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Disobey! A Philosophy of Resistance

Frédéric Gros | Translated by David Fernbach

Following his best-selling A Philosophy of Walking Frédéric Gros explores the philosophy of disobedience

The world is out of joint, so much so that disobeying should be an urgent act for everyone. In this provocative essay, Frédéric Gros explores the roots of political obedience, social conformity, economic subjection, respect for authorities, constitutional consensus. Examining the various styles of obedience provides tools to study, invent and induce new forms of civic disobedience and lyrical protest. Nothing can be taken for granted: neither supposed certainties nor social conventions, economic injustice or moral conviction. Thinking philosophically requires us to never accept truths and generalities that seem obvious—it restores a sense of political responsibility. At a time when the decisions of experts are presented as the result of icy statistics and anonymous calculations, disobeying becomes an assertion of humanity. To philosophise is to disobey. This book is a call for critical democracy and ethical resistance.


Frédéric Gros is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Paris XII and the Institute of Political Studies, Paris. He was the editor of the last lectures of Michel Foucault at the Collège de France. He has written books on psychiatry, law, and war as well as the best-selling Philosophy of Walking. He lives in Paris.

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