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Philosophical Thought

Apology of ineffective subject: In the footsteps of M. Foucault
Gashkov Sergei Aleksandrovich

PhD in Philosophy

Docent, the department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, Baltic State Technical University named after D.F.Ustinov (“Voenmeh”)

196105, Russia, Leningradskaya oblast', g. Saint Petersburg, ul. Sevast'yanova, 4

Другие публикации этого автора

Rubtсova Mariya Vladimirovna

Doctor of Sociology

Professor, the department of Sociology of Strategy, Saint Petersburg State University

191119, Russia, Leningradskaya oblast', g. Saint Petersburg, ul. Pravdy, 13



This article is dedicated to fundamentals of the social criticism of the prominent French philosopher Michel Foucault(1924-1986). The author begins with the “duality” of non-European subject, which on one hand, manifests as the carrier of the “relation to truth” appearing in “techniques” and “technologies” of itself; while on the other hand, represents a subject of spiritual self-analysis and “care of itself”. The author believes that such duality justifies the evolution of Foucauldian interpretation of power: from disciplinary concept of power, Foucault shifts towards the concept of “biopower”, outlining the field of the future social criticism. But does the subject, in Foucault’s opinion, becomes “ineffective” as a subject of social action? This work carries mostly a historical-philosophical character, leaning on the comparison of Foucault’s texts of various periods, as well as some of his successors (Laval, Budet, Balibar), and scholars (Bourdain, Metzger, Pizzorno). The author also touches upon the questions of history and theory of sociology. The scientific novelty consists in the attempt of rationalize Foucault’s philosophical thought in a particular context of scientific paradox that introduces a complex dialectical and critical social theory, never created by the author. The subject contains not only the “technology of truth”, but also “spirituality”; the power – not only “disciplinarity”, but also “governmentality”. It is concluded that, according to Foucault, the ineffectiveness of social action at the present day functionally depends on the potential intellectual criticism of the fundamentals of modernity. Refraining from the social action, the “ineffective subject” commits the process of critical conceptualization.

Keywords: contemporaneity, inefficiency, biopower, subject, gouvernementality, neoliberalism, Foucault, neomarxism, management, cognition



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