Between the end of the 70s and the beginning of the 80s Foucault’s idea of the subject undergoes some important changes. In that period, Foucault starts a study on sexual practice in the Greek-Roman world to conclude his “History of Sexuality” on which he has been working since mid 70s. Analyzing the “self-care”, which ancient philosophy use to give as homework to its students, Foucault realizes that the description of the subject as the result of disciplinary measures represents no longer a valid instrument of interpretation, even if it had characterized his previous researches. Indeed, unlike the coercive methods of shelter and prison, what strikes Foucault is that old moral sets itself as a practice of freedom where an individual choice can be achieved. Subsequent researches on “parresia” and cynics confirm this characteristic of the old thought further on. This topic is developed by another French philosopher, Pierre Hadot, a classicist, committed to highlight particularly the “practical” value of ancient philosophy. Hadot sees in self-care the expression of a real spiritual exercise (anticipating the following Cristhian experiences) which aims at a conscious individual transformation to make the person act properly in the different life circumstances. Hadot’s analysis on self-practice differs from Foucault’s one. While the first searches above all the original historical meaning, the latter seems to make an internal differentiation, related to Nietzsche’s individualism and to its renewal in the subjectivism of the 60s and 70s.

Pierre Hadot and Michel Foucault: two readings on self-care in the ancient philosophy / RIGHETTI, STEFANO. - In: MONTESQUIEU.IT. - ISSN 2037-5115. - ELETTRONICO. - 2:(2010), pp. 143-155.

Pierre Hadot and Michel Foucault: two readings on self-care in the ancient philosophy

RIGHETTI, STEFANO
2010

Abstract

Between the end of the 70s and the beginning of the 80s Foucault’s idea of the subject undergoes some important changes. In that period, Foucault starts a study on sexual practice in the Greek-Roman world to conclude his “History of Sexuality” on which he has been working since mid 70s. Analyzing the “self-care”, which ancient philosophy use to give as homework to its students, Foucault realizes that the description of the subject as the result of disciplinary measures represents no longer a valid instrument of interpretation, even if it had characterized his previous researches. Indeed, unlike the coercive methods of shelter and prison, what strikes Foucault is that old moral sets itself as a practice of freedom where an individual choice can be achieved. Subsequent researches on “parresia” and cynics confirm this characteristic of the old thought further on. This topic is developed by another French philosopher, Pierre Hadot, a classicist, committed to highlight particularly the “practical” value of ancient philosophy. Hadot sees in self-care the expression of a real spiritual exercise (anticipating the following Cristhian experiences) which aims at a conscious individual transformation to make the person act properly in the different life circumstances. Hadot’s analysis on self-practice differs from Foucault’s one. While the first searches above all the original historical meaning, the latter seems to make an internal differentiation, related to Nietzsche’s individualism and to its renewal in the subjectivism of the 60s and 70s.
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143
155
RIGHETTI, STEFANO
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2158/1282320
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