Foucault: The Truths We Tell


Course Description

In the year 1983–84, Michel Foucault delivered a series of lectures at the Collège de France entitled “The Government of Self and Others.” Forty years later, at a time when misinformation abounds and lies have seemingly become the norm, we return to the insights of Foucault on the importance of truth (and truth tellers) to democracy. Taking the topic of enlightenment as a starting point, Foucault proceeds to an investigation of the history of truth telling or “parrēsia” with a focus on ancient Greek and Roman sources. By reading and discussing key lectures in the series, alongside supplementary materials including Euripides’ tragedy Ion and Plato’s Apology, we will consider the following questions:

For what reason ought we tell the truth? For the sake of others? For the sake of society? For the sake of our own integrity? What kind of risks are involved in truth telling and why do these risks exist? How has the culture of truth telling changed throughout history? What kind of political arrangements allow for important truths to come to light? What kind of social conditions prevent the dissemination of truth?

While the discussion will take place in English, participants are welcome to read Foucault's work in the original French. 

Books to Purchase (will be available at Argo Bookshop during the weeks prior to the course beginning):

  • Michel Foucault, The Government of Self and Others: Lectures at the Collège de France 1982-1983, edited by Arnold I. Davidson, translated by Graham Burchell (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), ISBN: 978-1403986665

Please note that this course has a maximum enrollment of 18 students and that TMI does not allow participants to audit courses for free.

Course Details

Location: Atwater

First Session: Wednesday, September 20th, 2023

Course Length: 12 weeks, Wednesdays, 6:15 to 8:15 p.m.

Instructor: David Dussault, Leah Edmonds, Claire English

Degree Credit: 3.0 credits

Course Fees: 

$150.00 (standard tuition) 

$100.00 (promotion for new students)

Administrative Fee:



$185.00 (standard tuition)

$135.00 (promotion for new students)

Course fees are refundable in full before the second session. After the second session, a fee of $50 for the withdrawal will be applied. Refunds will not be issued after the third session. Please note that non-attendance does not constitute a withdrawal.

Students pursuing studies for credit are encouraged to consult with their advisers as they register for courses.

Course leaders, and students wishing to use credit vouchers, should call (514) 935-9585 to pay by phone or to schedule an appointment to pay in person.

Fill the following form to register

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