Re: Foucault on power

John Ransom--

I suspect I wasn't too clear in the phrasing of my comment/question. I was
agreeing with the principle that there is no capital-P Power as such, but
wondering whether the assertion that power (note the lowercase) is
nevertheless "always the same thing" in Foucault or anywhere else doesn't
call upon the possibility of an essential power transferable between
singular relationships. I don't think power exists--it has no Being of its
own, but at best is the negative horizon from which beings proceed towards
subjectivity and which necessitates that beings-becoming-subjects are
always-already in relation from the moment of their coming into the world.
This is possibly Foucault's unspoken metaphysics, but it's probably worth
pointing out that it's transcendent rather than being transcendental (to
employ Deleuze's distinction)--a phenomenology of power rather than an
ontology (to the extent that the two are separable).

I'm going to have to sign off--the vice-chancellor's getting a new toilet
block here, and the jackhammers are right outside my window. I hope this
excuses the brevity and abstractness of my comments.

Again, I look forward to your response.


Shane Wilcox
Department of English
University of Queensland
Brisbane Q 4072


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