[Foucault-L] Re : Re : Translation of énoncé to English

Err... There must be some kind of misunderstanding... You seem to say that as an objection to what I wrote. Well, in case you did, let me tell you : it isn't; when a specific performance is repeated, does it make said performance any less "active" than the performance of its repetition ? When the hunchback of Nostre-Dame (or any other cathedral) makes the bells ring "seven o'clok" or "prayer time" or "fuck time" (if we are in a jesuitic reduction) - or any other time (by the way : good example of "énoncé", in my book) -, is he any less active than when he did it the day before ?

Someone said that Foucault introduced "activity" in the notion of "énoncé"; it appeared to me - through TLF - that he did not : I never said anywhere that the notion of "activity" involved was exactly the same in both instances - just that a notion of activity was involved in both instances.

By the by : the distinction between "énoncé" and "énonciation" does not coïncide in anyway with the paradigm "effort vs. inertiae" (as you SEEM to imply in SOME places of your essay) : it's rather actuality ("plain and simple" or "bare" actuality) /regularity. Yes, its repetabily is the template of the "énoncé"'s existence as a sort of "thing" - but certainly not the same sort of thing as Sartre's famous "root".

(This part is was not specifically directed to you : it's apparent to me you percieve the distinction - it's just that in the context of the debate that preceded it - has Foucault introduced "activity" in the notion ? - your reference to the "énoncé"'s existence as a thing may well bring confusion.)

Oh - and, in case it is not clear, I agree with you : the aspect of action is present Foucault's "énoncé", but not in the same way as in the TLF - though I'm not sure we would draw the distinction the same (is the "énoncé" of a verdict or a theorem not "repeatable" ? Don't they exist as sort of "things", too ? Aren't "repatability" and "existence as a practical thing" distinguishing traits of these kind of performances?)

Something must elude us...

Hi there,

Interresting research on the history of the term, but we must not forget
that Foucault makes the distinction between énoncé and énonciation (the act
of producing an énoncé, enunciation in englis, I presume) :

« L'énonciation est un événement qui ne se répète pas; elle a une
singularité située et datée qu'on ne peut pas réduire. [...] Or, l'énoncé
lui-même ne peut être réduit à ce pur événement de l'énonciation, car malgré
sa matérialité, il peut être répété [.] » (AS 133-134)

Again the distinction is built on a time-modality; the possibility of
repetition. As an event, an enunciation can happens only once, but an
énoncé is essentially the building block (more exactly, the practical
function that determines the existence of such ''blocks'') - the ''thing'' -
that is an object of political - scientific - ethical practices. It's
almost an economical way of seeing discourse, and the closest ''thing'' I
can think of is money :

« [Les énoncés sont des] choses qui se transmettent et se conservent, qui
ont une valeur, et qu'on cherche à s'approprier; qu'on répète, qu'on
reproduit et qu'on transforme; auxquelles on ménage des circuits préétablis
et auxquelles on donne statut dans l'institution[...] ». (AS 138)

So the aspect of action is indeed part of what is an énoncé, but not exactly
in the same way you found in the TLF, which would be closer to
''énonciation'' in the archeological terminology. It seems capital to me
not to obfuscate this distinction, as it seems directly part of the
''attribution to a subject'' problematic facing the archeological discourse.

I did my master degree (Montréal) on this subject, if anyone is interrested,
I may mail a copy on demand.


Jean-François Mongrain

2007/9/18, emmanuel pehau <klossi_fr@xxxxxxxx>:
> énoncé : dans la langue de la procédure judiciaire, action d'énoncer, fait
> d'énoncer. Synonyme usuel : énonciation. (Trésor de la langue française)
> My bloody translation :
> "énoncé" : in the language of judicial procedure, the act(*) or the fact
> of enouncing something.
> (*) The Trésor even says "action" : so you see fraçois, Foucault didn't
> introduce the notion of "activity" : it was already in place.
> ("énoncer"'s meanigs range from "utter" to "express", "speak out", "say",
> "make (publicly) known", "declare (formally) ) - the latter being precisely
> the one at stake, here, I guess).
> Implicit to the meanig of "fact of enouncing something" are the notions
> that the "fact" in question has to be "take into account" (acknowledged but
> also registered, recorded and reported), and that the thing being enounced
> is actually being enounced by an authorized source - if not a source of
> authority.
> In French we use the term most usually in phrases such as "l'énoncé d'un
> jugement / d'un verdict" (it belongs to the same constellation as "verdict"
> or "avow", another terms in which Foucault breathed a new life), "l'énoncé
> d'un théorème ou d'un problème" - i.e. in french "énoncé" is a master's
> thing - be it a master of truth (savant, doctor, master, teacher, etc.) or a
> master of jutice. The very history of the term connects "véridiction" to
> "juridiction".
> This use of the term (the one quoted high above) is the first listed by
> the Trésor de la langue française - it's also (not coincindentally, I
> suspect) the closest use to Foucault's own one ("the fact that something is
> being / has been said, in that it constitutes an event, itself constitutive
> of a practice" - a ritual, a procedure, etc. - sorry, can't sum it up better
> at present) I could found.
> The notion that "énociation" is linked to authority has long been
> ingrained in roman languages : Benveniste had it that the latin dicere's
> primary use was as a "vocable d'institution", and that, as suc, it meant
> something like " showing through words and with authority whast has to be or
> be done".
> So one (someone pretty bold) could say that Foucault somewhat generalized
> the notion : the "énoncé" does not have to come necessarily from a position
> of authority for "énonciation" to take place in a complex system of power
> relationships.
> Sorry for the broken english.
> Emmanuel.
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