Why is there truth? Foucault in the age of post-truth politics
Prozorov, S. (2019). Why is there truth? Foucault in the age of post-truth politics. Constellations : An International Journal of Critical and Democratic Theory, 26 (1), 18-30. doi:10.1111/1467-8675.12396
Embargoed until: 2021-03-20Request copy from author
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Contemporary debates about post‐truth politics have raised the question of the complicity of Michel Foucault’s thought in the apparent decline of the authority of truth in Western democracies. In this article we probe this question in the analysis of Foucault’s theory of true discourses developed in his 1980‐1981 lecture course ‘Subjectivity and Truth’. In this course Foucault argues for non‐necessary and supplementary character of truths in relation to the reality of which they speak. This argument leads him to abandon the familiar approaches to truth as reflecting, concealing or rationalizing reality and look for the effects of truth in the processes of subjectivation. We explore the affinities of this concept of truth with Alain Badiou’s theory of truth procedures, which was developed as an alternative to Foucault’s alleged empiricism. Finally, we discuss the way Foucault constructs the relation between truth and democracy and highlight its differences from contemporary truth denialism. ...