Foucault was schooled in Poitiers during the years of German occupation. Foucault excelled at philosophy and, having from a young age declared his intention to pursue an academic career, persisted in defying his father, who wanted the young Paul-Michel to follow his forebears into the medical profession. Foucault primarily studied philosophy, but also obtained qualifications in psychology. Foucault also began to work as a laboratory researcher in psychology.
The Will to Knowledge[ edit ] Part I: We "Other Victorians"[ edit ] In Part One, Foucault discusses the "repressive hypothesis", the widespread belief among late 20th-century westerners that sexuality, and the open discussion of sex, was socially repressed during the late 17th, 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries, a by-product of the rise of capitalism and bourgeois society, before the partial liberation of sexuality in modern times.
Arguing that sexuality was never truly repressed, Foucault asks why modern westerners believe the hypothesis, noting that in portraying past sexuality as repressed, it provides a basis for the idea that in rejecting past moral systems, future sexuality can be free and uninhibited, a " We have not only witnessed a visible explosion of unorthodox sexualities; but — and this is the important point — a deployment quite different from the law, even if it is locally dependent on procedures of prohibition, has ensured, through a network of interconnecting mechanisms, the proliferation of specific pleasures and the multiplication of disparate sexualities.
A summary of Panopticism in Michel Foucault's Discipline and Punish. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Discipline and Punish and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. English – JC Clapp Questions for Thought and Discussion “Panopticism,” by Michel Foucault Directions: Use these study questions to . Study Guide for The History of Sexuality, Vol. 1. The History of Sexuality, Vol. 1 study guide contains a biography of Michel Foucault, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
He argues that this desire to talk so enthusiastically about sex in the western world stems from the Counter-Reformationwhen the Roman Catholic Church called for its followers to confess their sinful desires as well as their actions. As evidence for the obsession of talking about sex, he highlights the publication of the book My Secret Lifeanonymously written in the late 19th century and detailing the sex life of a Victorian gentleman.
Indeed, Foucault states that at the start of the 18th century, there was an emergence of " He notes that in that century, governments became increasingly aware that they were not merely having to manage "subjects" or "a people" but a " population ", and that as such they had to concern themselves with such issues as birth and death rates, marriage, and contraception, thereby increasing their interest and changing their discourse on sexuality.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, he argues, society ceases discussing the sex lives of married couples, instead taking an increasing interest in sexualities that did not fit within this union; the "world of perversion" that includes the sexuality of children, the mentally ill, the criminal and the homosexual.
He notes that this had three major effects on society. Firstly, there was increasing categorization of these "perverts"; where previously a man who engaged in same-sex activities would be labeled as an individual who succumbed to the sin of sodomynow they would be categorised into a new "species," that of homosexual.
Secondly, Foucault argues that the labeling of perverts conveyed a sense of "pleasure and power" on to both those studying sexuality and the perverts themselves. Thirdly, he argues that bourgeoisie society exhibited "blatant and fragmented perversion," readily engaging in perversity but regulating where it could take place.
Scientia Sexualis[ edit ] In part three, Foucault explores the development of the scientific study of sex, the attempt to unearth the "truth" of sex, a phenomenon which Foucault argues is peculiar to the West.
In contrast to the West's sexual science, Foucault introduces the ars erotica, which he states has only existed in Ancient and Eastern societies. Furthermore, he argues that this scientia sexualis has repeatedly been used for political purposes, being utilized in the name of "public hygiene" to support state racism.
Returning to the influence of the Catholic confession, he looks at the relationship between the confessor and the authoritarian figure that he confesses to, arguing that as Roman Catholicism was eclipsed in much of Western and Northern Europe following the Reformationthe concept of confession survived and became more widespread, entering into the relationship between parent and child, patient and psychiatrist and student and educator.
By the 19th century, he maintains, the "truth" of sexuality was being readily explored both through confession and scientific enquiry.
Foucault proceeds to examine how the confession of sexuality then comes to be "constituted in scientific terms," arguing that scientists begin to trace the cause of all aspects of human psychology and society to sexual factors.
The Deployment of Sexuality[ edit ] In part four, Foucault explores the question as to why western society wishes to seek for the "truth" of sex. Foucault argues that we need to develop an "analytics" of power through which to understand sex.
