Cang Intro

Notice, first of all, that if (as F argues in his Intro to Cang) one
philosophic path was made by Sartre and Merleau-Ponty while the other was
taken up by Canguilhem and his contemporaries, and if Foucault the latter
to the former, it follows that Foucault, for one, thinks there is a
profound philosophic gap between himself and Sartre. I mention this only
because this question of F's relation to Sartre has come up before here.

A little further on in his Introduction to Canguilhem, Foucault
associates "the Revolution" with the progress of rationalism: the defeat
of the former has led to disillusionment with the latter. And rightfully
so. (See p. 12.) If Revolution can no longer liberate us, then
Enlightenment must be disentangled from the promise of some kind of
final--because ultimately rational--form of freedom. Instead of the
pursuit of freedom, Foucault proposes, the questioning of limits is now
the proper task of Enlightenment. The idea is no longer to find a way out
of the cave, but to generate sufficient light through critical or
genealogical activity so that the outlines of the shadows can be seen a
bit more sharply.

This kind of investigation of limits is precisely the achievement of
historians of science like Canguilhem (13).

Well, given their philosophic importance--to F at least--what is the
significance, what are the lessons that can be drawn from the history of
science? How do these thinkers apply their deeper understanding of the
original insight of Husserlian phenomenology? What is the intellectual
continuity between Husserl and the history of science? And then between
the history of science and Foucault? And then, if we're able to complete
*that* thought, what do we then think of this version of F's intellectual
pedigree that he invites us to consider?



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