Journal of Moral Philosophy 3 (2):215-230 (2006)

Benda Hofmeyr
University of Pretoria
on ethics provides an opportunity to go beyond some of the controversies generated by his work of the 1970s. It was thought, for example, that Foucault had overstated the extent to which individuals could be ‘subjected’ to the influence of power, leaving them little room to resist. This paper will consider the ‘politics’ of self-creation. We shall attempt to establish to what extent Foucault’s later notion of self-formation does in fact succeed in countering an over determination by power. In the end, though, it would appear as if Foucault’s turn to ethics amounts to a substitution of ethics, understood as an individualized task, for the political task of collective social transformation. What is at stake is whether or not Foucault’s insistence on individual acts of resistance amounts to more than an empty claim that ethics still somehow has political implications whilst having in fact effectively given up on politics. It will be argued that the subject of the later Foucault’s ethics, the individual, can only be understood as political subjectivity, i.e. that the political potential of individual action is not only ‘added on’ as an adjunct, but that individual action is intrinsically invested with political purport. Key Words: care of the self • ethics • politics • power • power/knowledge.
Keywords power   politics   care of the self   ethics   power/knowledge
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DOI 10.1177/1740468106065493
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References found in this work BETA

The Subject and Power.Michel Foucault - 1982 - Critical Inquiry 8 (4):777-795.
Is It Useless to Revolt?Michel Foucault & James Bernauer - 1981 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 8 (1):2-4.
Bodies and Power, Revisited.Judith Butler - 2002 - Radical Philosophy 114.
Foucault and the Question of Enlightenment.David R. Hiley - 1985 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 11 (1):63-83.

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Citations of this work BETA

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Louise Bourgeois’ Technologies of the Self.Katrina Mitcheson - 2015 - Journal of Aesthetics and Phenomenology 2 (1):31-49.

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