Re: Foucault and Kant

I was not reading most of the posts before today, so I don't know the
initial context in which Kant was raised. The importance of Kant that I
understand to be considerable in dealing with Foucault is the sense in which
Foucault still is into treating things in terms of their transcendental
conditions. Particularly the formal usefulness of seeing power/knowledge as
the transcendental conditions, the sine qua non, of morality systems. If
these are not inextricable factors in such systems, then Foucault has not
really exposed anything. We all knew that power systems and knowledge
systems affected people's morality. Foucault's radicality is in locating
ALL morality within power/knowledge. In ways like this, he is significantly
transcendental, and therefore, in a broad and not negligible sense, a
Kantian after all.

It is important to locate him in the tradition in order to relate his ideas
to that tradition fairly and meaningfully. Obviously where there is blatant
disagreement that can be said. But such an unbreachable split need not be
the default assumption.

I appreciate the particularities of your assessments, simone j. What in
particular do you see as the interesting connection between Husserl and
Foucault; might I ask?

all the best,

----Original Message Follows----
From: sj <jr6670@xxxxxxxxx>
Reply-To: foucault@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
To: foucault@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Foucault and Kant
Date: Thu, 1 Feb 2001 11:00:08 -0800 (PST)

I think the Kantian rigour that Bryan C. is trying
to invoke is ultimately a false rigour. It fails to
take into account numerous receptions of Kantian
thinking that may well have been much more important
for Foucault than any such or such a "problem."

The question for me would be, what *instead* of Kant's
system would have informed the motoring or
tion of Foucault's thought? What in Kant was rejected
by Foucault, and for what reasons, is obviously the
starting point that has been adopted here. Equally
important, though, is which elements of Kant's think-
ing were preserved, transformed, or discarded by, say,
a thinker such as Husserl, whose version of the
transcendental subject seems closer to Foucault, and,
to my eyes, infinitely more interesting.

I'm also extremely displeased by the equation of Kant
with his version of the subject, and with such stock
items as the categorical imperative, etc. While
notorious and necessary, they are among the very last
of Kant's contributions to philosophy, IMO, and should
probably be forgotten in this context.

I would have to be convinced of the value of
each of the moments of the textbook, and to be con-
vinced that just such an orientation -- as if no other
-- concerns Foucault *at all*. (The textbook also
seems to limit very severely the necessity of actually
*reading* Kant, as if he were, well, a writer, or a
great philosopher, or something. Logodaedalus, or
whatever he was.)

Would have to be convinced that *Foucault* was even
remotely interested, in his maturity, in any of this
history of philosophy itself. It just doesn't seem
like a useful tool for analyzing his work, and it only
appears to divide and "lower the tone" of what should,
by rights, be a gripping, modern, and lighthearted
list discussion. There was probably a good reason
Gilles Deleuze was so interested in Foucault's work,
and I would bet it had very little to do with any such
an history.

Best of luck,
simone j.

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