Foucault on Power and Government - A Guest Lecture by Paul Patton

Paul Patton (University of New South Wales) will give a public lecture on 2 November 2016 at 16:15 in room Jakobi 2-114. The title of the talk is "Foucault on Power and Government"

Paul was a student of both Foucault and Deleuze when he was completing his PhD in Paris in the late-1970s, and he is currently Scientia Professor of Philosophy at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Paul translated Deleuze's Différence et Répétition into English, and at the beginning of his career he published widely on Deleuze, Derrida, Foucault, and other French Post-structualist thinkers. More recently, Paul has been working on the intersection between Anglo-American Political Theory (Rawls, Nozick, Cohen, Pettit, etc) and Continental Political Thought (Nietzsche, Foucault, Deleuze, Agamben, etc). Specifically, Paul has been teasing out the implications of Nietzsche's and Foucault's analysis of power for political liberalism and key liberal ideas, including: autonomy, individual rights, and pluralism.

Abstract of the talk:
Foucault’s lectures in 1976 open with the statement of an intellectual crisis. They proceed to a series of questions about the nature of power and the ways that he has conceived of it up to this point: What is power? How is it exercised? Is it ultimately a relation of force? Only some of these questions are answered in the course of these lectures. His answer to the conceptual questions about the nature of power and the appropriate means to analyze it is not forthcoming until after the discovery of ‘governmentality’ in 1978 and his lectures on liberal and neoliberal governmentality in 1979. This talk aims to retrace his answers to these questions in the light of the published lectures and to examine the consequences of these answers for his overall approach to the analysis power, and for his analysis of liberal and neoliberal governmental power.