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foucault studies

Stuart Elden, Clare OFarrell, Alan Rosenberg, 2004 ISSN: pending Foucault Studies, No 1, pp. 1-4, December 2004

EDITORIAL

Introducing Foucault Studies


Stuart Elden, Clare OFarrell, Alan Rosenberg

Interest in the work of the French thinker Michel Foucault continues to develop within the Englishspeaking world and elsewhere at an exponential rate. There exists an everexpanding corpus of writing which deals either directlywithhisworkoruseshisideasasthebasisforotherresearch.Indeed, someofhisconcepts,notablyhisworkonpower,arenowsowellrecognised as to often appear without attribution. Aside from being widely used at the research level, Foucaults work is also commonly referred to in university courses across the humanities and the social sciences as well as in applied professionaldisciplinessuchaseducation,architectureandsocialwork.There areseveralresearchanddiscussionnetworksinexistencewhichfocusonhis work, including the Centre Michel Foucault in Paris, the History of the PresentgroupsinCanadaandtheUK,theFoucaultCircleintheUSAanda newCentrodeEstudiosMultidisciplinariosMichelFoucaultinMexico.Inthe virtualsphere,thepopularityofthevariousFoucaultwebsitesontheinternet attests to the influence of his work: the Michel Foucault: Resources site for example,averagesupto500hitsadayfromallovertheworld.Therearealso two major email discussion lists which deal with his work and a number of otherminorlists. In 2004, the year that marks the twentieth anniversary of Foucaults death, his work has become more popular than ever with numerous conferences around the globe in Europe, South America and the United States,Australiaandelsewhere.2004hasalsomarkedthepublicationoffour previously unpublished works by Foucault in French: a set of interviews originallyconductedin1975byRogerPolDroit,twonewvolumesoflectures andthedramatisedradiobroadcastofaverylengthyinterviewconductedby ClaudeBonnefoyin1969.AbookonManetcontainingalecturebyFoucault whichhadonlyappearedpreviouslyinincompleteforminanobscurejournal hasalsobeenpublished.2004hasalsomarkedaremarkablerevivalofinterest inFoucaultsworkinFranceafteryearsofrelativeneglect.Thishasnotbeen restrictedmerelytopublicationofnewworkbyFoucault,butalsoextendsto the publication of new books about his work, special issues in journals and

foucault studies, No 1, pp. 1-4 wide circulation magazines and newspapers, several conferences, and a special series of Foucault related events at the annual Autumn festival in Paris. WithsomuchactivityandeverincreasingactivityaroundFoucaults work, a journal which deals specifically and directly with his work and its impact was more than overdue. Although there are a select number of journals which publish various kinds of research influenced by Foucaults work (as well as other French thinkers), Foucault has not been accorded the honour of a journal which provides a forum for the discussion of his work, including criticisms, developments and applications, the publication of new translations and reviews and reports of books, conferences and other activities. This sets him apart from other thinkers such as Nietzsche, Kant, Hegel,andeven,now,Baudrillard,andwebelievethisjournalistimely. The journal intends to provide a forum for discussion of Foucault which goes beyond received orthodoxies, simplifications and uncritical appropriations.Inparticular,thejournalaimstopublishworkwhichutilises not only the more familiar material by Foucault but also the wide range of material made available by the 1994 publication in French of a four volume collectionofover360ofFoucaultsshorterwritingsandthemorerecent(and ongoing) publication of his lectures. Much of this material is still in the process of being translated into English, and it revolutionises ways of thinkingabouthiswork. The initial submissions to the journal, a few of which appear in this first issue, testify to our belief that there was a real lacuna in the available outletsforworkonFoucault.WerecognisedFoucaultsworkwasbeingused productively across the globe and across a whole range of disciplines, and therefore sought submission of material that not only deals with his work directlybutalsothatwhichcritiques,updatesandaugmentshisclaimsacross very diverse geographical, disciplinary and historical domains. In this and subsequent issues we aim to cover the full breadth of these interests, including power, politics, law, history, social and cultural theory, sexuality, race, religion, gender studies, psychoanalysis, philosophy, geography, architecture, education, health studies, management studies, media studies. Wherepossible,thejournalwilllooktopublishtranslationsofshorterpieces fromFoucaultsoeuvre,andwillregularlycarrybookreviewsandconference andseminarreports. It is important to emphasise that even if the editors have their own specialised interests, they will be seeking to make the journal as inclusive a forum as possible (in the spirit of Foucaults own work) and will be seeking contributions from across a wide range of specialisations, interests and viewpoints.Wehaveattemptedtoreflectsomethingofthisbreadthofinterest inFoucaultsworkinoureditorialboard.

Elden, OFarrell, Rosenberg: Introducing Foucault Studies

There have been concerns that a journal focused specifically on Foucaults work runs the risk of imprisoning this famously iconoclastic thinker within the strictures of a scholarly orthodoxy with rigid rules of inclusion and exclusion. In the social sciences and other applied fields, one frequently encounters researchers struggling to understand Foucault and to applyhisthoughtwhilefightinganuphillbattleagainstentrenchedprejudice concerning his and other similar ideas in their own very pragmatically oriented fields. These researchers sometimes find it difficult to publish their work,whichistoodivergenttofiteasilywithinthewelldefinedboundaries of their own disciplinary and institutional locations. One of the aims of this journalistoprovideanalternativeoutletforsuchwork.ThenameFoucault on the cover of this journal is thus an open invitation for scholars to depart from conventional disciplinary strictures while still performing their own rigorousresearch.Foucaultsnameserveshereasaninvitation,notthename onthedoorofaclosedclub. In this first issue, weare very pleased to include a new translation of oneofFoucaultslectures,alongsidethreeimportantandchallengingessays. SimonEnochexaminestheconstructionoftheJewishsubjectinNazimedical discourse and Neil Levy and Jeremy Moss, quite by coincidence working at the same institution, reflect respectively on some of the ethical and political implicationsofFoucaultswork.Theyareaccompaniedbyareviewessayby BradElliottStoneontwoofFoucaultslecturecourses,andarangeofreviews ofotherbooks.ThelastcontributionhereisabriefreportbyRichardLynchof theworkhehasdoneonabibliographyofEnglishtranslationsofFoucaults work.Thereportexplainsthewayinwhichthebibliographycanbeused,and provides links to the material which is freely available on the Foucault Resourceswebsite.Richardintendstokeepthismaterialuptodate,andthis journalwillincludebriefupdateswhereappropriate.Togetherwebelievethis firstissueisasignificantcontributiontotheongoing receptionofFoucaults work in the Englishspeaking world, and although contributions to the journal continue in good numbers, we also hope it will inspire future submissions. Thislaunchissuewillbefollowedbytwiceyearlypublication.Thereis the potential for special issues on particular topics, and suggestions for themeswouldbewelcomedbytheeditors. Two further points about the journal are worth noting. First, that the journal is available online, and is free to anyone who wishes to use it. This seemsappropriategiventheglobalreachofinterestinFoucaultandthewide internetusagebyFoucaultscholarsandresearchersingeneral.Italsomeans that the journal is free from external constraints. Second, that the journal aspires to the same standards as print journals, and sees the internet as a valuable medium for the dissemination of highquality rigorous work. All

foucault studies, No 1, pp. 1-4 articles published in Foucault Studies have gone through peerreview and standardeditorialprocedures. Having no outside support means that the editors are necessarily indebted to a number of people. We are especially grateful to the editorial board for their advice and enthusiasm for this venture; to the numerous referees who have reviewed the work submitted to the journal and offered helpful and generous criticism; and to Morris Rabinowitz and Doris B. Katz fortheirinvaluabletechnicalassistance.Allofthesepeopleenabledthisfirst issue of the journal to come into existence. We hope you enjoy the material presentedhere.

foucault studies
English Translation Foucault Studies, 2004 ISSN: pending Foucault Studies, No 1, pp. 5-19, December 2004

TRANSLATION

The Crisis of Medicine or the Crisis of Antimedicine?


Michel Foucault
Translated by Edgar C. Knowlton, Jr. (Professor Emeritus, University of Hawaii), William J. King (University of Hawaii) and Clare OFarrell (Queensland University of Technology)1

NOTE: This was the first of three lectures given by Michel Foucault on social medicine in October 1974 at the Institute of Social Medicine, Biomedical Center, of the State University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It was originally published in Portuguese translation as Crisis de un modelo en la medicina?, Revista centroamericana de Ciencas de la Salud, No 3, January-April 1976, pp. 197-209; and in Spanish as La crisis de la medicina o la crisis de la antimedicina, Educacion Medica y Salud, Vol 10 No 2, 1976, pp. 152-70. The version in Dits et crits, (Paris: Gallimard), vol III, pp. 40-58, is a retranslation of the Portuguese back into French. We have translated this article from Spanish and thank PAHO Publications for their permission to publish it. We have also compared it to the French translation by Dominique Reyni.

I would like to open this lecture by drawing attention to a question which is beginning to be widely discussed: should we speak of a crisis of medicine or a crisis of antimedicine? In this context I shall refer to Ivan Illichs book Medical Nemesis: the Expropriation of Health,2 which, given the major impact it has had and will continue to have in the coming months, focuses world public opinion on the problem of the current functioning of the institutions of medical knowledge and power. But to analyze this phenomenon, I shall begin from at an earlier period, the years between 1940 and 1945, or more exactly the year 1942, when the famous Beveridge Plan was elaborated. This plan served as a model for the organization of health after the Second World War in England and in many other countries. The date of this Plan has a symbolic value. In 1942 at the height of the World War in which 40,000,000 people lost their lives it was not the right to life that was adopted as a principle, but a different and more
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[Ed.] Clare OFarrell made very extensive changes working from the French version while preserving some of the variations that exist in the Spanish version. Editorial changes were also made by Stuart Elden and Morris Rabinowitz. [Ed.] Ivan Illich, Medical Nemesis: the Expropriation of Health, London, Calder and Boyars, 1975.

foucault studies, No 1, pp. 5-19 substantial and complex right: the right to health. At a time when the War was causing large-scale destruction, society assumed the explicit task of ensuring its members not only life, but also a healthy life. Apart from its symbolic value, this date is very important for several reasons: 1. The Beveridge Plan signals that the State was taking charge of health. It might be argued that this was not new, since from the eighteenth century onwards it has been one of the functions of the State, not a fundamental one but still one of vital importance, to guarantee the physical health of its citizens. Nonetheless, until middle of the twentieth century, for the State guaranteeing health meant essentially the preservation of national physical strength, the work force and its capacity of production, and military force. Until then, the goals of State medicine had been, principally, if not racial, then at least nationalist. With the Beveridge plan, health was transformed into an object of State concern, not for the benefit of the State, but for the benefit of individuals. Mans right to maintain his body in good health became an object of State action. As a consequence, the terms of the problem were reversed: the concept of the healthy individual in the service of the State was replaced by that of the State in the service of the healthy individual. 2. It is not only a question of a reversal of rights, but also of what might be called a morality of the body. In the nineteenth century an abundant literature on health, on the obligation of individuals to secure their health and that of their family, etc. made its appearance in every country in the world. The concept of cleanliness, of hygiene, occupied a central place in all these moral exhortations concerning health. Numerous publications insisted on cleanliness as an indispensable prerequisite for good health. Health would allow people to work so that children could survive and ensure social labour and production in their turn. Cleanliness ensured good health for the individual and those surrounding him. In the second half of the twentieth century another concept arose. It was no longer a question of an obligation to practise cleanliness and hygiene in order to enjoy good health, but of the right to be sick as one wishes and as is necessary. The right to stop work began to take shape and became more important than the former obligation to practise cleanliness that had characterized the moral relation of individuals with their bodies. 3. With the Beveridge Plan health entered the field of macroeconomics. The costs involved in health, from the loss of work days, to the necessity of covering those risks stopped being phenomena that could be resolved through the use of pension funds or with mostly private insurance. From then on, health or the absence of health the totality of conditions which allowed the health of individuals to be insured, became an expense, which due to its size became one of the major items of the State budget, regardless of what system of financing was used. Health began to enter the calculations of the macro-economy. Through the avenue of health, illnesses and the need to ensure the necessities of health led to a certain economic redistribution. From the beginning of the present century one of the functions of budgetary policy

Foucault: The Crisis of Medicine or the Crisis of Antimedicine in the many countries has been ensuring a certain equalization of income, if not of property, through the tax system. This redistribution did not, however, depend on taxes, but on the system of regulation and economic coverage of health and illnesses. In ensuring for all the same opportunities for receiving treatment, there was an attempt to correct inequalities in income. Health, illness, and the body began to have their social locations and, at the same time, were converted into a means of individual socialization. 4. Health became the object of an intense political struggle. At the end of the Second World War and with the triumphant election of the Labour party in England in 1945, there was no political party or political campaign, in any developed country, that did not address the problem of health and the way in which the State would ensure and finance this type of expenditure. The British elections of 1945, as well as those relating to the pension plans in France in 1947, which saw the victory of the representatives of the Confdration gnrale du travail [General Confederation of Workers], mark the importance of the political struggle over health. Taking the Beveridge Plan as a point of symbolic reference, one can observe over the ten years from 1940-1950 the formulation of a new series of rights, a new morality, a new economics, a new politics of the body. Historians have accustomed us to drawing a careful and meticulous relation between what people say and what they think, the historical development of their representations and theories and the history of the human spirit. Nevertheless, it is curious to note that they have always ignored that fundamental chapter that is the history of the human body. In my opinion, the years 1940-1950 should be chosen as dates of reference marking the birth of this new system of rights, this new morality, this new politics and this new economy of the body in the modern Western world. Since then, the body of the individual has become one of the chief objectives of State intervention, one of the major objects of which the State must take charge. In a humorous vein, we might make an historical comparison. When the Roman Empire was crystallized in Constantines era, the State, for the first time in the history of the Mediterranean world, took on the task of caring for souls. The Christian State not only had to fulfil the traditional functions of the Empire, but also had to allow souls to attain salvation, even if it had to force them to. Thus, the soul became one of the objects of State intervention. All the great theocracies, from Constantine to the mixed theocracies of eighteenth century Europe, were political regimes in which the salvation of the soul was one of the principal objectives. One could say that the present situation has actually been developing since the eighteenth century not a theocracy, but a somatocracy. We live in a regime that sees the care of the body, corporal health, the relation between illness and health, etc. as appropriate areas of State intervention. It is precisely the birth of this somatocracy, in crisis since its origins, that I am proposing to analyze. At the moment medicine assumed its modern functions, by means of a characteristic process of nationalization, medical technology was experiencing

foucault studies, No 1, pp. 5-19 one of its rare but extremely significant advances. The discovery of antibiotics and with them the possibility of effectively fighting for the first time against infectious diseases, was in fact contemporary with the birth of the major systems of social security. It was a dazzling technological advance, at the very moment a great political, economic, social, and legal mutation of medicine was taking place. The crisis became apparent from this moment on, with the simultaneous manifestation of two phenomena: on the one hand, technological progress signalling an essential advance in the fight against disease; on the other hand, the new economic and political functioning of medicine. These two phenomena did not lead to the improvement of health that had been hoped for, but rather to a curious stagnation in the benefits that could have arisen from medicine and public health. This is one of the earlier aspects of the crisis I am trying to analyze. I will be referring to some of its effects to show that that the recent development of medicine, including its nationalization and socialization of which the Beveridge Plan gives a general vision is of earlier origin. Actually, one must not think that medicine up until now has remained an individual or contractual type of activity that takes place between patient and doctor, and which has only recently taken social tasks on board. On the contrary, I shall try to demonstrate that medicine has been a social activity since the eighteenth century. In a certain sense, social medicine does not exist because all medicine is already social. Medicine has always been a social practice. What does not exist is non-social medicine, clinical individualizing medicine, medicine of the singular relation. All this is a myth that defended and justified a certain form of social practice of medicine: private professional practice. Thus, if in reality medicine is social, at least since its great rise in the eighteenth century, the present crisis is not really new, and its historical roots must be sought in the social practice of medicine. As a consequence, I shall not be posing the problem in the terms used by Illich and his disciples: medicine or antimedicine, should we save medicine or not? The problem is not whether to have individual or social medicine, but whether to question the model of the development of medicine beginning in the eighteenth century, that is, from when what we might describe as the take off of medicine occurred. This take off of health in the developed world was accompanied by a technical and epistemological removal of important obstacles in medicine and in a series of social practices. And it is precisely these specific forms of take off that have produced the current crisis. The problem can be posed in the following terms: (1) what was that model of development? (2) to what extent can it be corrected? (3) to what extent can it be used today in societies or populations that have not experienced the European and American model of economic and political development? To sum up, what is this model of development? Can it be corrected and applied in other places? I would now like to expose some hidden aspects of this current crisis.

Foucault: The Crisis of Medicine or the Crisis of Antimedicine

Scientificity and Efficacy of Medicine In the first place, I would like to refer to the separation or distortion that exists between the scientificity of medicine and the positive nature of its effects, or between the scientificity and the efficacy of medicine. It was not necessary to wait for Illich or the disciples of anti-medicine to know that one of the capabilities of medicine is killing. Medicine kills, it has always killed, and it has always been aware of this. What is important, is that until recent times the negative effects of medicine remained inscribed within the register of medical ignorance. Medicine killed through the doctors ignorance or because medicine itself was ignorant. It was not a true science, but rather a rhapsody of ill-founded, poorly established and unverified sets of knowledge. The harmfulness of medicine was judged in proportion to its non-scientificity. But what emerged at the beginning of the twentieth century, was the fact that medicine could be dangerous, not through its ignorance and falseness, but through its knowledge, precisely because it was a science. Illich and those who are inspired by him uncovered a series of data around this theme, but I am not sure how well elaborated they are. One must set aside different spectacular results designed for the consumption of journalists. I shall not dwell therefore on the considerable decrease in mortality during a doctors strike in Israel; nor shall I mention well-recorded facts whose statistical elaboration does not allow the definition or discovery of what is being dealt with. This is the case in relation to the investigation by the National Institutes of Health (USA) according to which in 1970, 1,500,000 persons were hospitalized due to the consumption of medications. These statistics are upsetting but do not afford convincing proof, as they do not indicate the manner in which these medications were administered, or who consumed them, etc. Neither shall I analyze the famous investigation of Robert Talley, who demonstrated that in 1967, 3,000 North Americans died in hospitals from the side effects of medications. All that taken as a whole does not have great significance nor is it based on a valid analysis.3 There are other factors that need to be known. For example, one needs to know the how these medications were administered, if the problems were a result of an error by the doctor, the hospital staff or the patient himself, etc. Nor shall I dwell on the statistics concerning surgical operations, particularly in relation to certain studies of hysterectomies in California that indicate that out of 5,500 cases, 14% of the operations failed, 25% of the patients died young, and that in only 40% of the cases was the operation necessary. All these facts, made notorious by Illich, relate to the ability or ignorance of the doctors, without casting doubt on medicine itself in its scientificity. On the other hand what appears to me to be much more interesting and which poses the real problem is what one might call positive
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[Ed.] Letters in relation to this study can be found in Robert B. Talley, Marc F. Laventurier, and C. Joseph Stetler, Letters: Drug Induced Illness. Journal of the American Medical Association 229, no. 8 (1974) pp. 1043-44.

foucault studies, No 1, pp. 5-19 iatrogenicity, rather than iatrogenicity4: the harmful effects of medication due not to errors of diagnosis or the accidental ingestion of those substances, but to the action of medical practice itself, in so far as it has a rational basis. At present, the instruments that doctors and medicine in general have at their disposal cause certain effects, precisely because of their efficacy. Some of these effects are purely harmful and others are unable to be controlled, which leads the human species into a perilous area of history, into a field of probabilities and risks, the magnitude of which cannot be precisely measured. It is known, for example, that anti-infectious treatment, the highly successful struggle carried out against infectious agents, led to a general decrease of the threshold of the organisms sensitivity to hostile agents. This means that to the extent that the organism can defend itself better, it protects itself, naturally, but on the other hand, it is more fragile and more exposed if one restricts contact with the stimuli which provoke defences. More generally, one can say that through the very effect of medications positive and therapeutic effects there occurs a disturbance, even destruction, of the ecosystem, not only at the individual level, but also at the level of the human species itself. Bacterial and viral protection, which represent both a risk and a protection for the organism, with which it has functioned until then, undergoes a change as a result of the therapeutic intervention, thus becoming exposed to attacks against which the organism had previously been protected. Nobody knows where the genetic manipulation of the genetic potential of living cells in bacteria or in viruses will lead. It has become technically possible to develop agents that attack the human body against which there are no means of defence. One could forge an absolute biological weapon against man and the human species without the means of defence against this absolute weapon being developed at the same time. This has led American laboratories to call for the prohibition of some genetic manipulations that are at present technically possible. We thus enter a new dimension of what we might call medical risk. Medical risk, that is the inextricable link between the positive and negative effects of medicine, is not new: it dates from the moment when the positive effects of medicine were accompanied by various negative and harmful consequences. With regards to this there are numerous examples that signpost the history of modern medicine dating from the eighteenth century. In that century, for the first time, medicine acquired sufficient power to allow certain patients to become healthy enough to leave a hospital. Until the middle of the eighteenth century people generally did not survive a stay in a hospital. People entered this institution to die. The medical technique of the eighteenth century did not allow the hospitalized individual to leave the institution alive. The hospital was a cloister where one went to breathe ones last; it was a true mortuary.

[Ed.] Caused by a doctor, from iatros, physician.

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Foucault: The Crisis of Medicine or the Crisis of Antimedicine Another example of a significant medical advance accompanied by a great increase in mortality was the discovery of anaesthetics and the technique of general anaesthesia in the years from 1844 to 1847. As soon as a person could be put to sleep surgical operations could be performed, and the surgeons of the time devoted themselves to this work with great enthusiasm. But at the time they did not have access to sterilized instruments. Sterile surgical technique was not introduced into medical practice until 1870. After the Franco-Prussian war and the relative success of German doctors, it became a current practice in many countries. As soon as individuals could be anaesthetized, the pain barrier the natural protection of the organism disappeared and one could proceed with any operation whatsoever. In the absence of sterile surgical technique, there was no doubt that every operation was not only risky, but led to almost certain death. For example, during the war of 1870, a famous French surgeon, Gurin, performed amputations on several wounded men, but only succeeded in saving one; the others died. This is a typical example of the way medicine has always functioned, on the basis of its own failures and the risks it has taken. There has been no major medical advance that has not paid the price in various negative consequences. This characteristic phenomenon of the history of modern medicine has acquired a new dimension today in so far as that, until the most recent decades, medical risk concerned only the individual under care. At most, one could adversely affect the individuals direct descendants, that is, the power of a possible negative action limited itself to a family or its descendants. Nowadays, with the techniques at the disposal of medicine, the possibility for modifying the genetic cell structure not only affects the individual or his descendants but the entire human race. Every aspect of life now becomes the subject of medical intervention. We do no know yet whether man is capable of fabricating a living being which will make it possible to modify the entire history of life and the future of life. A new dimension of medical possibilities arises that I shall call biohistory. The doctor and the biologist are no longer working at the level of the individual and his descendants, but are beginning to work at the level of life itself and its fundamental events. This is a very important element in biohistory. It has been known since Darwin that life evolved, that the evolution of living species is determined, to a certain degree, by accidents which might be of a historical nature. Darwin knew, for example, that enclosure in England, a purely economic and legal practice, had modified the English fauna and flora. The general laws of life, therefore, were then linked to that historical occurrence. In our days something new is in the process of being discovered; the history of man and life are profoundly intertwined. The history of man does not simply continue life, nor is simply content to reproduce it, but to a certain extent renews it, and can exercise a certain number of fundamental effects on its processes. This is one of the great risks of contemporary medicine and one of the reasons for the uneasiness communicated from

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foucault studies, No 1, pp. 5-19 doctors to patients, from technicians to the general population, with regards to the effects of medical action. A series of phenomena, like the radical and bucolic rejection of medicine in favour of a non-technical reconciliation with nature, themes of millenarianism and the fear of an apocalyptic end of the species, represent the vague echo in public awareness of this technical uneasiness that biologists and doctors are beginning to feel with regards to the effects of their own practice and their own knowledge. Not knowing stops being dangerous when the danger feared is knowledge itself. Knowledge is dangerous, not only because of its immediate consequences for individuals or groups of individuals, but also at the level of history itself. This is one of the fundamental characteristics of the present crisis. Undefined Medicalization The second characteristic is what I am going to call the phenomenon of undefined medicalization. It is often argued that in the twentieth century medicine began to function outside its traditional field as defined by the wishes of the patient, his pain, his symptoms, his malaise. This area defined medical treatment and circumscribed its field of activity, which was determined by a domain of objects called illnesses and which gave medical status to the patients demands. It was thus that the domain specific to medicine was defined. There is no doubt that if this is its specific domain, contemporary medicine has gone considerably beyond it for several reasons. In the first place, medicine responds to another theme which is not defined by the wishes of the patient, wishes which now exist only in limited cases. More frequently, medicine is imposed on the individual, ill or not, as an act of authority. One can cite several examples in this instance. Today, nobody is employed without a report from a doctor who has the authority to examine the individual. There is a systematic and compulsory policy of screening, of tracking down disease in the population, a process which does not answer any patient demand. In some countries, a person accused of having committed a crime, that is, an infringement considered as sufficiently serious to be judged by the courts, must submit to compulsory examination by a psychiatric expert. In France, it is compulsory for every individual coming under the purview of the legal system, even if it is a correctional court. These are examples of a type of a familiar medical intervention that does not derive from the patients wishes. In the second place, the objects that make up the area of medical treatment are not just restricted to diseases. I offer two examples. Since the beginning of the twentieth century, sexuality, sexual behaviour, sexual deviations or anomalies have been linked to medical treatment, without a doctors saying, unless he is naive, that a sexual anomaly is a disease. The systematic treatment by medical therapists of homosexuals in Eastern European countries is characteristic of the medicalization of something that

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Foucault: The Crisis of Medicine or the Crisis of Antimedicine is not a disease, either from the point of view of the person under treatment or the doctor. More generally, it might be argued that health has been transformed into an object of medical treatment. Everything that ensures the health of the individual; whether it be the purification of water, housing conditions or urban life styles, is today a field for medical intervention that is no longer linked exclusively to diseases. Actually, the authoritarian intervention of medicine in an ever widening field of individual or collective existence is an absolutely characteristic fact. Today medicine is endowed with an authoritarian power with normalizing functions that go beyond the existence of diseases and the wishes of the patient. If the jurists of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries are considered to have invented a social system that had to be governed by a system of codified laws, it might be argued that in the twentieth century doctors are in the process of inventing a society, not of law, but of the norm. What governs society are not legal codes but the perpetual distinction between normal and abnormal, a perpetual enterprise of restoring the system of normality. This is one of the characteristics of contemporary medicine, although it may easily be demonstrated that it is a question of an old phenomenon, linked to the medical take off. Since the eighteenth century, medicine has continually involved itself in what is not its business, that is, in matters other than patients and diseases. It was precisely in this manner that epistemological obstacles were able to be removed at the end of the eighteenth century. Until sometime between 1720 to 1750, the activities of doctors focused on the demands of patients and their diseases. Thus has it been since the Middle Ages, with arguably non-existent scientific and therapeutic results. Eighteenth century medicine freed itself from the scientific and therapeutic stagnation in which it had been mired beginning in the medieval period. From this moment on, medicine began to consider fields other than ill people and became interested in aspects other than diseases, changing from being essentially clinical to being social. The four major processes which characterize medicine in the eighteenth century, are as follows: 1. Appearance of a medical authority, which is not restricted to the authority of knowledge, or of the erudite person who knows how to refer to the right authors. Medical authority is a social authority that can make decisions concerning a town, a district, an institution, or a regulation. It is the manifestation of what the Germans called Staatsmedizin, medicine of the State. 2. Appearance of a medical field of intervention distinct from diseases: air, water, construction, terrains, sewerage, etc. In the eighteenth century all this became the object of medicine. 3. Introduction of an site of collective medicalization: namely, the hospital. Before the eighteenth century, the hospital was not an institution of medicalization, but of aid to the poor awaiting death. 4. Introduction of mechanisms of medical administration: recording of data, collection and comparison of statistics, etc.

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foucault studies, No 1, pp. 5-19 With a base in the hospital and in all these social controls, medicine was able to gain momentum, and clinical medicine acquired totally new dimensions. To the extent that medicine became a social practice instead of an individual one, opportunities were opened up for anatomical pathology, for hospital medicine and the advances symbolized by the names of Bichat, Lannec, Bayle, et al. As a consequence, medicine dedicated itself to areas other than diseases, areas not governed by the wishes of the sick person. This is an old phenomenon that forms one of the fundamental characteristics of modern medicine. But what more particularly characterizes the present phase in this general tendency is that in recent decades, medicine in acting beyond its traditional boundaries of ill people and diseases is taking over other areas. If in the eighteenth century, medicine had in fact gone beyond its classic limits there were still things that remained outside medicine and did not seem to be medicalizable. There were fields outside medicine and one could conceive of the existence of a bodily practice, a hygiene, a sexual morality etc., that was not controlled or codified by medicine. The French Revolution, for example, conceived of a series of projects concerning a morality of the body, a hygiene of the body, that were not in any way under the control of doctors. A kind of happy political order was imagined, in which the management of the human body, hygiene, diet and the control of sexuality corresponded to a collective and spontaneous consciousness. This ideal of a non-medical regulation of the body and of human conduct can be found throughout the nineteenth century in the work of Raspail for example.5 What is diabolical about the present situation is that whenever we want to refer to a realm outside medicine we find that it has already been medicalized. And when one wishes to object to medicines deficiencies, its drawbacks and its harmful effects, this is done in the name of a more complete, more refined and widespread medical knowledge. I should like to mention an example in this regard: Illich and his followers point out that therapeutic medicine, which responds to a symptomatology and blocks the apparent symptoms of diseases, is bad medicine. They propose in its stead a demedicalized art of health made up of hygiene, diet, lifestyle, work and housing conditions etc. But what is hygiene at present except a series of rules set in place and codified by biological and medical knowledge, when it is not medical authority itself that has elaborated it? Anti-medicine can only oppose medicine with facts or projects that have been already set up by a certain type of medicine. I am going to cite another example taken from the field of psychiatry. It might be argued that the first form of antipsychiatry was psychoanalysis. At the end of the nineteenth psychoanalysis was aimed at the demedicalization of various phenomena that the major psychiatric symptomatology of that same century had classified as illnesses. This antipsychiatry is a psychoanalysis, not only of hysteria and neurosis, which Freud tried to take
5

[Ed.] Franois Vincent Raspail, Histoire naturelle de la sant et de la maladie, suivie du formulaire pour une nouvelle mthode de traitement hyginique et curatif, Paris: A. Levavasseur, 2 Volumes, 1843.

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Foucault: The Crisis of Medicine or the Crisis of Antimedicine away from psychiatrists, but also of the daily conduct which now forms the object of psychoanalytic activity. Even if psychoanalysis is now opposed by antipsychiatry and antipsychoanalysis, it is still a matter of a type of activity and discourse based on a medical perspective and knowledge. One cannot get away from medicalization, and every effort towards this end ends up referring to medical knowledge. Finally, I would like to take an example from the field of criminality and criminal psychiatry. The question posed by the penal codes of the nineteenth century consisted in determining whether an individual was mentally ill or delinquent. According to the French Code of 1810, one could not be both delinquent and insane. If you were mad, you were not delinquent, and the act committed was a symptom, not a crime, and as a result you could not be sentenced. Today an individual considered as delinquent has to submit to examination as though he were mad before being sentenced. In a certain way, at the end of the day, he is always condemned as insane. In France at least, a psychiatric expert is not summoned to give an opinion as to whether the individual was responsible for the crime. The examination is limited to finding out whether the individual is dangerous or not. What does this concept of dangerous mean? One of two things: either the psychiatrist responds that the person under treatment is not dangerous, that is, that he is not ill and is not manifesting any pathology, and that since he is not dangerous there is no reason to sentence him. (His nonpathologization allows sentence not to be passed). Or else the doctor says that the subject is dangerous because he had a frustrated childhood, because his superego is weak, because he has no notion of reality, that he has a paranoid constitution, etc. In this case the individual has been pathologized and may be imprisoned, but he will be imprisoned because he has been identified as ill. So then, the old dichotomy in the Civil Code, which defined the subject as being either delinquent or mad, is eliminated. As a result there remain two possibilities, being slightly sick and really delinquent, or being somewhat delinquent but really sick. The delinquent is unable to escape his pathology. Recently in France, an ex-inmate wrote a book to make people understand that he stole not because his mother weaned him too soon or because his superego was weak or that he suffered from paranoia, but because he was born to steal and be a thief.6 Pathology has become a general form of social regulation. There is no longer anything outside medicine. Fichte spoke of the closed commercial State to describe the situation of Prussia in 1810.7 One might argue in relation
6

[Ed.] Foucault is probably referring to Serge Livrozet, De la prison la rvolte. Paris: Mercure de France, 1973. Foucaults preface to this book also appears in Dits et crits. Paris: Gallimard, 1994, vol II, pp. 394-416. [Ed.] Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Der geschlossne Handelsstaat, Tbingen: Coota, 1800. There is no complete translation into English, but for selections, see Hans Reiss (ed.), The Political Thought of the German Romantics, 1793-1815, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1955, pp. 86-102.

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foucault studies, No 1, pp. 5-19 to modern society that we live in the open medical States in which medicalization is without limits. Certain popular resistances to medicalization are due precisely to this perpetual and constant predomination. The Political Economy of Medicine Finally I should like to speak of another characteristic of modern medicine, namely, what might be called the political economy of medicine. Here again, it is not a question of a recent phenomenon, since beginning in the eighteenth century medicine and health have been presented as an economic problem. Medicine developed at the end of the eighteenth century in response to economic conditions. One must not forget that the first major epidemic studied in France in the eighteenth century and which led to a national data gathering was not really an epidemic but an epizootic. It was the catastrophic loss of life of herds of cattle in the south of France that contributed to the origin of the Royal Society of Medicine. The Academy of Medicine in France was born from an epizootic, not from an epidemic, which demonstrates that economic problems were what motivated the beginning of the organization of this medicine. It might also be argued that the great neurology of Duchenne de Boulogne, Charcot, et al., was born in the wake of the railroad accidents and work accidents that occurred around 1860, at the same time that the problems of insurance, work incapacity and the civil responsibility of employers and transporters, etc. were being posed. The economic question is certainly present in the history of medicine. But what turns out to be peculiar to the present situation is that medicine is linked to major economic problems in a different way from the traditional links. Previously, medicine was expected to provide society with strong individuals who were capable of working, of ensuring the constancy, improvement and reproduction of the work force. Medicine was called on as an instrument for the maintenance and reproduction of the work force essential to the functioning of modern society. At present, medicine connects with the economy by another route. Not simply in so far as it is capable of reproducing the work force, but also in that it can directly produce wealth in that health is a need for some and a luxury for others. Health becomes a consumer object, which can be produced by pharmaceutical laboratories, doctors, etc., and consumed by both potential and actual patients. As such, it has acquired economic and market value. Thus the human body has been brought twice over into the market: first by people selling their capacity to work, and second, through the intermediary of health. Consequently, the human body once again enters an economic market as soon as it is susceptible to diseases and health, to well being or to malaise, to joy or to pain, and to the extent that it is the object of sensations, desires, etc. As soon as the human body enters the market, through health consumption, various phenomena appear which lead to dysfunctions in the contemporary system of health and medicine.

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Foucault: The Crisis of Medicine or the Crisis of Antimedicine Contrary to what one might expect, the introduction of the human body and of health into the system of consumption and the market did not correlatively and proportionally raise the standard of health. The introduction of health into an economic system that could be calculated and measured showed that the standard of health did not have the same social effects as the standard of living. The standard of living is defined by the consumer index. If the growth of consumption leads to an increase in the standard of living, in contrast, the growth of medical consumption does not proportionally improve the level of health. Health economists have made various studies demonstrating this. For example, Charles Levinson, in a 1964 study of the production of health, showed that an increase of 1% in the consumption of medical services led to a decrease in the level of mortality by 0.1%. This deviation might be considered as normal but only occurs as a purely fictitious model. When medical consumption is placed in a real setting, it can be observed that environmental variables, in particular food consumption, education and family income, are factors that have more influence than medical consumption on the rate of mortality. Thus, an increased income may exercise a negative effect on mortality that is twice as effective as the consumption of medication. That is, if incomes increase only in the same proportion as the consumption of medical services, the benefits of the increase in medical consumption will be cancelled out by the small increase in income. Likewise, education is two and one-half times more important for the standard of living than medical consumption. It follows that, in order to live longer, a higher level of education is preferable to the consumption of medicine. If medical consumption is placed in the context of other variables that have an effect on the rate of mortality, it will be observed that this factor is the weakest of all. Statistics in 1970 indicate that, despite a constant increase in medical consumption, the rate of mortality, which is one of the most important indicators of health, did not decrease, and remains greater for men than for women. Consequently, the level of medical consumption and the level of health have no direct relation, which reveals the economic paradox of an increase in consumption that is not accompanied by any positive effect on health, morbidity and mortality. Another paradox of the introduction of health into the political economy is that the social changes that were expected to occur via the systems of social security did not occur as expected. In reality, the inequality of consumption of medical services remains just as significant as before. The rich continue to make use of medical services more than the poor. This is the case today in France. The result is that the weakest consumers, who are also the poorest, fund the over consumption of the rich. In addition, scientific research and the great proportion of the most valuable and expensive hospital equipment are financed by social security payments, whereas the private sectors are the most profitable because they use relatively less complicated technical equipment. What in France is called the hospital hotel business, that

17

foucault studies, No 1, pp. 5-19 is, a brief hospitalization for minor procedures, such as a minor operation, is supported in this way by the collective and social financing of diseases. Thus, we can see that the equalization of medical consumption that was expected from social security was watered down in favour of a system that tends more and more to reinforce the major inequalities in relation to illness and death that characterized nineteenth century society. Today, the right to equal health for all is caught in a mechanism which transforms it into an inequality. Doctors are confronted with the following problem: who profits from the social financing of medicine, the profits derived from health? Apparently doctors, but this is not in fact the case. The remuneration that doctors receive, however elevated it might be in certain countries, represents only a minor proportion of the economic benefits derived from illness and health. Those who make the biggest profits from health are the major pharmaceutical companies. In fact, the pharmaceutical industry is supported by the collective financing of health and illness through social security payments from funds paid by people required to insure their health. If health consumers - that is, those who are covered by social security - are not yet fully aware of this situation, doctors are perfectly well aware of it. These professionals are more and more aware that they are being turned into almost mechanized intermediaries between the pharmaceutical industry and client demand, that is, into simple distributors of medicine and medication. We are living a situation in which certain phenomena have led to a crisis. These phenomena have not fundamentally changed since the eighteenth century, a period that marked the appearance of a political economy of health with processes of generalized medicalization and mechanisms of bio-history. The current so-called crisis in medicine is only a series of exacerbated supplementary phenomena that modify some aspects of the tendency, but did not create it. The present situation must not be considered in terms of medicine or antimedicine, or whether or not medicine should be paid for, or whether we should return to a type of natural hygiene or paramedical bucolicism. These alternatives do not make sense. On the other hand what does make sense and it is in this context that certain historical studies may turn out to be useful - is to try to understand the health and medical take off in Western societies since the eighteenth century. It is important to know which model was used and how it can be changed. Finally, societies that were not exposed to this model of medical development must be examined. These societies, because of their colonial or semi-colonial status, had only a remote or secondary relation to those medical structures and are now asking for medicalization. They have a right to do so because infectious diseases affect millions of people, and it would not be valid to use an argument, in the name of an antimedical bucolicism, that if these countries do not suffer from these infections they will later experience degenerative illnesses as in Europe. It must be determined whether the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European model of medical development should be reproduced as is, or modified and to what extent it

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Foucault: The Crisis of Medicine or the Crisis of Antimedicine can be effectively applied to these societies without the negative consequences we already know. Therefore, I believe that an examination of the history of medicine has a certain utility. It is a matter of acquiring a better knowledge, not so much of the present crisis in medicine, which is a false concept, but of the model for the historical development of medicine since the eighteenth century with a view to seeing how it is possible to change it. This is the same problem that prompted modern economists to engage in the study of the European economic take off in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries with a view to seeing how this model of development could be adapted to non-industrialized societies. One needs to adopt the same modesty and pride as the economists in order to argue that medicine should not be rejected or adopted as such; that medicine forms part of an historical system. It is not a pure science, but is part of an economic system and of a system of power. It is necessary to determine what the links are between medicine, economics, power and society in order to see to what extent the model might be rectified or applied.

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foucault studies
Neil Levy, 2004 ISSN: pending Foucault Studies, No 1, pp. 20-31, December 2004

ARTICLE

Foucault as Virtue Ethicist


Neil Levy, University of Melbourne
ABSTRACT: In his last two books and in the essays and interviews associated with them, Foucault develops a new mode of ethical thought he describes as an aesthetics of existence. I argue that this new ethics bears a striking resemblance to the virtue ethics that has become prominentinAngloAmericanmoralphilosophyoverthepastthreedecades,initsclassical sources,initsoppositiontorulebasedsystemsanditspositiveemphasisuponwhatFoucault calledthecarefortheself.IsuggestthatseeingFoucaultandvirtueethicistsasengagedina convergentprojectshedslightonanumberofobscuritiesinFoucaultsthought,andprovides uswithahistoricalnarrativeinwhichtosituatehisclaimsaboutthedevelopmentofWestern moralthought.

It is impossible for anyone who attempts to keep abreast of recent developmentsinbothAngloAmericanandContinentalphilosophynottobe struck by a certain convergence between important strands of their ethical thought.Ontheonehand,wehavethelaterworkofMichelFoucault,andhis return to the Greeks.1 On the other, we have a host of philosophers in the AngloAmerican tradition, often calling themselves virtue ethicists, who havesoughtinAristotelianismanewwayofconceptualizingtheproblemsof ethics.2 As I shall show, the apparent similarities between the two bodies of workismorethanasurfaceappearance,butreflectsarealconvergenceinthe thoughtofthetwotraditions.Theworkofeachsidecanthusbereadsoasto illuminatethatoftheother.3
1

The major texts of Foucaults last period are the second and third volumes of The History of Sexuality: The Use of Pleasure, trans. R. Hurley (New York: Vintage Books, 1986), hereafter cited in the text as UP; and The Care of the Self, trans. R. Hurley, (London:PenguinBooks,1986). On virtue ethics, see the articles collected in Roger Crisp and Michael Slote (eds) VirtueEthics(OxfordUniversityPress,1997). I take myself here to be engaged in the project of shedding light on a little appreciated point of convergence between Foucault and an important strand of AngloAmerican ethical thought, a convergence that suggests that greater dialogue between the Continental and Analytic traditions, at least on these questions, would provefruitful.Ishouldnotlikemyargumenttobeunderstoodtoplaydownthevery realdifferencesinthestakes,stylesandmethodsofthetwomajorkindsofWestern

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Levy: Foucault as Virtue Ethicist Foucault and the Virtues Virtueethicistsareunitedbyonecorethesis:thatmodernmoraltheorieshave placedfartoomuchstresson,variously,rules,dutiesandconsequences,and accordinglyhaveoverlookedthetrueprimarylocusofethics:thecharacterof theagent.Theyarguethatthedebatethatdominatedmoralphilosophyinthe analytic tradition for much of the twentieth century, between deontologists andconsequentialists,hasendedinimpassepreciselybecausebothignorethe centrality of character. Moral philosophical debate can no longer afford to ignoreathirdethicaltradition,thatwhichcentresaroundthevirtues. Virtue ethicists call upon us to cultivate desirable character traits. Rather than seeking rules or principles following which would lead to good consequences or fulfil our duties, we should seek to behave justly, compassionately, charitably to display the virtues in our actions. The proponentsofthisviewclaimforitanumberofsubstantialadvantagesover its deontological and consequentialist rivals. It is widely held to be truer to thephenomenologyofordinarymorallife,inwhichwearemovedbyconcern for others, not principles, duties or consequences. It avoids the counterintuitive implication, apparently common to its rivals, that we act wronglyincaringmoreforourintimatesthanforstrangers.Itis,supposedly, lessbloodlessandabstractanethicsforallofus,notjustforphilosophers, yet also, it is claimed, the ethics that gives the best account of the actions of moral exemplars down the ages. Socrates and Confucius, Jesus, Gandhi and Martin Luther King each displayed the virtues, rather than guiding their behaviorbyrulesorthoughtsofconsequences. Foucault, working in an intellectual environment in which utilitarianism has rarely seemed to be a live option, is not much concerned withopposingit.However,importantelementsoftheprojecthedevelopedin his last works are strikingly similar to virtue ethical thought. Foucault distinguishestwoprimaryelementsoftheethicaldomain: in certain moralities the main emphasis is placed on the code, on its
systematicity, its richness, its capacity to adjust to every possible case and to embraceeveryareaofbehavior[...] Ontheotherhand,itiseasytoconceiveofmoralitiesinwhichthestrongand dynamic element is to be sought in the forms of subjectivation and the practices of the self. In this case, the system of codes may be rather rudimentary. Their exact observance may be relatively unimportant, at least comparedwithwhatisrequiredoftheindividualintherelationshipwhichhe haswithhimself(UP:29,30). philosophy.OnthedegreetowhichAnalyticandContinentalphilosophydifferfrom eachother,andtheprospectsforreconciliationbetweenthem,seemyAnalyticand ContinentalPhilosophy:ExplainingtheDifferences,Metaphilosophy,April2003.

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foucault studies, No 1, pp. 20-31 Thus, while virtue ethicists typically oppose their thought to both consequentialismanddeontology,Foucaultseeshisprojectasbeingtocorrect the overemphasis inmoralthoughtupon codification.Against this tendency, he reasserts the importance of the relation of the self to itself in ethics. He wouldhaveusreturntothepracticeoftheGreeks,forwhom
inordertobehaveproperly,inordertopracticefreedom,itwasnecessaryto careforself,bothinordertoknowonesself[...]andtoimproveoneself.4

Though all moralities contain both codes and relations to self, the two are mutuallyexclusiveinthesensethatanincreaseinoneautomaticallycausesa decrease in the other. Thus, Foucault tells us, that where the codes are numerous and detailed, practices of the self [...] almost fade away.5 But findinganadequateplaceforlibertyinethicsrequiresthatthepracticesofthe self remain vital. An overemphasis on codification decreases the margin of liberty, just as overcodification in politics sterilizes both intellectual life and politicaldebate.6 Wehaveseenthatvirtueethicists,unlike Foucault,areconcernedwith the rejection of consequentialism, as well as codification. But their favored replacement as the locus of ethical thought is the same as Foucaults, the character of the agent. For John McDowell, for example, the question How should one live? is necessarily approached via the notion of the virtuous person.Aconceptionofrightconductisgrasped,asitwere,fromtheinside out.7 Moreover, the virtue ethicists, though not concerned exclusively with opposing codification, nevertheless give its rejection special emphasis. For them, as much as for Foucault, the new emphasis on character is the concomitantofincreasedsuspicionwithregardtotheplaceofrulesinethics.8 For McDowell, the belief that such codes play the major role in ethics is simplyaparticularformofamoregeneralprejudice:thatactinginthelight

5.

7 8

MichelFoucault,TheEthicsofCareoftheSelfasPracticeofFreedom,J.D.Gauthier (trans), in James Bernauer and David Rasmussen, The Final Foucault (Cambridge: The MITPress,1987),p.5..HereaftercitedinthetextasECS. Michel Foucault, The Concern for Truth, A. Sheridan (trans), in Lawrence Kritzman (ed), Politics, Philosophy, Culture: Interviews and Other Writings 19771984 (New York: Routledge,1988),p.260. MichelFoucault,Pourenfiniraveclesmensonges,inLeNouvelObservateur(June217, 1985),p.61.Mytranslation. JohnMcDowell,VirtueandReasoninCrispandSlote,p.141. Indeed,ithasbeenarguedthatoneoftheprimaryappealsofvirtueethicsisthatit promises a nonskeptical response to the failure of codification. (Gary Watson, On the Primacy of Character in Owen Flanagan and Amlie Oksenberg Rorty Identity, CharacterandMorality:EssaysinMoralPsychology(Cambridge,Mass.:TheMITPress, 1990).,p.454).

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Levy: Foucault as Virtue Ethicist of a specific conception of rationality must be explicable in terms of being guided by a formulable universal principle (148). When we cease to be blindedbythisprejudice,itwillbeapparentthat
Ifoneattemptedtoreduceonesconceptionofwhatvirtuerequirestoasetof rules,then,howeversubtleandthoughtfulonewasindrawingupthecode, caseswouldinevitablyturnupinwhichamechanicalapplicationoftherules wouldstrikeoneaswrong(148).

Like the later Foucault, virtue ethicists seek to replace what they see as a misplaced stress on codes with an ethics centred around the self. Moreover, theyfindthisethicsoftheselfinthesamesource:theethicalthoughtofthe ancients. To be sure, the ancient sources drawn upon by virtue ethicists in the AngloAmerican tradition, on the one hand, and Foucault, on the other, are somewhat different. Most virtue ethicists draw mainly from Aristotle, in particulartheNichomacheanEthics,whereasFoucaultismoreconcernedwith later, Hellenistic and Roman, developments of the Platonic and Aristotelian traditions.9 However, this difference should not be overemphasized. From the point of view of the mainstream of modern ethical thought, with its emphasis upon codification, the differences between these schools are relatively insignificant. They represent differing views on the best way to elaborate an ethics based upon the relationship of the self to itself, on an internecinedebatebetweenproponentsofaradicalalternativetomainstream philosophical thought. Moreover, the differences between Aristotelian and later approaches to ethics are somewhat softened in the respective developments of the two traditions by contemporary thinkers. On the one hand, AngloAmerican thinkers are by no means ignorant of later developments in ancient ethical thought.10 For his part, Foucault abandons keyelementsofHellenisticethicsinhisreinterpretationofit,especiallytheir claim,contraAristotle,thatlivingthegoodlifedependsonlyontheresource of the self, rather than also requiring a conducive social, political and economic environment.11 For all their differences, Foucault and Anglo American virtue ethicists can therefore be seen as engaging in convergent enterprises:amobilizationofancient,characterbased,ethicsagainstmodern, codificationbased, thought. Moreover, perhaps as much due to their

10

11

Ithankananonymousrefereeforencouragingmetothinkaboutthisdifferenceinthe sourcesofeach. ForinfluentialworkintheAngloAmericantraditionwhichemphasizeslaterAncient thought,seeMarthaNussbaum,TheTherapyofDesire:TheoryandPracticeinHellenistic Ethics(Princeton:PrincetonUniversityPress,1994). IargueforthisininterpretationofthelaterFoucaultinmyBeingUpToFate:Foucault, SartreandPostmodernity(NewYork:PeterLang,2001).

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foucault studies, No 1, pp. 20-31 differences as their striking similarities, these are mutually illuminating enterprises. It is apparent that their strikingly similar diagnoses of the malaise of modernethics,andofthemeansbywhichitwillbecured,commitbothtoa historical thesis. If modern ethics has gone wrong by overemphasizing the role of rules, and the solution is to be found in classical thought, then the history which led from late Antiquity to modernity must be a history of the fading away of practices of the self, and their replacement by codes. In fact, bothsidesdoindeedtellsuchahistoricalstory.ForFoucault,forexample,
[The]elaborationofonesownlifeasapersonalworkofartwasatthecentre [...] of moral experience, of the will to morality in Antiquity, whereas in Christianity[...]moralitytookonincreasinglytheformofacodeofrules.12

Foucault appears to suggest that the transition from an ethics centred on practicesoftheselftoamorestrictlycodifiedmoralitywasthereversesideofa transformation inthe primarytarget ofethics.Whereasclassicalethics hadas itsprimarytargettheconcernforself,latermoralityemphasizedthecareone mustshowothers(ECS:5).Asaresult,thecareoftheselfwasdenouncedas beingakindofselflove,akindofegoism(4).Rather thancaringforherself, theChristianwasexhortedtosacrificeherselfforothers(5). The virtue ethicist tells a similar story about the transition from an ethics of virtue to a more codified morality. In her seminal Modern Moral Philosophy, for example, Elizabeth Anscombe tells how we arrived at the strangesensewegivetothewordoughtandtotheconceptsofmoralduty andmoralobligation.Wefeelthemtohavesomekindofabsoluteforce;they implysomeabsoluteverdict.13ThemostobviousmodelhereistheKantian categoricalimperative,whichissupposedlybindinguponallrationalagents regardlessof their wants, desires or social status, but the same kind of force haswidelybeentakentobedefinitiveofmoraljudgments.However,suchan absolutely binding force was absent from the judgments of Classical ethics. How,then,itdidcomeaboutthatourtermsformoralobligationacquiredthis strangesense? Theanswer,Anscombetellsus,ishistorical:betweenAristotleandus cameChristianity,withitslawconceptionofethics(30).Christianityheldthat moral obligations were laid down by the word of God, fixed forever in His commandments. Moral duties were thus strictly codified. As a result of the long domination of Christianity over our thought, the concepts of being bound,permitted,orexcusedbecamedeeplyembeddedinourlanguageand thought(30).
12. 13

MichelFoucault,AnAestheticsofExistenceAlanSheridan(trans),inKritzman,p.49. G.E.M. Anscombe Modern Moral Philosophy in Crisp and Slote, p. 30. Hereafter citedinthetextasMMP.

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Levy: Foucault as Virtue Ethicist ThusAnscombesdiagnosisofthecrisisinmodernmoralthought:The language in which we think our morality has its source in a conception of ethics as divine law. Hence, the absolutely binding force which, we feel, somehowattachestomoraljudgments.Atthesametime,however,welivein aprofoundlyposttheisticworld.Westillhavethetermsthatstemfromthis conception, they still retain their essentially theistic connotations, but we no longerbelieveinthecosmologythatonceimbuedthemwithsignificance.As aresult,ourmoraltermsnolongerhaveanyreasonablesense(33).Theyare anachronisms,simplysurvivalsfromapastwayofthought. Whatarewetodo,facedwiththissituation?Giveuponourpeculiar moralterms,Anscombecounsels:
theconceptsofobligationanddutymoralobligationandmoralduty,thatis to say and of what is morally right and wrong, and of the moral sense of ought,oughttobejettisonedifthisispsychologicallypossible;becausethey are survivals or derivatives from survivals, from an earlier conceptions of ethics which no longer generally survives, and are only harmful without it (MMP:26).

These ethical terms are, literally, nonsensical without the framework which once made them meaningful. And, in any case, we know we can do ethics withoutthem.WehavetheexampleofAristotle,whodidnotevenpossessa term for illicit (31)that is, contrary to the (moral) law. Thus, Anscombe counsels us to reject deontological and consequentialist ethics, in favor of a thought which concentrates instead on the character of the agenta virtue ethics. Such an ethics would no longer judge acts as contrary to or in conformity with the law, but would instead assess them as exhibiting, or failingtoexhibit,someparticularvirtue:Itwouldbeagreatimprovementif, insteadofmorallywrong,onealwaysnamedagenussuchasuntruthful, unchaste,unjust(MMP:34). If I am right, Anscombes narrative, and her proposed solution, can illuminateFoucaultslastworks.Herthesisprovidesapowerfuljustification for Foucaults search for an aesthetics of existence. Foucault, too, recognizes thatcodifiedethicsisindecline:
Theideaofamoralityasobediencetoacodeofrulesisnowdisappearing,has already disappeared. And to this absence of morality corresponds, must correspond,thesearchforanaestheticsofexistence.14

ButFoucaultdoesnotprovideuswithanexplanationforthisdecline(orevena clear definition of what this decline consists in).15 Anscombes narrative, with
14. 15

AnAestheticsofExistence,p.49. Asananonymousrefereepointedouttome,Foucaultdoesprovidehintsthatsuggest thathe,likeAnscombe,seesthedeclineinreligiousbeliefthesocalledDeathofGod

25

foucault studies, No 1, pp. 20-31 its parallel account of the replacement of ancient conceptions of ethos by the codifiedmoralityofChristianity,anditssimilarcallforanewemphasisonthe agent, rather than the rules, is, at very least, fully compatible with Foucaults laterwork.Wecanthereforelooktoittoprovideuswiththemissingpieceof the puzzle: the explanation for the decline of codified morality. As we have seen,Anscombeprovidesthatexplanationviaafurtherhistoricalthesis,todo withthedeclineinbelief,whichleavesthelawswithoutthecontextthatmade thembothmeaningfulandmotivating. The Primacy of the Self IfIamrightthusfar,itmaybethatvirtueethicscanhelpshedlightonsome other puzzling aspects of Foucaults work. In particular, perhaps it can shed lightontheplacehegavetothenotionofthecareoftheself,andthereasonshe mayhavehadforthinkingthatsuchcareisanindispensablepartofethics.The Greeks,Foucaulttellsus,assumedthattheonewhocaredforhimselfcorrectly foundhimself,bythatveryfact,inameasuretobehavecorrectlyinrelationto othersandforothers(ECS:7).Thisseemsverystrangetous.Surelyethicshas asitssubjectmatter,itsverysubstance,therelationtheselfhastoothers,notto theself?Howoughtwetounderstandtheclaimthat,inethics,theselfandnot theotherisprimary? ItiseasytomisunderstandFoucaultsclaimshere.Wemightthink,first, thatheisclaimingthatwhileethicsisnecessarilyconcernedprimarilywiththe carefortheother,thiscareisbestsecuredbywayofadetourthroughtheself. Ifthiswerethecase,thentherelationtotheotherwouldremainprimary,and the emphasis on the self would be relegated to a mere means. But Foucault explicitly denies that the relation to the other is primary in any sense: One must not have the care for others precede the care for self. The care for self takesmoralprecedenceinthemeasurethattherelationtoselftakesontological precedence(ECS:7).Wecannot,therefore,interpretawayFoucaultsemphasis on the primacy of the care for the self in ethics. He does not mean it metaphorically, or strategically; he means, quite literally, that in ethics the relationtoselfinprimary. Second, we might interpret Foucault as denying the importance of ethics. Perhaps he is giving Anscombes narrative a Nietzschean twist: with the death of God and the subsequent undermining of the concept of ethical obligation, we should simply give up on the project of morality. Wewe strong onesshould shake off its shackles, and realize our full potential, taking care of ourselves. But this interpretation, too, is in conflict with

ascentraltothedeclineincodifiedmorality.However,Foucaultprovidesnomore thanhints;perhapsheintendedtodevelopanaccountinlatervolumesoftheHistory ofSexuality.

26

Levy: Foucault as Virtue Ethicist Foucaults explicit pronouncements. The care for the self does not exclude caringforothers,butisitscondition:
Careforselfisethicalinitself,butitimpliescomplexrelationswithothers,in themeasurewherethisethosoffreedomisalsoawayofcaringforothers[...] Ethosimpliesalsoarelationwithotherstotheextentthatcareforselfrenders one competent to occupy a place in the city, in the community or in interindividualrelationshipswhichareproper(ECS:7).

How are these seemingly contradictory statements to be harmonized? How canthecareforselfbeontologicallyandethicallyprimary,yetstillserve as the ground of an ethics which is nevertheless concerned for others? Once again,Ithinkthesolutionistobefoundinvirtueethics. What is the foundation of ethics, according to the virtue theorists? To whatcanwerefer,whenweneedtodecidewhichcharactertraitsarevirtues, which vices? What, in the absence of divine law, can play this role? Many (thoughbynomeansall)virtuetheoristsareWittgensteinianonthisquestion: what underlies our ethics, and rescues our lists of virtues and vices from individualcaprice,isoursharedformsoflife.Morespecifically,aspartofour socalization into a particular form of life, certain kinds of character are held uptousasexemplary.Throughexplicitteaching,throughthenarrativeswe are told, and through the practices of praising and blaming, we are led to adopt a certain character, one which will incorporate as many as possibleof the traits our culture considers to be virtues. In this training, what we do is often more important than what we sayif our parents and teachers tell us thatmeeknessisavirtue,forexample,butneitherpracticeitthemselves,nor praise it in others, it is likely to be their example, and not their pronouncements,whichtakehold. It is this conception of the kinds of character worth cultivating which guide us when we act. We can, as John McDowell points out, depict moral deliberation in the form of an Aristotelian practical syllogism, in which the role of major premise is played by the virtuous persons conception of the sort of life a human being should lead.16 It is not, therefore, the dictates of reason,ortheintuitionofatranscendentrealmoftimelessmoralfacts,orthe wordofGodthatjustifiesourmorality;itisourinculcatedinterestinbeinga certainkindofperson.AsSabinaLovibondputsit:
moral categories [...] can be seen as registering distinctions which are of unconditional practical interest to us in virtue of our concern to live a life deserving of praise and not of contempt. Nothing, short of indifference to thataim,canmakemoralconsiderationsirrelevant;andwenaturallythinkof them,further,asoverridingotherkindsofconsiderations,sincethereseems

16

McDowell,VirtueandReason,p.156

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foucault studies, No 1, pp. 20-31


tobesomeincoherenceinvolvedinsettingasidetheconstraintsimposedon onesconductbythedesignoneseekstoimpressupononeswholelife.17

We might think that this vision of morality is frightening, in as much as it seemstomakeadherencetoitsstricturesoptional,thecontingentoutcomeof a practice of teaching or, merely, as Philippa Foot puts it, a system of hypothetical imperatives.18 Indeed, this vision of ethics makes its force contingent upon our having been brought up in a certain way. Objectivity becomes merely a matter of adopting the correctthat is to say, socially endorsedstandpoint. But, as Lovibond argues, that just is what objectivity means, not merely in ethics, but everywhere. To judge objectively means to judge from a standpoint which approximates that of the ideal observer, and weadoptthisparticularstandpoint
not because experience has shown that the particular standpoint is the one whichoffersthebestviewofreality;rather,itisbecauserealityisdefinedas thatwhichoneapprehendswhenonelooksattheworldfromthestandpoint inquestion(59).

On this account, ethics is no less objective than is perception: both get their significancefromoursharedformsoflife. Our forms of life, specifically our practices of praising and blaming, leadustointernalizecertaincharactertraitsasexemplary.Thus,virtueethics claimsthatmoraljudgmentsowetheirforceultimatelytotheassessmentswe make,thatcertainactions,omissionsanddispositionsexpresscertaintraitsof character,traitsthatarevirtuousorvicious.Itisthisfactthataccountsforthe primacy of the interest one ought to take in the shape of ones life. Our concern to live a certain kind of life, a concern which, given that we are fundamentallysocialbeings,wecannotnothave,providesthegroundforour morality.Ethics,definedastherelationoftheselftoitself,precedesmorality, understoodastherelationtotheother. ReadingFoucaultthroughthelensofvirtueethics,itbecomesapparent that he understood this primacy in the same manner. It is the primacy of characterthatexplainsthesimultaneousmoralandontologicalprecedenceof the relation to the self over the relation to the other. Though we are concerned,inmoralphilosophy,largelywithhowweshouldtreateachother, thisconcernhasasitspreconditiontherelationwehavetoourselves.Atthe sametime,however,weoughtnottorepeattheerrormadebyChristianity,of confusing this relation to the self with an egoism, onto which a concern for

17

18

SabinaLovibond,RealismandImaginationinEthics(Oxford:BasilBlackwell,1983),p. 52. Philippa Foot, Morality as a System of Hypothetical Imperatives, in Michael Smith (ed)MetaEthics(Aldershot:Dartmouth,1995).

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Levy: Foucault as Virtue Ethicist others may, or may not, be grafted. The care for the self is simultaneously a caringforothers,forthereisanintimaterelationbetweentheachievementof thedesiredrelationtotheselfandotherdirectedactions.Wedonotpossess thevirtuesofcourage,orkindness,forexample,unlesswearedisposedtoact courageously or kindly in appropriate circumstances. Moreover, the surest way to cultivate these virtues is by acting appropriately: virtues involve a kindofknowledge,andthisknowledgeisacquiredonlythroughpractice.As Lovibond argues, moral concepts can only be acquired, and refined, by way ofparticipationinappropriatepractices:
The use of moral concepts by individual speakers (as they progressively acquirecompetenceinthatareaoflanguage)isgroundedinanincreasingly diversified capacity for participation in social practices, i.e. practices mediatedbylanguageorothersymbolicsystems(323).

Thustheconcernfortheselfdoesnotstandopposedtoaconcernforothers, butisitsessentialcondition.Onlythroughanappropriateconcernformyself doIbecomeanethicalsubject.Indeed,andinstarkcontrasttotheselflessness oftheChristiantradition,Foucaultholdsthattheabuseofpoweroverothers isnottheresultofanexcessofconcernwiththeself.Itstems,precisely,from itslack:


the risk of dominating others and exercising over them a tyrannical power onlycomesfromthefactthatonedidnotcareforonesselfandthatonehas becomeaslavetohisdesires(ECS:8).

Theprimacyoftherelationshiptotheselfinethicsisneithertheregrettable outcome of the egoism of human psychology, nor the expression of a fundamental amoralism. Rather, it provides the grounds for concern for others.Withouttherelationtoself,wewouldnotbeconcernedaboutothers atall.Wewouldnot,infact,beconcernedaboutanything. The Continuity of Foucaults Concerns It seems, therefore, that AngloAmerican virtue ethicists are engaged in an enterprise that runs parallel to, and can illuminate, Foucaults later recovery of practices of the self. However, there is one obvious objection to my claim thatFoucaultcanprofitablybereadasavirtueethicist.Someonemightargue asfollows:Foucaultcannothavebeenengagedintheprojectofelaboratinga virtue ethics, because such an ethics runs counter to the deepest currents in histhought,fromfirsttolast.Avirtueethicsisconcernedwiththeinteriority of the subject, with what she is, rather than with what she does; virtue

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foucault studies, No 1, pp. 20-31 theorists emphasize Being over Doing, the Inner over the Outer.19 But Foucaultalwaysrejectedsuchanemphasis,anddevotedmuchofhisworkto demonstratingitsperniciousconsequences.DisciplineandPunish,forexample, is largely concerned with an analysis of the colonization of the judicial system by an essentializing psychology, which would attempt to fix our identities.20 The History of Sexuality is concerned with the same process of essentialization, this time through the mechanism of a supposedly natural sexuality.21ItisimplausiblethatFoucaultwouldhavegonebackonthislife long commitment. Moreover, this was a commitment that Foucault himself reaffirmed in discussion of his last works, stating that a moral experience essentiallycenteredonthesubjectnolongerseemssatisfactorytometoday.22 Whatever Foucault may have been doing in these last works, our imagined objectorconcludes,itcannothavebeenelaboratingavirtueethics. This objection is not without some force. It is indeed true that many virtue ethicists speak of the virtues as capacities that allow us to realize our distinctively human natures, and that such talk about human nature was rightlyanathematoFoucault.Itishiscontinuingrejectionofsuchanature thatFoucaultexpressesinhisrejectionofthesubject.ButIdonotbelievethat this objection establishes that Foucault was not engaged in the project of elaboratingavirtueethics.WhatFoucaultsworkdemonstratesisthatsuchan ethics can proceed without a notion of the subject, if by subject we understand a being whose essence is fixed in advance. It is here that Foucaultstalkaboutselfstylization,abouttheaestheticsofexistence,comes into its own. Cultivating the virtues is not a process of uncovering a pre existingnature,itisamatterofcreatingoneselfinacertainway.Thevirtuous selfisnotsomethingtobediscovered,orapotentialityimplicitinallhuman beings that ought to be realized; it is created, in much the same way as we mightcreateasculptureorapainting. Foucaults virtue ethics thus focuses, not on the subject, but on the character of the individual. While a subject is something given in advance, character is the set of dispositions and motivations to act into which we are acculturatedandwhichwemaythenchoosetocultivateorreject.According to this picture, if the self has depths, it is only because it has created them. Heretoo,though,Foucaultisnotalonevoice,butworkinginanareathathas also been cultivated by at least some virtue ethicists. Basing virtues, not on nature but upon acquired dispositions is the direction in which the more
19 20

21

22

RobertB.LoudenOnSomeVicesofVirtueEthics,inCrispandSlote,p.213 [B]behind the pretext of explaining an action, are ways of defining an individual. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, trans. Alan Sheridan (London: Penguin Books,1986),p.18. Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality, Vol. I: An Introduction, trans. Robert Hurley, (London:PenguinBooks,1990). Foucault,TheReturnofMorality,inKritzman,p.253.

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Levy: Foucault as Virtue Ethicist Wittgensteinian of these theorists have also looked. Foucaults work thus participates in the development of that current of virtue ethics which Gary Watson calls traditionbased theory.23 On such a theory, the concept of tradition somehow does the work that the concept of human nature does in the Aristotelian view.24 Foucaults careful demonstrations of the pernicious uses to which concepts of a human essence have been put do not disqualify himfrombeingconsideredasavirtueethicist.Buttheydogiveuspowerful reasonstoprefersomeversionsofvirtueethicsoverothers. Foucaultslastworksthusshowushowwemightcontinuetodoethics after we have followed him in rejecting a substantive conception of the subject. It stands as an example to other virtue theorists, just as his earlier workstandsasawarningtothemagainstacceptanceofthenotionofhuman nature.Perhapsitalsostandsasanotherkindofwarningaswell.IfIamright, if Foucaults last work can indeed usefully be read as participating in the project of elaborating a new virtue ethics for late modernity, then this work could undoubtedly have been rescued from a number of obscurities and hesitations had Foucault engaged with the parallel projects of the Anglo Americanvirtueethicists.Atthesametime,thosevirtueethicistswhoseekto elaborate a traditionbased theory, and reject the notion of human nature, wouldfindinFoucaultbothapowerfuljustificationfortheirpositionandan example as to how they might proceed. Perhaps, then, the fact that we can now see what value each could have been to the other should stand as a warning to those of us in both philosophical traditions, that in ignoring the workoftheotherweriskinhibitingthedevelopmentofourown.25

23

24

25

Ihavedefendedtheviewthattheaestheticsofexistenceshouldbeunderstoodasa selfstylization on the basis of traditions in my Being UpToDate. For Foucault, the practicesofselfarenotsomethingthattheindividualinventsbyhimself.Theyare patternsthathefindsinhiscultureandwhichareproposed,suggestedandimposed onhimbyhisculture,hissocietyandhissocialgroup(ECS:11). Watson, p. 468, n. 24. On this view, Watson adds, human nature merely places boundaryconditionsonculture,butbyitselfyieldsnodefinitecontentforthemoral life[....]Humannaturemustbemadedeterminatebysocialization. I would like to thank two anonymous referees for Foucault Studies for a number of helpfulcommentsonthisarticle.

