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Alfa: Revista de Linguística (São José do Rio Preto)

Print version ISSN 0002-5216On-line version ISSN 1981-5794

Alfa, rev. linguíst. (São José Rio Preto) vol.60 no.3 São Paulo Sept./Dec. 2016 




*UFSC – Universidade Federal da Santa Catarina- Pós-Graduação em Linguística. Florianópolis - SC - Brazil. 88010350 -


This paper aims to offer a new reading of the notion of authorship in Michel Foucault, defined and discussed from three fundamental texts: The Archaeology of Knowledge, What is an author? and The Discourse Order. The hypothesis is that authorship can be read as an apparatus and, from this perspective, it may be questioned from the concept of resistance and ethical concern the so-called “final Foucault”. To defend this hypothesis, we resort to the first apparatus concept description and the concept of authorship in archaegenealogy and according to some commentators. Then draws up an argument between the apparatus of authorship and the possibilities of resistance and subjective creation, present in concepts like epimeleia heautou, criticism or unsubjectivation. Finally, it is suggested that the authorship can be read since after the politics order of a policy and a fight between the subject and apparatus.

Key words: Authorship; Apparatus; Archagenealogy; Michel Foucault


“What is authoring?” Here’s a question that, at least since the last half of the twentieth century, has marked both the fields of language studies (in particular) and the said “humanities” and philosophy. Since the vaunted death of the author, engendered by the hexagonal scripture of the 1960s and 1970s, until the politicization of the authorship’s role in contemporary theories, the relationship between the apparatus of authorship and the development of somewhat free, creative forms of a person to write and apply as an author still arises as a problematization about which questions of various orders are made.

In this text, I intend to reactivate Foucault’s problematization of authorship by following some ethical premises suggested by the French author in his recent texts (FOUCAULT, 2006, 2009c, 2010, 2011, 2013a). The hypothesis to be defended is that there is, between the appearance of the author’s concern – being it as an author function or as a procedure of discursive ordering (FOUCAULT, 2015, 2012, 2002) - and the displacement of archeogenealogy towards ethics, a dystopia produced in Foucault’s discourse, with an importance lying in envisioning an authoring procedure that, less than a codified function of the apparatus, would strategically work by shifting the subjective possibilities, in accordance with freer, more critical forms.

In other words, beyond the descriptions of the author function in the archeogenealogy discussion, this article aims to observe the so-called “last Foucault” and the possibility of the ethical production of the self to shed new light on questioning authorship, in the sense of thinking it in accordance to a “limit-experience” or an “écriture de soi”. Authoring, in a last measure, could be understood as a unsubjectivity and resistance procedure and, in this sense, a construction of displacements of the apparatus themselves - contrary to the hypothesis centered, up until the 1970s, in the circumscription and censorship of a legal power (that Foucault himself, as we shall see, denied).

For this, the text begins with the presentation of the concept of apparatus based in its Foucaultian meaning and in the readings it receives. From there, we refer to a general review of the author’s concept of the itinerary (function, procedure, anthropological category) in archeogenealogy, to finally assume the hypothesis suggested by Roger Chartier, who says that authorship could configure an apparatus – the apparatus of authorship1. At the end of this paper, we establish a confrontation between Foucault’s own writing experience and his epimeleia heautou and Kantian critic’s problematization on one side, and the circumscription that Foucault’s best-known discussion about authorship demands, on the other. In this case, we defend the thesis, along with Judith Butler (2015), that it is in the model of writing and freedom the archeogenealogist wishes for himself that a new authoring way would reside, strategic and unsubjectivated.

The apparatus, the subject and the resistance

The concept of apparatus has been used by Michel Foucault on several occasions during the period known as “analytical power” (MACHADO, 2009; DREYFUS, RABINOW, 1995). Although one of the chapters of The Will to Knowledge carries the title of dispositif (apparatus) – in the original French version, Le Dispositif de Sexualité (FOUCAULT, 1980) -, it was in an interview for the International Psychoanalytical Association, in 1977, that he talked about the concept:

What I’m trying to single out with this term is, first and foremost, a thoroughly heterogeneous set consisting of discourses, institutions, architectural forms, regulatory decisions, laws, administrative measures, scientific statements, philosophical, moral, and philanthropic propositions-in short, the said as much as the unsaid. Such are the elements of the apparatus. The apparatus itself is the network that can be established between these elements.

[…] by the term “apparatus” I mean a kind of a formation, so to speak, that at a given historical moment has as its major function the response to an urgency. The apparatus, therefore, has a dominant strategic function.

[…] I said that the nature of an apparatus is essentially strategic, which means that we are speaking about a certain manipulation of relations of forces, of a rational and concrete intervention in the relations of forces, either so as to develop them in a particular direction, or to block them, to stabilize them, and to utilize them. The apparatus is thus always inscribed into a play of power, but it is also always linked to certain limits of knowledge that arise from it and, to an equal degree condition it.

The apparatus is precisely this: a set of strategies of the relations of forces supporting, and supported by, certain types of knowledge. (FOUCAULT, 1980, p.195).

Foucault (2009a) claims that the constitution of the apparatus is based on two processes: “functional overdetermination”, related to the dissipation of its elements and to the other apparatuses; and the “strategic fill”, known as the plastic mechanism for apparatus’ reutilization from new historical urgencies.

An apparatus would be a complex and relational network composed of a field of visibilities, which allows the emergence of objects seen in accordance with specific criteria; a field of enunciations, which stratify the visible in possible schemes of speech; and a field of power lines, related to the power-knowledge and to the strategies and urgencies to those it replies to (DELEUZE, 1990). In an apparatus happens what Foucault (2012) suggested about the “discursive formations” and their formation rules (formation of objects, concepts, strategies). As pointed out by Deleuze in his reading of the Foucaultian apparatus, an apparatus would still be responsible for the formation of two lines properly strained and related: the line of objectification, producing a will for truth and subjects; and the line of subjectivity, resisting and recreating new lines, other apparatuses and more (or less, within the limit) creative forms of being a self (DELEUZE, 1990).

What draws attention in the concept of apparatus is the centrality that the concept gives to the production of the triad power-knowledge-subject in the route of archeogenealogy. This is the same that saying belonging to the apparatus is the condition of the action and the possibility of displacement from the ground in which we produce ourselves, and the possibility of any production itself – somewhat free. The apparatus concerns the politics rather than matters involving ideology or the State – indeed, it is a kind of response to Althusser (1980). Foucault (2009a) had already stated that the apparatus adopted two rules contrary to a theory of central power and to any “last resort” dependency to the economic infrastructure. With that he states that there are distributions and allocations of knowledge moving continuously and at various levels (“Continuous variations rule”) and that there is a double conditioning between global strategies and local tactics on an apparatus (“Double conditioning rule”).

