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Foucaultian Ethics and Human Rights Education

Foucaultian Ethics and Human Rights Education FOUCAULTIAN ETHICS AND HUMAN RIGHTS EDUCATION SARAH WINTER Drawing a connection between Eleanor Roosevelt’s infl uential 1948 defi - nition of human rights as “a way of life,” and Michel Foucault’s late writings (1981-84) on “the care of the self (le souci de soi-même),” political philosopher Alexandre Lefebvre’s Human Rights and the Care of the Self claims to “consti- tute a new object of inquiry”(7): human rights conceived not as a means “to protect people whose rights are at risk of violation” (3), but rather as an every- day therapeutic practice (2) of “ethical subjectivation” (18) by and for the sake of the individual. Lefebvre bases this approach on Foucault’s distinc- tive notion of ethics, described as “the relationship the self establishes with itself through a moral code, and, more specifi cally, the work the individual undertakes on him- or herself in order to become a subject of that code” (12). For Foucault, Lefebvre explains, such care for the self is freely undertaken, transformative in aim and effect, and conceives of the self as “a self-suffi cient moral end” (15). Rather than focusing specifi cally on Foucault and human rights or crafting a genealogy, however, Lefebvre’s learned and original http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png symploke uni_neb

Foucaultian Ethics and Human Rights Education

symploke , Volume 28 (1) – Nov 24, 2020

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © symploke
ISSN
1534-0627

Abstract

FOUCAULTIAN ETHICS AND HUMAN RIGHTS EDUCATION SARAH WINTER Drawing a connection between Eleanor Roosevelt’s infl uential 1948 defi - nition of human rights as “a way of life,” and Michel Foucault’s late writings (1981-84) on “the care of the self (le souci de soi-même),” political philosopher Alexandre Lefebvre’s Human Rights and the Care of the Self claims to “consti- tute a new object of inquiry”(7): human rights conceived not as a means “to protect people whose rights are at risk of violation” (3), but rather as an every- day therapeutic practice (2) of “ethical subjectivation” (18) by and for the sake of the individual. Lefebvre bases this approach on Foucault’s distinc- tive notion of ethics, described as “the relationship the self establishes with itself through a moral code, and, more specifi cally, the work the individual undertakes on him- or herself in order to become a subject of that code” (12). For Foucault, Lefebvre explains, such care for the self is freely undertaken, transformative in aim and effect, and conceives of the self as “a self-suffi cient moral end” (15). Rather than focusing specifi cally on Foucault and human rights or crafting a genealogy, however, Lefebvre’s learned and original

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symplokeuni_neb

Published: Nov 24, 2020

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