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Title: Foucault, critique, and the emergence of a postmodern technology of the self
Author: Olena, Douglas
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2011
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This dissertation is, first, an examination of the coherence and consistency of Michel Foucault’s work with respect to its development and an examination of his ethos, a product of conscious self-construction. Second, this work is an exploration of ethical techniques. The goal of the dissertation is to discover an ethos that takes into account the best contemporary critical attitudes and techniques of ethical selfconstruction. The first chapter begins with a discussion of the development of Foucault’s archaeological method. Discussion of some problems with structuralism, his genealogical method, and finally his movement towards an ethical program follows. The method for the dissertation will be exploratory and critical. The second chapter develops a line of thinking about the development of freedom in Kant and Foucault. Power relations are a persistent context in which selfconstruction takes place. Resistance to power relations marks the beginning of freedom, which requires testing and moving beyond the limits of socially constructed selves. The Quakers display a model of structured resistance to enclosing authorities. John Woolman provides an example of ethical self-construction. The third chapter explores Foucault’s ethical project by examining ancient Greco-Roman and Christian technologies of the self, and relates those projects to ethical self-construction through writing. This exploration shows continuity in the product of writing from Ancient through modern writers. The fourth chapter develops a postmodern ethos through an examination of weak ontology. James Rachels’ ethical programme is a model for a postmodern technology of the self. The resulting technique offered provides a vulnerability to facticity while retaining the best ethical principles and critical reasoning. This is illustrated in Miroslav Volf’s The End of Memory. Foucault’s ethos is a clear precursor to modern technologies of the self that take the exploration of knowledge with humility into account.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: B Philosophy (General)