Friday, May 16, 2008

Wisnewski, J. Jeremy. "Review of Amy Allen's THE POLITICS OF OUR SELVES." NDPR May 17, 2008.

Allen, Amy. The Politics of Our Selves: Power, Autonomy, and Gender in Contemporary Critical Theory. New York: Columbia UP, 2008. The Politics of Our Selves begins by rethinking the Foucault/Habermas debate -- a debate that centers on the place of critique in the network of power. In reading Foucault's work, where power 'is everywhere' and is that in virtue of which agents are constructed and placed within systems of normalization and subordination, a persistent worry seems to arise: if power is absolutely everywhere, how is it possible to engage in the critique of power in such a way that we might (at least partially) liberate ourselves from the oppressive aspects of power? If power pervades everything, it follows that it pervades rationality, and hence that the use of rationality itself is riddled with the very means of subordination we are trying to overcome. It is precisely this criticism that has been leveled against the Foucaultian enterprise by philosophers like Habermas and Charles Taylor. . . . Read the rest here:

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