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About the Beginning of the Hermeneutics of the Self: Two Lectures at Dartmouth Author(s): Michel Foucault Reviewed work(s):

Source: Political Theory, Vol. 21, No. 2 (May, 1993), pp. 198-227 Published by: Sage Publications, Inc. Stable URL: . Accessed: 24/01/2012 08:15
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MARKBL4SIUS, City Universityof New York

In the fall of 1980, Michel Foucault visited a number of cities and universitiesin the United States.He gave lecturesat Dartmouth College, the University of Californiaat Berkeley, and PrincetonUniversity and gave a month-long seminarand a public lecture at New YorkUniversity.The two lectures published here were delivered at Dartmouthon November 17 and 24, 1980 under the titles "Subjectivityand Truth"and "Christianityand Confession."Foucaultdeliveredthe lectures from texts handwritten Enin glish. An earlier version of these lectures was transcribedand edited by Thomas Keenan. I have re-edited them, but very lightly, to preserve their spoken quality,using tapes providedby Dartmouth's Office of Instructional Services and EducationalResearch: all the notes were added during the editing process. Earlier,Foucaulthad given more or less the same papersas the Howison Lectures at Berkeley on October20-21. I have added in the notes some passages transcribed from the Howison Lecturesfor the sake of filling out the lectures published here, and I thank Paul Rabinow for his assistancein this. (Forinstance,at one point in Berkeley,Foucaultremarked that "the title of these two lecturescould have been, and should have been, in fact, 'About the Beginning of the Hermeneuticsof the Self,' " a wish I have honoredhere.) On a few occasions, these lecturesoverlapslightly with otherpublishedwork by Foucault,which I have markedin the notes. These lecturesmarka transition Foucault'sworkfromstudyingsystems in of power relations (Discipline and Punish and The History of Sexuality, Vol. 1) to studyingthe creationof ethical agency (The History of Sexuality, Vols.2, 3, and 4). Indeed, with this transitionand from his earlierworks on
POLITICAL Vol. 21 No. 2, May 1993 198-227 THEORY, ? Transcript 1993, MarkBlasius and ThomasKeenan.Used with permission.




the historyof systems of thought(Madnessand Civilization,TheBirthof the Clinic, The Orderof Things,and TheArchaeologyof Knowledge),Foucault begins to complete the analysisof threeaxes of experience:truth,power,and ethics. The lecturesthat follow hint at the themes that would appearlaterin volumes 2 and3 of TheHistoryof Sexuality,workslargelyandundeservedly overlooked by political theorists.However,Foucaultsaid in a late interview upon their publication, when asked if he wrote these last books "for" liberationmovements,thathe wrote them not "for"them but contemporary "'asa function of a present situation."He said of volume 2, The Use of Pleasure, the volume most about"sex,"thatthe problemof recentliberation movements was similar to the one he studied in this book about Ancient Greece:to elaboratean ethics throughsex. The thirdvolume, The Careof the Self, can be read (at least in part)as a perspectiveon how to adaptand direct the power exercisedby medical,quasi-medical,andmoralexpertsin the time of the AIDS epidemic. Finally, the fourth volume, The Confession of the Flesh, completed but as yet unpublished,is about early Christiansexual ethics. Its relevance to what concerns us today can be gleaned from a on discussion(recorded the tapebutnot includedhere)betweenFoucaultand a gay graduatestudent after one of the lectures printedhere. The student questioned Foucault's endorsementof John Boswell's Christianity,Social Tolerance,and Homosexuality(Chicago, 1980) becauseof the patenthostility of Catholicismtowardhomosexualityand sexuality generally.Foucault counteredthat an antisexualJudeo-Christian moralityis a dangerousmyth that is not supportedby historicalevidence and has political implications. Rather,said Foucault, what is significant for sexuality is that Christianity a inaugurated new attitudeof people not so much towardsexual acts and the code of sexual ethics, but towardthemselves, and this new relationshipof people to themselves,the necessity to scrutinizeanddiscover the truthabout oneself and then verbalize this truth to others, affected people's attitude toward sexuality. Both Freudiandiscourse on sexuality as well as the discourse of self-disclosure as a talking cure are recognizable in the "small origins"analyzedin these two lectures. The significance for political theory of these lectures is indicated by Foucault at the end of the second one: "one of the main political problems would be nowadays . . . the politics of ourselves."The lectures trace the genealogy of the self: its constitutionthrougha continuousanalysisof one's thoughtsundera hermeneutic principleof makingsure they are really one's own; and the self's iterationand social reinforcementthroughan ongoing verbalizationof this self-deciphernent to others. Foucault elsewhere analyzed (The History of Sexuality,Vol. 1) how techniquesinheritedfrom the Christianconfession allow for the self to be created and subjected within



relationsof power thatconstitutemodem social institutions.A politics of our selves would entail a recognition that if the self is "nothingelse than the historical correlationof the technology"thathas come to create it, then the aim would be to get rid of the "sacrificewhich is linked to those technologies." This sacrifice is twofold: it is the creationof a positive foundationfor the self by means of proceduresthat at once makes us amenable to social control and dependent upon it, as well as the production and then marginalizationof entire categories of people who do not fit what the We foundationposits as "normal." can ridourselvesof the imposed sacrifice throughwhat Foucaultcalled a "criticalontology of ourselves."This is, he wrote, "atone and the same time the historicalanalysis of the limits thatare imposed on us and an experiment with the possibility of going beyond them . . . in the care brought to the process of putting historico-critical reflectionto the test of concretepractices"(TheFoucault Reader,p. 50).

SUBJECTIVITY AND TRUTH In a work consecratedto the moral treatmentof madness and published in 1840, a Frenchpsychiatrist,Leuret,tells of the mannerin which he has treatedone of his patients-treated and,as you can imagine,of course,cured. One morningDr. Leurettakes Mr. A., his patient, into a shower room. He makes him recountin detail his delirium. "Well,all that,"says the doctor,"is nothingbut madness.Promiseme not to believe in it anymore." The patienthesitates,then promises. "That'snot enough,"replies the doctor."Youhave alreadymade similar promises,andyou haven'tkeptthem."And the doctorturnson a cold shower above the patient'shead. "Yes, yes! I am mad!"the patientcries. The shower is turnedoff, and the interrogation resumed. is "Yes,I recognizethatI am mad,"thepatientrepeats,adding,"Irecognize, because you are forcing me to do so." Anothershower.Anotherconfession. The interrogation takenup again. is "I assure you, however,"says the patient,"thatI have heardvoices and seen enemies aroundme." Anothershower. "I "Well," says Mr.A., thepatient, admitit. I am mad;all thatwas madness."1


To make someone sufferingfrommentalillness recognize thathe is mad is a very ancientprocedure. Everybodyin the old medicine,beforethe middle of the nineteenthcentury,everybody was convinced of the incompatibility betweenmadnessandrecognitionof madness.And in the works,for instance, of the seventeenthandof the eighteenthcenturies,one finds many examples The mad would be cured if one of what one might call truth-therapies. managedto show them thattheir deliriumis withoutany relationto reality. But, as you see, the techniqueused by Leuretis altogetherdifferent.He is not trying to persuadehis patientthat his ideas are false or unreasonable. Whathappensin the head of Mr.A. is a matterof indifferencefor the doctor. "I Leuretwishes to obtaina precise act: the explicit affirmation, am mad."It is easy to recognize here the transpositionwithin psychiatric therapy of procedureswhich have been used for a long time in judicial and religious institutions.Todeclarealoudandintelligiblythetruthaboutoneself-I mean, to confess-has in the Westernworld been consideredfor a long time either as a condition for redemptionfor one's sins or as an essential item in the condemnationof the guilty.The bizarretherapyof Leuretmay be readas an episode in the progressive culpabilizationof madness. But, I would wish, rather,to take it as a point of departure a more generalreflection on this for practice of confession, and on the postulate,which is generally accepted in Westernsocieties, thatone needs for his own salvationto know as exactly as possible who he is andalso, whichis somethingrather different,thathe needs to tell it as explicitly as possible to some otherpeople. The anecdoteof Leuret is here only as an example of the strangeand complex relationshipsdeveloped in our societies between individuality, discourse,truth,and coercion. In order to justify the attention I am giving to what is seemingly so specialized a subject,let me take a step back for a moment.All that,afterall is only for me a means that I will use to take on a much more general theme-that is, the genealogy of the modernsubject. In the years that preceded the second war, and even more so after the second war,philosophyin Franceand,I think,in all continentalEurope,was dominatedby the philosophyof the subject.I mean thatphilosophyset as its taskpar excellence the foundationof all knowledge and the principleof all signification as stemming from the meaningful subject. The importance given to this question of the meaningful subject was of course due to the impact of Husserl-only his Cartesian Meditations and the Crisis were generally known in France2-but the centralityof the subject was also tied to an institutional context.For the Frenchuniversity,since philosophybegan with Descartes, it could only advance in a Cartesianmanner.But we must



Given the absurdityof wars, also take into accountthe political conjuncture. slaughters,and despotism,it seemed then to be up to the individualsubject to give meaning to his existentialchoices. Withthe leisureand distancethatcame afterthe war,this emphasison the philosophicalsubjectno longerseemed so self-evident.Two hitherto-hidden theoreticalparadoxescould no longer be avoided. The first one was thatthe philosophyof consciousnesshad failed to found a philosophyof knowledge, and especially scientific knowledge,andthe second was thatthis philosophy of meaning paradoxically had failed to take into account the formative of mechanismsof significationand the structure systems of meaning. I am aware that anotherform of thoughtclaimed then to have gone beyond the philosophy of the subject-this, of course, was Marxism. It goes without saying-and it goes indeed betterif we say it-that neithermaterialismnor the theoryof ideologies successfully constituteda theoryof objectivityor of signification.Marxismputitself forwardas a humanisticdiscoursethatcould replace the abstractsubject with an appeal to the real man, to the concrete man. It should have been clear at the time that Marxism carriedwith it a fundamental theoreticalandpracticalweakness:the humanistic discoursehid thatthe Marxistsof this period nonethelesssupported. the political reality With the all-to-easy clarity of hindsight-what you call, I think, the "Mondaymorning quarterback"-let me say that there were two possible paths that led beyond this philosophy of the subject. First, the theory of objective knowledge and, two, an analysis of systems of meaning, or semiology. The first of these was the path of logical positivism. The second was that of a certainschool of linguistics,psychoanalysis,and anthropology, all generally groupedunderthe rubricof structuralism. These were not the directionsI took. Let me announceonce and for all thatI am not a structuralist, I confess with the appropriate and chagrinthatI am not an analytic philosopher-nobody is perfect. I have tried to explore anotherdirection.I have tried to get out from the philosophy of the subject througha genealogy of this subject,by studyingtheconstitution the subject of across historywhich has led us up to the modernconceptof the self. This has not always been an easy task, since most historiansprefera historyof social processes,3and most philosophersprefera subjectwithouthistory.This has neither prevented me from using the same material that certain social historians have used, nor from recognizing my theoretical debt to those philosopherswho, like Nietzsche, have posed the questionof the historicity of the subject.4 Up to the presentI have proceededwith this generalprojectin two ways. I have dealt with the moderntheoreticalconstitutionsthat were concerned with the subjectin general.I have triedto analyzein a previousbook theories



of the subjectas a speaking,living, workingbeing.' I have also dealt with the more practical understandingformed in those institutions like hospitals, asylums, and prisons, where certainsubjects became objects of knowledge And now, I wish to study those and at the same time objects of domination.6 which the subjectcreatesabouthimself. Those forms formsof understanding I are of self-understanding important thinkto analyzethe modem experience of sexuality.7 But since I have startedwith this last type of projectI have been obliged points. Let me introducea kind of to change my mind on several important It autocritique. seems, accordingto some suggestionsby Habermas,thatone can distinguish three major types of techniques in human societies: the to techniqueswhich permitone to produce,to transform, manipulatethings; the techniques which permit one to use sign systems; and the techniques which permitone to determinethe conductof individuals,to impose certain wills on them, and to submit them to certainends or objectives. That is to say, there are techniques of production, techniques of signification, and techniquesof domination.8 sciences, it is useful Of course,if one wantsto studythe historyof natural if not necessaryto take into accounttechniquesof productionand semiotic techniques.But since my projectwas concernedwith the knowledge of the subject,I thoughtthatthe techniquesof dominationwere the most important, withoutany exclusion of the rest. But, analyzingthe experienceof sexuality, I became more and more aware that there is in all societies, I think, in all societies whatever they are, anothertype of techniques:techniques which permit individuals to effect, by their own means, a certain number of operationson their own bodies, on their own souls, on their own thoughts, on their own conduct, and this in a mannerso as to transformthemselves, modify themselves, and to attaina certainstate of perfection,of happiness, power,and so on. Let's call this kind of techniques of purity,of supernatural or technology of the self.9 a techniques I thinkthatif one wantsto analyzethe genealogy of the subjectin Western civilization, he has to take into account not only techniquesof domination but also techniques of the self. Let's say: he has to take into account the interactionbetween those two types of techniques-techniques of domination and techniques of the self. He has to take into account the points where the technologies of dominationof individualsover one anotherhave recourse to processes by which the individual acts upon himself. And conversely,he has to take into accountthe points wherethe techniquesof the self are integratedinto structuresof coercion or domination.The contact point, where the individuals are drivenl by others is tied to the way they Governing conductthemselves,'1is what we can call, I think,government."2



people, in the broadmeaningof the word,13governingpeople is not a way to force people to do what the governorwants;it is always a versatileequiliband rium, with complementarity conflicts between techniqueswhich assure coercion andprocesses throughwhich the self is constructedor modified by himself. When I was studyingasylums, prisons,and so on, I insisted, I think, too much on the techniques of domination. What we can call discipline is in somethingreally important these kindsof institutions,but it is only at one aspect of the artof governingpeople in our society. We must not understand the exercise of power as pure violence or strictcoercion. Power consists in complex relations:these relationsinvolve a set of rationaltechniques,and the efficiency of those techniquesis due to a subtle integrationof coerciontechnologies andself-technologies.I thinkthatwe have to get rid of the more or less Freudianschema-you know it-the schemaof interiorization the of law by the self. Fortunately,from a theoreticalpoint of view, and maybe from a practicalpoint of view, things are much more compliunfortunately cated thanthat.In short,having studiedthe field of governmentby takingas I my pointof departure techniquesof domination, wouldlike in yearsto come to study government-especially in the field of sexuality-starting fromthe techniquesof the self.4 Among those techniquesof the self in this field of the self-technology,I think thatthe techniquesorientedtowardthe discovery and the formulation of the truth concerning oneself are extremely important;and, if for the governmentof people in oursocieties everyone hadnot only to obey but also to produce and publish the truthabout oneself, then examinationof conscience and confession are among the most important those procedures. of Of course, there is a very long and very complex history,from the Delphic precept, gnothi seauton ("know yourself') to the strangetherapeuticspromoted by Leuret,aboutwhich I was speakingin the beginningof this lecture. There is a very long way from one to the other,and I don't want, of course, to give you even a survey this evening. I'd like only to underlinea transformationof those practices,a transformation which tookplace at the beginning of the Christianera, of the Christianperiod, when the ancientobligation of knowing oneself became the monastic precept "confess, to your spiritual guide, each of your thoughts."This transformation I think, of some is, importance the genealogy of modernsubjectivity. in Withthistransformation startswhat we would call the hermeneuticsof the self. This evening I'll try to outline the way confession andself-examination wereconceived by pagan philosophers,and next week I'll try to show you whatit became in the early Christianity.


It is well knownthatthe mainobjectiveof the Greekschools of philosophy did not consist of the elaboration,the teaching, of theory.The goal of the Greek schools of philosophy was the transformation the individual.The of goal of the Greek philosophy was to give the individualthe quality which would permithim to live differently,better,more happily,thanotherpeople. Whatplace did the self-examinationandthe confession have in this?At first glance, in all the ancient philosophicalpractices,the obligation to tell the truth about oneself occupies a rather restrainedplace. And this for two reasons, both of which remain valid throughoutthe whole Greek and Hellenistic Antiquity. The first of those reasons is that the objective of philosophical trainingwas to arm the individual with a certain numberof precepts which permit him to conduct himself in all circumstancesof life without his losing masteryof himself or withoutlosing tranquilityof spirit, purity of body and soul. From this principle stems the importanceof the master'sdiscourse.The master'sdiscoursehas to talk,to explain,to persuade; he has to give the disciple a universal code for all his life, so that the verbalizationtakes place on the side of the masterand not on the side of the disciple. There is also anotherreasonwhy the obligationto confess does not have a lot of importancein the directionof the antiqueconscience. The tie with the master was then circumstantialor, in any case, provisional. It was a relationship between two wills, which does not imply a complete or a definitive obedience. One solicits or one acceptsthe advice of a masteror of a friend in orderto endurean ordeal, a bereavement,an exile, or a reversal of fortune,and so on. Or again, one places oneself underthe directionof a master for a certain time of one's life so as one day to be able to behave autonomouslyand no longer have need of advice. Ancient direction tends towardthe autonomyof the directed.In these conditions,one can understand thatthe necessity for exploringoneself in exhaustivedepthdoes not present itself. It is not indispensableto say everythingaboutoneself, to reveal one's least secrets, so that the master may exert complete power over one. The exhaustive and continualpresentationof oneself under the eyes of an allpowerful directoris not an essential featurein this techniqueof direction. But, despite this general orientationwhich has so little emphasis on self-examinationand on confession, one finds well before Christianityalready elaboratedtechniquesfor discoveringand formulating truthabout the oneself. And theirrole, it would seem, becamemoreandmoreimportant. The growing importanceof these techniquesis no doubttied to the development of communallife in thephilosophicalschool, as with the Pythagoreans the or



Epicureans,and it is also tied to the value accordedto the medical model, either in the Epicureanor the Stoician schools. Since it is not possible in so short a time even to give a sketch of this evolution of Greek and Hellenist civilization,I'll take only two passages of a Roman philosopher, Seneca. They may be considered as rather good witnesses on the practice of self-examinationand confession as it existed with the Stoics of the Imperialperiod at the time of the birthof Christianity. The first passage is to be found in the De Ira of Seneca. Here is the passage; I'll read it to you:
Whatcould be morebeautifulthanto conductan inqueston one's day?Whatsleep better thanthatwhich follows this review of one's actions?How calm it is, deep andfree, when the soul has received its portionof praiseand blame, and has submitteditself to its own examination,to its own censure.Secretly,it makesthe trialof its own conduct.I exercise this authorityover myself, and each day I will myself as witness before myself. When my light is loweredandmy wife at last is silent,I reasonwithmyself andtakethe measure of my acts and of my words. I hide nothingfrom myself; I spare myself nothing.Why, in effect, should I fear anythingat all from amongst my errorswhilst I can say: "Be vigilant in not beginningit again;today I will forgive you. In a certaindiscussion you spoke too aggressively or you did not correct the person you were reproaching,you offended him, . . . " etc.15

