Philosophy and Social Criticism 29 (4):451-481 (2003)
|Abstract||The purpose of this paper is to explore the possibility of a new form of right that is both antidisciplinarian and liberated from sovereignty, the term Michel Foucault uses for what he claims to be the traditional theme of modern political philosophy. Some attempts to derive a theory of right from Foucaults critique have been made. However, by their own admission they do not yield a coherent and adequate theory, and other work has demonstrated the major problems inherent in Foucaults critique that render such a project problematic. This paper takes a different approach by revising the philosophical foundations of modern democracy with the goal of developing a new theory of right that addresses the problems that Foucault identified. To provide a theoretical context for this exploration, Foucaults key concepts of disciplinary technologies, power, the construction and maintenance of human subjects, and the role of the human body in human subjection are briefly reviewed. The main analysis will focus on the ideas of three political theorists whose respective works represent the core of sovereignty, and who are indisputably basic to any student of Western political theory, namely Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau. The aim of this analysis is not to provide another critique of their virtues and shortcomings. Instead, the work of these thinkers is used in a pragmatic way, to elicit a new form of right that could serve as a counter to disciplinary power. Key Words: civil right Enlightenment Foucault natural right political philosophy political theory postmodern critique social justice.|
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