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The practice of “critique” in the thought of Michel Foucault: historical, political and ethical dimensions

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 252012

Status

Closed project

  • Start date

    1 September 2010

  • End date

    31 August 2011

Funded under:

FP7-PEOPLE

  • Overall budget:

    € 83 770,40

  • EU contribution

    € 83 770,40

Coordinated by:

THE UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK

United Kingdom

Objective

Over the last few years of his research, Michel Foucault developed a new definition of “critique”. In his opinion, the current task of philosophical research is to take a specific “critical attitude”. It must consist of a lucid questioning of the present and the deliberate undertaking, on the part of the philosopher, to accomplish a task in the current time. Thus, Foucault makes consistent theoretical sense of all of his earlier historical inquiries and of his genealogical and archaeological method. These had, in fact, shed light on the historical conditions for the emergence of the current configurations of knowledge and power and the modes of subjectivation. From this point of view, then, they constitute a questioning of our present. From this questioning derives the task that the philosopher must undertake: after throwing light on our historical limits, he must show the possibility of going beyond them. He must indicate those points whereby a change of the current configurations of knowledge, power, and the modes of subjectivation, becomes possible. My purpose is to explore Foucault’s idea of “critique” and to throw light on the relations that it has with Foucault’s method (archaeological and genealogical) and theoretical goals (“a critical ontology of ourselves”). What I shall try to do is to look at the three major series of elements that Foucault channels into his definition of critique (elements of the ancient world, interpretation of Kant’s writings and elements of aesthetics and literature). After looking at the way Foucault builds this concept, it will be necessary to understand how Foucault relates it with the knowledge and power systems and the modes of subjectivation that he describes. Finally, we will have to verify whether this method could still be effective nowadays, in our contemporary world.

Coordinator

THE UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK

Address

Kirby Corner Road - University House
Cv4 8uw Coventry

United Kingdom

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 83 770,40

Administrative Contact

Peter Hedges (Dr.)

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 252012

Status

Closed project

  • Start date

    1 September 2010

  • End date

    31 August 2011

Funded under:

FP7-PEOPLE

  • Overall budget:

    € 83 770,40

  • EU contribution

    € 83 770,40

Coordinated by:

THE UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK

United Kingdom