There is somethingparadoxicalin seeing the Stoics, such as Seneca and also Sextus, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, and so on, according so much importanceto the examinationof conscience whilst, accordingto the terms of their doctrine,all faults were supposed equal. It should not thereforebe necessary to interrogate themselves on each one of them. But, let's look at this text a little moreclosely. Firstof all, Seneca employs a vocabulary which at first glance appears, above all, judicial. He uses expressions like cognoscere de moribussuis, and me causam dico-all that is typical judicial vocabulary.It seems, therefore,that the subject is, with regard to himself, both the judge and the accused. In this examinationof conscience it seems that the subject divides itself in two and organizes a judicial scene, where it plays both roles at once. Seneca is like an accused confessing his crimeto the judge, andthejudge is Seneca himself. But, if we look more closely, we see thatthe vocabularyused by Seneca is much more administrative thanjudicial. It is the vocabularyof the directionof goods or Seneca says, for instance,thathe is speculatorsui, thathe inspects territory. himself, that he examines with himself the past day, totum diem meum scrutor;or thathe takesthe measureof thingssaid anddone;he uses the word remetior.Withregardto himself, he is not a judge who has to punish;he is, rather,an administrator who, once the work has been done or the year's



business finished, does the accounts, takes stock of things, and sees if of everythinghas been done correctly.Seneca is a permanentadministrator himself, more than a judge of his own past."6 The examples of the faults committed by Seneca and with which he reproacheshimself are significant from this point of view. He says and he reproacheshimself for having criticized someone and instead of correcting him has hurthim; or again, he says that he has discussed with people who him. These faults, as he says were in any case incapable of understanding himself, are not really faults; they are mistakes. And why mistakes?Either becausehe did nothave in his mindthe aimswhich the sage shouldset himself or because he had not applied in the correctmannerthe rules of conduct to be deducedfromthem. The faults aremistakesin thatsense thatthey arebad between aims andmeans.Significantis also the fact thatSeneca adjustments does not recall those faults in orderto punish himself; he has as a goal only to memorizeexactly the rules which he had to apply.This memorizationhas philosophicalprinciplesand the for an object a reactivationof fundamental confession the penitenthas of readjustment theirapplication.In the Christian to memorizethe law in orderto discoverhis own sins, butin this Stoic exercise rules. the the sage has to memorizeactsin orderto reactivate fundamental this One can thereforecharacterize examinationin a few words.First,this examination,it's not at all a question of discovering the truthhidden in the subject.It is rathera questionof recalling the truthforgottenby the subject. Two, what the subject forgets is not himself, nor his nature,nor his origin, affinity.Whatthe subjectforgetsis what he ought to have nor a supernatural done, thatis, a collection of rules of conduct thathe had learned.Three, the recollection of errors committed during the day serves to measure the distance which separateswhat has been done from what should have been done. And four,the subjectwho practicesthis examinationon himself is not the operatingground for a process more or less obscure which has to be He deciphered. is the point whererulesof conductcome togetherandregister themselves in the form of memories. He is at the same time the point of for departure actions more or less in conformitywith these rules. He constitutes, the subject constitutes, the point of intersection between a set of memorieswhich must be broughtinto the presentand acts which have to be regulated. This evening examinationhas its logical place among a set of other Stoic exercises": continualreading,for instance,of the manualof precepts(that's for the present);the examinationof the evils which could happenin life, the well-knownpremeditatiomalorum(thatwas for the possible); the enumeration each morningof the tasks to be accomplishedduringthe day (that was for the future);and finally, the evening examinationof conscience (so much

THEORY 1993 / May 208 POLITICAL for the past). As you see, the self in all those exercises is not consideredas a It field of subjective data which have to be interpreted. submitsitself to the trialof possible or real action. Well, after this examinationof conscience, which constitutes a kind of confession to one's self, I would like to speakaboutthe confession to others: I mean to say the expose of one's soul which one makes to someone, who may be a friend, an adviser,a guide. This was a practicenot very developed in philosophical life, but it had been developed in some philosophical schools, for instance among the Epicureanschools, and it was also a very is well known medicalpractice.The medicalliterature rich in such examples of confession or expose of the self. Forinstance,the treatiseof Galen On the Passions of the Soul"8 quotes an example like that; or Plutarch,in the De Profectibus in Virtutewrites, "There are many sick people who accept medicine and otherswho refuse them;the man who hides the shameof soul, his desire, his unpleasantness,his avarice, his concupiscence, has little chance of making progress. Indeed, to speak one's evil reveals one['s] nastiness;to recognize it insteadof takingpleasurein hiding it. All this is a sign of progress."19 Well, anothertext of Seneca might also serve us as an example here of what was confession in the Late Antiquity. It is in the beginning of De Animi.20 Tranquillitate Serenus,a young friendof Seneca, comes to ask him for advice. It is very explicitly a medical consultationon his own state of soul. "Why,"says Serenus, "shouldI not confess to you the truth,as to a doctor? . . . I do not feel altogetherill but nor do I feel entirely in good health."Serenusfeels himself in a stateof malaise, ratheras he says, like on a boat which does not advance,but is tossed aboutby the rolling of the ship. And, he fears staying at sea in this condition,in view of firm land and of the virtues which remain inaccessible. In order to escape this state, Serenus thereforedecides to consult Seneca and to confess his state to Seneca. He says thathe wants verumfateri,to tell the truth,to Seneca.21 Now whatis this truth,what is this verum,thathe wantsto confess? Does he confess faults,secret thoughts,shamefuldesires,andthingslike that?Not at all. The text of Serenusappearsas an accumulation relativelyunimportof ant, at least for us unimportant, details; for instance, Serenus confesses to Seneca that he uses the earthenware inheritedfrom his father,that he gets easily carriedaway when he makes public speeches, and so on and so on. But, it is easy, beneath this apparentdisorder,to recognize three distinct domains for this confession: the domain of riches, the domain of political life, and the domainof glory;to acquireriches,to participate the affairsof in the city, to gain public opinion. These are-these were-the three types of activitypossible for a free man, the threecommonplacemoralquestionsthat


areaskedby themajor philosophical schoolsof theperiod. framework The of the exposeof Serenus not therefore is definedby the realcourseof his it nor existence; is notdefined hisrealexperiences, by a theory thesoul by of but orof itselements, onlybya classification thedifferent of typesof activity In whichone can exerciseandtheendswhichone canpursue. eachone of revealshis attitude enumerating whichpleases that thesefields,Serenus by "it him.Theexpression pleasesme"(placet him andthatwhichdispleases in thread his analysis. pleaseshimto do favorsfor his It me) is the leading thanthatwhichhe friends. pleaseshimto eatsimply, to havenotother It and of has inherited, the spectacle luxuryin otherspleaseshim. He takes but his will also pleasure in inflating oratorical withthehopethatposterity style In whatpleaseshim,Serenus notseeking is retain words. thusexposing his are desires. pleasures notthe meansof His to revealwhatarehis profound
revealing what Christianslatercall concupiscensia. For him, it is a question

to of of his own stateandof addingsomething the knowledge the moral Thisaddition whatis already known a force,theforcewhich is to precepts. in and wouldbe ableto transform knowledge simpleconsciousness a pure realwayof living.Andthatis whatSenecatriesto do whenhe usesa set of in a not persuasive arguments, demonstrations, examples, order to discover of soul to still unknown truth insideandin thedepth Serenus's butin order explain,if I may say, to whichextenttruthin generalis true.Seneca's has not a discourse foranobjective to addto sometheoretical principle force themin a victorious of coercioncomingfromelsewhere to transform but force.Senecahasto give a placeto truth a force. as I several Serenus's Hence, think, consequences. in thisgamebetween First, confession Seneca's and as consultation, truth, you see, is notdefinedby a to but to correspondence reality as a forceinherent principles whichhas and to be developed a discourse. in Two,this truth not something is whichis hiddenbehindor under consciousness the deepestandmostobscure the in whichis beforetheindividual a pointof as partof the soul.It is something a forcewhichattracts towards goal.Three, him a attraction,kindof magnetic thistruth notobtained ananalytical is of by exploration whatis supposed to be realin the individual by rhetorical but of explanation whatis good for the is anyonewhowantsto approach life of a sage.Four, confession not the oriented toward individualization Serenus the discovery some an of by of characteristics towards constitution a self whichcouldbe but of personal the at the sametime andwithout discontinuity any subject knowledge of and we of subjectof will. Five,22 can see thatsuch a practice confessionand
consultationremains within the frameworkof what the Greeks for a long time called the gnome. The term gnome designates the unity of will and knowledge; it designatesalso a brief piece of discoursethroughwhich truth



appearedwith all its force and encrustsitself in the soul of people.3 Then, we could say that even as late as the first centuryA.D., the type of subject which is proposedas a model andas a targetin the Greek,orin the Hellenistic or Roman,philosophy,is a gnomic self, where force of the truthis one with the form of the will.

