Fwd: RE: Il faut defendre Foucault


I'm glad the previous post was useful. And many thanks for the Veyne
citation. I think that I know the piece you mention, but i will follow
this up.

I think the issue around Heidegger is important, but I think the reason
we seemed to disagree is that I read your first post as saying
Heidegger is not concerned with 'being' but 'primarily about Being of
beings'; your clarification mentions that you said/meant not 'beings'
but 'Being of beings'. That 's' is of course central. Heidegger's
concern is always with being (singular, and no article) not beings or a

being. When he does analyse _a being_ it is to gain access to the
question of being.

The first post made it seem he was only interested in being if it was
of a being, in the second formulation it is obvious he is concerned
with beings only in their being. Hope that's cleared up the issue.

As a subsidiary point I try to avoid capitalisation in translation of
Heidegger's key terms, to my mind that reifies or even deifies them.

>To clarify this point further, I consider
> Foucault and Heidegger as not only doing historical ontology but also

> relational ontology. In this context I had used Being of beings to
> refer to the whole web of relations existing at a particular time. As
> understand, the difference between Foucault and Heidegger is that
while > Foucault does not see any conception of Being beyond different
web of
> relations existing through out history Heidegger sees the possibility

> of the manifestation of Being beyond these existing web of relations.

> Athough he was increasingly pessimistic about such a possibility at
the end of his career. I am not sure how much this understanding is
seconded by careful and detailed reading of Heidegger's text but this
was in my mind when I said that Heidegger question was not about
> but Being of beings.

I can see the point you're making now. I think Heidegger abandons the
idea that there might be such as thing as fundamental ontology, that is,

unhistorical, quite early on. The closest he comes to it in the later
period would be in the Beitraege, or Zeit und Sein, but here too he
recognises that to say being _is_ X (i.e. time, or later Ereignis)
would be simply a continuation of metaphysics. Rather he looks at what

allows being, that is the notion of Ereignis, 'event' or 'propriation'.

What I think is extremely important for Foucault is how Heidegger
investigates the tradition to see what understanding of being held sway,

to see what conditions of possibility there were for different
interpretations of the political, of space, of technology, of art, etc.

That history of being, or the historical investigation of conditions of

possibility is a historicisation of the problematic of Being and Time.

That's in essence what I mean by historical ontology, which is
relational (synchronic?) as well as historical (diachronic).

So, sure, there's no attempt in Foucault to find a manifestation of
being outside of these relations, it's a problematic point in Heidegger

too. My sense is that Foucault was far more interested in Heidegger's
work from around the mid 1930s on than simply in Being and Time. Letter

on Humanism for example, and the Nietzsche book - as Althusser says,
the Letter was crucial for a whole generation of French thinkers in
freeing themselves of the influence/power of Sartre. Here was a way to

criticise Sartre, but also a way to utilise Heidegger without the
misleading existentialist jargon that was only a minor part of
Heidegger's work.

That's all for now




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