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Answering to Foucault June 18, 2009

Posted by Andy in Foucault, Le Courage de la Vérité.
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When I started reading the 1984 lectures, I was hoping that I’d be able to provide a different interpretation to that offered by the likes of McGushin and Bernauer, because their take seemed so unFoucauldian. As my notes have perhaps indicated, I believe these lectures are atypical Foucault in a range of ways that I’m not going into. The point is that some (but not all) of the arguments that made me uncomfortable did originate with Foucault and not his interpreters. So I feel obliged to give an answer to them, because I have taken these issues seriously. So in what follows, I will give my answer to Foucault. (more…)


A cock for life: Foucault’s third lecture March 10, 2009

Posted by Andy in Foucault, Le Courage de la Vérité.
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The third lecture of 1984 (the 15th February) examines Socrates’ appropriation of parrhesia. The transition I think he’s getting at is from the kind of truth-telling that opposes the powerful for the good of the collective towards the kind of truth-telling that opposes vanity for the sake of the good life (and this is where life is inserted into philosophical practice). But the main locus for this history is the last words of Socrates. (more…)

Lecture 2: Parrhesia in democracy and autocracy March 7, 2009

Posted by Andy in Foucault, Le Courage de la Vérité.
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The second lecture continues Foucault’s analysis of parrhesia, and takes into consideration the political context. Parrhesia is argued to be suited to monarchies rather than democracies, and in its relation to the prince, its essential character is to be found. He starts off with some reflections on democracy, and curiously ends up with an almost Trinitarian-shaped account of philosophy. (more…)

Le Courage de la Vérité: summaries March 5, 2009

Posted by Andy in Foucault, Le Courage de la Vérité.
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So I decided to do what Anthony says and write down some lecture summaries of the latest Foucault course, Le Courage de la Vérité: Le gouvernement de soi et des autres II. It’s a curious little book, and as I mentioned before, eagerly awaited by a number of us, not least because the status of the “ethical Foucault” may depend on its interpretation. We shall see. (nb all the below translations are mine) (more…)

Revolting Theology October 29, 2007

Posted by Andy in theology.
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I get depressed when I hear radical theologians. It’s not that I think they’re fundamentally wrong, or want to criticise their anger and frustration. I just get depressed at how very few ways of thinking they can resort to.