Foucault’s Critique of the Science of Sexuality: The Function of Science within Bio-power

Sokthan Yeng


Foucault’s critique of the science of sexuality takes aim at both Freud and science.  Foucault does not, as is common, seek to undermine psychoanalysis by claiming that it does not meet the rigors of science.  Instead, he shows that scientific and psychoanalytic theories intersect because they are mechanisms of modern politics—biopolitics.  Foucault suggests that politics determines the value of life and these sciences help to disseminate and promote knowledge about the privileged lives and lifestyles.  Psychoanalytic, biological, and anatomical readings of sexuality are given credence because they dovetail with the dominant political discourse about life.


Foucault, Freud, Canguilhem, sexuality, science

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