We are the Disease

We are the Disease

Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy, 18:2, 287-310.

Abstract:  This paper questions the political implications of the analogy in Plato's 'Gorgias' between philosophical truth and health on the one hand, and rhetoric and corruption on the other. I start with the importance of the parrhesiastes – the political and therapeutic truth-teller - for Michel Foucault's care of the self. I show how Socrates' rhetoric, especially in the form of ventriloquism, infects the text itself, contradicting his claim to be a doctor-like truth-teller. I ask how we account for the effect of the “contaminated” philosophical dialogue on our readerly health. Is the text placebo, vaccine, or virus? All of these options, I argue, complicate Foucault’s prescription for parrhesia, requiring us to think anew the continuing political ramifications of the metaphor of care.

Fourth Wave Feminism

Fourth Wave Feminism

Late in June the Internet was possessed by one of its periodic tizzies, this time over an article in The Atlantic called “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” by Anne-Marie Slaughter, former Director of Policy Planning at the State Department, professor of international affairs at Princeton, and, as she makes a point of insisting, mother of two sons. Slaughter drew on her privileged experience to revisit the classic problem of balancing motherhood and career, suggesting that what’s needed is a package of European-style, family-friendly workplace reforms.