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Foucault's Critical Ethics$
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Richard A. Lynch

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780823271252

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823271252.001.0001

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To Struggle with Hope

To Struggle with Hope

(p.197) Conclusion To Struggle with Hope
Foucault's Critical Ethics

Richard A. Lynch

Fordham University Press

This conclusion reflects on the theme of hope that runs throughout Michel Foucault’s work, including Discipline and Punish. It first considers the statement “we must hear the distant roar of battle” in the closing lines of Discipline and Punish, arguing that it is a harbinger of hope: this bleak portrait is not intended to induce despair but to rally the forces, for a battle approaches—a battle that might inaugurate new modes of relating to others and to ourselves. It then comments on the attitude that the theologian Paul Tillich calls on us to adopt with respect to utopias, suggesting that it is similar to the attitude of critique that Foucault invites us to fashion within ourselves. It also examines the “circle of struggle and truth” that constitutes “philosophical practice,” which Foucault later defined as keeping “watch over the excessive powers of political rationality” and as “the critical work that thought brings to bear on itself” at the heart of his ethics.

Keywords:   hope, Michel Foucault, discipline, despair, Paul Tillich, utopias, punish, philosophical practice, power, ethics

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