The History Of Sexuality, By Michel Foucault

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”The History of Sexuality” is a three-volumes book, published around 1976 and 1984 by the french historical philosopher Michel Foucault. The three volumes are “An Introduction” (which later is known also as “The Will of Knowledge”), “The Use of the Self” and “The Care of the Self”.
I decided to focus my paper on the first volume, the most mentioned and most known, which is a deep analysis of the last two centuries of history of sexuality, particularly oriented in finding out why and how sexuality is an object of discussion. Foucault is not interested in sexuality itself, but he is interested in how it has become an object of knowledge. Why, in the past few centuries, have we increasingly come to see our identity as bound with our sexuality?
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The final chapter (The Right to Death and the Power Over Life) is particularly interesting and contemporary. He argues that even if biopower seeks to invest in life, wars had never been more murderous than today’s era. Wars were in the past conducted in the name of the sovereign, while contemporary wars are conducted in the name of race, and the elimination of the “Other”, to make society stronger.

Given the complexity of Foucault’s masterpiece, I will just provide a brief summary of the book, the five parts of it, and I will concentrate more on Foucault’s analysis of power, on his critique to the classical theory of sovereignty and examining his modern analytic of power, and on the relation to political philosophy.

History of Sexuality: 1, The Will of
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The discussion starts from the Roman Catholic Church, when priests call for followers to confess their sinful deepest desires. As evidence, Foucault brings up the book “My Secret Life”, anonymously written during the 19th century, describing the sex life of a Victorian gentleman. At the start of the 18th century, there was a political and economical incitement to talk about sex, with experts talking both moralistically and rationally about sex, with governments becoming aware that they were not merely managing subjects, but a population, and as such they had to concern with birth and death rates, marriage, contraception, and as a matter of fact,
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