Critical reproblemization

It was a matter of analyzing … the problemizations through which being offers itself to be, necessarily thought – and the practices on the basis of which these problemizations are formed.

Michel Foucault, The Use of Pleasure1Michel Foucault is well known for having periodically redescribed his previous studies in light of his current project. [2] A case in point is the two introductions to The Order of Things. The 1970 ʻForward to the English Editionʼ frames the book as an analysis of discursive practices;3 yet the original 1966 ʻPrefaceʼ makes no mention of the rules of discourse, but foregrounds the study of ʻthe modes of being of things, and of the order that divided them up before presenting them to the understanding.ʼ [4] In the later introduction, Foucault was redescribing The Order of Things in terms of the theory of discourse set forth in his 1969 methodological tract The Archaeology of Knowledge. But this does not mean that this redescription is simply a distortion. [5] For even if this sort of account can readily mislead, it can also open paths for rethinking and amending the prior study so that it might complement and cohere with the new line of inquiry.

If we grant this, then there is an issue of how best to evaluate and make use of such redescriptions. The question is most pressing for those redescriptions from the early 1980s when Foucault offered thoughtful retrospective accounts of his work as a whole. He characterized his projects as forming three interrelated axes of the analysis of human being as a subject of reason and truth. [6] In 1983 he enriched this redescription by introducing the notion of problemization. [7] Foucault had been wondering whether ʻit would not be possible to consider the very historicity of forms of experienceʼ by ʻbring[ing] to light the domain where the formation, development, and transformation of forms of experience can situate themselves: that is, [in] a history of thought.ʼ [8] It appeared to him that ʻthere was one element that was capable of describing the history of thought: this was what one could call the element of problems or, more exactly, problemizations.ʼ [9] Foucault came to view all his work as having been concerned with problemization.

As the crux of Foucaultʼs final redescription, the notion of problemization can be grasped as a creative reworking of Heideggerʼs account of equipmental deficiency. Foucault was explicit in his last interviews that for him Heidegger was ʻan overwhelming influenceʼ, [10] ʻthe essential philosopherʼ who determined his ʻentire philosophical developmentʼ. [11] He operated with a more or less Heideggerian construal of the practical constitution of our modes of being. According to Foucault, subjectivity emerges only in the event of a problemization when thought comes to reflect upon and offer responses to tensions, difficulties and problems in a gathering of practices. Foucault seems to suggest that we cannot even think about our ways of existence until they have become problematized, much as Heidegger posits that Dasein becomes conscious of objects only in the advent of an equipmental breakdown. Philosophy for Foucault is a special engagement with problemizations: what he styled a critical history of thought oriented toward disclosing (and transgressing) the contingent limits of our modes of being. This article offers an account of Foucaultʼs conception of problemization; it concludes with a brief exercise in the redescription of the sexualité series as a critical reproblemization of the modern experience of sex.

Critical reproblemization Foucault and the task of modern philosophy

Michael schwartz

The practical foundation of subjectivities

Like many contemporary philosophers, Foucault rejected the Cartesian view of human being as an invariant subject that grounds the order of things: ʻI do indeed believe that there is no sovereign, founding subject, a universal subject to be found everywhere. I am very sceptical of this view of the subject and very hostile to it.ʼ [12] Nevertheless, the subject of modern thought was at the heart of Foucaultʼs enterprise. In the 1982 essay ʻThe Subject and Powerʼ, he explained that ʻthe goal of my work during the last twenty years … has been to create a history of the different modes by which, in our culture, human beings are made subjects. My work has dealt with three modes of objectification which transform human beings into subjects.ʼ [13] In contradistinction to deconstruction, Foucault explored the historicity of subjectivity. Because this endeavour was avowedly involved with the history of reason and truth, [14] the subject of Foucauldian history is a subject of knowledge.15 Now, Hegelʼs Phenomenology of Spirit is also a history of the knowing subject. But Foucault was explicitly opposed to any universal history of reason. [16] For Foucault, there is no metasubject of history that can encompass a progressive or regressive development of universal truth. The subject is not the ground, source or terminus of reason, but is itself founded upon contingent social practices. Rather than positing a singular Subject of History, Foucault investigated the historical practices that have been the condition for the emergence of diverse forms of subjectivity and rationality. In this regard, Foucault was an expressed pluralist. [17]

To be sure, Foucaultʼs early studies on The History of Madness (1961) and The Order of Things (1966) retained vestiges of an epochal subject. [18] But in The Archaeology of Knowledge (1969) he unequivocally asserted the dispersion of subjectivities, theorizing discourse neither as a system of signs nor as a logic of propositions, but as founded upon practices regulated by contingent rules. [19] The basic unit of any discourse is the statement; a statement posits not only discursive objects but also an enunciating subject:

The subject of the statement should not be regarded as identical with the author of the formulation – either in substance, or in function. He is not in fact the cause, origin, or starting-point of the phenomenon of the written or spoken articulation.… If a proposition, a sentence, a group of signs can be called ʻstatementʼ, it is not therefore because, one day, someone happened to speak them or put them into some concrete form of writing, it is because the position of the subject can be assigned. To describe a formulation qua statement does not consist in analyzing the relations between the author and what he says (or wanted to say, or said without wanting to); but in determining what position can and must be occupied by any individual if he is to be the subject of it. [20]

In this formulation there is a reversal in the traditional status of the knowing or intending subject. The subject is not the foundation of rationality and knowledge, but is dispersed as a variable position in discourse. What must be stressed is that Foucault here is bracketing all nondiscursive activities, all ʻlived experienceʼ, to see to what extent he can isolate discourse as a topic of inquiry. [21] ʻThe analysis of statements operates therefore without reference to a cogito. It does not pose the question of the speaking subject … [but instead] is situated at the level of the “it is said”.ʼ [22] Even as words like ʻsystemsʼ, ʻrulesʼ and ʻformationsʼ absorb and dissipate human agency, the terms of ʻpracticeʼ stand as a placeholder for the bracketed activities of the historical individuals who engage in discourse.