Highlighting that power controls sex by laying down rules for it to follow, he discusses how power demands obedience through domination, submission, and subjugation, and also how power masks its true intentions by disguising itself as beneficial. As an example, he highlights the manner in which the feudal absolute monarchies of historical Europe, themselves a form of power, disguised their intentions by claiming that they were necessary to maintain law, order, and peace.
As a leftover concept from the days of feudalismFoucault argues that westerners still view power as emanating from law, but he rejects this, proclaiming that we must " Rather, power should be understood "as the multiplicity of force relations immanent in the sphere in which they operate.
Foucault criticizes Wilhelm Reichwriting that while an important "historico-political" critique of sexual repression formed around Reich, "the very possibility of its success was tied to the fact that it always unfolded within the deployment of sexuality, and not outside or against it.
Right of Death and Power over Life[ edit ] In part five, Foucault asserts that the motivations for power over life and death have changed. As in feudal times the "right to life" was more or less a " right to death " because sovereign powers were able to decide when a person died.
This has changed to a "right to live," as sovereign states are more concerned about the power of how people live. Power becomes about how to foster life.
For example, a state decides to execute someone as a safe guard to society not as justified, as it once was, as vengeful justice. This new emphasis on power over life is called Biopower and comes in two forms. First, Foucault says it is "centered on the body as a machine: The Use of Pleasure[ edit ] In this volume, Foucault discusses "the manner in which sexual activity was problematized by philosophers and doctors in classical Greek culture of the fourth century B.
Other authors whose work is discussed include GalenPlutarchand Pseudo-Lucian. Foucault describes the Oneirocritica as a "point of reference" for his work, one that exemplifies a common way of thinking.
The work was a further development of the account of the interaction of knowledge and power Foucault provided in Discipline and Punish Volume 2, The Flesh and the Body, would "concern the prehistory of our modern experience of sexuality, concentrating on the problematization of sex in early Christianity "; Volume 3, The Children's Crusade, would discuss "the sexuality of children, especially the problem of childhood masturbation "; Volume 4, Woman, Mother, Hysteric, would discuss "the specific ways in which sexuality had been invested in the female body"; Volume 5, Perverts, was "planned to investigate exactly what the title named"; and Volume 6, Population and Races, was to examine "the way in which treatises, both theoretical and practical, on the topics of population and race were linked to the history" of " biopolitics.
The latter volume deals considerably with the ancient technological development of the hypomnema which was used to establish a permanent relationship to oneself. Both were published inthe year of Foucault's death, the second volume being translated inand the third in In his lecture series from to Foucault extended his analysis of government to its " These themes of early Christian literature seemed to dominate Foucault's work, alongside his study of Greek and Roman literature, until the end of his life.
The planned fourth volume of The History of Sexuality was accordingly entitled Confessions of the Flesh Les aveux de la chairaddressing Christianity. However, Foucault's death left the work incomplete, and the publication was delayed due to the restrictions of Foucault's estate.
It was edited and finally published in February Foucault’s Pendulum Questions and Answers. The Question and Answer section for Foucault’s Pendulum is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
Ask Your Own Question. Study Guide for Foucault’s Pendulum. Michel Foucault (–) Michel Foucault was a major figure in two successive waves of 20th century French thought--the structuralist wave of the s and then the poststructuralist wave. By the premature end of his life, Foucault had some claim to be the most prominent living intellectual in France.
Michel Foucault: Political Thought. What can be generally agreed about Foucault is that he had a radically new approach to political questions, and that novel accounts of power and subjectivity were at its heart.
Critics dispute not so much the novelty of his views as their coherence. Some critics see Foucault as effectively belonging to. English at Chapman University in Orange, California is an introductory seminar on literary criticism and theory.
Among the authors covered are Cleanth Brooks, Ferdinand de Saussure, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Helene Cixous, Judith Butler, Simone de Beauvoir, Paul de Man, and Roland Barthes. Instructor is Alfred J. Drake, Ph.D. quotes from Michel Foucault: 'People know what they do; frequently they know why they do what they do; but what they don't know is what what they do does.', 'I don't feel that it is necessary to know exactly what I am.
The main interest in life and work is to become someone else that you were not in the beginning.', and 'Where there is power, . Michel Foucault Questions and Answers - Discover the attheheels.com community of teachers, mentors and students just like you that can answer any question you might have on Michel Foucault.