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Histoire de la sexualité 3 Le Souci de soi

characters Histoire de la sexualité 3 Le Souci de soi

Michel Foucault takes us into the first two centuries of our own era into the Golden Age of Rome to reveal a subtle but decisive break from the cla This book is not about sex and sexuality it's rather concerned with the discourse about sex and sexuality between the 17th and 20th century Foucault discusses discretion in the discourse about sexuality and other related aspects from a psychologicalsociologicalpolitical point of viewHe first explains The Repressive Theory which claims that the history of sexuality in the past couple of centuries was based on repression Where sex was considered taboo in case it wasn't for reproduction purposes And the only way to liberate ourselves from that repression is to be basically open about our sexuality To talk about sex and to enjoy itBut Foucault disagrees with that claim and tackles the progress in sexual discourse in the past 300 years How it developed from a topic that is discussed strictly between spouses into part of confessions Christians made in the church only the become a matter of public interest in the 18th century in schools especially regarding children and gender separation It is also worth mentioning that Foucault discusses how homosexuality ceased to be associated with acts and became associated with the person's identity later in the 19th centuryIt's interesting how Foucault regards prostitution and psychiatry as safe outlets for confessing improper sexual feelings in the repressive theoryI also like how he suggests that discourse on sexuality a mere revolt against this repressive system is a matter of political liberation rather than intellectual analysisThe bottom line from this book for me is the followingThe notion of secrecy regarding sex and any other subject that is dealt with with discretion is itself part of the discourse on sex or that subject Meaning that our talking about something as if it were a secret as something hidden is what drives us to uncover it and learn about it MARTINIQUE. : Produits du terroir et recettes traditionnelles repressive theoryI also like how he suggests that discourse on sexuality a mere

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Ssical Greek vision of sexual pleasure He skillfully explores the whole corpus of moral reflection among philosophers Plutarch Epictetus Marcus Aur So I am actually glad that I read the entire three volumes of History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault And though I enjoyed reading Foucault's dissemination of the discourse on sexuality through ancient Greek texts God only knows how much I actually understood Also would it be weird if I said that the second and third books felt many times like a self help book? But in a manner of speaking this is exactly the sort of idea of the self that Foucault examines through Aristotelian and Platonic textsPerceiving the care of the self as one that is to be achieved through abstinence from physical desires aphrodisia this view is further extended by Foucault to show how this model behavior was considered an ideal for those men responsible for management of a household or a city as well as framing of different kinds of relationships such as through marriage or through the pursuit of one's male lover With this view Foucault also argues that later discourses on sexuality after the spread of Christianity sought to associate it with sin and to construct new categories of the self that sought to contain as well as to expose 'deviant' variations of sexuality in order to define and control these repurposed ideas of sexualityA lot of these ideas on construct of the self power and surveillance are freuent themes in Foucault's book The first book in the volume is short but utterly intriguing to read But you do feel bogged down by the time you reach the third And sometimes there is just too much repetition and excessive verbosity that tends to make Foucault's works a little hard to digest Still I would say it is definitely worth reading than once since these are those kind of books where you learn something new every time you go back them #michelfoucault #historyofsexuality #threevolumes #ancientgreektexts #readinglistforhistory #readinglist2019

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Elius Seneca and physicians of the era and uncovers an increasing mistrust of pleasure and growing anxiety over sexual activity and its conseuences While in the second volume of The History of Sexuality Foucault's historical work in parts seemed a bit uninspired to me here he is again delivering a well constructed argument and concise analysis of a wide range of texts Like in the previous volumes he is concerned with the historical construction of the concept of sexuality especially in relation to what he calls techniues of the self and an art of existence Especially interesting in the third volume is his discourse on individualism which he sees clearly differentiated from the knowledge and care of the self A very thorough nuanced and interesting historical read


10 thoughts on “Histoire de la sexualité 3 Le Souci de soi

  1. says:

    This installment advances historically beyond the ancient Athenian polis to the writings of the late Roman Republic and early Empire developing from the chresis aphrodision to the epimeleia heautou and their conseuent romanizationHe opens with a discussion of the Oneirokritikon of Artemidorus Ephesius which involve a hermeneutics of dreams and which has much to say about erotic dreams 4 ff Much typology here—dreams of sex in conformity with law against the law against nature—it reminds one of the typology of passions in de Sade’s 120 Days there the erotic dreams of the French aristocracy For Foucault the importance of Artemidorus is that his “interpretation uite regularly discovers a social signification in sexual dreams” 27—there are reasons for this such as the linguistic ambivalence in key Greek terms that can be sexual or political depending on context but salient is that Artemidorus wrote his oneirics “mainly to men in order to help them lead their lives as men” 28—so an impossibility of disentangling as in Volume II sex and gender from sexuality orientation and identity on the one hand and one’s life in the oikos from life in the polis on the otherArtemidorus’ presentation itself is a model of “restraint” “no caresses no complicated combinations no phantasmagoria; just a few simple variations around one basic form—penetration” 29 This is because his interest is “the male organ—the one called anagkaion the ‘necessary’ part whose needs compel us and by whose force others are compelled” 33 The important Greek concept is Anagke 'necessity' it is the force that reuires Agamemnon to sacrifice his daughter the force that compels Odysseus to cast infant Astyanax from the walls of Troy it is the ultimate engine of Greek tragedy and its inevitable dilemmas what brings into confrontation the eual rights of the agonists between whom force must ultimately decideSo follows the Romanization of the ancient epimeleia heautou as the cura sui 45 et se working through the Roman philosophical schools with attention to Stoics Epicureans and so on Roman marriages 70 et se—“love is carefully differentiated from the habitual sharing of existence” 79 The analysis of the ‘body’ is informed by Galen and the Roman physicians 105 ff Sex is medicalized in this context as both “an involuntary violence of tension and an indefinite exhausting expenditure” 113 Nevertheless “sexual abstinence was not regarded as a duty certainly nor was the sexual act represented as an evil”—though this medical literature’s emphasis on health risks helped create later moralisms through “an insistence on the ambiguity of the effects of sexual activity” 122 Ultimately the physicians proposed “a sort of animalization of the epithumia; that is a subordination as strict as possible of the soul’s desire to the body’s needs; an ethics of desire that is modeled on a natural philosophy of excretions” 136 This is not the belief of the Stoics on the one hand or Diogenes on the other of courseThe argument regarding the Roman proprietor’s relation to his wife follows the trajectory of “a stylistics of living as a couple” “in an art of conjugal relationship in a doctrine of sexual monopoly and in an aesthetics of shared pleasures” 149 which would have been innovative at the time we must note Marriage itself is not considered an aesthetic beneficence but is rather a “duty” 155 Later a “Christian pastoral ministry” will “attempt to regulate everything—positions freuency gestures each partner’s state of mind knowledge by one of the intentions of the other signs of desire on one side tokens of acceptance on the other” 165; Greek and Roman writings are not concerned with this sort of totalitarian control But we did see some writers discuss the aphrodisia dikaia “legitimate pleasures” which concerns “pleasures that the partners enjoy together in marriage and for the purpose of begetting children” 168 69 Though that seems thuggish to me there are subtleties In the same way and just as the task of Dionysus is not in the fact of drinking intoxicating wine the task of Aphrodite ergon Aphrodites is not in the mere relating and conjoining of bodies synousia meixis; it is in the feeling of friendship philosophrosyne the longing pothos the association homilia and the intimacy synetheia between two people 182 This leads inexorably to “the monopolistic principle however no sexual relations outside marriage A reuirement of ‘dehedonization’ sexual intercourse between spouses should not be governed by an economy of pleasure A procreative finalizations its goal should be the birth of offspring” id The final chapter concerns the significance of the pederasty and ephebophilia 190 et se As in Volume II plenty of interest Very precise local readings of the writers at issue Bring on the English translation of recently discovered Volume IVRecommended for readers who approach cum multa modestia et ti


  2. says:

