Re: _ROM_ -- hunger for self-transformation

On July 10th malgosia wrote;

>But he is talking about what motivates his _writing_, which is, arguably,
>his central occupation. It seems to me that to be centrally and admittedly
>motivated by the pleasure of discovery per se is (especially for a political
>thinker) very much a political stance, and it is potentially interesting
>to contemplate this stance vis-a-vis such notions as "agenda" and "duty".

As I said, I am not suggesting that such discussions are completely
inappropriate in this context. If it interests you contemplate it. However,
I think there is reason to pause if one 'discovers' a political stance under
every rock along the river.

>I think we are also implicitly discussing the notion of "discovery":
>what is it that is being discovered? Is there something out there to
>be discovered, and the pleasure is in the grasping of this thing?
>Is the pleasure simply a curious physiological phenomenon?

Might be.

>You are implying that to discuss these things is to "rationalize" or
>"deductivize" them. To me, this is far from clear. To discuss is to probe,
>to experiment. The probing can go in all kinds of directions and use
>all kinds of tools and methods.

No, it was not my intention to argue that any discussion necessarily
leads to rationalization, or that rationalization is something we should
studiously avoid. However, in this passage I was impressed by Foucualt's
effort to play down the systematic tendancies which are the hallmark of
western thought. I thought it was more interesting to find that Foucualt
left all the doors and windows open in his inquiry - just hoping something
might drift in with the wind.
More substantively, I think one of Foucualt's more important
contributions to current thinking is his recognition of the organic
unfolding of cultural orders or worlds. It has been my understanding that at
least part of what motivated his archeological investigations was his belief
that there was no systematic cause or explanation of the manner in which
cultures have evolved. Therefore, the only methodology appropriate to the
task was a chronicalling of the path that was, in fact, choosen (stumbled
onto might be more correct).
With that in mind, it made sense to me to hear him say that his own
approach to research has an affinity with his picture of history.

>I submit to you that we, too, may be trying to not think the same
>thing as before, and that this is an important purpose of discussion.
>If so, then over-analysis would only occur when so much has been said,
>or with such "authority", that nothing new could arise.

Its not my intention to squelch that discussion, nor to make it
appear trivial. I just thought the stew might benefit by another ingredient.
Hagen Finley
Berkeley, CA


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