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The form of conversion to the self in Michel Foucault's thought: Resonances of The Hermeneutics of the Subject and questions for psychoanalysis

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Samuel Iauany Martins Silva
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Doctoral Thesis
Press: Assis. 2022-01-28.
Institution: Universidade Estadual Paulista (Unesp). Faculdade de Ciências e Letras. Assis
Defense date:
Advisor: Danilo Saretta Verissimo

This paper develops two problems concerning the classes given by Foucault in 1982 at the Collège de France. The first, more extensive, consists in an analysis of the descriptive category of the conversion to the self in the framework of the philosophical spirituality presented that year. The second is about formulating a field of resonances between the precept of the care of the self (epiméleia heautoû) and Lacanian psychoanalysis. Starting with a Prelude, we delimit the singularity of The Hermeneutics of the Subject under the therapeutic function of philosophy, that is, under its exercise as a spirituality based on the care of the self, and not in the Delphic’s precept of the knowledge of the self (gnôthi seautón). In Chapter I, we analyzed the conversion to the self as the typically Greco-Latin’s form of relationship with oneself. We evaluate the possibility of glimpsing, in this category, the process of subjectivation that Deleuze draws from Foucault, namely, an affection of the self by the self, represented by the notion of fold. In this sense, we talk about the Foucauldian’s interpretation of the ancient spiritual exercises, relating them to the image of the fold. In Chapter II, we work on the relationship with the Other, which is the philosopher in the exercise of the therapeutic function. We start from the paradox constituted by the apparent aprioristic character of the relationship with oneself, demonstrating that it only happens in correlation with a philosopher master and with a philosophical group. In this session, we address the historical modes of positioning the Other, outline the specificity of the Greco-Latin master, and comment on his historical effects on the production of truth for the disciple. In the Interlude, we turn to the definition of truth as an equipment (paraskeué) of protection and help, forged in the Epicurean and Stoic contexts. We introduce the approach between philosophy and medicine, which stipulates truth in its content as a curative force. In this context, we question the tendency and impossibility of understanding the paraskeué as the moment when Foucault elaborates a conception of truth supposedly isolated from coercive forces. Finally, in Chapter III, we take up again the question addressed by the philosopher to psychoanalysis, which seeks to understand whether there is an affinity between it and the spirituality of the care of the self. As a result, we demonstrate some resonances of this precept in the problem of the analyst's positions, and we formulate an approximation between the subject of the conversion to the self and the Lacanian notion of the subject of the significant. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 19/11506-9 - Michel Foucault and the conversion to the self: resonances of the hermeneutics of the subject in the field of psychological ideas and techniques
Grantee:Samuel Iauany Martins Silva
Support Opportunities: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate (Direct)