Thus an apparatus does not run the same way an apparatus of state does (ALTHUSSER, 1980), merely because the power theory sustaining its theoretical and practical existence is of another order. In Foucault, the king’s head was cut off and in its place, a problematic of power that works according to force vectors in a network of microphysical and interchangeable relations has been established, capable of engendering difference, displacement, and other multiplicities. In this case, the kingdom belongs to micro-politics, and the apparatus is, therefore, the operational concept required by this political anatomy of power: “It is somehow a microphysics of power brought into play by the apparatus and institutions, but whose field validity stands somehow between those big runs and bodies themselves, with their materiality and their forces.”2(FOUCAULT, 2013b, p.29).

As Foucault states in Discipline and Punish (FOUCAULT, 2013b), the power with which archeogenealogy operates cannot be defined by the property order, but by mobile tactics and strategies that go through subjects, groups, machinery. Furthermore, power is not subsumed by repression or prohibition but presents itself as a constant investment, of contrary or similar vectors. Foucault (2013b, p.30) suggests that renouncement “[...] to the violence-ideology opposition, to the metaphor of property, to the model of contract and conquest; [...]”3 is necessary. His thesis is that there is a “political anatomy”, at the same time that power passes through the body itself, sometimes gently, sometimes stubbornly.

The dependency between a microphysical theory of power and the concept of apparatus is exemplary discussed by Giorgio Agamben. For the Italian philosopher, “apparatus” corresponds to a technical term essential to the Foucaultian thinking, despite the absence of a precise theoretical characterization. Agamben (2014) notices precisely the relationship between the apparatuses and the living, as pointed out by Foucault. For this, the Italian appeals for a brief genealogy of the term. At first, he shows the mark of the metaphysics fracture in the concept of oikonomia between the Church’s second and sixth centuries. The “oikos administration” requires a separation built into the Trinity: as God is the ontological plane, Christ figure as one who rules, which manages. Schizophrenia is armed in such separation, as this Christian oikonomia requires an incorporate separation in the Trinity: while God belongs to the ontological plan, Christ appears as the one who governs, who manages. Schizophrenia is armed in such distinction since this Christian oikonomia requires a distinction between the political action (the image of Christ), and the Being (God, who is not stopped by praxis issues).

It is from this “theological heritage” (AGAMBEN, 2014, p. 36) that the concept in Foucault arises from an activity of pure constitution of subjects unrelated to the Being. The Italian approximates the apparatus etymology (“dis-ponere”) of what Heidegger defined as Gestell: a way of revealing the real to mankind. In “The Question Concerning Technology”, Heidegger (2007) states that the essence of modern technology is nothing technical, but the possibility of calculation and world’s arrangement of the living in relation to the factuality condition: “The essence of technology rests on the framework” (HEIDEGGER, 2007, p.387), construed as an always-now condition of existence of the living. However, in the Gestell philosophy, it was about two fundamental questions, similar, but not identical: have the world as being in the world (what Heidegger will call Dasein) is participating in the technical world in its positivity; however, the way in which the current technique exists (in the twentieth century) is the calculation of the world and the metaphysics – therefore negative and dangerous.

Agamben (2014, p.37) notes the strict relationship between this series of discourses about the mankind and the world. Similarly, the Christian oikonomia, the Gestell, and the apparatus reveal “[…] a set of practices, bodies of knowledge, measures, and institutions that aim to manage, govern, control, and orient-in a way that purports to be useful-the behaviors, gestures, and thoughts of human beings.” From this approach, the author starts making some distinctions regarding the Foucaultian apparatus.

At this point, Agamben’s text points out that from the relationship between the apparatus and the bodies a third element arises: the subject. In the contemporary world, given the multiplicity of apparatuses, the subjectivity category necessarily has to lose its strength, as there are many “subjectivity processes” (AGAMBEN, 2014, p.40). The contemporary “framework” requires the loss of a subjective consistency and, within the limits, of the questioning of consistency that this subjectivity owned up to now, for what, via Foucault, we have learned to call anthropological or conscientious philosophies.

So what is the point of Agamben’s re-conceptualization of apparatus? Firstly, the belief that “hominization” is a production process of mediations between the living and the world in the form of apparatus. The matter is, we could say, post-Foucaultian, simply because the apparatuses would not only be marking just a Western world model (usually outlined from Christianity and consolidated in its organization in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries), but would also be the demanding and unavoidable power of the “living x world” mediation, working as subjectivity machines that can be transformed, dislodged, and recreated. In this case, also multiplied in many different forms - from cellular phones to television remote controls, going beyond the “traditional” apparatuses of the Foucaultian power-knowledge, as sexuality.

However, the capture of apparatuses, responsible for forms of subjectivity in the modern and contemporary worlds, as taught by Michel Foucault, brings in itself the implication of danger, since these apparatuses are not subjected to “profanity.” Everything would, according to Agamben (2014), pass as a “political eclipse” and of the government’s autonomy of docile bodies, since the myriad of the available apparatuses would have become, all at one time, the too-fragile subjectivity processes and the ever-totalizing governmental capabilities – which the Italian approximates from “catastrophe.”

An urgency is now stated by Agamben (2014, p.51): “the profanation of the apparatuses”, responsible for a dis-government that intervenes in the subjectivity processes. This urgency, as we know, is somewhat an implication of the “last Foucault” ethics, reinterpreted by Agamben. In 1982, after a discussion with Rabinow and Dreyfus, Michel Foucault pointed out that there were three types of struggles: “either against forms of domination (ethic, social, and religious); against forms of exploitation which separate individuals from what they produce; or against that which ties the individual to himself and submits him to others in this way (struggles against subjection, against forms of subjectivity and submission)” (FOUCAULT, 2014a, p. 123). It is about the management of our “self” by the apparatuses that the Foucaultian question arises: “who are we?” In other words, politics is taken as “profanity” (an Agamben’s concept) of the apparatuses and the subjectivities they engender. In Foucault’s case, we are talking about a refusal and a creation, the “philosophical task” of nowadays:

The target nowadays is not to discover what we are but to refuse what we are. And to imagine and build up what we could be in order to rid ourselves of our ongoing subjectivation to the simultaneous individualization and totalization of modern power structures. (FOUCAULT, 2014a, p.128).4

Foucault’s concern could be characterized as a de-subjectivity enterprise: the inventions of oneself would work as spaces of freedom in the apparatuses, rewriting them critically. It is precisely according to an agonistic thought that fights must be fought: “More than an essential ‘antagonism’, it would be best to talk about an ‘agonism’ – of a relationship that is, at the same time, mutual incitement and struggle “(FOUCAULT, 2014a, p.134).

