Friendship As a Way of Life: Foucault, AIDS, and the by Tom Roach PDF

By Tom Roach

Develops Foucault's past due paintings on friendship right into a novel critique of up to date GLBT political strategy.

Borrowing its name from a 1981 interview of Michel Foucault, Friendship as a manner of Life develops the philosopher's past due paintings on friendship right into a novel critique of up to date GLBT political technique. Tom Roach brings to existence Foucault's scant yet suggestive writings on friendship (some translated the following for the 1st time), emphasizing their moral implications and advancing a brand new and politically conceivable concept--friendship as shared estrangement. In exploring the possibility of this version for figuring out not just social hobbies reminiscent of ACT UP and the AIDS blood brother procedure, however the literary and creative paintings of Hervé Guibert and David Wojnarowicz to boot, Roach seeks to reclaim a politics of friendship for queer activism. the 1st booklet committed completely to Foucault's paintings at the topic, it reassesses Foucaultian queer idea in mild of the hot ebook of the philosopher's ultimate seminars on the Collège de France. Its provocative thesis returns Foucault's thought of biopower to its domestic in sexuality reports and areas queer concept entrance and middle in present biopolitical debates.

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Extra resources for Friendship As a Way of Life: Foucault, AIDS, and the Politics of Shared Estrangement

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In Hermeneutics, Foucault asks why the notion of “know thyself” (gnothi seautou) holds such a privileged place in histories of Western philosophy. He argues that this supposedly fundamental principle is merely part of a larger system of thought best designated “care of the self” (epimeleia heautou). This attribute—caring for oneself, finding one’s pleasure in oneself, being the friend of oneself—was the actual basis of morality in Antiquity, self-knowledge just one tenet of it. So why has caring for oneself been overshadowed by the imperative to know thyself?

15 Read in the context of his other work on impersonality, then, Foucault’s letter to Guibert hints at the type of communal forms that can emerge from depersonalization: an ethics of impersonality in friendship encourages an anti-identitarian politics. Estrangement In sharing voyeuristic reflections with his anonymous friend, at least two Foucaults emerge: a writer taking pleasure in the world outside and a seemingly lonely man removed from actual human contact. Concerning the latter, Foucault’s ostensible obsession with sleep and fatigue in his descriptions of the watched man beg a closer look.

His thought paves the way for Aquinas (who referred to Aristotle simply and tellingly as “the philosopher”) and a theological tradition that posits a knowing subject that must seek fulfillment in an omniscient God. For when philosophy and spirituality are severed, salvation comes only from above. But Aristotle is the exception to—not the exemplar of—ancient philosophy. Leaving “the philosopher” aside, Foucault unearths a moral universe in which the question of “how to have access to truth” is inseparable from self-transformation.

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