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Natureza humana

versão impressa ISSN 1517-2430


CANDIOTTO, Cesar. Government and the direction of conscience in Foucault. Nat. hum. [online]. 2008, vol.10, n.2, pp. 89-113. ISSN 1517-2430.

The problematization of government in Michel Foucault's investigation opens new possibilities for the study of his thinking. In the present article, one of them is argued from a double and inseparable perspective: firstly, the articulation between government of others and government of self in the Christian pastoral power (Foucault characterizes the pastoral power as the germen of western hermeneutics of desire, focused on the renunciation of will and on integral obedience); secondly, the government of self and its relation to the government of others in Imperial Stoicism, whose objective is the self-mastery through the self-control of will. The purpose of choosing the contrast between these two perspectives is to discuss the matter of the direction of consciousness as a technique of government, as conduction of conducts. Moreover, we intend to emphasize that in the direction of consciousness of Roman Stoicism, such as put forward by Foucault, it is possible to identify the constitution of singular subjectivities which are irreducible to the processes of individualization and interiorization inaugurated in the 4th century AD by monastic Christianity.

Palavras-chave : government; ethics; direction of consciousness; stoicism; christianity.

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