A Manner of Speaking: Declaration, Critique and the Trope of Interrogation

Law and Critique 21 (3):247--260 (2010)
In this paper I will argue for the ethical and political virtue of a form of critique associated with the work of Michel Foucault. Foucault’s tryptich of essays on critique---namely ”What is Critique?’ ”What is Revolution?’ and ”What is Enlightenment?’---develop a formulation of critique understood as an attitude or disposition, a kind of relation that one bears to oneself and to the actuality of the present. I suggest that this critical attitude goes hand in hand with a mode of intellectual practice realized rhetorically in the form of the interrogative and methodologically in ”problematology’. But, in addition to highlighting the habitus of critique suggested by Foucault, I also want to consider the entanglement of this critical enterprise in the conditions of the present that it attempts to diagnose. Specifically, I ask, in what way is a critical enterprise in the interrogative mood itself imbricated in the trope of interrogation that fills so much of our current political and public landscape?
Keywords Roman Law/Law History/Canon Law
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