Chapter 7: Michel Foucault: How Power Affects Our View of Truth Michel Foucault

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7. The Dangers of Thinking

Of course these thinkers are dangerous, but as Michel Foucault said, "Everything is dangerous". Curiosity can be dangerous, and so can mental lethargy. Evangelicals tend to avoid American Pragmatists, postmodern thinkers, and continental philosophy in general like the plague. Yet this posture of purposed ignorance can only be harmful to us. We have to face the thoughts of these thinkers squarely, not just to use ambush tactics and pot-shots, and I am convinced that we can even accept many of their central insights and even appreciate them while remaining faithful.

After these questions and questioners (and the many others like them) are seriously taken on the table, we can no longer do epistemology naively, as though we had direct unmeditated noncontextual knowledge of our world. We must look to the role personal and societal ends play in our beliefs. And it seems that after taking these philosophers seriously, the projects of epistemology, metaphysics, and philosophy must shift their focus. No longer should epistemology spend itself on defeating the skeptic, rather, it should be concerned with questions like "How is it that I come to say 'this is true?'" or "What kinds of ends should I value?" Philosophy Derridean style is concerned with damage-control, being careful readers and keeping the marginalized voices within the texts heard. But many philosophers ignore these questions, these projects, these philosophers, and so go on as though these questions weren't worth while. I believe that these questions, rather than threatening Christians, should be the very questions Christians should be interested in, and raising themselves.

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