Foucault, Douglass, Fanon, and Scotus in Dialogue: On Social by Cynthia R. Nielsen

By Cynthia R. Nielsen

Nielsen bargains a discussion with Foucault, Frederick Douglass, Frantz Fanon and the Augustinian-Franciscan culture, investigating the relation among social development and freedom and providing an traditionally pleasant, ethically delicate, and religico-philosophical version for individual and lifestyles in a shared pluralistic international.

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Additional info for Foucault, Douglass, Fanon, and Scotus in Dialogue: On Social Construction and Freedom

Sample text

To use another metaphor, it consists of using this resistance as a chemical catalyst so as to bring to light power relations, locate their position, and find out their point of application and the methods used. 31 In this passage, Foucault drives home the interrelation of power and resistance. That is, he suggests that the best way to begin to grasp what he has in mind with power relations of the productive and not merely repressive sort is to analyze various resistance tactics occurring in particular localized historical contexts.

At this point, I want to make explicit what I left implicit in the discussion of the differences between relations of violence and power relations. More specifically, I want to focus on the role freedom plays in Foucault’s understanding of power relations and the exercise of power. When Foucault speaks of “governing” individuals and societies, he appeals to the broad sense of the term. 52 Power relations, as we noted earlier, involve ways of acting upon the actions of others. The act of governing in Foucault’s sense is closely tied to relations of power; in fact, the two are inseparable.

In other words, since “power is, for Foucault, coterminous with social change,”47 power and resistance are correlative. ”49 Anticipating what has come to be a common criticism of his position— namely, that his notion of productive power relations is at the end of the day still a mere reactionary response to a hegemonic “other”—Foucault Foucault and Subjectivities ● 29 stresses the co-originary, correlative relational structure of power and resistance. ”51 Because power relations and resistance possibilities (both of which presuppose free subjects) coimplicate one another, the conditions for the possibility of genuine transformation, and thus the emergence of new social realities, are ever present so long as power relations do not morph into rigidified relations of violence.

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