In the form of an agonistic, therefore, is how we will see the relationship between the subject and the apparatus in this article. The next section aims to observe the general features and strategic operation of the authoring apparatus.

Authorship as an apparatus

The problem of authorship in discursive studies can be read from the considerations of Michel Foucault. In archeogenealogy there are three texts that refer directly to the problem: The Archaeology of Knowledge, What is an author? (both published in 1969), and the inaugural lecture at Collège de France, The Order of Discourse (originally published in 1970). In these cases, Foucault’s reading points out to the necessity of denaturalizing the author as a given or natural entity; to the production of authorship within the regulations and the orders of discourses.

In chapter two of Archaeology..., The regularities of the Discourse, Foucault (1972, p.24) elaborates a discussion that requires a “negative work” on notions that follow the “continuity” theme – the tradition, the œuvre, the book. In this denial, the French questions the possibilities of circumscribing a œuvre, and asks:

[...] does the name of an author designate in the same way a text that he has published under his name, a text that he has presented under a pseudonym, another found after his death in the form of an unfinished draft, and another that is merely a collection of jottings, a notebook? (FOUCAULT, 1972, p. 24).

It is, therefore, in the matter of the œuvre as a subject’s total production, which works as a denotation. Foucault’s text states that the reason why we the certainty of the œuvre in the existence of an author is the assumption of an individual expression to be preserved, commented, questioned – the “reality” order. The circularity Foucault proposes is about the “expressive function” that a œuvre always results in something. However, how are we supposed to ensure the unity between Nietzsche’s name and his autobiographical fragments, in his philosophical texts, or in the postcards he signs as “Dionysos” or “Kaiser Nietzsche”?

Against the continuity forms, what is opened is the vast domain of discourse, anarchistic events described through an archeology that operates in accordance to anti-humanism. Instead of the origin and the expression of an individual, the statements and the game of their relationships woven into the filigree, “[...] that neither language nor sense could entirely exhaust.”5 (FOUCAULT, 2012, p.35).

The author will have more detailed analysis yet in 1969, at the conference - followed by a debate - held in the French Psychoanalytical Society and soon after published in Bulletin de la Société Française de Philosophie. The text gained notoriety with the title What is an author?, and is both a project and a rectification. A project because Foucault immediately points out that he gives the issue only a glimpse. A rectification and mea culpa because, contre lui même, the author had used – and will remain to do so – the “name of the author” exactly in the book that supposed the “death of the subject”, The Order of Things (FOUCAULT, 2000).

What he examines, then, is the scripture, in accordance to the collapse of the expression. There is a releasing of the subjective expression’s theme, since the text is a game of the precedent significant, a requirement for taking the word; besides, the scripture sanctions the relationship between the mark and the death because, unlike writing in antiquity, the problem is sacrifice, it is the deletion of the subject in the name of the text and its game.

The problematic is certainly recovered from Barthes (1968), for whom the figure of the author is the key to modern scripture, which requests an identity and a confession of legitimacy about the text. Notwithstanding the tyranny of this Author, spelled in upper case, the sacrifice was also marked in modernity, via Mallarmé, Flaubert, Proust or Brecht. The inversion towards textuality requires the end of decrypting, and of the author’s and reader’s stable positions:

We know now that a text is not a line of words releasing a single ‘theological’ meaning (the ‘message’ of the Author-God) but a multi-dimensional space in which a variety of writings, none of them original, blend and clash. The text is a tissue of quotations drawn from the innumerable centres of culture. [...] (BARTHES, 1997, p.146).

Just like Barthes (1988), it is precisely the theme of the scripture that “[...] when rigorously applied, […] should allow us not only to circumvent references to the author but also to situate his recent absence” (FOUCAULT, 1977, p.27). The “transcendental lock” operated by Mallarmé and Beckett, for example, indicates the end of a presence. Despite the strength of this disappearance, the reading proposal of the author’s function goes beyond: “[...] it is not enough to declare that we should do without the writer (the author) and study the work itself” (FOUCAULT, 1969, p. 3). What recovers it is the game of forces, tactics, and strategies that this function occupies beyond text and language – at a discursive level.

In this game, what matters is the specific relationship that the author has with the proper name. The proper name has no functioning, but it guarantees homogeneity, authentication, a coherent explanation of the whole of a œuvre. Furthermore, the name ensures a differential status within the culture, since “[…] it is about a word that must be received in a certain way […]” (FOUCAULT, 2015, p. 278). Thus, the name of the author does not respond to the possible reality of a proper name and of its referent. The pointing relationship is of a different order, not the one of civil status: in the “rupture of discourses” which carries, differentially and in accordance to marked strategies, the author’s function: “the author function is, therefore, characteristic of the mode of existence, circulation, and functioning of certain discourses within a society” (FOUCAULT, 1969, p.6).

The author function is, therefore, a typically Western discourse, with four distinct characteristics: 1. It is a form of property related to texts, which started between the eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries, that guarantees the ownership and also the punishment of the author for his transgression (the author and censorship are, as we see, coexistent figures); 2. It is exercised differentially, as per discourses – in this sense, it deflates (in a “chiasmus”) the author-function in the physical-mathematical, and becomes a fundamental requirement in the field of literature; 3. It is a complex operation that makes the attribution of authoring an individual, even when what exists is a “[...] plurality of ego [...]” (FOUCAULT, 2015), a dispersion of the subject that the author-function aims to organize; and 4. Finally, the authorship is a reconstruction of the “inert material” from the significant - personal pronouns and deictic system – pointing outwards. The four characteristics are summarized as follows:

[...] the “author-function” is tied to the legal and institutional systems that circumscribe, determine, and articulate the realm of discourses; it does not operate in a uniform manner in all discourses, at all times, and in any given culture; it is not defined by the spontaneous attribution of a text to its creator, but through a series of precise and complex procedures; it does not refer, purely and simply, to an actual individual insofar as it simultaneously gives rise to a variety of egos and to a series of subjective positions that individuals of any class may come to occupy. [...] (FOUCAULT, 1980, p.125).

