Re: Re[2]: ethics and poststructuralism

On Fri, 19 Jan 1996, Diane Davis wrote:

> > UCR
> Hi Greg. I do understand this concern. But at the same time, I feel
> uncomfortable with any notion defined as "the humanity in us all." My first
> response is "which humanity?" For me, this is a problematic notion...especially
> now. How can we go on as if old notions of justice and "the human" are still
> valid after, for instance, Auschwitz? What can we make of a humanism that
> simply keeps ticking after such an enormous beating? Foucault was an outspoken
> critic of humanism b/c such a thought...a thought that puts the "human" (but
> who's?) at the center of all our contemplations...has a tendency to NOT value
> "all." It has a tendency to value a very select constituency. (Note, please,
> colin's post earlier.)
> On the other hand, isn't it possible that we might value each Other Other/Wise?
> Might we value life and community for reasons that are ethical in an/Other way?
> I don't think we need to imagine some core of Sameness nor be located at the
> center of all things to be interested in a community, an ethic of care for the
> Other.

It sounds like you're moving in the direction of Habermas's or Benhabib's
rejection of the subject-centered critique and the call for
"communicative rationality." Two questions emerge for me: do others
agree with Habermas's argument that Foucault's project remains centered
on the subject? Are the intersubjective philosophies of Habermas,
John McGowan, or Jessica Benjamin those "poststructuralist informed"
returns to human dignity, ethics, and positivity that *some* of us are
looking for?



Erik D. Lindberg
Dept. of English and Comparative Lit.
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Milwaukee, WI 53211
email: edl@xxxxxxxxxxx


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