    After finishing the third volume of this series I realized that my rating for volume 1 four stars was too low By the end of this book Foucault's method much slower paced and careful than in his previous works has begun to make sense Volume 2 wasn't bad its points were interesting and arranged in a clever way but it's volume 3 in which MF begins to make a series of subtle points about the changing nature of the conjugal relationship and the propriety of love for adolescent boys where it all seems to come together The sources used here range from some of Plutarch's lesser works to a book on dream interpretation by Artemidorus Foucault's discussion of this intriguing text makes for an excellent first chapter even if some of the conclusions he draws from it about the acceptability of various sex practices such as mother son incest aren't sufficiently developed later in the book The novelty of these sources sets this book apart from volume 2 which had been built around the greatest hitmakers of Greek science and philosophy Hippocrates Plato Xenophon Aristotle etc; however given its freuent references to that earlier book volume 3 shouldn't be read as a standalone text The real pity here is that Foucault never finished volume 4 which probably would have stood among his greatest achievements All of his references to the development of Christian thinking about sex which this volume is careful to remind us is NOT merely the product of Stoic self denial or earlier Greek attempts at mastery and moderation but yet another stage in the history of this subject which are foreshadowed throughout the series thus remain unresolved By way of aside this volume probably represents Foucault's clearest writing as well his most useful history from the standpoint of actually learning about and remembering the material discussed therein


  3. says:

    This book is not about sex and sexuality it's rather concerned with the discourse about sex and sexuality between the 17th and 20th century Foucault discusses discretion in the discourse about sexuality and other related aspects from a psychologicalsociologicalpolitical point of viewHe first explains The Repressive Theory which claims that the history of sexuality in the past couple of centuries was based on repression Where sex was considered taboo in case it wasn't for reproduction purposes And the only way to liberate ourselves from that repression is to be basically open about our sexuality To talk about sex and to enjoy itBut Foucault disagrees with that claim and tackles the progress in sexual discourse in the past 300 years How it developed from a topic that is discussed strictly between spouses into part of confessions Christians made in the church only the become a matter of public interest in the 18th century in schools especially regarding children and gender separation It is also worth mentioning that Foucault discusses how homosexuality ceased to be associated with acts and became associated with the person's identity later in the 19th centuryIt's interesting how Foucault regards prostitution and psychiatry as safe outlets for confessing improper sexual feelings in the repressive theoryI also like how he suggests that discourse on sexuality a mere revolt against this repressive system is a matter of political liberation rather than intellectual analysisThe bottom line from this book for me is the followingThe notion of secrecy regarding sex and any other subject that is dealt with with discretion is itself part of the discourse on sex or that subject Meaning that our talking about something as if it were a secret as something hidden is what drives us to uncover it and learn about it


  4. says:

    The Plutarch chapter alone is worth the price of admission


  5. says:

    A direct continuation of volume 2 The final section brings the whole project into a bit clear perspective on how these works connect to modern society but that was a task he set asside in full for the unfinished fourth volume which he was working on when he died Still we can pick up some of the comments previewed throughout volumes 2 and 3 as well as some of his interviews and piece together an interesting ethico political perspective of the self and and its constitution


  6. says:

    So I am actually glad that I read the entire three volumes of History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault And though I enjoyed reading Foucault's dissemination of the discourse on sexuality through ancient Greek texts God only knows how much I actually understood Also would it be weird if I said that the second and third books felt many times like a self help book? But in a manner of speaking this is exactly the sort of idea of the self that Foucault examines through Aristotelian and Platonic textsPerceiving the care of the self as one that is to be achieved through abstinence from physical desires aphrodisia this view is further extended by Foucault to show how this model behavior was considered an ideal for those men responsible for management of a household or a city as well as framing of different kinds of relationships such as through marriage or through the pursuit of one's male lover With this view Foucault also argues that later discourses on sexuality after the spread of Christianity sought to associate it with sin and to construct new categories of the self that sought to contain as well as to expose 'deviant' variations of sexuality in order to define and control these repurposed ideas of sexualityA lot of these ideas on construct of the self power and surveillance are freuent themes in Foucault's book The first book in the volume is short but utterly intriguing to read But you do feel bogged down by the time you reach the third And sometimes there is just too much repetition and excessive verbosity that tends to make Foucault's works a little hard to digest Still I would say it is definitely worth reading than once since these are those kind of books where you learn something new every time you go back them #michelfoucault #historyofsexuality #threevolumes #ancientgreektexts #readinglistforhistory #readinglist2019


  7. says:

