Date: Fri, 10 May 1996 09:32:31 +0100
I do read your post, unfortunately, and that's the problem. You cannot
dismiss my criticisms just by fiat. Deal with the arguments please. Lets go
through your replies.
>>I also still didn't get a reply about the bombi-ness of feathers. Still,
>>this won't worry Quetzil, he's probably convinced himself I don't exist.
I am still waiting for an answer. But I won't hold my breath.
>>sociological theory of Disneyworld Murphy has called it recently. Good ploy
>>for those in power though, as anyone in Britain watching the debate on
>>poverty will tell you. Did you know there is no such thing as poverty in
>>Britain now. Why? because government ministers decreed it so. The 'speech
>>act' has been uttered. We have made it go away. Good isn't it. Quetzil
>>supplies the final nail in the coffin though when he uses as an example a
>>piece of _science fiction_ to bolster his arguments (if this is the right
>you confuse many things my dear colin. such as the difference between speech
>itself and discourse and discourse and formations of discursive practices.
Since in all of your earlier postings you have consistently reduced being to
linguistics and linguistics alone I think your distinctions are facile, to
say the least. Not in my terms by the way, but in terms of your own
position, it is simply incoherent to introduce these distinction. Still,
even if I grant that they have some purchase. What are discursive practices
on? Words? Words and perhaps materials? Pray enlighten me? Because if the
former then the world is full of word shaped things. If the latter, then why
elide this dimension in your analysis? Also, if you had read your
Wiggenstein better, you would clearly know that words are deeds.
>But, also you get VERY confused by WHAT YOU SAY and confused between WHAT I
>SAY AND WHAT YOU THINK I SAID or would like me to have said. you have this
>wonderful capacity for projection.; but see if you can try to listen to what
>i say and not confuse my arguments with what you may have read in the
Now, this is an interesting argument. And indeed in some respects I accept
the charge. But, and it is a big but. Given that you seemingly deny any
appeal to the 'real'. Did I really employ such atrocious interpretive skills
or are you simply interpreting my posting in this manner? We could have a
discussion on this. Indeed we are. But this makes my argument Quetzil, not
yours. In fact, given your reading. I have to wonder what it is you are
>a foucaultian approach depends upon understanding SOCIAL FORMS/CONTEXTS that
>involve human agencies that are in conflict in multiple ways/forms.
Who says? What is this foucaultain approach you allude to so easily? Is this
the right, perhaps the real meaning of a foucaultian approach?
>has argued that reality gets constituted by some Adam who gives things names
>and thus they become real, and what was not named is not real or existant.
Or Eve please Quetzil. Please and Eve. This is a Foucault list after all.
But good, now we can have a discussion. So, what is real is real and there
can be elements of reality that we have no knowledge of that effects our
lives. And there must also be non-liguistic constraints on what we can talk
about and how we can talk about what there is (not that I am suggesting that
reality is finite, on my ontology it is stratified, structured,
differentiated, and changing). That is, to paraphrase your own words the
real does not get its existence by some human practice which decrees it
thus. We agree. Amazing. But this hardly constitutes what you say in some of
your postings does it? And you have certainly denied that any talk of the
real is inadmissable have you not? Hence for you, and I have no hesitation
in using broad brush strokes, the real is but we can say nothing about it.
Kanatian transcendental idealism dare I suggest?
>your difficulty in grasping the sociological dimension of foucaultian
>analysis might be simply your PROJECTION of a methodological individualism
>or it may be your inability to grasp the complexities of sociological facets
>of human collectivity which may be getting submerged in your predilection to
>seek philosophic universalisms.
Since I have already questioned you appropriation of a foucaultian anaylsis;
as if you _understand_ it, but me, the poor unenlightend fool does not, I
will not dwell on this issue, but others on this list clearly have differing
readings. Still, you have now moved onto sociological terrian I feel very
comfortable with. Agent-structure, individual-collectivism etc., take your
pick. However, given what you have said about my attribution of a position
to you which you do not yourself adhere to (although I would say that you
have presented ample evidence of your idealism, whether conceptual,
discursive or lingusitic, or perhaps even mystical), then pray, how did you
attribute such a position to me. If I have been engaged in anything it is a
reclamation of the social as real and material at that and that has real
a first premise for foucault/foucaultians
>is that the world is social and the complex particularities of its
>construction cannot be reduced to a single act of makine a single
>statement, whether in a london newspaper or the miami herald.
Great. we seem to agree again. But since social forms pre-exist the persons
entering into them, they have a form which exists independently of any
particular description of them, even though that form is dependent on social
agents for it reproduction and/or transformation. A form that is, that
possesses certain tendencies, but not others. Still, we can't make bombs out
of feathers at this point in time (or can we? I'm still unsure on what you
think of this) and very possibly we may not be able to have gender equality,
eradicate poverty, or have unmoralised sexual ambivalence in existing
capitalist social forms. Moreover, since social forms are also
geographically as well as temporally located then elements of the material
world _may_ possibly play a role in the way their effects manifest
themselves on those persons. Any adequate social theory, I would argue, has
to see that emanicipation is located in the recognition of necessity not its
denial. That is I can stop being killed from walking under buses only if I
am aware that walking under buses is detrimental to my health.
>As one of my colleagues is prone to remind us theorists and amateur
>>philosophers: 'all this theory and the bodies keep piling up'.
>> Again, won't worry Quetzil though. They aren't 'really there'.
>colin, perhaps you can tell us what kind of philosophic argument it is that
>you are making here?
Did _I_ say it was a philsophical argument? Please quetzil, I am sure you
can do better. The whole post was a rhetorical strategy, which any good
foucaultian, on my reading that is, would recognise only too well. It was
full of holes and mistakes, I readily admit. But, was it 'really'?
Department of International Politics
University of Wales, Aberystwyth