A Fearsome Trap: The will to know, the obligation to confess, and the Freudian subject of desire

Educational Philosophy and Theory 42 (7):728-741 (2010)
The author examines the relation between Michel Foucault's corpus and Freudian psychoanalysis. He argues that Foucault had a complex and changing relationship to psychoanalysis for two primary reasons: his own psychopathology, personal experience, and expressed desire, and due to an ineluctable contradiction at the heart of psychoanalysis itself. The author examines the history of Foucault's personal and scholarly interest in psychology and psychiatry, tracing the emergence, development, and shift in his thought and work. He then argues that Foucault's critique of psychoanalysis can be extended to the constitution of the Western educated subject, and that Foucault ultimately resolved his personal dilemma in relation to psychoanalysis by rejecting the ‘will to knowledge’ and refusing the notion of a stable and fixed identity
Keywords power  psychoanalysis  Foucault  madness  Freud  sexuality
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DOI 10.1111/j.1469-5812.2009.00541.x
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