In this model of the gnomic self, we found severalconstitutiveelements: the necessity of telling truthabout oneself, the role of the master and the master's discourse, the long way that leads finally to the emergence of the self. All those elements, we find them also in the Christiantechnologies of the self, but with a very differentorganization. should say, in sum, and I'll I conclude there, thatas far as we followed the practicesof self-examination and confession in the Hellenistic or Romanphilosophy,you see thatthe self is not something that has to be discovered or decipheredas a very obscure text. You see that the task is not to put in the light what would be the most obscurepartof our selves. The self has, on the contrary, to be discovered not but to be constituted,to be constitutedthroughthe force of truth.This force lies in24the rhetoricalquality of the master'sdiscourse, and this rhetorical quality dependsfor a parton the expose of the disciple, who has to explain how far he is in his way of living from the trueprinciplesthat he knows.25 And I think thatthis organizationof the self as a target,the organizationof what I call the gnomic self, as the objective, the aim, towards which the confession andthe self-examination oriented,is somethingdeeply different is of what we meet in the Christiantechnologies of the self. In the Christian technologies of the self, the problemis to discover whatis hiddeninside the self; the self is like a text or like a book that we have to decipher,and not somethingwhich has to be constructed the superposition, superimpoby the sition, of the will andthe truth.This organization, Christian this organization, so differentfrom the paganone, is somethingwhich is I thinkquitedecisive for the genealogy of the modernself, and that's the point I'll try to explain next week when we meet again. Thankyou.

CHRISTIANITY AND CONFESSION The theme of this lectureis the same as the theme of last week's lecture.26 The theme is: how was formedin our societies what I would like to call the interpretiveanalysisof the self; or, how was formedthe hermeneuticsof the


self in the modern,or at least in the Christianand the modern,societies? In spite of the fact that we can find very early in the Greek,in the Hellenistic, in the Latin cultures,techniquessuch as self-examinationand confession, I thinkthatthereare very largedifferencesbetweenthe Latinand Greek-the Classical-techniques of the self andthe techniquesdevelopedin Christianity. And I'll try to show this evening thatthe modernhermeneutics the self of is rootedmuchmorein those Christian techniquesthanin the Classicalones. The gnothi seauton is, I think,much less influentialin our societies, in our culture,than is supposedto be. As everybodyknows, Christianity a confession. ThatmeansthatChrisis tianitybelongs to a very special type of religion, the religions which impose on those who practicethem obligationof truth.Such obligationsin Christifor has anityarenumerous; instance,a Christian the obligationto hold as true a set of propositionswhich constitutesa dogma;or, he has the obligationto hold certainbooks as a permanent sourceof truth;or,27 has the obligation he to accept the decisions of certainauthoritiesin mattersof truth.28 ButChristianity another formof truth requires from obligation quitedifferent thoseI just mentioned. has Everyone,everyChristian, thedutyto knowwho he in is, whatis happening him.He hasto knowthefaultshe mayhavecommitted: he hasto knowthetemptations whichhe is exposed.And,moreover, to everyone in Christianity obligedto say thesethingsto otherpeople,to tell thesethings is to otherpeople, andhence,to bearwitnessagainsthimself. A few remarks.These two ensemblesof obligations,those regardingthe faith, the book, the dogma, and the obligationsregardingthe self, the soul, the heart,are linkedtogether.A Christian always supposedto be supported is by the light of faith if he wantsto explore himself, and,conversely,access to the truthof the faith cannot be conceived of withoutthe purificationof the soul. As Augustine said, in a Latin formulaI'm sure you'll understand, qui facit veritatemvenit ad lucem. Thatmeans:facite veritatem,"to make truth inside oneself," and venire ad lucem, "to get access to the light." Well, to make truthinside of oneself, andto get access to the light of God, and so on, those two processes are stronglyconnectedin the Christianexperience.But those two relationships truth,you can find themequallyconnected,as you to know, in Buddhism,and they were also connected in all the Gnostic movements of the first centuries.But there,either in Buddhismor in the Gnostic movements, those two relationshipsto truthwere connected in such a way that they were almost identified. To discover the truth inside oneself, to decipherthe real natureand the authenticorigin of the soul, was considered by the Gnosticistsas one thing with coming throughto the light.29 On the contrary, of the main characteristics orthodoxChristianity, one of one of the main differencesbetween Christianity Buddhism,or between and



and one Christianity Gnosticism, of the mainreasonsfor the mistrust of and historical features toward Christianity mystics, oneof themostconstant is of Christianity, thatthosetwo systems obligation, truth of of obligationwith with theoneconcerned accessto lightandtheoneconcerned themaking of of truth,the discovering truthinside oneself-those two systemsof havealwaysmaintained relative a EvenafterLuther, obligation autonomy. the of even in Protestantism, secretsof the soulandthemysteries thefaith, theself andthebook,arenotin Christianity enlightened exactlythesame by different methods putintooperation and typeof light.Theydemand particulartechniques.

of and Well,let'sputasidethelonghistory their complex oftenconflictual I'd relations beforeand afterthe Reformation. like this eveningto focus of attention the secondof thosetwo systems obligation. like to focus on I'd on the obligation to the imposedon everyChristian manifest truthabout himself. When speaks confession self-examinationChristianity, one of and in one of coursehas in mind the sacrament penanceand the canonic of confessionof sins. But these are rather innovations Christianity. late in Christians the first centuries of knew completely different formsfor the forth thetruth of about showing and themselves, you'llfindtheseobligations of manifesting truthaboutoneself in two differentinstitutions-in the rites andmonastic life. And I wouldlike firstto examinethe penitential rites penitential andtheobligations truth, truth of the obligations whichare whichareconnected thosepenitential related, with rites.I will notenter, of into course, thediscussions whichhavetaken placeandwhichcontinue until now as to the progressive of development theserites.I wouldlike only to underline fundamental in thefirstcenturies Christianity, one fact: of penance was not an act.Penance, the firstcenturies Christianity, in of penance a is whichpresents status, several characteristics. function thisstatus to The of is avoid the definitiveexpulsionfrom the churchof a Christian who has committed orseveral one serious As penitent, Christian excluded sins. this is frommanyof the ceremonies collectiverites,buthe does notceaseto and be a Christian, by meansof thisstatushe canobtainhis reintegration. and Andthisstatus therefore long-term is a affair. status This affects mostaspects of hislife- fasting obligations, about rules clothing, interdictions sexual on relations-andtheindividual marked suchanextentby thisstatus is to that evenafter reconciliation, hisreintegration thecommunity, will his after in he stillsuffer froma certain number prohibitions instance, willnotbe of (for he


able to become a priest). So penanceis not an act correspondingto a sin; it is a status,a general statusin the existence. Now, amongstthe elements of this status,the obligation to manifest the truthis fundamental.I don't say that enunciationof sins is fundamental;I I employa muchmoreimpreciseandobscureexpression. say thatmanifestation is of the truth necessaryandis deeplyconnectedwiththis statusof penance.In inherent penitents, to fact, to designatethe truthgames or the truthobligations the Greekfathersused a word,a very specificword(andveryenigmaticalso); Latin Thiswordwas so specificthateven Latinwriters, the wordexomologesis. it.30 fathers,oftenusedthe Greekwordwithouteven translating Whatdoes thistermexomologesismean?In a verygeneralsense, the word refers to the recognitionof an act, but more precisely,in the penitentialrite, what was the exomologesis?Well, at the end of the penitentialprocedure,at when the end andnot at the beginning,at the end of the penitentialprocedure, the momentof the reintegration came, an episode took place which the texts regularlycall exomologesis.Some descriptionsare very earlyand some very late, but they are quite identical. Tertullian,for instance, at the end of the second century,describesthe ceremonyin the following manner.He wrote, "Thepenitentwears a hair shirtand ashes. He is wretchedlydressed. He is taken by the hand and led into the church.He prostrateshimself before the widows and the priest. He hangs on the skirts of their garments.He kisses theirknees."3' And muchlaterafterthis, in the beginningof the fifth century, Jerome describedin the same way the penitence of Fabiola. Fabiola was a woman, a well-knownRomannoblewoman,who hadmarrieda second time before the death of her first husband,which was something quite bad, and she then was obliged to do penance.And Jeromedescribesthusthis penance: "During the days which preceded Easter,"which was the moment of the reconciliation,
the during dayswhich preceded Easter, Fabiola to be found was among ranks the the of The the and penitents. bishop, priests, thepeople weptwithher. hair Her disheveled, her facepale,herhands her in dirty, head covered ashes, chastened naked she her breast and thefacewithwhich hadseduced second she her husband. revealed allherwound, She to andRome,in tears, the contemplated scars heremaciated on body.32

No doubtJeromeandTertullian were liable to be rather carriedaway by such things;however,in Ambroseand in othersone finds indicationswhich show clearly the existence of an episode of dramaticself-revelationat the moment of the reconciliationof the penitent.Thatwas, specifically,the exomologesis. But the term of exomologesis does not apply only to this final episode. Frequentlythe word exomologesis is used to designate everythingthat the



