Critique has become the primary mode of practicing theory today, at least theory conceived as a political intervention. Michel Foucault, in his final two years of lecture courses at the Collège de France, develops a critique of critique and proposes in its stead a militant form of theoretical practice. Foucault's line of argumentation begins with a reading of Immanuel Kant's essay, “What Is Enlightenment?” and then steps back in time to work through the notion of parrhesia in ancient Greek thought. Finally, in the work of the ancient Cynics, he discovers a biopolitical militancy that can serve as a model for theory today beyond critique.
Michael Hardt; The Militancy of Theory. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 January 2011; 110 (1): 19–35. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-2010-020
Download citation file: