Foucault, sexuality, and an epistemico-ontological ground for resistance

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Graduate School of Social Sciences, Turkey

Approval Date: 2009


Supervisor: AHMET İNAM


Michel Foucault characterizes power as ubiquitous and productive in the sense that there is no power-free truth, subject, and knowledge. Moreover, he studies the historical conditions of truth and subject to have an existence in a way that he historicizes them rather than delineating truth as corresponding to reality and subject as a self-subsistent and ahistorical substance. In this respect, his anti-essentialist account of power, truth, and subject is criticized on the account that he excludes the possibility of resistance against power through deconstructing any firm ground which is absolutely free from history and power and thus a promising substratum on which resistance can be substantiated. In this study, I will argue that these criticisms are ill-founded because they are either based on the misunderstandings of Foucauldian account of power or functioning with an assumption that resistance entails essentialist metaphysics as a ground, the assumption which is itself devoid of justification. Moreover, I will claim that it is an anti-essentialist ground—an epistemico-ontological ground—that supplies Foucault with a basis for substantiating the account of resistance.