STP notes posted (chapter 1)

Foucault’s Minions:

First, some definitions

  1. Bio-power: a “set of mechanisms” of power that focus upon the “biological feature of the human species”. Bio-power is concerned with species, with a mass, opposed to disciplinary power which is concerned with humans as individuals (1). The term is probably familiar, especially after our previous reading of “Society Must Be Defended”, lecture eleven.
  2. Power: “a set of procedures” (2) and processes that “are not ‘self-generating’ or ‘self subsistent'”. Power is a product and part of relationships (a cause and effect?). Power within one discourse or relation shares similar structures and characteristics to power within other discourses or relations (2).
  3. “politics of truth”: Foucault uses this intriguing phrase to define philosophy. In short, “the politics of truth” is Foucault’s enterprise, the term for his interrogation and “analysis of mechanisms of power”. Foucault suggests, “I see its role as that of showing the knowledge effects produced by the struggles, confrontations, and battles that take place within our society, and by the tactics of power that are the elements of this struggle” (3). Are the “politics of truth” an example of an epistemological analysis?



One Response

  1. The “politics of truth” defined here sound an awful like Althusser’s “philosophy is class warfare in thought” from his “Theory of theoretical practice” phase in the late sixties.

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