Re: [Foucault-L] RE : experience-experiment.

On Thu, Jan 03, 2008 at 11:22:53AM -0800, Kevin Turner wrote:
> Hi Fran??ois
> Having re-read all the paragraphs in which the word ???experiment???
> appears, I have selected the following sentences in which the
> term ???experiment??? should possibly have been translated as
> ???experience.???
> From the ???Preface:???
> ???The breadth of the experiment [experience] seems to be identified
> with the domain of the careful gaze?????? (BC: xiii).

This one--unlike the others, in my eyes--can be read either way.

> From ???The Lessons of the Hospital:???
> ???Once one defined a practical experiment [experience] carried out
> on the patient himself, one insisted on the need to relate particular
> knowledge to an encyclopaedic whole??? (BC: 71).

How does one carry out an experience on someone else? What is a
"practical" experience, and how can defining one create a need to relate
particulars to general medical knowledge?

> ???The doctrine of the hospital was an ambiguous one: theoretically
> free, and, because of the non-contractual character of the relation
> between doctor and patient, open to the indifference of experiment
> [experience]???(BC: 83-4).

How can experience be called indifferent? Does this sentence not say
the following?

"Because the doctor did not need the patient's agreement, he could
experiment on the patient (with indifference to his experience!)
rather than constrain himself to treatment. This fell within the
mission of the hospital because it advanced medical knowledge."

> From ???Seeing and Knowing:???
> ???The opposition between clinic and experiment [experience]
> overlays exactly the difference between the language we hear, and
> consequently recognise, and the question we pose, or, rather,
> impose: ???The observer???reads nature, he who experiments
> [experiences] questions?????? (BC: 108).

Experimenting is questioning, for sure. But experiencing?

Can we say this?

"The difference between experiment and observation is that in the
former, one controls conditions, one attempts to isolate phenomena by
interfering, one acts in specific ways on one's object and observes
the consequences of action; in the latter one is passive. To ask
a question is to affect what is said; merely to listen is not. It
is observation which is experience, and experiment which is action;
observation/experience listens/knows(connaitre); experiment/action

(Often the notion of experiment affecting its object is expressed with a
not-quite-accurate reference to Heisenberg.)

The strange word in that sentence seems to me not 'experiment' but
'clinic.' Looking it up:

3. (Med.) a medical facility, often connected with a school
or hospital, which treats primarily outpatients.

4. (Med.) A school, or a session of a school or class, in which
medicine or surgery is taught by the examination and treatment of
patients in the presence of the pupils.

Oh... Within the clinic(4), the medical students just watch passively.

> And from ???Open Up a Few Corpses:???
> ??????progress in observation, a wish to develop and extend experiment
> [experience]?????? (BC: 136).

Novel experiments (and the publication of their results) are the means
by which scientific observation progresses. But experience?

  • Re: [Foucault-L] RE : experience-experiment.
    • From: Kevin Turner
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