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The Government of Self and Others: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1982–1983

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This lecture, given by Michel Foucault at the Collège de France, launches an inquiry into the notion of parresia and continues his rereading of ancient philosophy. Through the study of this notion of truth-telling, of speaking out freely, Foucault re-examines Greek citizenship, showing how the courage of the truth forms the forgotten ethical basis of Athenian democracy. Th This lecture, given by Michel Foucault at the Collège de France, launches an inquiry into the notion of parresia and continues his rereading of ancient philosophy. Through the study of this notion of truth-telling, of speaking out freely, Foucault re-examines Greek citizenship, showing how the courage of the truth forms the forgotten ethical basis of Athenian democracy. The figure of the philosopher king, the condemnation of writing, and Socrates' rejection of political involvement are some of the many topics of ancient philosophy revisited here.


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This lecture, given by Michel Foucault at the Collège de France, launches an inquiry into the notion of parresia and continues his rereading of ancient philosophy. Through the study of this notion of truth-telling, of speaking out freely, Foucault re-examines Greek citizenship, showing how the courage of the truth forms the forgotten ethical basis of Athenian democracy. Th This lecture, given by Michel Foucault at the Collège de France, launches an inquiry into the notion of parresia and continues his rereading of ancient philosophy. Through the study of this notion of truth-telling, of speaking out freely, Foucault re-examines Greek citizenship, showing how the courage of the truth forms the forgotten ethical basis of Athenian democracy. The figure of the philosopher king, the condemnation of writing, and Socrates' rejection of political involvement are some of the many topics of ancient philosophy revisited here.

30 review for The Government of Self and Others: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1982–1983

  1. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    It's not in Foucault's last publications - The Use of Pleasure and The Care of the Self - that we should turn to look for the controversial thinker's views about what aspects of ancient ethics might serve as a model of resistance to self-subjugation, but in these later lectures on the government of the self and others. Foucault situates the lectures in terms of his interpretation of Kant's conception of critique or the critical ethos and takes up the examination of practice of truth-telling - un It's not in Foucault's last publications - The Use of Pleasure and The Care of the Self - that we should turn to look for the controversial thinker's views about what aspects of ancient ethics might serve as a model of resistance to self-subjugation, but in these later lectures on the government of the self and others. Foucault situates the lectures in terms of his interpretation of Kant's conception of critique or the critical ethos and takes up the examination of practice of truth-telling - understood as a form of self-formation - in ancient philosophy. In doing so, Foucault engages some of the key issues related to power, truth, and self-formation. The lecture will be of interest to anyone concerned with developing a deeper understanding of the Foucault and how his later turn to the Greeks is related to his general philosophical project and his views on the Enlightenment.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Gregor Kamnikar

    Great and inspiring stuff. Since it is transcription of lectures, the writing is less dense and more narrative like, which makes the whole thing much easier to grasp :-)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Zoonanism

    Instances of parrhesia are discussed whose kinship are too remote to justify much.

  4. 4 out of 5

    8314

    Fascinating analysis. Although I have been complaining a lot about Foucault, his skill of close reading is always miraculous! One thing that caught my eyes, which kind of developed parallel with the stream of Foucault, is the development of psychological means/functions (for example, rationalizations) in different arenas: private vs. public. Parresia, started as a political-public rights in Ion, gradually turned into a philosophical-private affair. But the core of this action remains the same an Fascinating analysis. Although I have been complaining a lot about Foucault, his skill of close reading is always miraculous! One thing that caught my eyes, which kind of developed parallel with the stream of Foucault, is the development of psychological means/functions (for example, rationalizations) in different arenas: private vs. public. Parresia, started as a political-public rights in Ion, gradually turned into a philosophical-private affair. But the core of this action remains the same and I think Foucault never made this point clear: that parresia is a matter of bringing into awareness, make-aware, or in other words, realization. In the public field, it would be what Pericles has demonstrated; in the private field, it would lead to the truth-telling of individual, or rather the discovery of truth of the subject. The seemingly distant two assertions are actually close neighbors. For what is politics, ruling, exactly, if not to place the psyche of an individual right into the center of social connections, opening to various interpretations and thus discovering the truths that are related to but in no way grounded to this particular individual? Politics and ruling, examined at its effect, would be more or less a dream analysis carried out consciously and anonymously, which has the same quality as free association -- one of the most modern form of parresia. This is definitely a thread worth digging!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    It all happens in the lecture courses. I'm telling you. It all happens in the lecture courses. I'm telling you.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    "Throughout Antiquity philosophy is really lived as the free questioning of men's conduct by a truth-telling which accepts the risk of danger to itself." (346) Painstaking inquiry into the nature of Ancient philosophy, and of philosophy as such,through a close study of transformations in the sense and practice of parrhesia--frank speech--from a "Periclean" or properly political form of rhetorical contest for influence over one's fellow citizens in a democratic polity, to a "Socratic," parapolitic "Throughout Antiquity philosophy is really lived as the free questioning of men's conduct by a truth-telling which accepts the risk of danger to itself." (346) Painstaking inquiry into the nature of Ancient philosophy, and of philosophy as such,through a close study of transformations in the sense and practice of parrhesia--frank speech--from a "Periclean" or properly political form of rhetorical contest for influence over one's fellow citizens in a democratic polity, to a "Socratic," parapolitical form of dialogue and advice, which aims at the soul of the ruler, to transform him (or her) into someone capable of self-government and thus fit to govern others.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jens Gärtner

    Muy bien Foucault, pero realmente es un docente aburrido, repetitivo y lento. Que sea una transcripción sólo lo hace más tedioso. Por lo demás, cuando por fin deja de repetirle a sus alumnos una y otra vez la misma cosa y otra vez retoma el tema y avanza, está muy bien. Sin duda uno de los libros más maduros de Foucault.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Pascal

    This book was awesome. Especially as someone who is an aspiring counselor, this book has some very interesting lessons about the role of philosophy, and that the ultimate goal should the work of self on self. This book will be a constant part of my work moving forward. Loved it! Looking forward to reading The Courage of Truth next.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  10. 5 out of 5

    Nicolas Otero Álvarez

  11. 5 out of 5

    Prometheus

  12. 4 out of 5

    melina

  13. 5 out of 5

    Peter Capofreddi

  14. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Bertelli

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nikolay Mollov

  16. 4 out of 5

    Shala Salazar

  17. 4 out of 5

    Nicoletta Bruno

  18. 5 out of 5

    homoness

  19. 5 out of 5

    Georgi P. Pavlov

  20. 4 out of 5

    Federico

  21. 4 out of 5

    Anthony Coker

  22. 5 out of 5

    Anthony Crisafi

  23. 4 out of 5

    Simon Mbangalukela

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ken

  25. 5 out of 5

    Juan Pablo Ordóñez C.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kurt Froese

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tim

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kelly K

  29. 5 out of 5

    Leland LeCuyer

  30. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Cidade

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