Archive for February, 2008

Untitled (or a refusal to participate in this title competition)

Posted in Deleuze, DR on February 25, 2008 by untimelymediations

I most note, foremost, that Mike is entirely correct concerning the structure of this text.  I presume that the very organization of this text might present difficulties to those attempting to decipher each chapter as though a distinct entity, occurrence, or fragment.  In essence, the work, as a whole, refuses the Barthesian reading strategy.  One cannot, as one is often compelled, skip chapters and hope to decipher the complexities inherent to the text.  Though I also experienced some difficulties, I really enjoyed the brevity of each section, for I felt it enabled me, as reader, the opportunity to separate/isolate sections of difficulty, and to work on those sections until I was satisfied (or, at least partially satisfied).  In part, I thought this text was, much like A Thousand Plateaus, a work in progression.  Understanding the complexities of one seemingly miniscule though significant detail, enables one the opportunity to progress to the next stage of learning.  Though I am a fan of texts that allow the reader to “drift” or, perhaps “cruise,” following in line with Timothy “Speed” Levitch’s adaption of Barthes’ strategy, I felt as though Deleuze’s structure was more befitting to his particular subject.  This seems to be especially true considering Deleuze’s insistence on the importance of the infinitesimally small details contributing to the greater themes/ideas of his texts.

So, perhaps now would be the appropriate time to get down to the details (aka “the nitty gritty”).  Though I could position this text in relationship to Platonism or the Sophists, I chose, instead, to focus on the “Eighth Series of Structure,” in part because I believe the stoics and Hellenistic philosophy are of more emphasis in Deleuze’s text than Plato, Aristotle, or the Sophists, for that matter.  It is the Stoics that reverse Platonism, and bring about the radical inversion that Deleuze discusses in “Second Series of Paradoxes of Surface Effects.”  Thus, it seems that Deleuze is merely using Platonism as a point of initiating a turn; a departure or inversion that seems to have some economic, political, or social import (this, of course, being another important trope of Deleuze’s work).  And, it must be noted, this is the very reason that I turn to the eight series or section. 

Here, Deleuze discusses the existence of two “series.”  Befittingly, he refers to these two series as the signifying and the signified.  While the first series is characterized by excess, the signified-series is characterized by lack.  Though I had some difficulty deciphering this immediately, Deleuze’s example, located further down the page, provides some satisfaction:

The Universe signified long before we began to know what it was signifying…man, since his origin, has had at his disposal a completeness of signifier which he is obstructed from allocating to a signified, given as such without being any better known.  There is always an inadequacy between the two (48)

Deleuze follows this, by proclaiming that this might be referred to as Robinson’s paradox, and this makes a great deal of sense.  As I understand it, the signifying series is convoluted and congested; composed by all that existed before anybody interpreted the significations.  The island and all of its devastating natural complexity preexisted Crusoe, as the Universe preexisted man.  This is where Deleuze’s commentary becomes of particular interest.  Instead of interpreting, for this is most assuredly the wrong word to use, the foreigner to this complexity (Crusoe, or a person in any foreign/alienating space) attempts to import or impose upon that which is foreign the signified. 

Any society whatsoever has all of its rules at once—juridical, religious, political, economic; laws governing love and labor, kinship and marriage, servitude and freedom, life and death…This is why law weighs with all its might, even before its object is known, and without ever its object becoming exactly known (49)

It is the very condition of importing the society all at once, and imposing it upon the foreign terrain, that the place/space/etc can never be known for the very complexity of all of its signifiers; it is as though they are ignored.  This is the disequilibrium or perpetual displacement that Deleuze refers to in this section.  Interestingly, though, this disequilibrium, which seems the perpetuation of a certain ignorance or the unwillingness, perhaps impossibility, of interpreting the new as anything outside of the old, is what Deleuze insists makes revolutions possible (49).  This presents me with some difficulty.  How is it that Crusoe, in imposing “civilization” upon the landscape, represents the revolutionary?  Here, Deleuze refers to the gap which separates technical progress from social totality, but this is really quite complicated. 

