Re: Foucault and Normativity

On Tue, 11 Apr 1995, Erik D Lindberg wrote:
> I would argue that the most relevant difference between Hegel in Foucault
> involves the issue of progress. While Hegel thought that intellectual
> "strife" would lead to absolute consciousness (the "cunning of reason"),
> Foucault thought that reason would not lead to "global" progress, but
> would reveal the contingencies of the "natural" or "determined," and thus
> open the possibility of various forms of "otherness," or "practices of
> freedom." Niether had much
> interest in positing any form of should, but were interested in the "is."

I think that a major opposition of Foucault to Hegel is in the notion of
the Dialectic, which implies a reconciliation of manifest differences in
an oririginary sameness that underlies them and is in them potentially.
F. seems to take undifferentiated multiplicity to be originary, and to
conceive of that reasoned multiplicity which derives from sameness (
aristotelian multiplicity) as power/knowledge. Note his use of
ungrammatical plural constructions such as 'savoirs', 'sexualites', etc.,
which are not a diffetrentiation in and of the one.
On the other hand I think that there are in F. here an there
moments which strike a similary with hegelian metaphysics. The first
which comes to mind is the notion of the 'episteme' which strikes as a
Dialectical phase, without the dialectical relation. The second and more
intriguing is the relation of the strategy and and allignment of micro
and macro. In the strategy we have something which appears very much like
the 'cunning of history', i.e. a rationality, a purposefullness, without
anyone to have ment it. It might be that Hegel is in a peculiar way
skelatal to our mode of being, and it may need some more effort to
overcome it.

It seems to me me to to get very interresting this thread.

Gabriel Ash



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