Foucault and public autonomy

Continental Philosophy Review 33 (4):417-439 (2000)
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Abstract

In this paper I argue that the social constructionist view found in Foucault''s work does not condemn one to a deterministic portrait of the ''self.'' Attention to the early and late writings allows one to articulate a weak notion of autonomy even under the heavy-handed descriptions found in Foucault''s early work. By recognizing autonomy as a public task, and not as a notion of freedom relegated to particular individuals, one is entitled to view autonomy as present in Foucault''s work - and not merely in those writings dedicated to the ''techniques of the self.'' Far from emphasizing practices of freedom, I demonstrate that we need not always think of autonomy as contained in necessary 0resistance. It is this that permits reading autonomy as a product of social construction, and not an objection to it.

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References found in this work

Archaeology of knowledge.Michel Foucault - 1972 - New York: Routledge.
Nietzsche, Genealogy, History.Michel Foucault - 2001 - In John Richardson & Brian Leiter (eds.), Nietzsche. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. (139-164).
The Subject and Power.Michel Foucault - 1982 - Critical Inquiry 8 (4):777-795.
Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics.Hubert L. Dreyfus & Paul Rabinow - 1982 - Chicago: Routledge. Edited by Paul Rabinow & Michel Foucault.
Foundations of the metaphysics of morals.Immanuel Kant - 2000 - In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Exploring Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology. New York, NY, United States of America: Oxford University Press USA.

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