Circling around transgression

Bijdragen 61 (3):308-333 (2005)
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Foucault rejects the subject as a center, i.e. as a transparent self-conscious being, who gives meaning to his actions. However, ideas about subjects that think and will autonomously go on functioning within modern culture. Discourses on subjectivity call for an archeological and genealogical explanation. This compels Foucault to resort increasingly to subjectivity: as product and target of power, but also as a source of resistance and as an agent. After all, Foucault defines power as ‘actions about actions’. In the end, Foucault started to circumscribe the teleology of his philosophical ethos as the production of new forms of subjectivity, in terms of freedom and autonomy. Concern is more with a continuous circling transgression, apprehending subjectivity as an aimless self-negation, than it is about a return of the subject



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