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Genealogy 2017, 1(1), 2; doi:10.3390/genealogy1010002

The End of a Line: Care of the Self in Modern Political Thought

Department of Government and International Relations, and Department of Philosophy, The University of Sydney, Camperdown NSW 2006, Australia
Academic Editor: Philip Kretsedemas
Received: 31 October 2016 / Revised: 6 December 2016 / Accepted: 6 December 2016 / Published: 13 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue What is Genealogy?)
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Abstract

This article examines the reasons why Foucault thought that morality based on the care of the self died out in the modern age. I pay special attention to his contention that modern political thought was a key player in bringing about this demise. The essay consists of two parts. In Part One, I overview Foucault’s conception of the care of the self and situate it within his later work on ancient philosophy and culture. In Part Two, I turn to his remarks on the incompatibility between the ancient tradition of the care of the self and an ascendant modern political philosophy based on the notions of rights and the juridical subject. To conclude, I suggest that while Foucault may have overstated this compatibility he opened the door to consider how the care of the self could be taken up in the context of modern and contemporary political theory. View Full-Text
Keywords: Foucault; care of the self; political theory; rights; human rights Foucault; care of the self; political theory; rights; human rights
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Lefebvre, A. The End of a Line: Care of the Self in Modern Political Thought. Genealogy 2017, 1, 2.

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