Patočka and Foucault: Taking Care of the Soul and Taking Care of the Self

Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 50 (1):19-36 (2018)
  Copy   BIBTEX


ABSTRACTThe paper deals with Jan Patočka’s and Michel Foucault’s influential interpretations of the ancient Greek approach to care. At first sight, it might seem that Foucault’s care of the self is opposed to Patočka’s care of the soul. On closer reading, however, it becomes clear that the two interpretations lead to similar conclusions, as exemplified by the way the two authors interpret Plato’s Laches: both of them see it in relation to the issue of how to live one’s life. Further on, the paper deals with the development of Patočka’s understanding of care of the self and his approach to the philosophy of history. It is revealed that Foucault’s approach to history is opposed to Patočka’s on a number of issues. Despite their diverging opinions, however, the two authors problematize the ancient Greek care of the self as an important issue in Western culture, emphasizing the therapeutic role of contemporary philosophy along the way.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 77,805

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Patočka, the meaning of the post-European spirit and its direction.Philippe Merlier - 2017 - Labyrinth: An International Journal for Philosophy, Value Theory and Sociocultural Hermeneutics 19 (1):125-134.
Plato and Europe.Jan Patočka - 2002 - Stanford University Press.
Plato and Europe.Petr Lom (ed.) - 2002 - Stanford University Press.
Artificial agents, good care, and modernity.Mark Coeckelbergh - 2015 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 36 (4):265-277.


Added to PP

22 (#527,984)

6 months
1 (#482,368)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

References found in this work

The Subject and Power.Michel Foucault - 1982 - Critical Inquiry 8 (4):777-795.
Technologies of the Self.Michel Foucault - 2001 - Filosoficky Casopis 49 (2):319-343.
The political technology of individuals.Michel Foucault - 1988 - In Michel Foucault, Luther H. Martin, Huck Gutman & Patrick H. Hutton (eds.), Technologies of the Self: A Seminar with Michel Foucault. University of Massachusetts Press. pp. 145--162.

View all 11 references / Add more references