Re: Explaining why he was a philosopher.


This is my second attempt at a reply. I wrote a very detailed and
careful response which I lost due to a computer error. I hope I can
recapture the main thrust of my response this second time.

First of all, thank you for some interesting and difficult questions.

My book sets out to do a number of things, but very early on I suggest
that the affinities - and one could add the divergences - between
Heidegger and Foucault cannot be treated exhaustively. My aim was not a
'compare and contrast' between the two thinkers, but rather to
investigate how a reading of Heidegger could illuminate certain aspects
of Foucault's work.

The introduction to that book, which I posted to another, much smaller
list, rather than this one, necessarily is even briefer and schematic
in its outline of the project. But that said, I don't spend much time
discussing differences between the thinkers - i mention a few in
passing - because it's not especially my concern or interest. Just as
Foucault rarely mentions Heidegger positively, he rarely mentions
Heidegger negatively, that is, not explicitly. There are coded
critiques of Heidegger in, for instance, 'Nietzsche, Genealogy, History'
and The Order of Things.

So, therefore, though I think that the question of truth is certainly a
concern for both thinkers, it's not something i treat in the book,
other than briefly and in passing. I appreciate the Veyne quotation,
and if you could provide a citation i'd be grateful. On that point
there's a comment in the L'hermeneutique du sujet lecture course where
Foucault is asked about the influence of Lacan. He replies that one can
hardly avoid Lacan when concerned with the issues of truth and
subjectivity, but that Heidegger is the key person for him in this
inquiry. Alone of course that means little, but it might point the way
for an enquiry.

That said, i would take issue with you suggestion that

>After all Heidegger's question is not just about >being it is
primarily about Being of beings.

To my mind that's only sustainable, barely, on a reading of the
divisions of Being and Time that were published. Heidegger's question
is always to get to being _as_ being. He investigates the being of a
being in Division 1 as a way into the question, as a mode of access. To
think otherwise is to read Being and Time as an anthropology. Elsewhere
- in the lecture courses prior to Being and Time, and those that follow
he investigates the question of being historically, through a de-
struction of the tradition. (Though I think there are changes in
Heidegger's thought I don't see the notion of the turn [Kehre] as
chronological) That's again a much longer argument than I have time for

You're right of course that the relationship between Heidegger and Neo-
Kantianism is much more complex and ambivalent than the previous post
suggested, and that between Foucault and Kant(ianism) too. There's a
section in my first chapter called 'Reading Kant Phenomenologically',
which discusses Heidegger's Kant reading in some detail, and relates it
to the dispute with Cassirer and the Marburg school.

I'm not trying to suggest Foucault had no affinity to Kant - far from
it. I discuss Foucault and Kant, largely around the issues of the
present and Enlightenment. But the distinction as I see it between
Heidegger's historicisation of the Kantian problematic and the neo-
Kantian's is around the reading of the Critique as a work of ontology,
and not as it was for the neo-Kantians, a work of epistemology. I don't
discuss Foucault and the neo-Kantians at all, other than to use
Heidegger's strategy of reading Kant in my reading of Foucault - in the
previous post that was just a shorthand way of making a point about
historical ontology.

I hope this goes someway to answering your questions. Again, thanks



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