Foucault News

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

Andrey Gordienko, The Epistemic State of Exception, The Philosophical Salon, 3 April 2023

Agamben’s “Configuration of Facts” and Foucault’s “Regime of Truth”

In “The Central Bankers’ Long COVID,” Fabio Vighi observes that the contemporary paradigm of government by crisis fosters a rhetoric of exclusion, which neutralizes dissensus and positions the official narrative of emergency capitalism as the sole bearer of truth. A permanent epistemic state of exception establishes a watertight regime of opinions, which blocks any potentially heretical inquiry into the “ideological sickness” of our socioeconomic system.[i] Before developing this concept further, it is important to note that the expression “epistemic state of exception” constitutes a useful pleonasm. As Giorgio Agamben demonstrates, every state of exception presupposes “the ultimate configuration of facts” that authorizes a suspension of the rule.[ii]

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