Truth & Power (again)


I don't know if this is really relavent - please ignore it if its not.
Having read most of what you recommended to me regarding Foucault and
truth I have come to an understanding of his thesis. Now I'm only a
second year undergrad. and I've had trouble trying to fit together the
pieces so I was hoping that if anyone is interested you would comment
on my understanding.

I have tried to tie together all the bits and pieces to make a coherent
theory. Unfortunately I have been forced to use analytic and structuralist
vocabulary as these are what I am familiar with.

MY lectures led me to believe that Foucualt had a "relativist" theory of
truth. I am however coming to the opinion that his is more like the
pragmatist theory - in so far as he is interested in "empirical truth"
truth as something "in the world" - a practical thing, as distinguished from
absolute or metaphysical truth (or Truth).

He stated that he is interested in the "regime of truth" - the mechecanisms
for deciding what is true, the status of those who utter true statements, and
so on.To say this is dependent on power or anything else is not contradictary.
This is not a relativist view at all. In fact it is not even a theory of truth
in the traditional sense as he does not deal with truth per say.

The specific intellectual seems to work on the regime of truth clarifying
it and trying to understand it. This is Foucault's task, I think. As
oppossed to the universal intellectual who reveals Truth and enlightens
others. This seems parallel to Kuhn's distinction between ordinary and
revolutionary science, except with the regime of truth taking the place
of Kuhn's scientific paradigms.

So, if Foucault is interested in the mechanisms of truth rather than the
epistemological concept, his thesis in no way suffers from the paradoxes
of relativism. Furthermore, his disowning of philosophy makes more sense.
His is a social/political/historical interest.

Well thats my rather crude version of Foucault's theory and if anyone has
any comment please mail me as I'm struggling to make sense of this. Feel
free to be critical to the point of insult if required.




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