Freedom and Resistance to Power: Reconciling Foucault and Spinoza

EXORDIUM e-journal

By Julian Roney

For Michel Foucault power is omnipresent. It may be violent or dominating, but it is within the more subtle tactics that coerce and structure the growth of individuals where it is most pervasive. The necessary immanence of resistance to relationships of power hangs problematically over Discipline and Punish, however it is not until The Subject and Power and later works where Foucault explains its practicability.[1] This essay will address Foucault’s continual reworking of his genealogy of power and his account of resistance to governmental technologies of power. In evaluating resistance against historical criticisms I seek to provide clarification on the efficacy, coherence and consistency of it and argue that Foucault’s account of the ethics of the concern for the self does not suitably address governmentality in relation to the body. The final section of this essay is dedicated to reconciling this through a Spinozist intertextual understanding…

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