Re: Foucault, Sade and the De-Centered Self

>Did Foucault feel we had a self and if he did not think we had a self
>then why do we have names and why do we strive for power and prestige
>knowing that we don't really have a self.

First of all, I don't recall Foucault claiming anywhere that the fact that
people did not have a "self" necessarily implies that they would "know"
they didn't have a self.

But more importantly, Foucault does have an unconventional (at least at his
time) conception of the human subject (namely as an intersection of
competing discourses and attempts to exert control through these
discourses). You point out what certainly seems to be a contradiction in
Foucault's thought. But the contradiction between rejection of the
conventional notion of the human subject, on the one hand, and individuals'
attempt to assert themselves as individual subjects is not really a
contradiction at all when one considers that the question is based on a
notion which hypostatizes motivation as a natural function within each
individual. If you're willing to give up this notion and accept Foucault's
conception of the human subject then the two possiblities are not
contradictory at all: just because human subjects are not the unified
entities which 19th century thinkers proposed does not mean that they
cannot act as if they were indeed unified subject if this discourse (of the
unified subject) happens to have control over them. A good but (very,
almost too) basic introduction to Foucault's notion of the human subject is
contained in Madan Sarup's _Introductory Guide to Post-Structuralism and


|-|_|Landis Duffett_|-|_|-|_|-|_|-|_|-|_|-|_|-|_|-|_|-|_|
-|_|e-mail:duffett@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx |-|_|-|_|-|_|-|_|-|_|-
|_|-|vms address:landis@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx _|-|_|-|_|-|


Partial thread listing: