The art of life: Foucault's reading of baudelaire's "the painter of modern life"

Journal of Speculative Philosophy 24 (2):138-157 (2010)
In his essay "What Is Enlightenment?" Foucault compares the role of modernity in the work of the decadent Parisian poet Charles Baudelaire with that of the austere Prussian philosopher Immanuel Kant. He claims that the relationship between these two strange bedfellows can be found in the value each writer accords to the present in contrast to the past and future. Each writer claims, in his own style, that each individual must render his or her existence meaningful by cultivating what Foucault calls in this essay a philosophical ethos. This conception of the philosophical form of life forms the conceptual basis of Foucault's later work. I briefly interpret Foucault's discussion of Kant and Baudelaire in "What Is ..
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DOI 10.1353/jsp.2010.0006
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