Re: ethics and poststructuralism

>This is in response to the question of whether Foucault's late interest in
> self-creation represents a remnant of liberalism in his thought

One of the things that needs more attention I think -- and which I am
surprised it has not -- is why Foucault calls the later phase or axis of his
philosophy "ethical." The ethical axis is really the subject and its
relation to itself in self-mastery and self-transformation. This is not an
identity to be found or liberated as in liberalism, but an identity very
much in process and overcoming. Thus the late ethical phase seems to be
more Nietzschean than liberal.

I have always found his choice of "ethical" curious to describe Foucault's
late philosophy. Two traditional dimensions of what we consider ethics,
transcendental imperatives and other people, are missing to varying degrees.
Was the man who once pronounced the "death of man" and anthropology too
proud to come back to any self referents?

While I realize that with Foucault we are always in Charlotte's Web, and
thus we the Other may be implicated. It does seem to me strange to equate a
Nietzschean self-overcoming (perhaps watered down) with ethics.


Partial thread listing: