Despite the importance of Foucault's ideas in reconsidering notions of the self, identity and sexuality, his late writings on the aesthetics of the self have also been the subject of heated debate, not least among feminist intellectuals. One major line of criticism that has been levelled at Foucault's work is that he ignores the gendered nature of the philosophical tradition of the aesthetics of the self, and that this has resulted in certain gender blindness in his theory. As various feminist critiques have pointed out, in his inquiries Foucault re-creates a model of self-mastery that depends on a struggle to subordinate the feminine characteristic of immoderation to the male body and self and that (unlike the female body and self) also becomes a locus of artistic creation. This seems to be true not only of his late work on the ancient Greco-Roman aesthetics of the self, presented in the two last parts of his 1985/1984 and , 1986/1984), but also of his essay on the Enlightenment, in which he connects the ancient theme of the aesthetics of the self to Kant's and Baudelaire's notions of modernity.


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