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The Passion of Michel Foucault

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9780006380658: The Passion of Michel Foucault
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This is a study of Michel Foucault's life in philosophy. Foucault was probably the most influential Western philosopher since Sartre. Hailed as an original thinker, he has also been criticized as a dangerous and irresponsible nihilist. Drawing on extensive research, this book focuses on the philosopher's obsession with death and his taste for sado-masochistic sex. By the author of "Democracy in the Streets".

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Michel Foucault is one of the most controversial intellectuals of the twentieth century. Idolised as a cultural hero in both Europe and America, he was an unusually charismatic philosopher. In a series of profoundly original and disturbing studies of madness, crime, sexuality and death, he succeeded in revolutionising the way we understand our lives and societies. In the 1970s and ‘80s, freed from the etiquette of Parisian academia, Foucault spent time in San Francisco, experimenting with LSD and erotic sadomasochism. He repeatedly plunged himself into what he called ‘limit experiences’, subverting the boundaries between life and death, pain and pleasure. He died of AIDS in 1984.

In this brilliant biography James Miller exposes with unrelenting frankness Foucault’s many selves and reveals for the first time the intricate connections between his intellectual 'oeuvre' and his most intimate sensibilities.

‘James Miller’s impressively documented study of Foucault’s life in philosophy, is an electric, disturbing, and brilliantly provocative work, truly worthy of its subject, and an essential companion to a reading of late twentieth-century Western culture.’
EDWARD SAID

‘James Miller may shock some readers with his way of talking about both sex and philosophy, Nietzsche and AIDS, theories of knowledge and sadomasochism, but out of these contrasting elements he constructs a heroic life, one that illustrates the very notion Foucault developed late in his career, the idea that a philosopher’s life should be exemplary and that he himself should be a lover of wisdom, a seeker of truth.’
EDMUND WHITE

‘Miller’s is by far and away the most robust, intelligent and valuable [account], an outstanding intellectual biography of an elusive thinker whose ideas have never before seemed so coherent or so genuinely respectable... 'The Passion of Michel Foucault' is at once a humane and an essential book,’
JOHN STURROCK, 'Independent on Sunday'

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9780385472401: The Passion of Michel Foucault

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