By the early 1980s, the quasi-structuralist orientation of the archaeology of knowledge had given way to the broader investigation of experience and its conditions:

The discourses of mental illness, delinquency, or sexuality say what the subject is only within a very particular truth game; but these games do not impose themselves on the subject from the outside in accord with necessary causal or structural determinations. Instead they open up a field of experience in which subject and object alike are constituted only under certain conditions, but in which they go on changing in relation to one another, and thus go on modifying this field of experience itself. [23]

More emphatically than with the archaeology of knowledge, practices are now said to ʻprovide the key to understanding a correlative constitution of the subject and objectʼ. [24] The rationality of a given truthgame, the reason inherent in the correlative constitution of subject and object, rests ʻupon a foundation of human practices and human facesʼ. Human practices in their non-anonymity and specificity are what found and constitute the fields of experience proper to the transformation of human being into a subject of knowledge. [25]

Foucaultʼs axiom of the practical formation of subjectivities has affinities with Heideggerʼs existential analytic of Dasein. Like Foucault, Heidegger did not accept phenomenologyʼs foundationalist conception of the knowing subject. In Being and Time, he propounded a radical critique of Husserlian intentionality. [26] Prior to and deeper than the directedness of theoretical consciousness towards its objects is Daseinʼs being-inthe-world. Dasein is not primordially a mind removed from an external reality but exists amidst people and things in the world. Existence is first and foremost nonconscious. One does not usually or primarily form a theory upon which one then acts, but rather is always already engaged in a delimited but creative understanding (Verstehen), a ʻknowing-howʼ to deal with the situation at hand (and this includes language practices). The destined ways of existence, the everyday practices of a people, reflexively define Daseinʼs selfhood;27 the ʻessenceʼ of Dasein is constituted and reconstituted in the course of existence. [28] Dasein is not a selfsame substance, not a ʻsubjectʼ, but embodies practices that found modalities of selfhood, including the self as a knowing subject.

Similarly for Foucault, the ʻknow-how and competenceʼ [29] embodied in practices can open up fields of experience where human being is constituted as a subject. This subject is not a substance but a mutable form that is ʻnot above all or always identical to itselfʼ. [30] Human being is neither fixed to nor exhausted by any particular form of subjectivity. Moreover, subjectivity is not the only modality of self, but the form proper to knowledge. [31] Those instances when human being is transformed into a subject of knowledge are what Foucault termed ʻproblemizationsʼ.


For Heidegger, practices are nonconscious; only under certain conditions does Dasein enter into a knowing engagement with and explicit thematization of its ways of existence. Likewise for Foucault, our forms of life enter into genuine reflection only in the case of a problemization:

for a domain of action, a behavior, to enter the field of thought, it is necessary for a certain number of factors to have made it uncertain, to have made it lose its familiarity, or to have provoked a certain number of difficulties around it. These elements result from social, economic, or political processes.

But here their role is that of instigation. They can exist and perform their action for a very long time, before there is effective problemization by thought. [32]

Another way to put this is that the general coherence of a gathering of practices comes under pressure from tensions and difficulties within and amongst those practices. This amounts to the possibility, or actuality, of the fraying of existing forms of life.

Such circumstances occasion, but do not determine, a problemization:

Problemization doesnʼt mean representation of a pre-existing object, nor the creation by discourse of an object that doesnʼt exist. It is the totality of discursive or non-discursive practices that introduce something into the play of true and false and constitutes it as an object for thought (whether in the form of moral reflection, scientific knowledge, political analysis, etc.). [33]

Problemization is neither the realistʼs representation of external things nor the semiotic idealistʼs creation of objects. Foucault is cautioning us to distance the notion of problemization from the assumptions of modern epistemology. He is propounding a novel philosophical account of the sociality of knowledge.

Problemization is the subjectification and objectification of our practical affairs in games of truth that constitute specific fields of knowledge. These knowledge-domains enable and condition responses oriented towards coping with the designated problem.

To one single set of difficulties, several responses can be proposed. And most of the time different responses actually are proposed.… It is problemization that responds to these difficulties, but by doing something quite other than expressing them or manifesting them: in connection with them it develops the conditions in which possible responses can be given; it defines the elements that will constitute what the different solutions attempt to respond to. [34]

A problemization is in the end an ʻanswerʼ to the difficulty it has itself defined. [35]

There are three moments of a problemization, each an instance of practice: (1) the practical tension itself, which may entail (but need not be restricted to) class struggle and social conflict; (2) the stepping back from, reflecting upon, and thematizing this difficulty in games of truth; and (3) responses that institute corrective or compensatory procedures. [36] All three moments of a problemization intertwine as sites in the social fabric, weaving specific fields of what Foucault termed experience – the experience of madness, the experience of sexuality, the experience of health, and so on. [37]

We can get clearer about the Foucauldian notion of problemization by comparing it to the Heideggerian conception of equipmental deficiency. Dasein is always already absorbed in its everyday dealings. A ʻbreakdownʼ in the relative ease or smoothness of this ongoing coping is the precondition for becoming conscious of the world as a realm of objects. Heidegger posits three modalities of breakdown that curtail Daseinʼs comportments. [38] The first is conspicuousness (Auffallen) when an item of equipment in a holistic contexture becomes unusable (the hammer is broken). The second is obtrusiveness (Aufdringlichkeit) when an item of equipment is lacking (the hammer is missing). The third is obstinacy (Aufsässigkeit) when something obstructs the task at hand (the small confines of the closet prevent one from using the hammer). Each modality of breakdown disrupts our everyday dealings and modifies our relation with the equipmental contexture. One may ʻstand backʼ from the world, thematize the deficiency, and perhaps develop a view of its objective reality. But even when forming an instrumental theory, this is only within and against the background of ongoing existence. The knowing subject is only a modification of Daseinʼs being-in-the-world.

Like the Heideggerian conception of deficiency, the Foucauldian notion of problemization accounts for the emergence of knowledge and subjectivity. But whereas Heidegger locates temporary breakdowns in the use of equipment, Foucault analyses how an array of practices complicate their own smooth operation. Heidegger points out deficiencies in the immediate environment; Foucault focuses upon tensions in the general coherence of a gathering of practices. Foucaultʼs approach allows for the examination of the emergence of knowledge-domains that extend well beyond the temporary consciousness of a missing or broken tool. It entails rethinking what it means to think.


Problemization is how our modes of being offer themselves to be thought. Without problemizations, Foucault seems to suggest, we cannot even think about the practices that constitute who we are. Thought (pensée) is the movement of stepping back from and reflecting upon our ways of existence.

