Anarcheology and the Emergence of the Alethurgic Subject in Foucault’s On the Government of the Living

  • Daniele Lorenzini Warwick University
Keywords: Avowal, Governmentality, History of Sexuality, Subjectivity, Truth

Abstract

On the Government of the Living plays a pivotal role in the evolution of Foucault’s thought because it constitutes a “laboratory” in which he forges the methodological and conceptual tools—such as the notions of anarcheology and alethurgy (or, better, what I call here the “alethurgic subject”)—necessary to carry on his study of governmentality independently from his History of Sexuality project. In this paper, I argue that Foucault’s projects of an anarcheology of the government of human beings through the manifestation of truth in the form of subjectivity and of a genealogy of the subject of desire, albeit essentially linked to one another, are conceptually autonomous. These projects are both part of a genealogy of the modern subject but should be treated independently insofar as it is the former, elaborated in On the Government of the Living, that provides us with the key to understanding Foucault’s interest in the care of the self and parrhesia as an integral part of his analyses of governmentality and the critical attitude from the late 1970s.

Author Biography

Daniele Lorenzini, Warwick University
Daniele Lorenzini Department of Philosophy University of Warwick Coventry CV4 7AL United Kingdom Daniele.Lorenzini@warwick.ac.uk

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Published
2020-12-16