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The Art of Life: Foucault's Reading of Baudelaire's "The Painter of Modern Life"

The Art of Life: Foucault's Reading of Baudelaire's "The Painter of Modern Life" jsp elmira college In his essay "What Is Enlightenment?" Foucault compares the role of modernity in the work of the decadent Parisian poet Charles Baudelaire with that of the austere Prussian philosopher Immanuel Kant. He claims that the relationship between these two strange bedfellows can be found in the value each writer accords to the present in contrast to the past and future. Each writer claims, in his own style, that each individual must render his or her existence meaningful by cultivating what Foucault calls in this essay a philosophical ethos. This conception of the philosophical form of life forms the conceptual basis of Foucault's later work. I briefly interpret Foucault's discussion of Kant and Baudelaire in "What Is Enlightenment?" in order to begin to reconsider this idea of a philosophical ethos through a reading of Baudelaire's seminal essay in art criticism, "The Painter of Modern Life." From this initial ethical sense of life as self-fashioning, I turn next to the living body as the object of discipline (in Foucault) and custom (in Baudelaire) in the first section, before concluding with a consideration of life in its biological sense in the final section of the essay. I track http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of Speculative Philosophy Penn State University Press

The Art of Life: Foucault's Reading of Baudelaire's "The Painter of Modern Life"

The Journal of Speculative Philosophy , Volume 24 (2) – Jan 8, 2010

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Penn State University Press
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Copyright © Penn State University Press
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1527-9383
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Abstract

jsp elmira college In his essay "What Is Enlightenment?" Foucault compares the role of modernity in the work of the decadent Parisian poet Charles Baudelaire with that of the austere Prussian philosopher Immanuel Kant. He claims that the relationship between these two strange bedfellows can be found in the value each writer accords to the present in contrast to the past and future. Each writer claims, in his own style, that each individual must render his or her existence meaningful by cultivating what Foucault calls in this essay a philosophical ethos. This conception of the philosophical form of life forms the conceptual basis of Foucault's later work. I briefly interpret Foucault's discussion of Kant and Baudelaire in "What Is Enlightenment?" in order to begin to reconsider this idea of a philosophical ethos through a reading of Baudelaire's seminal essay in art criticism, "The Painter of Modern Life." From this initial ethical sense of life as self-fashioning, I turn next to the living body as the object of discipline (in Foucault) and custom (in Baudelaire) in the first section, before concluding with a consideration of life in its biological sense in the final section of the essay. I track

Journal

The Journal of Speculative PhilosophyPenn State University Press

Published: Jan 8, 2010

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