On Fri, 19 Jan 1996, Gregory A. Coolidge wrote:

> >
> >
> > > If post structuralists are forced to choose
> > > between "pessimism" vs "optimism", where their real focus is on closure vs
> > > uncertainty, (or what ever you like), then, yes, pessimism more accurately
> > > describes the post strucuralist.
> >
> > Critique isn't pessimism, is it? I thought it was what Nietzsche
> > called it, a gay science, the fro:liche Wissenschaft. As Nietzsche
> > said about nihilism--we're not introducing pessimism; we're pointing
> > out the pessimism that metaphysics and ontology have built into their
> > system. Foucault's standing invitation to alterity seems very
> > optimistic.
> >
> > Rick Duerden
> >
> Pessimism or optimism?, its all a matter of one's perspective isn't it.
> Foucault's invitation for alterity (transgression?, resistance?) is only
> optimistic if one is willing to accept, as Nietzsche, Bataille, Blanchot,
> Deleuze and Foucault appear to do, that any dream of wide-scale emancipation
> is purely illusory. Foucault, like these other authors, believes that power/
> socialization/construction is so overwhelming in modern liberal societies, that the most one can hope for are brief instances of transgression, small
> victories over discrete forms of domination, and some small glimmer of hope
> that one's self can be self-created. If one is willing to accept such a
> watered-down version of humanism, a humanism that Foucualt would call quite
> naive in its dream of human freedom, than Foucault's call for alterity does
> indeed seem optimistic, if only a highly guarded and skeptical optimism.
> For those individuals who are unwilling to jettison the hopes of liberal
> humanism, however naive such hopes might be in actuality, Foucualt's political
> project does indeed seem the height of pessimism.
thanks, that is just what i think.


Partial thread listing: