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Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 72, 2018

Social Philosophy

Fouad Kalouche
Pages 53-57

The Subject of Foucault: Transformation

The paper will draw on Foucault’s the last College de France lectures of to present his exploration of Cynic self-transformative practices and self-subjectivizing “ways of living” associated with social and political transfor-mation of ontology - of “life” and not just the “world” - as politics of difference, otherness, and alterity. For Foucault subjectivity is a historical production shaped through discursive practices immersed with social practices, where the transcription of power relations (and/or of other relations, such relations of strategies, of domination etc.) reflects various forms of governmentality (sovereignty, disciplinarity, control, etc.) as well as different “regimes” and “dispositifs”, combining various techniques, mechanisms, relations, effects etc. (social, cultural, political, etc.). Subjectivity is not a socially fixed determinate product but “techniques of living” (techne ton bion) that provide the foundation for the social and discursive practices and subjectivization and self-subjectivization processes, but as a foundational horizon that is (but also should remain) open, contingent, and always shifting. Foucault’s late focus on the “care of the self” (“souci de soi”) and “parrhesia” (truth-telling or freedom of speech) not only complements his analyses of regimes of truth or of mechanisms, techniques, processes, and powers associated with various forms of governmentality, but provides the final chapter of his social and political ontology.

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