Re:Foucault and Agency

But as with Nietzsche can't this "who" wear many different faces? Shouldn't
we talk about agencies, not just agency?

Alan Schrift writes:

>A number of people have recently noted and then reiterated:
>> Foucault would not have asked a question such as
>>"Who acts ?" ...
>A question: how then do you deal with the textual appearances of:
>"For Nietzsche, it was not a matter of knowing what good and evil were in
>themselves, but of who was being designated, or rather _who was speaking_
>when one said _Agathos_ to designate oneself or _Deilos_ to designate
>others. For it is there, in the _holder_ of the discourse and, more
>profoundly still, in the _possessor_ of the word, that language is gathered
>together in its entirety."
>(_The Order of Things_, p. 305).
>And perhaps even more emphatically, in "Nietzsche, Freud, Marx", when
>Foucault closes by stating that it is interpretation's obligation to
>interpret itself to infinity, noting "interpretation will be henceforth
>always interpretation by the "who?": one does not interpret what there is
>in the signified, but one interprets, fundamentally, _who_ has posed the
>interpretation. The _principe_ of interpretation is nothing other than the
>interpreter, and this is perhaps the sense that Nietzsche gave to the word
>`psychology.'" (translation from Ormiston and Schrift, _Transforming the
>Hermeneutic Condition_, p. 66)
>Two citations to gently prod the discussion toward taking the question of
>the who, of agency, as seriously as Foucault did.
>Alan Schrift
>Grinnell College


Partial thread listing: