The politics of truth

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Semiotext(e), Jan 1, 1997 - Fiction - 240 pages
4 Reviews
In 1784, the German newspaper Berlinische Monatsschrift asked its audience to reply to the question "What is Enlightenment?" Immanuel Kant took the opportunity to investigate the purported truths and assumptions of his age. Two hundred years later, Michel Foucault wrote a response to Kant's initial essay, positioning Kant as the initiator of the discourse and critique of modernity. The Politics of Truth takes this initial encounter between Foucault and Kant, as a framework for its selection of unpublished essays and transcripts of lectures Foucault gave in America and France between 1978 and 1984, the year of his death. Ranging from reflections on the Enlightenment and revolution to a consideration of the Frankfurt School, this collection offers insight into the topics preoccupying Foucault as he worked on what would be his last body of published work, the three-volume History of Sexuality. It also offers what is in a sense the most "American" moment of Foucault's thinking, for it was in America that he realized the necessity of tying his own thought to that of the Frankfurt School.

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Review: The Politics of Truth (Foreign Agents)

User Review  - Amai Freeman - Goodreads

This book is largely about Kant and the Enlightenment. Read full review

Review: The Politics of Truth (Foreign Agents)

User Review  - Andrew - Goodreads

Excellent for understanding Foucault's self-differentiation from Kant: the first half of the book collects essays, interviews, addresses in which Foucault discusses Kant's essay, "What Is ... Read full review

Contents

WcuLtAufkUirung?A Kant
7
What is Critique?
23
What is Revolution?
83
Copyright

3 other sections not shown

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About the author (1997)

Michel Foucault was born on October 15, 1926, in Poitiers, France, and was educated at the Sorbonne, in Paris. He taught at colleges all across Europe, including the Universities of Lill, Uppsala, Hamburg, and Warsaw, before returning to France. There he taught at the University of Paris and the College of France, where he served as the chairman of History of Systems of Thought until his death. Regarded as one of the great French thinkers of the twentieth century, Foucault's interest was in the human sciences, areas such as psychiatry, language, literature, and intellectual history. He made significant contributions not just to the fields themselves, but to the way these areas are studied, and is particularly known for his work on the development of twentieth-century attitudes toward knowledge, sexuality, illness, and madness. Foucault's initial study of these subjects used an archaeological method, which involved sifting through seemingly unrelated scholarly minutia of a certain time period in order to reconstruct, analyze, and classify the age according to the types of knowledge that were possible during that time. This approach was used in Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason, for which Foucault received a medal from France's Center of Scientific Research in 1961, The Birth of the Clinic, The Order of Things, and The Archaeology of Knowledge. Foucault also wrote Discipline and Punishment: The Birth of the Prison, a study of the ways that society's views of crime and punishment have developed, and The History of Sexuality, which was intended to be a six-volume series. Before he could begin the final two volumes, however, Foucault died of a neurological disorder in 1984.

Sylvere Lotringer, general editor of Semiotext(e), lives in New York and Baja, California. He is the author of "Overexposed: Perverting Perversions" (Semiotext(e), 2007).

Lysa Hochroth is currently an editor with the International Council of Museums in Paris. Her previous translations include Enrique Florescano's The Myth of Quetzalcoatl.