Archive for June, 2017

J. Moreno Pestaña, Foucault, Bourdieu et la sociologie de la philosophie. À propos de Leçons sur la volonté de savoir

Texte en cours de publication dans Cartografie sociali. Rivista di sociologia e scienze umane, Anno II, n. 2, novembre 2017.

Academia.edu link

In this text, I analyze the model of history of philosophy proposed by Michel Foucault in the first course he taught at the College de France Leçons sur la volonté de savoir. Subsequently, I confront this model with the one proposed by Bourdieu in Méditations Pascaliennes. This will serve to re-analyze Foucault’s speech and verify its ambiguities. Finally, I will propose a model of the history of philosophy that integrates both the theoretical contributions of Foucault and those of Bourdieu.

Key words: Sociology of Philosophy, Bourdieu, Foucault, Contemporary French Philosophy, Sociology of Knowledge.


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Liz Kirwan* and Kathy Hall, The mathematics problem: the construction of a market-led education discourse in the Republic of Ireland, Critical Studies in Education,
Vol. 57, No. 3, 2016, 376–393.

DOI: 10.1080/17508487.2015.1102752

Educational change in the neoliberal state is permeated by the effects of forces from outside the field of education itself. The process of governmentality welcomes, indeed demands, the participation of those non-state actors valorised by neoliberalism as well as government agencies dedicated to the advancement of such groups. Inevitably, the concerns of such organisations become central to how the state sees education. This article traces the assembly of national and international agents from industry, business and special interest groups around the concept of ‘knowledge economy’. It treats this assemblage as an apparatus (dispositif), examining how the construction of an economic problem is brought to bear on the demand for educational change, and how this construction of the problem is used to shape public opinion in order to prepare the public for a radical change of direction. Confining itself to the reform of mathematics education introduced in the Republic of Ireland in 2010, this article traces the emergence of a mathematics discourse focused on market-led education. It interrogates the construction of ‘the mathematics problem’ or ‘crisis in maths’ and argues that the discourse of the present construction is economic in nature, centring as it does on human capital production and market-led reform.

Keywords: governmentality; human capital; Ireland; knowledge economy; market-led education; mathematics education; neoliberalism; Project Maths

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Due to extreme work overload at this end (see any number of articles on the contemporary neoliberal university!) I have got behind with my updates to Foucault News. To those of you who have sent me news recently, please rest assured that it will be appearing here soon!

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By Penelope Deutscher (Philosophy, Northwestern University)
University of NSW Biopolitics workshop
Sydney Australia
Monday June 26, 12:00-2:00pm, Morven Brown Building 209

PDF of flyer

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Müllner, R.
Self-Improvement In and Through Sports: Cultural-Historical Perspectives
(2017) International Journal of the History of Sport, pp. 1-14. Article in Press.

DOI: 10.1080/09523367.2017.1301431

This study examines the development of the modern self-improvement cultures in and through sports using three paradigmatic historic examples. It is theoretically based on Michel Foucault’s and Gilles Deleuze’s analyses of the disciplinary society and the society of control and especially on Foucault’s concept of ‘self-technologies’. Empirically, the question of improvement will be investigated by the means of three different paradigmatic fields of movement cultures in three different historical periods. The first one is the invention and the establishment of systematic rational enhancement regimes in the second half of the nineteenth century, which can be summarized under the term physical training. The second one focuses on the formation of the big number of bodies, as we can determine it, for example, within the ‘sport-for-all-initiatives’ during the 1970s in Europe (especially in Germany and in Austria). Third, we take a look at the highly individualized fitness practices from 1980 to the end of the millennium and finally some questions concerning the post-Fordist body regimes as we can find it, for example, in ‘life-logging–’ or ‘quantified-self-movement’, will be posed. © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

Author Keywords
Body history; cultural history; fitness; improvement; self-technology

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Raaen, F.D.
Placement mentors making sense of research-based knowledge
(2017) Teacher Development, pp. 1-21. Article in Press.

DOI: 10.1080/13664530.2017.1308429

Placement mentors’ role increasingly implies demonstrating to student teachers how research-based knowledge in combination with experience-based knowledge may be relevant in teachers’ professional work. This is a challenge. Placement mentors are often unsure how to make sense of research-based knowledge. Frequently there is a mismatch between what they say they can do and what they actually show they are able to do. This paper explores how placement mentors’ reasoning is formed by their lack of power to define what research-based knowledge consists of. The analysis in this paper is based on an investigation of the epistemological premises that placement mentors rely on when they validate research-based knowledge. The theoretical–analytical point of departure is Michel Foucault’s conception of power-knowledge. © 2017 Teacher Development

Author Keywords
clash of epistemologies; making meaning of research-based knowledge; Placement teachers; power-knowledge; teacher education

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Konoval, B.
From sexuality to governmentality: the Oedipus complex of Michel Foucault
(2017) Modern Intellectual History, pp. 1-33. Article in Press.

DOI: 10.1017/S1479244317000038

The figure of Oedipus haunted the thought of Michel Foucault from the outset of his tenure at the Collège de France, in association with several key philosophical and historical projects, and enduring until the conclusion of his career. However, it was with Foucault’s account of an “Oedipus complex”—one that operated “not at the individual level but at the collective level; not in connection with desire and the unconscious but in connection with power and knowledge” (“Truth and Juridical Forms,” 1973)—that Foucault was able to enlist Oedipus for a genealogy of “sexuality” and, furthermore, of “governmentality,” such as would increasingly preoccupy him through the mid- to late 1970s. Foucault’s attention to classical texts—in particular the Oedipus Tyrannos of Sophocles and the Republic of Plato—thereby helped to clear a critical pathway through the conventional Marxism embraced by the “repressive hypothesis,” and to arrive at a Nietzschean genealogy of sexuality and power.

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