lynch 195-196
Spotting the Primacy of Resistance in the Virtual Encounter of Foucault and Deleuze PDF
Marco Checchi 197-212
Platonism, Christianity, Stoicism: The Subject, The Truth, And The Political Import Of Their Relationship In Three Traditions PDF
Robin Weiss 213-237

Review Essay section

The Normative and the Transcendental: Comments on Colin Koopman’s Genealogy as Critique PDF
Amy Allen 238-244
On Left Kantianism: From Transcendental Critique to the Critical Ontology of the Present PDF
Eduardo Mendieta 245-252
Genealogy, Cryptonormativity, Interpretation PDF
Kevin Olson 253-260
Genealogy, Methodology, & Normativity beyond Transcendentality: Replies to Amy Allen, Eduardo Mendieta, & Kevin Olson PDF
Colin Koopman 261-273

Review Essay

Outside In, Inside Out, Again and Yet Again: Foucault’s Game in Wrong-Doing, Truth-Telling PDF
Daniel T. O’Hara 274-278

Reviews

Double review: Artières & Bert, Un succès philosophique: L’Histoire de la folie à l’âge classique de Michel Foucault ; Histoire de la folie à l’âge classique de Michel Foucault. Regards critiques 1961-2011, Textes choisis et présentés par Artières et al. PDF
Elisabetta Basso 279-286
Tom Roach, Friendship as a Way of Life: Foucault, AIDS, and the Politics of Shared Estrangement (New York: SUNY Press, 2012) PDF
Matthew Halse 287-290
David Galston, Archives and the Event of God: The Impact of Michel Foucault on Philo-sophical Theology (Montreal McGill-Queens’ University Press, 2011) PDF
Ebru Thwaites 291-292
Lauri Siisiainen, Foucault and the Politics of Hearing (New York: Routledge, 2012) PDF
Perry Zurn 293-296
Lee Braver, Groundless Grounds: A Study of Wittgenstein and Heidegger (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2012) PDF
Apple Zefelius Igrek 297-300
Thomas Nail, Returning to Revolution: Deleuze, Guattari and Zapatismo (Edinburgh University Press, 2012) PDF
Nathan Widder 301-304
Double review: Maudemarie Clark and David Dudrick, The Soul of Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil ; Christa Davis Acampora and Keith Ansell Pearson, Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil: A Reader’s Guide PDF
Robert Guay

 

David Webb – From Mathematics to Ethics in the Work of Michel Foucault

Recording available on the Backdoor Broadcasting Company site

Event Date: 2 October 2014
Room JG5002,
John Galsworthy Building,
Penrhyn Road Campus, Penrhyn Road,
Kingston upon Thames,
Surrey KT1 2EE

The Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy (CRMEP), Kingston University  presents:

Professor David Webb (Staffordshire University) – From Mathematics to Ethics in the Work of Michel Foucault

Introduction by Professor Peter Osborne (Kingston):

There are a couple of Foucault examples here in this post comparing photos of celebrities and philosophers on the Daily Nous  – a kind of separated at birth idea.

Patrick Stewart is missing however. (See David Gauntlett’s site theory.org)

Armstrong, P.
The discourse of Michel Foucault: A sociological encounter
(2014) Critical Perspectives on Accounting. Article in Press.

Abstract
Michel Foucault is a major source for the idea in critical accounting and organizational studies that identities (selves, subjectivities) are discursively constituted. This return to the text is intended as a clarification of what Foucault actually says on this matter and an assessment of how far it can be regarded as authoritative. The major conclusions are as follows. The subject matter of Foucault’s ‘discursive’ phase is not discourse in its generality but islands of organization (‘discursive formations’) within it. To all intents and purposes these are bodies of knowledge and Foucault’s focus is on those which he calls ‘human sciences’. His concern is to show that these can be understood as a rule-governed systems of discursive events. The alternative of an action-theoretic account is ruled out by Foucault’s declared intention of avoiding recourse to a concept of human agency. Thus Foucault does not theorize discourse as an expression of human subjectivity. Rather he theorizes the subject as an image of the human being which is produced by, and presumed in, self-organizing systems of knowledge.

In Foucault’s work up to and including The Archaeology of Knowledge, therefore, the discursively constructed subject is not a flesh-and-blood human being at all. It is a thought-object constructed by, and within, the human sciences. Because there are a number of human sciences there are a corresponding number of constituted subjects, each of which, in the first instance, has currency only within its parent knowledge. In Foucault’s earlier Order of Things, however, a unitary ‘contemporary subject’ is theorized as a composite of these constructs. Since the constituting discourses are depicted as evolving autonomously, Foucault is thus able to produce a history of ‘the different modes by which … human beings are made subjects’.

All this means that any support from Foucault for the idea that subjectivities are discursively constituted in actuality must rest on Foucault’s genealogical phase. In Discipline and Punish, the human sciences are depicted, not as self-organizing fields of knowledge, but as the theoretical arms of various regimes of behavioural correction. Foucault is convincing in his claim that this ‘power-knowledge’ has diffused outwards from the total institutions in which it was prototyped, thence to become the characteristically modern modality of power. He is much less convincing on the question of its effects. Despite Foucault’s talk of ‘shaping the soul’, in fact, it is not clear that he has anything at all to say about this. The problem is that all of his descriptions of the various disciplinary orders are ‘top down’ accounts, relying either on the programmes of legal theorists and institutional reformers or on observation of institutional routines by official inspectors. The voice of the inmate is absent entirely, as is any evidence that disciplinary regimes achieve anything more than a calculative conformity to their behavioural dictates. This is not to deny that disciplinary power may impact on subjectivities.

The point here is that such an effect needs to be evidenced rather than simply assumed on the basis of (what has been taken to be) Foucault’s say-so. In critical accounting, unfortunately, the tendency has been to treat accounting as a discursive system or regime of power-knowledge and then cite Foucault as if this were sufficient to establish that it works through the production of subjectivities. The paper concludes with a discussion of two recent examples, one of which appeals to a concept of discursive constitution and one to the concept of power-knowledge.

Author Keywords
Archaeology; Discourse; Discursive constitution; Foucault; Power-knowledge; Subject; Subjectification

DOI: 10.1016/j.cpa.2013.10.009

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