In an interview conducted in May 1984, only weeks before his death, Foucault laid out his view of thought and its relation to problemization:

For a long time I have been trying to see if it would be possible to describe the history of thought as distinct both from the history of ideas – by which I mean the analysis of systems of representations – and from the history of mentalities – by which I mean an analysis of attitudes and types of action. It seemed to me there was one element that was capable of describing the history of thought: this was what one could call the element of problems or, more exactly, problemizations. What distinguishes thought is that it is something quite different from the set of representations that underlies a certain behavior. Thought is not what inhabits a certain conduct and gives it meaning; rather, it is what allows one to step back from this way of acting and reacting, to present it to oneself as an object of thought and question it as to its meaning, its conditions, and its goals. Thought is freedom in relation to what one does, the motion by which one detaches oneself from it, establishes it as an object, and reflects on it as a problem. [39]

Thought is not a representation or system of representations, not ʻwhat inhabits a certain conduct and gives it meaningʼ, as in modern cognitivist accounts. [40] Rather, it is what receives and gives shape to the problemizations arising from certain ways of existence. It is distinct from ideas, mentalities and brute behaviours, an activity of detachment from and reflection upon our practices to the extent that they have become ʻproblematicʼ. [41]

Moreover, thought is an activity of freedom that maintains a relative autonomy from the dictates of social relations and forces. [42] It is not that we are mechanical and unfree in our practical affairs – Foucault speaks of the ʻknow-howʼ and ʻopen strategiesʼ embodied in our interactions – but that however creative our actions may be, they are regularly constrained within a delimited range of norms. By problematizing what we do, thought conditions responses to our current practices and thereby opens up new possibilities of conduct.

Foucaultʼs position at the Collège de France was titled ʻChair in the History of Systems of Thought.ʼ Like the later Heidegger, he was concerned with the character of thinking. [43] Both refused to equate representation with the essence of thought. Heidegger viewed representation (Vorstellung) as the formation of ideas that ʻpictureʼ the world as an objective realm for human control and domination; he saw representation as the hegemonic mode of thought in modernity. [44] Seeking ways of thinking otherwise, Heidegger reminded us that, unlike modern scientific theory which sets forth the real as an object-domain of calculable order, ancient Greek theoria was more directly a way of life (bios theo¯re¯tikos) devoted to looking ʻupon the pure shining-forth of that which presencesʼ. [45] He advocated that we moderns ʻpractiseʼ at freeing ourselves from the horizonal-transcendental disclosures of representation via a path of the nonwillful thinking of releasement (Galessenheit). [46]

In formulating the notion of problemization,

Foucault also came to distinguish thought from a representation or a system of representations. [47] Although the subject–object relation is most commonly taken to be proper to representation (as for Heidegger), Foucault maintained that domains of knowledge have variable forms of subject and object that are to be differentiated from the representation of ideas. He viewed thought as an extraordinary activity of freedom, semi-autonomous in relation to historical circumstances, and never confined by the existing games of truth which it has itself invented. [48]

Gilles Deleuze once remarked that it is ʻdefinitely Foucault, along with Heidegger but in a quite different way, whoʼs most profoundly transformed the image of thought.ʼ [49] As the above remarks suggest, however, Foucault was closer to and more engaged with Heideggerʼs image of thought than Deleuze acknowledged. [50] The notion of problemization can even be taken as a response to a lacuna in the later Heideggerʼs conception of thinking. In Being and Time, consciousness is seen as a temporary manifestation against the background of nonconscious practices. In the later works, however, there is little talk about existence and much about thinking. Although in the “Letter on Humanism” Heidegger indicates that he had not abandoned the insights gleaned from the analytic of Dasein, it remains cloudy in the later writings how modalities of thinking, such as modern representation, are occasioned by and relate to broader historical practices. Contrariwise, Foucault advanced that even if thinking was not a representation, thought accompanies our comportments. [51] Practices constitute our modes of being, subjectivities are occasioned by problemizations, and thought abounds in our everyday lives. What is the upshot of this constellation of claims?

By suggesting that thought accompanies our comportments, Foucault was not reverting to some preHeideggerian species of cognitivism. Rather, he seems to have meant that problemizations are common, ubiquitous and ongoing in engendering patterns and systems of the subjectification and objectification of human being. [52] Moreover, with the notion of problemization, Foucault was able to recast the dialectical conception of societal contradiction. In the Archaeology of Knowledge, he had already entertained the possibility that contradictions were the precondition for discourse:

Such a [fundamental] contradiction, far from being an appearance or accident of discourse, far from being that from which it must be freed if its truth is at last to be revealed, constitutes the very law of its existence: it is on the basis of such a contradiction that discourse emerges, and it is in order both to translate it and to overcome it that discourse begins to speak … it is because contradiction is always anterior to discourse, and because it can never therefore entirely escape it, that discourse changes, undergoes transformation, and escapes of itself from its own continuity. Contradiction, then, functions throughout discourse, as the principle of its historicity. [53]

In this proposal for the archaeology of knowledge, contradictions are the impetus for and motor of dis-cursive formation and change. Likewise for the later theory of problemization, knowledge-domains emerge on the basis of and establish responses to ʻcontradictionsʼ (i.e., problems) in a gathering of practices. Only whereas in a schematic dialectical account there is a singular contradiction for each stage of history, in the Foucauldian construal there is always a dispersion of tensions and difficulties throughout the social fabric. And where for vulgar Hegelian Marxisms there is an eventual resolution of the contradiction, dialectically leading to a higher stage of history with its own fundamental contradiction, for Foucault there are multiple responses to a given difficulty, none of which need overcome the problem.

The Foucauldian notion of problemization would thus seem to posit: (1) webs of first-order practice; and (2) a dimension of thought that reflects upon and responds to tensions in these practices. [54] Thought is not exclusively exterior to the first-order comportments, but on the contrary is woven into them as games of truth and procedures of correction in constituting the forms of experience. Unlike the sublation of a contradiction a problemization does not so much resolve as modify a given problem. [55] This alters the array of first-order practices, establishing new conditions for further problemization by thought. Modification leads to modification; thinking assumes patterns and shapes over time. Whence Foucaultʼs efforts to write a history of thought. [56]

But even if thought tends to become habitual, it remains an activity of freedom. Thought cannot only respond anew but also can reflect upon itself and trace its own habits by disclosing the ʻconditions under which certain relations between subject and object are formed or modified.ʼ [57] Thought can be critical of itself. And this criticality, which further lifts us from immersion in our everyday affairs, is exemplified in modernity by the discursive practice of philosophy.

