8. Foucault's Untimely Struggle

  1. Christopher Falzon2,
  2. Timothy O'Leary3 and
  3. Jana Sawicki4
  1. Paul Rabinow

Published Online: 5 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118324905.ch8

A Companion to Foucault

A Companion to Foucault

How to Cite

Rabinow, P. (2013) Foucault's Untimely Struggle, in A Companion to Foucault (eds C. Falzon, T. O'Leary and J. Sawicki), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118324905.ch8

Editor Information

  1. 2

    University of Newcastle, Australia

  2. 3

    University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

  3. 4

    Williams College, USA

Author Information

  1. University of California, Berkeley, USA

Publication History

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

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444334067

Online ISBN: 9781118324905



  • human practices;
  • Michel Foucault;
  • thinking


Michel Foucault, during the early 1980s, devoted the bulk of his scholarly efforts to a renewed form of genealogical work on themes, venues, practices, and modes of governing the self and others. This work came to be known unfortunately as the “late Foucault”. This essay explores some of the historical elements at play during this deeply (re)formative years. The essay is organized around a prelude that introduces the problem of what mode is appropriate for giving form to thinking. It argues that Foucault engaged in a struggle to redefine the object of thinking. In doing so, he was not only led to pursue a venue in which such thinking could be practiced, but also to an increasingly articulate and acute quest for a form that would constitute a difference between what Foucault diagnosed as an impoverished modern problem space and a future in which things might be different and better.