December 23, 2021 |
CC BY 4.0
That we have culturally acquired certain concepts and beliefs, that many concepts that refer to or impose social or cultural classifications have their origin in intended or unintended declarative speech acts, that the institutional facts they intentionally and unintentionally create have a contingent existence and that it is not always fully transparent to us that the facts so created are institutional facts, were Foucault's key insights in his early work. I argue that these insights can be fully articulated, explored and discussed with a minimalist conception of truth in mind. His observations anticipate current "rediscoveries" of those insights by analytic philosophers. A minimalist about truth holds that these insights do not require a revision of our ordinary concept of truth. The flip side of my argument is that Foucault and his followers should not have grounded his views in a substantial revision of the concept of truth. Truth is and has always been "a thing of this world"; his idiosyncratic reconceptualizations of truth are not needed to explore social dimensions of belief systems, the way social facts emerge and the relevance of genealogies.
Filip Buekens: "A Truth-minimalist Reading of Foucault," in: Le foucaldien, 7/1 (2021), DOI: 10.16995/lefou.7989