Power and emancipation on Foucault's thought (Master thesis)

Αντωνιάδου-Λάππα, Λαμπρινή


Michel Foucault is not only a philosopher, but also a social activist. The following dissertation not only illustrates the philosopher's multifaceted interest, which in his own words encloses a consciously limited research object, -the subject's cultivation and limitation by structural practices and forms of knowledge- and the tests conducted by Foucault himself on his proposal in many areas of social sciences, but also is aimed to introduce a different aspect of the philosopher's interpretations. The philosopher is not the classic nihilist, as it is widely believed, but is predominantly a man who tries with his work and subsequently with his own life to achieve the most pleasing outcome for the subject and its form. In the first two chapters of the thesis are presented all kinds of structural forms, committals in institutions especially designed for the insane, ways of treating the hospitalized subjects and consequently the methods to annihilate their human hypostasis. However, there are several examples of subjects that have achieved to "break" the imposed practices, engaging in forms of struggle and thus exemplifying that there are always opportunities for freedom, even when their existence is constructed under very rigid standards. Moreover, the following chapters, the third and the fourth, provide further information on such issues and expand the analysis on the following duality: placing the prison, on the one hand, as the creator of criminals and not as a mean to conform; these criminals frequently respond to the discipline and obedience imposed on them. On the other hand, concerning the field of literature, which is characterized by a rigid framework of rules, there is a proportion of people willing to break these rules and expose the full potentials of language. As a consequence, this liberation can be extended on the human nature, leaving the man free from prohibitions, boundaries and rules. The changing in Foucault's thinking is described in the fifth chapter, in which the subject totally structured either physically or mentally (in this case sexually) is becoming a being with self-defined limits (chapter six). In addition, the sixth chapter provides a detailed presentation of the methods used during the Classical and Greco-Roman times for edification and self-improvement. All these methods prove that the subject can cultivate his autonomy and its method is based on a specific time period and its contemporary moral precepts. In the next chapter, the ways that Foucault defined as the beginning of the creation of a self based on aesthetic principles are thoroughly explained. It is worth mentioning that the aforementioned ideas were formed under the influence of Kant’s and Baudelaire’s work. Finally, in the conclusion, using either the direct approach derived from the ancient techniques of existence or the inverse with the specific examples of subjects that escaped from the influence of societal institutions, it is not sufficient to prove that Foucault suddenly identified an essence missing from the subject. Nevertheless, this analysis lends credence to the conclusion that there are some subjective forms, potentially active and autonomous which could be the optimal answer to the prevailing apathy. All the aforementioned arguments prove bluntly that Foucault's thinking is unaffected by time and still challenging.
Institution and School/Department of submitter: Πανεπιστήμιο Ιωαννίνων. Φιλοσοφική Σχολή. Τμήμα Φιλοσοφίας, Παιδαγωγικής και Ψυχολογίας
Subject classification: Foucault, Michel, 1926-1984
Keywords: Φουκώ,Εξουσία,Χειραφέτηση,Foucault,Power,Emancipation
URI: http://olympias.lib.uoi.gr/jspui/handle/123456789/29498
Appears in Collections:Διατριβές Μεταπτυχιακής Έρευνας (Masters)

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