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The History of Sexuality 2: The Use of Pleasure (The History of Sexuality #2)

4.07  ·  Rating Details ·  2,539 Ratings  ·  68 Reviews
In this sequel to The History of Sexuality, Volume I: An Introduction, the brilliantly original French thinker who died in 1984 gives an analysis of how the ancient Greeks perceived sexuality.

Throughout The Uses of Pleasure Foucault analyzes an irresistible array of ancient Greek texts on eroticism as he tries to answer basic questions: How in the West did sexual experien
Paperback, 304 pages
Published April 14th 1990 by Vintage (first published 1983)
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Dec 04, 2012 Suha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thoughts

تاريخ الجنسانية و احد من أكثر الكتب الفكرية التي استمتعت بقراءته. بالتأكيد يرجع الفضل في ذلك لجدارة الكاتب في طرح و تحليل هذا الموضوع بالإضافة لإهتمامي الشخصية في الموضوع كحالة إنسانية و فكرية.
يقدم هذا الجزء من مجموعة تاريخ الجنسانية المنظور اليوناني لها. حيث يوضح فوكو الفضاء الذي تعامل فيه اليونان (بصفتهم أجداد للثقافة الأوروبية و المسيحية المقبلة) معها، مؤكدا أنهم بالرغم من إقرارهم بالعلاقات المثلية بالإضافة للزواج الشرعي، فإنهم عاملوا الجنسانية كموضوع للمتعة و إنشغلوا بسبل أستعمالها الصحية و
Oct 06, 2008 Mr. rated it really liked it
Foucault's continuation of his impressive History of Human Sexuality looks into the sexual mores and practices of the Ancient Greeks, and attempts to understand the development of sexuality as a moral problematic. Contrary to the conventional wisdom which posits a complete epistemic reversal from the Hellenic world to the Christian world, Foucault poses a more complex network of interconnections between the two paradigms, which lie in a valuation of asceticism. Although The Use of Pleasure is on ...more
Fahad Alqurain
Mar 31, 2015 Fahad Alqurain rated it really liked it
مجنون هذا الفوكو
بهذا الجزء يطرح فوكو الكثير من الأفكار لدى الاثنيين القدماء وفلسفاتهم ويناقشها ويحللها

استعمال المتع وتدور افكار هذا الجزء نحو ثلاثة أجزاء
الاول الحمية البدنية والرياضية والفكرية
والثانية الجانب التربوي البيتي
والثالثة حب الغلمان

ويناقشها ويحللها ويقارن بين الكثير من حوارات الفلاسفة

ويتعمق حتى يأخذك معه في جانب المؤيد لهذه الأفكار
وبالطبع حين تعرف أن فوكو من المؤيدين للمثلية الجنسية ولكن لا يرغمكعلى موافقته بل يدعك تحلل وتفكر معه هل كانوا محقين ام لا
وبطبيعة الفطرة الانسانية نقول
Nuno Ribeiro
Foucault entra a fundo nos textos gregos. Percebemos como os gregos viam o prazer. Como regulavam o sexo e se regulavam a si próprios. Que preconceitos tinham sobre o género e sobre os papéis de cada um na sociedade.

Sobretudo a partir dos textos morais e de comentários sobre comportamentos da altura, que chegaram até hoje, sabemos como os os gregos viam as relações. Ficamos a saber que valorizavam acima de tudo o domínio do próprio sobre as paixões do corpo.

É mais tarde que o cristianismo vem l
Rikkert Kuijper
Aug 10, 2015 Rikkert Kuijper rated it really liked it
I'll attempt to recap the whole thing in a few hundred words, without looking anything up. If you find something wrong, please let me know, it'll help me remember better.

DISCLAIMER: Foucault mentions multiple times that there are plenty of philosophers whose works have not been preserved, and so he bases his book mostly on Platonic-Socratic notions of sexuality.

First of, there was no notion of proper ''sexuality'' back in Ancient Greece. Of course there were ideas of homo and heterosexuality, bu
ماهرعبد الرحمن
بالإجمال، لكي يسمى فعل ما "أخلاقيا"، لا ينبغي أن ينحل إلى عمل أو مجموعة أعمال مطابقة لقاعدة، أو قانون أو قيمة ما. صحيح أن كل فعل أخلاقي ينطوي على علاقة بالواقع الذي يتم فيه، وعلى علاقة بالقانون الذي يستند إليه؛ لكنه ينطوي أيضا على علاقة معينة مع الذات؛ ليست هذه العلاقة مجرد "إحساس بالذات"، بل هي تكوين للنفس كـ "ذات أخلاقية" فيه يحدد الفرد ذلك الجزء من نفسه الذي يشكل موضوع الممارسة الأخلاقية، وموقفه بالنسبة إلى القاعدة التي يتبعها، ويركز لنفسه نمط عيش معين يصلح كتحقيق أخلاقي لذاته. ولهذا الغرض، ي ...more
Oct 10, 2011 Ernest rated it liked it
This was a lot more interesting than volume one. The subtitle should have been "The Use of Pleasure in Ancient Greece" or "Same-sex Sexuality in Ancient Greece" or something along those lines.

