2. Foucauldian enlightenment: the pluralization of reason
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Seen in this light, one of the central critical goals of the Foucauldian aesthetics of the self is to support and strengthen the existential possibilities of various excluded groups (women and sexual minorities, for example) to sound out on their own. In this respect, his aesthetic theorizations have an explicitly political character: They work to re-define identity as a site for cultural resistance and individual autonomy that might pave the way for alternative styles of living and identification.
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In my view, Foucault's late writings on the aesthetics of the self attempted to develop a critical alternative for this sort of "aestheticization" of the subject by looking more intensively at possible forms of active resistance that could strengthen individual autonomy and also effect changes in social conditions. What he offers, I suggest, is in some respects a more positive account of the subject, who might also transgress the limits of bio-power through the search for alternatives to modern self-subjugation.