AbstractThis paper addresses the strained relationship between parrhesia and actorship and analyzes its political implications. These two terms seem to be antipodes: parrhesia emphasizes the presence of a speaker or author whereas actorship deploys representation. As their relation can be explained by means of the concept of representation it is worthwhile considering the two settings in which representation matters: theater and politics. These settings will be explored in case studies on Hobbes’s, Rousseau’s, and Diderot’s accounts of parrhesia and actorship. Hobbes dismisses parrhesiastic freedom, minimalizes political authorship and favors a model of representation featuring a peculiar, powerful actor: the State. Rousseau criticizes actorship and representation, and seeks to re-install the people as sovereign author. This author is equipped with a strangely distorted form of parrhesia. Diderot takes neither Hobbes’s nor Rousseau’s side. He hints at the political potential of the author-actor relationship and paves the way to a revised notion of parrhesia.
Anglia – de Gruyter
Published: Mar 8, 2018
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