From: Don Van Duyse <donvanduyse@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 15 Feb 1997 10:51:42 -0600
To: John Sproule
The I-Thou question is an interesting one. So far, you note attention
to HSv1 and D&P. Many readers, I imagine, associate these texts with an
imagery of power that overwhelms or subsumes relationships. In other
words, power as flattening. Of course, Foucault does not see power as a
necessarily blunting force, but often as a sort of stimulant or
sharpener. So I see no reason to dichotomize, let's say, ?personal
power? (in the Rogerian, empathetic sense) and Power/Knowledge. It
strikes me that psychotherapy (or relationships in general) are keyed on
more of a micro-tonality, if you will, a potentially finer range of
discriminations, perhaps ?enhanced? by relative contrasts (and
complimentarities!) with macro-tonal minutiae like ?discourse,? ?power,?
or "truth." Holding expectations in suspense and listening for new
configurations, these are good examples of how the technique of
Foucault's writings can apply to relationships. It calls for a trained
(if untamed) sensitivity, among listeners, to sense and subvert patterns
of domination. But to say Foucault?s writings neglect I-Thou, or present
a reductionist background that fails to aid our understanding of
relationships--is this asking for a world-view where there is none?
Paradoxically, is suspending the expectation of discovering such
answers, closer to I-Thou? I don't know.