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The Government of LifeFoucault, Biopolitics, and Neoliberalism$
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Vanessa Lemm and Miguel Vatter

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823255962

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823255962.001.0001

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The Embodiment of Truth and the Politics of Community: Foucault and the Cynics

The Embodiment of Truth and the Politics of Community: Foucault and the Cynics

(p.208) Eleven The Embodiment of Truth and the Politics of Community: Foucault and the Cynics
The Government of Life

Vanessa Lemm

Fordham University Press

The chapter by Lemm analyzes Foucault’s return to the Socratic practice of philosophy by focusing on the most extreme of the Socratic schools, namely, the Cynics. Lemm reads into Foucault’s fascination with the Cynics the traces left in his thinking by Nietzsche’s problem of how much truth can be incorporated or embodied in a life. Cynic philosophy, for Lemm, presents itself as the most radical reduction of bios to zoe in order to unleash both the immunitary and the communitary resources of embodiment. According to Lemm, Foucault saw in the Cynic form of life an experiment to unite life (zoe) and philosophy so as to make possible a form of life (bios) that resists the very idea of a government of life.

Keywords:   Cynics, Nietzsche, Embodiment, Zoe, Philosophical Life, Community

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