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Historia de la Sexualidad: La Voluntad de Saber (The History of Sexuality #1)

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4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  10,713 ratings  ·  394 reviews
The History of Sexuality is a trilogy by philosopher-historian Michel Foucault written between '76 & '84. Originally published in French, they're The Will to Knowledge (Histoire de la sexualité 1: la volonté de savoir), The Use of Pleasure (Histoire de la sexualité 2: l'usage des plaisirs) & The Care of the Self (Histoire de la sexualité 3: le souci de soi). They w ...more
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Published (first published 1976)
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Warwick
Jun 16, 2013 Warwick rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nobody whatsoever
This is a perfect example of the kind of writing characterised by Clive James as prose that ‘scorns the earth for fear of a puncture’. Foucault may be able to think – it's not easy to tell – but he certainly can't write.

Everywhere there is an apparent desire to render a simple thought impenetrable. When he wants to suggest that the modern world has imposed on us a great variety in the ways we talk about sex, he must refer to ‘a regulated and polymorphous incitement to discourse’. When he advance
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David
The History of (my) Sexuality:

At age five, I developed an affection for my babysitter. It is unclear if this was at all latent to any form of sexuality, merely friendship, or the product of society's exertion of power over my perceptions in regard to sexuality which taint the ideas I have of childhood relations through the lens of my memories.

***

At a young age I had a recurring nightmare which kept me often awake, that my father was chasing me around a tundra, riding a polar bear. It is unclear
...more
Suha

قد لا يكون لدي الكثير للإحاطة و وصف هذا الكتاب المحنك. لكن علي أن أشير لأكثر النقاط التي أثارت دهشتي.

أولها كانت في منهجية فوكو في معالجة موضوع الجنسانية و الجنس( وهما بالتأكيد أمرين مختلفين؛ حيث تشير الأولى للمنظومة الخطابية و الفكرية التي نمت حول قضية الجنس، أما الأخرى فتشير للغريزة الإنسانية البحت ) فهو يعمل بشكل تأريخي توليفي في تحليله لخلق الأفكار، فنجده يزاوج أو يربط بين السلطة و المعرفة و المتعة، أو الجنس/القمع، أو السلطة/المتعة، أو المعرفة/المتعة. من جهة أخرى، لغة فوكو تطفح أدبية و سلاسة
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AC
Disappointing, esp. after reading a masterpiece like Discipline and Punish. This book consists of a serious of loosely connected, and individually incomplete meditations on various topics, that are intended to serve (not very successfully, imo) as a prolgomena to a history of sexuality. Indeed, the project was abandoned (what was eventually publishd as vols. 2-3 was part of a newly and differently conceived project begun several years later), proving that the current work was a failure.

It shoul
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Y
um. what can i say about this book that hasnt already been said? i read it my second year of college and it blew my mind, and in a good way, unlike kant, who made me cry actual tears in overwhelming frustration. foucaults ability to trace the burgeoning relationship between science and sexuality, the changes in the ways of perceiving a womans body, the notion of the creation of (a) sexuality, and, of course, the dynamics of power and discourse, are nothing short of brilliant in this classic stud ...more
Trevor
A much more difficult Foucault - and not nearly as interesting as his history of madness. He seems to take a long time to get started and does seem to repeat himself an awful lot.

All the same, the ideas around the difference between Western and Eastern notions of sexuality are well with thinking about. Essentially Eastern sexuality is an erotic thing - something understood through experience. Western sexuality is 'scientific' in the sense that it only makes sense once we can talk about it.

Freu
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Asam Ahmad
The History of Sexuality is not really a history of sexuality. It is rather a genealogical study of a specific historical, political & discursive construction called ‘sexuality’ – a construction that has been deployed since its inception to police bodies and to service the social, political & economic exigencies of power.

