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Becoming Otherwise: Piecing Together Foucault's Ethical Project

Zivanaris, Michalis (2015) Becoming Otherwise: Piecing Together Foucault's Ethical Project. Master of Law by Research (LLMRes) thesis, University of Kent,. (KAR id:49179)

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Towards the end of his life, Michel Foucault turns his attention to antiquity where he locates an additional process by which the subject is constituted. Technologies of the self comprise an important contribution to the study of subjectivity, however Foucault employs these findings to set out towards a new direction, challenging the way we think about morality. Against a singular truth and a singular way of life as promulgated by western moral theories, Foucault understands his work as a toolbox capable of assisting in the exploration of multiple styles of living. Nevertheless, references to this new direction are not only scattered but also incomplete. Drawing upon his most recent understanding of subjectivity and the latest reformulation of his work, the dissertation attempts to piece together Foucault’s ethical project. In doing so, the dissertation will address two major limitations arising from Foucault’s ethical endeavour. As his ethical project draws upon technologies of the self, it has been misinterpreted as an aesthetic turn while his ethical findings have also been challenged as conceptually erroneous. However, the study indicates that Foucault’s ethical project comprises of two components: enhancing de-subjectification and the intensification of processes of subjectivation. By pulling together various elements of Foucault’s work, the dissertation indicates how he perceived the study of subjectivity as a counter-effect to processes of subjectification but also to the promotion of a singular way of life. Moreover, a study in Stoicism shows that Foucault was not wrong in identifying the care of the self in antiquity but most importantly, that his focus on the self is not an aesthetic turn but a call for transformation. The dissertation therefore proposes a reading of Foucault’s ethical project not as aesthetic but as relational and transversal.

Item Type: Thesis (Master of Law by Research (LLMRes))
Thesis advisor: Drakopoulou, Maria
Uncontrolled keywords: Ethics Foucault Stoics Stoicism
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > Kent Law School
Depositing User: Users 1 not found.
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2015 17:00 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 13:25 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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