Foucault on the Care of the Self as an Ethical Project and a Spiritual Goal

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In this paper, I examine Foucault’s ideas concerning the care of the self. What exactly is this ideal that Foucault describes in his last two books? Do these books represent a break or a continuation with the earlier writings on knowledge and power? Most important, I consider whether the care of the self could ever be a significant ethical ideal given some of the objections that have been raised against Foucault’s position. I also look at the care of the self as the focus of Foucault’s own views on spiritual life. I argue that Foucault’s later work offers the basis for a secular or non-theistic spirituality which is especially relevant today.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)489-504
Number of pages16
JournalHuman Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Philosophy


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