Re: Truth & Power (again)

On Wed, 24 May 1995, Geraldine Coggins wrote:
> The specific intellectual seems to work on the regime of truth clarifying
> it and trying to understand it. This is Foucault's task, I think. As
> oppossed to the universal intellectual who reveals Truth and enlightens
> others. This seems parallel to Kuhn's distinction between ordinary and
> revolutionary science, except with the regime of truth taking the place
> of Kuhn's scientific paradigms.
For Foucault, political possibilities are opened up precisely because
"Truth"is something constituted within a domain within which "we" are
active. Similarly, Hannah Arendt points out that the idea of "Truth" is
anti political, as it constraints debate and argument. "Truth", for
Foucault, is a primary oject of concern, and is something to be
"respected", rather then shrugged off - the claim to truth is the most
powerful of political strategies, and thus, both the most constructive
(in the sense of the objects and connections it produces) and
constraining (what is denied or declared abject and alien). "We" are
constituted and are active within the same plain as truth and power - we
cannot escape power, but we can (must ?) engage with it, we can divert
it to the production of new identities/connections, and, in doing so we
must, confront the new "truths" that are articualted and made possible.


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