Wrong-Doing, Truth-Telling

The Function of Avowal in Justice


Author: Michel Foucault

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226922081

Category: Philosophy

Page: 296

View: 4380

Three years before his death, Michel Foucault delivered a series of lectures at the Catholic University of Louvain that until recently remained almost unknown. These lectures—which focus on the role of avowal, or confession, in the determination of truth and justice—provide the missing link between Foucault’s early work on madness, delinquency, and sexuality and his later explorations of subjectivity in Greek and Roman antiquity. Ranging broadly from Homer to the twentieth century, Foucault traces the early use of truth-telling in ancient Greece and follows it through to practices of self-examination in monastic times. By the nineteenth century, the avowal of wrongdoing was no longer sufficient to satisfy the call for justice; there remained the question of who the “criminal” was and what formative factors contributed to his wrong-doing. The call for psychiatric expertise marked the birth of the discipline of psychiatry in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as well as its widespread recognition as the foundation of criminology and modern criminal justice. Published here for the first time, the 1981 lectures have been superbly translated by Stephen W. Sawyer and expertly edited and extensively annotated by Fabienne Brion and Bernard E. Harcourt. They are accompanied by two contemporaneous interviews with Foucault in which he elaborates on a number of the key themes. An essential companion to Discipline and Punish, Wrong-Doing, Truth-Telling will take its place as one of the most significant works of Foucault to appear in decades, and will be necessary reading for all those interested in his thought.

Michel Foucault: A Research Companion


Author: Sverre Raffnsøe,Morten S Thaning,Marius Gudmand-Hoyer

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137351020

Category: Philosophy

Page: 491

View: 2560

Michel Foucault continues to be hugely influential. His diagnoses challenge us to rethink crucial phenomena such as madness, discipline, the human sciences, the state, neoliberalism, sexuality and subject formation. Based on his work in its entirety, and with special emphasis on his many recently published lecture series, this book provides an updated, comprehensive and original account of his thought. By reading Foucault as a philosopher, it offers an extensive systematic assessment and discussion of his unique conception of philosophical practice and brings a unifying trajectory in his work to light.

The Punitive Society

Lectures at the Collège de France, 1972-1973


Author: Michel Foucault

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137532092

Category: Philosophy

Page: 320

View: 4849

These thirteen lectures on the 'punitive society,' delivered at the Collège de France in the first three months of 1973, examine the way in which the relations between justice and truth that govern modern penal law were forged, and question what links them to the emergence of a new punitive regime that still dominates contemporary society.

Entryways to Criminal Justice

Accusation and Criminalization in Canada


Author: George Pavlich,Matthew P. Unger

Publisher: University of Alberta

ISBN: 1772123366

Category: Social Science

Page: 240

View: 8871

How do societies decide whom to criminalize? What does it mean to accuse someone of being an offender? Entryways to Criminal Justice analyzes the thresholds that distinguish law-abiding individuals from those who may be criminalized. Contributors to the volume adopt social, historical, cultural, and political perspectives to explore the accusatory process that place persons in contact with the law. Emphasizing the gateways to criminal justice, truth-telling, and overcriminalization, the authors provide important insights into often overlooked practices that admit persons to criminal justice. It is essential reading for scholars, students, and policy makers in the fields of socio-legal studies, sociology, criminology, law and society, and post/colonial studies. Contributors: Dale A. Ballucci, Martin A. French, Aaron Henry, Bryan R. Hogeveen, Dawn Moore, George Pavlich, Marcus A. Sibley, Rashmee Singh, Amy Swiffen, Matthew P. Unger, Elise Wohlbold, Andrew Woolford

The Varnished Truth

Truth Telling and Deceiving in Ordinary Life


Author: David Nyberg

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226610528

Category: Family & Relationships

Page: 254

View: 5837

Everyone says that lying is wrong. But when we say that lying is bad and hurtful and that we would never intentionally tell a lie, are we really deceiving anyone? In this wise and insightful book, David Nyberg exposes the tacit truth underneath our collective pretense and reveals that an occasional lie can be helpful, healthy, creative, and, in some situations, even downright moral. Through familiar and often entertaining examples, Nyberg explores the purposes deception serves, from the social kindness of the white lie to the political ends of diplomacy to the avoidance of pain or unpleasantness. He looks at the lies we tell ourselves as well, and contrary to the scolding of psychologists demonstrates that self-deception is a necessary function of mental health, one of the mind's many weapons against stress, uncertainty, and chaos. Deception is in our nature, Nyberg tells us. In civilization, just as in the wilderness, survival does not favor the fully exposed or conspicuously transparent self. As our minds have evolved, as practical intelligence has become more refined, as we have learned the subtleties of substituting words and symbols for weapons and violence, deception has come to play a central and complex role in social life. The Varnished Truth takes us beyond philosophical speculation and clinical analysis to give a sense of what it really means to tell the truth. As Nyberg lays out the complexities involved in leading a morally decent life, he compels us to see the spectrum of alternatives to telling the truth and telling a clear-cut lie. A life without self-deception would be intolerable and a world of unconditional truth telling unlivable. His argument that deception and self-deception are valuable to both social stability and individual mental health boldly challenges popular theories on deception, including those held by Sissela Bok and Daniel Goleman. Yet while Nyberg argues that we deceive, among other reasons, so that we might not perish of the truth, he also cautions that we deceive carelessly, thoughtlessly, inhumanely, and selfishly at our own peril.

