22. Foucault's Eros

For an Ethics of Living in Biopower

  1. Christopher Falzon2,
  2. Timothy O'Leary3 and
  3. Jana Sawicki4
  1. Lynne Huffer

Published Online: 5 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118324905.ch22

A Companion to Foucault

A Companion to Foucault

How to Cite

Huffer, L. (2013) Foucault's Eros, in A Companion to Foucault (eds C. Falzon, T. O'Leary and J. Sawicki), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118324905.ch22

Editor Information

  1. 2

    University of Newcastle, Australia

  2. 3

    University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

  3. 4

    Williams College, USA

Author Information

  1. Emory University, USA

Publication History

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

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444334067

Online ISBN: 9781118324905



  • biopower;
  • ethics of eros;
  • Foucault;
  • History of Madness;
  • modern sexuality;
  • queer theory


This chapter reappraises Foucault's first major book, History of Madness, published in French in 1961, as a foundational text for understanding sexuality in modernity. At stake in this reappraisal is the place of sexual ethics in contemporary queer theory, a field that takes Foucault's writings about sexuality as perhaps its most important philosophical source. Starting with the story about the production of perversions as deviations from a rational moral order, this chapter focuses on the ethical stakes of rationalized sexuality in biopower. In “Foucault's Ethics of Eros,” the author develops the conception of a Foucauldian ethics of eros as a transformative thinking-feeling of life in biopower.