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foucault studies
Jeremy Moss, 2004 ISSN: pending Foucault Studies, No 1, pp. 32-52, December 2004

ARTICLE

Foucault and Left Conservatism


Jeremy Moss, University of Melbourne
ABSTRACT: The consequences of Foucaults work for political theory have been subject to muchreinterpretation.ThisarticleexaminesthereceptionofFoucaultsworkbythepolitical left,andarguesthattheusemadeofhisworkisoverlynegativeandlacksapositivepolitical dimension. Through a discussion of the work of Judith Butler and other interpreters of FoucaultIarguethattheproblemfacingthepoststructuralistleftisformulatedinaconfusing and unhelpful manner, what I will call the dilemma of the left libertarian. Once we get around this formulation of the problem a more progressive political response becomes possible. I end by discussing the political possibilities of Foucaults work in terms of an accountofautonomyderivedfromFoucaultslaterworkontheEnlightenment. KEY WORDS: Foucault, Butler, Autonomy, Politics, Ethics, Critique, Left, Conservative, Rorty,Habermas

I: Introduction The conjunction between Foucault and political theory is now well established. However, even though political theory and Foucault have been intimately linked in recent years the results have often been rather disappointing. Foucault scholarship has promised much yet delivered little thatisusefulforaleftobviouslystrugglingtodefineitsgoals.Manyofthose, ontheleftatleast,influencedbyFoucaulthavefailedtoreconcileegalitarian goals such as equality, material redistribution and human rights with the claimsofpoststructuralistpoliticalontologyconcerningpower,subjectivityor truth.FromrecentaccountsofthesignificanceofFoucaultsworkonegetsthe impressionthatthegoalofaprogressivepoliticsistoreiteratetheclaimthat becausethereisnophilosophicalbasisfromwhichtoarticulateapolitics,we shouldconfineourselvestonegativeandlocalclaims.WhereFoucaultswork isconcerned,mycomplaintisthatthisattitudeisneitherinkeepingwithhis texts themselves or with what is possible within the framework of his thought. What so many of his interpreters have done is to ignore the politically positive dimension of his work (which is elaborated in his discussion of what he calls the enlightenment ethos), in favour of the

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Moss: Foucault and Left Conservatism negativedimension.AlltooofteninterpretersofFoucaultseetherelevanceof his work to be contained in the critical rather than constructive side of his enterprise, and for egalitarians this is less than satisfactory. I want to argue that surely this is not the sole point of a progressivepolitics. What has been losthereistheideathattheaimsofaleftorprogressivepoliticsshouldnotbe just to refuse certain definitions of the self or power, although this is important, buttoargueforandarticulatepositivealternativesthatwillboth alleviateoppressionandenablepeople. One of the major causes of this impasse is the absence of a positive position that has more than local applicability. Whereas the Old left was renownedforitsinsistenceonsuchprinciples,itisnowincreasinglyunlikely to find much that goes beyond a very restricted localism. This impasse is nicelyencapsulatedinarecentdebateconcerningLeftConservatism,which reopenedthequestionofhowwemighthaveaprogressivepoliticalposition whilestillupholdingmanyoftheinsightsthatpoststructualistthinkerssuch asFoucaulthavedeveloped.Whatstruckmeasimportantaboutthisdebate was that it addressed the issue of what sort of politics is possible when working with frameworks informed by poststructuralist thought.1 The ostensible context for the debate was the term Left Conservatism, which denotesapositionthatattacksatleasttwothingsaboutthepoststructuralist left: the alleged obscurantism that infects so much of its dialogue, a kind of intellectualfogemanatingfromParisastheLeftConservativesmightsay; andtheepistemologicalandpoliticalantifoundationalismoftheoristssuchas Butler.Inturn,ButlerandothersarguedthatleftistssuchasRichardRortyor Nancy Fraser were conservative because they ostensibly put forward a foundation for their political views. Neither of the above claims about poststructuralismareparticularlynewandIdonotwanttobetakenasgiving them credence. Why this debate strikes me as important, however, is that it highlights the issue of the conjunction of poststructuralist thought and political theory and the issue of whether this marriage is sometimes a marriageinnameonly. In order to get the issues in this debate in perspective I will briefly describe some of Judith Butlers substantial normative claims, made in this debateandelsewhere,becauseIthinkButlersworkencapsulatessomeofthe problems that are central to poststructuralist political theory, especially as it relates to Foucault. She also specifically identifies herself as engaging in a dialogue with elements of the left. My goal in what follows will be to show why Butler and others falsely diagnose the problems facing the Left and
1

The debate took the form of a one day workshop in 1998 involving Judith Butler, WendyBrown,PaulBovandanumberofotherfigureswhoarevariouslyassociated with either the academic left or poststructuralism. The debate was published in the electronicjournalTheoryandEvent2:2. http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/theory_&_event/toc/archive.html#2.2

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foucault studies, No 1, pp. 32-52 poststructuralist theory. The concern that I have with Butlers work in particularisthatsheformulatestheproblemfacingthepoststructuralistleftin a confusing and unhelpful manner, what I will call the dilemma of the left libertarian,apositionthatisreallyjustaweakversionofliberalism,whichis alessthansatisfactoryreturnonherradicalrhetoric.Oncewegetaroundthis formulation of the problem a more progressive political response becomes possible,andIwillpursuethisproblemthroughadiscussionofsomerecent interpretersofFoucaultandthroughFoucaultsworkitself. MyreasonforchoosingFoucaultisthathisworkhasobviouslyhadan enormousimpactontheintersectionofpoststructuralistthoughtandpolitics, yet has often been used to form very traditional political conclusions. In contrast,whendescribingtheethosheadmiresFoucaultisquiteexplicitinhis portrayal of the ethos as containing a positive and enabling component, whichis,inmyview,compatiblewithhisotherphilosophicalcommitments. AsanantidotetothelimitationsoftheapproachofButlerandothers,mykey claim will be that Foucaults work offers us a version of autonomy that is consistentwithsomeofhisotherinsightsconcerningpowerandsubjectivity, thatitcanalsofunctionasapoliticalprinciplethatisnotalwaysconfinedto localapplicationsandthathasapositivecomponent,therebyofferingabetter responsetotheproblemsfacingcontemporaryleftthought. BeforeprecedingletmemakeitclearwhatIamnotarguing.Iamnot arguingthatoneshouldnotreflectonwhatwemightcallpoliticalontology, thebasictermsofpoliticaltheory;power,contract,obligationandsoon,asso many Foucaultians do to great effect. Such tasks are clearly at the heart of whatpoliticaltheoristsshouldbedoing.Rather,whatIwanttoargueisthat such reflections should not have to end in the unnecessarily limited and negative conclusions typical of Butlers approach. I am also unashamedly pursuing a project that seeks to conjoin Foucault with a left or progressive stance.Somemightseethisasanexercisedoomedtofailure;thatweshould not think of Foucault in terms of left or right. But again, I think this is unwarranted.WithrespecttoButler,IshouldnotethatIamnottryingtobe comprehensive in respect to her work. I am really only interested in those partsofherworkthatdealdirectlywiththepoliticalquestionsIhaveoutlined andthatareraisedbytheLeftConservativedebate. ButlerandthePolitical:DifferencevsUnity? In the Left Conservative debate itself and elsewhere Butler criticises other elements of the left for being reductionist and advancing a false unity betweendifferentsubjects.TheunityisunappealingforButlerbecauseitrests on a dangerous reduction of subjects interests to class interests, thereby ignoring other, nonclass based, differences. Her claim is that we need to rigorously adhere to the tenets of poststructuralist social and political 34

Moss: Foucault and Left Conservatism ontology, which tell us that our foundational terms cannot be grounded in anykindofpermanentway.Withoutproperrespectforthesekindsoftheses theleftisdoomed,onButlersview,torepeatthemistakesofthepast.2 Butler thinks of antifoundationalism as being opposed to a type of universalismthat,inthelanguagesheprefers,subjectsthedifferencesinand betweenpeopleandgroupstoaformofviolence.3Suchhomogenisingacts, she claims, do not respect the ineradicable differences that exist between subjects.Theresistancetothissortofunity,assheputsit,carrieswithitthe cipher of democratic promise on the left. Nonetheless, interestingly, despite suchsuspicions,Butleradmitsthatthelanguageofuniversalhumanrightsis impossibletoignoreinthepoliticalarena.4 Butlerexpressesadistrustofany position which claims that there are political truths that apply universally evenataverygenerallevelbecausetheseuniversalscannotbegivenaproper foundation;theyareconceptuallyimpossibleandpracticallydangerousasher recentworkwithLaclauandZizekattemptstoshow.5Infact,Butlerseemsto seethisproblemasadilemmaofthefollowingsort:eitheroneisforatypeof ahistoricaljustificationofnormsorprinciplesthatignoreshumandifferences (which she is not) or one accepts that there are no such justifications and, consequently,nouniversalpoliticalnorms.Iwillcallthisthedilemmaofthe left libertarian. It is a dilemma because the choice of the first alternative leads one into conflict with some of the crucial metaphysical claims concerning difference and historical causation, whereas the second choice runs foul of egalitarianism. Either way one is stranded. Describing this positionaslibertarianisappropriatebecauseofButlersstaunchrefusal,inthe literaturehereunderconsideration,toarticulateanythingotherthanarespect fornegativenormsthatoperatetoprotectindividualfreedoms.Butletmebe more precise. What her position seems to rule out are general criteria for judging and orienting action because this would introduce a false unity to subjectsexperiencesandapositivecontenttoherpolitics.

5
3 4

Judith Butler, Left Conservatism II, Theory & Event, 2:2, (1998): sct 4, http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/theory_&_event/v002/2.2butler.html JudithButler,MerelyCultural,NewLeftReview,(1998):p.44. Ibid. In her article Restaging the universal; hegemony and the limits of formalism, in Contingency,Hegemony,Universality:ContemporaryDialoguesontheLeft,ed.J.Butler,E. LaclauandS.Zizek(London:Verso,2000),ButlerusesadiscussionofHegeltomake thepointthattheuniversal,ataconceptuallevel,willalwaysexcludetheconcreteor particular but that what is excluded leaves a trace in the universal. She goes on to argue that this process is important for political theory as regimes that have set themselves up as representing the universal are invariably engaged in exclusionary practices.

35

foucault studies, No 1, pp. 32-52 As it stands, this dilemma rules out a progressive political position with any substance for Butler.6 However, understanding the problem in this waymisrepresentsthesituationinwhichprogressivepoliticsfindsitself.The issue should not be seen as a choice between those, on the one hand, who thinkdifferenceprecludesunityoranysortofuniversalism,andthose,onthe other,whothinkthereisanahistoricalunity,whichdoesnotrespectdifferent subjectivities.Rather,theissueshouldbeseenasone betweenanacceptable use of universalism one that knows its limits, which I will call transversalism and one that does not. Butler and many others have misread the problem because they have set up a false dichotomy between universalismanddifferencethathasbedevilledthedebatesbetweentheOld andNewleftforyears.Theresultisareluctancetoputforwardpositiveor nonlocalprinciples,whicherectsasignificantbarriertoprogressivepolitical theory. In what follows, I will use Foucaults own work to show that the political options for poststructuralism are not confined to negative political claims.Iwillarticulatehowthisnewwayofseeingtheproblemallowsusa wayoutoftheleftlibertariandilemma. Iwantnowtoconsiderwhereechoesofthisdilemmacanbefoundin thereceptionofFoucaultswork. II: Foucault; his Critics and Supporters Foucaults work has elicited similar objections to those made by the left conservatives about poststructuralist influenced political theory. Foucaults initialreceptioninpoliticalcircleswasdominatedbyhisperceivedinabilityto account for the basis of normative judgement and action. Foucaults later research opens up possible routes for a defence against these charges.7 Nonetheless, the charge that there is no foundation for critical assessments
6

ItisironicthatoneofthemistakesmadebyButleristoassumethatherconclusions aboutalackofuniversalityinnormativethoughtappliesinthesamewaytoallthe differentcategoriesofthisthought.Itisasthoughshethinksthatitisthesameclass ofthingsthatareuniversalisedinpolitics,ethicsandmetaphysics.Partofthereason forButlerandothersconstruingthesituationinthiswayisbecauseofanimproper analogy between disagreement in metaphysics (violence, as she calls it) and disagreements in politics or, more particularly, in theories of justice. Disagreement overfundamentalissuesinmetaphysicsmaybetheresultofdifferencesthatperhaps just cannot be resolved. But not all disagreement in political theory is like that. We maydisagreeoverwhatitisforanyoneofustoleadafulfillinglifebutagreeonthe respect for anothers views or the need not to harm others. These two assumptions are fundamental to any plausible politics (certainly any left politics) and constitute partofthebasisforpoliticssuchthattherecanbedisagreementswithoutitmeaning that differences are ignored. So Butler is wrong to make the analogy she does betweenmetaphysicsandpolitics. I discuss this issue at greater length inmy Introduction, The Later Foucault: Politics andPhilosophy,(London:SagePublications,1998).

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Moss: Foucault and Left Conservatism persists, especially among supporters of Foucault themselves. This is partly because there seems to be a marked conservatism in how Foucault is used. ThereiscertainlyareluctanceonthepartofmanyofFoucaultsinterpreters to take anything but a very weak position on the possibilities of Foucaults workforpoliticsandethics,which,asImentioned,ignoresthepositiveside oftheEnlightenmentethos. Those who think that Foucaults later discussion of ethics and governmentoffersusfreshinsightsintohowwecanconductethicalinquiries often locate the benefits of the approach in the contrast between ethics and morality. What Foucault admired about the Greek model of ethics, understood as the selfs relationship to the self, was that there was a certain amountoffreedomtotransformoneselfinrelationtoamoralcode.Ineffect, Foucault was attracted by the autonomy allowed by the Greek model of the relation between morality, seen as a code, and ethics. Some take this to be a rejection of a sterile appeal to overly formalised rules in favour of a more open form of inquiry into the good. Others, like Rorty, see this type of Foucaultian position as an acknowledgment of the type of anti foundationalism wherein appeals to truth claims or notions like interest or rationalityarejustengagingrenditionsofonesownsubjectiveposition.8 Notwithstanding these doubts, Foucaults lack of emphasis on overarching moral codes has beendeveloped and discussed by a number of sympathetic interpreters.However,theyseemtousehisworkinawaythatisreminiscent of Butlers approach. For example, in a recent article on Foucault, James BernauerandMichaelMahonarguethatFoucaultslaterworkdoesallowfor an identifiable ethical stance that cannot simply be equated with aesthetic selfabsorption.Theyrightlypointoutthatphrasessuchaswehavetocreate ourselves as a work of art, have led to a great deal of misinterpretation of Foucaults later work.9 The authors argue that what phrases such as the one above direct us to is the effort of struggling for a kind of freedom, which is closely attuned to whatever historical contingencies we find ourselves surrounded by. This, at least, is a positive view that accords a measure of complexity to Foucaults later position. Nonetheless, the authors still shy away from any of the serious ethical or political consequences of even this

It is interesting to note that Rorty, from initially being a quite savage critic of Foucault, came around to thinking of Foucault as a fellow traveller down the pragmatistliberalpathwhenitcametonormativequestions.ForRorty,theupshotof Foucaultspositionisthatthereisnodeepphilosophicalreasonforourobligationsto other human beings. This is an interpretation of Foucault that sees him, along with Dewey,ashavinggivenupthehopeofuniversalism,RichardRorty,MoralIdentity and Private Autonomy: the Case of Foucault, in Essays on Heidegger and Others, (Cambridge:CambridgeUniversityPress,1991):pp.1978. MichelFoucault,OntheGenealogyofEthics:anOverviewofWorkinProgress,ed. PaulRabinow,TheFoucaultReader,(Harmondsworth:Penguin,1986):p.351.

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foucault studies, No 1, pp. 32-52 rather minimal suggestion for what constitutes a Foucaultian political position. They point out, for instance, that Foucaults ethics are not to be equatedwithuniversalprescriptionsforwhatisarightorwrongaction.But they also mention that the Foucaultian model consists of maximising individuals freedom to distance themselves from various objectionable normalisations and to have at least a measure of control over the type of peopletheyare.Presumably,theauthorsseethesetwoconditionsasdesirable for people to have and being good irrespective of what sorts of goals individuals might choose; that is, the content of peoples choices is not constrainedbyassumingthatthesesortsoffreedomsareimportant.Thus,the ability that both the authors assume in what they say is something like autonomy,althoughofaveryminimalkind. This sort of position is typical of other of Foucaults sympathetic interpreters.10 John Rajchmans widely cited work on Foucaults ethics exhibitsthesametendencytounderstandtheimportanceofFoucaultswork tolieinakindofvaguepreferencefornegativefreedom.LikeBernauerand Mahon,Rajchmanobservesthedistinctionbetweenmoralcodesandethics,as Foucault understands it, as the crucial issue for modern practical

10

Thereare,ofcourse,otherpositiveinterpretationsofFoucaultsworkthatIcannotdo justicetohere.Ionlyclaimtobediscussingaprominenttrend.ToddMaysaccount of poststructuralist politics, Todd May, The Political Philosophy of Poststructualist Anarchism, (Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1994), which draws on Foucault, also only attributes minimal positive content to Foucaults work. He claims that there are two principles that follow from the poststructuralism of Foucault, Deleuze and Lyotard, they are: that practices of representing others to themselves either in who they are or in what they wantought, as much as possible, to be avoided. (the antirepresentationalist principle), (Ibid., p.130); and, thatalternativepractices,allthingsbeingequal,oughttobeallowedtoflourishand even to be promoted (Ibid., p. 133). While he at least concedes that there is the possibility of generality here once weapply ceterisparabis clauses, thereis still not muchofapositivecontent.Similarly,ChrisFalzonsbookFoucaultandSocialDialogue: BeyondFragmentation,(NewYork:Routledge,1994),isunnecessarilynegative.Falzon sees the alternative to totalising metaphysics not as fragmentation but as the conceptualisationofoursituationintermsofdialogue,especiallysocialdialogue theopenendedinterplaybetweenourselvesandothers.Hemakestheimportantand often overlooked point that a Foucaultian politics is not opposed to unity between groups or forms of united struggle. The difference between united politics on the Foucaultianmodelisthatwhileitmightputasidedifferencesitnonethelessdoesnot forgetthemorsetitselfupasoutsidedifferenceorotherness.However,thereisnot much in this interpretation that has a substantive positive content. It also seems as though Falzons model of dialogue in the political realm escapes some of the criticisms that other dialogical or procedural models have to face. In particular, the chargethatinordertoensurethatdialogueordiscoursetakeplacethatsubstantive goodshavetobeassumed.Foradiscussionofsomerecentdevelopmentsinthisfield see James Bohman, & William Rehg ed., Deliberative Democracy, (Cambridge, Mass: MITPress,1997).

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Moss: Foucault and Left Conservatism philosophy.11 He notes that Foucaults genealogy attempts to free subjects from certain forms of truth, whether they are sexual or social. This is the negative part of the Enlightenment ethos that Foucault elsewhere says he admires.12Thepositivepart,atleastonRajchmansreading,entailsthekindof workontheselfthatFoucaultfindsfirstoutlinedbytheancientGreeks.The impasse that Rajchman sees Foucaults ethics as assisting us to overcome is thefailureofanysortofuniversalmoralcodetotellusanythingabouthow weshouldbehave(oursubjectivitiesaretoodiverseforsuchacode)infaceof the need people experience to overcome oppressive subjectivities or at least experiencesomecontroloverwhotheyare.Hewrites
Foucault may not have provided us with what Habermas thinks of as philosophicalyardsticks.Buthemaybesaidtohaveinventedanotherusefor philosophy.Itisnotuniversalistic:itdoesnotappealtopeopleirrespectiveof whotheyare.Andyetitisnotforanyonegroup.Foucaultsphilosophywas aphilosophyneitherofsolidaritynorofobjectivity.13(Myitalics).

For Rajchman, Foucaults contribution to normative thought consists of the necessary tasks of uncovering the contingent nature of our identities and workingontheself.Anythingthatresemblesuniversalismistobeavoided.14 For those less sympathetic to Foucault his work offers even less of a political position. Some critics view his aesthetics of existence as little more than a frivolous indulgence and a relativistic one at that. Lois McNay, for example, sees Foucaults later work as a movement away from his earlier overlypassiveaccountofthesubject.However,whilesherecognisesthatthe projectofanaestheticsofexistenceismorethanapuredecisionism,McNayis farfromcomfortablewithFoucaultsposition.Sheunderstandstheproblems forFoucaultsaccountasstemmingfromunexaminednotionsofselfmastery and a heroization of the self. What is more, she argues that the models that Foucaultusestodevelophisideaofanaestheticsofexistenceareonesthatare implicitlygendered.15Foucaultsfinalmistakeistofailtoappreciatethesocial location of the self that is supposed to engage in aesthetic selfmastery. In conceivingethicsasaworkontheselfbytheself,Foucaulthastakenastep back form his previous work and adopted a position that is reminiscent of
11 12

13 14

15

JohnRajchman,EthicsafterFoucault,SocialText,Vol.13/14,(1986):p.166. Michel Foucault, What is Enlightenment?, ed. Paul Rabinow, The Foucault Reader, (Harmondsworth:Penguin,1986). Rajchman,Ethics:p.179. OnenotablecontributiontothisdebateisprovidedinarecentcollectiononFoucault and Habermas in Samantha Ashenden and David Owen, Foucault Contra Habermas, (London,SagePublications,1999).Whilethiscollectionisonthewholepositiveabout thepoliticsthatmightdevelopoutofFoucaultswork,therearestillmanyhesitations aboutthedimensionsofsuchaproject. LoisMcNay,Foucault:ACriticalIntroduction,(Cambridge:PolityPress,1994):p.149.

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foucault studies, No 1, pp. 32-52 Sartres disembodied ego making its radical choices. For McNay, Foucaults manoeuvre amounts to little more than a fetishization of aesthetic practice. Echoing Fraser, she concludes that, in the end, Foucault is left with a preferenceforanaestheticsofexistencewithoutbeingabletojustifywhythis shouldbeagoalorhowwemightdistinguishgoodpracticesfrombad. Notwithstanding these misgivings, what might a positive characterisationofFoucaultsworkreallyamountto?Wemightagreethatthe negativegoalsofgenealogyareofconsiderableimportance;itisnosmalltask to offer a critique of the major norms and practices pervading ones society. Even so, the normative perspective that these interpreters of Foucault offer moves little beyond the negative dimension of his thought. Take the supposedlypositiveelementsuggestedbyRajchman.Itconsistsprimarilyin workingontheselfinawaythatseeminglypayslittleattentiontotheclaims thatothersorsocietymightmakeonaperson.16However,itschieffailureisto seenopositionthatmightexistinbetweenthedisdainforuniversalismonthe onehandandthe(individuallyfocused)abilitytoworkontheselfthatissaid to be the essence of Foucaults ethics on the other hand. Interpreted along these lines, Rajchmans position is similar to Butlers and reminiscent of the Left Conservative debate. He sees the political and ethical alternatives as divided between difference and unity with little scope for either giving positive content to an egalitarian program or going beyond a very localised sortofnormativeclaim. The confusion of this position lies in not seeing the potential in Foucaults work of a more robust understanding of ethical and political norms.Itcombinesthereasonableassumptionthatthegoalsofpeopleslives shouldbeleftuptothemtodecidewiththepoliticallyanaemicideathatthe onlypositiveethicalthingsthatcomeoutofFoucaultsworkareworkonthe selfandapreferencefornegativefreedomofsomesort.Whilewemightagree that, as a general rule, noninterference is a good thing, this does not imply that there are no moral or political principles with any bite. What the protagonistsintheLeftConservativedebatesuchasButlerandtheFoucault interpreters cited above share is the move from the claim concerning anti foundationalismtotheideathatprimarilylimitedandnegativegoalsarethe ones best suited to a progressive politics. They are able to proceed this way becausetheyassumethatthereareinsufficientfeaturesofhumannatureand experiencefromwhichwemightderiveabasisforinterpersonalcomparison and unity. The structure of the problem here is similar to the one that I identifiedinButlerswork.Bothinterpretationsofantifoundationalismshare

16

In his book, Truth and Eros, Rajchman offers a slightly revised version of his thesis thatattemptstointegrateaformofconcernforcommunityintohisinterpretationof Foucault. However, he ultimately ends up with the same position John Rajchman, TruthandEros,(London:Routledge,1991,part2).

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Moss: Foucault and Left Conservatism the assumption that there can be no universal normative basis for either a political position or a way of criticising power relations and articulating generalnormativeprinciples. However,IthinkFoucaultsworkcanprovideanalternativeonceitis freedfromsomeofthemisleadingdichotomiesthatframethereceptionofhis work in political theory. As I mentioned, his later work on autonomy holds themostpromiseandisabletoofferbothawayofcriticisingpowerrelations and a basis of enablement that could fulfil the need to incorporate positive elementsintoprogressivetheory.InwhatfollowsIofferaninterpretationof autonomyasanexampleofthesortofpositivenormativefoundationthatis consistent with Foucaults other insights. Not only is the interpretation of autonomy that I put forward compatible with Foucaults work, but it also might be used to form the basis of a specifically progressive politics. It is to theseissuesthatInowturn. III: Autonomy The first thing to note about Foucaults later work and, indeed, about his politicalwritingingeneral,isthatthereisnoattempttoperformaconceptual analysis of autonomy. In fact, Foucault only mentions autonomy in a few scatteredplaces.Nodoubttheheritageofthewordautonomyinphilosophy has much to do with its absence as a term in Foucaults vocabulary. The Kantianovertonesandimplicationsofautonomy,especiallytheimplications foratheoryofthesubject,mightexplainwhyFoucaultwouldhaveavoided the term. Yet, there are reasons to suppose that Foucaults criticisms of the constraintsimposedonsubjectsderivetheirforcefromanimplicitaccountof autonomy,asIwillattempttoshow. Foucaultsattractiontotheideaofautonomyisoutlinedinsomeofhis articles from his later work on Kant.17 In the context of reflecting on the direction of modern thought and its indebtedness to both Kant and the Enlightenment tradition, Foucault describes a philosophical attitude (on whichhedraws)thatreliesheavilyonanideaofautonomy.Foucaultfindsin Kants understanding of the maturity humans need to show in their use of reasonthebasisforamodernquestioncentredaroundwhathecallsacritical attitude. What Kant understood as the Enlightenment was both a collective
17

FoucaultwroteofKantinanumberofhislaterworksnotablyinTheArtofTelling theTruth,ed.L.Kritzman,MichelFoucault:PoliticsPhilosophyandCulture,(London: Routledge,1988).However,IwilltaketheessayWhatisEnlightenment?asthebest source of his views on Kant. James Schmidt and Thomas Wartenburg offer a thorough account of Foucaults various encounters with Kants discussion of the EnlightenmentintheirJamesSchmidt&ThomasWartenburg,ed.M.Kelly,Critique andPower:RecastingtheFoucault/Habermasdebate,(Cambridge,Mass:TheMITPress) wheretheytracethreedifferentresponsesbyFoucaulttothisissue.

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foucault studies, No 1, pp. 32-52 andpersonalenterpriseinwhichmanwouldescapefromtheimmatureuse ofreason.ForKant,immaturityconsistedoffollowingtheauthorityofothers when,infact,ourownreasonwassufficient.Aswesaw,Foucaultappreciated thesenseofautonomythatcomeswhenthelinkbetweenethics,inhissense oftheword,andmoralitywasweakened.So,whileFoucaultrejectsthetype ofuniversalistmoralitythatKantproposesintheGroundworkoftheMetaphysic s of Morals, he nonetheless endorses the central role of autonomy precisely because he is suspicious of universal moral codes of the type Kant advocated.18 This is because Foucaults attitude towards autonomy shares withKantahealthyscepticismconcerningtheclaimsofauthorityoverreason or critique. Yet, the threats to autonomy that Foucault identifies come not from authority in Kants sense, but from the threats posed by the modern operation of power. Foucaults characterisation of this ethos implicitly containsanappealtoautonomy.Whatthisattitudeentails,andwhatitshares in common with ancient ethics, is the necessity for a critical (autonomous) attitude towards the self that is both aware of the historical character of the selfstraitsanddisplaysawillingnesstoreworkthem.19 AsIhavecharacterisedithere,tobeautonomousistodisplaycertain mentalabilities.ThisreadingisinkeepingwithwhatPaulPattonhascalleda metacapacity, the ability to use and develop a persons other capacities in thelightofcriticalreflection.20Assuch,itisasecondordercapacityallowing subjects to reflect on and evaluate their first order beliefs or desires. As the name suggests, the metacapacity to which Patton refers is that capacity which evaluates the other capacities, general purposes or choices that an agenthas.Autonomy,inthissense,issomethingthatispresentornotpresent byvirtueofformsofpowerandthesubjectsownpsychicalconstitutionand resembles selfdirection rather than the selfrealisation of our deepest purposes,asitisforCharlesTaylor.21 Autonomy, for Foucault, is the ability to reflect on and direct ones choices and purposes in both an immediate and a longterm sense. This account is in keeping with his other philosophical commitments in that he seesautonomyasaproductofasubjectscapacities.Suchametacapacityis
18

19

20

21

ImmanuelKant,GroundworkoftheMetaphysicsofMorals,trs.H.J.Patton,(NewYork: HarperTorchbooks,1964):p.98. The sense of autonomy outlined above is best described as personal autonomy. To inquire into personal autonomy is to determine what is, or is not necessary for someone to achieve selfdirection in his or her life. Although there are similarities betweenpolitical,moralandpersonalautonomy,thescopeofthedifferentsensesis distinct. Nonetheless, personal autonomy functions in a political way in that it is a conditionofpoliticalagencybecauseofitsroleinmaintainingpoliticalsociety. PaulPatton,FoucaultsSubjectofPower,inTheLaterFoucault:PoliticsandPhilosophy, ed.J.Moss,(London:Sage,1998). Charles Taylor, What is Human Agency?, in Human Agency and Language, PhilosophicalPapersVol.I(Cambridge:CambridgeUniversityPress,1992).

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Moss: Foucault and Left Conservatism vulnerabletotheoperationofthetypeofsocialforcesthatFoucaultdescribes under the heading of governmental power. The important thing about Foucaults discussion of governmental power is that it extends the understanding we have of the sort of social phenomena that threaten autonomy; it is not just naked force or internal neuroses, but a lack of authorship that extends right down to the bedrock of agency that can constrain autonomy. To be more precise, governing conduct in this way isa type of influence that involves altering agents understanding of the various waysinwhichtheymayact.Assuch,itplaceslimitsonwhatapersoncanor cannotdobyalteringtheirperceptionsofwhatitispossibletodo.AsBarry Allenhasputit:Thepointofdisciplineisnottoforcepeopletodowhatyou want,buttomakethemintothekindofpeopleyouwant;nottomakepeople dowhatyouwantthemtodo,buttomakethemwanttodoit,andtodoitas youwantthemto,withthedesiredtools,efficiency,andorder.22IfFoucaults discussionoftheoperationofgovernmentalpoweriscorrect,thenwhatIwill refer to below as the conditions for autonomy will alter considerably. The governmentofindividualchoicesmeansthatthethreatstoautonomyarenot only different from standard conceptions of constraint, but arguably more severe.Itismoreseverebecausethedisappearanceoftheagentscontrolover theirownidentityandchoicesislostduetoalossofcontrolofthecapacities thatmake upautonomy.AsFoucaultmakesclearin TheHistoryofSexuality, oneofthefeaturesofthiskindoflossofautonomyisthat,byitsverynature, it will appear hidden to the agent.23 As such, it poses a threat of a different orderthanthatofanexternalbarrier,whichismorereadilyrecognisable.24 We might characterise the presence of mental abilities as a necessary conditionforautonomy.Itisanecessaryandnotsufficientconditionbecause, as we noted, there are various other constraints that prevent a person from usinghisorhermentalabilities.Inorderforautonomytobeexercisedasetof

22

23

24

BarryAllen,FoucaultandModernPoliticalPhilosophy,inTheLaterFoucault:Politics andPhilosophy,ed.J.Moss,(London:Sage,1998):p.174. MichelFoucault,TheHistoryofSexuality,Vol.I.trs.R.Hurley(London:AllenLane, 1979)pp.8691. Itshouldbeapparentfromthediscussionabovethattheconceptionofautonomythat can be found in and developed from Foucaults work does not ignore the effects of the operation of power. Foucaults work analysed how power was able to coopt subjects. Discipline and Punish was Foucaults most systematic attempt to describe how power operated at this level. But he was also at pains to point out that the operation of power did not mean that subjects lost the power to act and to shape events. While there is not room to elaborate this claim here, Foucaults later work emphasised two things: first, that subjects do have agency and, second, that being able to reflect on this agency was morally and politically important. Foucault was definitely not a determinist about agency. I have elaborated these views in my IntroductiontoTheLaterFoucault:PoliticsandPhilosophy.

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foucault studies, No 1, pp. 32-52 conditionshastobemet.Withoutgoingintotoomuchdetail,theconditions ofautonomywillincludeatleasttwootherelements.25 The first is an adequacy of options. The thought here is that a person is notautonomousunlesstheyhaveabroadrangeofchoicestomake.Aperson whose only choices are between, for instance, starvation or enslavement is someone who is choice poor and therefore not autonomous. This sense of choice includes both shortterm and longterm choices. One must be able to make everyday choices concerning how one orders daily life and long term choices such as the choice of a certain direction or plan for ones overall goals, which will also, therefore, include a variety of options that are non trivial. Having options to choose between does not entail that any one set of options in particular must be the objects of choice. Foucault, of course, emphasised the heterogeneity of the goals and purposes that people valued and the importance of the need for individuals to create their own new options. But agreeing that there is a plurality of meaningful conceptions of what individuals might value is consistent with the claim that individuals shouldbeabletochoosebetweennontrivialalternatives.Asocietyinwhich individuals are able to choose between and create options not need to pre determinewhattheseoptionsare. The last condition is independence. The difference between independenceandadequacyofoptionsisthatwhilepeoplemayhavemany optionsfromwhichtochoose,iftheyarecoercedintoacceptingorchoosing one, then this represents a constraint on autonomy. Physical constraints provide the clearest example of threats to independence. Where a person is held captive or threatened with harm unless they make a particular choice, their independence is removed. The interesting twist that a Foucaultian account can bring to this condition is that there is both an internal and externalsenseofconstraintthatappliestoindependence.Externalconstraints are things such as overt violence or threats of violence. Freedom from these typesofconstraintsiswhatweusuallyassociatewithnegativefreedom.But internal constraints such as the type that was mentioned above where government operates to control a subjects choices is Foucaults chief contribution to the understanding of constraint.26 To achieve independence,

25

26

IshouldemphasisethattheconceptionofautonomythatIamdefendinghereisnot equivalent to an endorsement of liberalism or any other political theory. While it is truethatmanytypesofliberaltheorydovalueautonomy,sotoodoothervarietiesof political theory including libertarianism and some forms of socialism. I should also notethatarguingforanabsenceofcoercionandthepresenceofoptionsissimilarly consistentwithvarioustypesofpoliticaltheory. I here leave aside the question of what form of political organisation is required to fulfiltheseconditions.Theconditionsofautonomyspecifiedabovedonotimplythat

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Moss: Foucault and Left Conservatism therefore,asubjectmustbefreefromobviousformsofexternalconstraintand be free from the type of government of individuals that Foucault took such greatpainstoidentify.27 Itisimportanttobeclearaboutthevalueofautonomyasanormative principlewithmorethanlocalapplication.Recallthatacommonobjectionto Foucaultwasthathisaccountofpowerpreventedhimfromprovidingcriteria onwhichtobaseanormativeposition.Commonasthisobjectionis,itrelies onaveryunsophisticatedaccountofpower,whichitwillbehelpfultopursue toseethesourceofthemisunderstanding.WhenFoucaultmakesuseofsuch terms as domination and subjection he is describing instances of power over. Powerover is not in itself objectionable. If we define powerover as affecting the possibilities for action that are available to a subject, then instancesofpoweroverneednotinvolvedomination.Apersonmightaffect thepossibilitiesofactionofanotherinpositivewaysby,forinstance,giving advice,whereasdominationoccurswhenapersonnegativelyaffectssubjects possibilitiesforaction.Similarly,thedescriptionofthesocialfieldintermsof theubiquitouspresenceofpowerincludestheideaoftheproductivenature ofpowerandthepoweragentshavetoaltereventspowerto.Powertois thus the ability that agents have to change or influence their surroundings. Thesetwodistinctbutrelatedtermsarepartofthesameconceptionofpower. They are not at odds with each other. Admittedly, there is confusion in Foucaults work over this question. This is partly a result of a lack of foregrounding of powerto in the middle work, a lack rectified in the later work.28 Amorecarefullyconsideredaccountofpoweralsoprovidestheclueto where one might begin to look for the justification of the normative values that a position such as Foucaults might countenance. That agents have the powerto do or become certain things is one of the factors that explain why
subjects must simply look to existing institutional structures to ensure these conditions. This tripartite definition of the conditions of autonomy is discussed by Joseph Raz, TheMoralityofFreedom,(Oxford:OxfordUniversityPress,1988):ch.13.Myaccount closely follows his. A similar framework was developed by Joel Feinberg, Social Philosophy,(EnglewoodCliffs,NJ:PrenticeHall,1973).Iamnotsuggestingherethat achievingindependenceinthesenseIhavespecifiedistoescapepower.Achieving independence is escaping from a particular form of power, powerover as domination, and not escaping power completely as Habermas would have us do. Agentswhoactindependentlyofconstrainarestillexercisingpower,buttheyarenot subjecttoobjectionabletypesofpowerover. ThisleavesNancyFrasersoftencitedcritiqueinaweakposition.For,whilethereis definitely a rhetorical confusion in Foucault, it is not at the deep level that Fraser maintains, not, that is, at the conceptual level. I discuss the issue of foregrounding powerto in the later work in my Introduction to The Later Foucault: Politics and Philosophy.ForanaccountofthepointconcerningdominationandsubjectionseePaul PattonTaylorandFoucaultonpowerandfreedom,PoliticalStudiesxxxvii(2),1989.

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foucault studies, No 1, pp. 32-52 and how a strategy of power operates. But the powerto do something has morethanamerecausaldimension,italsohasitsnormativesideaswell.The normativedimensioncomesfromanaspectofpowertothatisseenasvitalto whatamoralandpoliticalagentshouldbeabletodo.Thequestionofwhat thisnormativedimensiontopowermightbeisbestapproachedfromathin understanding of subjectivity, which defines subjects as having various capacitiesorforcesthatcouldbedevelopedinvariousways.29Leavingaside thequestionofwhichcapacitiesasubjectwoulddevelopandthechoicesthat thesewouldentail,thecapacitytodistinguishbetweendifferentchoicesand capacities is important; in short, there will be a need for the capacity to distinguishbetweentheworthofdifferentchoices.Ifwealsoassumethatitis better, on the whole, to make choices that are independent, not only of the influence of others but from the further negative dimensions of powerover, then what we have here is a protean reliance on a capacity for autonomy.30 Thereis,therefore,ameansofdistinguishingbetweenobjectionableinstances of power and acceptable ones. But note that understanding the role of autonomy in this way only minimally prescribes the content of subjects beliefs or identity. It is a necessary but not sufficient criterion for political agencyandonewhichsubjectsbenefitfromregardlessoftheirotherbeliefs. Butthismoveraisesaninterestingquestion:byintroducingautonomy to satisfy those worried about normative claims, has a new conception of interests been introduced? Foucault was not, on the whole, a partisan of theories of objective interests because of the overly ahistorical character he associated with them and because of fears of the perhaps unwarranted paternalisminvolved.Thisisalsosurelythetypeofproblemthatmakesanti foundationalists nervous. For interests, in this sense, have a decidedly universal feel to them, which might invoke features of interpersonal
29

30

PaulPattondevelopstheideaofathinconceptionofsubjectivityatsomelength.He writes: The human material is invariably active, it is a substance composed of forcesorendowedwithcertaincapacities.Assuchitmustbeunderstoodintermsof power, where this term is understood in its primary sense of capacity to do or be certainthings.Thisconceptionofthehumanmaterialmaythereforebesupposedto amount to a thin conception of the subject of thought and action: whatever else it maybe,thehumanbeingisasubjectendowedwithcertaincapacities.Itisasubject of power, but this power is only realised in and through the different bodily capacitiesandformsofsubjectivitywhichdefinethebiologicalandsocialvarietiesof humanbeing.Patton,FoucaultsSubject,pp.656. Other defenders of Foucault against Fraser have focused on Foucaults rhetorical strategytoexplainhowhemightbeanegalitarian.JamesJohnsonproposesthatwe see Foucault as proposing a rhetorical strategy of exaggeration which establishes a perspectivefromwhichonecanassessformsofpower.Althoughthisdoesnotseem toanswerthequestionofhowonemightthendevelopanewpoliticalarrangement exceptbyconsensusJamesJohnson,Communication,CriticismandthePostmodern Consensus:anUnfashionableInterpretationofMichelFoucault,PoliticalTheory,Vol. 25No.4.

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Moss: Foucault and Left Conservatism comparisonthatdonotrespecthumandifference.However,suchadismissal is too hasty. Autonomy is a kind of interest, but it is compatible with Foucaultsnominalism. What,then,wouldbeFoucaultsobjectiontorealinterestsofthekind, for instance, that Steven Lukes writes of?31 For Lukes, an action involves powerwhenapersonsrealinterestsaresignificantlyaffected.Thisdistinction between real and apparent interests is crucial for his contrast with one and twodimensional models of power because it provides for an account of misguided action. The problem for Lukes position is the status of real interests. Lukes argues that we can use empirical studies to show what interests are.32 This might be done by contrasting how people act under normal (often oppressive) conditions and abnormal ones (in times of social upheaval for instance). Crudely put, Lukes claim is that by observing the behaviour of agents in abnormal times we can see what they really want to do, what it is in their interests to do. We might observe, as doesLukes, that when faced with situations in which agents are threatened with some social situation which causes harmthrough pollution, for instancethat their interests(inremaininghealthyinthiscase)willbeshownwhentheychoose nottoacceptthesituation.33 Such a neat verification of interests is not something that has usually beenattributedtoFoucaultor,indeed,tothosewhosupportanysortofanti foundationalism. But such a position does not rule out all accounts of interests. If, for instance, we assume that the development of capacities in various ways in accordance with a life plan or conception of the good is somethingthatagentswillseektodo,then,allthingsbeingequal,whatever helps this development will be worthwhile. This is not to say that all development should be considered desirable. A subject might develop in ways that everyone, including herself, might find objectionable. She might, for instance, develop habits or traits that are destructive of her own well being,aswellasthewellbeingofothers.Thismightoccurforanynumberof reasons: external pressures, lack of judgement, ignorance, illusion or just sheer laziness. Some of these causes might be beyond the agents control, some may not. From a practical point of view, however, we might say that being able to distinguish, rank and attempt to actualise the goals that one hopestoachieveandtheconsequencesofpursuingthemwillaidanagentin pursuingherconceptionofthegood.Tothenbeabletoactonwhichevergoal onehaschosenisalsoanobviousadvantage.Thusthepossessionofacertain

33
31 32

StevenLukes,Power:ARadicalView,(London:TheMacmillanPress,1976). Lukes,Power,pp.4650. Ibid.,pp.425.

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foucault studies, No 1, pp. 32-52 amountofautonomyisclearlyahelpandnotahindranceonsuchapractical orinstrumentallevel.34 Theconceptionofhumanbeingsasbeingbetteroffiftheyareableto understand and choose between meaningful alternatives is at the centre of what Foucault thinks is important. What needs to be remembered when recalling the objections to his political thought is that autonomy was both consistentwithhisversionofantihumanisminthatitwasmadepossibleby embeddedsubjects,andthathiscommitmenttoautonomywasatthecentre of his normative thought. The two separate realmsa philosophically inspiredreflectiononsubjectivityandtheengagedcritiquefromathoroughly normative standpointcome together in the later work on autonomy to providealinkbetweenFoucaultsnominalismandpoliticaljustification.35

34

35

The discussion of autonomy above has implicitly contained an assumption about autonomy being compatible with a similar autonomy for all. There is not the space here to defend this claim. But given such an assumption, there are all sorts of side constraints that might apply to a persons autonomy. But, generally speaking, we mightsaythatthereisapresumptionthatlimitingtheautonomyofothersis,prima facie,undesirable.However,limitingautonomyforanothervalueofequalorgreater importance does not seem intuitively implausible. While I do not want to raise the issueoftherespectiveorderingofdifferentvalueshere,onecanseehowaspolitical values one might plausibly limit the other. The freedoms involved in being autonomous may well come from achieving an equality of condition which itself imposesrestrictionsonotherfreedoms. Ileaveasidethequestionofwhyautonomyisnotmoresoughtafter.Istheevidence of people consciously limiting their autonomy a counter argument to autonomy being in peoples interests? There may be all sorts of reasons why people might choose to put themselves in positions where autonomy is lessened. No one who supports a theory of power as government could suppose that not choosing to act autonomouslywasalwaysastraightforwarddecision.Votingforagovernmentthat practicesfiscalrestraint,whichmayincludethecuttingofessentialservicesotherwise valued,becauseonehasacceptedafalseargumentabouteconomiccrisis,wouldbe suchacase.Acceptingalowerpositionintheworkplace,whichmightharmoneslife prospects because one believed it was all one was good for, might be another case. Such instances alert us to the ways in which people might be deceived about their choicessuchthattheyactinwayswhichlimitsomethingthattheywouldotherwise considerimportant. Afurtherreasonisthatpeoplemightchoosesomeothervalueoverautonomy.Take thecasewhereIacceptaworkcontractthatwillrestrictmetoaparticularsetoftasks whose requirements are very narrow and unfulfilling. Such a decision might be justifiedinmyeyesbecauseIvaluethecauseofthepeoplethatIamworkingfor,or, becauseIbelievethatbytakingsuchajobthatIamincreasingmychildrenschance ofaneducation.

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Moss: Foucault and Left Conservatism IV: The Significance of Autonomy and the Left Conservative Debate To return to our starting point, which was the impasse created by the left libertarian dilemma symbolised by Butler, the chief problem was that it lacked a positive dimension and more than local applicability. I want to addressbothofthesepointsinturn. Autonomycanplayavarietyofrolesinpoliticaltheory.TherolethatI assign to it here is that of a normative yardstick against which we might evaluatetheperformanceofgovernmentsorotherinstitutions.Althoughone can envisage more substantive roles for autonomy, showing that it can be usedasanormativebenchmarkindicatesthepositivedimensiontoFoucaults work, which has far reaching consequences. First, to understand the conditions of autonomy in this way is to appreciate that more than just freedomfromsomeconstraintisrequiredinordertoachieveautonomy.There arepositiverequirementsthatmustbesatisfied.Politically,theserequirements are more significant than it may at first appear. Ensuring that subjects have the appropriate mental abilities is no small task, as it might involve developing extensive public education programs. Notwithstanding the ways in which the value of autonomy might be constrained by other political values,theconsequencesofadoptingautonomyasawayofevaluatingforms of power surely demands a politics that consists in more than just ensuring that certain types of powerover others are minimised. What it suggests is a form of politics that actually enables rather than merely clears the critical groundbyperforminganendlessseriesofgenealogiesthatconcludewiththe reminder that no one can tell us who we are. For this conception to be satisfiedtherehastobebothalackofexternalconstraintfortheseconditions to be met and it requires that subjects have the capability to act in an autonomousway.Issuesconcerningpovertyandpowerlessnessthusbecome intimately linked with satisfying autonomy. If individuals are without basic resources, such as adequate health care, then this might prevent them being autonomous according to the account above. Similarly, not having the opportunity to participate in political processes may also severely constrain autonomy. It would also mean that the range of constraints that Foucault identifies,suchasdifferenttypesofgovernmentofsubjects,wouldalsohave tobeaddressed. Additionally,thissortofanalysisofautonomyandpowerallowswhat Iwillcalltransversaltruthclaims.Transversalheremeansatruthclaimthat applies across particular strategies of power. This might take a number of forms. Autonomy, seen as a normative criterion for assessing different practices and configurations of power, might be one such transversal claim. There could be other capabilities that do this as well, such as literacy. Importantly,anormofautonomymightbevaluedbyheterogeneousgroups 49

foucault studies, No 1, pp. 32-52 and individuals for quite different reasons. Groups with divergent worldviews might value autonomy for similar practical reasons. They may noticethatautonomyisvaluableforarangeofconceptionsofthegood.But note that by claiming that autonomy is transversal one does not have to supportadetailedandthickconceptionofhumannature.Thisconceptionof autonomydoesnothavetodependforitssupportonarealisttypeclaimthat there are timeless ahistorical truths concerning human nature that are at the basis of autonomy. The basis of this claim is not a form of metaphysical realism, but the experience of differently situated cultures and people. This claimneedsgreaterunpackingthanIcangiveithere,butmethodologicallyit isenoughfornowtonotethattransversalclaimsaboutautonomydonothave tobeconnectedwithconceptionsofessentialhumannature.Alsonotethat essentialism, where it is used as a term that describes timeless ahistorical featuresofpeople,isonlycontingentlyconnectedtouniversalism;onemight beanessentialistofdifference.Take,forinstance,thebiologicalracetheories of the 19th century, which claimed that different races had different biologicallybasedfeatures.Herewehaveanessentialistclaim,butonethatis anessentialismofdifference. Politically,whatthismeansisthatwithinaFoucaultianframeworkone is not confined to objecting to a purely local instance of power. While all empirical political work will begin on this level, the knowledge gained or claims made might transverse local power strategies. Hence there is the possibility of objecting to forms of power on a transversal basis that are not confined within, for instance, national boundaries, as Foucault himself expressly allows.36 So, the claim that genealogy reduces the effectiveness of politicaltheorybyseveringthetiesofthelocalfromthegeneralisnotborne outonceweacceptthetransversalnatureofcertaintypesofnormativetruth claims.Norshouldwethinkofthesepositiveandtransversalclaimsasforms ofthegood;theyarebetterconceivedofasconditionsofagency. No doubt it could be said, with some justice, that the preceding account of autonomy, positive political theory and transversalism is a long way from what Foucault actually said about the role and nature of politics. While Foucaults work is full of allusions to normative ideas he does not develop these scattered comments in any systematic way. Perhaps this is what prevents some of his interpreters from coming up with anything more thanapreferencefornegativefreedomovernonfreedombutIdoubtit.As I mentioned at the beginning, the transversalism and positive dimension to Foucaultsworkcan,infact,betakenasanexpressionofthepositivesideof theenlightenmentethosthathesaysheadmires;apositivesidethathasbeen
36

Michel Foucault, The Subject and Power, ed. H. L. Dreyfus, & P. Rabinow, Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics, (Hertfordshire: Harvester Wheatsheaf,1982):p.221.

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Moss: Foucault and Left Conservatism ignored in favour of the negative dimension, despite the impressive consensus on the dangers of universalism. In the discussion of the enlightenmentheisquiteexplicitinclaimingthatwhathethinksispossibleis the growth of capabilities and the growth of autonomy not just the identification and removal of certain forms of constraints, although this is certainly important. There are positive and enabling activities and processes tobeperformed.Thisispartoftheenlightenmentethos,butitisalsosurely partofwhataprogressiveprogramwouldaimtoincorporate.Indeed,inthe frequently quoted passage (below) Foucault rejects the universalism that I havebeencharacterisingasahistoricalandunawareofitslimits,andasksthat the enlightenment ethos take the form of a possible transgression. Foucault writes:
But if the Kantian question was knowing what limits knowledge has to renouncetransgressing,itseemstobethatthecriticalquestiontodayhasto [be?]turned back into a positive one: in what is given to us as universal, necessary, obligatory, what place is occupied by whatever is singular, contingent,andtheproductofarbitraryconstraints?Thepoint,inbrief,isto transform the critique conducted in the form of necessary limitation into a practicalcritiquethattakestheformofapossibletransgression.37

Iwouldarguethattransgressionhereshouldbeseennotjustasadenialofa formofgovernmentalpower,butasatransgressionthatcanbeseenasboth positiveandtransversalinthesensesIhavebeendescribing.Seeingthingsin this way allows us to steer a course between the false opposition of an ahistoricaluniversalismandarestrictedlocalism. Finally, the failure by Foucault interpreters and some of the participants in the Left Conservative debate to observe these kinds of distinctions,andthustooptfortypicallynegativeconclusionsaboutwhatthe leftshoulddo,raisesthequestionofhowtheyshouldbecategorised.Thelack of positive, enabling and transversal elements in what Butler and some Foucaultinterpretersendupwithisreallyaverypoorreturnonwhatisoften a body of thought with radical roots. Given the challenges that face the left today surely outlining an alternative to prevailing politics is the most appropriate way of getting in touch with the useful part of a progressive tradition that has rightly seen its task as alleviating oppression and empowering people, whereas there is now a minimalism to Foucault influenced left thought. In this sense, some of the participants in the Left Conservativedebateshouldbecarefulwhomtheylabelconservative.

37

Foucault,Enlightenment,p.45.

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foucault studies, No 1, pp. 32-52 Acknowledgments

ThanksareduetoCatherineMillsforhercommentsonanearlierversionof thispaperandChrisCordnerforhelpfuldiscussionsofmanyoftheseissues.I wouldalsoliketothankToddMayforhiscriticismsofthisessay.Versionsof thispaperwerepresentedattheSocietyforEuropeanPhilosophyConference, UniversityofCork,Ireland,September1114,2002;andataonedayseminar The Later Foucault: Biopolitics and Ethics, Philosophy Department, AustralianNationalUniversity,August9th,2002.

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foucault studies
Simon Enoch, 2004 ISSN: pending Foucault Studies, No 1, pp. 53-70, December 2004

ARTICLE

The Contagion of Difference


Identity, Bio-politics and National Socialism
Simon Enoch, Ryerson University
ABSTRACT:MichelFoucaultsconceptofbiopoliticsentailsthemanagementandregulation oflifeprocesseswithinthepopulationasawhole.Thisadministrationofthebiologicalwas perhaps most manifest in the German state under National Socialism. Indeed, Foucault remarksthattherewasnootherstateoftheperiodinwhichthebiologicalwassotightly,so insistently regulated. However, while the Nazi regime evinced this biopolitical concern withthemanagementoflife,italsoreleasedanunprecedentedmurderouspotential.Itisthis paradox, that the care of life can become the administration of death, or what Foucault deemedthetransitionfrombiopoliticstothanatopolitics,thatIwishtoinvestigatethrough anexaminationoftheconstructionoftheJewishsubjectthroughinNazimedicaldiscourse. This paper will examine how medicopolitical discourse facilitated the construction of medicallyauthorizednormsthatconstructedtheJewasbothabiologicalandsocialthreatto the body politic, and how this discursively produced Other informed the transition from biopoliticstothanatopoliticswithintheconfinesoftheGermanmedicalestablishment.

NationalSocialismisnothingbutappliedbiology. RudolphHoess,CommandantofAuschwitz ItwasMichelFoucaultwhopopularizedthenotionofmodernpoliticsasbio politics, concerned with the vital processes of human existence: health and vitality of the population, sexuality and reproduction, disease and illness, birth and death. This focus on the population as an object of knowledge resulted in a proliferation of scientific discourse concerned with the administration of life. As Nikolas Rose states, biopolitics was inextricably bound up with the rise of the life sciences, the human sciences, clinical medicine. It has given birth to techniques, technologies, experts and apparatusesforthecareandadministrationofthelifeofeachandall.1
1

NikolasRose,ThePoliticsofLifeItself.Theory,CultureandSociety(Vol.18,No.6, 2001), 1. Biopolitics should be viewed as one pole of what Foucault deemed bio power,theotherbeinganatomopolitics,orthedisciplinarytechniquesfocusedonthe

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foucault studies, No 1, pp. 53-70 PerhapsthemostexemplarysiteofappliedbiopoliticswastheGermanstate under National Socialism. Indeed, Foucault argues that there was no other state of the period in which the biological was so tightly, so insistently regulated.2 However, immanent within the desire to control the biological makeup of a population is the latent potential to eliminate that which is perceivedtothreatenthevitalhealthofthepopulation.3Indeed,thisdormant desiretopurifythebodypoliticwasarguablymostmanifestintheexperience oftheJewishpopulationunderNationalSocialism.Thus,thequestionarises, if biopolitics basic function is to improve life, to prolong its duration, to improve its chances, to avoid accidents, and to compensate for its failings, howisitthatpowersuchasthiscankill?4 It is this paradox of biopolitics; that the care of life can become the administrationofdeath,orwhatFoucaultcallsthetransitionfrombiopolitics to thanatopolitics, that I wish to investigate through the discourse of the German medical establishment under National Socialism.5 The role of German medicine in the discursive production of unsuitable participants in the body politic is particularly disturbing in view of the supposed superior ethicalstandardstypifiedbymodernwesternmedicine.Yet,asRobertProctor illustrates, German medical science not only lent justification to the extermination of the undesirable, but also participated in their murder.6 Therefore,Iwishtoinvestigatehowmedicopoliticaldiscoursefacilitatedthe construction of the Jew as both a biological and social threat to the body politic, and how this discursively produced Other informed the transition from biopolitics to thanatopolitics within the confines of the German medical establishment. However, a few methodological precautions are in order before proceeding. For Foucault, discourse is not just a text, but a practice that operates on a number of levels and describes a domain of languageuse,asystemofrepresentation.7Historicaldiscoursesmakeidentity explicit.Itistheinterventionofinstitutionsanddiscoursesthatlegitimateand frame identity.8 Identity can be made, undone, and made again. It does not existinanessentialsense,butisconstitutedinanynumberofdiscoursesin
individual body. See Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality Volume One: An Introduction(NewYork:VintageBooks,1990),139. MichelFoucault.SocietyMustBeDefended:LecturesattheCollegeDeFrance,19751976 (NewYork:Picador,2003a),259. Rose,2001,2. Foucault,2003a,254. Giorgio Agamben, Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life (Stanford: Stanford UniversityPress,1998),122. See Robert Proctor, Racial Hygiene: Medicine Under the Nazis (Cambridge: Harvard UniversityPress,1988),177222. JulietSteyn,TheJew:AssumptionsofIdentity.(London:Cassell,1999),7. Ibid.,7.

5
3 4 6

7 8

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Enoch: The Contagion of Difference legislation, social policy, literary and visual culture, medical and scientific theory, etc. In undertaking a Foucauldian analysis of the discursive production of the subject, we must be careful not to assert one discourse as theprimarygeneratorofidentity.Thedangerwiththeappropriationofsuch ananalysis,inthiscontext,isthatonewillpresupposethattheJewsassumed the subject positions created by Nazi medicopolitical discourse, and that counterdiscoursespositingalternativeidentitieswereeitherrenderedinertor deemed not to exist. There is no firm evidence to suggest that this was the case.9Furthermore,thecomplexitiesofnegotiatingonesownsubjectivitydo notlendthemselvestovalidatingthisconclusion.Anyuniversalassertionsof how the Jews perceived themselves in the wake of Nazi health and racial hygiene policies would be tenuous at best. Instead, this paper will focus on the construction of a Jewish identity objectified through the eyes of Nazi medical discourse, and how this construction ultimately informed the formulationofamedicalsubjectivitythatrealizedthepotentialforathanato politicsimmanentwithinbiopolitics. Ininitiatingthisinvestigation,Iwillexaminetheintersectionbetween German medical science and National Socialism that facilitated the politicization of medical discourse. In addition, I will consider how the German medical and political apparatus attempted to entrench biological explanations for social ills through medicopolitical discourses of disease, criminalityandsexualdeviancyintheconstructionoftheJewishsubject.By situating these discourses within Foucaults notion of biopolitics as the production of a normalizing society, I hope to illuminate how the German medical establishment could realize the seemingly contradictory potential to bebothstewardsoflifeandadministratorsofdeath,orwhatRobertJayLifton hasdeemedthekillinghealingparadox.10 GiorgioAgambenarguesthattheintegrationofmedicineandpolitics is an essential characteristic of modern biopolitics.11 Indeed, under National Socialism the relationship between politics and medicine was much more pervasive than a small coterie of Nazi doctors dictating health policy. The German state was able to mobilize a significant portion of the medical and scientific community in its application of health, population and racial

10

11

However, it would be equally unwise to conclude that the modes of objectification deployedbyNazimedicopoliticaldiscoursehadnoaffectontheJewishpopulation. Obviously, the construction of a diseased and degenerate identity foisted upon the conceptual Jew was a matter of life and death. For a discussion on how modes of objectificationtransformhumanbeingsintosubjectsseeTheSubjectandPower.In JamesD.Faubion,(ed.),Power:TheEssentialWorksofFoucault,19541984(NewYork: TheNewPress,2000). SeeRobertJayLifton,TheNaziDoctors:MedicalKillingandthePsychologyofGenocide (NewYork:BasicBooks,1986),430432. Agamben,1998,143.

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foucault studies, No 1, pp. 53-70 hygiene policies. 12 Furthermore, doctors were instrumental in extending the scopeofmedicalsurveillanceonbehalfofthedictatorshipthroughtheirrole asexaminersandcounselorswithintheexpandedNazihealthsystem.13While itisbeyondthepurviewofthispapertoexploreallthereasonsthatexplain theintimatecollaborationbetweenGermanmedicineandNationalSocialism, themostcompelling istheclimateofprestigeandpowerthattheNazistate offeredtothemedicalcommunityinexchangeforcollusioninitspolicies.As Proctor observes, the Nazis biologized social concerns over gender, crime, poverty and other substantial social issuesexacerbated by the economic and social crisis of the Weimar period. This willingness to seek biological explanations for a host of social problems greatly increased the potential for medicalsciencetoparticipateintheplanningandformulationofstatepolicy. Indeed,asProctorstates;
Nazi racial programs were seen as public health programs, involving participation of doctors in state policy on an unprecedented scale. National Socialismpromisedtoplacemedicineonanewandhigherlevelinsociety;it may even be true that under the Nazis the medical profession achieved a higherstatusthanatanyothertimeinhistory.14

Furthermore,theauthoritarian positiontowardshealthpolicyemblematicof National Socialism was profoundly suited to the aspirations of social engineers within the medical profession. Racial hygienists viewed the destruction of democratic institutions as clearing the way for eugenic legislationtosolvetheproblemsoftheantisocial,degenerate,andchronically sick.15 Eminent physician Gerhard Wagner, head of the German Medical Society, foresaw a great future for medicine under the Nazis. National Socialism would initiate a movement from individual medicine to medicine administered to the volk, or to the population as an organic whole.16 Similarly,aninfluentialmanualbyRudolfRammoftheUniversityofBerlin proposedthateachdoctorwastobenolongermerelyacaretakerofthesick, butaphysicianofthevolk,urgingdoctorstobecomebiologicalsoldiers.17 Thus National Socialism offered German medicine the potential to remake
12

13

14

15

16

17

GotzAly,PeterChroust,andChristianPross,CleansingtheFatherland:NaziMedicine andRacialHygiene(Baltimore:JohnHopkinsUniversityPress,1994),5. RobertGellately,BackingHitler:ConsentandCoercioninNaziGermany(Oxford:Oxford UniversityPress,2001),30 Proctor, 1988, 287. Robert Jay Lifton notes that physicians had one of the highest ratiosofNaziPartymembershipofanyprofession:45%.SeeLifton,1986,34. Paul Weindling, Health, Race, and German Politics Between National Unification and Nazism, 18701945 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989), 498. See also Lifton,1986,23. James M. Glass, Life Unworthy of Life: Racial Phobia and Mass Murder in Hitlers Germany(NewYork:BasicBooks,1997),39. Lifton,1986,30.

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Enoch: The Contagion of Difference society along biological principles, an offer that was difficult to ignore after theeconomicandsocialupheavalsoftheWeimarRepublic. However,thisalliancedidnotleavethemedicalprofessionuntouched. The Nazis need of medical justification for their racial policies would shape thecontentofracialtheorizingtomorecloselycorrespondwithNazibeliefs.18 Furthermore, Nazi conceptions of race would be propagated throughout the medical community, through the establishment of research institutions and university department chairs, and even become an integral part of the curriculum at medical schools throughout Germany.19 Finally, the implementationofNazihealthpolicyfurtherinfusedGermanmedicinewith Nazi inspired racial discourse, as doctors and scientists became more enmeshedinawebofsurveillanceandregulationimposedbythestate.20 Thus, the medical community became increasingly implicated in the biopolitical apparatus of the Nazi state. In order to more fully comprehend the implications of this, it is necessary to explicate Foucaults notion of bio politics as the production of a normalizing society and the contributions Germanmedicaldiscoursemadetoitsrealizationthroughtheconstructionof theJewasabiologizedOther. For Foucault, the biopolitical state is of necessity a normalizing state. Indeed,Foucaultnotesthatanormalizingsocietyisthehistoricaloutcomeof a technology of power centered on life.21 Foucault is addressing the ascendance of biopolitical knowledges, such as medicine, science, demography, sexology, etc, as complicit in the construction of regulatory normsthroughwhichirregularities,anomaly,anddeviationcanbeidentified within the population. Attendant to this are the inevitable apparatuses of power that capture the abnormal within their purview. The norm consequently lays claim to powerit is an element on the basis of which a certain exercise of power is founded and legitimized.22 Race, for Foucault,
18

19

20

21 22

Naziconceptionsofrace,includingasuperiorAryanraceincontrasttoinferior, degenerateraceswerenotalwaysinkeepingwiththecontemporarytheoriesofthe period.AsWiendlingnotes,aprocessofrenegotiationandreformulationofracial hygiene was undertaken to move racial science towards the Nazi view. See Weindling,1989,493494. MichaelKater,DoctorsUnderHitler(ChapelHill:UniversityofNorthCarolinaPress, 1989),174. The element of coercion in the medical communitys acceptance of Nazi racial discourse cannot be overlooked here. However, it would be equally unwise to assume that Nazi racial views were strictly forced upon the medical community. ProctorarguesthatNaziracialpolicyemergedfromwithinthescientificcommunity asmuchasitwasimposed.SeeProctor,1988,297.Furthermore,Naziracialdiscourse was not met without resistance. For a discussion of The Association of Socialist PhysiciansoppositiontoNazipolicyseeProctor,1988,251281. Foucault,1990,144. Michel Foucault, Abnormal: Lectures at the College De France, 19741975. (New York: Picador,2003b),50.

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foucault studies, No 1, pp. 53-70 operates as a biopolitical norm that produces subjects through its construction and transgression, in a manner not unlike sex in The History of Sexuality.23 Similar to sexuality, race is viewed as a discourse of normalizing andcentralizingpower:
It will become the discourse of a battle that has to be waged not between races,butbyaracethatisportrayedastheonetruerace,theracethatholds powerandisentitledtodefinethenorm,andagainstthosewhodeviatefrom thatnorm,againstthosewhoposeathreattothebiologicalheritage.Atthis point, we have all those biologicalracist discourses of degeneracy, but also allthoseinstitutionswithinthesocialbodywhichmakethediscourseofrace strugglefunctionasaprincipleofexclusionandsegregationand,ultimately, asawayofnormalizingsociety.24

Thus, this discourse of race becomes integral to the biopolitical state in its missiontonormalizesociety.25Indeed,Foucaultnotesthatracismisinscribed as a fundamental mechanism of power that exercises itself in modern states.26 Foucault further argues that this discourse operates to establish a breakintothedomainoflifethatisunderpowerscontrol,fragmentingthe biologicalcontinuumofhumanbeingsbydefiningahierarchyofraces,aset ofsubdivisionsinwhichcertainracesareclassifiedassuperior.27 Certainly, German medical discourse established this type of bifurcation of race that Foucault speaks of. German medicine facilitated the acceptanceoftheAryanracialtypeasthenormagainstwhichallotherraces were to be judged. However, the definition of what constituted the Aryan
23

24 25

26

27

While I place more emphasis on race rather than sexuality for the purposes of this paper,itshouldbenotedthatFoucaultidentifiedthepotentialforstateracismwithin bourgeoissexualnormsofhealthanddegeneracy.SeeAnnLauraStoler,Raceandthe Education of Desire: Foucaults History of Sexuality and the Colonial Order of Things (Durham:DukeUniversityPress,1995),2632. Foucault,2003a,61. While Foucault makes no explicit mention of how constructions of race facilitate nationbuilding, there are indeed parallels between race as a normalizing category andtheneedforafictiveethnicitytoconsolidatethemembersofthenation.For example, see Enakshi Dua Beyond Diversity: Exploring the Ways in which the DiscourseofRacehasShapedtheInstitutionoftheNuclearFamilyinEnakshiDua and Angela Robertson. Scratching the Surface: Canadian Antiracist Feminist Thought (Toronto:WomensPress,1999),237259. Foucault,2003a,254.AnnLauraStolerarguesthatbiopoliticsrepresentsashiftinthe functionofpowerforFoucault.Biopoliticsaugurstheregulationofthesocialbody towardthenormalizationofacollectiveidentityandawayfromtheindividualizing tendenciesofdisciplinarypower.SeeStoler,1995,33,39n.However,Foucaultinsists thatonedoesnotreplacetheother,ratherbiopoliticsdoesnotexcludedisciplinary power,butitdoesdovetailintoit,integrateit,modifyittosomeextent,andabove all use it by sort of infiltrating it, embedding itself in existing disciplinary techniques.SeeFoucault,2003a,242. Ibid,254255.

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Enoch: The Contagion of Difference type was notoriously fluid and arbitrary. Beyond a list of positive human attributes such as productive, intelligent, initiative, logical, strong willed, bearersofcivilization,etc,theAryanracialtypewasmoreclearlydefinedby whatitwasnot.28OmarBartovnotesthatthe1935Nurembergracelawscould defineAryanonlynegatively,ashavingnoJewishancestry.29Thefactthat theNaziracialnorm wasilldefinedshouldnotcomeasasurprise.AsRoss Chambersnotes,otherhegemonicnormssuchasheterosexual,orwhite, are similarly unmarked. This bestows the privileges of normalcy and unexaminedness to the unmarked, while reserving for the marked the characteristics of derivedness, deviation, secondariness and examinability, whichfunctionasindicesofdisempowerment.30Thus,whatisofconcernto thisinquiryishowGermanmedicinenegativelydefinedtheJewishsubjectas deviating from the Aryan norm through discourses of disease, impurity, criminality,andsexualdeviance. The notion of racial health and susceptibility to disease and illness became one of the chief priorities of biomedical science under the Nazis.31 WhereastheAryanwasconstructedashealthyandrelativelyfreeofdisease, the Jew was assigned a litany of ailments ascribed to their degenerate racial status.32 Jews were theorized to be more predisposed to diabetes, flat feet, staggers, hemophilia, deafness, nervous disorders, muscular tumors, manic depression, dementia, feeblemindedness, hysteria and suicide than non Jews.33 Indeed the connection within medical discourse between Jews and disease inevitably collapsed into Jews as disease. Increasingly, Jews were characterized as the embodiment of disease itself. Thus, Gerhard Wagner, speaking at the 1935 Nazi Party Congress would declare that Jews were a diseased race, while Judaism was disease incarnate.34 We therefore begin to witness the proliferation of a discourse of parasitology used to assert the essential identity of the Jew.35 One German physician phrased this in the followingterms:
28 29

30

31 32

35
33 34

Kater,1989,115. Omar Bartov, Defining Enemies, Making Victims: Germans, Jews and the Holocaust.TheAmericanHistoricalReview(Vol.103,No.3,June1998),791. Ross Chambers, The Unexamined. in Mike Hill, (ed.) Whiteness: A Critical Reader (NewYork:NewYorkUniversityPress,1997),189. Proctor,1988,196. See Kater, 1989, 114115. One theory explained the proclivity of disease in Jews to their impure racial constitution, which was said to be an amalgam of Negro and Oriental blood that manifested in an increased susceptibility towards disease. See Proctor,1988,197. Proctor,1988,197. Kater,1989,195196. Phillipe Burin, Nazi Antisemitism: Animalization and Demonization. in Robert S. Wistrich(ed.)DemonizingtheOther:Antisemitism,RacismandXenophobia(Amsterdam: HarwoodAcademicPublishers,1999),226.

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foucault studies, No 1, pp. 53-70


There is a resemblance between Jews and tubercle bacilli: nearly everyone harbors tubercle bacilli, and nearly every people of the earth harbors the Jews;furthermoreaninfectioncanonlybecuredwithdifficulty.36

Similarly Dr. Dietrich Amende expressed his concern about the biological danger the Jew is posing within our people, warning against infection by Jewishparasites.37 This notion of Jewish infection was further expounded through medicaldiscourseonthepurityofblood.AsSanderGilmannotes,becauseof thedifficultyofidentifyingtheJewbasedonphysicaltraitsalone,difference hadtobeevenmorecarefullyconstructedinordertoidentifytheOther.38 Uli Linke argues that the axiom for this construction of ideas of difference derived from a typology of blood[b]lood became a marker of pathological alterity, a signifier which linked race and difference.39 Indeed, German medicinelookedtobloodastheultimatearbiterinthedeterminationofrace. Blood group surveys of different racial types were conducted on a massive scale, while the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Biochemistry searched to link infectious disease to the blood proteins of specific races.40 Physician Alfred Bottcher even recommended the application of race science toward the practical goal of making the blood of the Jew visible in a testtube.41 Similarly, Dr. Eugen Stahle noted that racial identification through blood would prevent Jewish attempts to escape detection through deception, baptism, name change, citizenship, or even nasal surgery. One cannot changeonesblood,Stahleconcluded.42Attendanttothisresearchwerecalls fromthemedicalcommunitytoprohibitthemixingofbloodbetweenraces. WagnerarguedthatifGermanscontinuedtoallowthemixingofJewishand nonJewish blood, it would result in the spread of diseased genes of the already bastardized Jewish race into relatively pure European stocks.43 Indeed,Katernotesaplethoraofpolemicsagainsttheinfluenceofforeign bloodduringthisperiod.44Thisdiscourseofbloodandpuritywouldbemost manifestintheinstitutionoftheLawfortheProtectionofGermanBloodand
38
36 37

39

42 43 44
40 41

Proctor,1988,195. Kater,1989,178. Sander L. Gilman, Plague in Germany, 1939/1989: Cultural Images of Race, Space, and Disease. In Andrew Parker, et al. (ed.) Nationalisms and Sexualities (New York: Routledge,1992),178. Uli Linke, German Bodies: Race and Representation after Hitler (New York: Routledge, 1999),119. Weindling,1989,464467,563. Kater,1989,115. Glass,1997,40. Proctor,1988,196. Kater,1989,181.

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Enoch: The Contagion of Difference Honour, which outlawed sexual relations and marriage between Jews and nonJews under penalty of death.45 The laws, designed to prevent racial pollution,wouldbemonitoredandenforcedbythemedicalcommunitywho would issue certificates that testified the couple was genetically fit to marry.46 AstheidentityoftheJewbecameincreasinglybiologizedandsituated inadiscourseofmedicalconcern,thephysicianwaselevatedtothestatusof racial warden, charged with protecting the German body politic from the threatofJewishcontagion.47ThepublicationofStateandHealth,atreatiseon theregimeshealthpoliciesauthoredbysomeofGermanysforemostmedical specialists, appealed to the medical community for forces that want to exclude factors of biological degeneration and to maintain the peoples hereditaryhealth.Itthusaimstoeliminateinfluencesthatharmthebiological growthofthenation.48Certainly,thisdiscourseofdefenseagainstaninternal threatisemblematicofthemodernbiopoliticalstatesdeploymentofracism. Foucault encapsulates the content of this discourse: We have to defend societyagainstallthebiologicalthreatsposedbytheotherrace,thesubrace, the counterrace that we are, despite ourselves, bringing into existence.49 Foucaultfurtherelaborates;
We see the appearance ofa racism that society will direct against itself, againstitsownelementsanditsownproducts.Thisistheinternalracismof permanentpurification,anditwillbecomeoneofthebasicelementsofsocial normalization.50

GermanmedicaldiscourseofJewishdiseaseandcontagionwasinstrumental in the enactment of Nazi health policy designed to purify the German public through the segregation and isolation of the Jewish population. The segregationofpublicspacesandtheconfinementofJewsinstatesanctioned ghettoes were couched in the medical terminology of hygienic necessity.51 TheconfinementofJewstosqualidlivingquarterswithmeageraccesstothe basic means of life translated into rampant outbreaks of infectious disease, thereby justifying the Nazi medical authorities advocacy for continued medical quarantine of the Jewish population.52 The German medical authorities furthered the isolation of the Jew through their advocacy of the
45

48 49 50 51 52
46 47

Michael Burleigh and Wolfgang Wipperman. The Racial State: Germany 19331945 (Cambridge:CambridgeUniversityPress,1991),84. Proctor,1988,138. Ibid.,179. Agamben,1998,147. Foucault,2003a,6162. Ibid.,62. Proctor,1988,199. Ibid.,200.

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foucault studies, No 1, pp. 53-70 public emblem of the yellow sixpointed star to mark the Jew. Germanys foremost medical journal justified these measures as necessary to create an externallyvisibleseparationbetweentheJewishandAryanpopulation.53As Linkenotes,thisidentifierofsubalternracialstatus,servedasakeysymbolof identity, synthesizing and collapsing, in an undifferentiated way, the racial suppositionsoftheGermanfascists.54Thus,medicaldiscoursesofpurityand infectiontrappedtheJewinanapparatusofinstitutionalpowerthatservedto physically exile and distance him thereby reinforcing the identity of the Jew asapestilencethatrequiredremovalfromtheotherwisehealthybodyofthe nation. However, notions of disease and contagion did not exhaust the German medicalscience attempt to medicalize the Jew as Other. The biologized Jew was increasingly incorporated into the discourses of criminality and sexuality in an effort to implicate the Jew as the cause of a hostofsocialills.Throughthesediscourses,theJewwouldbefurtherdefined asthemostinsidiousenemytoboththebiologicalandthesocialhealthofthe Germanbodypolitic. Just as medical discourse theorized the Jew as racially disposed to certain kinds of disease, criminal biology argued the Jew was also racially disposed to certain forms of crime. Interest in criminal biology accelerated withtheriseoftheNazis,withlegalandmedicaljournalsregularlyreporting thatcrimeandotherantisocialbehaviorsweregeneticallydeterminedracial characteristics.55 Once again the Aryan norm would be the measure against whichallotherracesweretobejudged.GeneticistFritzLenzarguedthatthe Aryan possessed the distinctive racial quality of foresight, a quality that, according to Lenz, led the German (unlike the Jew) to respect the life and property of others.56 Against this norm, the Jew was constructed as biologically prone to commit a litany of crimes. As Proctor notes, Nazi medical authorities followed the conclusions of the criminal biologists to attribute bankruptcy, distribution of pornography, prostitution, drug smuggling, purse snatching, and general theft to the racial heredity of the Jew.57 The discourse of criminal biology raised numerable concerns over the higherreproductivebirthrateofcriminalversusnoncriminalelementsofthe population.58Inlieuoftheseconcerns,theNazistateestablishedexamination centers deployed throughout Germany to explore the genetics and racial specificity of crime. In addition, larger criminal biology research institutions wereestablishedinninemajorcities.By1939,examinationofthegeneticsand
55 56 57 58
53 54

Ibid.,205. Linke,1999,179. Proctor,1988,203. Ibid.,204. Ibid.,204. Ibid.,202.