If Foucault had set a broader scope -- let alone settle with modern, and less-obfuscating terminology -- he would have summarily concluded the following:

"It is important to emphasize that people who engage in same-sex sexual practices do not necessarily have a homosexual orientation. The same-sex sexual act
Jacob Rabas
Aug 29, 2013 Jacob Rabas rated it it was amazing
First I should note that I am not really concerned with the accuracy of Foucault's interpretations of ancient Greek texts or even with sexuality as a topic of study. I'm not a Classicist so I can't comment on the empirical validity of the work. However, I am interested in understanding the truly original aspects of his work, mainly his theory of power, subjectivity, and the concept of discourse. In The History of Sexuality 1: An Introduction Foucault provides us with a sketch of his notion of po ...more
Jasreet Badyal
Apr 14, 2011 Jasreet Badyal rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Philosophy, Political Thought, Ethics
Recommended to Jasreet by: Professor
I read this for a political philosophy course on sexual ethics as the last work after thinkers from the following categories: Greek, Christian, new natural lawyers, and liberalism. It was part of a combined senior undergraduate and graduate seminar.

I really enjoyed how Foucault offers a different way to understand Greek sexual ethics and a different way to understand sexual ethics in our own time. This is one of the last works he wrote before he passed away, so at times it does end up feeling ru
Rui Coelho
Jul 24, 2016 Rui Coelho rated it liked it
In this book Foucault shows how Ancient Greek sexual norms were technologies of the self, exercices to create oneself as a free, healthy and happy subject, and not laws or proibitions.
Erik Graff
Jun 15, 2013 Erik Graff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Foucault fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
It does indeed seem to be the case that many of the ancient Greeks and Romans were oblivious to what we see as the ethical issues pertaining to human sexuality. Of course, given our limited sources, it is difficult to generalize with a high degree of certainty. What we have was written by elites and filtered through elites over centuries when women were regarded as inferior, adulthood started earlier, marriages were frequently arranged and various forms of slavery (often including a sexual compo ...more
Oliver Bateman
Jul 24, 2011 Oliver Bateman rated it really liked it
A fine short survey of classical Greek sexual thinking, yet Michel Foucault's work with these primary sources isn't as impressive as it is with materials from the 17th and 18th centuries. A heavy reliance on two major 1970s-era histories by KJ Dover seems to suggest that Foucault isn't so much breaking new ground as sowing seeds in already-fertilized fields. All in all, though, this was a worthwhile and interesting read, even if it wasn't as provocative as Volume 1.
Has some important insights, but Foucault's over-reliance on Attic prose substantially weakens his arguments - note that he doesn't even mention Sappho! And he quotes from the tragedians maybe twice? There are many classicists of the past few decades who have done much better work on ancient Greek sexuality. Foucault is more interested in making a point about the world that he lived in than in actually understanding the way the Greeks lived.
Jan 29, 2013 Daniel added it
Recommended to Daniel by: LaBuff
I met this guy at a party who wanted to do nothing but talk about Foucault (I didn't like him very much). HIS opinion was that Foucault was awful. I wouldn't say awful, but he is not easy to read. If I met Foucault at a party, I would probably like him as much as I did that guy who insulted him. But he wrote about interesting things.

No rating because I skipped about half the book. Oops!
Zizo Ghoname
يعطيك هذا الكتاب فكره عن مدى مرونة ومطاطية كل شئ متعلق بالنفس البشريه
بداية من الاخلاقيات ونهاية الى الاذواق والتابوهات المجتمعيه
ويتجلى هذا واضحا في توجيه الكاتب نظره تحليليه
لبعض النصوص المتعلقه بالجنسانيه في المجتمع اليوناني القديم بشكل خاص
Dec 01, 2008 Dan rated it liked it
Shelves: philosophy
A short, straightforward work that analyzes the relation of sexuality to social power. Worth reading not only for the good clear writing, but also for Foucault's original take on sexuality as an object of knowledge.
Oct 02, 2015 Mason rated it liked it
A meditation on the problematization of desire in Ancient Greece. Foucault presents the era's ethics of pleasure in stark contrast to the hermeneutics of desire that emerged with early Christian doctrine.
Patrick Stein
Mar 01, 2016 Patrick Stein rated it liked it
While I really loved Volume 1, Volume 2 was exceedingly repetitive. I lost count of the number of times that I had to double-check that I hadn't inadvertently skipped back four or five pages.
Luke Echo
Sep 05, 2016 Luke Echo rated it really liked it
Is this really a book about sexuality itself? Is it rather a critique of the usual ways of understanding Ancient Greek practices? That, usually, our understanding of Ancient Greece so often falls into error by relying on a kind of pragmatic approach to history.

It is this pragmatic approach that would lead one to see precursors of christian sexual ideas in the the Ancient Greek tendencies toward abstention.