The author function takes place only in a culture where the individual and his freedom are erected as supreme values. The author, in this case, “[...] is undoubtedly only one of the possible specifications of the subject” (FOUCAULT, 1980, p. 127). It is about reversing the matter, replacing the subject’s freedom and expression the conditions which enabled a process that allows the subject, in his dispersion. In another version of the same conference, held at Buffalo University in 1970, the anthropological position supporting the authorship thesis (related to œuvre and origin) is mentioned:

[...] the author is not an indefinite source of significations that fill a work; the author does not precede the works; he is a certain functional principle by which, in our culture, one limits, excludes, and chooses; in short, by which one impedes the free circulation, the free manipulation, the free composition, decomposition, and recomposition of fiction. In fact, if we are accustomed to presenting the author as a genius, as a perpetual surging of invention, it is because, in reality, we make him function in exactly the opposite fashion. One can say that the author is an ideological product, since we represent him as the opposite of his historically real function. When a historically given function is represented in a figure that inserts it, one has an ideological production. The author is therefore the ideological figure by which one marks the manner in which we fear the proliferation of meaning. (FOUCAULT, 1980, p. 129).

Behold, the author is only one of the ways of understanding the end of romanticism of discourses and unlimited senses, of which the event-censorship is “[...] a restriction of cancer proliferation.” Using Marx, Foucault says that the author function plays a regulatory role after the eighteenth century, industrial and bourgeois, based on individualism and private property.

The resumption of the authorship problem and its circumscriptions happens in 1970, during the inaugural lecture at Collège de France. In the occasion, the defense of the working hypothesis appears, saying that in every society there is a series of mechanisms that control, select, organize and distribute the production of discourses, and that intend to conjure their dangers (this is the so-called “logophobic” hypothesis, that will be defended for now), and their character of event (FOUCAULT, 2002).

Didactically, it is possible to distinct those mechanisms in three different groups: the external procedures, three major “exclusion systems” (FOUCAULT, 2002, p.19), related to the game between power, desire and censorship, which are part of the prohibition, the separation between reason and madness, and the will to truth - the latter with an institutional support and knowledge economy; the internal procedures, with the function of, within the same discourses, building the submission of chance through commentary, author and discipline (the “policy of truth”). The third group makes rarefied those who can speak: the ritual, the discourse societies, the doctrines, the systems of social appropriation of discourse (pedagogical apparatuses are highlighted) limit the entrance of the order of discourse, sometimes demanding status legitimacy, sometimes sharing a secret.

Before discussing authorship, the subject of this paper, it is important to talk about the criticism that Foucault (2002, p.46) performs against three central themes of modern philosophy. The first one, “[...] the founding subject [...]”, keeper of senses, and the assurance of the explicitness of things beyond history and discourse. The second, related to the subject, is the “original experience”, a kind of a primitive recognition for any subject that can listen (FOUCAULT, 2002, p.47). And finally the third theme, the “universal mediation”, which would allow the discourse to reverberate in direct transparency – and accessible to the universal subject as the foundation – the secret truth of things.

Against this significant theory, of our very respectful civilization in relation to discourse, Foucault aims to restore the thickness of statements by questioning the subject’s “will to truth”, unseating the origin issue, and demanding the appeal to the series and to the events and, with that, breaking with “[...] the sovereignty of the signifier.” (FOUCAULT, 2002, p. 51).

What does this critique to the philosophical anthropology, recovered from The Order of Things, establishes regarding authorship? The necessity of an inversion. Thus, against continuity and the positive role of a founding subject of the text, the author states that “[...] we must rather recognize a negative game of a cutting-up and a rarefaction of discourse.” (FOUCAULT, 1984, p.52). It is, therefore, only from the perspective of an inversion of anthropology and of its central figures that it is possible to suggest there is an author function delineated as a procedure.

Now we return to some previous pages to contemplate authorship as a discourse procedure. The rarity of its condition is the key to Foucault’s interpretation. If the author is a principle of text grouping, “[...] as unit and origin of its meanings, as the focus of its coherence”6 (FOUCAULT, 2002, p. 27), then there are many discourses not necessarily demanding an author – it is the case of conversations, recipes, and others. However, there are domains that require the presence of the author, such as literature, philosophy, and science. We can observe, however, that the authorship in the scientific discourse from the seventeenth century would be weakened, and the author function in the literary discourse would be strengthened – a difference already mentioned in What is an author?

Foucault’s key point is how the author works controlling the proliferation of language, giving the statements a project and coherence linked to the creative consciousness of a unique subject: “The author is the one who gives to the disquieting language of fiction its units, its coherence knots, its inclusion in what is real”7(FOUCAULT, 2001, p.27).

We can call the authorship problematization mentioned by Foucault in the three aforementioned texts an authoring apparatus, as does Chartier (2014, p.29): “[...] as one of these apparatus that, according to him, should ensure this rarefaction of a proliferating significance”8. Chartier, however, indicates the “should” or the “how” as the marks of a difference – something that makes sometimes, with a similar operation. Here, however, we move forward and suggest that authorship is, in itself, an apparatus, but as Agamben (2014) stated: one of the games and machinery which compulsory work as mediators between the world and the living. From this perspective, the apparatus of authorship can, of course, produce forms of subjectivity. Returning to Foucault and to the author function, with an apparatus we could envision several effects related to the subject.

Let us make a historical parenthesis in order to remount the irruption of an apparatus of authorship. Chartier (2014) resumes Foucault’s arguments (exactly 30 years later, at the same French Psychoanalytical Society) to claim the revision of the “vague timeline” only suggested by the archaeologist. Chartier (2014) shows – through contemporary historiography – that it was in 1709 that, in England, the publication of texts was altered by the parliament: it was allowed, via copyright, that the authors became their own editors, and had the right to property guaranteed (for 14 years, supplemented with other 14).

In this review of Foucault’s chronology, Chartier also points out that the relation between dematerialization and creativity was already a problem in Ben Johnson’s play and in Milton’s editions of Lost Paradise. Moreover, even before printing, the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries have testified, with the first authors in the vernacular languages, the unity among book, œuvre, and the author’s name (CHARTIER, 2014, p.61). It is, therefore, in what Chartier calls the “order of the books” that we must review Foucault’s genealogy. Despite the notation that, during the Middle Age and the Renaissance, many texts circulated anonymously, it was also during this time that, in discourses of what we could call science – again, contrary to Foucault’s “chiasmus” that says there would be a decrease of scientific authorship – that they authenticated the experience by a presence: the proper name, the subject who became an author.

Let us now describe, in general terms and as a working hypothesis, the apparatus of authorship. First, we need to understand its irruption, with Chartier (2014, 2002), according to the materiality of the order of the books that concatenate to the order of discourses during a period recognized in many of Foucault’s texts, such as the Classical Period (FOUCAULT, 2000). Then, we delineate the strategies that produce an apparatus of authorship, typical of some Western discourses: those related to forms of being a subject, knowledge-power, and machinery, with the main function of circumscribing the senses, and establishing a writing regulated by property and by the appeal to the creative subjectivity, origin of the texts around the world.

The debate is, as we can see, dear in terms of archeogenealogy. The apparatus of authorship as defended here does not resort to fictions of a repressive power, and censors the subjects according to the order of prohibitions or urgings of speak (even though the author’s name can work as a kind of censorship, a mark to be silenced, as Chartier sometimes suggests). On the contrary, the understanding of this apparatus assumes the productivity of power, microphysical and corporal. Because of that is that authorship, when demanding the dematerialization of the œuvre on behalf of the external subject, source of the sense and strength of its coherence, can be seen as part of a diffuse power, of ubiquitous technologies, which brings into play different fields and requires several investments of individuals and their bodies into subjects – authors, responsible for the docile sayings, but that can release “[...] innumerable points of confrontation, focuses of instability each of which has its own risks of conflict, of struggles, and of at least temporary inversion of the power relations”9 (FOUCAULT, 2013b, p.30).

Focuses of instability, then, this apparatus of authorship holds the possibilities of a constant plastic displacement – as Deleuze (1990) asserts, demanding the transformation of the apparatuses into new apparatuses – regarding the resistances (already presented) in Foucault’s discussions, and recovered in the concept of profanation, described in the previous section and defended by Agamben (2014).

Thus, as resistance, displacement, and profanation, it is possible to imagine a tactical relocation for the concept of authorship. If in the 1969 and the 1970 texts the author function was described as a mechanism of subjection and circumscription, strategic in the logophobic economy of discourses, things are different in 1977, when Michel Foucault himself resorts to criticism. Referring specifically to The Order of Discourse, he claims that there was a mistake in the conception of power of that lecture, assumed negatively (FOUCAULT, 2014). Then, as we know and have seen above, power takes microphysical contours (against the model of sovereignty and law), and the repression hypothesis is widely disputed. Now, the question here is: how to think about authorship and, as it is the case in this paper, about the displacement of the apparatus of authorship according to a vector that points to new relationships between the human being and different apparatuses?

The following section is about the rare appearance of this discourse of agonistic freedom, and the Foucaultian criticism and its relationships with the apparatus of authorship.

The apparatus of authorship and the ethical forms

We now retake the three texts where in which, briefly, Michel Foucault examined the author function in order to list the displacements that the reading demands towards a new understanding of the apparatus of authorship.

We start with the preface of The Archaeology of Knowledge, in which Foucault (1972, p.17, my emphasis) demands for himself a kind of freedom in writing: “Do not ask who I am and do not ask me to remain the same: leave it to our bureaucrats and our police to see that our papers are in order. At least spare us their morality when we write.” The philosopher’s relationship with writing is particular, and its appearance is preceded by a laugh to Nietzsche: “[...] no, I’m not where you are lying in wait for me, but over here, laughing at you” (FOUCAULT, 1972, p.18). What kind of freedom is the freedom Foucault is searching for his writing?

At the Buffalo Conference, (still with What is an author?, 1970), Foucault suggests that there are changes in society and that “[…] the author function will disappear, and in such a manner that fiction and its polysemous texts will once again function according to another mode, but still with a system of constraint – one that will no longer be the author but will have to be determined or, perhaps, experienced [expérimenter].”10 (FOUCAULT, 2015, p.292). About which experiences and about what other determinations does Foucault speak?

Finally, as did Chartier (2002), I cut out the opening words from The Order of Discourse:

I would have liked to slip surreptitiously into the discourses that I am about to give today and into those that I will perhaps give here in years to come. Rather than launching into speech I would have wanted to be enveloped by it, and to be carried far beyond all possible beginnings. At the moment of speech, I would have liked to perceive that a nameless voice had long preceded me.11(FOUCAULT, 2002, p.6).

In this passage, as we can see, the figures of the author’s death, the denial of the origin and the œuvre, of belonging to scripture, of suspicion, are all being tried out by jumping upon inspection (and ironically, it seems marked). Nevertheless, it draws further attention to the artifice of the one that, contrary to what supposes the order of discourse, makes discourses and takes part in the conduct of the discursive series, manipulating them, moving them, questioning them. What kind of new prerogative is this, which allows Foucault to observe what is “routine and gray” in which that dangerously proliferates?

Fontes Filho (2007) notes that, in Foucault’s trajectory, malgré lui, the writing and authorship also appear following the order of this “other experience”, that catches a glimpse on the aforementioned, dating back to Bataille, Blanchot, Klossowski, and Nietzsche. The French philosopher have often made use of the possibility that his books were “self-exploratory”, “limit-experiences”. In the same vein, Leme (2012) argues that the matter of limits of reason, denounced since The History of Madness, in 1961, through these “limit-experiences” (also adopted by Blanchot and Bataille, Nietzsche and Artaud), and later related to the Christian ministry to the ascetic exercises, set an ever-open space wandering: “[...] a knowledge based on an inner voice, and which is done in disobedience, what is unreason if not that?”12 (LEME, 2012, p.43).

Returning to the authorship matter, we ask: what is the power of this wandering and this opening, non-identity and resistant, evoked by Foucault when he observes the apparatus of authorship according to the author function and resisting to it – in Archeology, in What is an author?, or in The Order of Discourse. A possible answer, the heart of this article’s debate, is the turning of the French towards the practices of freedom and government, capable of requesting other forms of subjectivity and, with that, displacing the apparatus of authorship.

The following subsections talk about this displacement.

Ethics and criticism

We will now briefly talk about the quiprocós on the periodization of Foucault’s works and their “phases”. It is important to highlight the set of changes that he requires in order not to be caught - as we saw just above. From the perspective of a common theme of research on archeogenealogy, in Subject and PowerFoucault (2014, p.119) takes the subject as “the general theme of my [his] research”. However, he also assumes that his investigation takes a turn in the end: “[...] it consists in taking the forms of resistance to different kinds of power as a starting point” (FOUCAULT, 2014, p.121).

The texts of this final stage, which we call – with his commentators – ethical stage, deal with the “aesthetic of existence, [...] our work on ourselves as free beings” (FOUCAULT, 1995, apud DREYFUS; RABINOW, 1995, p.347), with the capacity to overcome the moral codes of the apparatus in a “[...] work within the limits of ourselves.” Such observation still aims subject and resistance, but now following the path of critical thinking, described in the courses of the 80s at Collège de France.

A glimpse over The Courage of Truth, an 80s course published in France only in 2009, allows considering that there is a partition in the Western knowledge: on the one hand, the spiritual and forms of aleturgia, which relate the subject of saying’s truth and ethics; and on the other hand, the epistemological forms, with dominance of the Cartesian moment, and the division between the clear scientific knowledge and the subject (FOUCAULT, 2011, p.4). In proposing the genealogy of aleturgia, what the French would like to investigate were “[...] the processes in the history of subjectivity and thought, which led to a “de-spiritualization” of the philosophy. In other words, the positioning of its centrality in knowledge, and not in the cultivation of the self [...]”13 (GALLO, 2011, p.382).

In these Greco-Latin forms of the subject relating to the truth, Gallo (2011, p.372) points out to a variation between the resistance of apparatus’ theory and ethics creation, typical of a third phase of Foucault’s thought: “One thing is say that the whole exercise of power implies resistance; another, quite different, is to say that the ethics of self-care is the production of freedom practices [...]”14. Thus, from this path that goes the appearance of textual resistance in The Will to Knowledge (FOUCAULT, 2009b) until the 80s, when the philosopher inflates the role of subjects and strategies of freedom, a series of movements operate in what the French calls a “critical” attitude and an “ontology of the present”.

Based on this critical concern of the said phase “ethics”, in which subject and knowledge are peremptorily involved, Foucault observes the distinction between gnothi seauton (“know thyself”) and epimeleia heaotou (“take care of yourself” ) (FOUCAULT, 2011, 2013a, 2006), inverting it in the name of a resistance discourse and an ethical urgency of thinking. Descartes would have been responsible for making a distinction between the two instances (the ethical subject and the truth). What is inferred from the Greco-Latin tradition is the number of subjects in ascetic practices, constant and continuous, the only access to the truth of things, and also the truth of oneself: “[...] its concern [the ancient’s], its theme, was to build an ethics that were an aesthetics of the existence” (FOUCAULT, 1995, apud DREYFUS; RABINOW, 1995, p.225). Foucault (2011) notices that the “self-care” discourse opens up to a self-government attitude, distant from the bio-political apparatuses and the governmentality’s ones- the liberal-bourgeois power’s exercise apparatus.

It is important to highlight the distinction made by Castelo Branco (2011, p.156): between a bourgeois and liberal governmentality, of exercising a power by disciplinary, bio-political, and safety apparatuses and, on the other hand, by the dystopia of a governmentality, “[...] seen as the self-government of free, autonomous individuals.” Governance is related to freedom and the caring of oneself, to a possible, creative ethics in apparatus, which ultimately move them. Governmentality, on the other hand, is limited to the codification practices of a vector resistance. Between the two, the assumption of a novelty in Foucault’s text: “I strongly believe in human freedom” (FOUCAULT, 1994, p.693 apud CASTELO BRANCO, 2011, p.160).

At this point, Foucault revisits the issue of governmentality and investigates the possibilities of, within government arrangements, finding species of self-government, creation, and invention of the unsubjected self – assumed here as governability. It is from the perspective of an action and of a re-enrollment of subjects in the apparatus, of the writings dating from the late seventies and early eighties, that postulates the reappearance of a subjective analysis, for it is also a two-party item between the code and the creative practices of the self (DELEUZE, 2005; BUTTURI JUNIOR, 2012). In an interview for Magazine Littéraire, Foucault (2010, p.244) confirms this distinction:

I do not believe that there is morality without a number of self-practices. It is possible that these practices of the self are associated to numerous code structures, systematic and coercive. [...] However, it is also possible that they constitute the most important and most active morality focus, and that it is among them that reflection is developed.15

The most active focus he refers to marks the work of the subject about oneself. By this subjective bend (DELEUZE, 2005), the French approximates freedom and critics, taken from Kantianism. Both in What is critical? (1978) and What are the lights? (1984), Foucault (2005, p.5) re-reads the Kantian moment of configuration of a “[...] critical attitude, as a “[...] des-subjugation in the game of what we could call, in one word, of politics of truth”. The space of freedom, inscribed in Kant by the expression Sapere Aude reveals “[...] certain decision-making will of not being ruled, this decisive willing, attitude at the same time individual and collective, of leaving, as Kant said, the minority.”16 (FOUCAULT, 1978, p.19).

In this reinterpretation of the Kantian model, Foucault argues that the basis for Kant’s Aufklärung could be re-thought as the exit from minority, through courage of thinking. The proposed relationship is one of problematization before the discourses of truth always thought according to the present moment. In this criticism, the resistance character is also seen as the experimentation that the Kantian modernity would bring in its propositions:

[...] philosophy as the surface of emergence of an actuality, philosophy as the interrogation of the philosophical sense of the present to which it belongs, … it is that… which characterizes philosophy as a discourse of modernity, as a discourse on modernity.17(FOUCAULT, 2013a, p.14).

Interrogating the present, however, is not only to resist, stricto sensu, in the way of a double power: it is producing a new instance, unsubjectivated. In the so-called “the last Foucault”, it is pointing to the creative role of subjectivity, its active function in the strategic shifts of the power-knowledge diagrams. This unsubjectivation is the center of discussion in our next section.

The unsubjectivation

According to Deleuze (2005, p.109), the novelty in The Use of Pleasure (FOUCAULT, 2009c), in questioning the practices of the self and subjectivity would be the appearance of “[...] a dimension of the subjectivity that derives from power and knowledge, but that does not depend on them”18. Antagonistically, the emergence of the subjective instance is also bipartite. There would be a necessary link between subject and morality, with the imperative of distinguishing between the two intersection “models” between code and forms of subjectivity. On one hand, Foucault assumes the existence of systematic morals, capable of subsuming all forms of behavior, in which subjectivity operates with little freedom – therefore, less resistance. On the other hand, ethically, Foucault safeguards the dynamics of the work on the self, exemplifying with the Greek paradigm (FOUCAULT, 2009c).

As Foucault observes, the reflection of genealogy ultimately monopolizes both the field of moral stories and the field of ethical and constitution of subjects’ stories. If, therefore, there was a constitution between power and resistance, precisely because the first created discursive fields which should be dominated and to which he should resist, the position adopted by the “last Foucault” is that there are subjective shifts, inner folds (DELEUZE, 2005), appropriate to the “transversal” character of apparatuses and diagrams.

Retaking the theme of resistance, the bet of the subjective folding, “[...] irreducible to knowledge and power from which it derives” (WEINMANN, 2006, p.21), would promote an incessant movement of subjective pressure, which also exists as recodings for “more freedom”, since the apparatuses and diagrams are, par excellence, crossed by faulting transformation. Strategies of “obdurate” fights, “insubordination”, and the border between freedom and power, are called into question in this “agonistic”, which defines the possibilities of the individual against the identifications and based on forms of ethical subjectivity - or unsubjectivity.