penitentdoes to obtainhis reconciliationduringthe time in which he retains the status of penitent. The acts by which he punishes himself must be indissociable from the acts by which he reveals himself. The punishmentof oneself and the voluntaryexpressionof oneself are boundtogether. of A correspondent Cyprianin the middle of the thirdcenturywrites, for instance, that those who wish to do penance must, I quote, "prove their suffering, show their shame, make visible their humility, and exhibit their modesty."33 And, in the Paraenesis, Pacian says that the true penance is in accomplishednot in a nominalfashionbut finds its instruments sackcloth, of ashes, fasting, affliction,andthe participation a greatnumberof people in prayers.In a few words, penancein the first Christiancenturiesis a way of life acted out at all times out of an obligationto show oneself. And that is, exactly, exomologesis.34 As you see, this exomologesis did not obey to a judicial principle of correlation, of exact correlation,adjusting the punishmentto the crime. Exomologesis obeyed a law of dramaticemphasisand of maximumtheatricality.And, neitherdid this exomologesisobey a truthprincipleof correspondence between verbalenunciationand reality.As you see, no descriptionin this exomologesis is of a penance;no confession, no verbalenumerationof sins, no analysis of the sins, but somatic expressionsand symbolic expressions. Fabiola did not confess her fault, telling to somebody what she has done, but she put under everybody's eyes the flesh, the body, which has committedthe sin. And, paradoxically, exomologesis is this time to rub the out the sin, restitutethe previous purity acquiredby baptism, and this by showing the sinneras he is in his reality-dirty, defiled, sullied.35 Tertullian a wordto translate Greekwordexomologesis;he said it has the was publicatio sui, the Christianhad to publish himself.36 Publish oneself, thatmeans thathe has two thingsto do. One has to show oneself as a sinner; that means, as somebody who, choosing the path of the sin, preferred filthinessto purity,earthanddustto heaven,spiritual povertyto the treasures of faith. In a word, he has to show himself as somebody who preferred spiritualdeathto earthenlife. And thatwas the reasonwhy exomologesiswas a kind of representation death.It was the theatricalrepresentation the of of sinneras deador as dying.But thisexomologesiswas also a way for the sinner to express his will to get free from this world, to get rid of his own body, to destroyhis own flesh, andget access to a new spirituallife. It is the theatrical representationof the sinner as willing his own death as a sinner.It is the dramaticmanifestationof the renunciation oneself. to Tojustify this exomologesis and this renunciation oneself in manifestto ing the truthaboutoneself, Christian fathershadrecourseto severalmodels. The well-known medical model was very often used in pagan philosophy:



one has to show his wounds to the physiciansif he wants to be healed. They also used thejudicial model: one always appeasesthe court when spontaneBut the most importantmodel to justify the ously confessing the faults.37 The necessity of exomologesisis the model of martyrdom. martyris he who The prefersto face deathratherthanto abandonhis faith.38 sinnerabandons the faith in orderto keep the life of here below; he will be reinstatedonly if to in his turnhe exposes himself voluntarilyto a sortof martyrdom which all will be witnesses, andwhich is penance,or penanceas exomologesis.39 Such does not thereforehave as its functionthe establishmentof a demonstration the personal identity. Rather, such a demonstrationserves to mark this of dramaticdemonstration what one is: the refusal of the self, the breaking off from one's self. One recalls what was the objective of Stoic technology: it was to superimpose,as I tried to explain to you last week, the subject of knowledge and the subjectof will by means of the perpetualrememorizing of the rules.The formulawhich is at the heartof exomologesisis, in contrary, ego non sum ego. The exomologesis seeks, in opposition to the Stoic techniques, to superimposeby an act of violent rupturethe truthabout oneself and the renunciationof oneself. In the ostentatiousgestures of maceration, self-revelationin exomologesisis, at the same time, self-destruction.

Well, if we turnto the confession in monasticinstitutions,it is of course institutionsof the first quitedifferentfromthis exomologesis.In the Christian centuriesanotherform of confession is to be found, very differentfrom this one. It is the organizedconfession in the monasticcommunities.In a certain way, this confession is close to the exercise practicedin the paganschools of philosophy. There is nothing astonishing in this, since the monastic life presenteditself as the trueformof philosophicallife, and the monasterywas of presentedas the school of philosophy.Thereis an obvious transfer several technologies of the self in Christianspiritualityfrom practices of pagan philosophy. Concerningthis continuityI'll quote only one witness, JohnChrysostom, who describes an examinationof conscience which has exactly the same as character, thatdescribedby form, the same shape,the same administrative Seneca in the De Ira and which I spoke aboutlast week. John Chrysostom says, andyou'll recognizeexactly (well, nearly)the samewordsas in Seneca. Chrysostomwrites,
It is in the morningthatwe musttake accountof our expenses, then it is in the evening, after our meal, when we have gone to bed and no one troublesus and disquietsus, that



account ourconduct ourselves. us examine of we mustaskourselves render to to Let Let and whatis to ouradvantage whatis prejudicial. us ceasespending inappropriately in in andtryto set asideusefulfunds the placeof harmful expenses, prayers placeof words.40 indiscrete

self-examination could You'll recognize exactly the same administrative you find last week with Seneca. But these kinds of ancient practices were modified under the influence of two fundamentalelements of Christian spirituality:the principleof obedience, and the principleof contemplation. First, the principleof obedience-we have seen that in the ancient schools of philosophy the relationshipbetween the masterand the disciple was, if I may say, instrumentaland provisory.The obedience of the disciple was foundedon the capacityof the masterto lead him to a happyandautonomous life. For a long series of reasonsthatI haven'ttime to discus here, obedience has very differentfeaturesin the monasticlife and above all, of course,in the cenobite communities.Obediencein the monasticinstitutionsmust bear on all the aspects of life; there is an adage, very well known in the monastic literature,which says, "everythingthat one does not do on orderof one's director,or everythingthat one does without his permission, constitutes a theft."Therefore,obedience is a permanent relationship,and even when the monk is old, even when he became, in his turn,a master,even then he has to keep the spiritof obedience as a permanentsacrificeof his own will. Anotherfeaturedistinguishesmonasticdiscipline from the philosophical life. In the monastic life, the supremegood is not the mastershipof oneself; the supreme good in the monastic life is the contemplationof God. The to obligationof the monkis continuously turnhis thoughts thatsingle point to is whichis God, andhis obligation also to makesurethathis heart,his soul, and the eye of his soul is pureenoughto see God andto receivelightfromhim. Placed underthis principleof obedience, and orientedtowardsthe objective of contemplation,you understand the technology of the self which that develops in Christianmonasticism presents peculiar characteristics.John Cassian's Institutionesand Collationes give a rathersystematic and clear expose of self-examinationand of the confession as they were practiced among the Palestinianand Egyptianmonks.4'And I'll follow several of the indications you can find in those two books, which were written in the beginningof the fifth century. First,aboutthe self-examination, firstpoint the about the self-examinationin the monasticlife is that the self-examination in this kindof Christianexercise is muchmoreconcernedwith thoughtsthan with actions. Since he has to turnhis thoughtcontinuouslytowardsGod, you understand very well thatthe monk has to take in handnot the course of his actions, as the Stoic philosopher;he has to take in hand the course of his


thoughts.Not only the passions which might make vacillate the firmness of his conduct;he has to take in handthe images which presentthemselves to the spirit, the thoughts which come to interfere with contemplation, the diverse suggestionswhichturnthe attentionof the spiritaway fromits object, materialfor scrutiny thatmeans away fromGod. So muchso thatthe primary and for the examinationof the self is an area anteriorto actions, of course, anteriorto will also, even an area anteriorto the desires-a much more tenaciousmaterialthanthe materialthe Stoic philosopherhad to examine in himself. The monk has to examine a materialwhich the Greek fatherscall (almost always pejoratively)the logismoi, that is in Latin, cogitationes, the nearlyimperceptiblemovementsof the thoughts,the permanent mobility of soul.42That's the materialwhich the monk has to continuouslyexamine in order to maintainthe eye of his spirit always directed towards the unique point which is God. But, when the monk scrutinizeshis own thoughts,what is he concernedwith? Not of course with the relationbetween the idea and the reality.He is not concernedwith this truthrelationwhich makes an idea wrong or true.He is not interestedin the relationshipbetween his mind and the externalworld. Whathe is concernedwith is the nature,the quality,the substanceof his thoughts. We must, I think,pause for a momenton this important point. In orderto make comprehensiblewhat this permanent examinationconsists in, Cassian uses three comparisons.He uses first the comparisonof the mill. Thought, says Cassian, thoughtis like a millstone which grindsthe grains.The grains are of course the ideas which presentcontinuouslythemselves in the mind. And in the comparisonof the millstone, it is up to the miller to sort out amongst the grainsthose which are bad and those which can be admittedto the millstone because they are good. Cassian has recourse also to the comparisonof the officer who has the soldiersfile past him and makes them pass to the right or to the left, allotting to each his task according to his capacities. And lastly, and that I think is the most important,the most interesting, Cassian says that one must be with respect to oneself like a moneychanger to whom one presents coins, and whose task consists in examiningthem, verifyingtheirauthenticity, as to acceptthose which are so authenticwhilst rejecting those which are not. Cassian develops this comexamines a coin, says Cassian,the parisonat length. When a moneychanger moneychangerlooks at the effigy the money bears,he considersthe metal of which it is made,to know whatit is andif it is pure.The moneychangerseeks to know the workshopfrom which it comes, and he weighs it in his handin order to know if it has been filed down or ill-used. In the same way, says Cassian,one must verify the qualityof one's thoughts,one must know if they really bear the effigy of God; that is to say, if they really permit us to