Perhaps, it might be appropriate to consider an example before resuming this line of questioning:

When MTV filmed Jay Z’s fairly recent trip to Southern Africa, the layout of the documentary evidenced an insistent attempt to import the American way of life, and to superimpose it as though it would combat the country’s problems.  Here, as Deleuze suggests, American society and the infrastructure of glamour and wealth arises almost instantaneously.  This infrastructure of signification is imposed on the landscape.  Perhaps I am being a little hyperbolic, but it seemed as though the show to an extent suggests that a concert might rectify various problems.  Though I must applaud the documentary for emphasizing the importance of clean water and sanitation to Southern Africa, for this seems a worthy cause, the conclusion focuses on songs that emphasize certain features of the wealthy American hip hop lifestyle; flashy women hanging on flashy chains (excuse me for paraphrasing).  In ending the documentary with this footage, with this message, the program evidences the disparity that Deleuze references.   Though the signifying series exists, that of contemporary South Africa, the documentary serves to import and impose a lifestyle and society over that which already exists. 

How, then, might revolution exist within the gap?  If the disequilibrium, the difference between the signifying and signified series, the difference between South Africa and the glamorous lifestyle alluded to by Jay Z, encourages revolution, how does this take form?  Deleuze states that the two series, though seemingly disjunctive, actually communicate and coexist.  This coexistence encourages the development and distribution of singular points (51).  Sense, is thus, according to Deleuze, distributed in each series.  The singularity, for Deleuze, circulates between the two series, thus encouraging displacement in relationship to itself.  Thus, the empty space or displacement becomes an esoteric word.  But, this still leaves the question, which I am struggling with: How exactly does an esoteric word encourage revolution?  I feel as though if this can be deciphered, than the import of considering what stoicism encourages, might be identified, and, furthermore, utilized. 

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king’s lead hat

Posted in Deleuze, MM, Socrates, sophists on February 25, 2008 by untimelymediations

One reason why I’m having trouble making sense of The Logic of Sense has to do with the fact that Deleuze doesn’t seem to be following one argument through this text; rather, each successive chapter seems to build on the logic of the prior chapter in a way that recalls the denotative series that Deleuze writes about in the Fifth Series: “In short, given a proposition which denotes a state of affairs, one may always take its sense as that which another proposition denotes” (29). I’m not sure that recognizing this has helped me make better sense of the text, but I did want to note that I see the structure at work all the same.

That said, I want to devote some energy to trying to make sense of Deleuze by situating him into some of our other readings, in particular, I want to try and see where Deleuze might work as a way to think through Plato’s and Socrates’s relationship to the sophists.

Plainly, Deleuze has some reservations about Platonism, esp. its emphasis on ideal forms and the forms’ relationship to truth; at one point, he offers a critique of “depressive Platonism: the Good is reached only as the object of a reminiscence, uncovered as essentially veiled; the One gives only what it does not have, since it is superior to what it gives, withdrawn into its height” (191). What I find interesting, though, is his response to these misgivings; rather than an outright dismissal of Platonism, Deleuze can be seen to work toward a conflation of Platonic, pre-Soractic, and Stoic philosophy. For Deleuze, this work takes the effect of drawing attention away from the Platonic fixation on height and depth and instead insisting on the transcendental surface; depth becomes of interest primarily “by means of its power to organize surfaces and to envelop itself within surfaces” (124). While it might be easy to dismiss this as a philosophical response to the reality of biological development (in which membranes are formed outside and then folded inside the increasingly complex organism), Deleuze insists on the contiguous relationship between physical and metaphysical surfaces: “And, to the physics of surfaces a metaphysical surface necessarily corresponds. Metaphysical surface (transcendental field) is the name that will be given to the frontier established, on the one hand, between bodies taken together as a whole and inside the limits which envelop them, and on the other, propositions in general” (125). Deleuze flattens to a single surface the Platonic cosmogony of bodies and forms; in Deleuze, bodies are not imperfect realizations of an abstract Idea(l) but are rather the actualizations of their own potential forms as events and singularities.

For me, then, this leaves Deleuze in the space of recuperating Isocrates’s philosophy-rhetoric. Deleuze notes that “the pre-Socratic philosopher does not leave the cave; on the contrary, he thinks that we are not involved enough or sufficiently engulfed therein” (128). In other words, we need to be more involved with the shadows and surfaces that flit before us in the cave; if we are to make them productive and useful for the definition of our own characters, Deleuze seems to suggest, we must ignore the Platonic voice at the mouth of the cave, calling us outward. We must instead recognize our own shadow-surface and make what we can of that.

Stop Making Sense

Posted in Deleuze, KL, Sense, Tech on February 25, 2008 by untimelymediations

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“As there is no surface, the inside and the outside, the container and the contained, no longer have a precise limit; they plunge into a universal depth or turn in the circle of a present which gets to be more contracted as it is filled” (87).

Deleuze’s The Logic of Sense is an interesting point of departure for shifting our conversation towards technology. What cannot be ignored – although this may be my personal research bias kicking in – is the continuing development of Deleuze’s theories of the non-present. More specifically, we can link his argument directly to the internet (in what appears to be the most obvious and broad connection). However, in looking to the internet, Deleuze’s discussions of the non-present-present and subsisting expression are crucial characterizations on how we interpret time and virtual spaces.

In the third series, Deleuze notes that, “sense is that which is expressed” (20). What I find most interesting about this characterization actually comes from Zizek’s Plague of Fantasies (for once I am referencing a future reading!). Throughout, Zizek insists that technologies (insert broad reference to the internet -here-) allow users to sense an expression of something that is neither here nor there. Online, no one actually knows where something is located (insert broad reference to Through the Looking Glass -here-). I believe this would agree with Deleuze’s supposition that, “what is expressed does not exist outside its expression. This is why we cannot say that sense exists, but rather it inheres or subsists” (21). In the same way that users ‘sense expression’ from the computer, there is nothing there guaranteeing its existence. Sense, in terms of internet technologies, is located in the stability of its constant expression—we can repeatedly visit the same websites in which certain senses subsist. Although, in typical Deleuzean fashion, he throws off my whole argument by later admitting that, “to be actualized is to be expressed” (110). This statement then begs question where/how/when are technologies actualized? If expression is both actualized and sensed, what isn’t it?

Particularly pertinent to my research is the continuing development of his theories of time. As he did earlier in Cinema 2, Deleuze maintains that the present does not exist, that it is simultaneously divided into past and future. He states that there are not “three parts of single temporality” but instead two,

“each one of which is complete and excludes the other: on the one hand, the always limited present, which measures the action of bodies as causes and the state of their mixtures in depth (Chronos); on the other, the essentially unlimited past and future, which gather incorporeal events, at the surface, as effects (Aion) (61).

The always limited, or non-present as I am calling it here, is actually only a representation, a simulacrum signified by the past and the future moments. As “one goes from the future and past as unlimited,” the present is infinitely divided between these two. Technologically speaking, when we jump around online, conversely we are dealing with an always present-present—we return to specific sites because we know what will be there. (And here’s where my paper picks up so I’ll stop this response, and I’m certainly returning to this text as new/additional support for my argument…)

Invention and Invention Rhetoric

Posted in Deleuze, DR, Invention Rhetoric, sophists, Stengers on February 19, 2008 by untimelymediations

I guess I’ll go with chapter seven.  I choose this particular section of the book for several reasons.  First, I am interested in Stengers’ discussion of the contrast between invention and the rhetoric of invention.  Second, I find Latour’s example to be of particular interest in relationship to the arguments that Stengers proposes, though I feel that this example might actually be counterintuitive.  Finally, it seems that, “The Politics of Networks” explicitly references Deleuze and Guattari, and might provide some fruitful parallels to previous discussions of Sophistry.

Stengers begins this chapter with a rather disinteresting discussion of the difference between theory and experimental statement.  Essentially, she uses this distinction as a means of addressing power in relationship to theory.  Quite simply, as Stengers argues, theory affirms a social power:  “No theory is imposed without social, economic, or political power being in play, somewhere.  But the fact that it is at play is not enough to disqualify the theory” (112).  Furthermore, Stengers provides that differentiating between experimental statement and theory is not really an issue of administering justice, but, instead, contrasting the two provides us the opportunity to consider scientific strategy.  Although I believe that this argument is placed here kind of awkwardly, I feel as though it relates pretty well to that which is suggested in the third section, “The Politics of Networks.”  Most specifically, as previously suggested, the third section invokes questions of motive and strategy, questions that provoke thought of the Sophists.

After differentiating between theory and experimental statement, Stengers introduces the issue of invention rhetoric.  For Stengers, there exists a dramatic contrast between the effects of experimental practice and the “mobilizing” rhetoric that takes hold of these effects.  She suggests that whereas inventions introduce a variety of choices, rhetoric, on the other hand, celebrates reduction (115).  The rhetoric of invention provides that the invention introduced has the power to lead “diversity” back to the same. 

