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

On Wed, 19 Sep 2007 08:26:20 -0400
"Jean-François Mongrain" <jean.frm@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> Hi
> ,
> > Whether you intuitively know that a phrase has meaning (e.g. the native
> > speaker of English) or find out by analysis (e.g. an archeologist), what
> > already makes the phrase meaningfull, is the enouce. Your acquaintance
> > with the enonce is the ultimate reference for meaningfullness.
> First analysis does not refer to the archeological practice, but to logical
> analysis (Foucault is here refering to Frege, Russell, and the Vienna
> circle).

Doesn't matter. My point was just to illustrate that even the
archeologist depends to the meaning provision of the enounce.

> Then, something like a ''native speaker of english'' is one of
> many possible subjective position an énoncé permits, the one linguistic
> accept as true. Meaning is always, it seems, found in such a choice,

No, basically, meaning is a pre-choice phenomenon. When Foucault wrote
"décide" in the quotation about existence function, it is in the sense:
"find out if".

> that's
> why the meaning of an énoncé will be different if you analyse it as a
> logical propoposition, or intuit it as a meaningfull phrase.

I think here you are mistaken: There is another enonce within the
logical proposition than in the intuited phrase, because they have
different associated domains.

> The énoncé, in
> itself, is a fonction of existence, and is ''meaning neutral'' - a meaning
> being given to it by the usage in which it is employed.

The enonce is not meaning-neutral, because it effectuates a certain
kind of meaning in a phrase, proposision ....

> This neutrality is important, it is what will permit, in chapter IV, to
> explain how an énoncé can ''jump'' from one discursive system to another,
> thus changing meaning,

This is complicated, but the answer is: No, an enonce cannot just jump,
because its associated domain and strategic context then changes, that
is, the enonce changes. If a piece of text jumps into a new context, it
changes the enonce.

> and that this new meaning is not to be understood as
> neither as a historical purification of a ''pure'', primitive meaning, nor
> as the march toward an horizon of ideality (refering again to romantic
> hermeneutics - this is a critique of post-hegelian theory in history of
> Idea, targetting a Gadamer or a Ricoeur).
> Therefore, the archeological analysis is a way to come closer to the
> > meaning to historical texts by unravelling the enoncial premises of that
> > time, avoiding present enoncial premises, e.g. backward interpretation
> > of scientific progress.
> But there is nothing, if you accept to play the archeological game, as ''the
> meaning'' you can get ''closer to'' !

Of course there is meaning. Anything else would be meaningless ...
> "[L'archéologie] ne prétend pas s'effacer elle-même dans la modestie ambiguë
> d'une lecture qui laisserait revenir, en sa pureté, la lumière lointaine,
> précaire, presque effacée de l'origine. Ele n'est rien de plus et rien
> d'autre qu'une réécriture : c'est-à-dire dans la forme maintenue de
> l'extériorité, une transformation réglée de ce qui a été déjà écrit. Ce
> n'est pas le retour au secret même de l'origine; c'est la description
> systématique d'un discours-objet.'' (AS, 183)
> Not the search of an original meaning, but the transformation and
> description of a discourse-object, I dont see a pretention to ''unravel''
> something, quite the contrary !

Well, I was a bit too bold, but again this is more complicated. Of
course Foucault's analyses, in Les Mots et les Choses, for instance,
are meaningful, and clearly he tried to be more honest to the
historical text than a arrogant backward reading, progress-thinking
interpretation would be. And in this respect he is closer to the
'original' meaning. But, not only had he a purpose of re-writing the
historical text inserting it into an other context, he was clearly
aware of that he could just understand the past on the premises of the
present when he constitutes the past as a present exteorite. This
explains your last quotation and at the same time: all the many times he
explains how people did not think as we today usually believe, but
rather they thought on other premises putting other meanings into the


Re: [Foucault-L] RE?: Translation of ?nonc? to English, Frank Ejby Poulsen
Re: [Foucault-L] RE?: Translation of ?nonc? to English, Jean-François Mongrain
Re: [Foucault-L] RE?: Translation of ?nonc? to English, Flemming Bjerke
Re: [Foucault-L] RE?: Translation of ?nonc? to English, Jean-François Mongrain
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