contemplatehim, if their surface brilliancedoes not hide the impurityof a bad thought. What is their origin? Do they come from God, or from the workshopof the demon?Finally,even if they are of good qualityandorigin, have they not been whittledaway and rustedby evil sentiments? I think that this form of examination is at the same time new and historicallyimportant.PerhapsI have insisted a little too much with regard to the Stoics on the fact that their examination,the Stoic examination,was concernedwith acts andrules.One mustrecognize,however,the importance of the questionof truthwith the Stoic, butthe questionwas presentedin terms of true or false opinions favorable to forming good or bad actions. For Cassian,the problemis not to know if thereis a conformitybetween the idea and the orderof externalthings;it is a questionof examiningthe thoughtin itself. Does it really show its true origin, is it as pure as it seems, have not foreign elements insidiously mixed themselves with it? Altogether, the question is not "Am I wrong to think such a thing?"but "Have I not been deceived by the thoughtwhich has come to me?"Is the thoughtwhich comes to me, and independentlyof the truthas to the things it represents,is there not an illusion aboutmyself on my part?For instance,the idea comes to me thatfastingis a good thing.The idea is certainlytrue,butmaybethis idea has been suggested not by God but by Satan in orderto put me in competition with other monks, and then bad feelings aboutthe otherones can be mixed to the projectof fasting more than I do. So, the idea is true in regardto the externalworld, or in regardto the rules, but the idea is impuresince from its origin it is rooted in bad sentiments.And we have to decipherour thoughts as subjectivedatawhich have to be interpreted, which have to be scrutinized, in theirroots and in theirorigins. It is impossible not to be struckby the similarityof this general theme, and the similarityof this image of the moneychanger,and several texts of Freudaboutcensorship.One could say thatFreudiancensorshipis both the same thing and the reverse of Cassian'schanger;both the Cassian changer and the Freudiancensorshiphave to control the access to consciousnessthey have to let some representations andto rejectthe others.But Cassian's in changerhas for a functionto decipherwhatis false or illusoryin whatpresents itself to consciousness and then to let in only what is authentic.For that purpose the Cassian moneychangeruses a specific aptitudethat the Latin fatherscalled discretio.43 Freudiancensorshipis, comparedto the CassThe ian changer,both more perverse and more naive. The Freudiancensorship rejects that what presentsitself as it is, and the Freudiancensorshipaccepts that what is sufficiently disguised. Cassian's changer is a truth-operator throughdiscretio;Freudian censorshipis a falsehood-operator throughsymbolization. But I don't want to go furtherin such a parallel; it's only an



indication,but I think that the relationsbetween Freudianpractice and the Christiantechniquesof spiritualitycould be, if seriously done, a very interesting field of research.44 for But we have to go further, the problemis, how is it possible to perform, as Cassianwishes, how is it possible to performcontinuouslythis necessary self-examination,this necessaryself-controlof the tiniest movementsin the thoughts?How is it possible to performthis necessaryhermeneuticsof our own thoughts? The answer given by Cassian and his inspiratorsis both obvious and surprising.The answergiven by Cassianis, well, you interpret your thoughtsby telling them to the masteror to your spiritualfather.You your thoughtsby confessing not of course your acts, not confessing interpret your faults, but in confessing continuouslythe movementyou can notice in role? yourthought.Why is this confession able to assumethis hermeneutical One reasoncomes to the mind:in exposing the movementsof his heart,the disciple permits his seigneur to know those movements and, thanks to his greaterexperience, to his greaterwisdom, the seigneur, the spiritualfather, what's happening.His senioritypermitshim to distincan betterunderstand guish between truthand illusion in the soul of the personhe directs. But that is not the principalreason that Cassian invokes to explain the necessity of confession. Thereis for Cassiana specific virtueof verification in this act of verbalization.Amongst all the examples that Cassian quotes enlighteningon this point. Cassian quotes there is one which is particularly the following anecdote:a young monk, Serapion,incapableof enduringthe obligatoryfast, stole every evening a loaf of bread.But of course he did not dareto confess it to his spiritualdirector,and one day this spiritualdirector, who no doubt guessed all, gives a public sennon on the necessity of being Convincedby this sermon,the young Serapiontakesout from under truthful. his robe the bread that he has stolen and shows it to everyone. Then he himself andconfesses the secret of his daily meal, and then, not at prostrates the momentwhen he showed the breadhe has stolen, but at the very moment when he confesses, verbally confesses, the secret of his daily meal, at this very moment of the confession, a light seems to tear itself away from his body and cross the room, in spreadinga disgustingsmell of sulphur. One sees that in this anecdotethe decisive element is not thatthe master knows the truth.It is not even thatthe young monkrevealshis act andrestores the object of his theft. It is the confession, the verbalact of confession, which in comes last and which makes appear, a certainsense, by its own mechanics, the truth,the reality of what has happened.The verbal act of confession is of the proof,is the manifestation, truth.Why?Well, I thinkit is because what marksthe differencebetween good and evil thoughts,following Cassian, is that the evil ones cannot be referredto without difficulty.If one blushes in



recountingthem, if one seeks to hide his own thoughts,if even quite simply one hesitatesto tell his thoughts,thatis the proof thatthose thoughtsare not good as they may appear.Evil inhabitsthem. Thus verbalizationconstitutes a way of sorting out thoughtswhich presentthemselves. One can test their or value accordingto whetherthey resistverbalization not. Cassiangives the reason of this resistance:Satanas principleof evil is incompatiblewith the light, and he resists when confession dragshim from the darkcavernsof the conscience into the light of explicit discourse. I quote Cassian: "A bad thoughtbroughtinto the lightof dayimmediatelyloses its veneer.Theterrible serpentthat this confession has forced out of its subterranean to throw lair, it out into the light and make its shame a public spectacle,is quick to beat a retreat."45 Does thatmean thatit would be sufficientfor the monk to tell his thoughtsaloud even when alone?Of course not. The presenceof somebody, even if he does not speak, even if it is a silent presence, this presence is or requestedfor this kind of confession, because the abbe, or the brother, the spiritualfather,who listens at this confession is the image of God. And the verbalizationof thoughtsis a way to put underthe eyes of God all the ideas, images, suggestions, as they come to consciousness, and underthis divine light they show necessarilywhat they are. From this, we can see (1) that verbalizationin itself has an interpretive function. Verbalizationcontains in itself a power of discretio.46(2) This verbalizationis not a kind of retrospectionabout past acts. Verbalization, has Cassianimposes to monks, this verbalization to be a permanent activity, as contemporaneous possible of the streamof thoughts.(3) This verbalas ization must go as deep as possible in the depth of the thoughts. These, whateverthey are,have an inapparent origin,obscureroots, secretparts,and the role of verbalizationis to excavate these origins and those secret parts. (4) As verbalizationbrings to the externallight the deep movement of the thought,it leads also and by the same processthe humansoul fromthe reign of Satan to the law of God. That means that verbalizationis a way for the conversion47 the metanoia,said the Greekfathers),for the conversionto (for develop itself and to take effect. Since underthe reign of Satanthe human being was attachedto himself, verbalization a movementtowardGod is a as renunciation to Satan, and a renunciationto oneself. Verbalizationis a self-sacrifice. To this permanent, exhaustive,and sacrificialverbalizationof the thoughtswhich was obligatoryfor the monksin the monasticinstitution, to this permanentverbalizationof the thoughts,the Greek fathersgave the name of exagoreusis.' Thus, as you see, in the Christianity the first centuries,the obligation of to tell the truthaboutoneself was to take two majorforms,the exomologesis and the exagoreusis,and as you see they are very differentfrom one another.



On the one hand,the exomologesis is a dramaticexpressionby the penitent of his statusof sinner,and this in a kindof public manifestation. the other On hand,the exagoreusis,we have an analyticalandcontinuousverbalization of the thoughts, and in this relation of complete obedience to the will of the thatthis verbalization,as I just told spiritualfather.But it must be remarked you, is also a way of renouncingself and no longerwishing to be the subject of the will. Thusthe rule of confession in exagoreusis,this rule of permanent verbalization,finds its parallel in the model of martyrdomwhich haunts exomologesis. The ascetic macerationexercised on the body and the rule of permanentverbalizationappliedto the thoughts,the obligationto macerate the body and the obligation of verbalizingthe thoughts-those things are deeply andclosely related.They aresupposedto have the same goals andthe same effect. So much that one can isolate as the common element to both practices the following principle:the revelation of the truthabout oneself cannot, in those two early Christianexperiences,the revelationof the truth aboutoneself cannotbe dissociatedfrom the obligationto renounceoneself. We have to sacrifice the self in orderto discover the truthaboutourself, and we have to discoverthe truthaboutourselfin orderto sacrificeourself.Truth and sacrifice, the truthaboutourself and the sacrifice of ourself, are deeply this and closely connected.And we have to understand sacrifice not only as a radicalchange in the way of life but as the consequenceof a formulalike of this: you will become the subjectof the manifestation truthwhen andonly or you destroy yourself as a real body or as a real when you disappear existence.

Let's stophere.I have beenbothtoo long andmuchtoo schematic.I would like you to considerwhatI have saidonly as a pointof departure, of those one small originsthatNietzsche likedto discoverat the beginningof greatthings. The great things that those monastic practices announcedare numerous.I will mention, just before I finish, a few of them. First, as you see, the apparitionof a new kind of self, or at least a new kind of relationshipto our selves. You rememberwhat I told you last week: the Greek technology, or the philosophicaltechniques,of the self tendedto producea self which could in be, which should be, the permanentsuperposition the form of memory of the subjectof knowledge and the subjectof the will.49 I think that in Christianitywe see the development of a much more complex technology of the self. This technology of the self maintainsthe difference between knowledge of being, knowledge of word, knowledge of nature,and knowledgeof the self, andthis knowledgeof the self takes shape



