Foucault - Knowledge of Sex.docx - The History of Sexuality...

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The History of Sexuality: An Introduction - Michel Foucault - Discourse on sex created a problem of truth - Sex was seen as dangerous, perverse o Threatening to a persons’ (and society’s) morality - Lies were spread about sex in support of the popular prudishness toward the “unorthodox” sexual practices - Foucault focuses on sex not as morality but as a matter of knowledge, truth, and falsehoods o Says that previous societies treated sex as “erotic art” and contemporary societies treat it was “science of sexuality” - Ars Erotica (erotic art) o The knowledge that has been passed on through “exotic art” is a knowledge of sensual pleasure How pleasure can be experienced, intensified, maximized This knowledge is mysterious and is seen to only be able to be passed on from a master to a novice (experience based) No question of right/wrong, only a question of pleasure itself o Sex is not to be pursued in relation to an absolute law o Sex is not to be pursued in relation to its utility

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