On the Government of the Living: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1979-1980 (Michel Foucault Lectures at the Collège de France #8) (Paperback)

On the Government of the Living: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1979-1980 (Michel Foucault Lectures at the Collège de France #8) By Michel Foucault, Arnold I. Davidson (Series edited by), Graham Burchell (Translated by), François Ewald (General editor), Alessandro Fontana (General editor), Michel Senellart (Editor), Alessandro Fontana (Foreword by), François Ewald (Foreword by) Cover Image

On the Government of the Living: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1979-1980 (Michel Foucault Lectures at the Collège de France #8) (Paperback)

By Michel Foucault, Arnold I. Davidson (Series edited by), Graham Burchell (Translated by), François Ewald (General editor), Alessandro Fontana (General editor), Michel Senellart (Editor), Alessandro Fontana (Foreword by), François Ewald (Foreword by)

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In these lectures delivered in 1980, Michel Foucault gives an important new inflection to his history of “regimes of truth.” Following on from the themes of knowledge-power and governmentality, he turns his attention here to the ethical domain of practices of techniques of the self. Why and how, he asks, does the exercise of power as government demand not only acts of obedience and submission, but “truth acts” in which individuals subject to relations of power are also required to be subjects in procedures of truth-telling? How and why are subjects required not just to tell the truth, but to tell the truth about themselves? These questions lead to a re-reading of Sophocles’ Oedipus the King and, through an examination of the texts of Tertullian, Cassian, and others, to an analysis of the ‘truth acts’ in early Christian practices of baptism, penance, and spiritual direction in which believers are called upon to manifest the truth of themselves as subjects always danger of falling into sin. In the public expression of the subject’s condition as a sinner, in the rituals of repentance and penance, and in the detailed verbalization of thoughts in the examination of conscience, we see the organization of a pastoral system focused upon confession.

Michel Foucault (1926-1984) was acknowledged as the preeminent philosopher of France in the 1970s and 1980s, and continues to have enormous impact throughout the world in many disciplines.

His books include The Government of Self and Others, The Courage of Truth, The Birth of Biopolitics, and The Punitive Society.



Arnold I. Davidson (Editor) is the Robert O. Anderson Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago, and Professor of the History of Political Philosophy at the University of Pisa. He is co-editor of the volume Michel Foucault: Philosophie. He lives in Chicago.



Graham Burchell (Translator) is the translator, and has written essays on Michel Foucault. He is an Editor of The Foucault Effect.



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Product Details ISBN: 9781250081612
ISBN-10: 1250081610
Publisher: Picador
Publication Date: March 8th, 2016
Pages: 384
Language: English
Series: Michel Foucault Lectures at the Collège de France

“Foucault has an alert and sensitive mind that can ignore the familiar surfaces of established intellectual codes and ask new questions. . . . He gives dramatic quality to the movement of culture.”—The New York Review of Books

“Foucault is quite central to our sense of where we are. . . . [His work carries] out, in the noblest way, the promiscuous aim of true culture.”—The Nation