Modern philosophy

In a 1978 interview with Duccio Trombadori, Foucault was emphatic that ʻI donʼt consider myself a philosopher. What I do is neither a way of doing philosophy nor a way of suggesting to others not to do it.ʼ [58] By the early 1980s, however, having reformulated his project as concerned with problemizations, Foucault pronounced that he was working in a philosophical tradition that included Kant, Fichte, Hegel, Nietzsche, Weber, Husserl, Heidegger, Horkheimer and Habermas. [59] This was the strain of modern philosophy that was not an analytics of truth, but what Foucault styled a critical ontology of ourselves. [60]

As a critical mode of thought, modern philosophy discloses the practical conditions of knowledge and subjectivity. And in clarifying who we are, this style of thinking adopts a special relation to the present:

If one sees philosophy as a form of discursive practice that has its own history, it seems to me that with this text on the Aufklärung [Kantʼs ʻWhat is Enlightenment?ʼ] we see philosophy … problematizing its own discursive contemporaneity.… And in doing so we see that when the philosopher asks how he belongs to this present it is a quite different question from that of how one belongs to a particular doctrine or tradition; its is no longer simply the question from that of how one belongs to a human community in general, but rather of how one belongs to a certain ʻusʼ, to an us that concerns a cultural totality of oneʼs own time. It is this ʻusʼ that is becoming for the philosopher the object of his own reflection. By the same token, the philosopher can no longer avoid the question of the specific way in which he belongs to this ʻusʼ.

All this – philosophy as the problemization of a present, and as the questioning by the philosopher of this present to which he belongs and in relation to which he has to situate himself – might well be said to characterize philosophy as the discourse of modernity on modernity. [61]

Modern philosophy problematizes the present to which it belongs. This is not the first time Western philosophy has concerned itself with its own present; only now this concern seeks a ʻway outʼ (Ausgang) so to inaugurate new ways of being and thinking. [62] Philosophy is the discursive practice of critical reproblemization. [63] It rethinks contemporary problemizations that ʻare as concrete and general as possible, problems that approach politics from behind and cut across societies on the diagonalʼ. [64] In embracing the ʻusʼ of a cultural totality, philosophy explicates those conditions of experience that are historical and general rather than constant and universal. [65] As a radical exercise in thinking, philosophy is ʻthe discourse of modernity on modernityʼ.

Foucault conducted philosophy as a mode of historical inquiry. [66] His strategy was to ʻeventalizeʼ the present. [67] He invented archaeology, genealogy and the study of ethics as modes of critical history that map the events the have led up to and constitute presentday problemizations. In clarifying the conditions and stakes of an existing problemization, Foucaultʼs philosophical practice offered a ʻhistory of the presentʼ; we come to see how a present-day problemization is not definitive of some universal scheme of truth, but is itself a singular event that could be otherwise:

The work of the intellect is to show that what is, does not have to be, what it is.… Therefore the return to history makes sense in the respect that history shows that which is was not always so. It unites casual movements into threads of a fragile and uncertain history. Thus things were formed which give the impression of the greatest self-evidence. What reason considers its necessity or much more what various forms of rationality claim to be their necessity, has a history which we can determine completely and recover from the tapestry of contingency. But this doesnʼt mean that these forms of rationality are irrational. They rest upon a foundation of human practices and human faces, because they are made they can be unmade – of course, assuming we know how they were made. [68]

It is crucial to know ʻhow they [the forms of rationality] were made.ʼ For reform movements always arise. Butif at the base there has not been the work of thought upon itself and if, in fact, modes of thought, that is to say, modes of action [which thought always accompanies if not directs], have not been altered, whatever the project for reform, we know that it will be swamped, digested by modes of behavior and institutions that will always be the same. [69]

The way out from the jurisdiction of an existing problemization requires more than reform – it calls for a history of the present to perform the critical task of reproblematizing experience.

Let us now bring together some of the threads of Foucaultʼs final redescription. Problemization is what first brings our ways of being into thought by dealing with practices that constitute ʻcontradictoryʼ (hence relatively unstable) sites in the social fabric. Thought invents games of truth and conditions procedures of correction that together with the first-order practices establish the forms of experience. Even though a given problemization and its effects are thoroughly historical and singular, we are habituated to think about our reigning modes of being and forms of experience as universal. Philosophy is parasitic on this state of affairs. [70] By offering a critical history of the present, philosophy strives to: (1) debunk the universalizing pretensions inhering in our forms of experience; (2) dehabituate how we think about who we are; and (3) disclose a contradictory weave in the social fabric from which we may find a way out from the binding imperatives of modernity. [71]

A way out from the experience of sexuality

Foucault recounted that the ʻnotion common to all the work I have done since Histoire de la folie is that of problemization, though it must be said that I never isolated this notion sufficiently. But one always finds what is essential after the event; the most general things are what appear last.ʼ [72] Given the incisiveness of the notion or problemization, it is instructive to see how some of Foucaultʼs mature projects can be understood in this light.

According to the account in Volume I of The History of Sexuality, Freudʼs problemization of the difficulties of human sexual relations was decisive for modern European culture. Freud theorized sexual repression as a principal cause of neurosis and responded by inventing the talking cure of therapy as a method for restoring mental health. Psychoanalysis is a game of truth that transforms human being into a subject of sexuality, while psychotherapy is the corrective practice that implements this knowledge in curing neurotic illness. Foucault implies that we have inherited much of this experience of sex.

Although Foucault questions the soundness of the hypothesis of repression, he does not simply disagree with Freud. Instead, he seeks to clarify the historical conditions that led up to and inform the psychoanalytic problemization. Countering the view that the Oedipal conflict is a transhistorical constant of all civilized peoples, Foucault argues that neurosis is peculiar to the modern institution of the conjugal family. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, marriages based on alliances gave way to those based on ideals of domestic love. Yet the conjugal family, whatever its merits as a site of earthly happiness, was founded as an institution of biopower. Biopower enhances life so to maximize human productive and reproductive energies. Its procedures include disciplining docile bodies, policing the state, maintaining standards of health, and increasing the size of the population.

