On the Government of the Living Lectures at the Collège de France, 1979-1980

by ; ;
  • ISBN13:


  • ISBN10:


  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 3/8/2016
  • Publisher: Picador

Note: Supplemental materials are not guaranteed with Rental or Used book purchases.

Purchase Benefits

  • Free Shipping On Orders Over $59!
    Your order must be $59 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
List Price: $22.00 Save up to $7.70
  • Rent Book $14.30
    Add to Cart Free Shipping


Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.
  • The Rental copy of this book is not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.


In these lectures delivered in 1980, Michel Foucault gives an important new inflection to his history of “regimes of truth.” Following on from the themes of knowledge-power and governmentality, he turns his attention here to the ethical domain of practices of techniques of the self. Why and how, he asks, does the exercise of power as government demand not only acts of obedience and submission, but “truth acts” in which individuals subject to relations of power are also required to be subjects in procedures of truth-telling? How and why are subjects required not just to tell the truth, but to tell the truth about themselves? These questions lead to a re-reading of Sophocles’ Oedipus the King and, through an examination of the texts of Tertullian, Cassian, and others, to an analysis of the ‘truth acts’ in early Christian practices of baptism, penance, and spiritual direction in which believers are called upon to manifest the truth of themselves as subjects always danger of falling into sin. In the public expression of the subject’s condition as a sinner, in the rituals of repentance and penance, and in the detailed verbalization of thoughts in the examination of conscience, we see the organization of a pastoral system focused upon confession.

Author Biography

Michel Foucault, acknowledged as the preeminent philosopher of France in the 1970s and 1980s, continues to have enormous impact throughout the world in many disciplines. He died in 1984.

Arnold I. Davidson is a professor at the University of Chicago and the University of Pisa. He is co-editor of the volume Michel Foucault: Philosophie.

Graham Burchell is the translator, and has written essays on Michel Foucault. He is an Editor of The Foucault Effect.

Rewards Program

Write a Review