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---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 19 May 1995 11:27:31 -0700
From: mjackson.DOMAIN1 <mjackson.DOMAIN1.oramail@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: owner-foucault@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: Epistemology
Sender: owner-foucault@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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In-Reply-To: ORUNIX:owner-foucault@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx's message of 05-19-95 01:50

Alcoff's article is indeed a nice springboard for discussing the issues
of epistemology in F's work. From my previous posts, it's no doubt obvious
that I disagree with Alcoff on a fundamental level: nowhere in MF's work
will you find him laying down the laws for a "general understanding of
knowledge, belief, and truth". To construe MF's genealogical studies in
this way is, I think, to fit his ideas to the procrustean bed of analytic
philosophy. Sure, Alcoff can be inspired by Foucault's stuff to clarify
a coherentist view of truth and knowledge, and as a non-philosopher I'd
say it looks workable to me. But when Alcoff starts talking about Truth
and Knowledge like a philosopher, she's light years away from Foucault's
central questions: e.g., how are power and knowledge imbricated in a given
sociohistorical context? How are selves, replete with identities (sexual
invert, hysterical woman, etc.) made possible by sociohistorically specific
constellations of discourse and practice? It seems pretty clear to me
that Foucault's project was a long way from providing a "general understanding
of truth"; rather, he focused on the far more immediate (and to me important)
question: how does truth function in our society? To me, the distinction
between Foucault's work and traditional philosophy is glaringly obvious.
It's interesting to me that Alcoff and others have tried to produce an
intellectual portrait of MF as a Conventional Philosopher. What do others
here think of Alcoff's article?

Miles Jackson


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