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Self-Transformations – Foucault, Ethics, and Normalized Bodies - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Self-Transformations: Foucault, Ethics, and Normalized Bodies

Cressida J. Heyes


This book argues that we live in an age of somatic subjects, whose authentic identity must be represented through the body. When a perceived mismatch between inner self and outer form occurs, technologies can step in to change the flesh. Drawing on Wittgenstein's objections to the idea of a private language, and on Foucault's critical account of normalization, this book shows how we have been led to think of ourselves in this way, and suggests that breaking the hold of this picture of the self will be central to our freedom. How should we work on ourselves when so often the kind of self we are ... More

Keywords: inner self, outer form, Wittgenstein, private language, Foucault, normalization, popular culture, dieting, cosmetic surgery, yoga

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2007 Print ISBN-13: 9780195310535
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195310535.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Cressida J. Heyes, author
University of Alberta
Author Webpage