Beyond resistance: A response to Zizek's critique of Foucault's subject of freedom

Armstrong, Aurelia (2008) Beyond resistance: A response to Zizek's critique of Foucault's subject of freedom. Parrhesia: A journal of critical philosophy, 2008 5: 19-31.

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Author Armstrong, Aurelia
Title Beyond resistance: A response to Zizek's critique of Foucault's subject of freedom
Formatted title
Beyond resistance: A response to Žižek’s critique of Foucault’s subject of freedom
Journal name Parrhesia: A journal of critical philosophy
ISSN 1834-3287
Publication date 2008
Sub-type Article (original research)
Volume 2008
Issue 5
Start page 19
End page 31
Total pages 13
Place of publication Parkville, VIC, Australia
Publisher Parrhesia
Collection year 2009
Language eng
Subject C1
970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
2203 Philosophy
Formatted abstract
In a brief introduction to his lively discussion of Judith Butler’s work in The Ticklish Subject, Slavoj Žižek outlines the paradoxes which he believes haunt Michel Foucault’s treatment of the relationship between resistance and power. Taking into account the trajectory of Foucault’s thought from his early studies of madness to his final books on ethics, Žižek suggests that Foucault employs two models of resistance which are not finally reconcilable.

While I appreciate the constructive spirit in which Žižek conducts his critique, I will argue that his analyses of the weaknesses of the Foucauldian position, while illuminating, are misguided. In the following section I outline the grounds for Foucault’s preference for an “agonistic” over a “dialectical” model of the relation between resistance and power and, in the final section, I consider the issue of how Foucault navigates between the extremes of social determinism and self-constitution in his account of subject formation.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2009 Higher Education Research Data Collection
ERA 2012 Admin Only
School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry
 
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Created: Fri, 17 Apr 2009, 13:21:27 EST by Mr William Gatherer on behalf of School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry