Oedipus Rex and Foucault

Those of you who attended the reading group last week and those of you reading along with the lectures, this recent article on Foucault’s use of Oedipus Rex might be interesting.

Moreno Pestaña, J.L.
Oedipus Rex as a philosophical and political strategy
(2020) Sociological Review, 68 (5), pp. 1092-1107.

DOI: 10.1177/0038026119900117

Abstract
This article studies Michel Foucault’s interpretation of the tragedy Oedipus Rex. The analysis seeks to uncover the various intellectual strategies around his study. First, Foucault takes a position in the political debate about prisons in France in the early 1970s. Second, his analysis of the tragedy contributes to position his work in the field of the philosophical history of truth, by singularising his project and separating it from the dominant models of the history of philosophy. Third, Foucault aims to differentiate himself from the results of the historical work of the Paris School. This article analyses how Foucault depends on these interpretations and how it helps him to acquire philosophical relevance. Through the sociology of intellectual history’s perspective, the article elaborates the contributions and limits of Foucault’s perspective. © The Author(s) 2020.

Author Keywords
Michel Foucault; political philosophy; sociology of intellectuals; sociology of knowledge; sociology of philosophy

Theoretical puppets: P is for Power. Foucault (2019)

Foucault News

P is for Power (Michel Foucault) Theoretical puppets
Michel Foucault from A to Z. Foucault is working on his biceps. Watch the video to find out if this has something to do with his concept of power!

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Foucault on fake news, social media and algorithms – BBC Ideas (2018)

This is a really good short overview of Foucault’s work. Most of these kinds of animations are usually fairly dubious portrayals of his work but this one is a refreshing departure from the norm. In particular, I liked the author’s debunking of the monotonously repeated outrage at Foucault’s alleged relativism concerning the truth. This animation nicely brands this ‘critique’ as ‘fake news’.

Foucault News


Foucault on fake news, social media and algorithms – BBC Ideas

If he were still alive, what would philosopher Michel Foucault make of the world today? He’d be sounding the alarm, says Professor Angie Hobbs, Professor of Public Understanding of Philosophy at the University of Sheffield.
Made by The Moment, 9 August 2018

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Reading Foucault

There is a really interesting extract from the introduction to Thomas Lemke’s Foucault’s Analysis of Modern Governmentality: A Critique of Political Reason on the Verso publisher’s blog concerning the difficulties of reading and interpreting Foucault, and the very varied responses to his work. Lemke suggests that perhaps the most useful approach is not to resolve the difficulties of Foucault’s work and to find the one true interpretation in the face of so many critical misinterpretations, but to recognise that Foucault’s work generates problems for its readers and that this is precisely its value.