By Michel Foucault
This lecture, given by means of Michel Foucault on the Coll?ge de France, launches an inquiry into the suggestion of parresia and maintains his rereading of historic philosophy. in the course of the examine of this suggestion of truth-telling, of conversing out freely, Foucault re-examines Greek citizenship, exhibiting how the braveness of the reality varieties the forgotten moral foundation of Athenian democracy. The determine of the thinker king, the condemnation of writing, and Socrates’ rejection of political involvement are a number of the many subject matters of old philosophy revisited the following.
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Additional resources for The Government of Self and Others: Lectures at the College de France, 1982-1983
This is all very schematic. It is, once again, a track to be explored more carefully. It seems to me that we should try to undertake the genealogy, not so much of the notion of modernity, but of modernity as a question. In any case, if I take Kant’s text as marking the point of emergence of this question, it is of course because it is itself part of a broad and important historical process whose scope should be assessed. And an interesting line to pursue in the study of the eighteenth century in general, but more precisely of what is called the Aufklärung, would seem to me to be the fact that the Aufklärung names itself the Aufklärung.
9 This is what exemplifies the condition of tutelage for Kant. Having a book take the place of understanding (Verstand), having a director take the place of conscience (Gewissen), and having a doctor dictate one’s diet are what characterize, exemplify, and concretely manifest what it is to be in the condition of tutelage. You can see that what is involved is absolutely not a condition of natural dependence, that it is not in any way a situation of a juridical or political dispossession of the individual’s rights, and you can see too that it is not even a form of authority that Kant deems illegitimate.
And then, obviously we cannot fail to 28 th e gov e r nm e nt of se l f a n d others ask ourselves what this man is who comes out in this way. Should man be understood to mean the human race as a species? Or should man be understood to mean human society as the universal element within which different individual reasons join together? Are only some human societies the bearers of these values? Is it a matter of individuals, and if so, what individuals, and so on? ” Finally, the third remark, the third question concerns the end of the paragraph.