in the constitutionof thoughtas a field of subjective data which are to be is interpreted. And, the role of interpreter assumedby the work of a continuous verbalizationof the most imperceptiblemovements of the thoughtthat's the reason we could say that the Christianself which is correlatedto this techniqueis a gnosiologic self. is And the second point which seems to me important this:you may notice in early Christianityan oscillation between the truth-technology the self of oriented toward the manifestationof the sinner, the manifestationof the being-what we would call the ontological temptationof Christianity,and that is the exomologesis-and anothertruth-technology orientedtowardthe discursive and permanentanalysis of the thought-that is the exagoreusis, and we could see therethe epistemologicaltemptationof Christianity. And, as you know, after a lot of conflicts and fluctuation,the second form of technology,this epistemologicaltechnologyof the self, or this technology of the self oriented towardthe permanentverbalizationand discovery of the most imperceptible movementsof ourself, this formbecamevictoriousafter centuriesand centuries,and it is nowadaysdominating. Even in these hermeneutical techniquesderivedfrom the exagoreusisthe productionof truthcould not be met, you remember,without a very strict condition:hermeneuticsof the self implies the sacrificeof the self. And that is, I think, the deep contradiction,or, if you want, the great richness, of Christiantechnologies of the self: no truthaboutthe self withouta sacrifice of the self.50I think that one of the great problemsof Westernculture has been to find the possibility of foundingthe hermeneutics the self not, as it of was the case in early Christianity,on the sacrifice of the self but, on the on contrary, a positive, on the theoreticalandpractical,emergenceof the self. Thatwas the aim of judicial institutions, was the aim also of medicaland that psychiatricpractices,thatwas the aim of politicalandphilosophicaltheoryto constitutethe groundof the subjectivityas the rootof a positive self, what we could call the permanent anthropologism Western of thought.And I think thatthis anthropologism linkedto the deep desire to substitutethe positive is figure of man for the sacrifice which for Christianitywas the condition for the openingof the self as a field of indefiniteinterpretation."1 Duringthe last two centuries,the problemhas been: what could be the positive foundation for the technologiesof the self thatwe have been developingduringcenturies and centuries?But the moment,maybe,is coming for us to ask, do we need, really, this hermeneuticsof the self?52 Maybe the problemof the self is not to discover what it is in its positivity,maybe the problemis not to discover a positive self or thepositive foundationof the self. Maybeourproblemis now to discover that the self is nothingelse than the historicalcorrelation the of technologybuiltin our history. Maybethe problemis to changethose technol-



ogies.53And in this case, one of the main political problems would be nowadays,in the strictsense of the word, the politics of ourselves. Well, I thankyou very much.

moralede lafolie (Paris:J. B. Bailliere, 1840), and 1. See FrancoisLeuret,Du traitement Foucault,Maladiementaleetpsychologie, 3rded. (Paris:PUF, 1966), 85-86; MentalIllness and Psychology, translated Alan Sheridan(New York:Harper& Row, 1976), 72. by PeifferandEmmanuel translated Gabrielle 2. Edmund Husserl, Meditations Cartesiennes, by to Lewis (Paris:ArmanColin, 1931); CartesianMeditations:An Introduction Phenomenology, translatedby DorianCairns(The Hague:MartinusNijhoff, 1973). 3. "wheresociety plays the role of subject"[Howison]. 4. "So much for the generalproject.Now a few words on methodology.For this kind of research, the history of science constitutes a privileged point of view. This might seem paradoxical.After all, the genealogy of the self does not take place within a field of scientific knowledge, as if we were nothingelse than that which rationalknowledge could tell us about ourselves. While the history of science is without doubt an importanttesting ground for the theory of knowledge, as well as for the analysis of meaningfulsystems, it is also fertile ground for studyingthe genealogy of subject.Therearetwo reasonsfor this. All the practicesby which the subject is defined and transformed accompaniedby the formationof certaintypes of are knowledge, and in the West, for a variety of reasons,knowledge tends to be organizedaround forms and norms that are more or less scientific. There is also anotherreason maybe more fundamentaland more specific to our societies. I mean the fact that one of the main moral obligations for any subjectis to know oneself, to tell the truthaboutoneself, and to constitute oneself as an object of knowledge both for otherpeople and for oneself. The truthobligationfor individualsanda scientificorganization knowledge;those arethe two reasonswhy the history of of knowledge constitutesa privileged point of view for the genealogy of the subject. Hence, it follows that I am not tryingto do historyof sciences in general,but only of those which soughtto constructa scientific knowledge of the subject.Anotherconsequence.I am not trying to measure the objective value of these sciences, nor to know if they can become universally valid. That is the task of an epistemological historian.Rather,I am working on a historyof science thatis, to some extent,regressivehistorythatseeks to discoverthe discursive, the institutional,and the social practices from which these sciences arose. This would be an archaeologicalhistory.Finally,the thirdconsequence,this projectseeks to discoverthe point at which these practices became coherentreflective techniques with definite goals, the point at which a particulardiscourse emerged from those techniquesand came to be seen as true, the point at which they are linked with the obligationof searchingfor the truthand telling the truth. In sum, the aim of my project is to constructa genealogy of the subject. The method is an archaeology of knowledge, and the precise domain of the analysis is what I should call of technologies. I mean the articulation certaintechniquesand certainkinds of discourseabout the subject. I would like to add one final word aboutthe practicalsignificanceof this form of analysis. For Heidegger,it was throughan increasingobsession with techne as the only way to arriveat an understanding objects, that the Westlost touch with Being. Let's turnthe questionaround of



and ask which techniquesand practices form the Westernconcept of the subject, giving it its I characteristic split of truthanderror,freedomand constraint. thinkthatit is herewhere we will a find the real possibility of constructing historyof what we have done and, at the same time, a diagnosis of what we are. This would be a theoreticalanalysis which has, at the same time, a political dimension.By this word 'politicaldimension,'I mean an analysis thatrelatesto what we are willing to accept in our world, to accept, to refuse, andto change, both in ourselves and in our circumstances.In sum, it is a questionof searchingfor anotherkindof criticalphilosophy. Not a critical philosophy that seeks to determinethe conditions and the limits of our possible knowledge of the object, but a critical philosophythat seeks the conditionsand the indefinite the ourselves"[Howison]. possibilities of transforming subject,of transforming 5. Les Mots et les choses (Paris:Gallimard,1966); TheOrderof Things,translated Alan by Sheridan(New York:Pantheon,1970). de 6. Naissance de la clinique(Paris:PressesUniversitaires France,1963, 1972); TheBirth of the Clinic, translatedby Alan Sheridan(New York:Pantheon,1973) and Surveilleret punir (Paris: Gallimard, 1975); Discipline and Punish, translatedby Alan Sheridan (New York: Pantheon,1977). de 7. La Volonte' savoir (Paris: Gallimard, 1976); The History of Sexuality, vol. 1: An Introduction,translatedby RobertHurley (New York:Pantheon,1978); L'Usage des plaisirs (Paris: Gallimard, 1984); The Use of Pleasure, translatedby Robert Hurley (New York: Pantheon, 1985); Le Souci de soi (Paris:Gallimard,1984); The Care of the Self, translatedby RobertHurley(New York:Pantheon,1986). am 8. Juirgen Habermas,Erkenntnisund Interesse (Frankfurt Main: SuhrkampVerlag, und als am 1968) andappendixin Technik Wissenschaft "Ideologie" (Frankfurt Main:Suhrkamp Verlag, 1968);Knowledgeand HumanInterests,translated JeremyShapiro(Boston:Beacon, by 1971), esp. "Appendix:Knowledge andHumanInterests,A GeneralPerspective,"313. 9. Technologiesof the Self: A SeminarwithMichel Foucault,edited by LutherH. Martin, Huck Gutman,and PatrickH. Hutton(Amherst:Universityof Massachusetts Press, 1988). 10. "andknown"[Howison]. 11. "andknow themselves"[Howison]. 12. The Foucault Effect: Studies in Governmentality, edited by GrahamBurchell et al. (Chicago: Universityof Chicago Press, 1991). 13. "asthey spoke of it in the sixteenthcentury,of governingchildren,or governingfamily, or governingsouls" [Howison]. 14. Resumede cours, 1970-1982 (Paris:Julliard,1989), 133-66; "Sexualityand Solitude," LondonReview of Books 3, no. 9 (May 21-June3, 1981): 3, 5-6. 15. Seneca, "On Anger,"Moral Essays, Volume1, translatedby John W. Basore, Loeb Classical Library(Cambridge,MA: HarvardUniversityPress, 1958), 340-41. 16. Le Souci de soi, 77-79; The Care of the Self, 60-62; "L'ecriture soi," Corpsicrit 5 de (February1983): 21. 17. "all of them being a way to incorporatein a constant attitudea code of actions and reactions,whateversituationmay occur"[Howison]. 18. Galen,"Onthe DiagnosisandCureof the Soul's Passions,"in On thePassions andErrors of the Soul, translated Paul W. Harkins(Ohio State UniversityPress, 1963). by 19. Plutarch,"How a Man May Become Aware of His Progressin Virtue,"in Moralia, Volume1, translated FrankCole Babbitt,Loeb ClassicalLibrary(New York:Putnam,1927), by 400-57, esp. 436-57. 20. Seneca, "On Tranquilityof Mind,"in Moral Essays, Volume2, translatedby John W. Basore, Loeb ClassicalLibrary(Cambridge, MA: Harvard UniversityPress, 1935), 202-85, esp. 202-13.

