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  • Print publication year: 2011
  • Online publication date: June 2012

15 - Michel Foucault: an ethical politics of care of self and others

Michel Foucault's ethical turn of the early 1980s led him in the direction of a re-conceptualization of politics as an ethical politics. Foucault explored the prospects for self-creation within the ambit of his treatment of ethics, which for him was integral to politics, and its link to the question of freedom. Indeed, one implication of care of self is care of others, of those with whom we share a communal life. Foucault's concern for self and its cultivation is assuredly not solipsistic. The agonistic character of democracy on which Foucault insisted, linked to its parrhesiastic game, the framework within which truth telling functions, opens a path to a politics of care of self and care of others by its constant effort to expand the scope for new modes of subjectivity, by creating the space for the flourishing of a multiplicity of arts of living.
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Political Philosophy in the Twentieth Century
  • Online ISBN: 9781139028530
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Foucault, MichelThe Government of Self and OthersNew YorkPalgrave Macmillan 2010 13
Foucault, MichelWhat Our Present IsThe Politics of TruthNew YorkSemiotext(e) 1997 147
Foucault, MichelThe Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human SciencesNew YorkVintage Books 1994 387
Revel, JudithDictionnaire FoucaultParisEllipses 2008 129
Oksala, JohannaFoucault on FreedomCambridgeCambridge University Press 2005
Foucault, MichelThe Hermeneutics of the SubjectNew YorkPalgrave Macmillan 2005 333
Foucault, MichelThe History of SexualityNew YorkVintage Books 1990
Foucault, MichelThe Ethics of the Concern of the Self as a Practice of FreedomThe Essential Works of Foucault, 1954–1984New YorkNew Press 1997 284
Foucault, MichelThe Subject and PowerThe Essential Works of Foucault, 1954–1984Faubion, James D.New YorkNew Press 2000
Foucault, MichelOn the Genealogy of Ethics: An Overview of Work in ProgressEssential Works 1 259
Foucault, MichelLe courage de la vérité: Le gouvernement de soi et des autres IIParisGallimard/Seuil 2009
Suggestions for further reading
Bernauer, JamesMichel Foucault's Force of Flight: Toward an Ethics for ThoughtAtlantic Highlands, NJHumanities Press International 1990
Binkley, SamCapetillo-Ponce, JorgeA Foucault for the 21st Century: Governmentality, Biopolitics, and Discipline in the New MillenniumNewcastleCambridge Scholars Publishing 2009
Dreyfus, Hubert LPaul, RabinowMichel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and HermeneuticsChicagoUniversity of Chicago Press 1983
Gutting, GaryThe Cambridge Companion to FoucaultCambridgeCambridge University Press 1994
Revel, JudithDictionnaire FoucaultParisEllipses 2008