    Before I start I'd like to warn you that there's a NSFW link in this review it's the one about Sappho Foucault analyzes the importance of self discipline when it comes to sexual relationships and marriage the normalization of heterosexuality through marriage and the condemnation of homosexuality by greek and by some roman thinkers argues that a lot of it though it influenced Christianity is not uite at the same level of banning homosexuality and masturbation He analyzes the medical and philosophical point views and uotes authors but bases his views on a fundamentally incorrect reading of Church Fathers to argue that married couples out not to get any kind of pleasure out of sexual acts which is not what they meant at all I wonder how interested would Foucault be in Theology of the Body considering it didn't exist at his time but probably not much Or probably a lot just to trash talk it because it's presented in a friendly way but it's repressive stuff from the ChurchI disagree with Foucault and maybe because of an Augustinian Renaissance approach I believe a lot of the common sense of stoics and other virtuous pagan philosophers may have paved the way for Christianity As a Catholic of course I believe that Jesus' coming is the fulfilling of Revelation but I think that like Celts and Native Americans had mythologies which made it easier for them to accept the new religion so happened with greeks and romans so much of their thought had common points with Christians that Christians learned to appreciate such things and used it in their favor much like Celtic legends suffered Also he seems disillusioned with the abandonement of the practice of pederasty which makes it all repulsive it's not my job to judge homosexuality but seriously? Old men chasing teens? No matter your views on homosexuality that is a justification of pedophilia so I'll pass The interesting aspect of this book is that he recognizes that this self discipline could be also applied in the education of a politician and that is indeed useful It also helped me to understand stoics a bit better So as a closer it's less preachy than the first volume and less blatantly pro male homosexuality than the second volume but still kind of gross because he gets on the justificactions for homosexuality and one of them is that women wear makeup to hide their ugliness so basically women are liars I'm not new to this argument and I know it's not like he invented it he's after all just uoting Greek pagan people But just because men didn't bother to understand women back then it didn't meant that we were uninteresting and liars while at that I have survived 17 years with no makeup I see how it could be necessary for a woman who seeks to hide a disease of the skin or the mark of an accident be it scar from burning scratching etc I still like wearing it I have been doing it for 6 years now and I don't think a woman could fool a man just because she has an unnatural color in her hair for her age or genetics extremely red lips weirdly colored eyelids prominent eyelashes and perfectly rosy cheeks among with weirdly colored nails It's just an emulation and sometimes exaggeration of traits men like in women youth and beauty Basically the greeks' argument was that women are shallow I don't see how Foucault is this inclusive defensor of minorities especially ueers if women are often looked with disdain and left out of his dissertations the marginal allusions to lesbianism though I think I should say female same sex attraction lesbian is a political term and based loosely on opinions about Sappho because greeks looked down on it or at least Plato and a bunch of greek ancient doctors did is inexcusable Sappho and all the myths surrounding her would be interesting for a start but I guess that by getting into radical feminist theory I could get an idea of that And radical feminists do hate his look on male homosexuality as much as I do though for different reasons I agree with the idea that hetero and homosexual naming of human sexual and romantic relationships is unfortunate For different reasons rather than the fact that greeks did not make a distinction for it The problem is that it allows people to tag others according to sexual preference or orientation and define them by such I believe the use of expressions such as same sex attraction is less aggressive And even people who have opposite sex attraction can experience same sex attraction You don't get to define them by orientations but recognize the fact that they feel attracted whether romantically or sexually but those distinctions concern gender theorists I guess though sexual attraction without a romantic attraction would be no less than a desire for prostitution in my opinion You could also feel an attraction you don't want to feel much like intrusive thoughts so I'm also opposed to the terms preference and orientationAs always I don't agree with Foucault but it has been thought provoking Not his best though


  8. says:

    While in the second volume of The History of Sexuality Foucault's historical work in parts seemed a bit uninspired to me here he is again delivering a well constructed argument and concise analysis of a wide range of texts Like in the previous volumes he is concerned with the historical construction of the concept of sexuality especially in relation to what he calls techniues of the self and an art of existence Especially interesting in the third volume is his discourse on individualism which he sees clearly differentiated from the knowledge and care of the self A very thorough nuanced and interesting historical read


  9. says:

    Like volume two repetitive debatable and digested with a grain of salt This passage from Seneca though “ Disce gaudere learn how to feel joy” says Seneca to Lucilius “I do not wish you ever to be deprived of gladness I would have it born in your house; and it is born there if only it is inside of you for it will never fail you when once you have found its source” Or this Pseudo Lucian pledge “To unite my bones with his and not to keep even our dumb ashes apart”


  10. says:

    Interesting take on how ancient Greek and Roman customs and medical ideas became the source of many of our modern hesitations surrounding sex and the care of the self Some say Foucault made up a bunch of his references but I like the text and it has some novel ideas


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