From: "M. Karskens" <mkarskens@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2007 15:05:42 +0200
I think Emmanuel hits the mark.
The same question was discussed in Holland some
twenty years ago. The Dutch translation
<uitspraak> (= German <Aussage>) has the same judicial connotations.
The problem is that Foucault does not mention
that connotations at all in the Archeology of
Knowledge. He is completely fixed on the linguistic meaning there.
From the point of view of History <énoncé> is
in my opinion equivalent to <évenement>.
At 17:11 18-9-2007, you wrote:
énoncé : dans la langue de la procédure
judiciaire, action d'énoncer, fait d'énoncer.
Synonyme usuel : énonciation. (Trésor de la langue française)
My bloody translation :
"énoncé" : in the language of judicial
procedure, the act(*) or the fact of enouncing something.
(*) The Trésor even says "action" : so you see
fraçois, Foucault didn't introduce the notion of
"activity" : it was already in place.
("énoncer"'s meanigs range from "utter" to
"express", "speak out", "say", "make (publicly)
known", "declare (formally) ) - the latter being
precisely the one at stake, here, I guess).
Implicit to the meanig of "fact of enouncing
something" are the notions that the "fact" in
question has to be "take into account"
(acknowledged but also registered, recorded and
reported), and that the thing being enounced is
actually being enounced by an authorized source
- if not a source of authority.
In French we use the term most usually in
phrases such as "l'énoncé d'un jugement / d'un
verdict" (it belongs to the same constellation
as "verdict" or "avow", another terms in which
Foucault breathed a new life), "l'énoncé d'un
théorème ou d'un problème" - i.e. in french
"énoncé" is a master's thing - be it a master of
truth (savant, doctor, master, teacher, etc.) or
a master of jutice. The very history of the
term connects "véridiction" to "juridiction".
This use of the term (the one quoted high above)
is the first listed by the Trésor de la langue
française - it's also (not coincindentally, I
suspect) the closest use to Foucault's own one
("the fact that something is being / has been
said, in that it constitutes an event, itself
constitutive of a practice" - a ritual, a
procedure, etc. - sorry, can't sum it up better at present) I could found.
The notion that "énociation" is linked to
authority has long been ingrained in roman
languages : Benveniste had it that the latin
dicere's primary use was as a "vocable
d'institution", and that, as suc, it meant
something like " showing through words and with
authority whast has to be or be done".
So one (someone pretty bold) could say that
Foucault somewhat generalized the notion : the
"énoncé" does not have to come necessarily from
a position of authority for "énonciation" to
take place in a complex system of power relationships.
Sorry for the broken english.
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Prof. Machiel Karskens
social and political philosophy
Faculty of Philosophy
Radboud University Nijmegen - The Netherlands