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Ethics, sexuality and asceticism. Construction of the subject, technologies of the self and power structures in the late work of Michel Foucault (1977-1984)

Graziano Lingua, Antonio Lucci


The paper will consider Michel Foucault’s production between 1979 and 1983, placing the question of the constitution of the subject, both individual and collective, at the centre of the analysis. The objective is twofold: on the one hand, to highlight structural similarities and parallels between the techniques of the constitution of the individual subject and those of the constitution of a collective social body. On the other hand, to show, through a parallel examination of Foucaultian concepts of “technologies of the Self” and asceticism, the identities and differences between pagan philosophical subjectivity and that of early Christianity, which were both shaped through different (but connected) corporal and spiritual practices.


asceticism; Foucault; self; subject; monasticism

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