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Foucault suggests that there are a number of ways in which the exercise of power can be resisted. He argues at one point that resistance is co-extensive with power, namely as soon as there is a power relation, there is a possibility of resistance. If there is no such thing as a society without relations of power, this does not mean that existing power relations cannot be criticized. There is always the possibility of resistance no matter how oppressive the system.

Foucault was interested in science for a number of reasons.

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With the Enlightenment, scientific reason became the privileged way of accessing truth. Reversing this argument he suggests instead that never before had there been so much attention focused on sexuality and the nineteenth century in fact saw the emergence of an enormous proliferation of knowledge and the development of multiple mechanisms of control in relation to sexuality. He describes the conflict between spirituality and theology as being the important historical issue rather than a conflict between spirituality and science.

Foucault also recasts the standard Church versus State opposition as instead an opposition between pastoral and sovereign forms of power. Foucault notes a number of differences in the ways pre-Cartesian and post-Cartesian systems approached the problem of acquiring knowledge and the notion of self-transformation. Foucault argues that the State is a codification of relations of power at all levels across the social body.

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Foucault emphasizes that the State is not the primary source of power. Paris: Gallimard Seuil, pp. Structuralism was a philosophical movement which achieved its heyday in the s. Structuralism also rejected the whole notion of an unchanging and universal human subject or human nature as being at the centre and origin of all action, history, existence and meaning. But where Foucault parted company with the structuralists, and one of the major reasons for his insistence that he was not associated with the movement, was his rejection of the ahistorical formalism often adopted by those espousing structuralist method.

The subject is an entity which is self-aware and capable of choosing how to act. Foucault was consistently opposed to nineteenth century and phenomenological notions of a universal and timeless subject which was at the source of how one made sense of the world, and which was the foundation of all thought and action.

The problem with this conception of the subject according to Foucault and other thinkers in the s, was that it fixed the status quo and attached people to specific identities that could never be changed. Foucault often uses the words techniques and technologies interchangeably, although sometimes techniques tend to be specific and localized and technologies more general collections of specific techniques. He argues that terrorism is counter-productive even on its own terms, since it merely entrenches those attacked further in their own world view.

Those who govern, likewise unsettled, then have an excuse to introduce stricter social and legal regulation as a result. He argues that truth is an event which takes place in history. These things only acquire a real and changing existence as the result of specific historical activities and reflection. Foucault argued that designing a social system to replace the current one merely produced another system which was still part of the current problem.

Foucault is often criticized for his lack of interest in the situation of women. When he does mention the feminist movement, however, it is usually to express his support. He also states very clearly that if there should be freedom of sexual choice, freedom of sexual acts such as rape should not be permitted. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account.

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You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Blog at WordPress. Clinical medicine at the end of the eighteenth century set much store on visibility — on looking and seeing and on visible symptoms genealogy Genealogy is the term Foucault uses to describe his historical method during the s.

Iran In , Foucault wrote a controversial series of reports on the Iranian revolution. Panopticon, panopticism and surveillance The Panopticon, was a design for a prison produced by Jeremy Bentham in the late eighteenth century which grouped cells around a central viewing tower. Power is not something that is exclusively localized in government and the State which is not a universal essence. Rather, power is exercised throughout the social body. Power is omnipresent at every level of the social body.

Utopias Foucault argued that designing a social system to replace the current one merely produced another system which was still part of the current problem. Like this: Like Loading Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:. Email required Address never made public. Name required. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email.

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Related Content. Examining critically the limits of his thinking, they also bear witness to its influence on contemporary philosophy, thus demonstrating the significance of his groundbreaking project of establishing ethics as first philosophy. Phenomenology and the Metaphysics of Sight.


  • Foucault and critique: Kant, humanism and the human sciences.
  • The question of subject in Foucault.
  • Visker, Rudi. Truth and Singularity: Taking Foucault into Phenomenology..

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PHILOSOPHY - Heidegger