Truth telling in Foucault and Arendt: Parrhesia, the Pariah and Academics in Dark Times
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In this paper, I consider the problem of truth telling through the notion of parrhesia as developed and explicated in Foucault’s last lectures at the College de France (1982–1983 and 1983–1984) and the figure of the pariah that runs throughout Arendt’s work. In tracing connections and tensions in the way the two thinkers explore questions and dilemmas around the courage to tell the truth in philosophy and politics, I look into the current climate within the UK academia, where there is a lot of ambivalence about whether people mean what they say or say what they mean anymore. In a Foucauldian mode of inquiry, I raise the question: what is the role of the academic when going through ‘dark times’, vis-à-vis questions of truth telling; what are the conditions of possibility for truth telling itself to be recognised as a question or a problem and how can we start mapping the effects of what we as academics do or refrain from doing?
Journal of Education Policy
© 2012 Taylor & Francis (Routledge). This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Education Policy on 10 Jul 2012, available online: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/10.1080/02680939.2012.694482
Educational Administration, Management and Leadership