Archive for the ‘Work by Foucault’ Category

foucault-hermeneuticsMichel Foucault, About the Beginning of the Hermeneutics of the Self. Lectures at Dartmouth College, 1980, University of Chicago Press, 2015.

Translated by Graham Burchell

Edited by Henri-Paul Fruchaud and Daniele Lorenzini
Introduction and critical apparatus by Laura Cremonesi, Arnold I. Davidson, Orazio Irrera, Daniele Lorenzini, Martina Tazzioli
160 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2015

In 1980, Michel Foucault began a vast project of research on the relationship between subjectivity and truth, an examination of conscience, confession, and truth-telling that would become a crucial feature of his life-long work on the relationship between knowledge, power, and the self. The lectures published here offer one of the clearest pathways into this project, contrasting Greco-Roman techniques of the self with those of early Christian monastic culture in order to uncover, in the latter, the historical origin of many of the features that still characterize the modern subject. They are accompanied by a public discussion and debate as well as by an interview with Michael Bess, all of which took place at the University of California, Berkeley, where Foucault delivered an earlier and slightly different version of these lectures.

Foucault analyzes the practices of self-examination and confession in Greco-Roman antiquity and in the first centuries of Christianity in order to highlight a radical transformation from the ancient Delphic principle of “know thyself” to the monastic precept of “confess all of your thoughts to your spiritual guide.” His aim in doing so is to retrace the genealogy of the modern subject, which is inextricably tied to the emergence of the “hermeneutics of the self”—the necessity to explore one’s own thoughts and feelings and to confess them to a spiritual director—in early Christianity. According to Foucault, since some features of this Christian hermeneutics of the subject still determine our contemporary “gnoseologic” self, then the genealogy of the modern subject is both an ethical and a political enterprise, aiming to show that the “self” is nothing but the historical correlate of a series of technologies built into our history. Thus, from Foucault’s perspective, our main problem today is not to discover what “the self” is, but to try to analyze and change these technologies in order to change its form.

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Michel Foucault: a mente mais brilhante do século XX [+32 livros para download gratuito]

foucault-with-hairMichel Foucault é um dos maiores filósofos da contemporaneidade, foi responsável por novos caminhos na análise do poder e da história e tem relevância acadêmica fora de série.

Abaixo você verá uma introdução sobre sua vida, 17 artigos sobre Foucault no Colunas Tortas e 32 livros para download gratuito. Use o índice!


  1. Biografia de Michel Foucault
  2. Artigos sobre Michel Foucault no Colunas Tortas
    1. Cátedra Michel Foucault e a Filosofia do Presente, na PUCSP
    2. Assuntos gerais em Michel Foucault
    3. Arqueologia do Saber: uma resenha detalhada
  3. 32 livros de Michel Foucault para download gratuito

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Michel Foucault le 5 novembre 1979© corbis - 2015 / Bettmann/CORBIS

Michel Foucault le 5 novembre 1979© corbis – 2015 / Bettmann/CORBIS

La marche de l’histoire. Michel Foucault, France Inter Radio

Invité Philippe Artières
Historien, chercheur au CNRS

Il avait mesuré que l’intervention des intellectuels passait de plus en plus par l’essai bref et le plateau télé et encore n’a-t-il pas connu l’économie du web 2.0. Puisque la discontinuité est de mise, il disait par provocation qu’advenait le temps du journaliste. En tout cas, la figure de l’intellectuel qui s’autorise d’une vérité transcendante et d’une compétence universelle pour distribuer la bonne parole, ce n’était pas son style !

Et son succès inouï dans les années 70 aussi bien au Collège de France qu’auprès de ses auditoires du monde entier ne changea pas son point de vue. « Je ne suis pas là où vous me guettez », disait-il. Il n’aimait pas les rôles de répertoire. « Je ne suis pas là où vous me guettez mais, ajoutait-il, je suis ici d’où je vous regarde en riant. » Rien ne l’enchantait plus que de passer d’un terrain d’enquête à un autre. Dans les années 1960, l’écart entre les mots et les choses. Plus tard, les pratiques de résistance face aux discours et aux techniques des pouvoirs. Dans les dernières années, avant sa mort prématurée en 1984, la technique, le contrôle de soi…

Nouveaux terrains, nouveaux concepts, nouveaux intervenants…. L’intellectuel non pas généraliste mais « spécifique » qu’il défendait, c’était un technicien qui ouvrait les portes à ceux qui ne se tiennent généralement ni dans les écrans de télé ni dans les rectangles de papier.

