Abstract
Against the backdrop of contemporary debates about care ethics and care, this article undertakes a re-reading of Foucault’s analyses of the ancient care of the self. While the care of the self has so far been interpreted primarily in terms of an ethics and aesthetics of the self, it argues that the care of the self is constituted by the presence of the Other. This becomes clear as soon as one links the care of the self to parrhesia, which signifies an act of truth-telling through which the individual constitutes herself as the subject of a discourse of truth by confronting the Other with the truth. It is through this connection that the care of the self and parrhesia unfold their critical potential, as can be seen in the examples of Sophocles’ Antigone or the whistleblower Edward Snowden. This makes it possible not only to detach the concept of care from its close entanglement with the private sphere and to reframe it in political terms but also to envisage a critical attitude that is based both on the care of the self and others and on a concern for truth.
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DOI 10.1515/dzph-2022-0006
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