Feb 7, 2011

Michel Foucault: Fearless Speech (2001) at Monoskop/log

rhetoric

Comprised of six lectures delivered, in English, by Michel Foucault while teaching at Berkeley in the Fall of 1983, Fearless Speech was edited by Joseph Pearson and published in 2001. Reviewed by the author, it is the last book Foucault wrote before his death in 1984 and can be read as his last testament. Here, he positions the philosopher as the only person able to confront power with the truth, a stance that boldly sums up Foucault’s project as a philosopher.

Still unpublished in France, Fearless Speech concludes the genealogy of truth that Foucault pursued throughout his life, starting with his investigations in Madness and Civilization, into the question of power and its technology. The expression “fearless speech” is a rough translation of the Greek parrhesia, which designates those who take a risk to tell the truth; the citizen who has the moral qualities required to speak the truth, even if it differs from what the majority of people believe and faces danger for speaking it.

Parrhesia is a verbal activity in which a speaker expresses his personal relationship to truth through frankness instead of persuasion, truth instead of flattery, and moral duty instead of self-interest and moral apathy.”

Editor Joseph Pearson
Publisher Semiotext(e), 2001
Foreign Agents series
ISBN 1584350113, 9781584350118
183 pages

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Michel Foucault: Fearless Speech (2001) at Monoskop/log