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Michel Foucault: The rights and duties of international citizenship (2015)

The front page of the Open Democracy Site, 14 November 2015

Also includes links to the following items:

Michel Foucault “The refugee problem is a presage of the great migrations of the twenty first century”, 1979. Translated by Colin Gordon.

Colin Gordon, The drowned and the saved: Foucault’s texts on migration and solidarity, 13 November 2015

Engin Isin, Michel Foucault as an activist intellectual, 13 November 2015

Jen Bagelman, Foucault and the ‘current’ refugee crisis, 13 November 2015

“Face aux gouvernements, les droits de l’homme”, Liberation no 967, 30 June /1 July 1984, p. 22. Dits et ecrits IV pp. 707-8 (355), Gallimard 1994.

This statement was read by Foucault at a press conference on June 19th 1981, organized in association with the organizations Médecins du monde and Terre des hommes, in the presence of Yves Montand, André Glucksmann and Bernard Kouchner. The press conference, according to the newspaper Libération when it published Foucault’s text for the first time just after his death in 1984, was to have marked the public announcement of the formation of an International Committee against Piracy. Another account states that this Committee was set up in Lausanne on April 30 that year. The Libération editor’s note states that Foucault wrote this statement “minutes” before he read it. The title of the piece as published by Libération, “Confronting governments, human rights” seems to have been provided by them, not by Foucault. Given the public profile of the event and those present, it is unclear why the text appears not to have been published at the time.

“We are here only as private individuals and with no other claim to speak, and to speak together, except a certain difficulty we share in enduring what is taking place.

I know very well, and one must defer to this evident truth: we can do little about the reasons which make men and women prefer to leave their country rather than remain and live in it.  It is not in our power to change these facts.

So who asked us to speak? No one, and that is exactly our entitlement. It seems to me that we need to keep in mind three principles which, I believe, guide this initiative, like several others that have preceded it: Ile-de-Lumière, Cap Anamour, A Plane for El Salvador, but also Terre des Hommes and Amnesty International.[1]

1) There exists an international citizenship which as such has its rights and duties, and which is obliged to stand up against all forms of abuse of power, no matter who commits them, no matter who are their victims. After all, we are all governed, and, by that fact, joined in solidarity.

2) Because of their claim to care for the wellbeing of societies, governments arrogate to themselves the right to treat in terms of profit and loss the human suffering which their decisions cause and their negligence allows. It is a duty of this international citizenship to always confront the eyes and ears of governments with the human suffering for which it cannot truthfully be denied that they bear responsibility. People’s suffering must never be allowed to remain the silent residue of politics. It grounds an absolute right to stand up and to challenge those who hold power.

3) We must refuse the division of labour which is so often proposed to us: individuals are allowed to be indignant and to talk, while it falls to governments to deliberate and to act. It is true that well-intentioned governments appreciate the sacred indignation of the governed, providing that it remains merely lyrical. But I think we must be aware that it is very often those who govern who talk, are only able to talk, or only want to talk. Experience shows that we can and must refuse the histrionic role of pure protest which governments would like to offer us.  Amnesty International, Terre des Hommes, Médecins du Monde are initiatives which have created this new right: the right of private individuals to intervene actively and materially in the order of international politics and strategy. The will of individuals must be present and expressed in the order of reality which governments have sought to monopolise. Step by step and day by day, their purported monopoly must be rolled back.

Translated by Colin Gordon, October 2015

[1] Ile-de-Lumière was a French hospital and rescue ship organized by Bernard Kouchner and others  which conducted a series of  missions in the South China Sea in 1979. Cap Anamour was another rescue ship organised by the German humanitarian activists Christel and Rupert Neudeck and others.

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Plateau Simone Signoret, Michel Foucault
06 oct. 1982, Antenne 2, Site l’Institut national de l’audiovisuel

Christine Ockrent

Christine OCKRENT interviewe l’actrice Simone SIGNORET et le philosophe Michel FOUCAULT sur la situation en Pologne, où le syndicat Solidarité vient d’être interdit par le gouvernement.

Simone SIGNORET, qui porte un badge du syndicat polonais “Solidarité”, explique pourquoi elle est allée en Pologne, notamment avec Médecins du Monde. Elle raconte qu’elle n’a pas eu le courage de porter ce badge là-bas. Elle estime que tout le pays est en dissidence ; elle parle de la situation économique et du fait que les Polonais sont surveillés en permanence : “on ne parle pas car il y a des micros partout”. Elle a vu des acteurs polonais “boycotter” leur travail, à savoir leur participation à des émissions de télévision qui leur apporte un revenu fixe. Cette décission n’est pas une consigne donnée par un syndicat, mais elle est prise individuellement.

Michel FOUCAULT étudie la notion de normalisation en Pologne, parle du régime totalitaire dans les pays socialistes. Il engage les français à se rendre dans ce pays. Il pose le problème de l’engagement nécessaire de l’Europe, explique ce que ressentent les Polonais a propos des français.

With thanks to Colin Gordon for this news

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André Glucksmann par Michel Foucault, Le Nouvel Observateur

Le philosophe des “Maîtres penseurs” est mort à 78 ans. Celui de “Surveiller et punir” l’avait lu, pour “le Nouvel Observateur”, en 1977. Voici son texte, dans son intégralité.

Article de Michel Foucault sur “les Maîtres penseurs”,
paru dans “le Nouvel Observateur” du 9 mai 1977
La grande colère des faits

Pour Michel Foucault, comme pour André Glucksmann, il est urgent que la philosophie apprenne à se battre à mains nues, en riant et en criant, contre tous les tenants de l’Etat-Révolution.

Ce qui s’est passé de moins insignifiant dans nos têtes, depuis une quinzaine d’années? Je dirais dans un premier mouvement: une certaine rage, une sensibilité impatiente, irritée, à ce qui se passe, une intolérance à la justification théorique et à tout ce lent travail d’apaisement qu’assure au jour le jour le discours «vrai».

Sur fond d’un décor grêle que la philosophie, l’économie politique et tant d’autres belles sciences avaient planté, voilà que des fous se sont levés, et des malades, des femmes, des enfants, des emprisonnés, des suppliciés et des morts par millions. Dieu sait pourtant que nous étions tous armés de théorèmes, de principes et de mots pour broyer tout cela.

Quel appétit, soudain, de voir et d’entendre ces étrangers si proches? Quel souci pour ces choses frustes? Nous avons été saisis par la colère des faits. Nous avons cessé de supporter ceux qui nous disaient – ou plutôt le chuchotement qui, en nous, disait: «Peu importe, un fait ne sera jamais rien par lui-même; écoute, lis, attends; ça s’expliquera plus loin, plus tard, plus haut.»
Le réel irrationnel

Est revenu l’âge de Candide où l’on ne peut plus écouter l’universelle petite chanson qui rend raison de tout. Les Candides du XXe siècle, qui ont parcouru le vieux monde et le nouveau à travers les massacres, les batailles, les charniers et les gens terrorisés, existent: nous les avons rencontrés, Ukrainiens ou Chiliens, Tchèques ou Grecs. La morale du savoir, aujourd’hui, c’est peut-être de rendre le réel aigu, âpre, anguleux, inacceptable. Irrationnel donc?


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Rosie Smith, Book Review: Foucault’s ‘Wrong-Doing, Truth-Telling’. The Sociological Imagination, 2015

Michel Foucault’s 1981 Louvain lecture series ‘Wrong-Doing, Truth-Telling’ is a wonderfully insightful book. It provides a detailed examination of the role of truth-telling throughout antiquity and its development into a key stone of contemporary European juridical proceedings. Specifically, Foucault investigates, within the discourse of criminal law and criminal justice, the use of ‘avowal’ as a particular form of truth-telling; the process through which an individual identifies themselves as the criminal subject, rather than merely as the author of a crime. Foucault guides the reader through the history of truth-telling within society, how it is constructed and how it affects power, knowledge, and the subject. Using vivid historical, philosophical and literary examples, Foucault constructs a coherent genealogy of the subject (Brion and Bernard, 1981: 271), and how truth-telling aids individuals’ development of a sense of self. The lectures are delivered with great zeal and open a window onto Foucault’s own politicization, particularly his involvement with the French Maoist political party, Gauche Prolétarienne, during the early 1970s. In culmination the reader is provided with an impassioned analysis of “the points where the techniques of the self are integrated into structures of coercion or domination” (1981: 300).

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With thanks to Dave Beer for this news

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