Re: religious space

In "Questions on Geography" in _Power/Knowledge_, Foucault responds to the
following question:

Q. The point that needs to be emphasized here is that certain spatial
metaphors are equally geographical and strategic, which is only natural
since geography grew up in the shadow of the military. A circulation of
notions can be observed between geographical and strategic discourses. The
*region* of geographies is the military region (from *regere*, to
command), a province is a conquered territory (from *vincere*). Field
evokes the battlefield . . . .

MF: People have often reproached me for these spatial obsessions, which
have indeed been obsessions for me. But I think through them I did come to
what I had basically been looking for: the relations that are possible
between power and knowledge. Once knowledge can be analyzed in terms of
region, domain, implantation, displacement, transposition, one is able to
capture the process by which knowledge functions as a form of power and
disseminates the effects of power. There is an administration of
knowledge, a politics of knowledge, relations of power which pass via
knowledge and which, if one tries to transcribe them, lead one to consider
forms of domination designated by such notions as field, region and
territory. And the politico-strategic term is an indication of how the
military and the administration actually come to inscribe themselves both
on a material soil and within forms of discourse. Anyone envisaging the
analysis of discourses solely in terms of temporal continuity would
inevitably be led to approach and analyze it like the internal
transformation of an individual consciousness. Which would lead to his
erecting a great collective consciousness as the scene of events.=20
Metaphorizing the transformations of discourse in a vocabulary of time
necessarily leads to the utilization of the model of individual
consciousness with its intrinsic temporality. Endeavoring on the other
hand to decipher discourse through the use of spatial, strategic metaphors
enables one to grasp precisely the points at which discourses are
transformed in, through and on the basis of relations of power. [end
quotation from Foucault]

So: geography and the focus on space as a way to get away from Hegelian
Spirit and other time-based, historically-based accounts that, by their
nature, promote a consciousness-centered approach to the phenomena.


On Thu, 20 Nov 1997 kent.lofgren@xxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:

> Rob, your question is interesting. I had reason to read some texts recent=
> on the topic of "space" and "freedom"/"liberty". First I thought that tha=
> ("space") can't really be much of a academic topic. Well, I discovered th=
> there's tons of philosophical and scientific ideas and concepts out there=
> not just from a physics or natural science point of view.
> Doesn't Foucault write about "spaces" in "The Order of Things"?
> Kent Lofgren
> University of Umea
> Pedagogiska Institutionen
> S-901 87 Umea
> Sweden
> Tel: 46 + (0)90 - 786 64 32 (office)
> Fax: 46 + (0)90 - 786 66 93
> ----------
> Not: Batteriet i min dator =E4r slut, och jag har inte hunnit byta det.
> D=E4rf=F6r st=E5r det ibland knasiga datum och klockslag i mina e-mail. D=
et kan
> till exempel st=E5 "datum 1904 01 01".
> Note: My outgoing e-mails are getting these strange datings lately (Due t=
> an old battery in the computer, they tell me), so the date and time in al=
> my e-mails are funny-looking. The date might show: "1904"-something.
> ----------

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