As presented in the previous sections, this transformational dimension - of theory and struggle - was taken over by the French on several occasions, especially because the kind of struggle in the contemporary world would be with the forms of power that constitute identities - the subject positions. Against them, Foucault himself demanded freedom and the aesthetics of existence: “I do not want, I refuse, above all, to be identified by power”19 (FOUCAULT, 2014a, p.250).

Finally, we are now going to investigate how the apparatus of authorship can be desecrated and displaced, according to Foucault’s ethical turn. For this, the next section will address Judith Butler’s reading of the writings of the self as the focus of dis-identification policies created by Michel Foucault.

The self and the authorial performance

The government (le governement du soi) theme in Foucault (2014b), as pointed out earlier, was based on a discussion of the production of life as an art object. His research noted that, in Pagan and Christian antiquity, a self-writing problem should also be considered. This was about the hypomnêmata, notebooks (booklets) about the daily life, and the oikonomia, that raised a tekhne tou biou, in other words, a technique of the self and a caring. From Greek to Christians, the hypomnêmata would have been through transformations, “[...] a dramatic change between the hypomnêmata evoked by Xenophon, that was only about remembering the elements of a basic scheme [tekhne], and the description of St. Anthony’s nocturnal temptations.”20 (FOUCAULT, 2014b, p.233).

The narrated change refers to the resumption of self-care by Christianity, now for the exercise of pastoral power and for the soul’s transcendental salvation. However, in both cases what Foucault (2014b) explains is that they are exercises, a turning of attention to the self that can be read in the registers of the self, in these antique self-writings. Indeed, when the Greek epimeleia heautou worked to ensure the sovereignty of the individual and the production of an ethical regime also forging writing exercises of the self, the Christian epimeleia ton allon reversed the process and created an obedience relationship towards the pastor, shifting the freedom into obedience.

Between these two models, the hypomnêmata again suggest that there is a margin of freedom between the subject and the apparatus of authorship. We cannot talk, of course, of an apparatus of authorship in these antique texts. We can only observe the non-irrelevant task of the self that goes through writing and through subject - a specific apparatus of antiquity - that Michel Foucault engages in his last texts (1984 edition).

This writing about the self in the form of an aesthetic of existence is one of Judith Butler’s (2015) models to question the production of a policy that goes beyond the philosophy of substance and recognition. It is in this questionings that Butler uses Foucault, notably his 1980s texts we now discuss about. She surrenders to the fact that the “ethical ways” are modeled by “codes of truth”. Ultimately, these arrangements engender limits “engendering oneself” (BUTLER, 2015, p.35). But less than an invariable framework, Foucault’s “codes of truth” would be used according to a relationship – a fold, as mentioned in previous sections of this text: “[...] Foucault not only defends that there is a relationship between these standards, but seeks to understand that any relationship with the codes of truth is at once a relationship with the self.”21 (BUTLER, 2015, p.35).

The author evokes a key result: upon putting oneself critically in relation to the codes of truth, one must argue the grounds where one can be, that is, the limits of my ontological condition are placed in suspension (BUTLER, 2015). Going deeper, it is the non-conformity of life regarding rules, following the model of the aesthetic of existence, which allows that the self-production of the subjectivity forms - here finally positive - that undoes the very capacity of the apparatus to demand, to codify pleasures, practices, and subjects. For Butler (2013), when Foucault argues “how not to be governed?”, he creates a critical attitude in which virtue takes the place of resistance. Virtue, however, which is always a process:

The critical practice does not well up from the innate freedom of the soul, but is formed instead in the crucible of a particular exchange between a set of rules or precepts (which are already there) and a stylization of acts (which extends and reformulates that prior set of rules and precepts). This stylization of the self in relation to the rules comes to count as a “practice”22 (BUTLER, 2013, p.169).

From the contingency codes and apparatuses on one side, and their own subjective identities on the other, the instance of freedom emerges, and that opens up a “precarious ontology” (BUTLER, 2013, p.172). For both cases, constituting a crisis, “profanation” (AGAMBEN, 2014) and unsubjectivation (BUTLER, 2013, 2015) are the forms of active disobedience offered by this new “unsubject”.

What implications would such shifts for an apparatus of authorship have, as outlined here?

Butler (2015) uses the ontological precariousness to inquire about the limits of narrating the self. Such as the hypomnêmata, then, the author realizes that narration is a performative act, since it is developed in accordance to the requirement of a repetition and an act, never having the guarantee of fixed apparatuses or substantive identities. Besides, she shows that this performative narration of the self, since the Greek problematic, results in an incomplete action either because the subject is always-already sharing the world with other subjects, or because the apparatuses already placed ways of narrating and being available, to being problematized. The result is that “[...] ethics certainly does not imply only the rhetoric (and the analysis of the interpretation mode), but also the social critique”23 (BUTLER, 2015, p.170).

It is this incompleteness of performative writing of the self that requires a rethinking of the author function and the authorship apparatus. As often pointed out by Michel Foucault, writing could stand out from the “moral of the civil state”, as he spoke about in the preface of Archaeology of Knowledge or being one of the limit-experiences, a denial of what is expected from an author function. Such a “profanation” would require the assumption of a virtuous life, in which ethics and knowledge, separated since Descartes, could be related.

This apparatus of authorship, as we argue here, is still a coercive system, but arises always-already marked by critical instance, by the delicacy of unsubjection condition and of its precariousness which, however, can act and create on the machine: a human being who resists. When we think of authorship like that, we take a step ahead from the 1969 and the 1970’s texts, made “classic” for the author’s definition. Moreover, the possibility of a mobility guarantee, and the free transformation of the texts circulating under the responsibility and the consistency of Michel Foucault’s name (and many other names). When we set them free (the name and the concept in their dispersion of discourses), in an instance that requires sameness, the promise is that of a disjunction that does not fit in the writing, nor in the scheme of the books, but sees them from far away, smiling.

Final remarks

This text aimed to discuss the issue of authorship, as elaborated in Foucault’s archeogenealogy, relating it to the concept of apparatus. The hypothesis is that the authorship could be read as an apparatus - the apparatus of authorship - and that the displacements suffered by this apparatus could be questioned according to a critical perspective, from the late 70s of the twentieth century, allowing Foucault to retake the themes of freedom and subject in relation to moral codes and practices of power-knowledge.

