Re: Foucault and the analytical philosophy of action

Hi Mark,

The other thing to note regarding this essay by Foucault and its links to
analytical philosophy is that in the late 1970s and early 80s analytical
philosophy was making itself felt in France, via the work of Jacques
Bouveresse (if I remember rightly, Vincent Descombes might be another
example -- certainly it seems that the work of Bouveresse began to influence
his work around that time). For critical reactions to these works from
1981-82, see Dominique Lecourt's books _La philosophie sans feinte_ (1982)
and, especially, _L'ordre et les jeux_ (1981). This is from memory, I have
not read these books. My late friend Wal Suchting, who had an interest in
all of these matters, had them in his library and discussed his thoughts on
them with me a couple of times; perhaps a reference to them appears in one
of his writings on Wittgenstein (on whom Bouveresse has written a
substantial amount of works). These conversations were in 1996 and I had to
look up the titles of Lecourt's work on amazon to jog my memory, but I think
my recollections of them are okay.

I hope this helps with the context of all of this. It might be that
Foucault picked up this influence via these Frence sources, rather than
through the Americans. Certainly he knew Lecourt, via Althusser and


----- Original Message -----
From: "Mark Kelly" <mgekelly@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <foucault@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Wednesday, July 16, 2003 1:45 PM
Subject: Foucault and the analytical philosophy of action

> Thanks everyone for your very useful replies.
> I find this question of Foucault's realtion to the analytical philosophy
> action, and to analytical philosophy generally, fascinating (I don't find
> the link to Rorty very interesting in this regard - he is no analytical
> philosopher - not that he is 'postmodern' either). Despite coming from an
> analytical philosophy background, I know next to nothing about 'APA'. The
> thing that struck me about 'The Subject and Power' is simply that it is
> highly analytical, in structure, method, what have you. It's like Foucault
> is explicating his concept of power under the rules governing the
> of discourse in analytical philosophy.
> As far as awarness of APA goes, I don't know. Although what Foucault
> looks a lot like analytical philosophy, it doesn't show much awareness of
> the minefield of issues around deefining action and understanding what
> action is. Not that I'm suggesting this debate is really that worthwhile,
> but it's as if Foucault adopts the analytical style and the concept of
> 'action', which appeals to his positivist instincts, while in fact making
> real engagement with APA.
> I'd be very interested Francois if you could elaborate on what you say
> the links between Foucault and APA in the Archaeology of Knowledge.
> MArk

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