Expert som vet sina gränser

Jag läste nu på morgonen en intervju med Michel Foucault.* Han fick en fråga, varpå följande yttrades:

M.F. On this question I have absolutely nothing to say. ‘No comment.’

J.O’H. Does this mean that you think the question is unanswerable, or bogus, or does it simply not interest you?

M.F. No, none of these. I just don’t believe in talking about things that go beyond my expertise. It’s not my problem, and I don’t like talking about things that are not really the object of my work. On this question I have only an opinion; since it is only an opinion, it is without interest.

J.O’H. But opinions can be interesting, don’t you agree?

M.F. Sure, I could offer my opinion, but this would only make sense if everybody and anybody’s opinions were also being consulted. I don’t want to make use of a position of authority while I’m being interviewed to traffic in opinions.”

Jag imponerades mycket av denna återhållsamhet och demonstration av vishet — att vara medveten om sin egen begränsning och att låta denna medvetenhet styra ens yttranden.

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*Intervjun utfördes av James O’Higgins, och citatet är från s. 142 i Foucault, Michel (1994). Ethics: Subjectivity and Truth. New York: The New Press.