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Practices of Equality and Freedom Rancière and Foucault

Blaney, Stuart (2022) Practices of Equality and Freedom Rancière and Foucault. Doctoral thesis, Staffordshire University.

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Abstract or description

This thesis is an offering of an auto-emancipation from practices of the normative self in the
innovative form of a synergy of Jacques Rancière’s practices of equality and Michel
Foucault’s practices of freedom. It brings together Rancière’s understanding of ‘dissensus’
as a transgression of the hierarchal distribution of social space and time–le partage du
sensible (the distribution of the sensible)–and Foucault’s offering of parrhesia (frank
speech/truth speaking) as a transgression of normative discourses in an exploration of the
connection between subjectivity and truth: a truth speaking in the written and spoken word
and the courage to live the truth in actions and non-actions. In bringing together dissensus
and parrhesia, it also brings together these thinkers’ respective offerings of an aesthetics of
the self made manifest in the simultaneity of transgression and transformation illustrated by
Rancière’s politics and aesthetics and Foucault’s parrhesia and ethics of the self.
In combining practices of equality and freedom, this thesis traces a way of life as an
autodidactic emancipation via a self-tutelage (an authority over and instruction of oneself).
As such, it is not a descriptive ontology incorporating an understanding of a teleological
essence to the human form that must be freed, but a creative ontology that is autotelic.
Therefore, rather than following the lines of a politics of destination in a didactic and dialectic
deferral of an equality and freedom to come, it traces an immanent and aesthetic revolution
for the individual that is lived in everyday lives where practices of equality and freedom
happen now. Thus, it offers Rancière’s and Foucault’s quotidian practices as an immanent
and agonistic middle path in-between conformity and political revolution. As acts of individual
emancipation expand communally into worlds within worlds within the manifestation of other
social spaces–heterotopias–and other forms of social time–heterochronies, and thus form a
togetherness, this synergy also strikes a middle path in-between liberal individualism and
social atomism and communitarian positions and their stress on collective identities. To help
bring practices of equality and freedom together, this thesis also incorporates Rancière’s
archival research on the emancipatory life of the nineteenth-century worker-poet/philosopher
Louis-Gabriel Gauny and offers a novel interpretation of Gauny as having lived both equality
and freedom as everyday practices.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty: School of Digital, Technologies and Arts > English, Creative Writing and Philosophy
Depositing User: Library STORE team
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2022 09:20
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2022 09:20

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