Re: Performative contradiction.

1. I think Nathan's point is well made but it still does presuppose
that we are talking in terms of premises and conclusions--which is
already a truth game of sorts, actually a well-known, historically
constituted one. I didn't say (nor haven't read anywhere in F) that
there is no truth, because of course there is! It is only a matter of
conceding that truth has been fabricated (so there is no universal,
transcendent signified "behind" whatever one calls "truth"). For F,
truth, power and ethics are the three modes of objectification of the
subject (subjectivation), i.e. how human beings have been constituted as
subjects of knowledge, power and moral agency.(BHS 208 passim) It must
be recalled that "archaelogy" was first articulated (OT,AK,BC) within the
post-Heideggerian framework of French reception of phenomenology (Merleau-
Ponty, Sartre), structuralism (Althusser,Lacan,Levi-Strauss) and the Hegel-
and Nietzsche renaissances (Kojeve,Hyppolite,Klossowski,Deleuze). So the
notion of truth cannot be reduced to adaequatio (correspondence) theories
that take for granted the referentiality of logical,propositional construc-
tions. F --or Nietzsche himself, for that matter!-- would have no reserves
about the truth of concluding 'Q' from the premises 'P->Q' and 'P'! Suspicion
arises, however, when one states that P refers to the fact that P--and we
all know to what kind of endless,intellectual masturbation that little premise
can lead us... We all know that this was the great merit of Husserl's LI and
phenomenology on the whole, to have called into question the transcendental
subject's judgments on the world, precisely by suspending it (epoche) etc etc
Now, as Gerard Lebrun has shown (MFP), F's critique of phenomenology in the
OT aimed at the transcendental subjectivity of Husserl's supposedly presuppo-
tionless science. And Habermas at least concedes that F has rightly denounced
the residues of an a-historical self-constitution on the level of the Lebens-
welt--a task that was undertaken by Heidegger but w/out the ethical,political
intent of F's overall project. Now, to my mind, Habermas fails to understand
F's genealogy (for him, a "transcendental historicism") precisely because he
overacts against Nieztsche's perspectivism, which he rightly identifies w/
F's notion of truth. I think Janicaud (again in MFP, so far the best collec-
tion of essays on F available in ET), together w/ Michael Kelly (Critique and
Power: The Foucault/Habermas Debate), has shown that in part this "dialogue
de sourds" can't lead to mutual understanding because of the very conceptions
of truth, value, and norm which are misrepresented in H's reading of F and N.
2. I appreciated the refs on Gramsci, Derrida, and hegemony. All that I meant
is that F's "dispositif" (better translated as "device") should not be confu-
sed w/ Althusser's "appareil" (apparatus). In OD (L'ordre du discours) F speaks
of the will to truth as one of the dispositifs of control, selection and orga-
nizationn of discourse (17-22, 38-47). So the homogeneous ordering of the
discourse in OT can be contrasted w/ AS and OD, where discouses are shown to
be external to any totalizing, universalizing concept, and broken down into
"statements" (enonces, neither logical propositions nor grammatical sentences,
singular events that cannot be repeated, accounting thus for the impossibility
of subordinating discourses to the structure-becoming opposition. It was in
this sense, that I thought it to be difficult to bring F's power/knowledge and
G's hegemony together --I was thinking of F's historical a priori, which seeks
to avoid both historicist and teleological structuring. If I understood F on
this, I think though that G's hegemony/counter-hegemony interplay may well be
articulated w/ F's localized, microphysical strategies of power.
Sorry about the long wrap! Nythamar de Oliveira ndeolive@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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