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Title: Foucault's concepts of critique
Author: Rahmani, Behrad
ISNI:       0000 0004 6061 8291
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2015
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What is the relation between Foucault's work and critique? Foucault made his debt to the critical tradition clear on different occasions, either by attempting to define critique in the light of his archaeo-genealogical studies (1990: 154-155) or through explicit statements like "we are all Neo-Kantians" (2001: 546). Thus, it is not surprising that a considerable number of books and articles have been dedicated to the study of the relation between Foucault's oeuvre and the notion of critique. These studies, although varying in their scope and emphases, tend to adopt two major interpretative strategies. The first attempts to give a coherent reading of Foucault's work by making it a project that was organized around the central theme of the critique from the beginning. Beatrice Han's Foucault's Critical Project: Between the Transcendental and the Historical (2002) is one of the best examples of such an attempt. The second strategy, instead of doing a chronological study of the development of the notion of critique in Foucault's oeuvre, takes its starting point to be one of his, more often than not, later notions in order to present a 'Foucauldian critique', in the light of which the rest of his work needs to be re-interpreted. Colin Koopman, for example, in Genealogy as Critique: Foucault and the Problems of Modernity (2013), argues that Foucault's approach to critique consists in "the historical problematization of the present", on the basis of which it is possible to distinguish between "critical methods" (e.g., genealogy and archaeology) and "critical concepts" (e.g., discipline and Biopower) in his oeuvre. This thesis presents a chronological study of Foucault's oeuvre in order to reveal the existence of the multiplicity of concepts of critique, in which the relation between its variables is shifting perpetually. These variables, taking inspiration from Deleuze (1991; 2006), are: Articulation, Visibility and Subject. However, instead of identifying each of them with a specific phase of Foucault's 'critical project', I will argue that all of them have always been present but the relation between them goes through significant changes and thus gives rise to those phases. This thesis is a detailed analysis of the schemata of Foucauldian critique in order to demonstrate that instead of a singular notion, his oeuvre provides us with a plural concept of critique.
Supervisor: MacKenzie, Iain Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available