Philosophical <i>Parrêsia</i> and Transpolitical Freedom
AbstractThis article highlights that ancient philosophy regenerated the practice of parrêsia following the crisis into which it had fallen in the polis. Through this, it established a strong relationship between freedom, truth, and politics, constantly eluding the risk of using “true speech” as a tool of rationalizing the exercise of power. The primary outset for the argument will be the course held by Foucault in 1982-1983 (Le gouvernement de soi et des autres). The paper holds that philosophical parrêsia asserted itself as a practice that could not be anything but “transpolitical,” while remaining similar to the ideal of freedom as active participation in public life – at least in the case of Socrates and the Cynics. According to Foucault, after a long period of disuse due to the predominance of theology and pastoral power, philosophical parrêsia was able to flourish in modernity. This occurred above all with Kant through the critical ontology of the present. On my part, I try to show how philosophical parrêsia in liberal society runs the risk of being neutralized by the predominance of economic “true speech” and by the prevalence of the idea of freedom as the pursuit of private interests. This is done by re-reading certain indications provided by Foucault himself in his course of 1978-1979 (Naissance de la biopolitique). Moreover, in the last sections of this paper I suggest lines of research that could grasp the difficulties that philosophical parrêsia encounters in the age of neoliberal hegemony and global media coverage.
Copyright (c) 2013 Ottavio Marzocca
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