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Foucault, Ethics And Enlightenment

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Chapter Summary

Foucault's oeuvre is one of the most complex and contested in contemporary political philosophy. However, as both his basic post-foundationalism and his ethics depend for their intelligibility upon certain other aspects of his writings, this chapter begins with a brief overview of his novel conceptualisations of certain key terms in political theory: in particular, the author looks at his understanding of the notion of power, and the related ideas of freedom and domination. One of the main characteristics of Foucault's later work viewed by many as a radical shift in emphasis from his earlier contributions is his wish to move away from what he sees as the dominant discourses of power in modern political philosophy. The author draws out the main differences between Foucault and Sartre.

Keywords: domination; Foucault; freedom; notion of power; political philosophy; political theory; post-foundationalism; Sartre

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