The conjugal family was the node of maximization of the population. This required a ʻdeployment of sexualityʼ. Descending from sixteenth-century confessional reforms, discursive practices of speaking the truth of oneʼs desires – of ever more precisely articulating oneʼs libidinal impulses and fantasies – proliferated in the eighteenth century, becoming proper to the life of the conjugal family. Under the imperative of exorcizing the individual from desire, the incessant speaking the truth of sex produced desire. Within the cramped confines of the nuclear family this deployment of sexuality bred incestuous attachments that, given traditional proscriptions, could not be acted upon:

It [incest] is manifested as a thing that is strictly forbidden in the family insofar as the latter functions as a deployment of alliance; but it also is a thing that is continuously demanded in order for the family to be a hotbed of constant sexual incitement. [73]

Between the taboos inherited from practices of alliance and the new intensity of sexual energies there developed tensions in family life. Inadmissible desires threatened the happiness and functionality of the conjugal family. Freudian psychoanalysis problematized these tensions as neuroses that required psychotherapeutic treatment.

Now, Foucault does not say that people might not be repressed; what he stresses is that the psychotherapeutic response is normalizing. However much the talking cure might help one overcome or redirect repressed desires toward more acceptable partners, it was yet another discursive practice of speaking the truth of sex (albeit geared toward liberating rather than negating desire). In the process of redressing the problem of incestuous attachments, psychoanalysis mobilized and intensified libidinal energies. In the end the Freudian problemization was itself a deployment of sexuality that aligned with the normalizing forces of biopower.

In the first volume of The History of Sexuality, Foucault can be said to have developed a critical reproblemization of the modern experience of sex. But even if he locates sites in the social fabric from which we might find a way out from the dictates of biopower, he offers no counter-response. It was only in the subsequent studies on ethics that Foucault explored ways to transgress the modern experience of sex.

In the second and third volumes of The History of Sexuality as well as in numerous late interviews and essays, Foucault turned his attention to practices of self-transformation, what he termed ethics. How does an individual work on herself to transmute desire? By what techniques has the individual constituted herself as an ethical subject who, in knowing the truth, transforms herself into a certain kind of moral agent? Going back to the ancient Greeks, Foucault began mapping a history of Western ethical practices. [74] In the midst of publishing these studies, however, he did something he had not done before: Foucault began recommending that we appropriate and experiment with some of the historical practices he was investigating, most notably what he took to be the ancient Greek aesthetics of existence. [75] Foucault was not proposing a return to a nostalgic past, which he deemed impossible, but instead a repetition, a folding of historical practices into our present ones, producing newly modernized modes of ʻaestheticizedʼ life. Rather than turning to psychoanalysis and its offshoots in self-help manuals, Foucault advocated that we experiment with pre-modern practices so to denormalize our current modes of being. [76] Whereas the first volume clarifies the conditions and stakes of the modern experience of sex, opening a way out from the dictates of biopower, the ethical studies mine resources for denormalizing our interpersonal relationships.


Earlier versions of this article were presented at the Georgia Continental Philosophy Circle, Mercer University, Atlanta, Georgia (March 1997) and the Thirty-second Annual Meeting of the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy, University of Kentucky,

Lexington (October 1997). For helpful comments I am indebted to Tim Craker, Hubert Dreyfus, and the members of the editorial collective of Radical Philosophy, among whom I wish especially to thank Peter Osborne for his shepherding of this article towards publication.

1. ^ Michel Foucault, The Use of Pleasure: The History of Sexuality Volume Two, trans. Robert Hurley, Pantheon,

New York, 1985, p. 11.

2. ^ For discussion, see Thomas R. Flynn, ʻTruth and Subjectivation in the Later Foucaultʼ, Journal of Philosophy 82, 1985, p. 352; and Thomas McCarthy, ʻThe Critique of Impure Reasonʼ, in Ideals and Illusions: On Reconstruction and Deconstruction in Contemporary Critical Theory, MIT Press, Cambridge MA and London, 1991, p. 221 n. 29.

3. ^ Michel Foucault, The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences, Vintage Books, New York, 1970, p. xiv.

4. ^ Ibid., p. xxii.

5. ^ There are significant differences between the historical ontology of language as presented in The Order of Things and the character of discourse as presented in The Archaeology of Knowledge. For discussion, see Gary Gutting, ʻIntroduction. Michel Foucault: Userʼs Manualʼ, in Gary Gutting, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Foucault, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1994, pp. 16–18.

6. ^ See Foucault, The Use of Pleasure, p. 4; Michel Foucault, ʻWhat is Enlightenment?ʼ, in The Foucault Reader, ed. Paul Rabinow, Pantheon, New York, 1984, pp. 48–9; and Michel Foucault, ʻOn the Genealogy of Ethics: An Overview of Work in Progressʼ, in ibid., pp. 351–352. See also Michel Foucault, ʻThe Subject and Powerʼ, in Hubert L. Dreyfus and Paul Rabinow, Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics, 2nd edn, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1983, p. 208; Michel Foucault, ʻTruth, Power, Self: An Interview with Michel Foucault October 25, 1982ʼ, in Technologies of Self: Seminar with Michel Foucault, ed.

Luther H. Martin, Huck Gutman and Patrick H. Hutton,

University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst, 1988, p. 15; Michel Foucault, ʻThe Return of Moralityʼ, in Politics, Philosophy, Culture: Interview and Other Writings, 1977–1984, ed. Lawrence D. Kritzman, Routledge, New York and London, 1988, p. 243; and Maurice Florence [Michel Foucault], ʻFoucault, Michel, 1926–ʼ, in Cambridge Companion to Foucault, pp. 315–16.

7. ^ The ʻIndexʼ, in Michel Foucault, Dits et écrits, 1954–1988, ed. Daniel Defert and François Ewald, Éditions Gallimard, Paris, 1994, vol. 4, p. 875, lists only two instances of this term prior to 1983, both of which have a markedly different use and sense to subsequent usage.

For a different assessment of Foucaultʼs late notion of problemization than the one I shall be advancing, cf.

Robert Castel, ʻ“Problemization” as a Mode of Reading Historyʼ, in Jan Goldstein, ed., Foucault and the Writing of History, Blackwell, Oxford and Cambridge MA, 1994, pp. 237–52. As will become clear, I do not see ʻproblemizationʼ as at bottom a method for doing history. Rather, a problemization is itself the condition of possibility of engaging in a special kind of philosophical history – what Foucault termed ʻa critical history of thoughtʼ. For a comparable view, see Charles E.

Scott, On the Advantages and Disadvantages of Ethics and Politics, Indiana University Press, Bloomington and Indianapolis, 1996, pp. 115–16 and passim.

