event analysis

In his essay "Theatrum Philosophicum" Foucault states that a metaphysics
of the event is not an essentialist metaphysics. However it seems that
Foucault's version of a metaphysics of the event does relate (strongly)
to a kind of essentialism.

In Foucault's analysis of events, such as his analysis of the birth of the
pr ison in Discipline & Punish, Foucault seems to arrive at some
essentialist understanding of the prison (the coercive institution),
monarchical law, and the punitive city. Even the names, and the act of
naming itself, seem to suggest a kind of essentailism.

I would tentatively (I'm rather new to Foucault) suggest that Foucault is
a kind of essentialist. His analysis of events seems to lead to something
similar to the forms. However, the forms which Foucault's analysis leads
to are not universal, they are the forms of particulars in time which can
be seen through an analysis of the event.

Have I come close to understanding the nature of Foucault's analysis of
the event? I'm not entierely comfortable with attribiting any kind of
essentilaism to Foucault, however it seems that Foucault's denial of
essentialism is a denial of other worldiness (like what is found in
Plato's theory of the forms) rather than a denial of any kind of
essentialism. I'm inclined to view Foucault as an Aristotle + particulars
+ time whenever I read about his metaphysics.

Robert Higdon
Memorial University of Newfoundland
B.A.(hons) Candidate

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