Re: Foucault a postmodernist?

Vikash Yadav writes:
> I am not sure that modernism is characterized by the attempt to
>maintain "control." My understanding of modernity, which is based on the
>works of Marx and Weber, is that modernity is equally about "alienation."
>Could you please clarify why you believe there is a modernist impulse to

Premodern world views understood the world as controlled by divine forces.
The "modern" viewpoint rejects divinity in favor of human control over one's
own life, and the whole enterprise of science and technology is aimed at
controlling nature and biology, etc., etc. This is how I meant the term. I
also have just observed the near obsession there seems to be with "control"
in current culture, expressed all the time in common conversation. I wonder
if modernism has not made a bigger promise than it can keep.

Maybe you could correct my understanding. Weber, if I remember right, spoke
of the demystification of nature in modernism. Modern capitalist production,
if I understand Marx, alienate the worker from the worker's own work/life.
But I would like for you to amplify what this means, and what relation
Foucault may have had to Marx's thought on this.

Vikash also asks: What do you mean by "totalistic philosophies"?

What I mean is all efforts of thought to grasp the "total" world in a way
that is universal, including the entire Enlightenment effort. As I
understand, this is one way in which Foucault is different from Marx; he
questions universal systems of thought. But, again, I would be interested in
your thoughts here too. Thanks, Ed K.

Ed Knudson Portland, Oregon
Voice/Fax: (503)282-8303
Modem: (503)282-3477


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