Distribution Automatique

Thursday, October 23

Today, Wood s Lot(Mark Woods)
draws attention to Michel Foucault's book of lectures, *Fearless Speech*. Click here:

"Diogenes went up and put a crown
on the head of the horse who stood
its ground...What are you doing when
you award a crown in the Isthmian games?
For if the crown is awarded to someone
as a moral victory, then Diogenes deserves
a crown. But if it is only a question of
superior physical strength, then there is
no reason why the horse should
not be given a crown."

"There is, however, very little
positive doctrine in Cynic
preaching; no direct affirmation
of good or bad. Instead,
the Cynics refer to freedom
(*eleutheria*) and self-sufficiency
(*autarkeia*) as the basic
criteria by which to assess any
kind ofbehavior or mode of life.
For the Cynics, the main condition
of human happiness is *autarkeia*,
self-sufficiency or independence,
where what you need to have or what
you decide to do is
dependent on nothing other than
you yourself. As a consequence-
since the Cynics had the most
radical of attitudes-they preferred
a completely natural life-style.
A natural life-style was supposed
to eliminate all the dependencies
introduced by culture, society,
civilization, opinion, and so on.
Consequently, most of their
preaching seems to have been
directed at social institutions or
laws. In short, their preaching
was against all social institutions
insofar as these insitutions
hindered ones freedom
and independence."

"The crisis of *parrhesia*,
which emerges at a cross-road
of an interrogation about democracy
and an interrogation about truth,
... at the end of the Fifth Century...
What I mean is that there
is a new problematization of the
relations between verbal activity,
education, freedom, power
and the existing political institutions
which marks a crisis in the way freedom
of speech is understood in

from the editor's preface:
"a verbatim transcription of his
lectures""compiled from tape
recordings of lectures given by
Michel Foucault at the
University of California, Berkeley
in the fall term of 1983"