Re: Foucault and Habermas

On Fri, 11 Jun 1999, debey wrote:

> Habermas mentions meeting with Foucault in "Taking Aim at the Heart of
> the Present", reprinted in _Foucault a Critical Reader_, ed. D. C. Hoy,
> Blackwell 1986.

That article is also collected in _Critique and Power: Recasting the
Foucault/Habermas Debate_ (ed. Michael Kelly, who, I hear, is now doing a
volume on Habermas and Rawls). Apparently some kind of debate was
supposed to be arranged between the two, but it failed to materialize
before F's death (though they did indeed meet--James Miller's _The Passion
of Michel Foucault_ reports that Foucault told Habermas that he would have
an answer to the whole question of "normative foundations" when the
History of Sexuality was completed).

Habermas's case against Foucault is set out in _The Philosophical
Discourse of Modernity_, which devotes a chapter to him. It's tempting to
dismiss Habermas's criticism because his interpretation is so faulty, but
I think that's a mistake. (And in "Taking Aim at the Heart of the
Present" he seems to backtrack a little, kind of implying that he really
isn't sure just what Foucault was up to.) Foucault makes a couple of
brief critical comments on a very caricaturized version of Habermas in a
couple of late interviews, including the one that is collected in _The
Final Foucault_ (ed. Bernauer and Rasmussen); he at least mentions
Habermas in a couple of interviews toward the end of the _Foucault Reader_
(ed. Rabinow), too.

If you're *really* interested, I could send you my M.A. thesis. I'm not
sure the utilitarian calculus would work out favourably for you if I were
to do that, though ;).


---Matthew A. King---Department of Philosophy---York University, Toronto---
dear readers, my apologies.
I'm drifting in and out of sleep.

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