By Cynthia R. Nielsen
Nielsen bargains a discussion with Foucault, Frederick Douglass, Frantz Fanon and the Augustinian-Franciscan culture, investigating the relation among social development and freedom and featuring an traditionally pleasant, ethically delicate, and religico-philosophical version for individual and life in a shared pluralistic global.
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Extra resources for Foucault, Douglass, Fanon, and Scotus in Dialogue: On Social Construction and Freedom
That is, he suggests that the best way to begin to grasp what he has in mind with power relations of the productive and not merely repressive sort is to analyze various resistance tactics occurring in particular localized historical contexts. As we shall see, to Foucault’s mind, power relations and resistance are essentially linked. In fact, they are correlative concepts. ” According to Foucault’s reading of this essay, Kant’s concern was not to define the nature of Aufklärung, but rather to ask, “What are we?
Through our archaeologico-genealogical investigations, we can begin to see how various cultural and political Foucault and Subjectivities ● 33 narratives and alleged “natural” ways of being are not somehow necessary or ineluctable but rather are contingent, historically specific, and hence open to transformation. Not only is it the case that our individual subjectivities are contingently constructed, but, as one would expect, the particular power relations that make up a society at a given time in history are likewise contingent, dynamic, and amenable to change.
In fact, in the passage given earlier, 60 Foucault is not unreasonably interpreted as leaving the door open for the possibility of a volitional capacity unique to human beings—a capacity that allows him or her to resist impinging forces, drives, and desires from within and without. One need not adopt a crass, mechanistic faculty psychology to embrace the position or trajectory for which I am arguing. Consider, for example, the fact that many natural objects, by virtue of their properties, have capacities to act in specific ways rather than others.