It translates a staging that makes the invented-explained diversity the guarantor of the general reducibility of a phenomenal field to be investigated—a mobilizing staging that identifies both the conquering army and the landscape defined as available to its conquest (115)

Here, Stengers seems to be implying, however implicitly, that this form of rhetoric is a disadvantageous seduction.  In fact, she discusses laughter as a means of resisting this rhetoric.  The question, of course, becomes: Why must one resist this rhetoric?  It seems that other portions of this chapter, namely, the section entitled “The Patron’s Job” address this more completely, though in a similarly frustrating manner.  At this point, though, it seems safe to say that Stengers believes invention rhetoric to be dangerous.  She speaks of the competition between local and global domination, and the quelling of rebel scientist factions, though in friendlier terms (118).

Next, Stengers introduces an example seemingly in an attempt to illustrate some of the points that she addresses previously.  The example she draws upon is Bruno Latour’s work concerning the life of the “patron.”  The patron is a director of a laboratory that has just discovered a hormone secreted by the brain.  The director/patron is essentially responsible for promoting the discovery in order to obtain funding.  Here, Stengers addresses the means by which the industry limits scientific research.  She suggests that the industry could impose limitations if this ominous entity found out about the research (119).  In addition, Stengers uses this section as a means of addressing the ways in which research and the rhetoric of invention impacts society through the addition of university courses, the proliferation of magazine and journal articles, etc.  Third, in a similar vein, Stengers suggests that the patron has to make the world interested in the research: “The patron is constrained to be interested in the world, to transform it so that this world will make his molecule exist” (120). The continual overtone is that while doing this, that which has been evaluated is degraded or transformed, embellished, etc.   Quite simply, as Stengers surmises, science becomes propaganda. 

Finally, in the third section, “the Politics of Networks” Stengers makes some interesting notes concerning power.  For Stengers, the question of rhetoric and invention, and the relationship of invention and rhetoric to the rest of society comes down to Power (note the capital “P”) 

Power, when it grows a capital letter, transforms the rhizome into a tree: each branch is “explained” by its relation to another branch, one closer to the trunk, and indeed to the roots, that is, to the site—occupied by a “logic” if not by actors—from which all the rest can be denounced as puppets, acted on beyond their intentions and their plans (123)

Evidently, as mentioned previously, this passage references Deleuze and Guattari quite specifically.  Here, the rhizome, and discussion of the tree as power system, is provided as a reference to A Thousand Plateaus.  Though this is not noted explicitly (at least I am not seeing any citation), Stengers references both authors earlier in this chapter.  In any event, Stengers seems to be suggesting the means by which the current system of invention, rhetoric included, allows for the marginalization of certain sects.  Referencing an earlier portion of this chapter, this would be where the global dominates the local, or where the scientist’s ability to resist injunctions or pressures is disabled.  By invoking the work of Deleuze and Guattari is Stengers calling for a multiplicity of invention? 

Puppet strings, as rhizome or multiplicity, are tied not to the supposed will of an artist or puppeteer but to a multiplicity of nerve fibers, which form another puppet in other dimensions connected to the first…There are no points or positions in a rhizome, such as those found in a structure, tree, or root.  There are only lines (A Thousand Plateaus 8 )

Perhaps, though, as it seems that she may be suggesting in other parts, Stengers is calling for more of a community in relationship to the revelation and processing of invention.  Here, it seems important to return to Deleuze and Guattari as they discuss the rhizome and the relationship of the speaker to the listener:

A rhizome ceaselessly establishes connections between semiotic chains, organizations of power, and circumstances relative to the arts, sciences (my emphasis), and social struggles…There is no ideal speaker-listener, any more than there is a homogenous linguistic community (A Thousand Plateaus 7)

Perhaps, a community would resolve the power conflicts inherent to science, invention, and invention rhetoric. 

Though this is of interest, I find that this section also provides fruitful grounds for consideration of the Sophists.  It seems to me, at least, that the rhetoric of invention, though Stengers seems to criticize it, could present parallels to our discussion of selfish-selflessness (I hope I got that right.  I always get the two confused.  In any event, you know what I mean to say).  If we can understand the Sophists, in some respects, to be achieving beneficial aims by what might appear to be selfish tactics, then perhaps invention rhetoric is similar.  Though this form of rhetoric may appear to be selfishly motivated, it garners the scientists the ability to fund the research, to maintain salaries, and to further study that might otherwise be disregarded.  Who cares if the scientist embellishes the discovery, if it is only in an effort to further benefit research and community welfare?  Though Stengers seems to be opposed to this form of rhetoric, she has to admit that many scientists act in the greater good; that they are hoping to find a cure, solution, etc.  Following in line with Pruchnic’s discussion of AIDs phones or Extreme Home Make over, how then, should this be shunned?  Is not this the most advantageous means of turning “industry” or “capitalism” on its head?  Is not this the preferred rhetorical strategy, despite the inherent “deceipt”?

invention of wha?

Posted in MM, rhetoric, Science, Stengers on February 18, 2008 by untimelymediations

I have not been quiet about my own frustration with Stengers, so I see no need to rehearse those complaints here.  I do cite them, however, as a pre-emptive rationale for the stunning lack of insight in what follows.

The only strategy that made this book work for me (on an admittedly narrow level) was to think of this as an exercise for my planned “Dictionaries” syllabus.  As such, the task was something like this: “Read a text outside your discipline or normal area of research.  Find three words that are pertinent to your discipline and then respond to how they’re used in this text.”  So, at the very least, I might make some pedagogical project out of an otherwise aggressively difficult text.

Here’s at least one of the words, with some superficial commentary appended to it:

“Invention.”  It is hard not to notice Stengers’ interest in invention (the title is a dead clue), so I traced this word with some interest.  For Stengers, invention repeats in multiple levels: as the establishment of truth as a scientific ideal (30), the situating of the scientist as the unassailable speaker of reason  (22), science’s own terms of intelligibility (23), and, later in the text, the invention of experimental apparatuses that make science “work.”

So, what does a rhetorician learn from this?  First: Invention is more than just the words and phrases put to page.  Rather, we can think invention in a broader scope; rather than insisting for the kairotic moment to insist upon the time and need for speech, we might look to Stenger’s work and see that–as science invented its own terms of efficacy–we might do so to for rhetorical action (a lesson also learned from the situationists).  Second: invention is a pedagogical practice; as we invent, so do we also show others the constraints of allowable invention.   And. . .that’s all I’ve got so far.  I’m hoping to return to this post in future after we’ve talked through this text.  It’s kicking my butt.

Invention of Invention

Posted in Ambiguity, KL, Science, sophists, Stengers, Why/how on February 18, 2008 by untimelymediations

(Side note: I agree with Mike’s concern last week about feeling like I need a bit more background for this text.  I had a difficult time grounding it in any sense.  Maybe it’s just me – and I’m not trying to make excuses for my superficial post – but I just feel like I’m scratching the surface with Stengers, and I’m missing something really important.  Are there some specific texts that overview Science and Rhetoric?  I would be interested to read something that would help me ‘get’ this.)

This week’s reading was a bit complicated and confusing for me, so I had to read it through the lens of my favorite, confusing-as-hell addiction: Lost.  Like fans of any given television show, I obsess—completely. I should add that this obsession is not limited merely to ‘water-cooler discussions,’ but I have downloaded the Lost podcasts, read the message boards, and have even read the articles (not surprisingly, there are many scholarly ones out there).  We rabid fans are in search of two things – the why and the how (w/h) of the plot. Before Stengers, these are two qualities for which I did not realize I was searching.  In most other shows, we get the w/h.  We know why Jack Bauer is getting his ass kicked for his country.  We know how and why Dexter Morgan is killing his victims.  But on the island, no one knows either, and we are left to fend for ourselves in weekly battle of he-said/she-said.  And this is why I believe Stengers is so applicable to Lost: as shown in every episode, each character is inventing her/his own, new truth by fictionalizing the self and denying who s/he was before the plane crash.

For Stengers, truth and fiction are inseparable, and ultimately these modes invent

“an antidote to the belief that makes us so formidable, the belief that defines truth and fiction in terms of an opposition, in terms of the power that makes the first destroy the second, a belief older than the invention of the modern sciences, but whose invention constituted a ‘recommencement’” (164-5).