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Enoch: The Contagion of Difference genealogy of criminal suspects became a routine part of criminal investigations.59 Furthermore, criminal biology would inform the implementation of sterilization and castration laws designed to halt the diffusionofhereditarycriminalitywithinthepopulation.60 Through this discourse of medicalized criminality, the Jew was captured within the purview of an additional apparatus of state power, the criminal justice system, and thereby further problematized as a threat to the social health of the population, as well as being a biological threat. The discourse of criminality as inherently genetic also served to emphasize the incurability or inalterable criminal nature of the Jew. Such discourse allowed medicine to claim what Foucault calls a role of generalized social defense,forthebiologicalprotectionofthespeciesagainstindividualswho ascarriersofacondition,astigmata,oranydefectwhatsoever,maymoreor less transmit to their heirs the unpredictable consequences of the evil, or rather of the nonnormal, that they carry within them.61 This idea of social defenseagainsttheproliferationofcriminalityismostexplicit inDr.Johann von Leers The Criminal Nature of the Jews. In this text, von Leers melded the discourse of Jewish disease and criminality to justify the murder of Jews on purelybiological/geneticgrounds:
IfthehereditarycriminalnatureofJewrycanbedemonstrated,thennotonly iseachpeoplemorallyjustifiedinexterminatingthehereditarycriminals,but any people that still keeps and protects Jews is just as guilty of an offence against public safety as someone who cultivates cholera germs without observingtheproperprecautions.62

Intheabovepassagewewitnesstheconfluenceofanumberofthediscourses so far outlined; disease, criminality, and the defense of society from the internalthreat.Itisultimatelythroughthisconvergenceofmedicaldiscourse and biopolitics that I believe the transition from biopolitics to thanato politics will be rendered intelligible. However, before proceeding with this lineofanalysis,itisnecessarytooutlinehowmedicalscienceconstructedthe sexualityoftheJewasdeviantandcontaminate. At first glance, Nazi medical discourse that asserted the essential sexuality of the Jew seems inconsistent and contradictory. On the one hand the Jew is portrayed as lecherous, lustful, possessed of an uncontrollable
61
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Ibid.,203. Ibid.,203. Foucault, 2003b, 316317. Foucault deploys the idea of social defence in relation to psychiatry and the incurable, however I believe it is equally valid in the case of an incurable,medicalizedcriminality. GiselaKaplan,IrreducibleHumanNature:NaziViewsonJewsandWomen.in Ethel Tobach and Betty Rosoff, (ed.) Challenging Racism and Sexism: Alternatives to GeneticExplanations.(NewYork:TheFeministPress,CUNY,1994),194.

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foucault studies, No 1, pp. 53-70 sexualdrivedirectedatgentilewomen.63Ontheother,theJewisrepresented as possessing decidedly feminine sexual characteristics and a proclivity to homosexuality.64Thisseemingcontradictionbetweenanaggressivemasculine sexuality and femininity is resolved through the medicalization of Jewish sexuality as resulting from a weakened nervous system. Medical science attributed the excessive sexuality of the Jew to a racial predisposition to nervousness and neurasthenia. This lack of nerve resulted in an inability to controltheirpassions,unabletodistinguishfromloveandlust,beautyand sensuality.65Thus,totheJewwasattributedtheirrational,hysterical,overly emotionalessencethatsciencehadascribedtothefemale,counterposedtothe masculine norms of reason, discipline and restraint. This allowed the Jew to be represented as both feminine and sexually aggressive, without appearing contradictory.AsMosseargues:
[T]he stereotyped depiction of sexual degenerates was transferred almost intact to the inferior races, who inspired the same fears. These races, too, were said to display a lack of morality and a general absence of self discipline.Blacks,andthentheJews,wereendowedwithexcessivesexuality, with socalled female sensuousness that transformed love into lust. They lackedallmanliness.Jewsasagroupweresaidtoexhibitfemaletraits,justas homosexualsweregenerallyconsideredeffeminate.66

This degenerate sexuality of the Jew was also linked to the Jews inherent criminality. The excessive sexuality and moral depravity of the Jew was offeredasthecauseoftheJewssupposedpenchantforsexualcrimessuchas prostitution and abduction.67 Furthermore, Jewish sexuality was to be incorporated within the wider discourse of contagion through medical sciencesinsistenceontheinfectiousandpoisonednatureofJewishsexuality. SexualrelationswithaJewwerebelievedtopoisontheblood,resultingina form of genetic impregnation where the tainted Aryan woman would continue to transmit Jewish hereditary characteristics to her children for the rest of her life, regardless of the race of the father.68 As has been shown, the resultofthisdiscourseandtheadvocacyofthemedicalcommunityproduced the laws prohibiting racial miscegenation. Through medical discourse race andsexualitywereinextricablylinked,asdegenerateracialtraitstransmitted

63

64

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George L. Mosse, Nationalism and Sexuality: Respectability and Abnormal Sexuality in ModernEurope.(NewYork:HowardFertigInc.,1985),140. Proctor, 1988, 195196. Note that the representation of the Jew is almost always male.AsKaplannotes,theexclusiveportrayalofJewishmenastargetsforridicule mightevenbeuniquetotheNaziregime.Kaplan,1994,206. Mosse,1985,144. Ibid.,36. Burrin,1999,227. Ibid.,226.

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Enoch: The Contagion of Difference through sexual practice were represented as inheritable legacies that threatenedthepurityoftherace. Thus, the discourses of disease, contagion, criminality and sexuality produced an identification of the Jew as both biological and social threat to thebodypolitic.Furthermore,thisostensiblyincurablethreatharboredthe potentialtoinfectandcontaminatetheentireGermanpopulation,eradicating the purity of the Aryan race. While this medicalized identity might explain the discrimination, segregation and oppression of the Jewish population, it stilldoesnotrenderintelligibletheultimateexterminationoftheJewsandthe medicalestablishmentscomplicityinthisact.Inordertobetterexplicatethis process, it is now necessary to investigate how the discursive production of the Jewish Other might have affected the subjectivity of German medical practitioners, thereby allowing them to occupy the seemingly contradictory subject positions of stewards of life and administrators of death. In other words,howdidthemedicalizedJewreleasethepotentialforthanatopolitics immanentwithinbiopolitics?However,Ioffertheseconclusionstentatively; by no means do they exhaust the possible reasons as to why an individual medical doctor might participate in such acts of murder. Indeed, as Lifton notes,sucheventsmayalwayseludeourfullunderstanding.69 The construction of the medicalized Jew through the discourses of disease, contagion, criminality and sexuality involved a fundamental discursivetransformationinGermanmedicalscience.Ibelievetwodiscursive shifts are of ultimate importance; what Foucault deemed discursive transformationthroughderivationandredistribution. Discursivetransformationthroughredistributioncharacterizeschanges peculiar to the episteme, or the aggregation of values and perceptions that forge the professional precepts of a specific discipline.70 In the case of Nazi medicine, we witness the importation of the social as a legitimate object of knowledgeintomedicobiologicaldiscourse.Thisresultedinanexpansionof thenumberofpossibleobjectsthatcouldbeconsideredwithinthepurviewof medical discourse. As has been shown, medical discourse offered biological explanations for a host of social ills, including crime and sexual deviancy. While this epistemic change was not peculiar to German medicine (other nationsembracedsociobiologicalexplanations),thedegreetowhichmedical science was allowed to act upon these sociobiological explanations most certainlywasunique.TheauthoritarianhealthpoliciesofNationalSocialism allowed for the actual implementation of the most perverse fantasies of the medicosocial engineers. The power/knowledge dynamic was thereby much more salient in this type of environment where medical knowledge was
69 70

Lifton,1986,13. Michel Foucault, Politics and the Study of Discourse. Ideology and Consciousness. (No.3.,1978),13.

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foucault studies, No 1, pp. 53-70 immediately seized upon and applied through the expansive Nazi state apparatus. Attendanttothisepistemicshiftisadiscursivetransformationthrough derivation. Derivation occurs when a discipline brings to bear operations which have normally [been] applied to one of its objects and then applies [theseoperations]toanother,therebyalteringthecharacterofanalysisofthe second object.71 As the social became a legitimate object of knowledge for medical science, operations that normally applied to the objects of medical sciencewereappliedtoobjectswithinthesocial,therebyalteringthecharacter of analysis of the second (social) object. We witness this discursive transformation in the representation of the Jew through parasitology.72 GermanmedicaldiscoursebeginstotreattheJewasadiseaseratherthanasa human. Thus, the operations and logic associated with disease or bacteria, particularlyquarantine,isolation,andultimately,eradication,aretransferred onto the medicalized Jew. Indeed German medicine employed an almost clinicaldiscourseinitsexterminationoftheundesirable.Dr.ViktorBrack,an earlypractitionerofcarbonmonoxidepoisoning(disinfectionsastheywere commonly known), argued that only physicians should carry out killings, referringtothemottoTheneedlebelongsinthehandofthedoctor.73 When we frame these discursive transformations within the broader themes of biopolitics as care of the body politic and defense against the internalthreat,wecanbegintoexplainhowGermanmedicinecouldoccupy the contradictory positions of both stewards of life and administrators of death.TheconstructionofthemedicalizedJewasdiseasedandcontagious;a threattoboththebiologicalandsocialhealthofthenation,coupledwiththe biopolitical imperative of social defense unleashed the potential for German medicinetoviewtheexterminationoftheJewsasarationalresponseinorder to preserve the healthof the nation.74 The biological racism foisted upon the medicalized Jew established a positive relation between the right to kill and the assurance of life.75 Auschwitz physician Fritz Klein succinctly demonstratedtheinternallogicofthisbiomedicaldiscoursewhenhestated
71

72

73 74

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Alec McHoul and Wendy Grace, A Foucault Primer: Discourse, Power and the Subject. (NewYork:NewYorkUniversityPress,1993),45. Phillipe Burrin notes that Nazi medicine equated the Jew with organisms like parasites and bacilli, which are among the least anthropomorphous in the animal kingdom, thereby contributing to the bestialization of the Jews as a racial group. SeeBurrin,1999,227. Proctor,1988,190. There is no crude determinism here that states that the mere existence of these discursive variables will inevitably result in the need to exterminate the Other. Rather, this confluence of factors constitute what Foucault considered a field of possibilities,notallofwhichareactuallyrealized.SeeNormanFairclough,Discourse andSocialChange.(Cambridge,U.K:PolityPress,1998),43 Stoler,1995,84.

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Enoch: The Contagion of Difference that it was out of respect for human life that he would remove a gangrenous appendix from a diseased body. The Jew is the gangrenous appendix in the body of mankind.76 Such an irrational rationality is only rendered intelligible when situated within the praxis of biopolitics. As Wagner stated, National Socialism would initiate a movement from individualmedicinetomedicineadministeredtothevolk,orinotherwords, themedicalmanagementandregulationofthelivingbodyofthepeople.The adventofthebiopoliticalstate,withitsattendantracialnorms,facilitatedthe construction of internal racial enemies through their transgression. Medical discourse produced the Jew as the insidious internal enemy, capable of contaminatingthebiologicalandsocialhealthofthevolk.Inordertopreserve thehealthofthepopulationasanorganicwhole,Nazimedicinewouldhave toassumetheroleofsocialdefenseandexcisethecanceroftheJewinorder tosavethepatientasitwere.Indeed,Foucaultcommentsthatthebiological racism of the normalizing state allows for the establishment of this type of logic:
The more inferior species die out, the more abnormal individuals are eliminated,thefewerdegeneratestherewillbeinthespeciesasawhole,and themoreI,asspeciesratherthanindividual,canlive,thestrongerIwillbe, themorevigorousIwillbe,Iwillbeabletoproliferate.Thefactthattheother diesdoesnotmeansimplythatIliveinthesensethathisdeathguarantees mysafety:thedeathoftheother,thedeathofthebadrace,oftheinferiorrace (or the degenerate, or the abnormal) is something that will make life healthier:healthierandpurer.77

The extermination of the Jew thereby renders the body politic healthier, it allowsthecollectivebodytoexpeltheabject,toborrowaKristeveanphrase. Underthelogicofbiopolitics,exterminationofthediseasedpartimprovesthe health of the whole. When situated within the realm of biopolitics, German medicinecantherebyoccupytheparadoxicalroleofcaringforthelifeofthe nation through the eradication of the diseased and infected Jew. Thus, the threshold between biopolitics and thanatopolitics is reached when the internalenemythreatensthecontinuumoflifethatbiopoliticsexertsover the living body of the people.78 Thanatopolitics becomes the necessary responsetothepreservationofthecareoflifeofthewholewhenthreatened withinternaldestruction.AsFoucaultstates,killingortheimperativetokill is acceptable only if it results inthe elimination of the biological threat to andtheimprovementofthespeciesorrace.79
78
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Kater,1989,179. Foucault,2003a,255. EduardoMendieta,ToMakeLiveandtoLetDie.(PaperpresentedatTheFoucault Circle.Chicago,April25th,2002),7. Foucault,2003a,256.

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foucault studies, No 1, pp. 53-70 Finally, what is perhaps the most disconcerting and destabilizing aspect of Foucaults conception of thanatopolitics is his insistence that this murderous potential always remains latent within the management and regulation of life processes that constitute modern biopolitics. Thus, to dismisstheactionsofNazidoctorsasanaberrationorasalethaloutbreak ofanachronisticbarbarism,istoviewtheseeventsasasingularanomalyin the otherwise progressive trajectory of modernity, rather than a potential inherent within modernity itself.80 However, Foucaults analysis cautions against such an interpretation. The surfacing of a thanatopolitics from a regime of biopolitics should not be construed as uniquely peculiar to Nazism, rather it should be viewed as a potential latent in any biopolitical regime, regardless of its outward political appearance.81 Thanatopolitics is the counterpart of a power that exerts a positive influence on life, that endeavors to administer, optimize, and multiply it, subjecting it to precise controlsandcomprehensiveregulations.82WhileNazismperhapsrepresents the most grotesque manifestation of the thanatopolitics latent within the regulatory and disciplinary techniques of modern biopower, Foucault remindsusthat;
Theyusedandextendedmechanismsalreadypresentinmostothersocieties. Morethanthat:inspiteoftheirowninternalmadness,theyusedtoalarge extenttheideasanddevicesofourpoliticalrationality.83

Similarly,Nazimedicineshouldnotbeviewedasaperversionofmainstream scientific canons, but as extending the underlying rationality of modern science itself. As Mario Biagioli observes, much of the scholarship on Nazi medicinetendstopresentNaziscientificpracticesasamajoranomalyinthe historyofscienceorasadeviationfrompropermedicalpractice.84However, Biagioli argues that such a view constitutes a dangerous naivety that preventsusfromviewingnormalmedicalscienceasimplicatedintheFinal Solution.85Indeed,asLernerhasshown,

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DetlevJ.K.Peukert,TheGenesisoftheFinalSolutionfromtheSpiritofScience. In Thomas Childers & Jane Caplan (eds) Reevaluating the Third Reich. (New York :Holmes&Meier,1993),236. FoucaultarguesthatNazismalonetooktheplaybetweenthesovereignrighttokill andthemechanismsofbiopowertothisparoxysmalpoint(thefinalsolutionforthe other races and the absolute suicide of the German race). This play is in fact inscribedintheworkingsofallStates.SeeFoucault2003a,260. Foucault,1990,137. Foucault,2003a,276. Mario Biagioli, Science, Modernity and The Final Solution. In Saul Friedlander (ed.) Probing the Limits of Representation: Nazism and the Final Solution. (Cambridge: HarvardUniversityPress,1992),185. Ibid.,204.

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Enoch: The Contagion of Difference


The biologizing of prejudice, discrimination, and ultimately the call for genocidewasinventedandpromotedbynormalscientists,andindeedby leaders within their professions. Not only can these scientists, in hindsight, beregardedasamongthetopprofessionalsintheirfieldsatthetimeoftheir work: they also saw themselves with some justification as having the same statusassuchpeopleasPasteur,Koch,andLister.86

Similarly, Liftons interviews with the assistants of Dr. Josef Mengele illustratesthedegreetowhichpracticesthatwenowconsiderirrationalwere once regarded as scientifically legitimate. As Lifton explains, Mengeles assistantconsideredthescientificmethodemployedatthecamps,
[M]oreorlessstandardforthetime,thenormforanthropologicalwork.She recognized it as the same approach she had been trained in at her Polish university under a distinguished anthropologist with German, preNazi academicconnections.87

Furthermore,asMilchmanandRosenbergdemonstrate,themythofmodern medicine with its utopian designs towards the engineering of the healthy society through the eradication of disease and death pervades the Nazi bio medical vision.88 Rather than constituting a radical break with the modern tenets of medical science, Nazi medicine extended the same methods and rationalityofmainstreammedicine,albeittoaterrifyingdegree.Tolabelsuch practices as bad science, fraudulent, or methodologically incompetent in hindsight is to disregard Foucaults emphasis on the historically contingent natureofallformsofknowledge,medicalscienceincluded.Indeed,thatsuch practices were viewed as rational and legitimate at the time, employed by eminent scientific professionals, calls into question the very legitimacy and rationalityofscientificpracticesconductedinourownpresent. Thus,FoucaultexposeswhatMilchmanandRosenbergdeemthedark side of modernity, revealing the potential for genocidal practices not as a result of deviations from the values of reason and rationality that constitute modernity,butinherentwithinmodernityitself.Foucaulttherebyalertsustothe dangers within the purported rational and progressive practices and techniques that characterize modernity.89 While the surfacing of this
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LernercitedinAlanMilchmanandAlanRosenberg,Foucault,Auschwitz,andthe Destruction of the Body. in Alan Milchman and Alan Rosenberg (eds.), PostmodernismandtheHolocaust.(Amsterdam:Rodopi,1998),224. Lifton,1986,357. SeeMilchman&Rosenberg,1998,224225foramoredetaileddiscussion. ItshouldbenotedthatFoucaultisnotadvocatingthewholesalerejectionofmodern rationality,butratheritsuncriticalacceptance.ToquoteFoucault,Ifitisextremely dangerous to say that Reason is the enemy that should be eliminated, it is just as dangerous to say that any critical questioning risks sending us into irrationality.

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foucault studies, No 1, pp. 53-70 murderous potential ensconced within modernity is neither inevitable or inescapable, Foucaults insistence that we recognize and interrogate this potential forces us to realize that modernity is not a oneway trip to freedom,andthatwemustmaintainavigilantpessimisminregardstothe truthclaimsofmodernityinordertoforestallpotentialfutureholocausts.90 In conclusion, National Socialism allowed for the intersection of medicineandpoliticstoadegreehithertounseen.Medicinewouldbecomea technique of knowledge/power, serving both as a scientific seizure on biologicalandorganicprocessesandapoliticaltechniqueofintervention.91 Medical discourse served to create biologized subjects through the establishment of racial norms and their application as part of a state wide regulatoryapparatus.TheJewwasraciallyconstructedthroughthedeviation from these norms, represented as both a biological and social threat to the bodypoliticthroughdiscoursesofdisease,contagion,criminalityandsexual deviancy/contamination.ThesediscoursesemptiedtheJewofanysubstantial human content, equating the essential essence of the Jew with infectious parasitesandbacteria.ThediscursiveproductionofJewsasdiseasefacilitated the surfacing of a thanatopolitics by allowing German medicine to treat the Jewish problem as one would treat a virus or an illness; through segregation, isolation, and eventually eradication. As the biopolitical protectors of the health of the volk, German medicine could thereby rationalize the extermination of the Jews, and their complicity in that extermination,asanecessarymedicalpracticetoensurethecontinuinghealth ofthesocialbody.ToquoteKater,theremovaloftheJewsfromthelocusof disease in the widest sense, whether they be the cause, the carrier, or the essence of this disease, was the task of the Aryan as healer and, more precisely,thejoboftheNaziphysician;Killinginthenameofhealing.92

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Michel Foucault, What is Enlightenment? in Paul Rabinow (ed). The Foucault Reader.(NewYork:Pantheon,1984),249. Detlev J.K. Peukert. Inside Nazi Germany: Conformity, Opposition, and Racism in EverydayLife(NewHaven:YaleUniversityPress,1987),249. Stoler,1995,83. Kater,1989,181.

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foucault studies
Richard A. Lynch, 2004 ISSN: pending Foucault Studies, No 1, pp. 71-76, November 2004

NOTICE

Two Bibliographical Resources for Foucaults Work in English


Richard A. Lynch, Wabash College Michel Foucault is one of the most important figures in a generation for whomshort,occasionalpiecesincludingawidevarietyofinterviewsaswell as articles for both academic and popular journalsconstitute an essential part of the thinkers oeuvre. Dits et crits, a monumental but not exhaustive collectionofFoucaultsshorterworks,gathers364piecesthatsupplementthe dozenorsomonographsthatFoucaultpublishedandthehandfulofstudies andcollectionsthathedirectedoredited.1Suchshorterworksarecriticalfor anadequateunderstandingoftheevolutionandforceofFoucaultswork.But a number of difficulties arise when one tries to work with these materials. First, many of these articles appear in multiple publicationsoften with differenttitles,sometimesinvarianttranslations,andoccasionallyalteredor editedand it is not immediately obvious how one can determine which is which.Andsincethemajorbibliographiesareallincomplete(eachincluding atleastafewpublicationsthattheothersomit),thereisnosinglesourcethat can help to resolve these difficulties. I have created two bibliographical resources, available on the Michel Foucault: Resources website, to address these issues and facilitate access to these shorter texts. The first of these is a bibliography, Michel Foucaults Shorter Works in English; the second is a crossreference of six bibliographies particularly useful for Englishlanguage studentsofFoucaultsworks. Thebibliographyaimstoprovideasinglesourceforinformationabout all of Foucaults shorter works that are available in English. Therefore, the scope of this bibliography is strictly limited, but within those limits quite ambitious.It is limited in that the bibliography includes only shorter works, and only works available in English. Monographs, collections and studies (suchasMoi,PierreRivire),andthecompleteCollgedeFrancecoursesare excluded, as is most personal correspondence (with a few exceptions for
MichelFoucault,Ditsetcrits,Paris:Gallimard,FourVolumes,1994.

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foucault studies, No 1, pp. 71-76 lettersthatwerelaterpublished).Includedwithinthebibliographyareallthe textsincludedinDitsetcrits,suchasarticles,interviews,lectures(including individual lectures or extracts from Collge de France courses), and chapters from monographs or studies (such as Foucaults Presentation in Moi, Pierre Rivire).Ofcourse,texts are included only if they are available in English, whether original or in translation. Within these limits, this bibliography aspirestocompletenessintwosenses.First,itaimstoincludeallofFoucaults shorter works that are available in English; second, it aims to include all English versions and publications of each piece. This is necessarily an unfinished project, as new translations continue to appear and older translationsarerecollectedandanthologizedinavarietyofsources. Thisbibliographywasbornfromtwofrustrations.First,Iwasthwarted by a number of duplicate translations of some of these shorter pieces, often with different titles and frequently with multiple translators. Without carefully comparing the texts or tracing them to their original publications, one couldnt easily tell that they were in fact multiple versions of the same text.OnegoodexampleisStructuralismandpoststructuralism(number330 in Dits et crits), an interview first published in 1983 in Telos. It was later republished as Critical theory/intellectual history in the collected work Politics,Philosophy,Culture,andthenasHowmuchdoesitcostforreasonto tellthetruth?(inatranslationfromaGermanversion)inFoucault:Live.This interview has been published in English in seven different sources, at least twiceundereachofthethreetitles.Theneedforasingledatabasethatwould makethiscomparisoneasyseemedclear. The second frustration stemmed from a lack of bibliographical consistency. There are a number of good bibliographies of Foucault, but all are incomplete and each uses a different system of organization. Michael Clarkpublishedanannotatedbibliographyin1983,butitonlyclaimedtobe complete through 1981 (in fact, it is not).2 In the early 1990s, both David Macey and James Bernauer independently compiled bibliographies of Foucaultsworks.3Thesearebothimpressiveaccomplishments,butthereare a number of discrepancies between their lists, and neither tries to exhaustivelyinventoryallavailabletranslations.The1994publicationofDits et crits offered yet another sequence and a few items overlooked in earlier lists,asdidthecatalogoftheCentreMichelFoucault(whichwasestablishedat the Bibliothque du Saulchoir and later transferred to the Institut Mmoires de lEdition Contemporaine). And of course, new indits and new translations
2

MichaelClark,MichelFoucault,anAnnotatedBibliography:ToolkitforaNewAge(New York:GarlandPublishing,1983). JamesBernauer,TheworksofMichelFoucault19541984,inMichelFoucaultsForce of Flight: Toward an Ethics for Thought (Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press, 1990),pp.231254;DavidMacey,Bibliography:theworksofMichelFoucault,inThe LivesofMichelFoucault(NewYork:VintageBooks,1995)pp.543565.

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Lynch: Two Bibliographical Resources continuetoappearlongafterFoucaultsdeath.ThisbibliographytakesDitset crits as the authoritative numeration, but also aims to include works not includedtherein;thebibliographicalcrossreferencewillfacilitatecomparison between the various numerations. The crossreference (and those other bibliographies)willbediscussedinmoredetailbelow. The main part of the bibliography follows Dits et crits in its organization: Foucaults shorter works are sequenced in chronological order of publication (rather than in order of composition, which is sometimes speculative).Sincetheorderofpublicationofdifferenttextsinagivenyearis not necessarily clear, the editors of Dits et crits decided to list those pieces that appeared in books (such as prefaces) first, followed by journal articles (with least precise dates before most precise) second, placing the annual CollgedeFrancersumlast. AnumberofFoucaultsshorterworksareavailableinEnglish,butare not listed in Dits et crits. These are included in two appendices. The first appendix follows the organization of the Complment bibliographique, preparedbyJacquesLagrange,inthefinalvolumeofDitsetcrits.Lagranges bibliographyincludesanumberofFoucaultstextsthatwerenotincludedin Ditsetcrits.SeveraloftheseareavailableinEnglish,andtheyarenumbered CB (for Complment bibliographique) and listed in sequence. The initial sixteen entries are listed in the order in which they appear in Lagranges bibliography;subsequententriesarelistedintheorderthattheywereadded tothisbibliography(toavoidrenumberingofpreviouslylisteditems).Ineach case, Lagranges citation and bibliographical details are followed by the Englishversion(orversions). The second appendix includes English texts that are neither in Dits et crits nor in Lagranges bibliographical supplement. These are numbered OT(forothertexts).Noattempthasbeenmadetolisttheseinchronological order; all entries are listed in the order that they were added to this bibliography. Insum,asofJuly2004,justshortofhalfofthetextsincludedinDitset crits (180 of 364) are available in English and listed in this bibliography, as well as 27 texts not included in Dits et crits, for a total of more than 200 differenttexts.Mosthavebeenpublishedinmultiplevenues;439citationsare included in this bibliography in other words, each text has appeared an averageof2.1times. Given the evergrowing number of texts available in English, a print edition of this bibliography would soon become outdated. Therefore, most recentversionswillcontinuetobeavailableattheMichelFoucault:Resources website.Thebibliographyistypicallyupdated12timesperyear,sometimes more frequently, depending upon the number and extent of changes and additions. I have attempted to verify all citations through inspection of the sourceandcomparisonwiththeFrenchorwithotherEnglishversions;there 73

foucault studies, No 1, pp. 71-76 areafewforwhichIhavebeenunabletodothis.Withaworkofthisscope and detail some errors have inevitably escaped even careful proofreading. Users are cordially invited to help keep this bibliography uptodate, by sendinginformationaboutcorrectionsandnewpublicationstotheauthoror tothewebmaster. A second resourcea crossreference of six bibliographiesis also available with this bibliography. A crossreference seems particularly useful because, just as many of Foucaults texts have appeared in different venues under different titles, each of the bibliographies arranges these texts in a unique sequence. The six bibliographies included in the crossreference are Dits et crits (including some of the additions in Lagranges Complment bibliographique), bibliographies published by Michael Clark, James Bernauer, and David Macey, the catalog of Centre Michel Foucault holdings at the Bibliothque du Saulchoir, and my bibliography of shorter works in English.Itsscopeisthereforebroaderthanthebibliography,sinceitincludes monographs and other items, as well as items not available in English. The crossreference is available in two formats: excel and pdf. The excel file includes six parts, each sorted according to one of the bibliographies. Each partcanalsobedownloadedasapdffile. The following are a few notes about each of the six bibliographies, includingdetailsaboutitscontentsaswellastheextenttowhichitisindexed inthecrossreference. Dits et crits provides an authoritative list of Foucaults work, and shouldserveasthestandardforcitations.Itspublicationin1994markedthe first major posthumous event (print publication of the complete Collge de France courses is the second) to facilitate the rethinking of Foucaults work. These four volumes collect works initially published in many languages French, English, Italian, German, Spanish, Swedish, Portuguese, and Japaneseandinmanyoftenobscureorinaccessiblejournals.Nevertheless,it isnotentirelycomplete.Theeditorschosetoexcludetextsreadilyavailablein monographsbyFoucault(suchasthe1972prefacetoHistoiredelafolieandthe two essays in Moi, Pierre Rivire), posthumous articles or interviews that Foucaulthadnotreviewed,andpetitionssignedbyFoucault(evenifhehad beentheprincipalauthor).Manyoftheseexcludedtextsarelistedintheother bibliographies. Not all of the items listed in Lagranges Complment bibliographiqueareincludedinthecrossreference. MichaelClarks1983MichelFoucault,anAnnotatedBibliography:ToolKit for a New Age includes publications by Foucault through 1981. It was publishedaspartoftheGarlandBibliographiesofModernCriticsandCritical Schools series. The annotations are usually quite useful; it also includes a largenumberofsecondarysources.Foucaultsworksareorganizedintofive sections(AthroughE)andlistedinchronologicalorderofpublicationwithin those sections. Section A includes books and collections of essays; the 74

Lynch: Two Bibliographical Resources collections are in a number of languages (notably Italian, German, and English) and include many of the essays in Dits et crits. Section B includes prefaces, translations, and edited booksessentially, translations and texts appearing as parts of monographs. Sections C, D and E consist of shorter works: essays and reviewarticles (C), reviews (D), and interviews and miscellaneous materials (E). Among the miscellaneous materials are audio and video recordings not listed in Dits et crits. Even though it does not includepublicationsafter1981,thisannotatedbibliographycontinuestobea valuableresource;asecond,updatededitionwouldbeofgreatvalue.Allof the primary sources included in Clarks bibliography are listed in the cross reference. Two significant Englishlanguage bibliographies were prepared after Foucaults death but before the appearance of Dits et crits, one by James Bernauer,theotherbyDavidMacey.JamesBernauersTheworksofMichel Foucault 19541984 (prepared with the assistance of Thomas Keenan) is included in his book, Michel Foucaults Force of Flight: Toward an Ethics of Thought, published in 1990. This bibliography is divided into three sections. The main section (with 325 entries) includes texts written and published by Foucault in chronological order of composition (not publication). Monographs,articles,andinterviewsareincludedhere.Twoshortersections includemiscellaneousmaterials(sectionB,includingpersonallettersthathad beenpublished,radiointerviews,andafewnotesofhislecturespublishedby others) and studies directed by Foucault (section C). All of the citations in Bernauersbibliographyareincludedinthecrossreference. DavidMaceys1993Bibliography:theworksofMichelFoucault,like Bernauers, is listed in chronological order of composition rather than publication. It appeared with his biography, The lives of Michel Foucault. Amongits397entriesareanumberofunpublishedmaterials,allofwhichare available at the Centre Michel Foucault. All of the citations in Maceys bibliographyareincludedinthecrossreference. The final item included in the crossreference is not exactly a bibliography but a catalogthe April 1993 catalog of holdings at the Centre MichelFoucaultintheBibliothqueduSaulchoir.Thiscatalogwaspreparedby MarieJosphe Dhavernas.4 (The catalog is itself incomplete; it only includes materialsheldasofJanuary1991.Manyadditionalitemshavebeenaddedto thecollectionsincethen,andtheholdingsweretransferredin199798tothe Institut Mmoires de lEdition Contemporaine (IMEC), which has in turn added holdings.SomeoftheIMECmaterialsarenumberedaccordingtoadifferent system, and the Saulchoir numeration may itself be eventually superceded.
4

MarieJosphe Dhavernas, Catalogue du fonds Michel Foucault depose la Bibliothque du Saulchoir, 2me d. Paris: Association pour le Centre Michel Foucault,1993.

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foucault studies, No 1, pp. 71-76 Nevertheless, it was in use at the IMEC and is useful for identifying the holdingsavailable.)Textsinthecatalogaregroupedintothreesections:A,B, and D. Section A (Les livres) includes monographs and books. Section B (Les articles) includes originals and translations of articles, some appearing in journals, others in monographs. Section D (Les documents photocopis) includesreproductionsofarticlesandothermiscellaneousmaterials,suchas Foucaults thse complmentaire on Kants anthropology and a number of transcripts of lectures. (The collection also contains audiocassette recordings ofmostofFoucaultsCollgedeFrancecourses,butthesearenotlistedinthe catalog, nor in the crossreference.) All three sections include secondary sources as well as work by Foucault; they also include a number of duplications (items may be in both section A and D, for example) and multiple translations or editions of texts and monographs. Many of the duplications are noted in the crossreference, but many items in the catalog arenotincluded.Secondarysourcesandtranslations,inparticular,havebeen excluded. I hope that each of these resourcesthe bibliography of works in Englishandthebibliographicalcrossreferencewillbeofvalueforscholars andstudentsofFoucaultswork.Theymayalsobeusedinconjunctionwith eachother.Forexample,onecanusethecrossreferencetotakeacitation in Clarks bibliography and find out where it is included in Dits et crits, and then use the bibliography to find out whether and where it is available in English.

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foucault studies
Brad Elliott Stone, 2004 ISSN: pending Foucault Studies, No 1, pp. 77-91, December 2004

REVIEWESSAY

Defending Society From the Abnormal


The Archaeology of Bio-Power
Brad Elliott Stone, Loyola Marymount University I: Introduction ThepublicationoftheCollgedeFrancelecturecoursesmarksanewphaseof Foucaultscholarship.Sofartherehavebeenfourlecturecoursespublishedby Gallimard: Il faut dfendre la socit (1997), Les anormaux (1999), Lhermneutique du sujet (2001), and Le pouvoir psychiatrique (2003). Of these, twolecturecourses,SocietyMustBeDefended1andAbnormal,2havealready been translated into English, with The Hermeneutics of the Subject ready for publication by the end of this year. These lecture courses are valuable for Foucaultscholarshipnotonlybecausetheysupplementtheargumentsgiven byFoucaultinhispublishedmonographsduringthesameperiod(Discipline and Punish and The History of Sexuality, Vol. 1), but also because there are topics that, although perhaps mentioned briefly or implicitly in the monographs, come to the foreground in the lectures in a way that goes beyondthepublishedtexts. ThereareprobablysomeFoucauldianswhoobjecttothepublicationof the lectures. Those who take Foucaults final wishes seriously consider the lectures unpublished by Foucault, and they should therefore be unpublishedtoday,lestoneturnFoucaultintoanauthorofanoeuvre.The editorswriteintheprefaceofallofthelecturecoursebooksthatthelectures shouldnotbeconsideredunpublishedbecauseFoucaultdeliveredthemin theformofpubliclecturesand,furthermore,thebooksarenotpublicationsof

Michel Foucault, Society Must Be Defended: Lectures at the Collge de France, 1975 1976,trans.DavidMacey,Englishseriesed.ArnoldI.Davidson(NewYork:Picador, 2003). Future references to this text will be made as SMD followed by the English translationpagenumber. MichelFoucault,Abnormal:LecturesattheCollgedeFrance,19741975,trans.Graham Burchell, English series ed. Arnold I. Davidson (New York: Picador, 2003). Future references to this text will be made as AB followed by the English translation page number.

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foucault studies, No 1, pp. 77-91 Foucaults lecture notes (although the notes were sometimes consulted); rather, they are transcriptions from audio tapes recorded by students of Foucault.3However,contrarytotheeditorsintentions,seriousFoucauldians would remind them that Foucault does mention the transcription of public addressesaspartoftheoeuvreprocess:
[D]oes the name of an author designate in the same way a text that he has publishedunderhisname,atextthathehaspresentedunderapseudonym, anotherfoundafterhisdeathintheformofanunfinisheddraft,andanother thatismerelyacollectionofjottings,anotebook?[I]sitenoughtoaddto thetextspublishedbytheauthorthosethatheintendedforpublicationbut which remained unfinished by the fact of his death? And what status shouldbegiventoletters,notes,reportedconversations,transcriptionsofwhat hesaidmadebythosepresentatthetime,inshort,tothatvastmassofverbal traces left by an individual at his death, and which speak in an endless confusionsomanydifferentlanguages(langages)?4

There are many ways to turn works into an oeuvre of a given author. If Foucaultisthenameofanauthorfunction,wearewarnedagainstmaking anoeuvrethatcorrespondstothatfunction.TheFoucauldianoeuvreatthetime of Foucaults death would look like this: the published manuscripts of Foucault; the interviews he gave that were published in magazines and journals; and essays written by Foucault as prefaces, articles, and interventions.WithFoucaultsdeath,somewouldarguethatifscholarswere toturnFoucaultintoanoeuvre,thesewouldbethematerialsthatwouldbethe canon(andnothingmore).ThisiswhatmakesDitsetcritsacceptable;allof its entries were previously published by Foucault within his lifetime or clearedforpublicationbeforehisdeath. However, there are other things that are of interest to professional academics: transcriptions of what Foucault said (viz., the lecture courses), pseudonymous writings (e.g., Michel Foucault by Maurice Florence), and textsindraftformthatwouldhavebeenpublishedifFoucaulthadbeenable tofinishthem(e.g.,thefinalthreevolumesofTheHistoryofSexuality).These items serve as wonderful resources for Foucault scholarship, and would greatly enhance the understanding of Foucaults works. Some would argue that these texts should be off limits as primary source material; others demandtheiruseforthefurtheranceofscholarship. Given that I am writing about the lecture courses, it is obvious that I aminsupportoftheirpublicationandtheiruseinFoucaultscholarship.After all, Foucault scholarship requires that we form an oeuvre that serves as the object of our investigation. A hyperFoucauldianism that forbids the
3 4

Cf.SMDxii,xiv;alsocf.ABxivxv. Michel Foucault, The Archaeology of Knowledge, trans. A. M. Sheridan Smith (New York:Pantheon,1972),2324;emphasismine.

