From: Vadim Verenits <grimnes@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 14 Dec 1998 14:16:34 +0200 (EET DST)
I must admit that, though for Foucault the relations between Power,
Knoweldge and Genealogy is quit important ones, but the basic *proportion
he deals with is Word/Thing.This type of relation serves as basis for the
elaboration of the next_generation_conception , such Epistem is.
On Sun, 13 Dec 1998, Anders Legarth Schmidt wrote:
> I'm a quite new Foucault student and I've found this debate on truth (or
> effects of truth) very interesting. I'm currently working on a project
> concerning what with a reference to Mitchel Dean might be called 'the
> actice society'. Our initial concern was that an active society in which
> employment, skills, responsibility and personal growth are some of the
> dominant values has as one of its effects that people who can't find
> themselves within this rationale risk getting marginalised, that understood
> as ' wrong people ' who needs intervention from the state to become like
> the rest of us. The techniques used for that purpose are designed to
> promote an active and responsible individual. We are trying to do an
> genealogy of these techniques to understand what kinds of truths and
> rationales they are part of.
> It seems to me that Foucault explicitly writes that the goal of
> genealogical work is to denaturalize what we understand as selfevident and
> essential, for example sexuality, in order to build up something different.
> Two examples of this are given at the very last page of 'history of
> sexuality I' (I have the danish translation and I won't get into any
> translation here) and in 'the subject and power', afterword in Beyond
> Structuralism and Hermeneutics,
> Dreyfuss and Rabinow, 1982, page 216:
> ' Maybe the target nowadays is not to discover what we are but to refuse
> what we are....We have to promote new forms of subjectivity through the
> refusal of this kind of individuality whichhas been imposed on us for
> centuries [by the state]. '
> Well I certainly agree. But Isn't it rather problematic to break something
> down in order to build up something new? Won't new understandings and
> categorizations allways imply new inclusions and exclusions?
> We are faced with the same problem in our project. Because of our initial
> concern with the exclusions inherent in an active society, we in a way
> presuppose a certain kind of truth: that we are all equal and should have
> equal rights and possibilities. Personally I have no problem with such an
> attitude, but isn't there an academic problem when we are trying to do a
> To sum up:
> First of all what is the role of genealogy today? Just to map 'the history
> of our present' or to do this map in order to build up a new conception of
> our present? And what does that imply for the role of academic work?
> And then truth: What is the role of ones own presuppositions in doing
> genealogical work? How should one understand the truth he brings with him
> in his research?
> More general, I think what I'm trying to do is to start a discussion of the
> role of social science today.
> Best wishes,
> Anders Schmidt, Denmark.