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Title:Foucault, Marx and the question of politics: The materialist problematics of power
Author(s):Lee, Ku-pyo
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Fields, A. Belden
Department / Program:Political Science
Discipline:Political Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Political Science, General
Abstract:What would a materialist position today be like, especially after Marx and Foucault? In order to address this question, the dissertation examines the relationship between Marx and Foucault by situating them within a new and specific kind of materialist discursive practice which Foucault seeks to develop on the basis of the discourse initiated by Marx at the modern theoretical conjuncture. For this purpose, it tries to bring to new light Foucault's understanding of Marx (the apparent absence of Marx in Foucault's work which is frequently taken by Foucauldian commentators as indicating his break with Marx) within the context of their commonly shared materialist challenge to the tradition of the history of philosophy.
The dissertation begins by arguing that Marx's and Foucault's materialist positions cannot be understood in terms of the traditional opposition between idealism and materialism concerning the question of philosophical foundations of knowledge, i.e., as a doctrine opposed to idealism. Rather, they are intended to overcome the modern anthropological mode of thought, which underpins such a dualistic category, in terms of "labor" and "body," respectively, which primarily play a central epistemological role in the decentering of the subject by suppressing purely philosophical questions about human nature and history. The major significances of their materialist discourses, it is further argued, lie in that Marx and Foucault perceive modern social practices in terms of power (rather than original significations or intersubjective meanings), i.e., as a structural or strategic configuration of power relations operating beyond human will and consciousness and that in doing so, they further seek to disrupt the modern idealist/humanist political notions and displace the location of politics beyond the state and its apparatuses. In light of these materialist conceptions of politics, both Marx's and Foucault's positions on the questions of subjectivity and struggle or resistance are further examined focusing on the productive and relational/strategic notions of power which can be found in their mature works.
Issue Date:1995
Rights Information:Copyright 1995 Lee, Ku-pyo
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9543645
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9543645

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