8. ^ Michel Foucault, ʻPreface to The History of Sexuality, Volume IIʼ, in The Foucault Reader, p. 334.

9. ^ Michel Foucault, ʻPolemics, Politics, and Problemizations: An Interviewʼ, in ibid., p. 388.

10. ^ Foucault, ʻTruth, Power, Selfʼ, pp. 12–13.

11. ^ Foucault, ʻThe Return of Moralityʼ, p. 250.

12. ^ Michel Foucault, ʻAn Aesthetics of Existenceʼ, in Politics, Philosophy, Culture, p. 50.

13. ^ Foucault, ʻThe Subject and Powerʼ, p. 208. See also Foucault, ʻWhat is Enlightenment?ʼ, p. 49.

14. ^ Michel Foucault, ʻHow Much Does It Cost for Reason to Tell the Truthʼ, in Foucault Live (Interviews, 1966–1984), ed. Sylvère Lotringer, Semiotext[e], New York, 1989, p. 238; and Foucault, The Use of Pleasure, pp. 6 ff.

15. ^ The sense of the word ʻsubjectʼ has shifting inflections in Foucaultʼs writings. Nevertheless, it is my contention that in the final redescriptions centred on problemization the term ʻsubjectʼ most often signifies an individualʼs relation to (or readiness for) some form of knowledge – from institutions of specialized domains of science to solitary acts of self-recognition that incite one to selftransformation. For an explicit and clear explanation that the subject of a problemization is a subject of knowledge, see Foucault, ʻFoucault, Michel, 1926–ʼ. See also Michel Foucault, ʻThe Ethic of Care for the Self as a Practice of Freedomʼ, in The Final Foucault, ed. James Bernauer and David Rasmussen, MIT Press, Cambridge MA and London, 1988, p. 1. So construed, the subject of a problemization is a more or less conscious (and self-conscious) agent, its actions more or less intentional (see Foucault, ʻFoucault, Michel, 1926–ʼ, p. 318, and Foucault, The Use of Pleasure, p. 10). I shall argue, however, this does not mean for Foucault that a particular mental state is the ʻcauseʼ of our actions, nor that our practices (in the existential-ontological sense of the term) are a function of consciousness.

16. ^ On the importance of escaping Hegel, see Foucaultʼs 1970 lecture ʻThe Discourse on Languageʼ, in The Archaeology of Knowledge and the Discourse on Language, trans. A.M. Sheridan Smith, Pantheon, New York, 1972, pp. 235–7. See also Michel Foucault, Remarks on Marx: Conversations with Duccio Trombadori, trans. R.

James Goldstein and James Cascaito, Semiotext[e], New York, 1991, pp. 44–6.

17. ^ Foucault, ʻHow Much Does It Costʼ, p. 251.

18. ^ Foucault acknowledged this for The History of Madness in the ʻIntroductionʼ to The Archaeology of Knowledge, p. 16.

19. ^ Ibid., pp. 46–8.

20. ^ Ibid, pp. 95–6.

21. ^ For a stimulating and important discussion of the difficulties with this bracketing of nondiscursive practices, see Dreyfus and Rabinow, Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics, pp. 79–100. See further Gary Guttingʼs remarks that Foucault is not so much dealing with serious speech-acts as analysing discourse from the outside (Michel Foucaultʼs Archaeology of Scientific Reason, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1989, p. 241).

22. ^ Foucault, The Archaeology of Knowledge, p. 122.

23. ^ Foucault, ʻFoucault, Michel, 1926–ʼ, pp. 317–18.

24. ^ Ibid., p. 318.

25. ^ Foucault, ʻHow Much Does It Costʼ, p. 252. See also Foucault, ʻThe Ethic of Careʼ, p. 10; Foucault, ʻPreface to The History of Sexuality, Volume IIʼ, p. 335; Foucault, ʻAn Aesthetics of Existenceʼ, pp. 50–51; and Foucault, The Use of Pleasure, p. 5.

On the status of practices in Foucault, see Dreyfus and Rabinow, Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics; Flynn, ʻTruth and Subjectivationʼ, p. 539; and Thomas Flynn, ʻFoucault and Historical Nominalismʼ, in Phenomenology and Beyond: The Self and its Language, ed. Harold A. Durfee and David F.T.

Rodier, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, 1989, pp. 135, 144, n.

9. ^ Flynn correctly notes that ʻFoucaultʼs concept of practice seems close to that of his colleague at the Collège de France, Pierre Bourdieuʼ; I suspect that this is due to both Bourdieu and Foucault having looked to Heideggerʼs non-intellectualistic account of human activity (cf. Dreyfus and Rabinow, pp. 122–5).

26. ^ Martin Heidegger, Being and Time, trans. John Macquarrie and Edward Robinson, Harper & Row, New York, 1962, Division I. See also The Basic Problems of Phenomenology, trans. Albert Hofstadter, Indiana University Press, Bloomington and Indianapolis, 1988, pp. 21, 58 ff., and 154 ff.

27. ^ Heidegger, Being and Time, pp. 85, 149–68; Basic Problems, pp. 158–61.

28. ^ Heidegger, Being and Time, p. 152. See also Martin Heidegger, ʻLetter on Humanismʼ, in Basic Writings, ed.

David Farrell Krell, Harper & Row, New York, 1977, pp. 206–10.

29. ^ Foucault, ʻThe Subject and Powerʼ, p. 223.

30. ^ Foucault, ʻThe Ethic of Careʼ, p. 10.

31. ^ ʻI will call subjectivization the procedure by which one obtains the constitution of a subject, or more precisely, of a subjectivity, which is of course only one of the given possibilities of a self-consciousnessʼ (Foucault, ʻThe Return of Moralityʼ, p. 252).

32. ^ Foucault, ʻPolemics, Politics, and Problemizationsʼ, p. 388. See also Foucault, ʻFoucault, Michel, 1926–ʼ, p. 315, and Michel Foucault, ʻThe Concern for Truthʼ, in Politics, Philosophy, Culture, p. 256. For an earlier, more Nietzschean conception of knowledge as the product of human confrontation and battle, see Michel Foucault, ʻLa vérité et les formes juridiquesʼ, in Dits et écrits, vol, 2, p. 252 (this text dates from 1974).

