James's Recommendation...

What do you think, John, that James recommends? My own is a most powerful
NO to both Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, although earlier in his life he at
least exposed himself to Schopenhauer in order to later reject him with

This is complicated by the fact that many of James's writings can at times
sound like Nietzsche. The opening lines of _Some Problems in Philosophy_,
for example, are a bold statement that I think Nietzsche would agree with.
James's own personal wrestling between anarchy and leadership also betrays
a sympathy with some of what Nietzsche wrote.


I find _The History of Sexuality, Volume One_ to be one of Foucault's
suffocating worlds, personally. Foucault created it. He implicates that I
am either a Victorian or an "other Victorian", which is an interesting
construct, but one to which I do not subscribe. As I said in that brief
discussion about the group, yes, here I am, somehow a "victor", reading the
book again, able to talk about it through the Internet with this group.

His Kafka-like nightmares make the last sentence in that book about
"liberation" seem like an appropriate, caustically ironic, conclusion. And,
as I've said before, would he rather that trailblazers like D.H. Lawrence
have NOT lived and done things? How much of the Disney Corporation's
changed attitudes towards "hippies" or "homosexuals" are due to Foucault's
influence, and how much is it due to an America which, at least during the
early 1970s, some in France were salivating over because of its comparative
"liberal" view towards homosexuality, in particular?

On the other hand, on that same last page, I agree with Foucault when he
notes that "...others... believed that Freud had, at last, through a sudden
reversal, restored to sex the rightful share which it had been denied for
so long..."

Yes. There error is in this concept of "at last". To think that "at last"
we are ever done is foolish, as W. James wrote up to the end of his life,
with basically a "no conclusions" remark in his essay quoting Blood.

In fact, I agree with much of Foucault, as I also do with Nietzsche. But
the way he writes is, at times, so full of irony, stifling (one power
merely replaces another), cynical, using Marx against Nietzsche as
Lentricchia notes as if they are "Fathers" that he is trying to use to kill
the other off with (how Oedipal), that it again reminds me of Nietzsche,
whom I happen to like better than either Marx or Freud. At times, at least,
Nietzsche can give an appearance of Apollonian clarity, as in much of _The
Gay Science_. But distinguishing the bombast, sarcasm, and sincere
commentary in _Thus Spoke Zarathustra_ is another matter.

Thanks for your feedback. I saw your book the other day on Foucault, and
plan to pick it up.


-----Randall Albright

"We have found the enemy,
and s/he is........ us?"

"Why don't you try getting the sand out of your own eye, first?"

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