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Stone: Defending Society From the Abnormal formation of an oeuvre would result in the end of Foucault scholarship. If Foucault scholarship is to continue, we either have to keep talking in circles about the same texts over and over again (a repetitive commentary), or we mustfindnewconnections,newideas,andnewtexts.Thatisacoldbrutefact of academe. To ward off any allegations of hypocrisy, we Foucauldians can still hold that the oeuvre is an unstable attempt to form a discursive unity, although oeuvres are inevitably formed nonetheless. One way to remember our distrust of oeuvres is to always remind ourselves that there are multiple Foucaults to be studied without feeling the need to form a united Foucauldiansystem. The goal of this essay is to present the main themes of both Society MustBeDefendedandAbnormal,whicharenotonlythetwotranslationswe have so far in English, but also the two lecture courses that mark a turning pointinFoucaultsunderstandingofsubjectivityfromastrictlydisciplinary modeltoamodelmadeupofnormalization,governmentality,andthecareof theself.Thehopeisthatthereaderwillbeintroducedtothemeritsofthese texts, and begin to incorporate the ideas therein into future Foucault scholarship. The main apparatus in the lectures is the archaeology of sovereignty and the subsequent epistemic shift to biopower. Many readers of Foucault believethatarchaeologyisbroughttoanendwiththe1969publicationofThe Archaeology of Knowledge or the 1972 essay Nietzsche, Genealogy, History. Thisissimplynottrue.Foucaultnevergivesupthearchaeologicalproject.All ofhisgenealogicaltexts(lecturecoursesincluded)describediscontinuities inenunciativemodalities,concepts,domains,statements,andobjects.5Along with his discussion of the different dispositifs of power, one still finds an archaeology, albeit implicit in the published monographs, of the knowledge thatemergesalongwiththatpowerarrangement.Furthermore,thosepower arrangementsarediscontinuous,sothattheshiftfromonedispositiftoanother is often complimented by a shift from one epistm to another. Where the lecturecoursesarehelpful,Ibelieve,isinthefactthatthelecturecoursesoffer thearchaeologicalanalysisthatisimplicit(orsometimescompletelymissing) fromthepublishedworks. Foucaultmentionsarchaeologyinbothlecturecourses.InAbnormal,at theendof thefirstlecture,althoughFoucaultsaysaloudthat thegoalisto studytheemergenceofthepowerofnormalization,themanuscriptsays, todoanarchaeologyoftheemergenceofthepower ofnormalization.6In Society Must Be Defended, Foucault says that archaeology is the method specifictotheanalysisoflocaldiscursivities,whereasgenealogyisthetact
5 6

Cf.Foucault,TheArchaeologyofKnowledge,Pt.IIIII. AB26,includingthefootnote;emphasismine.

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foucault studies, No 1, pp. 77-91 which, once it [archaeology] has described these local discursivities, brings intoplaythedesubjugatedknowledgesthathavebeenreleasedfromthem.7 Here,itseemsthatgenealogyisalwaysasecondaryprocesstobedoneafter archaeology.Inotherwords,thereisnogenealogywithoutpriorarchaeology. No power arrangement is analyzable until there is also an analysis of the knowledgesanddiscoursesproducedandperpetuatedbythatpower. Therefore, in this essay, I seek to examine these two lecture courses archaeologically.Abnormalisanarchaeologicalaccountofhowtheconceptof monstrosityisdiscontinuousfromtheClassicaltotheModernage,andhowa new discourse, medicojuridical discourse, comes into existence in order to explainthenewconceptofmonstrosity.Thisdiscourseisitselfdiscontinuous withthejuridicalandmedicaldiscourseoftheClassicalperiod,whichleads Foucaulttocriticizeitspoweroverlifeanddeath.Sincethisdiscoursehasthe power over life and death, it becomes biopolitical, aligning itself with theories of race and sexuality; in short, it becomes one more discourse of normalization.MydiscussionofAbnormalmakesupthesecondsectionofthis essay. SectionthreeturnstoSocietyMustBeDefended,whichFoucaultstates is the last lecture course on discipline and normalization. In these lectures Foucault lays out the archaeological elements that account for the Modern dispositifofpower,biopower.Todothis,Foucaultshowsthediscontinuityin the concept of history. A new historical discourse, historicopolitical discourse, will emerge as a partial, warbased account of nations (a new discursiveobjectinitsownright).Thisnewdiscoursedirectlychallengesthe previous philosophicojuridical form of historical discourse, which is best represented by Hobbess Leviathan and Machiavellis The Prince. For both HobbesandMachiavelli,waristheantithesisofpolitics;however,asFoucault will show in Society Must Be Defended, politics is nothing more than war continued in a different way, or said differently, arranged under a different dispositif.Also,theoldhistoricaldiscourseoffersushistoriesofthesovereign; the new history will work against the notion of sovereignty. As a result, the dispositif changes from the power of the sovereign to a war model. This war model allows for the emergence of biopower, as the war that becomes politicsisnotthewarbetweenonegroupandanother(theClassicalnotionof races), but between the dominant subgroup within a country against the inferiorsubgroup(theModernnotionofraces).Therefore,societymustbe defended from its own inferiorities, the exaggerated result of which is the Stateracismofthetwentiethcentury. In the final section of the essay, I ask the reverse question. Foucault shows us how knowledge and power work together so as to make the
7

SMD1011.

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Stone: Defending Society From the Abnormal statement: Il faut dfendre la socit contre les anormaux. We must, along with Foucault (for what is the point of archaeology without critique?), ask the reverse:Fautildfendrelasocitcontrelesanormaux?Answeringthisquestion negativelyopensupanewpossibilityofsubjectivity,truth,andpower. II: Abnormal According to Foucault, the goal of Abnormal is to analyze the emergence of thepowerofnormalization,thewayinwhichithasbeenformed,thewayin whichithasestablisheditselfwithouteverrestingonasingleinstitutionbut by establishing interactions between different institutions, and the way in whichithasextendedsovereigntyinoursociety.8WhatemergesinAbnormal is a particular discourse, medicojuridical discourse, also called expert psychiatric opinion. It is a strange mixture of medical and juridical discourse,9 although it follows neither judicial nor medical discursive practices. This new discourse gives birth to a new discursive object: the abnormal. The abnormal represents a monstrosity behind all criminality, a monstrosity of the lack and/or rejection of biopolitical and/or disciplinary normativepractices. This new object is discontinuous with the monsters of the previous epistms.IntheMedievalperiod,monstrositywasthoughtofmostlyinterms ofthebestialman,thepersonwhoishalfhumanandhalfanimal,theby productofthecrossingoftwokingdoms.TheRenaissanceagepuzzledover Siamese twins, and the Classical epistm, steeped in its organized tableaux, was unable to place the hermaphrodite.10 All of these variations or types of monsterssharedthepropertyofbeingstrangemixtures.Foucaultexplains thisideaofthemonsterinthefollowingway:
the monster is essentially a mixture of two realms, the animal and the human: the man with the head of an ox, the man with a birds feet monsters.Itistheblending,themixtureoftwospecies:thepigwithasheeps head is a monster. It is the mixture of two individuals: the person who has twoheadsandonebodyortwobodiesandoneheadisamonster.Itisthe mixtureoftwosexes:thepersonwhoisbothmaleandfemaleisamonster.It isamixtureoflifeanddeath:thefetusbornwithamorphologythatmeansit will not be able to live but that nonetheless survives for some minutes or daysisamonster.Finally,itisamixtureofforms:thepersonwhohasneither armsnorlegs,likeasnake,isamonster.11
8 9

10

AB26. As we know from The Order of Things, Foucault is very suspicious about the mixed natureofthingsintheModernepistm.Cf.MichelFoucault,TheOrderofThings:An ArchaeologyoftheHumanSciences(NewYork:Vintage,1970),Ch.9. Cf.AB66. AB63.

11

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foucault studies, No 1, pp. 77-91 Why were monsters a problem? The problem with monsters was that they defied the categories of understanding, be they civil, scientific, or religious. ThisiswhyFoucaultcallsthemonsterinhiscoursesummaryofthe19741975 yearanantiphysis,onethatisagainstnature.12Monstrosity,Foucaulttellsus, is the kind of natural irregularity that calls law into question and disables it.13 To use a wellestablished Foucauldian term, monsters are living transgressions: the monster is the transgression of natural limits, the transgressionofclassifications,ofthetable,andofthelawastablethereis monstrosityonlywhentheconfusioncomesupagainst,overturns,ordisturbs civil,canon,orreligiouslaw.14TheClassicalmonsterwasacriminalbecause the monstrosity was illegalit broke the law, and therefore was often executedundertheoldpunitivemethodsofsovereignpower. In the Modern period, which begins at the end of the eighteenth century, the understanding of monsters enters a new stage. In the new arrangementofknowledge,[m]onstrosityisnolongertheunduemixture of what should be separated by nature. It is simply an irregularity, a slight deviation, but one that makes possible something that really will be a monstrosity, that is to say, the monstrosity of character.15 Monsters are no longer criminals because they violate natural law; criminals are monsters because they violate the norms of society. In the later part of the eighteenth century, Foucault tells us, we see something emerge the theme of the monstrous nature of criminality, of a monstrosity that takes effect in the domain of conduct, of criminality, and not in the domain of nature itself themoralmonster.16 The case study that Foucault chooses in order to examine the moral monster and its role in the emergence of medicojuridical discourse is the HenrietteCorniercase.Inthiscase,Corniermurderstheinfantdaughterofa neighborforwhatappearstobenoreasonatall.SinceCornierisnotmadin theClassicalsense,shecannotbeacquitted.Sinceshehasnodirectmotivefor thecrime,theinterestwhichledhertoperformthecrimecannotbepunished by Classical punition theory.17 This, Foucault argues, leads to the medico juridical (psychiatric) evaluation of actions, which differs from the merely medical(isCornierinsane?)ormerelyjuridical(whatwasCorniersmotiveso wecanpunishthatmotive?)evaluation:
14 15 16 17
12 13

Cf.AB328. AB64. AB63. AB73. AB7475. Cf. AB 111112. The idea that the interest must be punished (and not the crime directly)isfurtherexplainedinDisciplineandPunish.Cf.MichelFoucault,Discipline andPunish:TheBirthofthePrison,trans.AlanSheridan(NewYork:Vintage,1977),94.

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Stone: Defending Society From the Abnormal


What do we see when we consider how Henriette Corniers life has unfolded?Weseeacertainwayofbeing,acertainhabitualwayofbehaving and a mode of life that exhibits little that is good. She separated from her husband. She gave herself up to debauchery. She has had two illegitimate children. She abandoned her children to the public assistance,and so on Her debauchery, her illegitimate children, and the abandonment of her family are all already the preliminaries, the analogy of what will happen when she well and truly kills a child who lived alongside her Since the subjectsoresemblesheract,thentheactreallyishersandwehavetheright topunishthesubjectwhenwecometojudgetheact.18

Hermotivelesscrimeactuallyturnsouttobeintandemwiththepersonshe is, a moral monster. Her other abnormalities (debauchery, child abandonment,illegitimatechildren,etc.)aretheexplanationforwhyCornier killed the little girl. Cornier has not merely committed a crime; she is a criminalmonster,andthisisjustonemoreeventinthechainofherabnormal agency.Sincesheisnowguiltyofsomething,beinganabnormalindividual, shecanbepunishedbylaw. With this maneuver, psychiatry becomes differentiated from psychologicomedicaldiscourse,whichfocusedonquestionsofmadness.Itis also differentiated from the Classical juridical model, which assigned punishment based on the material motive of a crime. Medicojuridical discourse, Foucault writes, deals with an irregularity in relation to a norm andthatmustbeatthesametimeapathologicaldysfunctioninrelationtothe normalBetweenthedescriptionofsocialnormsandrulesandthemedical analysis of abnormalities, psychiatry becomes essentially the science and techniqueofabnormalindividualsandabnormalconduct.19Therefore[a]ny kind of disorder, indiscipline, agitation, disobedience, recalcitrance, lack of affection, and so forth can now by psychiatrized.20 As a result, psychiatry takescenterstageinthejudicialprocess. Therearethreefunctionsofmedicojuridicaldiscoursewithinthelegal system.First,psychiatricopiniongivenbythepsychiatristcreatesadoubling effect.Theoffense isconnected to other abnormalities of the accused so that thedefendantherself(whatFoucaultcallsapsychologicoethicaldouble)is on trial, not the offense.21 Second, psychiatric opinion creates the delinquent,thepersonwhoalreadyresemblesthecrimecommitted.Thisis usefulforcrimesthatwouldhavepreviouslybeenlabeledasmotiveless.22 Finally, the psychiatrist takes over the position of the judge, creating the
20 21 22
18 19

AB124. AB163. AB161. Cf.AB1518. Cf.AB1821.

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foucault studies, No 1, pp. 77-91 doctorjudgedouble,whichbringsanendtopurejuridicaldiscourse.Since abnormalityisnowamedicalissue,thegoalwillnolongerbepunishingbut treating and curing.23 Under the auspices of medicine, psychiatry gains a prominent position in the biopolitical dispositif of the Modern epistm as a branch of public hygiene, protecting society against the psychological ills of the abnormal individuals.24 As we will see in the next section of this essay, eventually it will be said that society must be defended from this illness, andpsychiatrywillserveasthedefenderofnormalcy. The last five lectures of Abnormal focus on the issue of sexuality. The reason why sexuality plays such an important role in the archaeology of psychiatryisthatchildhoodbecomesthebreedinggroundforabnormality.25 In the nineteenth century, the largest concern about children was masturbation. As a result, the onanist becomes the paradigm of moral monstrosity by the end of the nineteenth century. The pathology associated with masturbation was a medical one, for it was believed that all illnesses foundtheirrootsinmasturbation.26Therefore,themasturbatingchildbegins the path of abnormality, which might lead not only to medical problems in heradultlife,butalsotocriminalactivities.However,inauniquetwist,itis the parents who have the responsibility to insure that their children refrain from masturbating. This sets up the Freudian incestuous family structure (especiallyinbourgeoisfamilies)whichservesasthelaboratoryofpsychiatry wellintothetwentiethcentury.27 With the puerilization of abnormality, psychiatry becomes able to evaluate adults as abnormals if they seem to have arrested development; that is, if adults act like children instead of adults. Foucault discusses the Charles Jouy case as an example of such an evaluation. Charles Jouy is a migrant worker who has a series of sexual encounters with a little girl. The girl is sent to a house of correction for her participation in Jouys sexual games.However,thereisaquestionastohowtodealwithJouy.Shouldhe be psychiatrized? The answer is yes, but for a reason different from the psychiatrization of Henriette Cornier. Jouy is psychiatrized by establishing thatheremainsextremelyclosetoandalmostfusedwithhisownchildhood and the child with whom he had relationships.28 In short, Jouy is playing
23

24 25

26 27

Cf.AB2123.AllthreeofthesefunctionscorrespondtothediscussionFoucaulthasat thebeginningofDisciplineandPunish.Cf.Foucault,DisciplineandPunish,1923. Cf.AB118119. Cf.AB242,299305.IamusingthetermarchaeologyofpsychiatryfromTheHistory of Sexuality, Vol. 1, when Foucault states that an archaeology of psychiatry would amounttoadiscussionofsexuality.Cf.MichelFoucault,TheHistoryofSexuality,Vol. 1:AnIntroduction,trans.RobertHurley(NewYork:Vintage,1978),130. Cf.AB236242. Cf.AB263274. AB303.

28

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Stone: Defending Society From the Abnormal doctor with the little girl; he has the psychological development of a little boy;heisacaseofarresteddevelopment.ThedifferencebetweenCornierand JouyisdescribedbyFoucaultintermsofthechildishtracesinonesactions: The alienists essentially said to Henriette Cornier: You were not then what youlaterbecame,andforthisreasonwecannotconvictyou.Thepsychiatrists saytoCharlesJouy:Ifwecannotconvictyou,itisbecausewhenyouwerea child you were already what you are now.29 Prior to medicojuridical discourse, alienists would not try to trace Corniers actions back to infantile instincts. In the Jouy case, it is merely a coincidence that Jouys offense was withachildandcouldbetracedtoachildishgame;therealdifferenceisthat Jouy is an adult whose criminal actions are explained by an abnormality, a lackofdevelopment. IwillreturntoAbnormal,especiallythefirstlecture,inthefinalsection of the essay. It suffices for the moment to have traced the history of psychiatric discourse and the discursive objects that are created in its wake. Insofar as this history and these objects are discontinuous, Foucault has offeredanarchaeologyoftheabnormalindividualandthediscoursethatwill makepossibleadispositifofpowerthatplayswithlifeanddeath. III: Society Must Be Defended Society Must Be Defended is probably best thought of as a genealogical text dealingwiththeemergenceofmodernbiopowerthroughthenotionofrace. In this essay, race is viewed as a discursive concept, and therefore placed within what I believe is the larger archaeological goal of the lectures: the archaeology of historicopolitical discourse. This discourse is discontinuous withthephilosophicojuridicaldiscourseofMachiavelliandHobbesandthe Classical notion of history, whose purpose was to legitimize sovereignty through an impartial retelling of past events. Historicopolitical discourse, however, holds that impartiality is impossible, that truths (especially historicaltruths)arebasedonwhichsideofthebattleoneison. Historicopolitical discourse is discontinuous with philosophico juridical discourse in three main ways. First, there is a shift in enunciative modality; that is, the speaker of the discourse changes. Foucault writes that the subject who speaks in this discourse [historicopolitical discourse] cannot, and is in fact not trying to, occupy the position of a universal, totalizing, or neutral subject. In the general struggle he is talking about, the person who is speaking is inevitably on one side or the other.30 This differs from the philosopher, who claims to speak from perfect reflective

29

AB302303. SMD52.

30

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foucault studies, No 1, pp. 77-91 equilibrium, from a disinterested view from nowhere. The new discourse changesthat;itapproachestruthinaninterestedway. Second, historicopolitical discourse inverts the values, the equilibrium,andthetraditionalpolarities ofintelligibility,and whichposits, demands, an explanation from below in terms of what is most confused, most obscure, most disorderly and most subject to chance.31 Since it is an interested discourse, the new discourse does not seek the pretty or simplest picture of history. Instead, it puts aside the abstractly universal rational schemataandoffersanugly,dirty,complicatedstory.Foucaultexplainsthis new history this way: So what is the principle that explains history? a seriesofbrutefactsaseriesofaccidentsabundleofpsychologicaland moral elements a fundamental and permanent irrationality which proclaims the truth.32 This differs from the philosopher, who stands on the sideofreasonandisthereforeunwilling(orperhapsunable)todealwiththe hardfactsofanunendingwar. Third, this new discourse develops completely within the historical dimensionItisinterestedinrediscoveringthebloodthathasdriedinthe codesthebattlecriesthatcanbeheardbeneaththeformulasofrightthe dissymmetry of forces that lies beneath the equilibrium of justice.33 Unlike the philosopher, who in her own way seeks a kind of peace in the explorationofhistory,thespeakerofhistoricopoliticaldiscourseshowsthat war has always been beneath the surface of order and peace. Historico politicaldiscourseisawardiscourse,whichmakesitperfectfortheanalysis of power in terms of war. The author referenced repeatedly by Foucault is Boulainvilliers, who formulated a warbased theory of power and history in theearlyeighteenthcentury. Prior to the formation of this new discourse, history was a tool of sovereign power. It performed two functionsone genealogical, the other memorial.Thegenealogicalfunctionofhistorywastoshowthatsovereignty waslegitimate.Itdidsobypraisingantiquityanditsheroes,showingthatthe present sovereign is the legitimate heir to that glorious antiquity, and therefore allows the fame of the past to be incorporated into the present sovereign. The memorialization function was connected to the genealogical function insofar as the detailed annals and records of every action and decision made by the sovereign demonstrated the sovereigns importance. This way, the sovereign would survive into posterity.34 In short, [h]istory
33
31 32

34

SMD54. SMD5455. SMD5556.ItisinterestingtonotethatthisnewhistoryisquitesimilartoFoucaults descriptionofeffectivehistoryinNietzsche,Genealogy,History.Cf.Nietzsche, Genealogy,HistoryinTheFoucaultReader,ed.PaulRabinow(NewYork:Pantheon, 1984),67. Cf.SMD6667.

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Stone: Defending Society From the Abnormal wasaritualthatreinforcedsovereignty.35Itwasthehistoryofpowerastold by power; it was the way that the sovereign justified its claim to power. As Foucaultwrites
we can understand the discourse of the historian to be a sort of ceremony, oralorwritten,thatmustinrealityproducebothajustificationofpowerand areinforcementofthatpowerThepointofrecountinghistory,thehistory of kings, the mighty sovereigns and their victories was to use the continuity of the law to establish a juridical link between those men and power Like rituals, coronations, funerals, ceremonies, and legendary stories,historyisanoperatorofpower,anintensifierofpower.36

Sovereigntyisthesubjectandtheobjectoftheoldhistoricaldiscourse:itisa historyofsovereigntywrittenbythepowerofthesovereigninordertojustify thesovereignty. Historicopoliticaldiscoursechallengesthisuseofhistory.Itisagainst thesovereign;itisadiscoursethatcutsoffthekingshead,orwhichatleast doeswithoutasovereignanddenounceshim.37Thediscourseistakenupby the oppressed and the nonsovereign (in France, the aristocracy), and serves as a counterhistory of sovereignty. Instead of using history to show the greatnessofthesovereign,itwouldbreakuptheunityofthesovereignlaw thatimposesobligations;italsobreaksupthecontinuityofgloryItwillbe the discourse of those who have no glory who now find themselves, perhapsforatimeindarknessandsilence.38 The result of this counterhistorical discourse is the creation of a new subjectofhistory,race,alsocalledsociety,adiscursiveobjectthatmakes up the main topic of Society Must Be Defended. A society is defined by Foucaultasabodyofindividualsgovernedbyastatute,asocietymadeup ofacertainnumberofindividuals,andwhichhasitsownmanners,customs, and even its own law . . . a nation.39 The concept of a nation will later be describedintermsofarace,butbeforemovingtorace,Foucaultdescribesthe importanceoftheconceptofanation. In the age of sovereign power and history, words like nation and racereferredbacktothesovereign.Anationwasthegroupofpeopleand the lands under the power of the sovereign. Hence the sovereign states definitionofnationwasagreatmultitudeofmeninhabitingadefined country circumscribed by frontiers who have settled inside those

37 38 39
35 36

SMD69. SMD66. SMD59. SMD70. SMD134.

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foucault studies, No 1, pp. 77-91 frontiers[and]mustobeythesamelawsandthesamegovernment.40Inother words,[t]henationinitsentiretyresidesinthepersonoftheking,41or,to usethephraseattributedtoLouisXIV,LEtat,cestmoi.TheFrenchrace,then, simplymeantthoseunderthecrownofthekingofFrance. Nation takes on a different meaning in the age of historicopolitical discourse.Therearosethepossibilityoftherebeingmultiplenationswithin a sovereign geopolitical nation. For example, in early nineteenthcentury France,thenoblesconsideredthemselvesanation,andtheThirdEstatewasa differentnation.Thisistheoriginoftheconceptofnationthatdoesnotstop at the frontiers but which, on the contrary, is a sort of mass of individuals whomovefromonefrontiertoanother,throughStates,beneathStates,andat aninfraStatelevel.42Therecanbe,forexample,onenationintwocountries, or two nations in one country, etc. This changes the understanding of war radically.Warwaspreviouslyunderstoodintermsofonenations(underits sovereign) being at war with another nation (under a different sovereign). Onlysovereignswenttowar.Now,however,therecanbewarsbetweentwo different nations within the same geopolitical area or under the same sovereign.Historybecomesthestoryofracestruggle. Racewarbegan,Foucaultclaims,intermsofonenationbeingagainst another,asexplainedabove.However,intheModernperiod,racewartakes on a dimension that is more familiar to us in contemporary society. Race ceases to be a concept tied to sovereignty and geopolitical boundaries; it becomes the concept of groups within a political entity. This leads to a differentkindofracewarthanpreviouslyconceived:
The discourse of race struggle ( will be recentered and will become the discourse of power itself. It will become the discourse of a centered, centralized, and centralizing power. It will become the discourse of a battle thathastobewagednotbetweenraces,butbyaracethatisportrayedasthe one true race, the race that holds power and is entitled to define the norm, and against those who deviate from that norm, against those who pose a threattothebiologicalheritage.43

Contemporaryracewaristheresultofonerace(onegroup,perhapswithin the same country as other races) claiming superiority over all other races, allowingthatdominantracetodefinewhatcountsasnormal.Ofcourse,this meansthattheabnormal,whichwasdiscussedintheprevioussectionofthis essay, becomes that which goes contrary to the dominant races norms. The purity and perpetuity of the race becomes the goal, and with the advent of modernbiology,racismaswecurrentlyunderstanditisborn.Thedominant
42 43
40 41

SMD142. SMD218. SMD142. SMD61.

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Stone: Defending Society From the Abnormal raceseekstobecometheonlyraceinacountry.AsFoucaultdescribes,thereis notanarmedclash,butaneffort,arivalry,astrivingtowardtheuniversality of the State.44 One result is that the expression society must be defended changesmeaningbetweenthesovereignperiodandtheModernepistm:It is no longer: We have to defend ourselves against society, but We have to defend society against all the biological threats posed by the other race, the subrace,thecounterrace.45 Andthisishowracismtiesintobiopoliticalpower.Foucaultwritesin thefinallecturethatraceisoneofthewaysofdeterminingwhoisforcedto live,andwhowillbeallowedtodie.46Inordertoforcethedominantraceto live,onemustgetridoftheopposingracethatisinfectingthedominantrace. Racism serves as a biological war, one whose goal is the dying of the other races:Themoreinferiorspeciesdieout,themoreabnormalindividualsare eliminated,thefewerdegeneratestherewillbeinthespeciesasawhole,and themoreI(canlive,thestrongerIcanbe,themorevigorousIwillbe.Iwill be able toproliferate.47 With this biologismconnected to other technologies of normalization, the war of power continues to rage, in spite of the appearanceofpeace(i.e.,nowaragainstanopposingcountry)andorder. SinceIwanttolimit myselftodiscursiveelementsinthissummary,I will refrain from saying much about the actual workings of power in these systems. However, it is important to note that there is a major shift in dispositifs described in Society Must Be Defended between the sovereign notion of power as repression and the historicopolitical understanding of power in terms of war. By examining the role of war in power and knowledge, we can begin to think of power in terms other than repression and take up Nietzsches hypothesis, that the basis of the power relationship lies in a warlike clash between forces.48 These forces can also take up discursive elements, allowing war to equally serve as an archaeologicalmodelaswell. IV: Conclusions IconcludewithwhatItaketobeFoucaultsconcernsaboutmedicojuridical andhistoricopoliticaldiscourse.FoucaultworriesinAbnormalthatpsychiatry is itself a kind of monster. If monstrosity is defined in terms of strangeness, unnaturalness, and mixture, then psychiatry is itself a monstrosity. It is not quitescience,notquitejuridical,yetjuridicoscientific.Furthermore,Foucault argues, psychiatry is the reactivation of an essentially parentalpuerile,
46 47 48
44 45

SMD225. SMD6162. Cf.SMD254. SMD255. SMD16.

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foucault studies, No 1, pp. 77-91 parentalchildish discourse ( It is a childish discourse ( a discourse of fear whosefunctionistodetectdangerandtocounterit.49Psychiatryischildish, althoughoneofitsareasisthepuerilityofadults.Yet,hereisadiscoursethat is itself puerile; it is all about dangerous and scary people, monsters. The study of abnormals is based more on fear than science. To show this childishness, Foucault begins the lecture course with passages from two psychiatricreports,neitherofwhicharereallyscientific,fortheirdescriptions arefunnyandclearlybiased.50Thesereports,althoughfunny,arefrightening becausediscoursesoftruththatprovokelaughterandhavetheinstitutional power to kill are, after all, discourses that deserve some attention.51 Given that the power to punish is contained in such infantile discourses based on fear,wehavereasontobeconcernedaboutpsychiatricdiscoursesroleinthe judicialprocessinanageofbiopolitics. Similarly, the racist discourse that emerged as a result of historico politicaldiscourse,asdescribedbyFoucaultinSocietyMustBeDefended,has placedthepowertokillintoproblematichands.Historicopoliticaldiscourse was developed as a way to escape the model of sovereignty. The result, however, is the invention of biopower, which is actually more intense than sovereignpower.Genocide,colonization,ethniccleansing,theHolocaust,and institutional racism are some of the catastrophes that receive justification through the discourse of race struggle. As with psychiatry, race discourse infusedwiththepowertokillleavesroomforconcern.Ofcourse,Foucaultis not suggesting that we return to sovereignty; instead, we must find a new way of understanding power, a new way of talking about it, a new way of using it. As Foucault writes, if we are to struggle against disciplines, or ratheragainstdisciplinarypower,inoursearchforanondisciplinarypower, we should not be turning to the old right of sovereignty; we should be lookingforanewrightthatisbothantidisciplinaryandemancipatedfromthe principleofsovereignty.52 Asstatedatthebeginningofthisessay,thesetwolecturecoursesmark aturningpointinFoucaultsanalysisofsubjectivity,andleadusonthepath to a new imperative for the next pistme. The new imperative is free from both sovereignty and normalizing society. The imperative will no longer be societymustbedefendedfromtheabnormal.Rather,itwillbeonethatis perhaps the oldest of all, although meant in a different way: take care of yourself. To those ends, Foucaults analyses of psychiatry and race discourse open an opportunity for thought and, perhaps, hope. Archaeology always

51 52
49 50

AB35. Cf.AB26. AB6. SMD3940.

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Stone: Defending Society From the Abnormal suggests a kind of reversal. If the imperative explored in these lectures is il faut dfendre la socit contre les anormaux, the reversal is the following question: Fautil dfendre la socit? As usual, Foucault does not give us the answer to the questions raised by his archaeologies. All he gives us is an axiom:foranydiscursiveformation,ifonecanshowhowitcameintohistory, onecanseewhereitwillfinallysomedayunravel.

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foucault studies
Mark Kelly, 2004 ISSN: pending Foucault Studies, No 1, pp. 92-97, December 2004

REVIEW Batrice Han, Foucaults Critical Project: Between the Transcendental and the Historical. Trans. Edward Pile (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2002). ISBN 0-80473709 Michel Foucault is not now normally associated with Immanuel Kant. But therearesomeindicationsthatheshouldbe.Writinganentryabouthimself, pseudonymously,foraFrenchdictionaryofphilosophy,hedescribedhimself asessentiallyKantian.1Oneistemptedtopassthisoffasaplayfullyesoteric selfdescription. However,BatriceHantakesupthisrelativelyobscureperspectiveon Foucaults thought2and runs a long way with it. Han has a powerful additional piece of evidence for her treatment of Foucault in relation to transcendental idealism: it is Foucaults own doctoral dissertation, a translationofandacommentaryonKantsAnthropologyfromaPragmaticPoint of View. The commentary was itself booklength, but the only copy remains buriedintheParisianarchivesthatholdFoucaultsNachlass.Hanbringsthis materialtousforthefirsttime.Indoingso,sheperformsasignificantservice toFoucauldians,muchasAnnLauraStolerdidwithherprcisofSocietyMust Be Defended in Race and the Education of Desire.3 Now that that lecture course has itself appeared,4 in unforeseeable violation of Foucaults testament that therebenoposthumouspublicationsofhiswork,5however,Stolersworkhas lost much of its importance. We cannot know whether the same fate might befallHansbook,butasthingsstanditisinvaluable.

Michel Foucault, Foucault in his Aesthetics, Method and Epistemology. Ed. James D. Faubion. Trans. Robert Hurley. New York: The New Press, 1998. pp. 459463; the pseudonymunderwhichFoucaultwritesisMauriceFlorence. Batrice Han, Foucaults Critical Project: Between the Transcendental and the Historical. Tans.EdwardPile.Stanford:StanfordUniversityPress,2002,p.3. AnnLauraStoler,RaceandtheEducationofDesire:FoucaultsHistoryofSexualityandthe ColonialOrderofThings.Durham:DukeUniversityPress,1995. Michel Foucault, Society Must Be Defended. Trans. David Macey. London: Penguin, 2003. AccordingtoPierreNora,quotedinDidierEribon,MichelFoucault.CambridgeMA: HarvardUniversityPress,p.323.

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Kelly: Review of Foucaults Critical Project Like so many books on Foucault, Hans Foucaults Critical Project comprises a chronological survey of his thought, with a unique angle. The angle in this case is to examine Foucaults trajectory through the concept of thehistoricalapriori,aconceptusedbyFoucaulthimself(althoughonefirst usedbyHusserl,ifwithquiteadifferentmeaning),butonehardlyprominent inhiswork,evenwherehedoesemployit.6Thehistoricalaprioriis,ofcourse, Foucaults update of Kantianism, charting not the conditions for the possibilityofexperience,butratherthehistoricalconditionsforthepossibility ofknowledge. This approach is extremely apposite, in that it chases the elixir of Foucaultscholarship,asolidphilosophicalbasisunderlyingFoucaultswork and the shifting sands of his varying methodology. What Han uncovers, however, is not stable bedrock, but rather the continual redefinition of the historicalapriori:itmightalwaysbethereunderlyingFoucaultsthinking,but its own specific meaning shifts over timeit is this change then that Han traces. ThefirstpieceofFoucaultsworkHancomestochronologicallyisthe aforementioned commentary on Kants Anthropology. The chapter on the commentarysetsthesceneforHansbook,becauseitisthere,andtherealone, thatFoucaultisexplicitlyconcernedwiththetranscendental(asonemustbe whenwritingonKant).AfterthiscomesachapteronwhatHanidentifiesas thethreeworksofFoucaultsarchaeologicalperiod.Thencomesthesecond part of the book, which is on Foucaults genealogical works. The third and finalpartofthebookconsistsofthetreatmentFoucaultslatethoughtandthe returnofsubjectivitytherein. In this Han follows the normal pattern for books on Foucault. Her treatment is indeed conventional, following the wellestablished tripartite periodizationofFoucaultsoeuvre.Theonlythingthatisremarkableaboutit isHansinclusionofFoucaultscommentaryonKantinthepartofthebook dealingwitharchaeology.ItisalsointerestingthatanotherworkbyFoucault isnotincludedinthissection,oranywhereinthebook,namelyMadnessand Civilization.ThisisgenerallyconsideredthefirstmajorbookbyFoucault(his only previous publication being a book for students, Mental Illness and Psychology, which he had himself later severely reedited and finally withdrawn from publication). Madness and Civilization was, moreover, the primary thesis for Foucaults doctorate in 1960, alongside which the Anthropology translation and commentary constituted a mere supplementary thesis.7IndisplacingtheHistoryofMadnessinfavourofthecommentary,Han

6 7

Seeibid.,p.4. Strictlyspeaking,MadnessandCivilizationisnotquitethesameasthedoctoralthesis. Ofcourse,thisisbecauseitistheEnglishtranslation,butalsobecausethattranslation isaheavilyabridgedversionofFoucaultsHistoiredelafolielgeclassique.

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foucault studies, No 1, pp. 92-97 createsanewtrajectoryforFoucault,onewhichbeginswithaworkinwhich the conjunction of the transcendental and the historical is the key theme. What would ordinarily be an obscure feature of Foucaults thought is transformedintoanobviouslineofapproachbyplacingFoucaultsencounter with Kant first, and quite unobtrusively so given its simple chronological priorityamongthebooksdealtwithbyHan. It is in the commentary, it seems, that Foucault first hits upon the concept of the historical a priori (which is why Madness and Civilization does notconcernHanitwaswrittenbeforethisdiscovery).Thehistoricalapriori thenrecursinoneguiseoranotherthroughouttherestofhisoutput,anditis this trace that Han is intent on following, watching how Foucaults thinking on the questions first broached in the commentary develops. The overall importance of Foucaults interpretation of Kant is strategic rather than theoretical, and is played out within the Foucauldian corpus.8 As such, Han sees it as constituting the prehistory of archaeology.9 Foucault interprets Kant, in the commentary as in his later meditations on Kants Was ist Aufklrung?,10 as the thinker standing at the threshold of modernity: in the Anthropology, Kant is inaugurating the question, Was ist der Mensch?,11 whichFoucaultsofamouslycriticisedwhenheportendedthedeathofman. Foucaultshistoricalaprioriremainsobscureacrossthearchaeological period,inthatFoucaultpositsitassomethingwhichmustexist,butcannotbe anymorespecific:itistheconditionofthepossibilityofknowledgeahighly Kantian formulation. There must be such a guiding condition to account for theepistemicunitiesheidentifies,thefactthatatonetimepeopleareclearly constrained to talk only in particular way, and at other times a different regime of truth obtains. The reason for this obscurity becomes quite clear: Foucaulthasfoundhimselfresortingtometaphysics,positingalimitwhichis notinternaltolanguageyethasnootherdomainforitsexistence.Hanpaints a picture of him in the archaeological period stripping away his presuppositions: in Birth of the Clinic he implicitly depends on (Merleau Pontys)phenomenologyforhisapriori;byTheOrderofThings,itisexperience and hence subjectivity; by The Archaeology of Knowledge he has excised the subject,leavinghimwithpureabstraction.12Thishistoricalaprioriwasneither the Kantian a priori, a necessary precondition for experience, nor something simplylogical,butsomethingmoreinthelineofaPlatonicform,notmerely idealbutinfactmorerealthantherealthingsitgoverns,theconditionofthe possibilityoftheirreality.
10
8 9 11 12

Han,FoucaultsCriticalProject,p.33. Ibid.,p.35. See Michel Foucault, What is Enlightenment? in his Ethics: Subjectivity and Truth. Ed.JamesD.Faubion.Trans.RobertHurley.London:Penguin,1997.pp.303319. SeeHan.FoucaultsCriticalProject,p.32. Seeibid.,p.50.

