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Foucaultovo umění vidět

Kabinet pro studium vědy, techniky a společnosti při Filosofickém ústavu Akademie věd České republiky
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  • B Philosophy (General)
  • Philosophy


Art of seeing, John Rajchman argues in his essay, was in the center of Michel Foucault’s critical attention as well as practice. Foucault himself was a visual thinker and writer. More importantly, however, the ways in which historically changing vision determines not only what is seen, but what can be seen, are one of his major concerns. Rupture with self-evidences is then the first step one must take to make the invisible – yet not hidden – power visible. The invisibility of power, seen as the invisible light that makes other things visible, is what makes it tolerable. Knowledge and the practice of knowing themselves are constructed by the technology of the visual, such as the different types of spaces that bring about specific visibility. In Foucault’s histories, the prison or the clinic are such spaces that have visualized criminality, sexuality or madness in particular manner. However, problematization of these things needs to go beyond new ways of looking at them and has to question their entire field of vision. This implies that Foucauldian ethics is less concerned with what we do about things themselves, instead, it rather asks how we see them in the first place and how can they be seen differently. It thus requires not to look within us, on the contrary, we should look out, from outside of ourselves.

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