Re: Foucault vs. Chomsky: PO MO? PO STRUC?

Hi all--

Delurking to address SB's situation of Foucault in terms of
Jameson and Lyotard. I agree entirely with the remarks about
structuralism and post-structuralism. But I think there's a way in which
Lyotard uses the term "postmodern" in more than a "strictly periodizing"
sense. The most important feature of the period for Lyotard--and the
reason for enthusiasm about it--is of course the waning influence of
totalizing master narratives. "The Postmodern Condition" treats this as a
periodizing hypothesis. But in "What is Postmodernism?" JFL extends his
use of the term to include those moments which are "undoubtedly a part of
the modern" but break with the narratives/strategies/suppositions which
had defined the discipline (aesthetics, philosophy, etc.) in which they
occur: the changing status of the aesthetic object in the work of Cezanne,
Picasso, and Duchamp is the product of a succession of "postmodern"
moments in which prior "modern" definitions of art are transgressed. A
paradigm shift, an epistemic break...
Foucault's work, it seems to me, is "postmodern" in both of
Lyotard's senses. Insofar as it is concerned less with providing a true
and totalizing representation of history and more with providing a
theoretical intervention in contemporary practices, it participates in the
postmodern turn away from master narratives. Insofar as this turn
involves a challenge to definitions of history and philosophy, it's
postmodern in the less periodized sense, even if its historical concerns
are entirely modern.

What do y'all think?


* Richard A. House "He is a thinker; that means *
* Department of English he knows how to make things *
* University of California, Irvine simpler than they are." *
* rahouse@xxxxxxx -Nietzsche, _The Gay Science_ *

Foucault vs. Chomsky: PO MO? PO STRUC?, sbinkley
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