Re: L'hermeneutique du sujet

Wow, Thanks Stuart!
--- Stuart Elden <stuart.elden@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Some of you may be aware that there is a new
> Foucault lecture course out:-
> L'hermeneutique du sujet: Cours au College de
> France, 1981-1982, edited by
> Frederic Gros, Paris: Gallimard/Seuil, 2001.
> I've had a chance now to have a look. It's much
> longer than i expected -
> nearly 500 pages of Foucault, plus the apparatus and
> editor's Afterword. I
> post here some initial ideas, thoughts and
> impressions - in no particular
> order. Comments welcomed.
> The course is different from those that are already
> published for a number
> of reasons. The most obvious is the length. Foucault
> was contracted to give
> 26 hours of classes a year, of which no more than
> half could be seminars.
> Until the 80s this was how he worked. There are 24
> lectures in this course.
> This accounts for the length.
> On a superficial look at least, this course seems to
> be very close to the
> summary in Resume des cours (also in Dits et ecrits
> and Vol I of the
> 'Essential' Foucault). This is somewhat different
> from the other courses
> published so far. I'm sure on further investigation
> new things will be
> thrown up, but so far no major surprises from what
> the summary promised, but
> some of this i guess is my surmise of what had to be
> here given the date and
> what i know of the other courses and Foucault's
> published works. Surprises
> there are, but not on the scale of those in Les
> Anormaux and Il faut.
> The course is orientated toward the question of the
> care of the self. It
> therefore is comparable with Vol III of the History
> of Sexuality. In the
> interview with Dreyfus and Rabinow for their book on
> Foucault, F suggests
> that Le souci de soi [The Care of the Self] is 'a
> book separate from the sex
> series'. It will be 'composed of different papers
> about the self' (Foucault
> Reader, p 342)... Of course, Le souci de soi as it
> appeared was part of the
> series, and wasn't structured in that way.
> L'hermeneutique du sujet though,
> very much is. So, it would seem we have here a
> course that does what F
> envisioned Le souci de soi would originally do (see
> LHS 496). As the editor
> suggests, this course is in some sense an
> elaboration of Part Two of the
> published book (LHS 489).
> I sense that the course won't make full historical
> and contextual sense if
> not read along with the courses of 1979-80 and
> 1980-1. These seem to have
> led Foucault further and further back historically,
> with the Christian
> notion of confession proving inconclusive in terms
> of what he was searching
> for (this was my sense already from reading the
> relevant passages of Les
> Anormaux). There are a few passages here that seem
> to refer back to previous
> lecture courses, or at least to previous research.
> Short of listening to the
> tapes in Paris i guess we'll have to wait.
> Another thing that seems notable is that the course
> is officially authorised
> by Foucault's literary executors. This wasn't quite
> the case before - the
> courses circumvented the 'no posthumous
> publications' directive by
> transcribing the tapes of the lectures pretty much
> verbatim. Whilst Daniel
> Defert had provided some material of Foucault's to
> aid the editors, here he
> seems to exceeded that. The editor, Frederic Gros,
> makes reference to 5
> large dossiers of material that Defert provided. The
> first is the course
> manuscript, which Gros has used to correct
> inadequacies in the tape
> recording (unlike earlier courses which substituted
> '...' for inaudible
> passages). The remaining dossiers are thematic and
> contain notebooks of
> various elaborations of sections, ideas, etc. Some
> of these are drafts of
> History of Sexuality chapters we have, some appear
> elsewhere, but several
> are for this course. However, there are passages
> which appear worked out,
> claims Gros, that don't appear anywhere. He bemoans
> this - some of them
> would really help situate the later Foucault's work.
> Indeed, in a number of places, Gros quotes long
> passages from these
> unpublished sources. Great, but i don't think the
> legal interpretation would
> have previously allowed this.
> The role of Hegel is interesting, and might explain
> how Foucault came back
> to this theme of the self and sexuality after a
> number of courses on the
> state and government. Gros hints at this, but i
> wonder how far this could be
> pushed. If power in these analyses, and centrally,
> the notion of police, was
> totalising, it was equally individualising. Think of
> the Philosophy of Right
> with the need to care for a particular interests
> within the universal. It's
> the 'police', in that expanded sense, and the
> corporations again. I'm not
> trying to say F is the same as Hegel here, but that
> he is trying to trace
> the way these things work together and developed.
> Just a thought.
> Also important, and something which confirms my
> sense of how important
> Heidegger is for Foucault, is the response to a
> question from the audience.
> Foucault is being pressed as to the way he is using
> Lacanian concepts. He is
> more than a little resistant here, and suggests he
> is a bit Nietzschean too.
> But then he suggests that when one is examining the
> issues of truth and the
> subject, there are only really two key figures in
> the 20th century: "I see
> only two of them. I see only Heidegger and Lacan.
> Personally, for me, it is
> above all, as you sensed it, regarding Heidegger and
> starting from Heidegger
> that I tried to think of all this. There you are.
> But it is certain that one
> cannot fail to come across Lacan if one poses those
> kind of questions" (LHS
> 182). In a passage Gros quotes from an unpublished
> manuscript, Foucault is
> more explicit:- "For Heidegger it is starting from
> the Western _tekhne_ that
> the knowledge of the object sealed the forgetting of
> Being. We return to the
> question and ask from which _technai_ was the
> Western subject formed, and
> the games of truth and error, with the freedom and
> constraint which
> characterize them, opened up" (quoted in LHS 505).
> Okay, that's all for now. Comments very welcome, but
> please note these are
> initial thoughts before i've really studied the
> work. But given its length i
> thought that it might be a while before i have
> worked through the whole
> thing, and in any case, the intention was partly to
> do a slow reading
> together over time.
> For that reason, I'd be interested in hearing from
> anyone interested in
> joining myself and a few other people in an informal
> e-mail reading group.
> The larger list is too unwieldy for this, and I
> guess that because the
> course is only available in French (and not online!)
> the potential interest
> is rather limited. Do let me know.
> Best wishes
> Stuart

Do You Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Auctions - buy the things you want at great prices

Partial thread listing: