Foucault’s lectures on Subjectivity and Truth, I.1.

Barry Stocker begins a reading of Foucault’s most recently published course, Subjectivité et vérité.


I will be summarising and commenting on the most recently published of Michel Foucault’s lecture series at the Collège de France, on subjectivity and truth (Subjectivité et Vérité. Cours au Collège de France, 1980-1981. Eds. François Ewald, Allesandro Fontana and Frédéric Gros. Paris: Seuil/Gallimard, 2014). As with the series I’ve just finished on the punitive society, I will proceed lecture by lecture, with two posts for lectures I find stimulate the most elucidation and commentary. That is the case for the first lecture.

Lecture of 7th January 1981
Foucault begins with a discussion of texts with passages on elephants, which refer to their supposed sexual restraint and marital devotion. At this point he does seem like a thinker invented by Borges, the French philosopher who introduces discussion of truth, subjectivity and is it turns out sexuality and desire, with elephant fables. This may not be an accident, Foucault brings Borges…

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