Re: Taylor, Sartre, and sexuality

I agree with your concerns. I'm not arguing however for "a general pattern
to these transformations" but rather that just as social theory critiques
"hard" science, so should it recognize influences that operate in the other
direction. Ultimately, in my utopian version of the academy, scholars would
recognize the interconnectedness of areas of knowledge to the point where we
could actually acknowledge the falsity of disciplinary boundaries and the
resultant disctinctions between methodologies, and instead approach the
project of more fully understanding "life the universe and everything" from
a position of integrated inquiry. This by no means requires a positivist
approach; rather, just as theories of eugenics are now considered suspect
because of shifts in both sociological and scientific thinking, so other
theories could be examined from an integrated standpoint, not with an eye to
discounting their previous influence and contribution to current thinking,
but rather with an eye to assessing their continued usefulnes and

>From: Larry Chappell <larchap@xxxxxxxxxxx>
>Reply-To: foucault@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>To: foucault@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>Subject: Re: Taylor, Sartre, and sexuality
>Date: Tue, 8 May 2001 11:18:25 -0000
>To have genetics simply abolish the issues surrounding the social
>construction of gender and sexuality would require resolving the debates
>concerning the social constructedness of "science." The idea that any
>special science can draw special authority from a fiction like "scientific
>method" is a debatable product from the high tide of logical positivism.
>I agree that debates get transformed by changes in scientific
>I do not think there is a general pattern to these transformations. What
>sort of discovery would falsify Foucault's claim that sexualities are not
>cultural invariant. Could genetics disprove Dover's claims about the unique
>character of male-male courtship patterns in ancient Greece? How would
>genetics deal with the indeterminability of gender in a case like the one
>Foucault explores in "Herculine Barbin"?
>For genetics to settle questions concerning the etiology of sexuality it
>would have to have some special purchase on the question WHAT a sexual
>identity is. Does it? If the answer is "yes," you are reading different
>geneticists than the ones I read.
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Rebecca Moskow" <rmoskow@xxxxxxxxxxx>
>To: <foucault@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>Sent: Tuesday, May 08, 2001 3:00 PM
>Subject: Re: Taylor, Sartre, and sexuality
> > To a certain extent, yes, I am looking forward to it. But I'm
> > more than the sociological implications. For example, last quarter I
> > a paper that examined the implications of the increasingly small scale
> > science (such as nanotechnology, mapping genomes, etc) for an ecological
> > feminist ethic of flourishing (based on Chris Cuomo, Feminims and
> > Communities: An Ethic of Flourishing, Routledge, 1998). I think that
> > students and theorists in all disciplines need to be more aware of the
> > interactions between scientific and other types of knowledge. For
> > consider the possible implications for theories regarding the social
> > construction of sexual orientation if we were to find conclusive
> > regarding genetic propensity toward one orientation or another. Would
> > theories of social construction become irrelevant? I don't think so,
> > they would need to be reconfigured to account for either the presence or
> > absence of a biologically deterministic element. And of course one must
> > also consider the implications for individuals and groups who operate
> > without an awareness or understanding of academic theory, which also
> > involves questions of scholarly responsibility ...
> >
> >
> > >Are you looking forward to this? or
> > >Are you interested in the sociological implications it will bring?
> > >
> > >>From: Rebecca Moskow <rmoskow@xxxxxxxxxxx>
> > >>Reply-To: foucault@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> > >>To: foucault@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> > >>Subject: Re: Taylor, Sartre, and sexuality
> > >>Date: Tue, 08 May 2001 00:01:40 -0500
> > >>
> > >>This also bears on posts re. social/natural sciences:
> > >>Due to technological advances which make sex unnecessary for
> > >>any arguments regarding sexual orientation and the
> > >>of humanity are rendered irrelevant. And this is where I think social
> > >>sciences as well as philosophy must consider "natural" or "hard"
> > >>in terms of how science and scientific understanding do in fact
> > >>shape not only human experiences but also, to a certain extent, our
> > >>understandings of humanity itself. This leadds me to wonder how the
> > >>relevance, value, and implications of various older theories shift as
> > >>science and technology shift, particularly for those theorists who are
> > >>dead
> > >>and therefore unable to reevaluate their arguments in light of new
> > >>information/technology.
> > >>
> > _________________________________________________________________
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> >

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