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Foucault, Michel (Translated by A. M. Sheridan Smith) . THE HISTORY OF SEXUALITY: THE USE OF PLEASURE: VOLUME TWO. New York City, NY: Pantheon Books, 1985. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 293 pages. Fine/Fine.

The second volume in the author's unfinished four-volume history on subject. One of the greatest philosophical texts of the 20th century. The first appearance of the title in English and in the United States. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now rare. Presents Michel Foucault's "The History of Sexuality: The Use of Pleasure" in a felicitous English translation. Volume Two of his final, and perhaps greatest, project. Volume One is "The History of Sexuality: An Introduction" (1985). What he completed of Volume Three was published as "The History of Sexuality: The Care of The Soul" (1986). Foucault's history examines how sexual experience became a moral issue during the Ancient Era. The moral prohibitions on sex eventually became full-fledged in the 19th century in the West, but according to Foucault, evolved and developed as early as the Ancient Era. Contrary to popular notions of the period as one of heedless hedonism and "free love", Foucault asserts that the exact opposite was true. That in ancient Rome, for instance, we already see a subtle but significant break from the Greeks. They were not repressive, but unlike their Greek predecessors, Plutarch, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, and Seneca were not hedonists at all. Among other things, they were quite worried about the deleterious effects unfettered sexual behavior may have on oneself, and instead of sexual freedom, cultivated a more restrictive culture of "the care of the self". The total rejection of sexual pleasure was a radical break that came with the rise of Judaism and the birth of Christianity. The Jewish and Christian Eras would have been the tantalizing subject for Foucault's fourth, unwritten volume. Now regarded as the greatest openly gay philosopher in the Western tradition, Foucault deployed his genius as a philosopher, phenomenologist, and political thinker to help make people re-think and seek new answers to the question, "What does it mean to be human?", the only philosophical question worth asking. He single-handedly exposed Western Enlightenment as a lie, and by extension, all of its modern versions, whether it be European, British, or American "analytical thinking". The most important French thinker of his time, he was alienated as a Frenchman, and wished that his country would collapse, making him more, not less, wildly popular with his fellow Frenchmen. His seminal influence on every aspect of Western thought and art has been "destructive" in the most positive sense of the word: "He has given received wisdom a mighty blow from which it will never recover" (Christopher Lasch). Michel Foucault died of AIDS in 1984 before he could finish his magnum opus. An absolute "must-have" title for Michel Foucault collectors. This title is a great book. This is one of very few copies of the First American Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Please note: Almost all other copies available online have serious flaws. A rare copy thus. One of the greatest French philosophers of the 20th century. A fine collectible copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER MICHEL FOUCAULT TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0394543491. $150.00

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