Re: [Foucault-L] Regimes of truth

Another place something like a "regime of truth" is discussed is in "The
Discourse on Language," a lecture published as an appendix of the English
version of Archaelology of Knowledge. The phrase "regime of truth" is not
used here, but the phrase is used in the interview entitled "Truth and
Power" in Power/Knowledge:

"Each society has its regime of truth, its 'general politics' of truth:
that is, the types of discourse which it accepts and makes function as
true; the mechanisms and instances which enable one to distinguish true and
false statements, the means by which each is sanctioned; the techniques and
procedures accorded value in the acquisition of truth; the status of those
who are charged with saying what counts as true." p. 131.

Another source I've found useful in thinking about this is Ian Hacking's
essay in a edited volume entitled _Rationality and Relativism_ (eds. Martin
Hollis and Steven Lukes). What is particularly interesting about this essay
is that Hacking never refers to Foucault, and I think it was actually
before he had encountered Foucault's work. And yet he hits upon something
strikingly similar, in what he calls the "true of false": the idea being
that there are preconditions which determine which kinds of statements can
even count as potentially true (and therefore also as potentially false),
and that these preconditions are themselves culturally and historically

This is a topic I've been trying to think more about lately, and I'd
appreciate any further leads. (I actually attempted to send an inquire
along these lines to the list 2 or 3 weeks ago, but I accidentally sent it
from the wrong account and it got bounced... and I never got around to
re-sending it.)

If anyone would like to take a closer look at the Hacking essay, please
contact me off list.


On Mon, Feb 13, 2012 at 5:37 PM, Karskens, M.L.J. (Machiel) <
mkarskens@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> Apart from the works you have mentioned already, the Cours of 1970-1971
> Lecons sur la Volonté de Savoir can be very helpful.
> However, as far as I could see, the expression 'regime de la vérité' is
> not used there, but all its elements and characteristics are discussed
> there; Nietzsche's theory of truth as a (violent) practice is explicitly
> discussed in the chapter "Lecon sur Nietzesche".
> Fou. himself still uses here the expressions volonté de vérité or discours
> de vérité.
> In my opinion he is transforming here discourse of truth into
> power/knowledge which will be tranformed lateron (end of the seventies) in
> regimes of truth and different forms of parrhèsia.
> ----- "goran gaber" <goran.gaber@xxxxxxxx> wrote:
> > From: "goran gaber" <goran.gaber@xxxxxxxx>
> > To: foucault-l@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> > Sent: Wednesday, February 8, 2012 3:26:37 PM
> > Subject: [Foucault-L] Regimes of truth
> >
> > Hello,
> >
> > I'm looking for Foucault's own clarifications on the concept "regime
> > de verite" as well as any other secondary sources on this matter -
> > would be very grateful for bibliography indications.
> >
> > Best, Goran
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Foucault-L mailing list
> _______________________________________________
> Foucault-L mailing list

Dr. Nathaniel Roberts<>
Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity
Herman-Föge-Weg 11
37073 Göttingen
+49 (0) 551-4956-0

  • Re: [Foucault-L] Regimes of truth
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    Re: [Foucault-L] Regimes of truth, Karskens, M.L.J. (Machiel)
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