Political Theory 36 (3):377-402 (2008)

Nancy Luxon
University of Minnesota
Contemporary accounts of individual self-formation struggle to articulate a mode of subjectivity not determined by relations of power. In response to this dilemma, Foucault's late lectures on the ancient ethical practices of "fearless speech" (parrhesia) offer a model of ethical self-governance that educates individuals to ethical and political engagement. Rooted in the psychological capacities of curiosity and resolve, such self-governance equips individuals with a "disposition to steadiness" that orients individuals in the face of uncertainty. The practices of parrhesia accomplish this task without fabricating a distinction between internal soul and external body; by creating not a "body of knowledge" but a "body of practices"; and without reference to an external order such as nature, custom, tradition, or religion. The result is an "expressive subject" defined through expressive practices sustained by a simultaneous relationship to herself and to others. Individuals develop themselves not through their ability to "dare to know" but as those who "dare to act."
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DOI 10.1177/0090591708315143
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References found in this work BETA

Construing Disagreement.Gary Shiffman - 2002 - Political Theory 30 (2):175-203.
Truth and Truthfulness: An Essay in Genealogy.Bernard Williams - 2005 - Philosophical Quarterly 55 (219):343-352.

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