Foucault begins by questioning why we so ardently believe that our sexuality is repressed – why we think 'confessing our sex' is a liberatory or even revolutionary acti
...more
gieb
Membaca buku ini pas dengan momennya. Karena seperti kita ketahui bersama, beberapa minggu terakhir ini, kita bisa menyaksikan betapa kekuasaan mampu menggapai, menembus dan mengontrol individu sampai pada kenikmatan-kenikmatan yang paling intim. Tanpa perlu saya sebutkan siapa aktor individu tersebut, kita dipahamkan dari peristiwa ini, bahwa di seputar hubungan intim itu telah dibangun perlengkapan serta mesin untuk memproduksi kebenaran. Artinya seks ternyata bukan hanya masalah sensasi denga ...more
Ali Ben
Why one more review?

Reading our comrades' review, one is very surprised. First of all, many seem to think this book "outdated", which is quite surprising - towards Foucault's writings, the question probably is if we failed the test of time, rather than if he did...

More interesting, most seem to be deceived by the title, and assume this is a book about "sexuality".

Indeed, the discourse on sexuality (Victorian Era, confession, psychoanalysis, etc.) forms its background. The real subject, however,
...more
Kristen Shaw
In the words of my professor, "we're living in a post-Foucauldian world, so this will seem really self-evident, but that doesn't mean its right." Coming from that angle, I've been reading from a very critical position. I like Foucault's thesis and his examination seems pretty exhaustive, at least historically. I'm really caught on the discussion of the bourgeoisie and proletariat 'sexual bodies.' Foucault's statement that the technology of sexuality and proliferation of sexual power discourses w ...more
Jessica D. Bicking
So, in February a friend of mine suggested we'd join this philosophy reading club at my university's humanities department and since I've been feeling my Danish slipping (and maybe my philosophy even more so), I agreed it was a good idea and more or less aimlessly signed up for this year's Foucault group. And while I have no idea how either my friend nor the group, that I only managed to take part in once, have fared with this piece -- I had to just finish it now, as it appears I am already owin ...more
Matt
The History of Sexuality is a history with little to no citation. What struck me as particularly frustrating with Foucault in Discipline and Punish is also present here. Whereas I have some understanding of legal history to recognize the generalities and oversimplified principles operating within his summary of criminal law, I don’t have the same background in gender studies or the equivalent. Undoubtedly, he sketches the evolution of societal response to sexuality in a hurried outline, but I ca ...more
sahar salman
ثلاثية الجنسانية لميشيل فوكو تبدأ من هذا الكتاب "المقدمة" أو كما سميت بالترجمة العربية "إرادة العرفان" ويبدأ منها ميشيل فوكو بسرد فكرة الجنسانية المختلفة عن فكرة الجنس بحيث أن مفهوم "الجنسانية" قد نشأ وتبلور في أبهى صوره خلال القرن الثامن والتاسع عشر في المجتمعات الغربية التي كان هدفها الأساسي هو إنشاء كثافة سكانية داعمة لمنهجية الإقتصاد والسياسة والتي طمحت لخلق بشر أصحاء ذو مهارات وصفات متميزة لخدمة المجتمع. أما عن فكرة "الجنس" فهو النشاط الحاصل بين شخصين تولدت بينهم الرغبة في الإشباع وقمع هذه ...more
Caterina
Dec 06, 2014 Caterina rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Caterina by: Patrick
"The aim of this series of studies? To transcribe into history the fable of Les Bijoux indiscrets. Among its many emblems, our society wears that of the talking sex. In the space of a few centuries, a certain inclination has led us to direct the question of who we are, to sex … The West has managed … to bring us almost entirely—our bodies, our minds, our individuality, our history—under the sway of a logic of concupiscence and desire. . . . Sex, the explanation for everything.” (pp. 77-78)

In the
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Bradley
Reading this for my Materialist Workshop/Reading Group. We've delved into Birth of the Clinic, a few of his Lectures, and the three volumes of History of Sexuality. Foucault said that History of Sexuality was supposed to be his magnum opus. It took him nearly a decade to complete, and it is comprised mainly of 'Big Ideas,' in the sense that Foucault often forgets to flesh out the details of his work. He paints in broad brush strokes, and I attribute this lack of detail to his burgeoning status a ...more
Erik Graff
Jun 15, 2013 Erik Graff rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Foucault fans
Recommended to Erik by: Karen Engdahl
Shelves: history
I read this while visiting friends in Springfield, Vermont, mostly on their porch and outside the town's sole cafe. The reading occurred after the completion of Norman O. Brown's Life Against Death, another book concerned with the liberatory and repressive potentials of sexuality.

My intellectual interest in sex stems in part from the recognition of how references to it are used to manipulate. Advertising is a conspicuous example, but the manipulatory sexualization of society is far broader and m
...more
Jamie
Foucault's "History of Sexuality" was assigned twice over the course of my semester; for one class, our theme is the intersection between queer and race theories; for the other, a strict literary (theory) methods foundation. As such, we discussed the text in two very different ways for each of the classes, with one debate focusing largely on the absence of race in Foucault's history; the other, on conceptions of power in the text, and their relation to Foucault's "What Is an Author?" Nevertheles ...more
Kevin
the failure of semiotics and semiology is not complete yet. the use of words to replace true symbols points to the inward navel gazing of READERS, who READ into things, not study the biostructure (or rather the biogenetic structures) of form, movement, semiologists seem to be unaware of the myths that suffuse the very words they employ to dissect other more sophisticated structures. indeed cosmopolitan, the craft is wedded to tools born in the lit criticism freud used and called psychoanalysis. ...more
Josh
a little repetitive. revolutionary, apparently.

Foucault claims that before the Victorian age, people's sex wasn't a source of their identity. You could have sex with dudes without being gay, and I guess you could have sex with rocks without being a perv.

the 18th century invented the scrutiny of sex, and by creating categories of sexual types, people began policing their own behavior. This possibly benefited the economy by establishing more productive social institutions.

The consequences are th
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Mai Abdulwahab
"السلطة توجد في كل مكان، ليس لانها تشكل كل شيء، وانما لانها تأتي من كل مكان.أما ال سلطة بما تحتويه كشيء دائم، متكرر، جامد، ذاتي- الإنتاج ، فليست سوي مفعول المجموع الذي يرتسم انطلاقا من كل هذه الحركيات،التسلسل الذي يعتمد علي كل واحدة منها ويحاول بالمقابل تثبيتها.
"السلطة ليست مؤسسة، ولا هي بنية، انها ليست قوة معينة قد تكون وقفا علي البعض: بل انها الاسم الذي نمنحه لوضعية إستراتيجية معقدة في مجتمع معطي."
بعد هذا النص لك ان تتخيل مدي تركيب وعمق أفكار هذا الكتاب الصغير الحجم ولكن مليء بالاشكالات المتع
...more
Jen Seman
After reading this, I can't read anything else without seeing his influence. The relationships between power/knowledge and the construction of sexuality...he turns assumptions upside down and offers a different way of interpreting events, especially commonly held ideas about power relationships. For example, he dismisses the idea that victorian values repressed sexuality. He would insist that just the opposite is true - that the Victorian age offered multiple sites and institutions which increas ...more
Carolina
É um livro interessante, no entanto tem vários problemas.
1. Se, quando o senhor estava a escrever o livro, considerou que as informações que estava a dar eram importantes, porque é que não as escreveu de forma clara e com palavras que existam mesmo?
2. Porque é que são precisos tantos capítulos para estar a dizer sempre a mesma coisa?
3. Você parece que não sabe tanto como está a tentar dar a entender.
4. Sim, é um bom argumento este que está a dar, mas... é só? 70% do livro é a apresentação de uma
...more
Holly
There's some interesting juxtapositions here, but if you've read a reasonable amount of Freud, had some early exposure to Thomas Kuhn, and plowed through a lot of Max Weber (as Foucault has, compare "Discipline & Punish" to the 2 Volume "Economy & Society" and the more difficult "Methodology of the Social Sciences"), there's nothing especially new here. The punch line is interesting, and I give Foucault credit for his striking formulation of it, but I'm not blown away.
kappoo
ازپایان سده شانزدهم بدین سو، "به گفتمان درآوردن" سکس نه از فرایند محدودیت، بلکه برعکس از سازوکار تحریک فزاینده تبعیت می کند، که نشان می دهد تکنیک های قدرتی که بر سکس اعمال می شود، نه از اصل انتخاب سختگیرانه، بلکه از اصل انتشار و اشاعه سکسوالیته های چند ریختی تبعیت می کند و نشان می دهد که اراده به دانستن دربرابر تابویی رفع ناشدنی متوقف نشده است، بلکه برساخت علمی از سکسوالیته اصرار داشته است. ...صفحه20
sologdin
a good book to read in a public café, wherein meatheads of any gender might discern the title and proclaim, as happened to me, that "y'all don't need no books for that because I can teachy'all." I can affirm that, whereas a picture is worth a thousand words, a meathead is worth a thousand books.
Amol
The more I get angry at this book, the more I become intrigued.
Lexidreams
Read for my Queer Studies class. A study of sexuality, bodies, pleasures, institutions, discourse, knowledge, power, 'truth', and all the relations therein. It definitely changed the way I think. He says in the book that the history of Western sexuality is really a history of discourse, and that is what you should be expecting (as he hammers home: sexuality is discursively produced).
It can be frustrating because it's a book based around ideas; the abstract and not the material. Somewhere in ther
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The Awdude
This book just might be one of the most important contributions to Western thought ever written. Every page is completely fascinating. I couldn't put it down, and I'm actually sad it's already over. Sadness is normal when experiencing theory, but usually not sadness as a result of the experience ending. That kind of sadness, for me at least, has traditionally been associated with having to leave the world of a piece of fiction. When I finished reading David Foster Wallace's three story collectio ...more
Mike Hayden
Great book except his chapters 'Objective' and 'Method' that due to their ambigouity and poor separation of law and normativity through instrumental reason, as well as his strange deployment of causal-language, and hi unfortunate focus on 'discourse' weaken his overall argument and historization of sexuality. Remarkable though is his geneology of sexuality and how this is not equivolent to sex or pleasure or desire. Truly a remarkable act of close reading into the creation of the 20th century.
Nikolay Mollov
Изследването на Мишел Фуко в първи том на История на сексуалността. Волята за знание поглежда към периода от 17 до 19 век (както и лаконично споменаване на 20 век). Идеините насоки на труда са свързани с очертаването на промените, настъпили в сексуалността по време на разглеждания период. Някои от основните понятия в инструментариума на Фуко са: власт, знание, дискурс, диспозитив, анатомополитика, биовласт, биополитика, биоистория. Чрез тези понятия Фуко изгражда основните си идеи като очертава ...more
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sexuality 1 34 Aug 31, 2011 01:04AM  
  • Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of "Sex"
  • Epistemology of the Closet
  • This Sex Which Is Not One
  • In a Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives
  • Saint Foucault: Towards a Gay Hagiography
  • Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life
  • Of Grammatology
  • Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times
  • The Trouble with Normal: Sex, Politics, and the Ethics of Queer Life
  • Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud
  • Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics
  • The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays
  • Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia
  • No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive
  • Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality
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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
More about Michel Foucault...

Other Books in the Series

The History of Sexuality (3 books)
  • The History of Sexuality 2: The Use of Pleasure
  • The History of Sexuality 3: The Care of the Self
Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences The Archaeology of Knowledge & The Discourse on Language The History of Sexuality 2: The Use of Pleasure

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“Where there is power, there is resistance.” 207 likes
“The appearance in nineteenth-century psychiatry, jurisprudence, and literature of a whole series of discourses on the species and subspecies of homosexuality, inversion, pederasty, and "psychic hermaphroditism" made possible a strong advance of social controls into this area of "perversity"; but it also made possible the formation of a "reverse" discourse: homosexuality began to speak in its own behalf, to demand that its legitimacy or "naturality" be acknowledged, often in the same vocabulary, using the same categories by which it was medically disqualified.” 22 likes
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