By Michel Foucault
The Hermeneutics of the Subject is the 3rd quantity within the number of Michel Foucault's lectures on the Collège de France, the place college provide public lectures on any subject in their making a choice on. Attended through millions, Foucault's lectures have been seminal occasions on this planet of French letters, and his principles expressed there stay benchmarks of up to date severe inquiry.
Foucault's wide-ranging lectures at this college, introduced in the course of the Seventies and early Nineteen Eighties, truly stimulated his groundbreaking books, specially The background of Sexuality and Discipline and Punish. within the lectures comprising this quantity, Foucault specializes in how the "self" and the "care of the self" have been conceived in the course of the interval of antiquity, starting with Socrates. the issues of the moral formation of the self, Foucault argues, shape the historical past for our personal questions on subjectivity and stay on the heart of latest ethical thought.
This sequence of lectures maintains to throw new gentle on Foucault's ultimate works, and exhibits the entire intensity of his engagement with historic inspiration. Lucid and provocative, The Hermeneutics of the Subject finds Foucault on the top of his powers.
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Additional info for The Hermeneutics of the Subject: Lectures at the Collège de France 1981-1982
Spirituality postulates that the truth is never given to the subject by right. Spirituality postulates that the subject as such does not have right of access to the truth and is not capable of having access to the truth. It postulates that the truth is not given to the subject by a simple act of knowledge (connaissance), which would be founded and justified simply by the fact that he is the subject and because he possesses this or that structure of subjectivity. It postulates that for the subject to have right of access to the truth he must be changed, transformed, shifted, and become, to some extent and up to a certain point, other than himself.
Othi seauton originally did not have the value it later acquired. 9 In fact it undoubtedly was inscribed in this place, which was a center of Greek life, and later of the human community,10 but it certainly did not mean "know yourself" in the philosophical sense of the phrase. The phrase did not prescribe self-knowledge, neither as the basis of morality, nor as part of a rela tionship with the gods. A number of interpretations have been sug gested. There is Roscher's old interpretation, put forward in 1901 in an artide in Philologus,11 in which he recalled that the Delphic precepts were after all addressed to those who came to consult the god and should be read as kinds of ritual rules and recommendations connected with the act of consultation itself.
Othi seautou have this privileged status for us, to the detriment of the care of oneself? Okay, what I will sketch out here are of course hypotheses with many question marks and ellipses. an say that there is dearly something a bit disturbing for us in this principle of the care of the self. Indeed, going through the texts, the different forms of philosophy and the different forms of exercises and philosophical or spiri tual practices, we see the principle of care of the self expressed in a variety of phrases like: "caring for onesdf," "taking care of the self," "withdrawing into onesdf," "retiring into the self," "finding one's pleasure in oneself," "seeking no other delight but in the self," "remaining in the company of onesdf," "being the friend of oneself," "being in one's self as in a fortress," "looking after" or "devoting onesdf to oneself," "respecting oneself," etc.