The Apparatus of Power and Sexuality in Foucault’s Philosophy

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A political theorist once claimed that one should be most critical of ideas that have been deemed normal or scientific. For the most part, these notions that have been branded as “facts of life” carry with them several nuisances and drawbacks that people often ignore or fail to see since they are primarily held by many as irreplaceable truths. Unfortunately, such non-examined concepts are normalized in the level of human consciousness and in effect, rendering the individual a myopic perspective of reality. This has been the context by which Michel Foucault built his overall frameworks of thought. As a philosopher and cultural historian, Foucault underscored in his writings that the fundamental ideas that people commonly consider as the permanent truths of their being have changed throughout the course of history. Without a doubt, with his unorthodox contemplations on the disciplinary society and the distortions of human sexuality, Michel Foucault’s influence to the postmodernist movement and contemporary philosophical thought is undeniably significant and of great magnitude.
The concept of power is the overriding principle of Foucault’s philosophy. Foucault’s philosophical equation has power as the “principle of development and integration within our society.” Power is often defined as the relation between two people or parties wherein one influences the other’s set of behaviors and actions. In essence, it entails the restraint, obstruction or modification of one’s personal will by subjecting his individual faculties. But Foucault, for the most part, is not adhering to such strict definitions. He once asserted that “the only thing that could be said about power in general is that it is an open-ended, more or less coordinated ‘cluster of relations.’ For him, there is no evident meaning or particular description that can capture the extent of such concept. Nevertheless, the fact remains that power is an omnipresent element in both micro-level relationships, as



Bibliography: University Press, 1988. David, Luis S. “Michel Foucault on the Wreck of Leviathan and the Constitution of a New Stylistics of Love,” Budhi 1, 1997. Fink-Eitel, Hinrich. Foucault: An Introduction. Philadelphia: Pennbridge Books, 1992 Foucault, Michel. Discipline and Punish, trans. Alan Sheridan. New York: Vintage Books, 1979. Medicine And the Body. London: Routledge, 1994. (HM 22.F82 F697)

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