16. Power and the Subject

  1. Christopher Falzon2,
  2. Timothy O'Leary3 and
  3. Jana Sawicki4
  1. Amy Allen

Published Online: 5 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118324905.ch16

A Companion to Foucault

A Companion to Foucault

How to Cite

Allen, A. (2013) Power and the Subject, in A Companion to Foucault (eds C. Falzon, T. O'Leary and J. Sawicki), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118324905.ch16

Editor Information

  1. 2

    University of Newcastle, Australia

  2. 3

    University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

  3. 4

    Williams College, USA

Author Information

  1. Dartmouth College, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 5 FEB 2013
  2. Published Print: 12 MAR 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444334067

Online ISBN: 9781118324905



  • disciplinary subjection;
  • Foucault;
  • Greek ethics;
  • History of Madness (HM);
  • normalization;
  • Psychiatric Power;
  • Roman ethics


This essay focuses on three moments in Foucault's lifelong engagement with the pressing political question of the relationship between power and the subject. The first moment involves Foucault's examination of madness and Foucault's account of the relationship between the social-institutional and conceptual exclusion of madness and the constitution of the rational subject in modernity, as this is articulated in the History of Madness (HM). The second moment focuses on Foucault's later account of subjection and normalization, as presented in Foucault's famous genealogical works, Discipline and Punish (DP) and History of Sexuality (HS). Foucault's lectures on Psychiatric Power (C-PP) serve as a bridge between these first two moments. The third moment involves Foucault's exploration of technologies of the self in the context of ancient Greek and Roman ethics. There is a movement to Foucault's thought from madness as the condition of impossibility of thought to disciplinary subjection to the Stoic idea of conversion.