Review by Todd May of Nealon’s recent book Foucault Beyond Foucault:
There is a witless, though common, interpretation of Michel Foucault circulating these days. It is an interpretation that seeks to declaw Foucault’s political radicalism and bring him into the liberal fold. On this interpretation, Foucault abandoned the analysis of power constructed during his genealogical period (false) because it had a totalizing character that left no room for resistance (false) in favor of a sort of individual self-construction that he found in the ancient Greeks (false). If Jeffrey Nealon had done no more than recall to us the vapidity of this interpretation, he would have performed a service. However, he has done much more than this. In his slim volume on Foucault, he has offered a fascinating interpretation of Foucault’s work, one that brings to light previous neglected elements of his thought. Although the stated motivation for Nealon’s discussion is to counter the current interpretation of Foucault’s ethical works, the result is one of the most interesting interpretations of Foucault to emerge in many years.
See more at Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
Filed under: Review |