Lotier, Kristopher M. “On Not Following Freire Foucault and the Critique of Human Capital.” Pedagogy 17, no. 2 (2017): 151-175.

Rather than ignoring or criticizing students’ vocational concerns, critical pedagogy can work on, in, and through them, thereby gaining persuasive credibility and simultaneously extending Paulo Freire’s educational project. Following Freire’s command to “rediscover power,” this article employs Michel Foucault’s analysis of neoliberal biopolitics to imagine possibilities for both personal and systemic transformation.

Rodrigo Cordero, Crisis and Critique: On the Fragile Foundations of Social Life. Routledge, 2017

Fragility is a condition that inhabits the foundations of social life. It remains mostly unnoticed until something breaks and dislocates the sense of completion. In such moments of rupture, the social world reveals the stuff of which it is made and how it actually works; it opens itself to question.

Based on this claim, this book reconsiders the place of the notions of crisis and critique as fundamental means to grasp the fragile condition of the social and challenges the normalization and dissolution of these ‘concepts’ in contemporary social theory. It draws on fundamental insights from Hegel, Marx, and Adorno as to recover the importance of the critique of concepts for the critique of society, and engages in a series of studies on the work of Habermas, Koselleck, Arendt, and Foucault as to consider anew the relationship of crisis and critique as immanent to the political and economic forms of modernity.

Moving from crisis to critique and from critique to crisis, the book shows that fragility is a price to be paid for accepting the relational constitution of the social world as a human domain without secure foundations, but also for wishing to break free from all attempts at giving closure to social life as an identity without question. This book will engage students of sociology, political theory and social philosophy alike.

Table of Contents


Part I. Sociology of crisis/Critique of sociology

1. The critique of crisis

2. The crisis of critique

Part II. Models of crisis/Forms of critique

3. Diremptions of social life: Bringing capitalist crisis and social critique back together —Jürgen Habermas

4. The non-closure of human history: Misfortunes of social critique and the political foundations of concepts —Reinhart Koselleck

Part III. Fragile foundations/Political struggles

5. The fragile world in-between: Totalitarian destruction and the modesty of critical thought —Hannah Arendt

6. Making things more fragile: The persistence of crisis and the neoliberal disorder of things —Michel Foucault


Decoding social hieroglyphics: Notes on the philosophical actuality of sociology
—Theodor Adorno

Lloro-Bidart, T., Semenko, K.
Toward a feminist ethic of self-care for environmental educators
(2017) Journal of Environmental Education, 48 (1), pp. 18-25.

DOI: 10.1080/00958964.2016.1249324

Feminist theory and philosophy have examined how dominant ideologies oppress women, nonhuman animals, and the environment. Feminist scholars also have begun to discuss how neoliberalism problematically re-inscribes women as the primary providers of care, regardless of the impact of this care work on their own well-being. This article synthesizes feminist writings about temporality, relationality, and self-care alongside Foucault’s ideas about “care for self” and feminist environmental education scholarship that considers care in order to develop a feminist ethic of self-care for environmental educators that challenges neoliberal ideologies. © 2017 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Author Keywords
animal studies; feminist care theory; Foucault; neoliberalism; self-care

Hugo Durieux, La CIA et les intellectuels français, Durieux.eu blog, 31 Mars 2017

Après l’avoir purifiée (sanitized), la CIA états-unienne (Central Intelligence Agency) a  rendu publique en 2011 une note de recherche intitulée France : Defection of the Leftist Intellectuals (France : la défection des intellectuels de gauche)[i]. Le document original confidentiel date de fin 1985 et fut élaboré au sein de l’Office for European Analysis.

D’abord rappelez-vous le contexte politique. On est encore en période de guerre froide. L’OTAN a l’intention de déployer en Europe de l’ouest près de six cents  missiles de croisière conçus pour le transport de têtes nucléaires. Partout en Europe se tiennent d’énormes manifestations contre l’OTAN et les Etats-Unis et leur politique d’armement. L’Union Soviétique existe encore, même si elle fait déjà l’expérience de fortes résistances organisées en Europe de l’est. En France, François Mitterrand a entamé la deuxième moitié de son premier  septennat présidentiel. Le gouvernement va de crise en crise. Sa politique économique et sociale ne cesse de décevoir l’électorat de gauche ; au gouvernement  Fabius de 1984 les quatre ministres communistes du PCF ont été remplacés. Une année plus tard, en 1986, l’union de la gauche perdra sa majorité à l’Assemblée Nationale.


