Foucault News

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

Andreas Folkers, Daring the Truth: Foucault, Parrhesia and the Genealogy of Critique, Theory, Culture & Society, January 2016 vol. 33 no. 1 3-28

doi: 10.1177/0263276414558885

This paper draws attention to Foucault’s genealogy of critique. In a series of inquiries, Foucault traced the origins and trajectories of critical practices from the ancient tradition of parrhesia to the enlightenment and the (neo)liberal critique of the state. The paper will elucidate the insights of this history and argue that Foucault’s turn to the genealogy of critique also changed the valence of his theoretical assumptions. Foucault developed a more affirmative practice of genealogy that not only discredits truth claims by tracing them back to their inglorious origins. Rather, he presents a politics of truth as a complex interaction of (governmental) power-knowledge and critique that questions the power effects of truth and rationality. This genealogy of critique contributes to current problematizations of critique by thinkers like Boltanski, Latour and Rancière in highlighting the role of epistemological and technical critique of social rationalization and political reason.

critique Foucault genealogy governmentality neoliberalism rationality truth

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