Re: Foucault and pragmatism, q&a,andrew

But the most importenant thing is how I think, and how
I act. I know that the social-political order in the
world will not be changed.The political power is too
heavy to be changed.
--- Andrew Brokos <androobrokos@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> foucault@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
> >
> > I dont know how exactly Rorty is politically
> useful.
> I'm not claiming that he is. I am not overly
> familiar with him, but my impression is that he is a
> hack who misunderstands the philosophies with which
> he attempts to deal. Because I find him useless, I
> don't make a study of him and I don't join Rorty
> e-mail lists. I am starting to wonder what the
> "point" of studying the work of Foucault for us. Why
> should we have it in our "toolbox", to revive the
> jargon from a previous Rorty discussion? I've had
> difficulty coming across discussions of how to
> employ Foucault "on the ground". Admittedly, any
> morality or politics is contingent to the theory,
> but we all have our moralities and our politics, and
> I am wondering how Foucault can be used to advance
> them.
> > What is political?What is politically usefulness?
> The question of what is political is irrelevant.
> Define it however you like, or don't define it all.
> As for usefulness, I've ansewered this already. Can
> I use anything taken away from a study of Foucault
> and his work to change future conditions. Dewey says
> that for the pragmatist, the utility of a proposal
> or theory is judged by the likelihood that it will
> contribute to the future conditions it seeks.
> Granted, Foucault's work does not inherently suggest
> any future conditions, but were one to apply them
> externally to his work (for example, with a movement
> to reform or abolish prisons), would that person
> find that using the work of Foucault make it more
> likely that his/her desired end is achieved? If so,
> how?
> > The thinking precedes the acting.
> All I have ever seen anyone do with Foucault, and
> this seems to be the criticism Rorty is making, is
> think. Surely someone will tell me that thinking is
> action. Perhaps. The question then is what
> difference does thinking make? Does it bring one
> closer to one's goal? Certainly, I can think about
> the way disciplinary power functions in a prison.
> What can I do with that knowledge. Merely thinking
> differently about it has certainly done nothing to
> help the prisoner (or the student, or the mental
> patient, etc.)
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