Re: governmentality and critique

To the author of 'governmentality and critique':

I would certainly be interested in hearing more. I too am
in hte midst of a dissertation on Foucault's later writings,
and I too do not buy the Habermas/Taylor criticism of F's
later writings. To give a brief reply to what you've said
so far ( and it is hard to boil a thesis down to a few
lines), I would be interested in hearing more about three
things: F's later cocneption of 'truth' - it appears you
have a somewhat "Wittgensteinian" reading going; is that
a correct assessment? Further: do you buy into the Dreyfus
and Rabinow conception of an "Interpretive Analytics"?
Second - F's later conception of power; My initial question
is: when did he develop an earlier concpetion? My own
personal response is that he did in Madness and
Civilization. In fact, I read Discipline and Punish (is
that what you mean by SP?) as a further clarification of MC,
with a refined cocneption of power/knowledge. My bottom
line, you could say, is that F is a "technological
determinist," to use an expression from analytical Marxism,
only the technologies he spells out are human (social,
political - fill in the blank). I take a Marxian reading of
his genealogies (DP & HS, v.1 mainly), and I think that
Taylor and Habermas are each so concerned with their own
"critical" theories that they cannot appreciate the
innovations F has made in Marxian (not Marxist) scholarship.
Thirdly: The question of the subject: I'd like to hear more
about what you say. In a word, "subjectivity" was always a
social function for F, even in the old days. The major
theme I see emerging in htis regard in his later work was
that he spells out in more detail how a set of ethics
targets, and operates through, a "subject". The (social)
ethic presupposes a subject as a sort of "host," to use a
biological term. Anyway, I'm not real clear about this
aspect of his work. It seems to me that he does, to a
fairly large extent, rely on some kind of classical notion
of a subject as that which "stands under" a discourse.

-Joe Cronin
Thomas More College


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