Re: The Empirical

Stuart Chaulk, I found your query about he passages in OT interesting.
My interpretation is the following: Science(s) and philosophy are
co-related for Foucault because they both house, disseminate,
and organize the "emergence of truth and pure reason;" in other
words, they determine how and why certain truths are associated
with certain phenomena. And in so doing, they have also specified
what kinds of knowledges--those "tinged" with irregularity,
intuition, chance, tradition, external events--are not productive
of the truth; knowledges called "empirical" because they depend
on the senses (Hume's original idea I think), on facts of the
everyday, on the life itself; they depend on understanding
objects beyond pure thought and reason. Foucault's "sciences"
in this case are physics and math, not biology, medicine, etc.
Foucault's primary goal, therefore, or "first risk" as he puts
it, in OT, is to question this arbitrary division, and uncover
the "order of things" (or how words and things become associated)
rather than the "order of thought:" to see if so-called
empirical practices have regularities of their own and
discursive contexts that make opaque the bright lights of
science and philosophy.

So, in a way, philosophy today is doing what Foucault says
it has done: to critique the empirical knowledges for its
lapses, biases, and "external events."

Stephen Katz,
Trent University.


Partial thread listing: