Re: Materialism/Idealism...

I think this buisness about the materiality of the soul is a crucial and
interesting question, a question I would like to try to briefly address in
a rather obvious fashion to see what you all think.

Foucault says: "Rather than seeing this soul as the reactivated remnants
of an ideology, one would see it as the present correlative of a certai
technology of power over the body. It would be wrong to say that the soul
is an illusion, or an ideological effect. On the contrary, it exists, it
has reality, it is produced permanently around, on, within the body by the
functioning of a power that is exercised on those punished..."

All this reminds me of Foucault's point in "Truth and Power" (in
Power/Knowledge), where he talks about the difficulties of ideology. In
particular, the argument that ideology always presupposes something like
truth which it is in opposition to. And can be critiqued by its
non-correspondance to (Marxism, positivism?).

The discussion of the soul seems to be a more concrete elaboration of this
point. That the soul is 'real', has 'materiality', 'effects', whatever,
because (not despite) it is produced. F's use of "reality" seems to mimic
his notion of truth. That is, "reality" is an effect of power, one that at
a same time presupposes and constitutes power relations. (The (in)famous
discussion of this on pg. 27-8 in the english ver. of D&P).

Not that there is no 'ideology', but that once something gains the status
of reality, truth, natural, 'taken for granted'... , it cannot be within
the realm of ideology because it is precisely these notions which inscribe
reality in the first place (?). So, you see, I have a question. Is there
still a place for ideology here? What about those notions within the
'games of truth' that are questionable or on shaky ground or are thought by
some to be wrong but nevertheless have force? What about statements that
are given the status of fiction? Or, perhaps there is no room here for
ideology. Or, perhaps there is room for ideology, but it is realtively


Partial thread listing: