Foucault- Truth and Power

Topics: Truth, Epistemology, Michel Foucault Pages: 3 (793 words) Published: December 4, 2012
Truth and Power
    In this essay, Foucault's principal interest is how power diffuses itself in systems of authority and how it affects of truth are produced within discourses which in themselves are neither true nor false. Truth itself is the product of relations of power and of the systems in which it follows, it changes as system changes. There are certain systems in society. So, the system is formed of many individuals, so it is a group power.     Therefore, he doesn't focus on any individual power. Under the system, society possesses some knowledge. By using such knowledge, the society (people) creates discourse (literature). We speak of the ideas we want. We produce speeches, we write books, newspaper etc. This process is discourse formation, and whatever is produced it is discourse. But this discourse consists of representation power and truth.     Representations have different forms: written and oral, audiovisual etc. Power is circulated through different forms of representation. Now this very represented power creates certain truth to everyone who is under the system. It means, power determines the truth and as soon as the system of society changes the truth also changes. It means, Foucault's discourse is related to the production of any information that provides knowledge. Once the discourse is created, knowledge about some aspect of life is provided. Thus knowledge helps create truth. But, Foucault himself admits that such truth is neither true nor false.     The power is generated in society by producing the discourses, and by constructing truths. Such power is creative. Marxist power is just political and economic whereas Foucauldian power is applicable everywhere. It operates in horizontal way (everywhere) other than Marxist power that goes in a vertical axis (from upper class to lower class). In Foucauldan power there is always check and balance. In terms of power, Marx has created hierarchy but Faucault has ruptured the hierarchy.     It means...
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