Re: Foucault and Normativity

Joanna Crosby is being disingenuous when she writes--

"I would ask that if someone doesn't understand something
said on this list that they request for (sic) an explanation
without recourse to the American tendency to dismiss
intellectuals or blaming the person who posted for what
is not understood"

Much of the turbulence on this list at present concerns
the question of who gets to decide the tropes, NOT the
level of difficulty of the discourse. I note with keen
interest, for example, that no-one has responded to
John Hollister's very interesting message concerning
his experiences as a gay male. Why?--because the
arbiters of taste are busy trying to erect some very
artificial barriers in order to exclude certain types
of discussion. Hence the rather bizarre assertion that
Foucault would have written about sexuality in exactly
the way he did even if he had not been gay, and consequently
we do not need to examine his personality.

I find the attempt to turn this back to some phenomenon
that is being termed "gumpism" to be quite amusing,
albeit originally confusing, as I have not seen the movie.
For my part, I make no requests that this become part
of the "Dumb and Dumber" movement. Instead, I would
simply request that the philosophers rein themselves
in a little. While they may endorse each other on
this list, I would remind them that they have plenty of
colleagues who bring their own intellectual razors to
bear on all modern discourse--I have heard a professional
philosopher on my campus describe all contemporary
European philosophy as "boozy thinking"! In short, it
is the philosophers on this list who are most likely
to be doing any "blaming" that is getting done.....
andrew kirby


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