Re: Poststructualism, ethics and values

> (I must say
> that in this thread I have been wondering if there has been a tension
> between the more "purist" philosophers/theorists and those of us on the
> "applied" social science side of the fence. As my interest is policy
> studies, and as I work as a policy hack in the public sector, my interest is
> on the "ought/doing/solutions" side of things rather than the
> "is/being/critique" side of things).

Bryan, to me it's not a matter of "purism" vs "non-purism", but of your
trying to apply to "policy hacking" modes of thinking whose very lifeblood,
so to speak, is that they are _against_ the notion of policy-making,
of speaking for others, of reforming existing institutions. The fact that
Foucault, say, does not speak in ways from which one could derive "policy
arguments" is not a weekness, neglect, hypocrisy, or passing childhood
desease. Deleuze said of Foucault: you have made us aware of the profound
indignity of speaking for others. If you are into policy-hacking, then
you're simply doing a very, very different kind of politics than these guys.
Their interest is definitely in _doing_, their thought is always a mode of
"doing", but definitely not in the kind of "doing" you want to do.

I think that one can probably realize this, learn from it, and still want to
be a policy-hacker, but judging from this thread's blithe wavings-around of
"optimism" (vs the supposed "pessimism" of post-struct) and the need for
"values", as well the facile and misguided declarations that post-struct
teaches "value relativism", no such realization and learning-from are present.



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