Re: [Foucault-L] Foucault and "human nature"

Foucault's work on = theory of human nature is:
his work on mortality (death in life, not death against life) (see Birth of the Clinic and the sections on the analytic of finitude in The Order of Things (ch. IX-iii)
+ his work on alterity see everywhere in his works
and of course his work on bodies, on transgression, and how men turn themselves into subjects and so on.
The discussion with Chomsky was unluckily framed by the Dutch presentator as a discussion on Human Nature

machiel karskens

At 22:25 5-3-2010, you wrote:

On 06/03/2010, at 7:41 AM, Edward Comstock wrote:

> It also seems to me that even what we call human nature or look for is
> going to change based on different knowledge practices, such that the
> question can only be answered within given systems of knowledge.
> Foucault,
> after all, for instance, believed that modern medicine presented valid
> abstractions against which we could gain usefull knowedges. But I
> dont'
> take this to mean that he believes modern medicine to be "true" in the
> absolute sense.

This seems similar to Althusser's attempts to distinguish between
discourses in terms of the 'adequacy' of their 'grasp' of the
material world, a rather tricky notion in that idealist discourses
such as empiricism always attempt to exploit it. I'm not sure how
one avoids it though, unless one accepts the extreme relativism that
would assert that the phlogiston theory is equally valid way of
looking at the generation of heat as thermodynamics. It is clear
that one gives us a more adequate grasp of material reality, but if
one attempts to 'go around' discourse to find a way to see whether it
corresponds to something outside of itself then, whoops, there we are
back with the 'subject of knowledge' etc etc.

Foucault-L mailing list

Prof. Machiel Karskens
social and political philosophy
Faculty of Philosophy
Radboud University Nijmegen - The Netherlands

  • Re: [Foucault-L] Foucault and "human nature"
    • From: Chetan Vemuri
  • Replies
    Re: [Foucault-L] foucault and "human nature", Matt Wootton
    Re: [Foucault-L] foucault and "human nature", Thomas Lord
    Re: [Foucault-L] Foucault and "human nature", Edward Comstock
    Re: [Foucault-L] Foucault and "human nature", David McInerney
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