Re: foucault and agency [Franois Gagnon]

I think it should be carefully determined on what level it is appropriate to
say, according to Foucault, "it does not matter who act". Take for example
four different levels (roughly) on which this claim can be analysed.

I am writing this email. Of course it does matter that I am writing it and
not you if considering the question of who wrote this email.

I am writing this email. Now to what extent this writing of email matters
considering my self-constitution. It does matter but to a lesser extent and
there are and may be various other factors which are relevant and may be
more important.

I am writing this email. Consider this with reference to a possibility of
revolution in near future in say (Foucauldian studies). Well may be it has
some (fractional) relevance but it hardly matters that (who) wrote this
mail. It would be more relevant to consider the ?situation? of ?who? wrote
the email in this context.

I am writing this email. Consider this with reference to a possibility of
revolution on system wide level. Well it is almost irrelevant and it almost
does not matter at all (who) wrote email in this context.

Foucault's purpose was not to deny agent or the efficacy of his actions but
to show its limitations. Even when we do act, or say something, the moment
we utter something or act, the action and words take there own life and in
turn determine us and others. It was the force of this anonymity in history
that Foucault tried to emphasise in his formulations in the context of
Enlightenment claims about powers and limitless capabilities of man.


[That is not what one would call a denial of agency. Of the subject,
probably - and it is debatable. I would say though that this does not
the impression, reading Foucault, that "it doesn't matter who act" and
therefore that his analysis are affect-less, focusing rather on impersonal
rationalities of government that somewhat lack their 'human' incorporation.]

Selon suannschafer@xxxxxxxxxxxxx:

> >Foucault's critics as a routine confuse his rejection of subject
> >with the rejection of agency. It is not the same thing to dney
> >agency and subject. One can believe in agency without believing in
> >the notion of subject as understood in Cartesian and Enlightenment
> >tradtion.
> That's interesting. Can you elaborate? Thanks in advance!

Franois Gagnon
tudiant au Doctorat
Dpartement de Communication
Universit de Montral
(514)343-6111 poste 1464

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