Inventions and interest are two crucial terms for Stengers, and she maintains throughout her text that truths are initially invented fictions.  On the island, and arguably for the Sophists as well, one cannot distinguish between what is real (truth) and simply what is flattery (fiction).  They are not in opposition, but instead become so blurred that they are essentially both creations of each other.  The characters on Lost exemplify this creation, as no one truly knows who the other survivors were before the crash.  All we see are the new identities as created through necessity.  Truth and fiction are therefore inventions in which individual interest is taken. Science, as “performed” in labs, is thus the result of an individual’s interest in “making” an idea come true.  People, then, are more ‘interested’ in interest as opposed to truth since the former is what actually unifies:

“It is precisely because interest, as opposed to ‘truth,’ does not claim the power to create unanimity, but lends itself to proliferation and association with other disparate interests, that it can bring together authors for whom the event poses the problem of history” (Stengers 96).

Finally, Stengers claims that there cannot be “a single historical process that is applicable to the history of philosophy, art, and science, for each of these enterprises is defined by a specific relationship with its own past” (41). Therefore, in terms of truth and fiction, we cannot separate them as they develop, nor with Lost can we watch the show without knowing each of the characters’ pre-island pasts.

A Response Concerning Foucault and Parrhesia

Posted in DR, Foucault, Parrhesia on February 16, 2008 by untimelymediations

Due to the length of my response, I decided to post instead of leaving a comment.  This response concerns Mike’s last post, most specifically, the first question that he posed:

1) What is the role of the parrhesiates today?  While Foucault goes to some effort to suggest that parrhesia is most typically a technology of the subject in its post-Platonic guise, I wonder if there is a role for a public parrhesiastes today.  This question is, in part, occasioned by watching far too much primary-election coverage lately.  Much has been made of several candidates use of the “outsider” trope to win voter identification: Obama, Romney, Huckabee, Edwards, and even McCain (in his “maverick” mode) have sought to convince voters that they can stand apart from typical Washington politics and get things done.  On one hand, it’s easy to dismiss this as political pandering and an empty rhetorical gesture.  I wonder, though, if this is the only public role the parrhesiastes serves today—a rhetorical trope, the “outsider” politician.  Or, rather, would we have to look slightly outside the realm of professional politics (and in that I include the pundits and analysts) and look to someone like Cindy Sheehan, or even the “Don’t Tase me, bro!” guy?  Someone who is disinvested from the process but wants those involved to do the right thing?

I think the difficulty in assessing the role of parrhesia today results from two points of consideration.  First, it is important to recall that Foucault distinguishes between parrhesia invoked both within the context of monarchy and the realm of Athenian democracy.  This differentiation is of crucial importance to the very means by which Foucault suggests parrhesia operates in historical contexts.  I am reluctant to argue that what we might have in the contemporary political realm is Athenian in nature, despite that some might claim that American “democracy” takes its roots in the Athenian “ideal.”  Here, though, as your example suggests, perhaps a new form of community speakership has involved as a result of the digital.  Though, the question then becomes, who is a citizen?  Those with youtube membership?  If, on the otherhand this is a system similar to monarchy, parrhesia, as Foucault explains it, exists in a form of contract.  Is the “Don’t tas me bro” guy invoking parrhesia as a form of protection.  I don’t think that he is using parrhesia in this capacity.  If this is the political system that most resembles ours, it is still of crucial importance to consider how power manifests.  This brings me to the second point of consideration.  In each scenario that Foucault outlines, parrhesia becomes a power play.  Though, it must be noted, the two systems seem quite divergent.  In Athenian democracy, the citizen has the ability to invoke parrhesia in public forums.  In the monarchy, parrhesia can only be invoked by one subjected, in relationship to a person of power.  Whereas in Athenian democracy parrhesia excludes the disadvantaged, those outside of Athenian citizenship, the Monarchy provides a contract for the disadvantaged. 

This seems to be the very difficulty in determining the means by which parrhesia is invoked or exercised in contemporary American politics.  Perhaps, considering what was previously said, another question of interest is propelled.  It might be of interest to consider parrhesia as it relates to issues of immigration.  There are the base questions that circulate in ever widening circles: Should immigrants be admitted as citizens after a period of residence? Should immigrants have the right to freedom of speech? Then, there are issues of parrhesia and disadvantage or equality, remembering, of course, the two contexts in which parrhesia is invoked.

Finally, I am curious as to whether parrhesia is necessarily a matter of suggesting that one do “the right thing.”  Is this really what parrhesia is about as Foucault defines it.  Parrhesia seems much more complicated than a simple binaristic right or wrong.  Quite simply, parrhesia seems to be as much about exclusion as it is about presence.