33. ^ Foucault, ʻThe Concern for Truthʼ, p. 257. On Foucaultʼs practical holism, see Hubert L. Dreyfus, ʻHolism and Hermeneuticsʼ, Review of Metaphysics 34, 1980, pp. 3–23.

34. ^ Foucault, ʻPolemics, Politics, and Problemizationsʼ, p. 389.

35. ^ Michel Foucault, Discourse and Truth: The Problemization of Parrhesia, comp. Joseph Pearson, notes to a seminar given by Foucault at the University of California at Berkeley, 1983, pp. 115–16.

36. ^ Cf. the earlier formulation in The Archaeology of Knowledge of a ʻsystem of real or primary relations, a system of reflexive or secondary relations, and a system of relations that might properly be called discursiveʼ (p. 45).

37. ^ Michel Foucault, ʻSexual Choice, Sexual Actʼ, in Foucault Live, p. 212; Foucault, ʻPreface to The History of Sexuality, Volume IIʼ, pp. 333–7; Foucault, The Use of Pleasure, pp. 4 ff.; Foucault, ʻFoucault, Michel, 1926–ʼ, pp. 315–18; and Foucault, ʻThe Return of Moralityʼ, p. 253. Cf. Foucault, Discourse and Truth, p. 48.

38. ^ Heidegger, Being and Time, pp. 102–6. For discussion, see Hubert L. Dreyfus, Being-in-the-World: A Commentary on Heideggerʼs ʻBeing and Timeʼ, Division I, MIT Press, Cambridge MA and London, 1991, pp. 70 ff.

39. ^ Foucault, ʻPolemics, Politics, and Problemizationsʼ, p. 388. See also Foucault, The Use of Pleasure, pp. 10–11; Foucault, ʻThe Concern for Truthʼ, p. 256; and Foucault, Discourse and Truth, pp. 47–8.

40. ^ Foucault, “Preface to The History of Sexuality, Volume IIʼ, p. 335. David Ingram remarks that this passage ʻseems incompatible with the strong, practical holism Dreyfus attributed to Foucaultʼ; ʻFoucault and Habermas on the Subject of Reasonʼ, in Cambridge Companion to Foucault, p. 256 n.

30. ^ However, between this earlier draft of a ʻPrefaceʼ to The Use of Pleasure and the much changed ʻIntroductionʼ included in the book, Foucault formulated the notion of problemization, which clarified his views of thought and action in ways that validate Dreyfusʼs ascription of practical holism. See now above, note 33.

41. ^ ʻProblematicʼ is a term that appears in the writings of Gaston Bachelard, especially in his work in the philosophy of science (e.g. Le Rationalism appliqué, 1949).

For critical discussion, see Dominique Lecourt, Marxism and Epistemology: Bachelard, Canguilhem and Foucault, trans. Ben Brewster, New Left Books, London, 1975, pp. 79–81. One of the fundamental differences between the Bachelardian notion of the problematic and the Foucauldian notion of problemization is that a problematic is internal to a particular epistemological field (thereby accounting for the specific ʻdoubtsʼ that govern a given line of scientific inquiry) whereas a problemization is occasioned by a tension in a gathering of social practices that precedes and conditions but does not determine thoughtʼs invention of a truth game proper to and definitive of the problem.

42. ^ Foucault, ʻTruth, Power, Selfʼ, p. 10; Michel Foucault, ʻPracticing Criticismʼ, in Politics, Philosophy, Culture, pp. 154–5; and Michel Foucault, ʻIs It Really Important to Think? An Interviewʼ, Philosophy and Social Criticism 9, 1982, p. 33.

43. ^ In a round-table discussion on the novel conducted in 1963, Foucault expressed his fascination with that ʻ[nonpsychological] niveau dʼune expérience très difficile à formuler – celle de la penséeʼ, posing the questions: ʻquʼest-ce que cʼest que penser, quʼest-ce que cʼest que cette expérience extraordinaire de le pensée?ʼ (Michel Foucault, ʻDébat sur le romanʼ, in Dits et écrits, vol. 1, p. 139).

44. ^ Martin Heidegger, ʻThe Age of the World Pictureʼ, in The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays, trans. William Lovitt, Harper & Row, New York, 1977, pp. 115–54; Martin Heidegger, Nietzsche. Volume IV: Nihilism, trans. Frank A. Capuzzi, Harper & Row, New York, 1982, pp. 102 ff.; and Martin Heidegger, What Is Called Thinking?, trans. Fred D. Wieck and J, Glenn Gray, Harper & Row, New York, 1968.

45. ^ Martin Heidegger, ʻScience and Reflectionʼ, in The Question Concerning Technology, p. 164.

46. ^ Martin Heidegger, Discourse on Thinking, trans. John M. Anderson and E. Hand Freund, Harper & Row, New York, 1966.

47. ^ Foucault, ʻPolemics, Politics, and Problemizationsʼ, p. 388; Foucault, The Use of Pleasure, pp. 3, 10; Foucault, ʻThe Concern for Truthʼ, p. 256; and Michel Foucault, ʻLe style de lʼhistoireʼ, in Dits et écrits, vol.

4. ^ p. 654.

48. ^ Foucault, ʻPracticing Criticismʼ, p. 155, and Foucault, ʻIs It Really Important to Think?ʼ, p. 33.

49. ^ Gilles Deleuze, Negotiations, 1972–1990, trans. Martin Joughin, Columbia University Press, New York, 1995, p. 95. For more extensive remarks by Deleuze on the relation between Heidegger and Foucault, see his Foucault, trans. Séan Hand, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 1988, pp. 107 ff.

50. ^ For a compelling comparison between Foucaultʼs notion of déchiffrement and Heideggerian Denken, see Hubert L. Dreyfus, ʻBeyond Hermeneutics: Interpretation in Late Heidegger and Recent Foucaultʼ, in Gary Shapiro and Alan Sica, eds, Hermeneutics: Questions and Prospects, University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst, 1984, pp. 80–81. Of course there are important and decisive differences between the later Heidegger and Foucault, e.g. the formerʼs stress on ʻpassiveʼ attunement to the historical sendings of Being is to be distinguished from the latterʼs more local and detailed genealogies that promote new ways of (actively) speaking the truth.

51. ^ Foucault, ʻPracticing Criticismʼ, p. 155; Foucault, ʻTruth,

Power, Selfʼ, pp, 9–10; Foucault, Is It Really Important to Think?ʼ, pp. 33–34; Foucault, ʻPreface to The History of Sexuality, Volume IIʼ, pp. 334–6; and Foucault, ʻLe style de lʼhistoireʼ, p. 654.

