Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

will-to-knowMichel Foucault, Lectures on the Will to Know. Edited by Daniel Defert. Translated by Graham Burchell. Series: Michel Foucault: Lectures at the Collège de France. Palgrave Macmillan.

Forthcoming 18 Jun 2013

Publisher’s page

This volume gives us the transcription of the first of Michel Foucault’s annual courses at the Collège de France. Its publication marks a milestone in Foucault’s reception and it will no longer be possible to read him in the same way as before.

In these lectures the reader will find the deep unity of Foucault’s project from Discipline and Punish (1975), dominated by the themes of power and the norm, to The Use of Pleasure and The Care of the Self (1984), devoted to the ethics of subjectivity.

Lectures on the Will to Know remind us that Michel Foucault’s work only ever had one object: truth. Discipline and Punish completed an investigation of the role of juridical forms in the formation of truth-telling, the preparatory groundwork for which is found here in these lectures. Truth arises in conflicts, in rival claims for which the rituals of judicial judgment provide the possibility of deciding between who is right and who is wrong.

At the heart of ancient Greece there is a succession of different and opposing juridical forms and ways of dividing true and false into which the disputes between sophists and philosophers are soon inserted. In Oedipus the King, Sophocles stages the peculiar force of forms of telling the truth: they establish power just as they depose it. Against Freud, who will make Oedipus the drama of a shameful sexual desire, Michel Foucault shows that the tragedy articulates the relations between truth, power, and law. The history of truth is that of the tragedy.

Beyond the irenicism of Aristotle, who situated the will to truth in the desire for knowledge, Michel Foucault deepens the tragic vision of truth inaugurated by Nietzsche, who Foucault, in a secret dialogue with Deleuze, rescues from Heidegger’s reading.

After this course, who will dare speak of a skeptical Foucault?

With thanks to Matt Ball for sending on this info

5 thoughts on “Foucault: Lectures on the Will to Know (2013)

  1. Jeremy says:

    Reblogged this on Open Geography and commented:
    Wow, this looks like being essential reading!

  2. The wonderful thing about these lectures from the CDF is that they just flow and are mesmerizing.

  3. relationship to truth and knowledge-these lectures open up aspects of Foucault’s thought that are necessary for detecting simplifications and misreadings.very releavant..

  4. jonescraig says:

    Reblogged this on War, Law & Space and commented:
    News of a newly translated Foucault book over at – which, by the way, is a fantastic resource for Foucault geeks. This will be essential reading when it comes out in April. The one benefit of not reading French is that Foucault just keeps giving as his works are slowly translated into English!

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