with Judith Revel, Francois Ewald, and Bernard Harcourt
In his Rio lectures in 1973, Truth and Juridical Forms, Foucault targeted what he referred to as “the great Western myth”: the myth that, in order to achieve knowledge, one had to neutralize the effects of power, the illusion that it is even possible to sever knowledge from power. “This great myth needs to be dispelled,” Foucault stated. “It is this myth which Nietzsche began to demolish by showing… that, behind all knowledge [savoir], behind all attainment of knowledge [connaissance], what is involved is a struggle for power. Political power is not absent from knowledge, it is woven together with it.”
From 1952 through at least 1973, Foucault returned to and wrote about Nietzsche—a thinker who would play a central role in his work on truth, genealogy, and history. Foucault delivered at least two famous lectures on Nietzsche, as well as several conferences in his other lecture series. In this seminar, we will explore Foucault’s relation to Nietzsche.