¹ 4, 2021
The concept of parrhesia (free, true and courageous speech) is central to Michel Foucault’s last lecture courses. In this “late” period of his scientific career, the French philosopher started a thorough analysis of the ancient and early Christian sources with the aim to construct a detailed genealogy of the two phenomena that played a crucial role in the Western history — the genealogy of subjectivity and the genealogy of the “critical tradition” in philosophy. In order to analyze the latter, during the lecture course “The Government of Self and Others” (1982—1983), Foucault turned to the texts of Plato, which he considered foundational for the philosophical practices of veridiction in the West. The Platonic paradigm presents philosophy with a number of fundamental tasks, the main of which is the task of constantly testing the reality and seriousness — testing the words (logos) through the deeds and practices (ergon). Foucault postulates that in the modern philosophy this test invariably results in a certain attitude towards politics and power, which assumes rejection of the direct participation in political affairs, constant criticism of our mistakes and misconceptions, the search for and revelation of ways, in which we, as subjects, are able to change ourselves. In this article, the authors attempt to shed light on the genealogical significance of Foucault’s concept of parrhesia and its relationship to the modern philosophy; present the classification of parrhesia (on the basis of Foucault’s lectures) that allows to identify political and philosophical dimensions of this phenomenon and their different modalities, as well as review in a holistic way the Platonic philosophical parrhesia and consider the problem of its complex relationship with politics, which becomes especially acute when the “reality of philosophy” is being tested.
Main Page ~ Authors ~ P. V.Kalashnik