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Kelly: Review of Foucaults Critical Project ThesolutiontothisproblemisFoucaultsdiscoveryofpower.Reading Foucault from the point of view of the historical a priori allows for a novel spin on the turn Foucault takes at the beginning of the 1970s, from archaeologytogenealogy(tousehisownterminology).Theconceptofpower allowshimtoshifttheregulatoryfunctionsoflanguageintoadomainwhich, thoughitisofhisowninvention,isneverthelessanchoredinrealityinaway that his previous a priori was not. In Hans account, at this point Foucault makes the leap of understanding the historical a priori in explicitly political terms,throughhisdevelopmentoftheconceptofpowerknowledge,where powerandknowledgeareseenasinseparablyintertwined.13ForHan,thisisa response to the failure to find a plausible historical a priori at the level of discourseitselfexaminingknowledgeendogenouslywillneverrevealwhat makes something count as trueat a particular historical conjuncture. In this, Hanshowsherdebttoherdoctoralsupervisor,HubertDreyfus,underwhose tutelagethisbookwasoriginallywritten.14 Indealing withthefateoftheaprioriinthegenealogicalperiod,Han continues to chase the most elusive element of Foucaults thought, the question of his position on truth. This gives rise to a quite original contribution to the ongoing debate of this topic, as well as providing an interesting and knowledgeable survey of the issues involved in it. Han concludes that, ultimately, Foucault was in this period confused about his profound nominalism and his wish nonetheless to take strong positions.15 ThisisnotanoriginalcriticismbyanymeansexceptinsofarasHancouches thisasaconfusionbetweentheempiricalandthetranscendental,anovelway ofdeclaringFoucaultphilosophicallyunsatisfactory.16 When Foucault changes tack again in his late work, in his (in)famous returntothesubject,Hanislessthanimpressed.Forher,thisentireturnisin factmarkedwiththesamebasicproblemsthatmarkedhisearliestwork:the maintenance of phenomenological concepts, without the appropriate underpinnings,particularlyhisrelianceonanotionofexperience;aregress to a prephenomenological perspective. She particularly accuses Foucault of being ultimately rather Sartrean, in spite of his overt hostility to Sartres philosophy. Ultimately, she accuses him of being merely prephenomenological because, unlike MerleauPonty and Heidegger, he does not go far enough into his presuppositions to purge himself of his pseudotranscendental understanding of the subject.17 This is some of the
13 14

17
15 16

Ibid.pp.1322. SeeHanscommentsinherReplytoGaryGutting,p.5However,sheisalsocritical ofsomeofDreyfussviewsonFoucaultsee,forexample,FoucaultsCriticalProject, p.192. Ibid.,p.144. Ibid.,p.145. Ibid.,p.187.

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foucault studies, No 1, pp. 92-97 harshestcriticismofFoucaultslateworkthatIhaveeverencountered,and,if correct, is devastating. Han manages to be peculiarly effective here because sheanalysesthingsfromthepointofviewofthehistoricalapriori,whichin thefinalworkreallydisappearstoalmostnothing,andwithoutanythingnew emergingtoreplaceit. There has been a backlash against Han on this front, however. Garry Gutting has complained against Han that she simply presumes that a philosophical basis is required for genealogy to work.18 Gutting accepts that there are dubious philosophical foundations to Foucaults archaeological thought of the 1960s, but that is not the case of the later work, which is governed by a strict nominalism, in which Foucault simply refuses to addresstheissueofwhatmightbebeyondlanguage.GuttingarguesthatHan implicitly concedes that genealogy works well as an historical device, and thusthinkshercomplaintsaboutitatanontologicallevelaremisplaced. Guttings review has been answered by Han herself at some length.19 She rightly defends Foucault as being a philosopher, not merely someone withsomeinterestingreadingsofhistory.Tomymind,theapproachGutting takes to Foucault is a very easy one, and one which is unsatisfying philosophically.ThereisanunchallengingreadingofFoucault,madebyboth enthusiasts and detractors, for example by Richard Rorty on one side and Charles Taylor on the other, which sees Foucault as an intellectual bricoleur whosometimesthrowsupsomeinterestingconcepts,butwhosewritingsare withoutdepth. ItisinrelationtosuchviewsthatHansbookactuallyprovidesavery valuableservice,situatingFoucaultasaphilosopherwithinthephilosophical tradition,andnotmerelywithinthecurrentofpoststructuralismorofrecent continental philosophy, but rather really in the Western tradition, as engaged with the Kantian heritage which is the common background of contemporaryWesternphilosophyperse. Nevertheless, though Han argues that Foucault does have significant philosophicalunderpinnings,shearguesthatthereisanincoherencetothese. It would be that incoherence that gives rise to allegations that Foucault is a nonphilosopher. It seems to me that this is, in fact, indicative of a prior disagreement with Foucaults orientation that is indicative of a greater philosophicalconservatismonthepartofHan.Attheoutsetofthebook,Han postulatesthat

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Gutting,Gary.ReviewofBatriceHansFoucaultsCriticalProject.NotreDame PhilosophicalReviews,May2003. http://ndpr.icaap.org/content/archives/2003/5/guttinghan.html Han,Batrice.ReplytoGaryGuttingsreviewofFoucaultsCriticalProject:Between theTranscendentalandtheHistorical.http://privatewww.essex.ac.uk/~beatrice/Gutting _answer_200305.pdf

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Kelly: Review of Foucaults Critical Project


If Foucaults project is coherent, then it should be possible to organize it around a central theme to which the others could be subordinated. The present books hypothesis will be that this central theme is situated at the convergence of an initial question with an object that appears later, a convergencethatoccursonlyretrospectivelytoFoucaulthimself,bymeansof areflectiononhisowncourseandstrategies.20

Firstly, thereseemstobeanobviousdubiousnessto Hansinitialpremise:a coherentprojectdoesnothavetobeonewhichhasacentraltheme;rather,it could be highly nebulous, but nevertheless coherent. Of course, Han could still argue correctly that there is such a central theme to Foucaults work. However, the terms in which Foucault ultimately couches his project, which Hanmentionsbeforemakingtheseclaims,whilebeingclaimsfortheultimate coherenceofallhiseffort,andwhileinfactimplicitlyadmittingthatheonly realiseswhattheyareretrospectively,thereistomymindnosuggestionofa central theme. Rather, what is central, in keeping with Foucaults late philosophicalorientation,isaproblematic,orclusterofproblematics.Whathe had done, in short, and by his own account, was to problematise truth and subjectivity. It would be incorrect to say that this problematisation was a centraltheme,sinceitwasnotthematisedassuch.Itwouldalsobeincorrect to say that the things problematised (sexuality, mental illness, power) were centralthemesofFoucaultsworkasawhole,sincetheywereinfactonlythe central themes of particular studies. Insofar as Han does not find the central theme that she looks for, she takes it not as a sign that there is something wrong with her thesis, but rather that there is something wrong with Foucault. Han has produced a book of solid scholarship. She clearly knows Foucaultverywell,includingpartsofhisoeuvreunknown,really,toanybody else.ThedirectioninwhichshetakesFoucaultis,Ithink,onewhichneeded tobetaken,tostudyFoucaultsrelationtostandardphilosophy,inthelightof theseeminglynihilisticiconoclasmofhiscritiques.Intakingthisline,Hanhas unearthedmuchthatisburieddeepinFoucaultstexts,anentirelevelofhis thought that is generally passed over, perhaps precisely because it is so infuriatingly (apparently) incoherent. In doing this, she has done something valuableforherreaders.AndwhileIdohavesubstantialdisagreementswith someofherconclusions,thescholarshipisofsuchastandardandoriginality thatthisbookisrequiredreadingforthoseinterestedinreallyengagingwith Foucault. MarkKelly,UniversityofSydney

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Han.FoucaultsCriticalProject,p.2.

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foucault studies
Douglas I. Thompson, 2004 ISSN: pending Foucault Studies, No 1, pp. 98-104, December 2004

REVIEW Alan McKinlay and Ken Starkey (eds.) Foucault, Management and Organization Theory: From Panopticon to Technologies of Self (London: Sage Publications, 1997). ISBN: 0803975473

I The breadth of Michel Foucaults influence is often astounding. Foucauldians can be easily found in such disparate fields as geography, architecture, queer studies, and, more recently, management studies. Indeed, in relation to this last academic discipline, business schools are seeing a growing interest in the contribution of the work of Michel Foucault to our understanding of organizations, accounting and the control of work.1 In reflection of this trend, Alan McKinlay and Ken Starkey bring together a series of previously published essays from various authors in their book Foucault, Management and Organization Theory: From Panopticon to Technologies of Self. The essays in this collection attempt to apply Foucauldian categories and procedures to throw fresh light on the history of the factory, management and the modern corporation.2 The book is divided into three sections: essays in the first section establish the general applicability of Foucaults thought to management and organization studies, the second section focuses on accounting and the rise of the modern corporation; the third section provides analyses of recent changes in the post-Taylorist rationalization of work, particularly in relation to the techniques of selfmanagement that characterize contemporary methods of human resource management (HRM). If there is a single, discernible Foucauldian theme running through all of the essays in Foucault, Management and Organization Theory, it is the development of techniques of observation, measure, and performance
1

Alan McKinlay and Ken Starkey, Managing Foucault, Introduction to Foucault, Management and Organization Theory: From Panopticon to Technologies of Self (hereafter referred to in the footnotes as FMOT), p. 1. ibid., p. 3. Contributors to FMOT include: Pippa Carter, Stewart Clegg, Stanley Deetz, Patricia Findlay, Trevor Hopper, Keith Hoskin, Norman Jackson, Norman Macintosh, Alan McKinlay, Tim Newton, Mike Savage, Ken Starkey, Philip Taylor, and Barbara Townley.

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Thompson: Review of Foucault, Management and Organization Theory appraisal within modern private-sector organizations. In this regard, the editors situate Foucaults work in close proximity to Webers metaphor of the iron cage of modern rationality which simultaneously materially enriches Western civilization and spiritually impoverishes the captive individual.3 As the books subtitle suggests, the Panopticon features prominently in the first two sections, while Foucaults notion of technologies of the self forms the theoretical basis of the analyses in the last section. Though many critics would claim a clear break between Foucaults work of the mid- to late-1970s on modern technologies of power and his turn in the 1980s to modes of the production of subjectivity, there is a firm line of continuity in these works that is evident in Foucault, Management and Organization Theory: in both phases, Foucault critically emphasizes the internalization of imperatives of power by the modern subject. This is the theme that runs from Panopticon to technologies of self and which undergirds the arguments of the essays collected in Foucault, Management and Organization Theory. II The essays in the first section situate Foucaults contribution to management and organization studies much as one would expect, given the abovementioned theoretical emphasis. Here, Foucault is a firmly postmodern thinker whose work reveals that contemporary organizational life is not necessarily part of some modernist march to a better tomorrow.4 Indeed, organizational life often has an ominous tone in this section, as one contributor expresses in his assertion that as individuals, we are incarcerated within an organizational world.5 As stated above, some of these essays place Foucault within the tradition of the critique of organizational rationalization that began with Weber. In this context, Foucaults contribution is to underline the development of disciplines of knowledge shaped almost wholly by the disciplinary gaze of surveillance, which foster the categorization of individuals or bodies through diverse and localized tactics of ratiocination within modern organizations.6 The most successful essays in this collection, however, are those that eschew the general, preferring instead to use Foucauldian theoretical constructs to analyze particular historical formations. These essays tend to come in the second and third sections of the book. Among them is a persuasive piece on Britains Great Western Railway from 1833 to 1914 that
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ibid., p. 4. Gibson Burrell, Modernism, Postmodernism and Organizational Analysis: The Contribution of Michel Foucault, in FMOT, p. 26. ibid., p. 25. Stewart Clegg, Foucault, Power and Organizations, in FMOT, p. 38.

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foucault studies, No 1, pp. 98-104 details the discovery of career incentives as a more efficient technique for shoring up company discipline than traditional threats of negative sanction.7 This essay is remarkable for its balanced, critical appropriation of Foucaults work, which includes questioning the Foucauldian notion of discipline. In addition, there are a number of essays which chronicle the rising use of internal management accounting as opposed to accounting for external communication and audit to create the visible and measurable responsibility centers that structure contemporary corporations. In this vein, the editors contribute a piece on the use of detailed accounting practices to create the corporate Panopticon that brought Alfred Sloans Ford Motor Corp. success in the postwar years.8 And there is a similar analysis of the disciplinary techniques instituted during the rise of ITT under super accountant CEO Harold Geneen.9 In the spirit of Foucaults emphasis on the often indispensable phenomena found at historys margins the details and accidents that accompany every beginning10 another essay of this middle section proposes to place the usually quiet field of accounting at the center of our understanding of the economic.11 Essays in the third section provide case studies to illustrate recent techniques through which contemporary enterprises effect the internalization of management imperatives in their employees. One of these essays chronicles the shift within one firm of a subgroup of workers from regular employment to contracted consultant status. The author of this essay finds that by increasing the visibility and individual accountability of these employeesturned-consultants within the company, management was able to effect a shift in their orientation towards their work, after which [m]ost worked harder for the same pay.12 Through interviews, the author of this study finds significant evidence of an internalization of company imperatives that neutralized the tension between managers and workers. In such a case, [t]he enemy is no longer the managers expectations. The company is integrated into the self.13 Another essay in the third section details a process through which a company hand-picked its job applicants for their docility and then set up a system of
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Mike Savage, Discipline, Surveillance and the Career: Employment on the Great Western Railway 1833-1914, in FMOT. Alan McKinlay and Ken Starkey, The Velvety Grip: Managing Managers in the Modern Corporation, in FMOT, p. 113. Trevor Hopper and Norman Macintosh, Management Accounting Numbers: Freedom or Prison Geneen versus Foucault, in FMOT, p. 126. Michel Foucault, Nietzsche, Genealogy, History, in Language, Counter-Memory, Practice, ed. D. Bouchard (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1977), p. 144. Keith Hoskin, Examining Accounts and Accounting for Management: Inverting Understandings of the Economic, in FMOT. Stanley Deetz, Discursive Formations, Strategized Subordination and Selfsurveillance, in FMOT, p. 160-1. ibid., p. 166.

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Thompson: Review of Foucault, Management and Organization Theory teamworking and intense peer review that delegated management surveillance to all employees.14 The authors of this essay come to a very different conclusion than in the preceding essay: in this case, the intensity of the expectation of self-surveillance is found to have stimulated multiple sites of resistance in the employee group. III The Foucault scholarship in Foucault, Management and Organization Theory is generally competent, the essays are clearly written, and the book does much of what it sets out to do. There are some significant shortcomings in what it sets out to do, however. First, every one of the books contributors is affiliated with an Anglophone university, either in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, or the United States. This is surprising when we consider one contributors admission that [i]t should not be assumed that Foucaults writings are fully coherent to the Anglo-American eye.15 Such homogeneity inevitably leads to a narrowness of view. For example, while Japanese management techniques are mentioned in two of the books essays, in both cases they arise only to mark the effect that their importation into the United States had on American companies.16 Furthermore, there is no mention of the globalization of labor markets or management techniques, and no acknowledgement that, far from being universal, Anglo-American management culture is very particular. This cultural one-sidedness might partially account for the books narrow critical focus. In resting overwhelmingly in Foucaults critique of modern power relations a critique that Foucault sometimes (unfortunately, in my view) raises to the level of a social ontology17 the essays in the book ignore the emphasis on subjective autonomy in Foucaults later (re)turn to Kant and tend to avoid a deep engagement with the limitations of Foucaults view of modern power relations. The editors concluding essay is an exception to this, but it appears as an afterthought in comparison to the dominant focus of the previous essays which avoid a larger theoretical domain.18 As an example of the limitations of this approach, take Foucaults view of normativity, a central concept in his thought that has been criticized

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Alan McKinlay and Phil Taylor, Through the Looking Glass: Foucault and the Politics of Production, in FMOT. Burrell, Modernism, Postmodernism and Organizational Analysis, p. 15. McKinlay and Starkey, The Velvety Grip; McKinlay and Taylor, Through the Looking Glass. See Thomas McCarthy, The Critique of Impure Reason: Foucault and the Frankfurt School, Political Theory 18(3): 437-69, Aug. 1990. Ken Starkey and Alan McKinlay, Afterward: Deconstructing Organization Discipline and Desire, in FMOT.

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foucault studies, No 1, pp. 98-104 as one-sided and unsociological.19 In contrast with Foucaults Nietzschean association of normativity with coercion, for many social theorists the internalization of norms is a necessary stage in socialization and solidarity formation. Although the better essays in the collection question the validity of some Foucauldian categories and raise the possibility of resistance to disciplinary power,20 the books contributors tend to leave the prospects and occasional empirical actuality of normatively-based worker solidarity to the side. The most significant shortcoming of Foucault, Management and Organization Theory, however, is a more general problem. The book and its individual essays tend to be unclear about their intended scope. While it is clearly a critical series of essays that takes normative aim at modern management practices, larger contextual questions of political or economic orientation are unfortunately given little emphasis. As nearly all of the essays in the book take late-capitalist, private-sector organizations as their objects, obvious questions silently loom above the page. Do these writers wish to launch a quasi-Marxian critique of the unequal forms of social organization and resource distribution engendered by and within contemporary privatesector organizations? Or do they instead wish their critique to remain safely within the boundaries of the company, thus confronting hierarchical discipline within organizations while ignoring larger political questions of unequal social power? A few of the essays in the collection take some steps in the direction of these questions, but they are exceptional in this regard. For example, one essay associates contemporary HRM practices with the emergence of a new language of work that denies the very possibility of class conflict within the company.21 And another essay takes the argument for enlarging the domain of critique one step further in its authors suggestion that the discipline of the organized workplace has a larger function than simply production. In this view, labor is a technique of dressage, which escape[s] the imperatives of production and instead functions to suppress deviance, thus taking part in the larger system of governmentality that permeates modern (presumably Anglo-American) societies.22 This essay hints at the
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See Jrgen Habermas, The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1987), chs. 9, 10; and Nancy Fraser, Unruly Practices: Power, Discourse and Gender in Contemporary Social Theory (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1989), chs. 1, 2, 3. See, for example: Savage, Discipline, Surveillance and the Career; and Hopper and Macintosh, Management Accounting Numbers. McKinlay and Taylor, Through the Looking Glass, p. 173. Norman Jackson and Pippa Carter, Labour as Dressage, in FMOT, pp. 59, 49. Governmentality is a Foucauldian neologism that refers both to the micrological performance of power on the individual subject and to the mentality of internalized discipline that this performance produces.

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Thompson: Review of Foucault, Management and Organization Theory larger picture, suggesting that the wider societal function of labor be examined in terms of its consequences and its progeniture in order to understand how it arises, how it functions and whether it needs to be resisted.23 More typically in the collection, however, the essays come close to larger political and economic questions only to pull away cautiously. One author even seems to take positions on both sides, equating the employment relationship in itself with economic domination and subordination one moment, while seeming content simply to try to improve modes of communication within late-capitalist enterprises the next moment.24 Given that for-profit enterprises are the major focus of the book, it is surprising that the essays in Foucault, Management and Organization Theory tend to avoid the owner-worker cleavage acknowledged as central to Western modernity by writers from Marx to Lipset and Rokkan in terms larger than the internal workings of individual organizations. Some may argue that this is asking too much, that the contributors are not political scientists or economists and thus should not be expected to raise such questions in their essays. Perhaps. But surely Foucauldians should recognize the dangers of the compartmentalization of knowledge into tidy disciplines. As an illustration of the need for critical management theorists to look beyond the inner workings of the corporation, consider Robert Anthony of the Harvard Business School, perhaps the predominant postwar American proponent of (non-critical) management control theory. Anthony served as Robert McNamaras Assistant Secretary of Defense (Controller) from 1965 to 1968 (McNamara, by the way, makes an appearance in one of the books essays as president of Ford Motor Corp.).25 Just as the American revolving door that shuttles members of the upper managerial class between the private sector and the state transcends the bounds of the corporate organization, thus highlighting the porous separation between public and private, so should the focus of critical management studies. The specter of Anthonys presence in Robert McNamaras hyper-rationalized Pentagon during the critical years of the expansion of the war in Vietnam should illustrate the potential real-world effect of rationalized business

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ibid., p. 64. Clegg, Foucault, Power and Organizations, pp. 39, 45-6. Robert Anthony and Vijay Govindarajan, Management Control Systems, 8th ed. (Chicago: Irwin, 1995), p. ix. David Otley credits Anthony with quasi-foundational status in Management control in contemporary organizations: towards a wider framework, Management Accounting Research 5, 1994: pp. 289-99. Anthonys most influential work is perhaps Planning and Control Systems: A Framework for Analysis (Boston: Division of Research, Harvard Business School, 1965). McNamara appears in McKinlay and Starkey, "The Velvety Grip, p. 116.

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foucault studies, No 1, pp. 98-104 models when they inevitably wander into to the blood-and-guts sphere of political action. While the contributors of Foucault, Management and Organization Theory often argue persuasively for a Foucauldian look at management practices, they just as often fail to appreciate the wider significance of their work. Given that Foucault clearly emphasized the wider societal significance of the local technologies of social organization that emerged in early modernity, I look forward to a Foucauldian study of contemporary corporate practices that resolutely considers our global political and economic situation. Douglas I. Thompson, University of Massachusetts at Amherst

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foucault studies
John McSweeney, 2004 ISSN: pending Foucault Studies, No 1, pp. 105-110, December 2004

REVIEW J. Joyce Schuld, Foucault and Augustine: Reconsidering Power and Love (Notre Dame, Indiana: Notre Dame University Press, 2003). ISBN 0-268-0269-9 Withthisthoughtprovokingandimpressivestudy,J.JoyceSchuldmakesan innovative contribution to the growing body of literature exploring the significanceofthethoughtofMichelFoucaultforChristiantheologyandthe broader study of religion. Her discernment of parallels on a performative level,betweenFoucaultsnotionofpowerandSt.Augustinesnotionoflove, supportswhatatfirstsightseemsaratherunlikelyprospect:asustainedand fruitful conversation between the intellectual projects of Foucault and Augustine.AttentiontothisperformativelevelenablesSchuldtopursuethis unexpected conversation through a series of related issues in theologically oriented cultural analysis, from social evil to the ambiguity of privileged discourses, while allowing Foucaults and Augustines respective social and (inter)personal emphases to extend, in a kind of crosscontamination, the geographic reach of each others analyses.1 What emerges is a brilliantly articulated common concern with the complexities and ambiguities of the social and political spheres, and a common commitment to attending to the dangers and vulnerabilities associated with them. In so doing, Schuld succeeds in her goals of retrieving neglected dimensions of Augustines thought and of demonstrating that Foucault has a value for theology, while elaborating a distinctive theological vision. And yet, her approach is not entirelyunproblematic. Particularly innovative in her crossreading, from a methodological point of view, is its concern to explore the resonances and exploit the differencesbetweenthesetwothinkerstothebenefitofbothoftheirprojects, without reducing the distinctiveness of their insights and approaches. However,Schuldprovocativelyclaimsthatnometanarrativepressuresare exerted at the performative level of power and love by Foucaults and Augustines larger projects: for all of the differences between them, their analyses are ultimately not incompatible.2 This correlates with Schulds
1

J. Joyce Schuld, Foucault and Augustine: Reconsidering Power and Love (Notre Dame, Indiana:NotreDameUniversityPress,2003),3,79. Ibid.,78.

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foucault studies, No 1, pp. 105-110 interpretation, inspired by aspects of the broader American reception of his thought, of Foucaults specific researches as intentionally partial social descriptions that are empirical in nature and utterly uninterested in all encompassing interpretations, bracketing rather then disqualifying broader questions. This enables her to present Foucault as attending to forgotten voices in a manner suited to detecting and responding to the shiftingrisksofapostmodernworld,whilebeingabletolocatehisthought as colourful fragments within a more intricate and extensive mosaic.3 Consequently,Foucaultscarefullycircumscribedsocialinsightscanbegiven greater thickness in their juxtaposition with Augustines rather more personal and relational theological framework and can be inserted within it, even as the framework itself is extended by contact with Foucaults more politicalanalysis. While sophisticated and sympathetic (Schuld admirably wishes to defend Foucault against those who dismiss his thought as juvenile and dangerous), this reading simply seems to sacrifice too much of Foucault to Augustines intellectual perspective. It cannot allow room for the possibility that Foucaults bracketed analyses and unsettling rhetoric might be strategic moments of a philosophical ethos that ultimately contests the ontological and evaluative center of Augustines thought4 or for the furtherpossibilitythatFoucaultspostChristianconcernsmightevencontest the theological presuppositions of Augustines thought. In spite of her attention to differences between them, Schulds interpretation of Foucault considerably limits the extent of those differences and threatens to subtly harmonize Foucaults thought with Augustines theologicallymotivated worldview. The difficulty here lies not so much in pursuing the interplay betweenAugustineandFoucaultonthesideofChristianculturalanalysis,as in the tendency to obscure awareness that this is one half of the possible

3 4

Ibid.,8,1719. Ibid., 42. See Schulds quotation (p79) from Foucaults The Subject and Power supporting her view of his bracketed analyses: If for the time beingI grant a certainprivilegedpositiontothequestionofhowitisnotbecauseIwouldwishto eliminatethequestionofwhatandwhy.RatheritisthatIwishtopresentthesein a different way. However, it seems that this text indicates the opposite of what Schulddrawsfromit.ForasFoucaultgoesontoexplain,thequestionofhow,while of itself a flat empirical little question, does want to introduce a suspicion concerning powers existence as the kind of object about which one can ask what and why. Thus, his concern is not to bracket, but to contest and alter, these questionsofmeaningandcausality.SeeM.Foucault,TheSubjectandPowerinJ.D. Faubian,ed.,Power:EssentialWorksofMichelFoucault,Volume3(NewYork:TheNew Press,2000),326348,at336337.

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McSweeney: Review of Foucault and Augustine conversation that Foucault remains at a distance from Augustine and theology.5 These tensions carry through the opening chapters fascinating exploration of the parallels between Augustinian love and Foucauldian power. There Schuld skilfully highlights how love, as well as power, is relational,dispersed,andproductive;howlovesemphasisuponthepersonal andpowersattentiontothesocialmightcomplementoneanothertosuggest a rich and varied network of relations that simultaneously constitute our personalandsocialspace;howtogetherpowerandlovemightbetterenable onetoarticulatetheambiguities,dangersandsitesofsubversivehopewithin that space.6 Schuld can propose that where Foucault extends Augustines analysisdeeperintothesocialandpoliticalspheres,thelattersnotionoflove introduces a richer grammar of human relationality, possessing a generative capacity in relation to human possibility that the political heritage of the term power necessarily denies it.7 In addition, Schuld can suggest that Augustines relational paradigm offers a more secure and satisfactoryarticulationofhumanfreedom.WhereFoucaultmuststruggleto articulate a space of freedom beyond the ubiquity of power, Augustine can treatbothoffreedomandsubjectionwithinthesingleframeworkofferedby love (in terms of ordered and disordered relations); where Foucault must define freedom in terms of autonomy (from power), Augustine can locate it withinthesphereofinterpersonalrelationships.8 ThequalityofSchuldswritingandthispertainsthroughoutthebook issuchastoevokesubtleandvariedtonesoflikenessandcontrastbetween FoucaultsandAugustinesrespectiveportrayalsofpowerandloveacrossa rangeoftextsandconcerns,whileimaginativelyopeningupasharedspacein which to conceive and extend the range and meaning of both. Nevertheless, omitted from this account is how Foucauldian power functions precisely against the assumption that a benign coincidence between power and freedom is possible, and thus how power renders the space of relationality and (inter)subjectivity problematic as a space of freedom. While Schuld can recognise that Foucault would see dangers in Augustines formulation of a freedom based on rightly ordered relations of dependency, her assumptions aboutthenatureofFoucaultsprojectdonotallowhertoseethecontestation
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8
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Schuldstexttendstoexhibitadegreeofambiguity,inthisregard.Atonemoment, she stresses the irreducible differences between Foucault and Augustine and the limitsofanyconversationbetweenthem;atanother,sheseemstosuggestthatthey simplydifferintheirstylesofdescribingthesamesocialreality,theoneattendingto the fine grain of specific aspects of that reality, the other continually relating these detailswithinalargerpattern.Seeforexample,Schuld,FoucaultandAugustine,8,79. Seeibid.,14ff. Seeibid.,8,31. Seeibid.,1830.

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foucault studies, No 1, pp. 105-110 ofthatformulationimplicitinhisthoughtand,hence,theimpliedrefusalof Augustinespositionasastraightforwardalternativetohisown.9It,therefore, does not clearly emerge in Schulds discussion that Foucaults difficulties in reconcilingpowerandfreedomareethicalbeforetheyareconceptual.Thisis not to suggest that Schuld is incorrect to argue that Augustines relational paradigmmayhavemuchtoofferFoucaultinthisarea(andviceversa),but that Foucaults contestation of Augustines intersubjective emphasis (and AugustinesimplicitcontestationofFoucaultsemphasisuponpower)would seemtobeabeanecessarypartoftheconversationbetweenpowerandlove, if the complexity of the encounter and the distinctiveness of each thinkers projectistobepreserved.10 Onefurtherrelateddifficultyneedstobementioned.Schuldsdesireto portray Augustines and Foucaults analyses as complementary sometimes has the unfortunate tendency of leading to a simplified presentation of aspects of the content of Foucaults thought. For instance, she suggests that Foucault never resolves the tensions between his conceptions of power and freedom,butsimplywandersbackandforthbetweenthesetwodepictions of human possibilities.11 However one ultimately judges Foucaults later reflectionsonthemessuchasgovernmentality,subjectivation,andcareof the self, this description scarcely does them justice. Similarly, Schulds emphasis upon the lack of a relational dimension to Foucaults notion of freedom tends to ignore, for instance, the emergence of the theme of friendshipinhislaterthought.12 Nevertheless, within the parameters that follow upon her interpretation of Foucault, Schuld does offer an impressively sustained and
9

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See ibid., 43. See also, M. Foucault, On the Genealogy of Ethics: An Overview of Work in Progress in P. Rabinow, ed., Ethics: Essential Works of Foucault 19541984, Vol. 1 (London: Penguin, 2000), 253280, at 256. Foucault stresses that he is not pursuing alternative solutions but the genealogy of problems. His statement that youcantfindthesolutionofaprobleminthesolutionofanotherproblemraisedat another moment by other people would seem to bear on his conversation with Augustine. Schuld wants to utilize Augustines premodern thought as a way of appreciating Foucaultsinsightsbycreatingadistancefromthemodernityhecriticizes.However, Foucaults later genealogies of the subject suggest that Augustines assumptions cannotbesoreadilyorunproblematicallydifferentiatedfromthoseofmodernityand cannotsoeasilybemadetoescapeFoucaultscritique. Schuld,FoucaultandAugustine,29. For example, see Marli Huijer, The Aesthetics of Existence in the Work of Michel Foucault, Philosophy and Social Criticism 25.2 (1999), 6185. Huijer argues that the relationtotheintimateother,shapedasfriendship,iscrucialto[Foucaults]ethical aesthetic approach. (61). Perhaps, this also suggests a limit to the usefulness of reading Foucault primarily through the lens of the notion of power, as it tends to obscurethesignificantdevelopmentstobefoundinFoucaultslaterthought,aswell asthecritiqueofaspectsoftheearlierdeploymentofpower.

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McSweeney: Review of Foucault and Augustine multidimensional crossreading of Foucault and Augustine. The conversationyieldsamultiplicityofinsightsforaChristianculturalanalysis confident of its own ontological and evaluative center, and, perhaps most impressively, articulates a coherent perspective rooted in Augustines and Foucaults genuinely shared concerns with the dangers and ambiguities, vulnerabilities and possibilities, of the personal and social spheres. Across a rangeoftextsandquestions,Schuldshowshowtheirrespectiveresponsesto the dangerous and failed rhetorics of empire and modernity lead to an attention to the ambiguities and dangers that underlie the lust for certitude13 and the privileging of certain discourses. She also shows how FoucaultandAugustinehighlightboththeperformativevulnerabilitiesthat complicate our ability to eliminate the negative side of our social achievementsandhowcertainpeoplearerenderedvulnerableinthiscontext. The fascinating comparison drawn between Augustines theory of originalsinandFoucaultsanalysisofpowerinthesecondchapterillustrate these achievements well. Schuld highlights how each thinker delineates a social space in which evil is anonymous and yet permeates its most infinitesimal capillaries and processes.14 More importantly she shows how both Foucault and Augustine articulate a sense of human agency and responsibility within this social space responsive to the human vulnerability and moral vertigo experienced within it. This enables her to present a strikingandinsightfulcontrastbetweenthevulnerablesubjectivityFoucault andAugustinepropose,ontheonehand,andtheautonomousmoralagent she discerns, for example, in the work of Richard Rorty and Charles Taylor, ontheother.15Assuch(andhereherargumentisperhapsmostinsightfuland persuasive), Schuld succeeds in articulating a genuine and distinctive FoucauldianAugustinianethicalvoice. Discerning the roots of this common understanding of human performativevulnerabilitiesintheirsharedconvictionthatthemateriality ofthefleshandtheparticularityofsubjectiveidentitiesarebothatthesame timeradicallyconfigurableandconfiguring16formsthebasisforanextended discussion in Chapter 3, centred on notions of desire and habit, of the possibilities and limits of configuring our social world. In turn, this leads in Chapter 4 to an exploration of the human price of claims to certitude. An innovative feature of this discussion is the suggestion that Foucault and Augustineshareaviewthatconcupiscencelinkedtosexualdesirehasonlya relative significance in explaining performative vulnerabilities and their socialoutcome:amorecomplexpictureisrequired.17ThestrengthofSchulds
15 16 17
13 14

Schuld,FoucaultandAugustine,111. Seeibid.,4751. Seeibid.,59ff. Ibid.,79. Seeibid.,85102.

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foucault studies, No 1, pp. 105-110 analysisliesinherabilitytoconveythecomplexityperformedinthisregard in the writings of Foucault and Augustine and so to evoke the multi dimensionalapproachcalledforinanalyzingthecontemporarycontext. The final chapter, on the ambiguity of social achievements, reflects SchuldsaccentuationofneglectedsocialandpoliticalaspectsofAugustines theology.AgainstthebackdropofFoucaultstexts,Augustinesviewthatthe political is an unnatural and ambiguous realm can be seen to reflect not simply the contemplatives distrust of the world, but a genuine political gestureattunedtotheambiguityofallsocialachievements.18Equally,Schuld can suggest a similar significance to Augustines questioning not only of desire not ordered by reason, but of reason itself, disordered as it is by desire.19 At the same time, Foucaults sensitivity to the dangers of power demonstrates limitations in Augustines political thought, such as his readinesstotolerate,forthepreservationoforder,measuresthatheadmitted wererepellent.20 At the beginning of her study, Schuld cites Foucaults invitation to approachhisthoughtasatoolboxcontainingvariousresourcestobeusedin creativeanalysisandappropriation.21Andinmanyrespectsthisbookisan admirable and sophisticated response to that invitation, opening up a rich and unexpected conversation. However, at crucial points in the argument Schuld makes her strategic reading of Foucault coincide too neatly with Foucaultsownconcerns.WherethisoccursFoucaultsworksuffersthekind of distortions that often troubled him, and the credibility of Schulds argument suffers. Thus, while her study reveals much in Foucaults and Augustines ethical approaches that appears critical to our contemporary contextanddevelopsafinetheologicallyorientedculturalanalysis,important in its own right, it also misses opportunities for a more profound Auseinandersetzung between Foucault and Augustine and, consequently, a more thorough contestation of theologys own entanglement in the ambiguities and dangers, vulnerabilities and possibilities of our present. Nevertheless,thisstudyishighlyrecommendedforitscreativeandinsightful elaborationofanewandunexpectedspaceofdialogueandforitschallenge tothepreconceptionsandcategorizationsthatcanalltooreadilycircumscribe ethicalandreligiousthinking. JohnMcSweeney,MaryImmaculateCollege,UniversityofLimerick

20 21
18 19

Seeibid.,161ff. Seeibid.,1778. Seeibid.,186. Ibid.,6.

