Chapter

Ancient sex

Gary Gutting

in Foucault

Published in print March 2005 | ISBN: 9780192805577
Published online September 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191776113 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/actrade/9780192805577.003.0010

Series: Very Short Introductions

Ancient sex

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Towards the end of his life, Foucault's topic of exploration turned to the ethical formation of the self, which emerged from his analysis of modern power relations. ‘Ancient sex’ looks at Foucault's analysis of the historical constitution of ethical identity beyond the Christian hermeneutics of the self and its modern secular equivalent. According to Foucault, there are few differences between the ancients and the Christians on the level of moral codes and conducts, but fundamental differences emerge when we look at the formation of ethical subjects. What does Foucault mean by his phrase ‘living the truth’? He means trust as the product of individual self-creation and truth-telling as a social virtue.

Keywords: St Augustine; Michel Foucault; Friedrich Nietzsche; power; Paul Ricoeur

Chapter.  3091 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: 20th-Century Philosophy

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