Cang Intro

Foucault provides an interesting sketch of his understanding of=20
Enlightenment in his Introduction to Canguilhem's _Normal and=20
Pathological_. He breaks down the tradition of Enlightenment according to=
several criteria. This argument concerning the intellectual outlines of=20
Enlightenment thought is interesting in itself, and also as a kind of=20
proposed study guide for positioning Foucault.

First Foucault divides the post-WWII European intellectual scene into two=
camps: Sartre and Merleau- Ponty developed "a philosophy of experience,=20
of sense and of subject" while Cavaill=E8, Bachelard and Canguilhem took up=
"a philosophy of knowledge, of rationality and of concept" (p. 8).

The two trends could be traced back to Husserl's _Cartesian Meditations_=20
and to phenomenology generally which, it turns out, can be read in two=20
ways: (1) as a philosophy of the subject. Here F refers to Sartre's=20
"Transcendence of the Ego." (2) in terms of "formalism and intuitionism."=
Clearly, F prefers the Canguilhem version of phenomenology. But what's=20
this "formalism and intuitionism"? I think what Foucault is referring to=20
is the tendency in modern histories of science to focus on the=20
truth-producing structures of discrete scientific eras. For all their=20
genuine concreteness, however, these regimes of scientific truth have=20
their origin in the value- and truth-creating intuitions of their=20
founders. The result is a study of the "formalism" of the truth-producing=
structures of science that can itself be traced back to an intuitive=20
creative leap.

These two forms of phenomenology--Sartre's theory of the subject and=20
Canguilhem/Kuhn's histories of value- and subject-*creation*--are,=20
according to F, "profoundly heterogeneous."

I have more to say, but perhaps I'll stop here and see if anyone has a=20
comment. Future discussion will have the same subject line as above so=20
that members can dispose of these comments as the mood strikes them.



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