In order to do so, the text described the concept of apparatus and the possibility of its desecration. Then we linked the outbreak of authorship in discourse of archeogenealogy at three different times: Archaeology of Knowledge,What is an author?, and The order of Discourse . The author and the author-function problems were then designed according to an apparatus of authorship or copyright. The final section of the text aimed to investigate the apparatus of authorship in its processing capacity and displacement, followed by a discussion on ethics, unsubjectivation, and criticism, recognized as the “third phase” of Foucault’s studies. From this perspective, we brought to light issues such as epimeleia heautou and the writing of the self, as well as interesting notes on Judith Butler’s narrative of the self.

Finally, it was understood that along with Foucault and having him as a base, it is necessary to be more open to freer and more critical understanding of the apparatus of the authorship, and not only for their condition of function and coding, as intended the word back in 1969 and 1970. This changes require an approach to the problem of critical forms and the precariousness of unsubjectivation. It also requires that the holder is not limited to its most prominent feature: containing the circulation and the dispersion of the discourses.

As Foucault, we would imagine the apparatus of authorship as a “ground of subjectivity” and resistance, creativity and “limit-experience”. If the French researcher refused to be captured in writing, it is necessary that such negative is also a motto for the authorship studies in order to rescue what the authoring has of political action, freedom, and transformation capacity. It is compulsory we ask about the limits of subjectivity and critical unsubjectivation of all writing, in the case of authorship, still remain under Foucault’s spectrum, a policy and an agonistic struggle with the meaning of, as said Agamben (2014, 2009), the profanation of the apparatus.


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1 In this text, I use the translation of dispositif, from the French original, used in the English version of the text Agamben’s text – apparatus. The translator indicates (AGAMBEN, 2009, p.66): “We follow here the common English translation of Foucault’s term dispositif as apparatus. In everyday use, the French word can designate any sort of device. Agamben points out that the torture machine from Kafka’s In the Penal Colony is called an Apparat”.

2 The original, in Portuguese: “Trata-se de alguma maneira de uma microfísica do poder posta em jogo pelos aparelhos e instituições, mas cujo campo de validade se coloca de algum modo entre esses grandes funcionamentos e os póprios corpos com sua materialidade e suas forças”.

3 The original, in Portuguese: “[...] à oposição violência-ideologia, à metáfora da propriedade, ao modelo do contrato e da conquista; [...]”.

4 The original, in Portuguese: “Sem dúvida, o objetivo principal, hoje, não é descobrir, mas recusar o que somos. Devemos imaginar e construir o que poderíamos ser para nos livrarmos dessa espécie de “dupla obrigação” política que são a individualização e a totalização simultânea das estruturas do poder moderno.”

5 The original, in Portuguese: “[...] que nem a língua nem o sentido podem esgotar inteiramente.”

6 The original, in Portuguese: “[...] como unidade e origem de suas significações, como foco de sua coerência”

7 The original, in Portuguese: “O autor é aquele que dá à inquietante linguagem da ficção suas unidades, seus nós de coerência, sua inserção no real”.

8 The original, in Portuguese: “[...] como um desses dispositivos que, segundo ele, deviam assegurar esta rarefação de uma significação proliferante”.

9 The original, in Portugues: “[...] inúmeros pontos de luta, focos de instabilidade comportando cada um seus riscos de conflito, de lutas e de inversão pelo menos transitória da relação de forças.”

10 The original, in Portuguese: “[...] a função autor desaparecerá de uma maneira que permitirá uma vez mais à ficção e aos seus textos polissêmicos funcionar de acordo com um outro modo, [...] mas que fica ainda por determinar e talvez por experimentar”.

11 The original, in Portuguese: “Gostaria de me insinuar sub-repticiamente no discurso que devo pronunciar hoje, e nos que deverei pronunciar aqui, talvez durante anos. Ao invés de tomar a palavra, gostaria de ser envolvido por ela e levado bem além de todo começo possível. Gostaria de perceber que no momento de falar uma voz sem nome me precedia há muito tempo [...]”.

12 The original, in Portuguese: “[...] um saber que se funda numa voz interior e que se efetiva na desobediência, o que é a desrazão senão isso?”.

13 The original, in Portuguese: “[...] quais foram os processos, na história da subjetividade e do pensamento, que levaram a uma “desespiritualização’ da filosofia, isto é, à colocação de sua centralidade no conhecimento e não no cultivo de si [...]”.

14 The original, in Portuguese: “Uma coisa é dizer que todo o exercício de poder implica resistência; outra, bastante diferente é dizer que a ética do cuidado de si significa a produção de práticas de liberdade [...]”.

15 The original, in Portuguese: Não acredito que haja moral sem um certo número de práticas de si. É possível que essas práticas de si estejam associadas a estruturas de código numerosas, sistemáticas e coercitivas. [...] Mas também é possível que constituam o foco mais importante e mais ativo da moral e que seja em torno delas que se desenvolva a reflexão”.

16 The original, in Portuguese: “[...] certa vontade decisória de não ser governado, esta vontade decisória, atitude ao mesmo tempo individual e coletiva de sair, como dizia Kant, de sua minoridade.”

17 The original, in Portuguese: [...] a filosofia como superfície de emergência de uma atualidade, a filosofia como interrogação sobre o sentido filosófico da atualidade a que ela pertence, a filosofia como interrogação pelo filósofo desse ‘nós’ de que ela faz parte e em relação ao qual ela tem de se situar, é isso, me parece, que caracteriza a filosofia como discurso da modernidade.”

18 The original, in Portuguese: “[...] uma dimensão da subjetividade que deriva do poder e do saber, mas que não depende deles”.

19 The original, in Portuguese: “Eu não quero, recuso-me, sobretudo, a ser identificado, a ser localizado pelo poder”.

20 The original, in Portuguese: “[...] uma mudança dramática entre os hypomnêmata evocados por Xenofonte, em que se tratava somente de se lembrar dos elementos de um regime elementar [tekhne], e a descrição das tentações noturnas de Santo Antônio”.

21 The original, in Portuguese: “[...] Foucault não defende apenas que exista uma relação com essas normas, mas também que qualquer relação com o regime de verdade será ao mesmo tempo uma relaçao comigo mesma”.

22 The original, in Portuguese: “Ela, antes, forma-se no embate de uma troca específica entre um conjunto de regras ou preceitos (que já estão dados) e uma estilização de atos (que expande e reformula esse conjunto prévio de regras e preceitos). Essa estilização do “eu”, em relação a regras, acaba por constituir uma ‘prática’”.

23 The original, in Portuguese: “[...] a ética certamente não pressupõe apenas a retórica (e a análise do modo de interpretação), mas também a crítica social”.

Received: October 2015; Accepted: February 2016

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