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Foucault for Dummies

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This is going to sound really stupid but can someone explain Foucault? I need the link, implication, and alternative ; ;. Also, I know there are a ton of foucaultian terms (biopower, penopticon, etc). Can someone define those? Also- which book(s) are most of the cards going to come from? Hope not to be too much of a hinderence ~_~;

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this is the small extent of knowledge i have on this subject, it might be a bit simplistic, but this is how I understand it. There's this thing called Biopower, this is a fancy word that kritik debaters use for control. You express biopower whenever you are racist, sexist and etc. And biopower leads to these things as well. most of the links I've heard have been somewhere along the lines of: you operate in the current governmental biopolitical system. If you want a file on this I can give it to you if you ever find me on AIM @ mikelsuxs.

hope this helped and was more than 80% accurate.

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either you are wasting your time trying to be humorous, or the little "knowledge" you have about foucault should be described as nothing.

 

Since when did nothing become a synonym for incorrect?

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Since when did nothing become a synonym for incorrect?

i just got ripped on and i dont care that was funny in its sardonicness, sorry if i said anything incorect, i was just trying to help.

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From http://www.cross-x.com/vb/showthread.php?t=33567&highlight=foucault+biopower

 

 

Michel Foucault (1926-1984) is one of France’s most famous and influential thinkers.

 

the usual Foucault kritik as ran in HS

Foucault tries to trace (do a genealogy) of different power formations, different power relations.

In doing so, he notices that there have really been two different types of societies, sovereign societies and disciplinary societies. Sovereign societies had the power to kill you. That is to say, if you disobeyed the sovereign law, the sovereign (or her/his agents) killed you. The sovereign also had the right to take anything s/he wanted to (everyone was the subject of the sovereign). So if you were an apple farmer, I could take a third of your apples.

But, all of this changes.

We have the rise of disciplinary societies. In these societies you no longer have the power of death, but rather the power of life, you no longer steal the end of what someone produces, you control the mode of production itself. All of this is to say, that Sovereign societies killed you, but mostly left you alone. Disciplinary societies shaped your life, told you how to live, and what you should do. The main way disciplinary societies do this is through panopticon logic. The Panopticon was a prison design, but Foucault sees this idea as being the basic function of all disciplinary societies. The Panopticon was a central watchtower placed in the middle of the prison, with one-way mirrors put up. The idea is that the prisoners never know if they are being watched, or if they are not being watched, so they have to assume they are always being watched. This constant observation, causes a person to internalize the actions that a disciplinary society wants a person to perform.

Now, this power that arranges life is sometimes called disciplinary power, but is most often called biopower (get it? bio=life, LifePower). Now, biopower is what caused the rise of nuclear weapons, and it is what caused genocide, and world wars. Let me explain the nuclear weapons, at least. Why do we have nuclear weapons? Or at least, what is the logic given to us that we have nuclear weapons? SO that we can use them? No. We are told/we believe we have nuclear weapons so that other people won't use their nuclear weapons against us (Deterrence). WHy is this possible? Because we now have weapons that have the potential to wipe out all life as we know it, but the reason we keep them is supposedly to protect life. wars and genocides etc are all founded on the logic of protecting us, of protecting people.

So the typical HS Foucault Kritik gets up their, and makes the argument that your case links to biopower (which is almost always will if you do anything). Then they will argue that biopower legitimizes nuclear weapons and will kill us all. Then they offer whatever their alternative is (of which there are a plethora of alternatives).

The problem, in my mind, is that foucault did not see all types of biopower as bad. He saw all types of biopower as dangerous. I have never seen a neg clearly articulate a link story of why the affs type of biopower is bad. I think there is an obvious internal link missing.

 

Want to start reading Foucault?

I suggest beginning with his History of Sexuality vol. I Particularly the last chapter provides the easiest to understand account of his notion of biopower.

Discipline and Punish is still his best book, and a must read.

Also, I highly suggest reading all three volumes of the Essential Works of Michel Foucault.

 

 

I highly suggest using searches.

 

And you aren't planning on running this without reading the lit, right?

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lmao of course I am not planning on running it without reading his literature first. I'm not THAT big of an idiot, but I needed a basic idea of what to expect and to be looking for before i jumped into the world of foucault.

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thescu, thank you so much that was insanely helpful. i've heard biopower so many different ways from people who weren't sure what it was. you've convinced me to start reading a lot of his lit.

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what would be a good foucault book to read next year, i have read discipline and punish and the history of sexuality volume 1

thanx

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yeah dude, thescu is great. For those that have read foucault's material, is it really tough reading or is it actually understandable without the constant consultation of dictionary?

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discipline and punish was hella boring (not very lively, i felt like i was reading my history textbook, which is important when reading foucault. Perhaps the one thing that i like about his philosophy is that very little is abstract) Still discipline and punish is a good book in terms of information and understanding

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A good starter (emphasis starter...this should NOT be the extent of Foucault you read as it barely touches the surfaces) is Rabinow's "Foucault Reader."

 

It will give you a good taste of Foucault throughout his career, and point you in the right direction as to things to read later.

 

Oh. And it's "Panopticon" not "Penopticon." Foucault's analysis of it in Discipline and Punish is fascinating--as is his commentary on time.

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discipline and punish was hella boring (not very lively, i felt like i was reading my history textbook, which is important when reading foucault. Perhaps the one thing that i like about his philosophy is that very little is abstract) Still discipline and punish is a good book in terms of information and understanding

I could not disagree more. Discipline and punish was a masterpiece. It was terrific.

For next year, I would suggest reading the order of things. its not really applicable, but the more fuko you read, the better you understand the overall idea and the better you are at explaining it.

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Does anyone know if The Essential Foucault by Foucault and Rabinow is worth reading/helpful material before you actually start Foucault? I've got The Foucault Reader by Rabinow and was wondering if, after The Reader, I should try and read The Essential Foucault or just move on to some of Foucault's books. Also, I'm planning on running this K next year (if i like the material). What books are most specific to the resolution and which ones should be read in order to understand the overall material?

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Does anyone know if The Essential Foucault by Foucault and Rabinow is worth reading/helpful material before you actually start Foucault? I've got The Foucault Reader by Rabinow and was wondering if, after The Reader, I should try and read The Essential Foucault or just move on to some of Foucault's books. Also, I'm planning on running this K next year (if i like the material). What books are most specific to the resolution and which ones should be read in order to understand the overall material?

Overall, History of Sexuality V.1 and Discipline and Punish.

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Eh, I only know what is on this thread, So I was wondering...If I were thinking of running a Foucault Kritik on the Civil Liberties Topic, what Books should I read and in what order?

 

Thanks in Advance

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