Sexuality and Parrhesia in the Phenomenology of Psychological Development: The Flesh of Human Communicative Embodiment and the Game of Intimacy

In the three published volumes of his History of Sexuality Foucault reflects on themes of anxiety situated in the Christian doctrine of the flesh that led to a pastoral ministry establishing the rules of a general social economy—rules that enabled, over time, a discourse on the flesh that took thrift, prudence, modesty, and suspicion as essential ethical premises in the emerging “art of the self.” Rather than sensing flesh as a charged, motile potentiality of attachment and intimacy, it came to be seen as skin—as the limit of a sovereign body, embedding guilt and shame into the texture of its expression. This essay pursues the psychological and communication problematic of intimacy as a critical and developmental experience of the flesh. Foucault's concept of self-care and parrhesia, Merleau-Ponty's concept of flesh and embodiment, and Bataille's concept of glory and eroticism contribute to a phenomenology of human development that seeks to articulate an idea of a self diffierentiated from the unspoken binds of familial anxiety and emotionality
Keywords embodiment   Foucault   sexuality   phenomenology   Bataille   Merleau-Ponty
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DOI 10.1163/156916207X234266
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