"Foucault's Oriental Subtext"

I am interested in the relationship between poststructuralism and eastern
philosophy, particularly with regard to the concept of emptiness, which
appears in commentaries on Foucault and Derrida, and sunyata, the sanskrit
word which we usually translate as emptiness. It seems to me that there
is a great deal of similarity between these two schools of thought,
especially on this particular point. Could it be that western reason is
arriving at conclusions arrived at experientially and intuitively by
oriental sages centuries ago?

Uta Liebmann Schaub in an article titled "Foucault's Oriental Subtext"
points out the point at which east and west divide. She writes, "The
European Enlightenment not only stigmatized and excluded the philosophical
contemplation of the noumenal, it also exalted the autonomy of the
individual subject. In contrast, most Oriental systems of thought hold
that perfect wisdom is synonymous with the cessation of self. Thus the
insistence on the supremacy of the individual, as in Enlightenment
philosophy, would make such wisdom impossible."

She also argues that Foucault "operates a counterdiscourse that
appropriates Oriental lore in opposition to Western strategies of control.
It is in this form . . . that the modern Western counterculture has
embraced the Orient."

Any thoughts on the subject?



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