From: Daniel Goldstein <goldsted@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 17 Jul 1997 22:56:36 +0100
On thursday, Alan wrote:
> IS NORMATIVITY ALWAYS ABOUT POWER/NOT-POWER?
> More generally, do normative frameworks necessarily work with hypothetical
>utopias (ideal speech situations for example)?
No, to the particular question and yes to the more general one. A normative framework
requires the power of the king. It is the king that establishes the norm. Think of the reflection
of the king in Las Meninas. Although Foucault recognizes this form of power, it is a different
form of power that he finds more interesting. "It is this image," he says," that we must break
free of." hs90. Technologies of power are only one matrix in the matrices of practical reason.
Seeing technologies of power as an element of practical reason helps to break free from
conceptions of power as the king.
We should all have this memorized:
"By power, I do not mean "Power" as a group of institutions and mechanisms thaty ensure the
subservience of the citizens of a given state. By power, I do not mean, either. a mode of
subjugation which, in contrast to violence, has the form of the rule. Finally, I do not have in
mind a general system of domination exerted by one group over another, a system whose
effects, through successive derivations, pervade the entire social body.... these are only the
terminal forms power takes." p.82 hs
Normativity is a terminal form of power and necessarily needs a king.
>OK, so society's messy. What then is the role of social studies/science?
>(I know there's a reasonably decent answer to this, but could someone
>remind me of it?)
There's an answer in juillet-aout, 1997, issue of magazine litteraire, on page 25.
"Mais la tache du philosophe, de l'intellectuel, de la critique n'est-elle pas, plus generalement,
d'introduire toute personne qui exerce du pouvoir a la question du souci de soi?"
The contact between two of the four matrices of practical reason is the role of the human
sciences. This connection between the technologies of power and the technologies of the self
is what must be kept alive. This what Foucault means by governmentality (p225 ts).
There's my 2 cents
Faculty of Theology
University of Montreal
CP 6128, succ Centre-ville
Montreal, Quebec, H3C 3J7