Re: [Foucault-L] RE?: Translation of ?nonc? to English

>I don't think Foucault is inconsistent on this point: The context that
>the enouncement includes, is a social reality that you have to adopt if
>you want to understand others and to be understood. Since the
>enouncement context is abundant in historical texts too, you can - at
>least to some extent - read yourself into the historical meaning of
>historical texts without having to interpret them. The archeologist
>does not decide if the signs make sense, but tries to understand how
>they actually MADE sense in the past.

I am quoting again the same passage from Foucault, as in my previous
contribution, where he states explicitely what I wrote:
« L'énoncé ... c'est une fonction d'existence qui appartient en propre aux
signes et à partir de laquelle on peut décider, ensuite, par l'analyse ou
l'intuition, s'ils « font sens » ou non, selon quelle règle ils se succèdent
ou se juxtaposent, de quoi ils sont signe, et quelle sorte d'acte se trouve
effectué par leur formulation (orale ou écrite). » (Foucault, Michel (1969).
*L'archéologie du savoir*. Paris: Gallimard: page 115)

I don't know what the exact English translation is, but he is stating
something like that: "... one can decide, afterwards, through analysis or
intuition, if they [the signs] "make sense" or not..."

It sounds pretty much to me that Foucault is saying that it is the
archeologist who decides if the signs make sense, through his/her intuition
or analysis.

Now, I haven't spend all my life studying Foucault, but only one year or so
reading his works, and especially the Archaeology of knowledge, with the
intention of making an actual archaeology of something myself. So I may be
wrong. If you can show me some examples from Foucault to substantiate your
statement, I would be happy to read them.

Best regards,


  • Re: [Foucault-L] RE?: Translation of ?nonc? to English
    • From: Jean-François Mongrain
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