From: "Allen Miller" <millerpa@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 01 May 2007 10:26:03 -0400
One is never perfectly free to read as one chooses in any case.
Paul Allen Miller
Carolina Distinguished Professor of Classics and Comparative Literature
Director of Comparative Literature
Editor, Transactions of the American Philological Association
Languages, Literatures and Cultures
University of South Carolina
Columbia, SC 29208
>>> rongriffin@xxxxxxxxx 05/01/07 2:08 AM >>>
One is not "perfectly" free to read Foucault with any type of mind if
sanctions are doled out if a reader seems to cross the Inner Party,
sanctions supported by power ties. What might be in order is an
assessment of power structures within the list.
Frank Ejby Poulsen wrote:
>I guess Foucault's view on the agent/structure debate would be that
>precise view of things - agent/structure - is part of a discourse that
>should be described by analysis (archaeology or genealogy) in order to
>understand fully the way it frames our minds and knowledge, exercice
>and how to find alternatives to it. One is perfectly free to read
>with a "sociological" mind or whatever else type of mind one has. But I
>really think that the best way to read Foucault is with a completely
>mind. Zero thoughts at all. A little bit like watching a Picasso, from
>period when trying to recover a lost childish innocence in his
>is completely useless, and seriously mistaking Picasso's artistic
>ambition, to watch these paintings with a mind full of classical art
>references; and looking in these paintings for frameworks and theories
>say, classical art paintings is disapointing and eventually pointless.
>whole entreprise of Foucault is to be able to apply a Pyrrhonean
>(Kendall and Wickham, *Using Foucault's Methods*, 1999), i.e. refusing
>second-order judgements. Looking for "agency/structure" is a
>I tend to think that looking with a sociological mind for
>in Foucault's work is pointless because one will always find what one
>looking for in advance. Probably it will give out a very nuanced and
>answer (if I think a little about that from what I've read of
>Probably the answer will vary greatly according to the work considered
>archaeology or genealogy - and the degree of discursivity of the
>studied - very discursive like *The Order of Things* or more
>like *The Birth of the Clinic*. Archaelogy will give some kind of
>hand" type of answer, with the discourse seemingly having its own laws
>internal order, but also having exterior influences, albeit not
>per se but frameworks, as well as some actors, but under the conditions
>death-of-the-author laws. Genealogy will give a less "invisible hand"
>of impression with more relations between discourse-power-knowledge.
>But I really think it is much more fun and worthwhile to interrogate
>discourse of "agency/structure" in a Foucaultian manner, instead of
>for it as it is without ontological and epistemological
>(pardon, archaeological) questionning in Foucault's works. Of course,
>perhaps not sociology any more...
>who is not a professor, not even a PhD candidate (yet! hopefully), but
>passionaltely reading everything Foucault at the moment for his MA
>dissertation in political science.
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