Emancipation and Systemic Oppression: Hegel, Marx, and Foucault



Contemporary thinking about emancipation, social injustice, and systemic oppression has many sources, but in this course we will examine just three of them: Hegel, Marx, and Foucault, each of whom offer different diagnoses of the sources of oppression, as well as different approaches to whether—and if so, how—it is remediable. The key to understanding these issues is the three thinkers’ attitudes toward history: its inner logic (if it has one); whether and how it forms an integrated whole; what constitutes, and is the mechanism for, true historical change; the possibility or coherence of historical progress; whether revolution merely continues the past in another guise or is a true reorganization of the present.


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