Its easier reading than a lot of Foucault's work but also perhaps due to this ease it is
Feb 22, 2013 Geoff marked it as to-read
Anybody have opinions on whether I should read these in order? Because I kinda want to read the one about the Greeks asap.
Neil Turner
Again, not one of my favorite topics that Foucault wrote about or critiqued.
Adriana Scarpin
May 23, 2016 Adriana Scarpin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: filosofia, historia
O capítulo um, Problematização Moral dos Prazeres, com aphrodisia se refere a moral sexual da Grécia antiga, assim como chresis trata do uso dos prazeres propriamente dito, ou seja, o grau de temperança mantido, enquanto enkratheia trata do autodominio necessário para atingir a mesma e liberdade e verdade trata do homem viril que se coloca em posição ativa de temperança em oposição a passividade pelos desejos da intempérie.
No capítulo dois, Dietética, na parte intitulada Do Regime em Geral, Fouc
I could congratulate Michel Foucault on his research and examination of the way in which ancient greeks regulated, viewed and analyzed sexuality. I could talk about how he didn't present a completely distorted view of something that's commonly understood as the unavoidable differences between the greek and the Christian conception, because obviously civilizations had been previously preparing to receive such a message. The people of the Old Testament, though still Jewish, are not the same person ...more
Nov 25, 2012 Benjamin rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
Less theoretical than the first volume, but it's up to other readers to decide whether that's a good or a bad thing. Foucault presents a history of the "problematizations" of sexuality in ancient times, from marriage to health, homosexuality and love. Foucault doesn't promise a complete analysis but a survey of the key issues that had arisen in ancient Greece. As with his look at Victorian values, the question is not how sexuality was viewed in these eras, but how such a thing as "sexuality" was ...more
this book is a bit like a rorschach test: people tend to read their own issues into the work. do you have issues with homosexuality? then you'll probably read this as foucault's justification of homosexuality based on man-boy love in greece. do you have issues with reactionary, 1970s style feminism--by which i mean, is that the kind of feminism you practice? then you'll probably read this as an infuriating book because it doesn't address women as the central focus of the book.
disregard these rev
Pascal Christeller
Apr 22, 2016 Pascal Christeller rated it it was amazing
I really seemed to storm through this book. I finished the first volume a while ago, and really liked it. I've done a lot of learning on Greek mythology, philosophy and what not since and I was very prepared for this book. It goes like a gem with Lacan's Seminar VIII on Transference where he goes in detail literature theory of Plato's Symposium, Foucault touches on this a lot. I also appreciate Foucault's look at hom-oecinomicus as Xenophon's Oecinomicus. The chapter on Erotics and True Love is ...more
En este segundo volumen Foucault expone todos los aspectos de la sexualidad y acoge las dimensiones de una antropología general del placer, sin olvidar la dimensión económica de la sexualidad ni su adscripción a un orden jurídico y social; estudia además el estatuto del matrimonio y la organización del hogar. La obra concluye con un tratado de erótica y una reflexión sobre lo que habría de ser el amor verdadero.
Jun 04, 2014 Lawrence rated it really liked it
In the second volume of his History of Sexuality, Foucault primarily explores the axes along which sexuality was problematized in ancient Greece. He discusses three fields of practice: the regimen of the body, the household management of marriage, and the courtship of young men. He identifies three “techniques of the self” (251) by which sexual conduct was modulated: dietetics, which calls for a “moderation defined by the measured and timely use of the aphrodisia” (251), by which an individual m ...more
David Bird
Apr 23, 2013 David Bird rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-landmarks
This book broke the spell of Foucault for me. In works like Discipline and Punish The Birth of the Prison by Michel Foucault he wove a net from works that were unknown to me. Who was I to question his readings?

Here I finally saw him at work on an author and text I knew, and when I looked at what he did with Xenophon, I found his reading of the Oeconomicus was bizarre and tendentious.

Fully escaping from Foucault would take me until The Greeks & Greek Love A Bold New Exploration of the Ancient World by James Davidson but this was the start.
Jul 25, 2009 Sandy rated it did not like it
Shelves: critical-theory
This book is one of the few books that actually makes me angry. Foucault abandons his life's work and theory of power so he can glorify man-boy sexual relations in Ancient Greece. I don't care that he has that view of it, but he just becomes one more writer who wants to say it is ok that HE is gay because the Greeks were pedaphiles (not the same thing as gay and a very poor argument by the way). Foucault completely ignores the inherent hierarchy in the man-boy relationship and only at the end of ...more
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Michel Foucault was a French philosopher, social theorist and historian of ideas. He held a chair at the Collège de France with the title "History of Systems of Thought," and lectured at the University at Buffalo and the University of California, Berkeley.

Foucault is best known for his critical studies of social institutions, most notably psychiatry, medicine, the human sciences and the prison sys
More about Michel Foucault...

Other Books in the Series

The History of Sexuality (3 books)
  • The History of Sexuality 1: An Introduction
  • The History of Sexuality 3: The Care of the Self

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