FoucaultHERMENEUTICS THESELF 225 / OF 21. "But, this this of through confession, through description his ownstate,he asksSeneca his to tell himthe truth about own state.Senecais at the sametimeconfessing truth the and lacking truth" in [Howison]. 22. "Iftheroleof confession consultation to give placeto truth a force,it is easy and is as has that the if recalls to understand self-examination nearly samerole.Wehaveseenthat Seneca his it the of and is everyevening mistakes, is to memorize moral precepts theconduct, memory whenit is permanently and else nothing thantheforceof thetruth present activein thesoul.A in and a rhetorics the in permanent memory theindividual in his innerdiscourse, persuasive of considered a force.Thenwe mayconclude as advice-those arethe aspects truth master's as and considered truth-game, and self-examination confession be in ancient may philosophy is a but of inside important truth-game, theobjective thistruth-gamenottodiscover secret reality of a The of is truth theindividual. objective thistruth-gameto make theindividualplacewhere the of and of and force canappear actasareal through presence memory theefficiency discourse" [Howison]. of men 23. "In earliest the form Greek to philosophy, anddivine toldthetruth ordinary poets this wereveryshort, and mortals through kindof gnome.Gnomai veryimperative, so deeply to illuminated thepoetical themandto avoidtheir by lightthatit wasimpossible forget power. as in Well,I thinkyou cansee thatself-examination, confession, you findthem,forinstance, and but Seneca, alsoin Marcus Aurelius, Epictetus, so on,evenas lateas thefirstcentury A.D., and werestilla kindof development thegnomni" self-examination confession of [Howison]. of and" 24. "the mnemonic aptitude theindividual [Howison]. in on and of 25. "These depend part artsof memory actsof persuasion. technologies the So, but self in the ancientworldare not linkedwithan artof interpretation, with artssuch as and self-hermeneutics won't mnemotechnics rhetoric. Self-observation, self-interpretation, in of intervene thetechnologies theselfbefore Christianity" [Howison]. Howison 26. [Atthebeginning thesecond of Foucault thefollowing:] said lecture, "Well, me I several asked to give a short of persons resume whatI saidlastnight. willtryto do it as if it werea goodTV series.So, whathappened thefirstepisode? in few Very important things.I havetriedto explainwhyI wasinterested thepractice self-examination confession. in of and Those practices tometobegoodwitnesses amajorproblem, is thegenealogy seem two which for of the modemself. Thisgenealogy beenmy obsession yearsbecause is one of the has for it of I possiblewaysto get ridof a traditional philosophy thesubject. wouldliketo outline this from pointof viewof techniques, I calltechniques theself.Among the genealogy what of these of in techniques theself,themostimportant, modem societies, I think, whichdealswith is, that the interpretive analysisof the subject,with the hermeneutics the self. How was the of of of hermeneutics theselfformed? is thetheme thetwolectures. This Yesterday night, spoke I aboutGreekandRomantechniques the self, or at least abouttwo of thesetechniques, of confession self-examination. a factthatwe meetconfession self-examination and Itis and very oftenin the late Hellenistic Roman and Are philosophies. they the archetypes Christian of and confession self-examination? theytheearlyforms themodem Are of hermeneutics the of self?I havetriedto showthattheyarequitedifferent fromthat.Theiraimis not,I think, to a truth thedepth theindividual. in decipher hidden of Their is something Itis to give aim else. in Their is to constitute self as theidealunityof thewill forceto truth theindividual. aim the andthetruth. toward Well,nowlet us turn as of Christianity thecradle Western hermeneutics of theself." 27. "atleastin theCatholic branch Christianity" of [Howison]. 28. "obligations onlyto believein certain not things alsoto showthatonebelievesin but them.Every Christian obliged manifest faith" is to his [Howison].



29. "If the gnomic self of the Greekphilosophers,of which I spoke yesterdayevening, had to be built as an identificationbetween the force of the truthand the formof the will, we could say that there is a gnostic self. This is the gnostic self that we can find describedin Thomas Evangiliumor the Manicheantexts. This gnostic self has to be discoveredinside the individual, but as a part,as a forgottensparkleof the primitivelight" [Howison]. 30. Technologiesof the Self, 39-43. 31. Tertullian,"On Repentance,"in TheAnte-Nicene Fathers, edited by A. Roberts and J. Donaldson (GrandRapids, MI: Eerdmans,n.d., repr.1979), 657-68, esp. " Exomologesis," chaps. 9-12, 664-66. 32. Jerome,"Letter LXXVII, to Oceanus,"in ThePrincipal Works St. Jerome,translated of by W. H. Freemantle,vol. 6 in A Select Libraryof Nicene and Post-NiceneFathers (New York: ChristianLiterature Co., 1893), 157-62, esp. 159-60. 33. Cyprian, "LetterXXXVI, from the Priests and Deacons Abiding in Rome to Pope in Letters(1-81), 90-94at 93, translated SisterRose Bernard Cyprian," Saint Cyprian: by Donna, DC: CatholicUniversityof America C.S.J., vol. 51 in The Fathers of the Church(Washington, Press, 1964). 34. "This form,attestedto from the end of the second century,will subsistfor an extremely since one finds its after-effectsin the ordersof penitentsso important long time in Christianity, in the fifteenthand sixteenthcentury.One can see thatthe procedure showing forththe truth for are multipleand complex in it. Certainacts of exomologesistake place in privatebut most are addressedto the public"[Howison]. 35. "Thegreaterpartof the acts which constitutepenancehas the role not of telling the truth about the sin; it has the role of showing the true being of the sinner,or the true sinful being of the subject.The Tertullian expression, publicatiosui, is not a way to say the sinnerhas to explain his sins. The expressionmeanshe has to producehimself as a sinnerin his realityof sinner.And now the question is why the showing forthof the sinnershould be efficient to efface the sins" [Howison]. 36. "OnRepentance," chap. 10. 37. "Theday of judgment,the Devil himself will standup to accuse the sinner.If the sinner has already anticipatedhim by accusing himself, the enemy will be obliged to remainquiet" [Howison]. 38. "Itmustnot be forgottenthatthe practiceand the theoryof penitencewere elaboratedto a great extent aroundthe problemof the relapsed.... The relapsedabandonsthe faith in order to keep the life of here below" [Howison]. 39. "In brief, penance insofar as it is a reproductionof martyrdomis an affirmationof change-of rupturewith one's self, with one's past metanoia,of a rupture with the world, and with all previouslife" [Howison]. 40. See esp. St. John Chrysostom,"HomilyXLII,"on Matthew 12:33, in St. Chrysostom: Homilies on the Gospel of St. Matthew,edited by Phillip Schaff, vol. 10 in A Select Libraryof the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers (GrandRapids,MI: Eerdmans,repr.1975), 271. 41. John Cassian,De InstitutionesCoenobiorum CollationesPatrum,edited by Phillip and Schaff, in vol. 11 of A Select Libraryof Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers (GrandRapids, MI: Eerdmans,repr.1973). 42. "Thisis the soul thatCassiandescribedwith two Greekwords[undecipherable]. means It that the soul is always moving and moving in all directions"[Howison]. 43. "andthe Greekfatherscalled diacrisis" [Howison]. 44. "WhatI would like to insist uponthis evening is somethingelse, or, at least, something indirectly related to that. There is something really importantin the way Cassian poses the problemof truthaboutthe thought.Firstof all, thoughts(not desires, not passions,not attitudes,



not acts) appearin Cassian'swork and in all the spiritualityit representsas a field of subjective data which have to be consideredand analyzedas an object. And I thinkthat is the firsttime in history that thoughtsare consideredas possible objects for an analysis. Second, thoughtshave to be analyzednot in relationto theirobject, accordingto objectiveexperience,or accordingto logical rules, they have to be suspectedsince they can be secretlyaltered,disguisedin theirown substance.Third,what man needs if he does not want to be the victim of his own thoughtsis a a perpetualhermeneuticsinterpretation, perpetualwork of hermeneutics.The functionof this hermeneuticsis to discover the reality hidden inside the thought.Fourth,this reality which is able to hide in my thoughtsis a power, a powerwhich is not of anothernaturethan my soul, as is, for instance,the body. The power which hides inside my thoughts,this power is of the same natureof my thoughtsand of my soul. It is the Devil. It is the presenceof somebodyelse in me. analysis in This constitutionof the thoughtsas a field of subjectivedataneedingan interpretive orderto discover the power of the other in me is, that is, I think, if we compareit to the Stoic technologies of the self, a quite new mannerto organize the relationshipsbetween truthand subjectivity.I think thathermeneuticsof the self begins there"[Howison]. 45. JohnCassian,Second Conferenceof AbbotMoses, chap. 11, 312-13 at 312, in vol. 11of A Select Libraryof Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the ChristianChurch,edited by Philip Schaft and HenryWace (GrandRapids,MI: Eerdmans,1955). 46. "apower of diacrisis, of differences"[Howison]. of 47. "forthe rupture the self' [Howison]. 48. Technologiesof the Self, 43-49. 49. ", what I call the gnomic self. In the beginningof the lecture,I indicatedthatthe Gnostic movementswere a questionof constitutingan ontologicalunity,the knowledge of the soul and the knowledge of the being. Then, what could be called the gnostic self could be constitutedin Christianity" [Howison]. finds an explanationhere. The 50. "Thecentralityof the confession of sins in Christianity which is a as verbalizationof the confession of sins is institutionalized a discursivetruth-game, sacrifice of the subject"[Howison]. 51. "Inaddition,we can say thatone of the problemsof Westernculturewas: how could we save the hermeneuticsof the self and get rid of the necessary sacrifice of the self which was linked to this hermeneuticssince the beginningof Christianity" [Howison]. Do 52. "whichwe have inheritedfromthe firstcenturiesof Christianity? we need a positive man who serves as the foundationof this hermeneutics the self?" [Howison]. of 53. "ormaybe to get rid of those technologies, and then, to get rid of the sacrifice which is linked to those technologies"[Howison].

MarkBlasius is AssistantProfessor of Political Science at the City Universityof New York/LaGuardia. His research and publications are concerned with modern and contemporary political theoryand social thought,and his book A Politics of Sexuality isforthcoming.Aportion of the argument this bookwaspublishedin PoliticalTheory, of Vol.20, No. 4 as"An Ethos of Lesbianand Gay Existence."