La forza delle parole. Bourdieu, Foucault e il soldato impossibile

Daniele Lorenzini

Abstract


This article aims to explore the contribution that a dialogue between Pierre Bourdieu and Michel Foucault could make to the literature on the “force of words”. Firstly, it addresses Bourdieu’s critique of the linguistic reductionism, showing that – although legitimate – it risks resulting in an unacceptable form of sociological determinism. It then explores the perspective inaugurated by Jacques Derrida and taken up by Judith Butler, who inscribes in the very functioning of the performative its capacity to break with the context of enunciation. Finally, after highlighting the limits of such a perspective, it suggests, drawing on Stanley Cavell’s insights, that we should give a greater importance to J.L. Austin’s notion of perlocutionary effect, and argues that Foucault’s work on ancient parrēsia constitute a valuable “laboratory” in which to study the force that words and acts of resistance actually possess.


Keywords


Performative Efficacy, Illocutionary Effect, Perlocutionary Effect, Social Norms, Resistance.

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