Event Title

Philosophy of Truth, and Philosophical Life of Michel Foucault

Presenter Information

Jiyao Tang, Oberlin CollegeFollow

Location

King Building 123

Start Date

4-27-2018 12:00 PM

End Date

4-27-2018 1:20 PM

Abstract

In this thesis on philosophy of Michel Foucault, I argue for a consistent reading of Foucault’s works and conceive his philosophy as a continuous problematization of concept of truth. In the first half of this essay, I conceptualize Foucault’s “critical theory” based on his account of modern concept of truth. I therefore argue that Foucault not only makes a sound critique of the constraints and oppression of present social situation, but for the very same reason avoids a Marxist teleology, to which other critical theorists[1] appeal. For the second half, I analyze Foucault’s later works and lectures in College de France. Through his studies of Socrates and Cynics on “care of self” and “parrhesia”, I demonstrate how Foucault establishes a “second reality” of philosophy as “philosophical life of permanent becoming” and articulate his understandings of “aesthetic of existence”, and “democratic” participatory politics. I then conclude with my attempted definition of Foucauldian freedom that points to intensive self-constitutions and transformations through continuous practices rather than the finalization achieved by either positive Science or a total Revolution.

Keywords:

Foucault, truth-knowledge, genealogy, critical theory, Nietzsche

Notes

Session II, Panel 6 - Philosophical | Critique
Moderator: Todd Ganson, Professor of Philosophy

Major

Philosophy; Politics

Advisor(s)

Peter McInerney, Philosophy
Marc Blecher, Politics

Project Mentor(s)

Peter McInerney, Philosophy

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Apr 27th, 12:00 PM Apr 27th, 1:20 PM

Philosophy of Truth, and Philosophical Life of Michel Foucault

King Building 123

In this thesis on philosophy of Michel Foucault, I argue for a consistent reading of Foucault’s works and conceive his philosophy as a continuous problematization of concept of truth. In the first half of this essay, I conceptualize Foucault’s “critical theory” based on his account of modern concept of truth. I therefore argue that Foucault not only makes a sound critique of the constraints and oppression of present social situation, but for the very same reason avoids a Marxist teleology, to which other critical theorists[1] appeal. For the second half, I analyze Foucault’s later works and lectures in College de France. Through his studies of Socrates and Cynics on “care of self” and “parrhesia”, I demonstrate how Foucault establishes a “second reality” of philosophy as “philosophical life of permanent becoming” and articulate his understandings of “aesthetic of existence”, and “democratic” participatory politics. I then conclude with my attempted definition of Foucauldian freedom that points to intensive self-constitutions and transformations through continuous practices rather than the finalization achieved by either positive Science or a total Revolution.