The Body Problematic: Political Imagination in Kant and Foucault

Paperback | November 4, 2010

byLaura Hengehold

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Late in life, Foucault identified with “the critical tradition of Kant,” encouraging us to read both thinkers in new ways. Kant’s “Copernican” strategy of grounding knowledge in the limits of human reason proved to stabilize political, social-scientific, and medical expertise as well as philosophical discourse. These inevitable limits were made concrete in historical structures such as the asylum, the prison, and the sexual or racial human body. Such institutions built upon and shaped the aesthetic judgment of those considered “normal.”

Following Kant through all of Foucault’s major works, this book shows how bodies functioned as “problematic objects” in which the limits of post-Enlightenment European power and discourse were imaginatively figured and unified. It suggests ways that readers in a neoliberal political order can detach from the imaginative schemes vested in their bodies and experiment normatively with their own security needs.

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Late in life, Foucault identified with “the critical tradition of Kant,” encouraging us to read both thinkers in new ways. Kant’s “Copernican” strategy of grounding knowledge in the limits of human reason proved to stabilize political, social-scientific, and medical expertise as well as philosophical discourse. These inevitable limits ...

Laura Hengehold is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Case Western Reserve University.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 9.03 × 6.03 × 0.85 inPublished:November 4, 2010Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:027103212X

ISBN - 13:9780271032122

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Table of Contents

Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction: Imagination and Problematization

Part 1: The Political Topology of Kantian Reason

Drawing the Boundaries of Pure Reason

Transcendental and Other Topographies

The Quest for Unity

Discursivity and Materiality

The Virtues of Communicability

The Kantian Body—Missing in Action

Part 2: Man and His Doubles: Two Ways to Problematize

Heterotopia and the Phenomenological World

In the Field of the Problematic Object

The Man-Form: Empirical and Transcendental

Materiality and Resemblance: Statements

Materiality and Resemblance: Bodies

An-aesthetic philosophy?

Part 3: Locked in the Market

From Raison d’État to Phobie d’État

Migration of Sovereignty

The Normal and the Normative

Crisis in Liberalism

Negative Anthropology

Afterword: Not Similar to Something, Just Similar

References

Index

Editorial Reviews

“In The Body Problematic, Laura Hengehold develops an ingenious and comprehensive account of the relation between body and State in Kant and Foucault. . . . By laying out the issue, the author has set the bar very high, and thereby done those working in the field a huge favor. We now have a new benchmark that both inspires us and vindicates our work.”

—Alexander I. Stingl, Foucault Studies