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Foucault, Weber and the history of the economic subject


  • Philippe Steiner


The present paper begins with a presentation of Foucault's lectures on economic issues. Departing from his previous views on government, Foucault offered a new approach to eighteenth-century liberalism and neo-liberalism, interpreting these political theories in terms of what he called biopolitics. Then the paper endeavours to demonstrate that the line of reasoning pursued by Foucault coincides with that found in Weber's sociology of religion. In as much as Weber studies the relation between the religious and the economic, the paper draws a parallel between the Weberian concept of 'life conduct' and the concept of 'technique of the self' advanced by Foucault in order to study the moral foundation of the economic agent.

Suggested Citation

  • Philippe Steiner, 2008. "Foucault, Weber and the history of the economic subject," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(3), pages 503-527.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:eujhet:v:15:y:2008:i:3:p:503-527
    DOI: 10.1080/09672560802252370

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hervé Dumez, 1985. "L'économiste, la Science et le Pouvoir. Le cas Walras," Post-Print hal-00262500, HAL.
    2. Hervé Dumez, 1985. "L'économiste, la Science et le Pouvoir. Le cas Walras," Post-Print hal-00231014, HAL.
    3. Hervé Dumez, 1985. "L'économiste, la Science et le Pouvoir. Le cas Walras," Post-Print hal-00262501, HAL.
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