Re: Foucault and Kant

I would hope there wouldn't be *any* Kant-bashing
going on on this list! He's an enormous writer.
I would have liked to have heard some thoughts on
was that you? suggestion to use Lyotard's readings
of Kant as a way of understanding the problem.
_L'enthousiasme_ is the basic text, here, as well --
it is a scandal that it hasn't been published in
translation, because it is a *gem* of a little book --
as the other essays on judgment (that seem to share
a good bit with the _Lessons_ and the Notices in
_Le differend_. And _Religion within the limits
of reason alone_? Would seem to be just as important
for Foucault's *refusal* to allow pleasure to become
*ejected* from thinking, just as it was crucial
for Lacan (Sem. VII: The Ethics of Psychoanalysis).
But enough references -- I think the bases are
loaded, &c.

Lyotard's great analyses and *very* clear, systematic,
helpful texts have the benefit, however, of not
allowing a "pensee molle" to replace the actual work
that Kant was performing. I'd be a bit worried if
these very basic concerns I have could *not* be
resolved by thoughtfulness or patience -- because
they certainly do seem valid and *necessary* to
deliberate, even if it's only stating the obvious,
even if my own statements seem lax or unrigorous.

Unless I'm missing something, the transcendental, the
Ideas, the law, the imperative, are functions within
the Kantian system, and can't be "transferred" into
the neutrality of a philosophical and progressive
questioning, without the simultaneous acception of
other features of Kant's system which shape and
what probably is even more important than the dynamics
of the "general Aufklarung", if there is such a

*Unless,* of course, one wants to make a revision of
Kant's system, to draft a critical architectonic
that would retain all of those features which would
allow something like a transcendental to appear as
a determined law, in whichever way this determination
makes itself known/intuited (Schulde, Achtung, &c.)
This is always possible, but the notion of a system
of assurances and checks would have to remain in
place for this to function. Keep in mind the
Kant had to undergo -- actually, the mental crises
were even provoked by his efforts to regulate his

I say this because we have a number of examples of
thought in the 20th Century which stand very very
to Kant, to his epistemological ends, and which give
some additional examples of an aftermath of Kant. So,
what would a (self-consciously) non-systematic
philosophy look like, that wanted to preserve every
stitch of Kant's rigor and apoedeictic certainties?
Could an ethics emerge from such a stripped-down
philosophy? Does Foucault himself belong to such
a school?

But it's not a question of endorsing either Husserl
or Levinas, who are the two thinkers who have sub-
stituted an epistemologically coherent philosophy and
an ethics founded upon this supposedly a-systematic
philosophy, or method. But *one* point does seem
salient, from both of their writings, and that is
the notion of a transcendental as something
undetermined, l'Autre (in Levinas's invention), and
along with this invention the notion of a Kantian
transcendental, something that provokes such-or-such
a sensation or a reaction, in more-or-less harmony
with lower faculties, is actually immanent to the
subject such as it is given to us. If it were trans-
cendental in the sense in which I *think* I've
heard here, that is, as a guarantor or a norm, it
would in fact be immanent to the subject, and there-
fore subject to description.

A transcendental transcendental could not be counted
upon to provide strictly normative clues to moral
behavior, at the very most it would have inspired a
religious thought of l'Autre, as in Levinas, just
as in Kant -- Kant lets us know the relationship to
God in his system by the precision and imprecisions
of his "feelings" of, the sublime, of the imperative,
Respect, pain, awe, guilt, etc., which are over-
whelming and point to, outside of his system, what
amounts to a mystical philosophy. And I think that's
the end point of Kant's practical philosophy,

A non-theological version of Kant might well have
us pondering, instead, the *sensus communis*, which
has much more to do with an intersubjectivity...with
the problem of judgment, resolution, measurment,
in the sense in which Lyotard brings it to us, and,
not to be brash, Foucault might as well?

I hope this is not too far off the mark -- just
trying to make sense of the relationship, hoping
to learn some more from the Kantians and philosophers
on the list, since it's very interesting, and seems
important as all hell. over and out, sj.


Has anyone read Reiner Schurmann's _Le Principe
d'anarchie_? (Trans. as _H. on being and action_.)
That could be an *enormous* tool for thinking about
praxis in an illegal, an-archic sense, seems to me.
Wild book, too. That guy cracks me up. Foucault
plays not an insignificant role in his writing,
too...I'll try to find some examples and bring it
up. Not to be missed, etc. sj.

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