From: "Stuart Elden" <Stuart.Elden@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 5 Nov 1999 10:35:29 -0000
Contrary to Brian's position I must admit I find the whole Foucault/Habermas
thing rather boring. I thought that Habermas' Philosophical Discourse of
Modernity was a very lazy book - it is not at all clear he has read Derrida
for example. And then, when Foucault died he made the comment 'maybe i did
not understand him well'. I find the division of post Nietzschean thought
along the lines of Nietzsche-Heidegger-Derrida, Nietzsche-Bataille-Foucault
way too simplistic.
There are some interesting issues sure, but a lot of the stuff retreads the
same old ground. Habermas is not adverse to some rather sloppy techniques
for making his position known -the forward to Farias' book on Heidegger for
My question is why did Habermas feel that this book was a good idea? It
doesn't seem to bear anything like the same degree of rigor that his other
work does. I hope this is clear - Habermas is certainly an important
philosopher, but I don't think the take on Foucault is necessarily that
important. From what i remember about the Critique & Power book, most of the
articles take their cue from the actual dialogue between H & F. It would
seem to me more interesting to actually take F, and H, separately and then
see what they have to say to each other, rather than H's F and H.
I find the equation of critical of (ie questioning) the Enlightenment =
anti-Enlightenment = anti-progressive = conservative rather troubling.