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Muhammad Ayaz Naseem, 2004 ISSN: pending Foucault Studies, No 1, pp. 111-113, November 2004

REVIEW Michel Foucault, Religion and Culture, Selected and Edited by Jeremy R. Carrette (New York: Routledge, 1999). ThecomplicatedquestionofreligionasitpertainstoFoucaultsworkisoften raised by scholars and students of Foucault. It asks both about Foucaults personal and scholarly relationship to religion. Though there are numerous references to religion in his published work, what is not present is an overt and systematic treatment of religion in relation to his philosophy. This has prompted many of his followers, as well as detractors, to assume and/or to argue that religion has no place in Foucaults poststructuralist thought in particular, and in poststructuralist thought in general. These scholars often read Foucaults notion of the Death of God (following Nietzsche), his emphasis on the contingency of the subject, and his opposition to meta narratives as a sign of his rejection of religion as an analytical notion (followingMarx). Jeremy Carrettes Religion and Culture attempts to address these issues and to clarify Foucaults position as to the place of religion in his philosophical thought. As James Bernauer writes in the prologue, Carrette provokes students of Foucault to challenge one another to risk the exploration of new terrain rather than just report their knowledge of the alreadymapped(p.xi). This volume is the first attempt to bring together various pieces that Foucault wrote from time to time that that explicitly deal with issues of religion and theology. What is heartening is that the volume brings out not only Foucaults engagement with Christian theology, but also his attempt (albeit later in his academic life) to understand other religious traditions, especially how they work to bring about social change (e.g., the Islamic revolution in Iran: Chapter 10, pp. 131134) and transform the self (e.g. the Zenwayoflife:Chapter8,pp.110114).Itshould,however,bekeptinmind thatthesearenotFoucaultsonlyexplicationsofreligion.AsCarrettenotesin his lengthy introduction (Prologue to a confession of the flesh, pp. 147), thereisinFoucaultsworkanimportanttheologicalandareligioussubtext whichremainsunexaminedandneglected(pp.23).ReligionandCultureaims to correct this by bringing together Foucaults engagement with religious themesoutsidethemaincorpusofhiswritings(p.3).

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foucault studies, No 1, pp. 111-13 Religion and Culture imaginatively divides Foucaults writings into three parts. These divisions not only map the trajectory of Foucaults interventions in and interrogations of religion in the context of discursive reality,theyalsojuxtaposereligionandcultureinFoucauldianthoughtin order to open up the trajectory of Foucaults religious thoughtto provide anaccountofFoucaultonreligionandculture(p.34). The volume opens with a prologue by Jeremy Carrette that provides a sharp background which allows us to engage with Foucaults thoughts on religion and culture. Carrette not only brings out the religious subtext in Foucaults work, but also highlights just how Foucaults work provides a multidimensionalcritiqueofreligionbybringingsexualityandthebodyinto his exploration of religion and theology. Carrette also highlights Foucaults attempttoexploreapoliticalspiritualityoftheself.Foucault,inthisrespect, notonlyshowshowreligionandtheologyengagewiththesexualbody,but also foregrounds the political technologies embedded in religious practices andquestionssuchnotionsasmysticalarchaeology.Thus,inFoucaultswork, religion is always a subsidiary subcategory, a cultural deposit that influences and informs his historical and philosophical interests. For him religion is part of the cultural conditions of knowledge (p. 33). As Carrette writes, Foucaults work directly questions the separation between religion andculturebyincludingitwithinhisanalysisoftheculturalfactsandlater collapsingthedivisionbetweenreligionandpoliticsinanethicsoftheself Foucaults work can therefore be seen to move within a discursive space of religionandculturewhereonemutuallyinformstheother(p.33). What also comes out of this collection of Foucaults writings (like his otherwritings)istheissueofgenderinsensitivityandblindness.Foucauldian thoughthasoftenbeenseenasacontinualcontestationwithfeministthought. Aware of this, Carrette attempts to put this continual contestation in perspective by raising the question of how to read Foucaults work on religion in a gendered context? How are ideas that Foucault formulates about religion inscribed with a gendered perspective? How far has Foucault been complicitous with the religious institutions that have silenced and abused women and distorted men? How do we read Foucaults texts on religion with an awareness of the politics of gender? (p.7). According to Carrette, while Foucault repressively omits to explore the position of women, his methodological stance creates the conceptual space to critique Foucaultsownexclusion(p.9). What is most interesting about the essays in this volume is to see Foucaultsownstrugglesandinnercontestationsasascholar.Thesestruggles areespeciallyevidentinthepiecesonKlosowski,modernFrenchfiction,and hisownexperienceofnonWesternreligioustraditionssuchasZenandIslam. Here we see Foucault in dialogue with his own ideas about spirituality, religion,andtheself.Thesecontestationswiththeselfareespeciallyevident 112

Naseem: Review of Religion and Culture inthepiecesonZenandIslam,whereFoucaultisconfrontedwithtraditions that have different epistemological bases from which changes in the social and the self can be brought about. These personal contestations tie in well withtwoofthemostengagingandrevealingpiecesinthevolume,Whoare you,ProfessorFoucault(Chapter6,pp.87105)andOnreligion(Chapter7, pp.106109).Theformerisa1967interviewofFoucaultbyP.Caruso,while thelaterisbasedonthetranscriptionofconversationsbetweenFoucaultand ThierryVoeltzel,ayounghitchhiker.InthesetwopiecesFoucaultlaysdown thebasisofhisviewsonspiritualityandreligionfromanextremelypersonal angleandprovidesinsightsintohiscontestationswithhisowndemons.This is well supplemented by a touching and marvelous memoir by James Bernauer. In all, this collection is a welcome addition to the corpus of Foucaults writings available to the Anglophone world. It is valuable in that it brings together for the first time many previously inaccessible pieces by Foucault that will be of interest and use not only to students of theology, but also to students and scholars who have interest in social change, the self, and the societyatlarge. MuhammadAyazNaseem,McgillUniversity

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Stuart Elden, 2004 ISSN: pending Foucault Studies, No 1, pp. 114-5, December 2004

REVIEW James Bernauer and Jeremy Carrette (eds.) Michel Foucault and Theology: The Politics of Religious Experience (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004). ISBN: 0754633535

Michel Foucault and Theology is an important book in the continuing study of this aspect of Foucaults work. Its editors have themselves made major contributions to this debate: Bernauers Michel Foucaults Force of Flight and articles; Carrettes collection of Foucaults writings on Religion and Culture and his monograph Foucault and Religion. Michel Foucault and Theology, which brings together a number of papers from a wide range of perspectives. Although many of the papers have been previously published, this is a valuable collection and one that should be of interest to readers beyond those interested specifically in theology. Papers discuss such major Foucaultian themes as sex, madness, political action and his relation to Habermas. As is well known, Foucault was concerned with the relationship between Christianity and sexuality for the last decade of his life. As recently published lecture courses are making clear, this began at least as early as 1974, through a concern with Jesuit colonies in Latin America, and the relation between confession and sin around sexual practices, particularly masturbation. Continuing work through the later 1970s took into account the Islamic revolution in Iran, the Christian pastoral, and the early Church Fathers. This work culminated in the projected fourth volume of the History of Sexuality series, Les aveux de la chair. If publication of this book seems unlikely in addition to Foucaults prohibition against posthumous publications, Daniel Defert recently described the extant manuscript as being in a Proustlike state forthcoming lecture courses are likely to illuminate many of these concerns. In this collection there is not a concerted attempt to rebuild Foucaults trajectory of thought (despite, for example, Bernauers illuminating reading of the 1984 course on parrhesia and the cynics), but a series of reflections on his work from a theological perspective, some illuminating readings of particular problems with his thought, and combinations of these two approaches. The first chapter is a powerful reading of Pauls first letter to the Corinthians; the second is a detailed analysis of Foucaults relation to the Fathers and sex. There is a very useful discussion of Foucaults widely misunderstood work on

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Elden: Review of Michel Foucault and Theology Iran by Michiel Leezenberg, which is likely to become the standard reading of this part of his work, and established scholars such as John Caputo and Thomas Flynn provide previously published but still interesting chapters. Despite its dull title From Singular to Plural Domains of Theological Knowledge: Notes Toward a Foucaultian New Question Thomas Beaudoins chapter is a real highlight. Here he reflects on the way that Foucaults work can illuminate questions in music, particularly the improvisations of jazz. This is interesting because Foucault rarely spoke about music unlike art or literature and yet clearly had an interest in it, notably the work of his early lover Jean Barraqu and Boulez. Foucaults relation to the Catholic tradition he was brought up in is noted in a few places and is obvious in his own writings, such as when he numbers the commandments in the Catholic rather than Protestant way. The final chapter is a fascinating (and deeply disturbing) examination of Catholic attitudes to sex, particularly providing a detailed reading of educational pamphlets. The examination of Foucaults contentious claims regarding the birth or invention of homosexuality receives a detailed reading. That said, it is notable that Mark D. Jordan critiques many misunderstandings of these passages of the first volume of the History of Sexuality, but not specifically of the suggestion in the English translation that the sodomite had been a temporary aberration; the homosexual was now a species. The French is substantially more ambiguous, with the sodomite described as un relaps, a throwback, a relapse. Elsewhere there is a willingness to use Foucault, and those he cites, such as Jean Dulumeau, to problematise widely-held assumptions, such as the idea that the Middle Ages was a religious era and the modern age a more secular one. Far from it, it is due to those who wrote the history of the medieval period that our view is more myth than reality, as it was the conflict between Catholics and Protestants that marked the early modern period at home, and which their missionary colonisation spread abroad. J. Joyce Schuld and Henrique Pinto provide chapter length summaries of their own monographs on the subjects of Foucault and Augustine, and Foucault, Catholic thought and interfaith dialogue respectively. In this sense, this book is a state of the art report on the current status of research in this area. It can be recommended to a range of different audiences and will be particularly useful for those interested in Foucaults thought generally, but who also want a sense of how he is being received in this area, and for those interested in the recent theological turn to contemporary thought (notably Derrida and Heidegger) for perspectives and ideas. Stuart Elden, University of Durham

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Stephen DArcy, 2004 ISSN: pending Foucault Studies, No 1, pp. 116-18, December 2004

REVIEW Paul Rabinow and Nikolas Rose (eds.) The Essential Foucault: Selections from Essential Works of Foucault, 19541984 (New York: New Press, 2003). ISBN 1-56584-801-2

It is customary to periodize Foucaults work in terms of three phases, the archaeological writings of the 1960s, the genealogical writings of the 1970s, andtheethicalwritingsofthe1980s.Thoughthisissimplistic,itdoeshelpto highlightsomediscerniblediscontinuitiesinhisintellectualtrajectory.Aless chronological classification of Foucaults works, , also pointing to a fundamentaldifferentiation,issuggestedbyaperusalofTheEssentialFoucault (New Press), a new anthology of short pieces by Foucault, edited by Paul Rabinow and Nikolas Rose. In it we find a series of unmistakably philosophical interviews and occasional lectures or essays, but no excerpts from any of Foucaults largely historical monographs, such as The Order of Things, Discipline and Punish, and the first volume of The History of Sexuality. The omission reminds us that Foucault the philosopher, preoccupied by questions of method and aiming to elucidate basic concepts, can be distinguishedfromFoucaultthehistorian,intentontracingthegenealogyof human kinds and presentday social practices. The Essential Foucault is a singlevolume abridgement of the threevolume Essential Works of Foucault, 19541984(NewPress),itselfapartialtranslationofthemultivolumeDitset crits (Gallimard). It would be wrong to expect from this book a kind of abbreviatedsummationofFoucaultscareer.Anotheranthology,TheFoucault Reader(Pantheon),comesclosertothat,sinceitincludessubstantialexcerpts fromDisciplineandPunish,andTheHistoryofSexualityI.TheEssentialFoucault contains nothing like that, although certainly some of the same thematic ground is covered, notably in some interesting lectures on the rise of bio power and in a few interviews that reiterate and elucidate his claims about the importance of political technologies in the emergence of the human sciences. True, there are also shorter genealogical studies included, like the excellentandstilltimelyAbouttheConceptoftheDangerousIndividual, and the influential lecture on Governmentality. Nevertheless, the picture thatemergesfromthepagesofTheEssentialFoucaulttakenon itsownis that of a historicophilosophical research program, underdetermined (so to speak)byactualresearch.Thus,hisstrategicalconceptionofpowerisgiven

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DArcy: Review of The Essential Foucault alucidarticulation,notablyinbothTheSubjectandPowerandTruthand Power, but the detailed analysis of technologies of governance and rituals of power, familiar to readers of a book like Discipline and Punish, is largely absent. The conclusion seems inescapable that the works included in The EssentialFoucaultmaybeessentialtoaseriousstudyofFoucault,aboveallby philosophers,buttheyareclearlynottheessentialworks,evenintheminimal senseofbeingarepresentativesampleofFoucaultsmajorcontributions. Nevertheless,ananthologyofmanyofFoucaultscentralphilosophical texts is surely something to be welcomed and embraced. It is true that one sometimeshearsdoubtsexpressedaboutwhetherFoucaultwasaphilosopher atall,butinmakingtheircasethedoubtersmakenoreferencetosomeofthe important essays included here, like What is Enlightenment?, What is Critique?,TruthandPower,orTheSubjectandPower.Theseareplainly philosophical works, exploring essentially conceptual issues such as modernity,rationality,power,truth,andsubjectivity. The Essential Foucault invites us, then, to examine Michel Foucault the philosopher.Butwhatsortofphilosopherdoesheappeartobe,basedonthe contentsofTheEssentialFoucault? Above all, he is a critical philosopher. The selections by Rabinow and Roseseemalmostcalculatedtodrivethispointhome,andthisimpressionis only reinforced by the orientation of their Introduction. Critical philosophers, notably the line of German philosophers leading from Kant to Marx,triedtoshowthatobjectivitytheobjectivityofknowledge,ofhuman cultureandhistory,ofthecommodityformwas,inonewayoranother,an achievementofhumansubjectivity(inthewidestsense),thatis,aproductof human activity. Critique meant disalienation, or the reappropriation of the productsofonesownactivityasknower,agent,orworker.Foucaultsproject issimilaratleastto theextent thathe too wantstodissolvethe illusionthat ourexperiencesofsexuality,say,ormadness,ordangerconfrontuswith an external necessity that permanently circumscribes our freedom to act or refrain from acting. But Foucaults critique is, as he himself says, a nominalistcritiquearrivedatbywayofahistoricalanalysis(p.258).The philosophical point, as opposed to the historical points about changes in the manner in which power was exercised in a certain period, and so on, is always of the same general type: where we are prone to find necessities, a morecarefulstudyrevealscontingencies;wherewehavebeentaughttolook forourdeepestnatureoressence,asecondlookfindsonlyahistoricalartifact, arbitrarily assembled; where we tend to see the universality of an anthropological constant, a betterinformed assessment would show us nothingbuttheexorbitantsingularityofarecentculturalinvention.Indeed, Foucault identifies as his first rule of method the principle that one should, insofar as possible, circumvent the anthropological universalsin ordertoexaminethemashistoricalconstructs(p.3).Thisapplies,ofcourse, 117

foucault studies, No 1, pp. 116-18 to madness, sexuality, delinquency, and so on. Ultimately this is an ontologicalcommitment,orrather,acommitmenttowhathecallshistorical ontology(p.55)oracriticalontologyofourselves(p.56).Tothequestion, what are we? the answer must always be sought by way of a critical interrogation:Inwhatisgiventousasuniversal,necessary,obligatory,what place is occupied by whatever is singular, contingent, and the product of arbitraryconstraints?(p.53). The book begins with a substantial, 25page Introduction by Rabinow and Rose, which offers a tour through Foucaults key concepts (at least the concepts prominent in the last fifteen years of his career: problematization, biopower, dispositif, etc.). After pointing out the provisional nature of even Foucaults final selfcharacterizations, the editors proceed to reread his whole body of work largely through suchlate texts as WhatisEnlightenment?Personally,Ifindthatapproachcompelling,andit seemstohavebecomethenormamongFoucaultscommentators.Butitdoes meanthatarchaeology,intheformthatprojecthadinFoucaultsearlywork (including important books like The Order of Things and Madness and Civilization), takes a back seat to historical ontology and the ethics of self formation.Nodoubtthiscouldbejustifiedbytherelativelygreaterinfluence ofFoucaultspostarchaeologicalwritings (Iusethis expression inspiteof the fact that Foucaults later selfcharacterizations often retained the word archaeology, while detaching it from the theme of discourse analysis and generallygivingitabroadersense;cf.p.53).Inanycase,theIntroduction succeeds well at what seems to be one of its main aims: to offer a clear articulation of the importance of Foucaults work for contemporary critical analysis,withoutinanywayencouragingtheossificationofhisconceptsinto a methodological orthodoxy or a banner under which Foucauldian partisansmightassemble.Onthecontrary,thepointiseffectivelymadethat preciselythedynamismofpowerandknowledgethatFoucaultsodecisively disclosedrendersanysuchpositionuntenable:Afterall,theeditorsremind us,FoucaultwrotebeforethecollapseoftheSovietempire,beforetheNew World Order, before the internet, before the genome project, before global warming, before genetically modified organisms, before preimplantation diagnosisofembryos,beforepharmacogenomics(p.xiii). To the extent that this book sets aside the historical and political emphases of (its main competitor) The Foucault Reader, in favor of a new emphasisonFoucaultscontributiontophilosophy,TheEssentialFoucaultdoes offer something importantly new to Englishspeaking readers: a single volumesurveyofFoucaultsefforts,overaperiodofthirtyyears,todevelopa new,historicalnominalistmodeofcriticalphilosophy. StephenDArcy,HuronUniversityCollege

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Brad Mapes-Martins, 2004 ISSN: pending Foucault Studies, No 1, pp. 119-22, December 2004

REVIEW Roger Alan Deacon, Fabricating Foucault: Rationalising the Management of Individuals (Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 2003). ISBN 0-84762-661-7 While recent Foucauldian scholarship has addressed the implications of governmentalityasawayoftheorizingmodernpoliticalrationality,fewhave soughttoincorporateabroaderinquiryaboutthepossibilityforacontinued Enlightenment project. To do so suggests, in part, a return to the debate between Habermas and Foucault, as well as an incorporation of Foucaults laterwritingsonKant.RogerDeaconhassoughttointerrogatethecontinued relevanceoftheEnlightenmentprojectinlightofrecentscholarshipandin combination with a wideranging analysis of the work of Foucault. Deacon covers a lot of ground, from Madness & Civilization to the later lectures on parrhesia, while simultaneously challenging criticisms of Foucault as a relativist, fatalist, and pessimist. Attempting to handle such an array of materialsandgiveitatightfocusisanambitiousproject. Deacons effort is guided by the following question: [I]n the light of Foucaultswork,andrelatedcontemporarydebatesaroundthesalvageability orotherwiseoftheEnlightenmentproject,whatkindoffutureexistsforsocial theoryandpractice?1InordertoanswerthisquestionDeaconfabricatesa Foucaultauthor. Deacon does so by developing what he calls a holistic approachtoFoucault,thatis,aninterpretivelyconstructedunityofFoucaults oeuvre that explores alternative conceptions of theory, politics and the subject, intimated but not always developed in Foucaults work.2 Deacon claims to be constructing his Foucault as a way of achieving a consistent Foucault,ausefulFoucault,anappliedFoucault,butinsistingonconsistency inordertofollowFoucaultisleftunjustified.3 Questioning the viability of the Enlightenment project in light of Foucault begins with a description of the Enlightenments place in determiningourpresent.ForDeacon,asforFoucault,thatwhichhascometo characterize our present is the problematic nature of the grounds of
1. 2. 3. Roger Alan Deacon, Fabricating Foucault: Rationalising the Management of Individuals (Milwaukee,WI:MarquetteUniversityPress,2003),10. Ibid,13. Ibid.

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foucault studies, No 1, pp. 119-22 knowledgeinitiatedbyKantinhiscritiques.Thepresentiscaughtwithinan understanding of the possibilities and limits of knowledge that relies on positioning man as both the object of knowledge and the subject that knows.FollowingFoucaultsanalysisofKantinTheOrderofThings,Deacon goesontooutlinethehistoryoftruthasthatinwhichWesternrationalityis ensnared. If we are indeed trapped in a history which is ours and which hasmadeuswhatweare,howisitthatwecanbeawareof,letalonecometo understand,thisfact?4 Inanswering,Deaconturnstothenotionofapermanentcritiqueofthe presentdevelopedinFoucaultslaterreflectiononKantsAnAnswertothe Question:WhatisEnlightenment?Thenotionofapermanentcritiqueofthe presentemergesfromwhatFoucaultdescribesas: philosophyproblematiz[ing]itsowndiscursiveactuality:anactualitythat itquestionsasanevent,asaneventwhosemeaning,value,andphilosophical singularityithastoexpressandinwhichithastofindbothitsownreasonfor beingandthefoundationforwhatitsays.5 Deacon understands the critique of reason to be imperative to understandingourpresentasithasbeenaffectedbytheEnlightenment.The critiqueofreason,thus,iscontinuouslyactivatedasaparadoxthatisunable to accurately represent the object of critique and, yet, must attempt to in order to maintain the illusion of its capacity to know its other in which Enlightenmentreasonpersists.6 Furthering his discussion of critique, Deacon turns to Foucaults genealogical analysis. The capacity of genealogy to reconfigure the past lends itself to Deacons project through a problematizing of the Enlightenment.7 Deacon, in accordance with his fabrication of Foucault, sayslittleontherelationshipofarchaeologytogenealogy,butinsteaddefers toArnoldDavidsonsanalysis.8Fabrication,asDeaconexplains,iscapableof bringingaboutspecificpoliticaleffects.Throughhisproblematizationofthe Enlightenment Deacon points the way to a strategic countermemory of reason. Genealogy requires that we exteriorise the present, thus making unfamiliar that which has an apparent order, necessity and identity.9 In doing so, a countermemory is developed that contains within it the possibility for alternative futures. Deacon quickly points out that such alternatives are not present in the work of Foucault, but follow from its
4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Ibid,3536. MichelFoucault,WhatisRevolution?inThePoliticsofTruth,ed.SylvreLotringer andLisaHochroth(n.p.:Semiotext(e),1997),86. Deacon,FabricatingFoucault,49. Ibid,68. See Arnold I. Davidson, Archaeology, Genealogy, Ethics, in Foucault: A Critical Reader,ed.DavidCouzensHoy(NewYork:BasilBlackwell,1986),221233. Deacon,FabricatingFoucault,96.

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Mapes-Martins: Review of Fabricating Foucault implications. It is through the localized work of intellectuals separating out anddefamiliarizingthetakenforgrantedknowledgesthatconstituteagiven discoursethatcountermemoriescancometohavetrutheffects. The local character of genealogy, Deacon argues, is not to be understood as lacking coherence. Turning again to Foucaults What is Enlightenment? Deacon points to the interrelatedness of particular experiences and the general history by which each has come to take its present form to demonstrate the coherence of a problematization of Enlightenment reason. Such coherence is further demonstrated through the systematic examination of the three domains of genealogy knowledge, power, and the subject in combination with the practical systems by which they operate. It is important that Deacon establish the coherence of genealogical questioning of Enlightenment reason in order to arrive at Foucaults revision of the structureagency dichotomy, thus paving the way for an analysis of power and the assumption of freedom that accompanies relationsofpower. AtthispointDeaconturnstothehistoryofpoliticalrationalityasthe emergenceofdisciplinarypoweralongsideandwithinpowerassovereignty. DistinctfromaMarxistunderstandingofpowerasemanatingfromthestate andoperatingasrepressionordomination,FoucaultsrenderingofChristian pastoral power is simultaneously individualizing and totalizing. It is this simultaneitythatcharacterizesmodernWesternpoliticalrationality.Deacon dwellsforsometimeontheemergenceofdisciplineasoutlinedinDiscipline and Punish before discussing the combination of techniques discipline and biopoliticsthatenablemodernpoliticalrationalitytooperate.Deaconseeks to clarify the more general historical features of power relations before turning to a more detailed analysis of the positive capacity of power: Thus not only are power relations not reducible to the disciplines, or the latter to theapparatusesofthestate,butitwouldalsobewrongtoseethedisciplines as replacing or transcending sovereignty [].10 Disciplinary relations of power, Deacon reminds us, are local, contingent and unstable; they are the tacticaldeploymentofaparticulardiscourse. Tracing the reconceptualization of power undertaken by Foucault, Deaconfindsintheshiftfromatheoryofpowertoananalyticsofpowerthe opportunity for a rewriting of [the]historical and theoretical trajectory of relations of power, an alteration of the discourse of power.11 Through analysis of the interconnections between local relations of power and the globalstrategiesthattheysupport,transformativenegotiationsofrelationsof poweraremadevisible.Avoidingtheassumptionthatpowerrelationsperse are detrimental, Deacon seeks to maintain the notion of flexible, numerous,
10. 11. Ibid,158. Ibid,164.

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foucault studies, No 1, pp. 119-22 sometimesconflicting,resistances.Itisthecombinationofthisunderstanding ofresistanceswiththepositivecapacityofpowerrelationstoproducesubjects that,inturn,leadsDeacontoacceptFoucaultsconceptionofanethicsofself experimentation. Despite Deacons claim that Fabricating Foucault explores the implicationsoftheworkofMichelFoucaultfortheEnlightenmentproject,it isnotuntilthereaderarrivesattheconclusionthatanysuchimplicationsare explored.12 The book lays out, in vast scope, the groundwork for such an inquiry,butarrivesatelevenconclusionsthatreadasarestatementofvarious argumentsmadebyFoucaulthimself.Deaconstatesearlyonthat: WhileIhaveattemptedtoreducetoaminimumthosemomentswhere,as a result ofmy intention to usehim in order to abuse him, my voice and the voiceofFoucaultseemimperceptiblytomerge,suchlapsesincriticaldistance are both partly unavoidable and to some extent desirable since in this book Foucaultispittedagainsthimself.13 Although the merging of the two voices is justifiable, doing so lends the bookanexegeticalairthat,whilehelpfulforthenewstudentofFoucault,can bereadasuncritical. The holistic conception of Foucault that Deacon develops, assuming the unity of his oeuvre in order to demonstrate its consistency over time, avoidstheaporiasthatwereoftenmostfruitfulforFoucault.14WhileDeacon challenges the conclusions drawn by Habermas about Foucaults relativism, he ignores the more helpful questions Habermas raised around the causal relationshipoftruthandpowerandtheshiftingthatappearstotakeplacein the development of genealogy out of archaeology. This is not to say that those criticisms of Foucault that Deacon does address are not handled well, but that other criticisms may be better suited to the task of reflecting on the EnlightenmentprojectinlightofFoucault. BradMapesMartins,UniversityofMassachusetts

12. 13. 14.

Ibid,6. Ibid,14. Ibid,13.

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foucault studies
Alain Beaulieu, 2004 ISSN: pending Foucault Studies, No 1, pp. 123-25, December 2004

REVIEW Frdric Gros (ed.), Foucault et le courage de la vrit (Paris, PUF, 2002). ISBN: 2130523315

The courage of truth translates the Greek term parrhsia, which becomes one of the later Foucaults preferred topics. Like Heidegger, who in his later writings sharpens the experience of true thought around the translation of a few pre-Socratic terms (e.g., chron, althia, mora, logos), Foucault devotes his final courses at the College of France (1981-1984) to interpreting a network of Greek concepts (e.g., epimeleia heautou, melet, thos), which converge for that occasion in an experiment with the parrhesiastic way of life. Despite its title, however, the work consisting of six chapters written by as many contributors aims not so much at substantiating this convergence through historical investigation as showing the omnipresence of the theme of the courage of truth in Foucaults intellectual cursus. These contributions re-evaluate the usual tripartition of Foucaults work (archaeology, genealogy, subjectivation), turning the practico-theoretical fundamental complex (p. 8) that constitutes the courage of truth into the central axis around which Foucaults thought and political engagement revolve. From this perspective, parrhsia, defined as une prise de parole publique ordonne lexigence de vrit, qui, dune part, exprime la conviction personnelle de celui qui la soutient et, dautre part, entrane pour lui un risque, le danger dune raction violente du destinataire (p. 158), corresponds to what Foucault practised and thought throughout his entire lifetime and work. The truth-telling or fearless-speech (franc-parler, dire-vrai), which combines the transformation of oneself with a risk-taking, provocative way of speaking, is somewhat characteristic of a degree of cynicism that is in keeping with Foucaults dicta, reading between the lines: the real sick people are the psychiatrists (Madness and Civilization) or the creation of illegalities is the true criminality (Discipline and Punish). As institutions develop, their techniques of domination become increasingly tolerable. And the courage of truth becomes the most effective means of resisting them. The work is divided into three sections. The first is entitled The specific intellectual. Through references to Foucaults engagements (GIP, Iran, Croissant, etc.), the first text (P. Artires) illustrates the new relationship of the intellectual to his actuality. It is no longer a question of identifying universal values, but rather of making a diagnosis on a located present. The

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foucault studies, No 1, pp. 123-25 second chapter (F.P. Adorno) goes further by investigating the relationship between theory and practice. It stresses Foucaults attempt to differentiate the social critique from the political dimension while associating the first with an ethical practice. This is what Socrates already practised. His stylization of existence deserves to be used as an antidote to the edict, Know thyself (gnothi seauton), which is overrated in our tradition. The second section is entitled Metaphysical engagement. The first text in that section (J. Revel) challenges the divisions of Foucaults work from an original and inspiring perspective. The only break in Foucaults philosophical cursus would have originally occurred in 1953 with the reading of Nietzsche, who reveals to Foucault the importance of discontinuity. But how to introduce a degree of unity to the study of the cases that interest Foucault (Artaud, Bataille, Sade, Roussel, etc.)? The theoretical answer to that question would have been given to Foucault by Deleuze, and the practical answer, by his involvement in the GIP. On the theoretical level, it is no longer a question of unifying the differences, but rather of problmatiser by questioning events and singularities that Foucault later associates with different historical a priori. At the practical level, the GIP provides Foucault with the argument according to which resistance is not aimed at forming a new unitary community, but at generating a maximum of differences. Thus at the theoretical and practical levels, the question of the cases unity is marginalized. The following chapter (M. Fimiani) points to a Hegelian motive in Foucaults study of the relationship between self-government and government of others, self-control and transformation of self, etc. The third section is entitled Greek Light. In the first chapter of this section, the author (J.-F. Pradeau) reconsiders the interesting debate that pits Foucault against P. Hadot concerning the status that is to be granted to the spiritual exercises. It is known that ascetic practices open the way to Foucaults aesthetics of existence, which are vigorously denounced by the guardians of Hellenism as a new form of dandyism incompatible with ancient universal reason. The authentic ancient culture of the self is not directed toward a free and voluntary aesthetic constitution; it implies the idea of a cosmic and external order on the basis of which it is regulated. To Foucaults defence, the author points out that Foucaults interest in the culture of the self is aimed not at achieving a historical return, but at undertaking a genealogy of the modes of subjectivation in order to break with the repressive and legal conception of power. The final chapter (F. Gros) first exposes the three analyses of the concept of parrhsia, where Foucault successively opposes the courage of truth to confession (aveu), rhetoric and wisdom. The author later explains how Socrates becomes for Foucault a frre parrhsiaste who constitutes his existence through the creation of a simple lifestyle and the use of a provocative technique of veridiction. Foucault stresses the fact that the scandalous truth-telling of Socrates was devalued in favour of a Platonic 124

Beaulieu: Review of Foucault et le courage de la vrit idealization of the noble soul and self-knowledge. That constitutes for Foucault a misappropriation of the true nature of Socrates. The work coordinated by F. Gros has the merit of showing the decisive character, for Foucault, of the connections between being and doing, work and engagement, the invention of the techniques of veridiction and the creation of a lifestyle, etc., which help give this philosophy an immediately pragmatic value. The book convinces the reader of the importance of the courage of truth for Foucault. From the latters definition of the author (which, while not mentioned in the book, is adequate for its own purposes) as the one who loses his/her identity in favour of a self-transformation through the process of writing (1960s), his interest in the perspective of the life of infamous men from which history must be rewritten, and his conception of the specific intellectual (1970s) up to his final meditations in which the topic of parrhsia becomes explicit (1980s), Foucault never ceases to practise the courage of truth and to seek the forgotten conditions of its exercise. Alain Beaulieu, McGill University

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foucault studies
Alain Beaulieu, 2004 ISSN: pending Foucault Studies, No 1, pp. 126-28, December 2004

REVIEW Frdric Gros & Carlos Lvy (eds.), Foucault et la philosophie antique (Paris, Kim, 2003). ISBN: 2841743128

The panorama of contemporary philosophy is divided over the status to be granted to Greco-Roman thought. Some authors prefer to discredit ancient philosophy, such as Heidegger (Being and Time) and Derrida, for whom the Platonic philosophy of truth and the Aristotelian philosophy of time are to be de(con)structed, and the Critical theory in its Habermasian version, which barely goes beyond the "Unfinished project of Modernity". There are also the nostalgics of "beautiful harmony" such as Gadamer, who from a conservative perspective rehabilitates the Platonic dialogical ideal, as well as the historians of ancient philosophy. And there are finally those who risk an innovative and productive reading of the ancient thought. The latter include the young Heidegger, who sees Aristotle as a precursor of the hermeneutics of facticity, the mature Heidegger who commemorates the pre-Socratics poetry, Deleuze, who proposes a creative reading of Lucretius and Stoicism, and Foucault whose later writings (1980-1984) develop the original thesis of a regrettable forgetfulness of the ancient care of the self (epimeleia heautou). The older Foucaults interest in ancient philosophy is consistent with his intellectual cursus in that he remains faithful to the break with utopias by considering the necessary play between power and knowledge, and ultimately conceives of the interweaving of the liberation process and the "techniques of self" (or the power exerted by oneself over oneself). This leads Foucault to undertake a genealogy of the modes of subjectivation and, more specifically, to write a history of the ways of caring for oneself. The late Foucault widens the historical extent of his research, which was hitherto limited to the period from the Renaissance (fifteenth and sixteenth centuries) to Modernity ( nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries), and extends it back to Antiquity. Foucault et la philosophie antique is the title of the proceedings from an international conference organized in Paris in 2001 around a course given by Foucault in 1981-1982 at the Collge de France, entitled Hermneutique du sujet (Gallimard/Seuil, 2001). F. Gros, who coedited Foucault et la philosophie antique, also helped edit this course, and wrote the luminous and generous Situation du cours (Hermneutique du sujet, p. 487-526). Volumes II and III of the History of Sexuality (1984) had already developed the main concepts developed by

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Beaulieu: Review of Foucault et la philosophie antique Foucault based on his reading of ancient philosophies (care of the self, government of oneself and others, the aesthetics of existence, etc.). It is in the courses, however, that one finds the most detailed elaboration of Foucault's periodization (Platonic, Imperial, Christian and Cartesian moments), compared to which the information contained in the last two volumes of the History of Sexuality seems almost fragmentary. Moreover, the last courses devote many analyses to topics that receive little development in the books (cynicism, "direction of conscience", etc.). Hence the great importance of their publication. In the first two sections of Foucault et la philosophie antique, the authors analyze the relationship of Foucault to the three major Hellenistic systems Stoicism, Skepticism and Epicureanism. The first chapter (T. Benatoul) presents a meticulous comparative study of Deleuzes and Foucault's conceptions of Stoicism. Let us note, however, that, contrary to what the author asserts (p. 33), Deleuze's interest in Stoicism does not disappear after Logique du sens (Minuit, 1969), as is demonstrated twenty years later in Le Pli. Leibniz et le baroque (Minuit, 1988, p. 71-72), where Stoic doctrine is associated with the production of the first logic of the event. The following chapter (L. Jaffro) is concerned with some "distortions" in Foucault's interpretation of Epictetus, for whom rhetoric is not as sharply opposed to parrhsia (truthtelling) as Foucault maintains. The author also stresses, using a highly instructive approach, the rigidity of Foucault's periodization, which prevents him from considering the anti-Cartesianism of stoic obedience that was developed in England around the eighteenth century (in particular by A. Smith and Shaftesbury). The third chapter (V. Laurand) deepens the analyses devoted by Foucault to Musonius Rufus' doctrine of marriage. In the following chapter, the author (C. Lvy) discusses Foucault's exclusion of Skepticism in his exploration of ancient thought. Foucault would have voluntarily left out the thesis of Skepticism to avoid confronting this nihilistic side of care of the self, which would have weakened the historical process of the subject's construction that he wanted to highlight. The fifth chapter (A. Gigandet) attempts to rebuild the unity of Foucault's sporadic references to the Epicurean doctrine. The third and last section of the work is concerned with the "spiritual exercices" (pratiques de l'me). One author initially studies the decisive passage for Foucault's analysis, which extends from the ancient "direction of conscience" based on care of the self to the Christian "direction of conscience" directed at renunciation of self (M. Senellart); one then explains the paradox of Platonism, which maintains a tension between the epimeleai heautou - care of the self - and the gnthi seauton - self-knowledge (A. CastelBouchouchi); and one finally underlines the fact that the Nietzschean edict, "Make your life a work of art", which was revived by Foucault, can be achieved only in favour of a particular ethics of speech anchored in parrhsia, or truth-telling (J. Davila). 127

foucault studies, No 1, pp. 126-28 Foucault does not propose any return to a Hellenic-Roman experimentation with care of the self. And it is this lack of desire to restore the past, conjugated with a reclamation of ancient philosophy for our actuality that puts the later Foucault in a delicate and stimulating position. Volumes II and III of the History of Sexuality, as well as the last lectures at the Collge de France, have the rare ability of presenting the vivacity of Hellenistic philosophy to non-specialists, while also contributing to the debate among initiates. This shows the richness of Foucault's ultimate explorations, which are admirably presented, problematized and constructively criticized by the authors of Foucault et la philosophie antique. (Some short biographical/bibliographical notes on the authors would have been helpful.) Alain Beaulieu, McGill University

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