Religion and Philosophy

Linus Recht on Foucault, Plato, and the Ethics of the Self in the Internet Age

In today’s episode of the Telos Press Podcast, David Pan talks with Linus Recht about his article “After Desire: Foucault’s Ethical Critique of Psychological Man and the Foucauldian Ethos of the Internet Age,” from Telos 196 (Fall 2021). An excerpt of the article appears below. In their conversation they discussed Foucault’s critique of the psychological self and his search for a form of selfhood that would allow for continual reinvention and the discovery of new pleasures; how a reading of Platonic psychology demonstrates the weakness of Foucault’s critique of the psychological self as a historical construct; how contemporary social media has translated Foucault’s ethics of the self into reality; and how the ubiquity of mobile phones and similar devices in our everyday life, particularly the way that they subject us to a constant stream of distracting stimuli, suggests that Foucault’s notion of what the self could be might actually be a recipe for misery.

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