Problematization — A Critical Ontology of the Present
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Regimes of truth both prescribe and proscribe the conceptualization of a given ‘problem’ and the parameters for its solution; in advocating particular ways of seeing and doing, they necessarily abjure others. In this sense they are key to the formation of what Foucault (1997, p. 7) termed ‘subjugated knowledges’, which he explains means two things: ‘On the one hand I am referring to historical contents that have been buried or masked in functional coherences and systemizations … I am also referring to a whole series of knowledges that have been disqualified’ (ibid., p. 7). Not only are regimes of truth key to the creation of subjugated knowledges, but they are also key to the insurrection of subjugated knowledges — as when one destabilizes a regime of truth, one enables the emancipation of those knowledges disqualified by its internal conventions. This is problematization, and it underscores Foucault’s imperative for us to ‘think differently’.
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