The Truths We Tell Ourselves: Foucault on <i>Parrhesia</i>


  • Zacharia Simpson University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma



Michel Foucault’s later concept of parrhesia presents a number of potential interpretive problems with respect to his work as a whole and his conception of truth. This article presents an alternative reading of parrhesia, which develops its concept through Foucault’s earlier pronouncements on truth and fiction. Seen this way, parrhesia becomes a means whereby one enacts useful fictions within the context of one’s life. As a practice, which demands self-mastery, orientation towards truth, and a command of one’s life, parrhesia becomes crucial to an aesthetics of existence.

Author Biography

Zacharia Simpson, University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

Zachary Simpson is currently Assistant Professor of philosophy and religious studies at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. His first book, Life as Art (Lexington Books) will be released in 2012. He has also worked in an editorial capacity on seven different volumes, including The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Science (Oxford University Press, 2006) and Adventures in the Spirit: New Forays in Philosophical Theology (Fortress Press, 2008). He has published articles in the Heythrop Journal, Research in Phenomenology, and Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology. Zachary's current research focuses on intentional systems of belief and ontologies of nature.




How to Cite

Simpson, Z. (2012). The Truths We Tell Ourselves: Foucault on <i>Parrhesia</i>. Foucault Studies, (13), 99–115.