An outline of ethics on the work of Michel Foucault

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An outline of ethics on the work of Michel Foucault

The French philosopher Michel Foucault is well known for his critical thinking and for his genealogies of the human subject. In these analyzes power and knowledge (power-knowledge) plays a decisive role. For Foucault power-knowledge is the very foundation of the establishment of the norms and thus for normalization and subjectification. While Foucault’s project was to examine the foundation of the norms, he himself tried to avoid being explicitly normative. This stance has led to criticism among others from the Germen philosopher Jürgen Habermas (Kelly (edt.) 1994). Nevertheless, Foucault ended his academic career discussing ethics in the form of ethos (Foucault 1994). In this form his ethical project approaches an aesthetic project in the form of the individual’s self-creation.

In my presentation I will introduce Foucault’s concept of ethos and discuss the possibilities and limitations in this position. In addition, I will argue that his insistently critical stance and power-knowledge concept can be considered as an ethical stance different from both deontology and utilitarism. As such, it could have an important impact on the practice of education and the boundaries that are here drawn between ‘the normal’ and ‘the disabled’ student.

Foucault, Michel (1994). Ethics. Rabinow, Paul (edt.). London: Penguin Books.

Kelly, Michael (edt.) (1994). Critique and Power: recasting the Foucault/Habermas debate. Massachusettes Institute of Tecnology
Publikationsdato7 maj 2015
StatusUdgivet - 7 maj 2015
BegivenhedNNDR 13th Research Conference: (Nordic Network of Disbility Research) - Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Bergen, Norge
Varighed: 6 maj 20158 maj 2015
Konferencens nummer: 13


KonferenceNNDR 13th Research Conference
LokationRadisson Blu Royal Hotel

ID: 137323047