Philosophy as a way of life

Jules Evans in Moscow has some observations about Foucault’s comments on philosophy as a way of life:

As we were discussing last time, there is a movement in philosophy at the moment to go beyond postmodernism’s emphasis on semiotics and ethical relativism, to return to an idea of philosophy as the practice of the ‘Good Life’. One can see this shift take place in the thought of Michel Foucault, who was both the leading postmodernist philosopher, and arguably the most famous intellectual, in the world.

The formatting there is a bit funny, but he goes on to discuss Hadot’s problems with Foucault’s claims about Greece.

One Response

  1. It’s an interesting summary of Foucault’s thought, but begs the question somewhat with its introductory placing of his early work as “postmodern”.
    This is problematic because the main context of Foucault’s later work on techniques of the self is Kant’s relationship to his present. To simply say that we are living after a movement “post-” modernism/structuralism/Christianity/colonialism demonstrates a complete failure to engage with one’s historicity: the stories, moves, and strategies that have gone towards making us who we are and think what we think.
    This is why calling (the late) Foucault postmodern doesn’t really work.

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