Between Bodies and Pleasures: A Territory Without a Domain

Laura Hengehold


Foucault’s debt to Kant is usually examined with respect to his ethos of critique. In fact, Kant’s writings on aesthetic judgment, teleological judgment, and anthropology constitute an important, if implicit, object of Foucault’s genealogical efforts to free Western culture from a scientia sexualis that oppresses sexual minorities. Comparing Foucault’s use of Kant to the use made by psychoanalytic theorists of sexual difference, this paper argues that the concept of non-teleological pleasure found in Kant’s critique of aesthetic judgment may provide grounds for queer thinkers to resist and reconfigure associations between death, knowledge, and sexuality as a function of organisms—associations inherited from the post-Kantian philosophical anthropology and biological medicine of the nineteenth century.

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Copyright (c) 2013 Laura Hengehold

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