52. ^ Foucault, ʻFoucault, Michel, 1926–ʼ, p. 318. On Foucaultʼs sense of the systematicity of his own critical enterprise, see ʻWhat is Enlightenment?ʼ, pp. 47–9.

53. ^ Foucault, The Archaeology of Knowledge, p. 151. Cf.

Foucault, ʻLa vérité et les formes juridiquesʼ, p. 552.

54. ^ Earlier, in The Order of Things, Foucault had developed a related analysis of the fissure in the modern episteme between the ʻI thinkʼ and the ʻI amʼ (pp. 324–5).

55. ^ Foucault, The Use of Pleasure, p. 12.

56. ^ Foucault, ʻTruth, Power, Selfʼ, pp. 10, 14; Foucault, ʻPreface to The History of Sexuality, Volume IIʼ, p. 334; Foucault, ʻThe Art of Telling the Truthʼ, p. 89; Foucault, ʻThe Concern for the Truthʼ, p. 256; and Foucault, ʻFoucault, Michel, 1926–ʼ, pp. 314 ff.

57. ^ Foucault, ʻFoucault, Michel, 1926–ʼ, p. 314. See also Foucault, ʻPracticing Criticismʼ, p. 156, and Foucault, ʻIs It Really Important to Think?ʼ, pp. 33–4.

58. ^ Foucault, Remarks on Marx, p. 29.

59. ^ Michel Foucault, ʻThe Political Technology of Individualsʼ, in Technologies of the Self, p. 145; Foucault, ʻThe Art of Telling the Truthʼ, p. 95; and Foucault, ʻWhat is Enlightenment?ʼ, p. 32.

60. ^ Foucault, ʻThe Art of Telling the Truthʼ, p. 95, and Foucault, ʻWhat is Enlightenment?ʼ. See also Foucault, ʻPolitics and Reasonʼ, in Politics, Philosophy, Culture, pp. 59 ff.; Foucault, ʻThe Subject and Powerʼ, p. 216; Michel Foucault, ʻAn Ethics of Pleasureʼ, in Foucault Live, p. 269; Foucault, ʻThe Art of Telling the Truthʼ, p. 95; Foucault, The Use of Pleasure, pp. 8–9; Foucault, ʻFoucault, Michel, 1926–ʼ, p. 314; and Foucault, ʻThe Ethic of Careʼ, p. 20.

61. ^ Foucault, ʻThe Art of Telling the Truthʼ, p. 88.

62. ^ Foucault, ʻWhat is Enlightenmentʼ, pp. 33–34. See also Michel Foucault, ʻPower and Sexʼ, in Politics, Philosophy, Culture, p. 121; Foucault, ʻThe Subject and Power, p. 216; Foucault, ʻThe Political Technology of Individualsʼ, p. 145; Foucault, ʻHow Much Does It Costʼ, p. 251; Michel Foucault, ʻCritical Theory/Intellectual Historyʼ, in Politics, Philosophy, Culture, pp. 35–6; Foucault, ʻThe Art of Telling the Truthʼ, pp. 87–90; and Michel Foucault, ʻThe Masked Philosopherʼ, in Politics, Philosophy, Culture, p. 330.

63. ^ For an instance of Foucaultʼs use of the term ʻreproblemizationʼ, see Michel Foucault, ʻA propos de la généalogie de lʼéthique: un aperçu de travail en coursʼ, in Dits et écrits, vol. 4, p. 612. For a brief explication of reproblemization, cf. Graham Burchell, ʻLiberal Government and the Techniques of Selfʼ, in Foucault and Political Reason: Liberalism, Neo-Liberalism, and Rationalities of Government, ed. Andrew Barry, Thomas Osborne and Nikolas Rose, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1996, p. 31.

64. ^ Michel Foucault, ʻPolitics and Ethics: An Interviewʼ, in The Foucault Reader, p. 376.

65. ^ On the ʻweʼ of politics, see Foucault, ʻPolemics, Politics, and Problemizationsʼ, p. 385.

66. ^ Michel Foucault, ʻA propos des faiseurs dʼhistoireʼ, in Dits et écrits, vol. 4, p. 313.

67. ^ See the 1980 text ʻQuestions of Methodʼ, in The Foucault Effect: Studies in Governmentality, ed. Graham Burchell, Colin Gordon and Peter Miller, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1991, pp. 76–8.

68. ^ Foucault, ʻHow Much Does It Costʼ, p. 252. See also ʻIs It Really Important to Think?ʼ, p. 34.

69. ^ Foucault, ʻPracticing Criticismʼ, p. 156. This passage pre-dates the notion of problemization (and presents a somewhat different account of thought), but it is nevertheless germane to Foucaultʼs final redescription.

70. ^ Cf. Foucault, ʻThe Subject and Powerʼ, p. 211. For earlier remarks on the status of philosophy in modernity, cf. The Order of Things, pp. 219–21.

71. ^ On the imperatives of modern knowledge, see Foucault, The Order of Things, pp. 327–8. My thanks to Jason Wirth for refocusing my attention on this passage.

72. ^ Foucault, ʻThe Concern for Truthʼ, pp. 257–8. See also Foucault, The Use of Pleasure, pp. 11–12.

73. ^ Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality. Volume I: An Introduction, trans. Robert Hurley, Pantheon, New York, 1978, p. 109. Cf. Michel Foucault, ʻSexual Choice, Sexual Actʼ, in Politics, Philosophy, Culture, p. 230; and Foucault, ʻThe Concern for Truthʼ, p. 262.

74. ^ Foucault also began explicitly employing the notion of problemization in his last historical studies. For example, the second chapter of the introductory section of The Use of Pleasure is entitled ʻForms of Problemizationʼ, while part one of the main body of the same study is designated ʻThe Moral Problemization of Pleasuresʼ.

Further, the subtitle of his 1983 Berkeley lectures on ancient truth-telling is The Problemization of Parrhesia.

75. ^ See Andrew Thacker, ʻFoucaultʼs Aesthetics of Existenceʼ, Radical Philosophy 63, Spring 1993, pp. 13–21.

76. ^ See my ʻRepetition and Ethics in Late Foucaultʼ, forthcoming, Philosophy and Social Criticism.

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