Subjectivation in Political Theory and Contemporary Practices

pp 47-71


The Excruciating Work of Love: On Foucault’s Kehre Towards the Subject

  • Andrea Mubi BrighentiAffiliated withUniversity of Trento


The chapter reconstructs the theory of subjectivity in the work of Michel Foucault. It highlights how the question of the subject emerges progressively in Foucault’s oeuvre, as the French theorist’s preoccupations shift from normativity towards a more general problem of measure and self-measurement. The chapter enquiries into subjectivation as a set of subject-making relations where recognition and control do not stand in opposition to each other. It focuses, in particular, on the crucial role played by truth-telling as first-person practice entailing specific ‘risks’. In the final part, the chapter advances the hypothesis that love could be an important element to understand Foucault’s project—to the point that Foucault’s theory of subjectivation could be understood as a philosophy of love.