Make your own free website on

List of theorists that have some relation to critical pedagogy

Home | Submit | Beginnings | Theorists

feel free to add your own theorist/link/comment/etc.  To do so, select this link.

For me, this essay gets at the heart of this society's legacy from the Enlightenment.  Foucault follows his usual pattern of examining the development of a certain social problem or question, in this case, the question -- what is enlightment/Enlightenment.  He traces the nature of the question to a struggle between the ideas of Modernity vs. countermodernity.  For Foucault, human development is the increase of productive capabilities, along with and intensification in the matrices of power relations that bind us to this system.  His inquiry then is into the nature of these power relations, with an eye toward areas of tension and resistance against these relations.  To me, the crucial part of the essay is when he presents the distillation of his inquiry into the form of an open ended question that we somehow have to work toward answering.  The question he asks is "what is not or is no longer indispensable for the constitution of ourselves as autonomous subjects. . .[by] seeking to give new impetus, as far and wide as possible, to the undefined work of freedom" (43-46).  Essentially, he asks us to examine the systems of power relations that we are enmeshed in, in order to determine what is necessary for us to be free.  back to responses