René Girard and Creative Reconciliation


Author: Thomas Ryba

Publisher: Lexington Books

ISBN: 0739169017

Category: Philosophy

Page: 426

View: 5196

The contribution of this book to the field of reconciliation is both theoretical and practical, recognizing that good theory guides effective practice and practice is the ground for compelling theory. Using a Girardian hermeneutic as a starting point, a new conceptual Gestalt emerges in these essays, one not fully integrated in a formal way but showing a clear understanding of some of the challenges and possibilities for dealing with the deep divisions, enmity, hatred, and other effects of violence.

Boundaries of the State in US History


Author: James T. Sparrow,William J. Novak,Stephen W. Sawyer

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022627781X

Category: History

Page: 384

View: 1634

The question of how the American state defines its power has become central to a range of historical topics, from the founding of the Republic and the role of the educational system to the functions of agencies and America’s place in the world. Yet conventional histories of the state have not reckoned adequately with the roots of an ever-expanding governmental power, assuming instead that the American state was historically and exceptionally weak relative to its European peers. Here, James T. Sparrow, William J. Novak, and Stephen W. Sawyer assemble definitional essays that search for explanations to account for the extraordinary growth of US power without resorting to exceptionalist narratives. Turning away from abstract, metaphysical questions about what the state is, or schematic models of how it must work, these essays focus instead on the more pragmatic, historical question of what it does. By historicizing the construction of the boundaries dividing America and the world, civil society and the state, they are able to explain the dynamism and flexibility of a government whose powers appear so natural as to be given, invisible, inevitable, and exceptional.

Demos Assembled

Democracy and the International Origins of the Modern State, 1840–1880


Author: Stephen W. Sawyer

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022654463X

Category: History

Page: 272

View: 9299

Previous studies have covered in great detail how the modern state slowly emerged from the early Renaissance through the seventeenth century, but we know relatively little about the next great act: the birth and transformation of the modern democratic state. And in an era where our democratic institutions are rife with conflict, it’s more important now than ever to understand how our institutions came into being. Stephen W. Sawyer’s Demos Assembled provides us with a fresh, transatlantic understanding of that political order’s genesis. While the French influence on American political development is well understood, Sawyer sheds new light on the subsequent reciprocal influence that American thinkers and politicians had on the establishment of post-revolutionary regimes in France. He argues that the emergence of the stable Third Republic (1870–1940), which is typically said to have been driven by idiosyncratic internal factors, was in fact a deeply transnational, dynamic phenomenon. Sawyer’s findings reach beyond their historical moment, speaking broadly to conceptions of state formation: how contingent claims to authority, whether grounded in violence or appeals to reason and common cause, take form as stateness.

About the Beginning of the Hermeneutics of the Self

Lectures at Dartmouth College, 1980


Author: Michel Foucault

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022618854X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 140

View: 8698

In 1980, Michel Foucault began a vast project of research on the relationship between subjectivity and truth, an examination of conscience, confession, and truth-telling that would become a crucial feature of his life-long work on the relationship between knowledge, power, and the self. The lectures published here offer one of the clearest pathways into this project, contrasting Greco-Roman techniques of the self with those of early Christian monastic culture in order to uncover, in the latter, the historical origin of many of the features that still characterize the modern subject. They are accompanied by a public discussion and debate as well as by an interview with Michael Bess, all of which took place at the University of California, Berkeley, where Foucault delivered an earlier and slightly different version of these lectures. Foucault analyzes the practices of self-examination and confession in Greco-Roman antiquity and in the first centuries of Christianity in order to highlight a radical transformation from the ancient Delphic principle of “know thyself” to the monastic precept of “confess all of your thoughts to your spiritual guide.” His aim in doing so is to retrace the genealogy of the modern subject, which is inextricably tied to the emergence of the “hermeneutics of the self”—the necessity to explore one’s own thoughts and feelings and to confess them to a spiritual director—in early Christianity. According to Foucault, since some features of this Christian hermeneutics of the subject still determine our contemporary “gnoseologic” self, then the genealogy of the modern subject is both an ethical and a political enterprise, aiming to show that the “self” is nothing but the historical correlate of a series of technologies built into our history. Thus, from Foucault’s perspective, our main problem today is not to discover what “the self” is, but to try to analyze and change these technologies in order to change its form.