From: Campbell Jones <campbell.jones@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 05 Mar 1997 17:03:06 +1300
At 19:11 3/03/97 +0600, 'go away' wrote:
>anyone out there got
>any thoughts on Alan Megill's attitude(s) towards Foucault?? I'm speaking
>of the one evident in Prophets of Extremity that is. Megill seems to think
>that most ppl feel Foucault was a genuis but was also wrong. whats yr
I am also interested in trying to get a handle on Megill's comments on
Foucault, and would be interested to see what people think. Here is a
First of all, some context. Megill has written quite a lot on Foucault.
In addition to the Prophets of Extremity (1985), he has articles in the
Journal of Modern History (1979, 1984), The Journal of the History of ideas
(1987) and a response to GOrdon in the History of the Human Sciences
(1990). He seems fairly well respected by mainstream historians, who
consider that it is acceptable to pose questions like 'To what extent is
this ontology true?'.
It seems to me that Megill is pushing it a bit if he thinks that he speaks
for all American historians. Hayden White is, of course, a counter-example
who is far more receptive of Foucault. Megill recognises that Foucault
breeches the laws of acceptability of traditional historiography. FOr
Megill, FOucault is something of a 'transgressor'. He breaks too many of
the rules. Megill would like to break some of the rules, and sees Foucault
as an excuse for doing so. But he only wants to bread some of them.
Indeed, he wants to be instrumental in articulating a new set of rules. Or
am I portraying Megill as overly fascist?
University of Otago