Re: [Foucault-L] Genealogy Archaeology Divide

Hi Clare

So, regarding madness you would say that at the archaeological level Foucault looked at the formation of madness as an object of knowledge and the asylum warden, doctor, psychiatrist as subject who knows; whereas at the genealogical level Foucault looked at the formation of madness as error, fault or sickness and reason as truth of the world, and then the truth of man.

I think that is a highly usable way of thinking about the difference between archaeology and genealogy.

It also shows how genealogy was at work, however implicitly, in History of Madness, and The birth of the Clinic; and demonstrates how archaeology was at work in Discipline and Punish and later texts.

regards - k

> -----Original Message-----
> From: c.ofarrell@xxxxxxxxxx
> Sent: Mon, 24 Sep 2007 08:14:14 +1000
> To: foucault-l@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: Re: [Foucault-L] Genealogy Archaeology Divide
> Can I just add a passage from my own book Michel Foucault. Sage, 2005
> pp. 68-69 to this discussion. Foucault also uses a whole range of
> other terms which do the same work as archaeology and genealogy - eg
> history of thought, regimes of truth, the history of the present.
> If one is considering practicalities, the reality is that there is not
> really a great deal of difference between the tools Foucault uses to
> engage in either archaeology or genealogy. The distinction is to be
> found rather, in how Foucault characterizes that level where the
> historical orders of knowledge and culture emerge, and where objects
> of knowledge are formed. Or as Foucault puts it succinctly in `The
> order of discourse': 'The difference between the critical and the
> genealogical enterprise is not so much a difference of object or
> domain, but of point of attack, perspective and delimitation' (OD:
> 72). If archaeology addresses a level at which differences and
> similarities are determined, a level where things are simply organized
> to produce manageable forms of knowledge, the stakes are much higher
> for genealogy.
> Genealogy deals with precisely the same substrata of knowledge and
> culture, but Foucault now describes it as a level where the grounds of
> the true and the false come to be distinguished via mechanisms of
> power. In the case of archaeology, patterns of differences and
> similarities form in close relation to something Foucault describes as
> `ideology' or more generally as `non-discursive practices'. But the
> latter were not primary. As for genealogy, the historical division
> between the true and the false is more directly the result of power.
> Further, in the early 1970s, Foucault argues that power is prior to
> and produces knowledge. The differences between the two approaches in
> Foucault's work can be seen in comparing two statements about the
> level underlying knowledge. In 1967, he says:
> Beneath what science knows about itself is something that it doesn't
> know; and its history, its becoming, its periods and accidents obey a
> certain number of laws and determinations. These laws and
> determinations are what I have tried to bring to light. I have tried
> to unearth an autonomous domain that would be the unconscious of
> knowledge, which would have its own rules, just as the individual
> human unconscious has its own rules and determinations. (1968d: 54
> mod.)
> These 'rules and determinations' underlie the historical organization
> of similarities and differences in knowledge and culture. By 1971,
> Foucault had shifted his way of describing this `unconscious' and it
> had become a matter of the division between the true and the false,
> between inclusion and exclusion; it was more clearly an exercise of
> power, rather than simple organization. He explains: `My problem is
> essentially the definition of the implicit systems in which we find
> ourselves prisoners; what I would like to grasp is the system of
> limits and exclusion which we practice without realising it; I would
> like to make the cultural unconscious apparent' (1971g: 73). In short,
> archaeology is about the `conditions of possibility' which give rise
> to knowledge whereas genealogy is about the `constraints' that limit
> the orders of knowledge. In both instances, Foucault is dealing with
> the same level, he has simply changed his emphasis and way of viewing
> it.
> --
> Clare
> *******************************************
> Clare O'Farrell
> *******************************************
> _______________________________________________
> Foucault-L mailing list

KEEP SPYWARE OFF YOUR COMPUTER - Protect your computer with Spyware Terminator!
Visit and find out more!

  • Re: [Foucault-L] Genealogy Archaeology Divide
    • From: Jared Kennard
  • Replies
    [Foucault-L] Genealogy Archaeology Divide, Jared Kennard
    Re: [Foucault-L] Genealogy Archaeology Divide, c . ofarrell
    Partial thread listing: