Foucault News

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

Daniele Lorenzini, Philosophy Colloquium: Genealogy as a Practice of Truth: Nietzsche, Foucault, Fanon

Presented by the Philosophy Department at The New School for Social Research.
Thursday, April 20, 2023, 6:00PM to 8:00PM (EDT)
6 E 16th St Wolff Conference Room/D1103
The New School
66 West 12th Street
New York, NY 10011

This paper has two main, interconnected goals. On the one hand, the argument is that, even though the major forms taken by genealogy throughout the history of philosophy seem to make it impervious to truth, there is an important sense in which genealogy, specifically as conceived of and practiced by Nietzsche and Foucault, is a practice of truth. How to make sense of this claim? The first two sections of the paper address this question and show that the (Nietzschean and Foucauldian) genealogist aims to produce “new truths” that function as disruptive ethico-political forces destabilizing current modes of thinking and being, and creating the concrete possibility for the emergence of new possibilities for thought and action. The third and final section of the paper, on the other hand, builds on these insights to argue that Fanon’s psychiatric writings, too, can be construed as genealogical practices of truth. By doing so, the presenter will not only muster further evidence for the conclusions in section II, but also provide an alternate framework to make sense of Fanon’s contribution to critical theory broadly construed—one that doesn’t reduce him neither to the tradition of historical materialism nor to critical phenomenology or phenomenological psychiatry alone.

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