By Nancy Luxon
Modern social and political idea has reached an deadlock a few challenge that had as soon as appeared trouble-free: how can contributors make moral judgments approximately strength and politics? main issue of Authority analyzes the practices that bind authority, belief, and truthfulness in modern concept and politics. Drawing on newly on hand archival fabrics, Nancy Luxon locates versions for such practices in Sigmund Freud's writings on psychoanalytic strategy and Michel Foucault's unpublished lectures at the historic moral practices of "fearless speech," or parrhesia. Luxon argues that the dynamics provoked through the figures of psychoanalyst and truth-teller are valuable to this method. Her account deals a extra supple realizing of the trendy moral topic and new insights into political authority and authorship.
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Additional info for Crisis of Authority: Politics, Trust, and Truth-Telling in Freud and Foucault
Theorists of exemplarity emphasized both the vividness of moral presence, and its ability to draw on the potency of contextual example rather than on moral rule. They successfully sought to recover the context of political and ethical practices, and so the historical contingency surrounding the emergence of authoritative discourse or structure. Where they faltered, however, was in stipulating how such exemplars could be elevated beyond singular example to become culturally significant. In turning to dyadic relationships, a third literature (oriented to subjectivity) raised these questions of internalization and self-cultivation by examining formative relationships between Self and Other.
Authority seeks to compel – and leaves open the terms of what might incite conviction. The indeterminacy of these terms, and their historical tendency to be settled with an appeal to religious or traditional hierarchies, understandably contributes to the suspicion that claims to authority mask claims of power. Clarity and transparency of those criteria that might distinguish more from less legitimate authorities would seem necessary in order to prevent these distinctions from being used by the strong to manipulate the weak.
It, like parrhesia, offers an experience of counsel that is reducible neither to command nor external coercion, and so makes of its asymmetries something other than subordination. 57 They acknowledge that those same conditions that actualize or enable the emergence of self might well contribute to the disablement of political potential; such a claim is the very grist for the interpretive authority each cultivates. 192. 7). 57 The turn in these relationships to the past would seem to make them function more like the models of the auctoritas maiorum that Arendt locates in the Roman experience than the model of rule-as-education that she associates with the Greeks.