In an interview in one on the three Rabinow edited volumes (sorry, I don't
have the reference available at the moment) Foucault addresses the charge
that he equates knowledge and power. He says he laughs whenever he hears
that someone has attributed this thought to him; his purpose, he explains,
is to investigate the *relationship* between knowledge and power. There
could not be a relationship *between* them, he points out, if they were not
*different* from each other. [This is probably the same article refered to
in a previous posting by Clare O'Farrell, "Panopticon"]
At 10:37 AM 7/28/2002 -0400, you wrote:
>Thanks. That makes sense. I tried reversing the expression to read "power
>is knowledge," and it did strike me as odd. In some cases they do seem to
>be the same, while in others, not. For example, if you describe his work
>as an "archaelogy of power" (rather than "knowledge), it does seem to be
>an accurate description of what he did.
>Does anyone "know" what the words for "power" and "knowledge" are in French?
>>From: Phil Ryan <philip_ryan@xxxxxxxxxxx>
>>Subject: Re: power/knowledge
>>Date: Sat, 27 Jul 2002 09:34:48 -0400
>>John Patrick wrote:
>> > his basic
>> > premise seems quite basic to me. The common expression "knowledge is
>> > seems to summarize his position.There doesn't seem to be anything
>> > revolutionary about that.
>>As that great American philosopher, W.J. Clinton, once put it, it depends on
>>"what the meaning of 'is' is"
>>We regularly use the verb in English, without having to think about what
>>duty it does, how many shades of meaning it holds.
>>For ex, we say that "2+2 is 4" and, conversely, "4 is 2+2"
>>But "is" does not always entail this reversibility
>>For example: Those who make the statement
>>"Knowledge is power"
>>are rarely willing to turn it around to say
>>"Power is knowledge"
>>One of the things that makes Foucault interesting for many of us is that
>>willing to turn the phrase around. Foucault emphatically rejected the claim
>>that he had simply identified knowledge with power, so it's better to
>>claims as something like:
>>knowledge <generates> power [ho-hum]
>>power generates knowledge [more interesting, I think]
>>One of the themes running through Discipline and Punish, to take one work, is
>>how the prison and analogous institutions served to generate knowledge about
>>human beings. Foucault would often suggest that the whole "human
>>informed by the knowledge flowing from such relations of power.
>>It's a striking thesis, for me at least, and is worth playing with, and
>>to different contexts to see how fruitful it is.
>>Hope that that "is" helpful.
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