This article explores the problematics of Parrhēsia, an issue that Michel Foucault concerned with in the last three years of his life. In January 1982, Foucault brought up this ancient issue in his lecture at the College de France, The Hermeneutics of the Subject, proceeded to investigate its entanglement with ＂rhetoric＂, and its antagonism with the sweet-talk of the flatterer (κόλακες). In the Spring 1983 and the Spring 1984 lectures at the College de France, as well as in the Fall 1983 lecture at the UC Berkeley, Foucault devotes himself to the predicaments of parrhēsia in political situations, i.e., speaking truth truthfully in political circumstances that begets danger and thus demands courage. From reading these texts closely, this paper wishes to dispel the inference that, since Foucault rarely talked about ＂democracy＂ in any contemporary contexts, he was not interested in ＂democratic politics＂ at all. Contrary to such speculation, this article argues that Foucault has a deep understanding and concern about the plight and paradox of contemporary democratic lives. This is the reason why he immersed himself in the 4th Century BCE Athenian democratic crisis, and linked it to the Prussia Enlightenment in the last decades of the 18^(th) Century, when Kant's ＂What Is Enlightenment?＂ rediscovered the ancient issue of parrhēsia and redefined it with a modern context. Lastly, this article draws on Foucault's last lesson to review the contemporary democratic politics in Taiwan, its current plight and paradox.
|Translated title of the contribution||Parrhēsia and Democracy, Michel Foucault's Last Lesson|
|Original language||Chinese (Traditional)|
|Number of pages||35|
|State||Published - 1 Jun 2016|
- Michel Foucault