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Mark Kelly, Michel Foucault’s Political Thought, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2013

The work of twentieth-century French philosopher Michel Foucault has increasingly influenced the study of politics. This influence has mainly been via concepts he developed in particular historical studies that have been taken up as analytical tools; “governmentality” and ”biopower” are the most prominent of these. More broadly, Foucault developed a radical new conception of social power as forming strategies embodying intentions of their own, above those of individuals engaged in them; individuals for Foucault are as much products of as participants in games of power.

The question of Foucault’s overall political stance remains hotly contested. Scholars disagree both on the level of consistency of his position over his career, and the particular position he could be said to have taken at any particular time. This dispute is common both to scholars critical of Foucault and to those who are sympathetic to his thought.

What can be generally agreed about Foucault is that he had a radically new approach to political questions, and that novel accounts of power and subjectivity were at its heart. Critics dispute not so much the novelty of his views as their coherence. Some critics see Foucault as effectively belonging to the political right because of his rejection of traditional left-liberal conceptions of freedom and justice. Some of his defenders, by contrast, argue for compatibility between Foucault and liberalism. Other defenders see him either as a left-wing revolutionary thinker, or as going beyond traditional political categories.

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Fryer D., Duckett P.: Publishing, Overview. In: Teo T. (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology: SpringerReference (www.springerreference.com). Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, 2013.

Further info

Introduction
Within the discipline of psychology publishing is widely positioned as ‘a good thing’. Within the discourse currently dominant, publication in ‘peer reviewed’ journals (publication of and in books is less favoured in psychology in contrast to other disciplines, like philosophy) is positioned as a quality-controlled, contribution to ‘knowledge’ or ‘science’ and is positioned as the result of individual, creative, painstaking, sustained, intellectual work which is independent of political and economic agendas.

In this entry we argue that publishing in peer reviewed journals is indeed a ‘good thing’ for many interest groups in many respects. Publishing is a ‘good thing’: for those who manage psychologists; for those who subject psychologists’ research and intervention to theoretical, methodological and ideological surveillance and, sometimes dangerous, policing; for the commercial companies which make huge profits out of research publications; for the pharmaceutical industry and other bio-medical industries which use publications as marketing to increase their profits. However, in this entry, we argue that publishing is not ‘good thing’ for many who are published about and those trying to work from a critical standpoint.

Definition
From a critical perspective, publishing, in relation to psychological research, involves the writing up of research and scholarship in a style and format accepted by an academic journal, submitting it for peer review and, if accepted, entering into a copyright agreement for the paper to be made available to the ‘research community’. From a critical perspective, publishing, in relation to psychological research, involves: generating income for a neoliberal entrepreneurial institution; providing management with levers to pull in order to ‘divide and rule’; creating functions for bureaucracies and jobs for bureaucrats; making huge profits for ideologically problematic commercial companies; contributing to the mechanisms of oppression of those subjected to research; contributing to the tsunami of information overload; and subjecting oneself to theoretical, methodological and ideological governmentality and dangers of being silenced.

Keywords
Publishing; research; knowledge; governmentality; neoliberalism; New Public Management; colonisation.

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kaldisClare O’Farrell, Foucault’s Thought, In Encyclopedia of Philosophy and the Social Sciences. Edited by Byron Kaldis. London: Sage, 2013 1200 pages

Publisher’s page

First paragraph of entry

Michel Foucault was a French philosopher and historian of ideas who was born in Poitiers in France in 1926 and died in Paris in 1984. Since his death his work has had a steadily increasing impact across the social sciences and humanities, generating new research methodologies, new areas of empirical interest, and a whole panoply of theoretical concepts. Foucault produced some 11 books during his lifetime and a collection of 364 of his shorter writings was published in 1994. From 1970 to 1984, in his capacity as Professor of Systems of Thought at the research institution the Collège de France, he also produced an annual series of lectures reporting on his research. These lectures have gradually appeared in print since 1997. This entry provides an overview of Foucault’s overall philosophy and methodology, looks at key concepts in his work and provides descriptions of his best known books.

Description of Encyclopedia

This Encyclopedia is the first of its kind in bringing together philosophy and the social sciences. It is not only about the philosophy of the social sciences but, going beyond that, it is also about the relationship between philosophy and the social sciences.

The subject of this Encyclopedia is purposefully multi- and inter-disciplinary. Knowledge boundaries are both delineated and crossed over. The goal is to convey a clear sense of how philosophy looks at the social sciences and to mark out a detailed picture of how the two are interrelated: interwoven at certain times but also differentiated and contrasted at others. The Entries cover topics of central significance but also those that are both controversial and on the cutting-edge, underlining the unique mark of this Encyclopedia: the interrelationship between philosophy and the social sciences, especially as it is found in fresh ideas and unprecedented hybrid disciplinary areas.

The Encyclopedia serves a further dual purpose: it contributes to the renewal of the philosophy of the social sciences and helps to promote novel modes of thinking about some of its classic problems.

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Bob Robinson, Michel Foucault: Ethics, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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.

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Gavin Kendall, Michel Foucault, Oxford bibliographies online

The introduction and general overviews section of this is available for free. The rest needs to be purchased.

Contents
Introduction
General Overviews
Biographies
Selected Major Works
Lectures
Interviews and Essays
Bibliographies
Journals
Knowledge and Discourse
Madness and Mental Illness
Power and Punishment
Sexuality
Governmentality
Subjectification and Techniques of Self

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Mark Kelly has written a new article on Michel Foucault for the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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