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|Title:||Desire, Discipline and the Political Body in Michel Foucault and St. Augustine|
|Keywords:||dissertation, Augustinian, political, problems, disciplines, rehabilitates, normalizes, punishment|
|Abstract:||This dissertation is an attempt to develop an Augustinian response to political problems diagnosed by Michel Foucault's analysis of modern political power. Foucault argues that the primary acts of power in the modern age are not repressive acts but creative ones. Instead of prohibiting acts, political power disciplines, rehabilitates and normalizes. The result of this is a disciplined and docile subject within which relations of power are so deeply embedded that 'liberation' can only bring about their entrenchment and the absorption of all aspects of life into the political structures they represent. Foucault's alternative consists in practices of aesthetic self-creation not linked to transcendent or natural construals of order. William Connolly extends Foucault's argument by criticizing Augustine as a thinker projecting a moral order onto the world and then categorizing the world on the basis of this order. This contrasts with Connolly's attempt to derive political practice from ethical sources that do not attempt to order the cosmos unambiguously . I use John Milbank to begin an Augustinian response as Milbank understands Augustine as developing an ontology grounded in the priority of peace and plenitude to violence and scarcity. This provides the basis for my argument that within Augustine's account of the purposive nature of love and desire within the subject lies an implicit critique of Foucault's ethic of aesthetic self-creation. What follows this is an attempt to outline the significant characteristics of a political posture formed by the practice of the Eucharist. These characteristics provide an alternative to both modem political practice and Foucauldian practice. The final chapter applies this Augustinian political posture to the realms of sexuality, on one hand, and punishment and discipline, on the other.|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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