Revisiting the work of late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century philosophers, when the split between analytical and continental philosophy began, Thomas-Fogiel finds both traditions followed the same path—the road of reference—which ...
This article brings out certain philosophical difficulties in Lacan’s account of the mirror stage, the initial moment of the subject’s development. For Lacan, the “original organization of the forms of the ego” is “precipitated” in an infant’s self-recognition in a mirror image; this event is explicitly prior to any social interactions. A Hegelian objection to the Lacanian account argues that social interaction and recognition of others by infants are necessary prerequisites for infants’ capacity to recognize themselves in a mirror image. (...) Thus mutual recognition with another, rather than self-recognition in a mirror, is what makes possible subsequent ego-formation and self-consciousness. This intersubjective critique suggests that many of the psychoanalytic consequences that Lacan derives from the mirror stage (e.g., alienation, narcissism, and aggressivity) may need to be rethought. (shrink)
The central thesis of Foucault's Critical Ethics is that Foucault's account of power does not foreclose the possibility of ethics; on the contrary, it provides a framework within which ethics becomes possible. Tracing the evolution of Foucault's analysis of power from his early articulations of disciplinary power to his theorizations of biopower and governmentality, Richard A. Lynch shows how Foucault's ethical project emerged through two interwoven trajectories: analysis of classical practices of the care of the self, and engaged practice in (...) and reflection upon the limits of sexuality and the development of friendship in gay communities. These strands of experience and inquiry allowed Foucault to develop contrasting yet interwoven aspects of his ethics; they also underscored how ethic practice emerges within and from contexts of power relations. The gay community's response to AIDS and its parallels with the feminist ethics of care serve to illustrate the resources of a Foucauldian ethics—a fundamentally critical attitude, with substantive (but revisable) values and norms grounded in a practice of freedom. (shrink)
The History of Sexuality, volume 1 (HS1): An Introduction may be the most widely read of Foucault's texts in English for many, to be sure, it is the first book by Foucault that one is likely to read. It is an indispensable text in Foucault's oeuvre –for a theoretically sophisticated understanding of the construction of sexuality and the exercise of power. This essay consists of two parts. The first part attempts to situate and assess HS1. Thus, HS1 constitutes a turning (...) point in Foucault's thought: it presents Foucault's mature articulation of disciplinary power while also opening up new analyses of biopower and bringing certain ethical problematics to the fore. As such, its reframing of sexuality has been profoundly inspirational for thinkers and activists alike. The much shorter second part briefly presents HS1's argument through analyses of each part and chapter. (shrink)