Progressive Geographies

Update 6.JPG

I’ve largely been able to continue the focus of the last update, with a series of fairly uninterrupted days’ research and writing. Aside from continuing work on Lacan, I’ve also been looking at the people who taught Foucault. Merleau-Ponty is the key figure, as I’ve mentioned before, and I’ve done a bit more work on him, but Jean Wahl, Jean Hyppolite, Jean Beaufret, Henri Gouhier, and Daniel Lagache are all important. It’s taken a bit of digging around, but quite a lot of the lectures Foucault attended have been published. So, where possible, I’ve been tracking these down and doing some selective reading. Warwick has a pretty good collection, often in French and English. I was back in London for a couple of days, so did some work in the British Library, though my list of things to do there, and in Paris, is still quite extensive. I have the…

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Fully automated episode 2: biopolitical imperialism, with Mark G.E. Kelly


Our guest this week is Mark G. E. Kelly, an Associate Professor in the School of Humanities and Communication Arts at Western Sydney University. He is the author of The Political Philosophy of Michel Foucault (2009), as well as of Biopolitical Imperialism (from Zer0 books, in 2015) and he is also working on a book called ‘For Foucault: Against Normative Political Theory’ (SUNY, expected 2018).

Kelly has weighed in a number of recent ‘Foucault’ controversies, including the question of whether Foucault was a neoliberal. In this interview, we get into that debate. But I think for most listeners, the interesting stuff will be towards the end, where Kelly talks about Biopolitical Imperialism, and addresses the conflict in Syria.

The podcast was recorded on Wednesday, April 5, 2017. In the interview, you’ll hear Kelly comment on Donald Trump’s pivot a few days previous, on Syria. Two days after the recording, on April 7, the US military launched a cruise missile attack on a Syrian airfield. The attack was carried out in response to a chemical weapons incident in Idlib province, perpetrated allegedly by Syrian state forces. It would be hard to imagine a stronger confirmation of Kelly’s arguments about Biopolitical Imperialism.

Brückner, B., Iwer, L. & Thoma, S. Die Existenz, Abwesenheit und Macht des Wahnsinns. Eine kritische Übersicht zu Michel Foucaults Arbeiten zur Geschichte und Philosophie der Psychiatrie N.T.M. First Online: 04 April 2017.
DOI: 10.1007/s00048-017-0164-9

In diesem Artikel diskutieren wir Michel Foucaults Hauptwerke zum Thema „Wahnsinn und Psychiatrie“ von den Frühschriften bis in die siebziger Jahre. Zum einen rekonstruieren wir die globale theoretische und methodologische Entwicklung seiner Positionen im Lauf der verschiedenen Werkperioden. Zum anderen arbeiten wir Foucaults philosophische Überlegungen zum Gegenstand seiner Untersuchungen heraus. Nach der einleitenden Problemstellung zeigen wir entsprechend der neueren Forschung, inwiefern Foucaults frühe Positionen von 1954 (in der Einführung zu Binswangers Traum und Existenz sowie in Geisteskrankheit und Persönlichkeit) das spätere Werk durch eine phänomenologische Deskription des Gegenstands und einen historisch-kritischen Anspruch vorbereitete. Davon ausgehend thematisieren wir die zentralen inhaltlichen und methodologischen Prämissen in Foucaults Wahnsinn und Gesellschaft von 1961. Seine Thesen zur „Abwesenheit des Wahnsinns“ in der Moderne verstehen wir als einen in sich widersprüchlichen Versuch, den Gegenstand der Untersuchung von gängigen Vorannahmen zu befreien. Anschließend situieren wir Foucaults Vorlesungen Die Macht der Psychiatrie von 1973/74 im Kontext seiner machtanalytischen Werkphase und betonen seinen erneuten Standpunktwechsel in den Annahmen zur „Produktivität“ des Wahnsinns als Machteffekt. Abschließend resümieren wir unsere Kritik im Zusammenhang mit der Rezeptionsgeschichte der dargestellten Studien und fragen nach der möglichen Bedeutung dieser Werke für die philosophische und historische Reflexion des psychiatrischen Gegenstandsfeldes.

Michel Foucault Wahnsinn Psychiatrie Geschichte Werk Kritik

Existence, Absence and Power of Madness: A Critical Review of Michel Foucault’s Writings on the History and Philosophy of Madness

This article discusses Michel Foucault’s main writings on “madness and psychiatry” from his early works up to the 1970s. On the one hand, we reconstruct the overall theoretical and methodological development of his positions over the course of the different periods in his oeuvre. On the other hand, we also take a closer look at Foucault’s philosophical considerations regarding the subjects of his investigations. After an initial introduction of our conceptual approach, we draw on the most recent research on Foucault to show to what extent the phenomenological description of the topic at hand and the historical-critical perspective that are reflected in his early writings of 1954 (the Introduction to Binswanger’s Dream and Existence and Mental Illness and Personality) laid the ground for his later work. Moving on to Foucault’s work during the 1960s, we look at the core features and methodological bases of his 1961 classic Folie et déraison (History of Madness). His propositions regarding the “absence of madness” in modernity are conceptualized as an inherently contradictory attempt to liberate the topic under study from the common assumptions at that time. We then situate his 1973/74 lectures on Psychiatric Power in the context of his shift towards analyzing the dynamics of power and highlight the renewed shift of focus in his statements on the “productivity” of madness as an effect of power. Finally, we sum up our critique by taking into account the history of the reception of Foucault’s writings and ask about their potential significance for the contemporary philosophy and history of psychiatry.

Michel Foucault Madness Psychiatry History Oeuvre Critique

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