Re: genealogy and/or history

Dear Nesta Divine,

the difference between genealogy and the search for origins is exactly that
genealogy does not follow the assumptions of causality in the strong sense,
but only the sense of evidence (that something derives from certain
historical circumstances/situations or appears in specific historical
situations). If there was origin there would be some ultimate order and
truth of and in things which is denied by poststructuralism/by
Foucaults/Nietzsches method of geneaology. The assumption is that order and
truth derive from power (-relationsships and effects), but these are in
itself constituted and transformed and not originally responsible for
things to exist. The question is indeed that of the possibility of things -
disciplines, bodies, individuals, subjects, gender difference as binary
structured and so on- to be thought of or exist as historical conditions;
everything else would, under this aspect, be metaphysical. Foucaults
interest concentrates on the power practices which constitute rules of
discourses which constitute truth. The will for truth and knowledge derives
from power relationships and practices which are nevertheless not the
origin of truth.
Hope this is one of the aspects you were asking about....


> Von: Nesta Devine <na.devine@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> An: foucault@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Betreff: genealogy and/or history
> Datum: Mittwoch, 31. Dezember 1997 02:45
> I am interested in sorting out why genealogy is different from the search
> for origins which Foucault disparages in Nietszche Genealogy History. If
> Rudi Visker is right, and the project of genealogy is about discovering
> impossibility of a discipline/project at the same time as uncovering its
> conditions of possibility, is it any more than a negative form of
> discovering origins ( which is presumed - not by Foucault- to be a way of
> finding something valorous because original)?
> Nesta Devine
> PhD student,
> University of Auckland
> N.Z.

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