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Scandalous Banality of Philosophy: Cynic Parrhesia and Counter-Conduct
Foucault's lectures at the Collège de France provide very rich resources on how the “critical attitude”, which Foucault sees as an alternative way emerging out of Kant’s philosophy and which he describes as a critical questioning on our actuality and ourselves, can take shape today. To reveal this opportunity, we will first focus on the concept of the “counter-conduct” which Foucault puts forward within the framework of his study on governmentality (1978), but does not continue to develop, and then his analysis on the Cynics (1984), which he deals within the context of his historical studies on the concept of parrhesia, a concept that had a special role in Ancient Greek culture. We will claim that the mode of life peculiar to the Cynics, established as a direct manifestation of truth, provides a very powerful example of the counter-conduct that aims at creating "otherness," therefore grants tools to support the existence of philosophy today, as a practice of transforming the world and creating possibilities for thinking, acting, and existing differently. We think that such a reading will both enrich Foucault's conception of counter-conduct and reveal that Cynic parrhesia, as a scandalous application of truth, sheds light on new ways of relating to our actuality and also to ourselves.

Counter-conduct, otherness, ethos, critical attitude, parrhesia, true life.

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