Foucault is critical of the tendency to reduce all social and political problems according to predetermined ends and verifiable procedures. For Foucault, philosophical activity is a condition of possibility for the articulation of the question of the self. Inspired by his work on the desiring subject, Foucault begins to explore the ethical and political implications of self-care for modern day concerns. He presents an account of self-care that centres on developing an attitude that questions the personal relationship to truth, and puts to test those ideas and truths held most dearly. Processes of self-care evaluate the consistency between those truths a person regards as necessary and a person’s actions in the world. Interested in the ways in which people see themselves as subjects, Foucault directs his attention to the connection between systems of knowledge, power, and practices of the self. Crucial to Foucault’s process is the recognition that the self-subject is not given and does not have ontological precedence, and that subjectivity is transformable. By finding the lines and fractures in external and internal modes of objectification Foucault hopes to open up the space of freedom to bring about transformative events. The care of the self serves as a form of critique and resistance where it is both a way of living and acting in the world, and a critical response to a particular time and place.
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DOI 10.2478/ebce-2018-0006
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