PARRHESIA AND THE APOCALYPSE OF DEMOCRACY
This article interprets the fourth conference in a series of six delivered by Foucault at Berkeley (University of California) from October to November 1983. The issue of parrhesia taken up by the French philosopher in Plato's dialogue Laques raises a discussion on the meanings of democracy, a political system in decline in Athens at the end of the fifth century BC. Articulating the comic and philosophical discourses, the strength and gaps in Foucault's text are highlighted at the same time. If, on the one hand, Foucault's interest in truth forces a return to "speaking frankly", on the other hand, this conference lacks a broader perspective that takes account of parrhesia as a symptom of a lack and decay of the Athenian democratic spirit under the terms proposed in Laches. Derives from this lack, for example, the idea that, from a conceptual point of view, Laques would be “a failure”.
KEYWORDS: Democracy; Discourse; Parrhesia; Truth.