A politics of pluralism
in Constructing Foucault’s ethics
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Chapter 7 sets out Foucault’s commitment to pluralism as the basis of his democratic approach to politics. The chapter starts by considering Foucault’s conception of power in comparison to Montesquieu’s conception of the ‘separation of powers’ as represented through the lens of the jurist Charles Eisenmann, as well as Louis Althusser’s writings on Montesquieu. It is argued that Montesquieu’s conception, if correctly interpreted, is in important senses homologous to Foucault’s. The chapter reinforces the homology between Foucault and Montesquieu by considering Foucault’s views on Adam Ferguson, in his final lecture in The Birth of Biopolitics (2008). The rest of the chapter utilizes Foucault’s interviews to further focus on how power relates to supporting democracy, ethics, morality, rights, democratic participation, and public engagement, while avoiding fundamentalism.

Constructing Foucault’s ethics

A poststructuralist moral theory for the twenty-first century


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