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Lectures on the Will to Know (Michel Foucault: Lectures at the Collège de France)

Lectures on the Will to Know (Michel Foucault: Lectures at the Collège de France) [Kindle Edition]

Michel Foucault , Arnold I. Davidson , Graham Burchell

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Product Description

Product Description

This volume gives us the transcription of the first of Michel Foucault's annual courses at the Collège de France. Its publication marks a milestone in Foucault's reception and it will no longer be possible to read him in the same way as before.

In these lectures the reader will find the deep unity of Foucault's project from Discipline and Punish (1975), dominated by the themes of power and the norm, to The Use of Pleasure and The Care of the Self (1984), devoted to the ethics of subjectivity.

Lectures on the Will to Know remind us that Michel Foucault's work only ever had one object: truth. Discipline and Punish completed an investigation of the role of juridical forms in the formation of truth-telling, the preparatory groundwork for which is found here in these lectures. Truth arises in conflicts, in rival claims for which the rituals of judicial judgment provide the possibility of deciding between who is right and who is wrong.

At the heart of ancient Greece there is a succession of different and opposing juridical forms and ways of dividing true and false into which the disputes between sophists and philosophers are soon inserted. In Oedipus the King, Sophocles stages the peculiar force of forms of telling the truth: they establish power just as they depose it. Against Freud, who will make Oedipus the drama of a shameful sexual desire, Michel Foucault shows that the tragedy articulates the relations between truth, power, and law. The history of truth is that of the tragedy.

Beyond the irenicism of Aristotle, who situated the will to truth in the desire for knowledge, Michel Foucault deepens the tragic vision of truth inaugurated by Nietzsche, who Foucault, in a secret dialogue with Deleuze, rescues from Heidegger's reading.

After this course, who will dare speak of a skeptical Foucault?

Book Description

English translation of the first of Foucault's lectures at the Collège de France which gets to heart of his views on truth

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 732 KB
  • Print Length: 313 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1403986568
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (9 April 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #427,543 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Understanding 'power-knowledge'. Foucault's lesson... 26 Jun 2013
By Lucian - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Foucault clarifies what we must understand when we using his ambiguous concept of 'power-knowledge'. He analysed many different relationships of power-knowledge, based on historical texts and proper experiences, and he tried to sketch a theory of what is power, and why power-knowledge is circular and diffuse phenomenon rather than a pyramidal and unilaterally process. This course held at the College de France (The Will to Know, 1970-71) is part of an ambitious project of writing a complex history of power relationships which cross the human relationships (sexuality, family, working places, public and social life). These ideas can be viewed in the context of Foucault's preoccupations of meticulously study for the abstract relations between power and knowledge; relations between institutions' power and citizen's power. The Will to Know is also The Will to Change an old modern reality, structured by a dialectical idiotic system (goverment-opposition; elite's power-civil society's servants; masters-servants). The Will to Know (1971) was conceived by Foucault as a prelude to his magisterial Discipline and Punish (1975), but also as a prolonging for the History of Sexuality, which is also a book about power-knowledge. I think that a quote from this course is eloquent for the problematic question of power-knowledge:

"So power is no longer:
- what is held exclusively by a few;
- that to each others are unilaterally subject;
- what is exercised from time to time and instantaneously in actions, words, commands and ritualized levies.

Power is what is exercised permanently through all the citizens. The totality of a social body begins to appear as a site where the power is applied to itself. Power arises from a body on which it is exercised..." (p. 160)

This concept of "body" can be a school, a book, an ideological program, a group of citizens, a group of intellectuals, a group of revolutionaries, workers, students, which could overturn the official establishments of political power and have the possibilities of changing a previous arbitrarian and/or corrupt system(s).

So the Power which "We Have..." and not the Power which "They Have..."!
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just beginning it now 25 Jan 2014
By abbeysbooks - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The first chapter made me feel I was home again. I discovered Foucault in Nov 09 and spent 9 months reading nothing but Foucault every day without a break. I also told myself that every time my mind wandered on anything else, I must return it to thinking about Foucault. And I can't believe I did this. I think it makes a great difference how you come to all of Continental Philosophy. I can sense those that got into it in other ways, through other eyes, reading through other philosophers and it has made such a diverse group that it is exhilarating to listen, read, chat with them. And now there is the Global Center of Advanced Studies that just began, has open enrollment, very very affordable prices, great world intellectuals leading seminars, classes,etc. International, multi languages, translating, so exciting to be in on it even if I am just reading what they are doing.

If you come to Continental Philosophy through Foucault, you will be steeped in genealogy as a method of thinking, and it will take over the Dominating Discourse of the Dialectics and binary thinking. Leave all that to the tabloids!

If you are beginning with Foucault I envy you that flash of lightning at encountering a great mind who WANTS you to understand what he is saying/writing to you. I'm getting carried away eh.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, as usual... 10 Aug 2013
By V. Davis - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have been reading Foucault since I was first introduced to his work in Graduate School in the early 1990's. While I have always been confused why they have chosen to publish these lectures out of chronological order, it was quite interesting to go from his last series of lectures to his first series. While this particular volume is more a publishing of his Lecture Notes than the actual transcripts [like the others in this series], it was actually a nice change of pace to read a more 'condensed' version. The other essays included in this volume are equally interesting.
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Flawed Blurb 27 July 2013
By W. J. Hunter - Published on
The blurb on the amazon site for this book suggests that these lectures are truly astonishing (albeit not unbelievable, one hopes). Given in 1970-71, they are said to "build on" DISCIPLINE AND PUNISH, which was published in French in 1975!
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